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Jackets Build Toward Final Spring Scrimmage

April 4, 2007

ATLANTA–The Georgia Tech football team has just one practice remaining before the Yellow Jackets conclude spring drills with Saturday’s final scrimmage, scheduled for 11 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.

Admission to Saturday’s spring scrimmage is free, and parking will be available in Peter’s Parking Deck as well as the O’Keefe and Alexander Memorial Coliseum lots. Fans should enter via Gate 4 on the west side of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Food, interactive games and activities for children will be available in Callaway Plaza outside Bobby Dodd Stadium from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Players will be available for autographs for following the scrimmage.

Following the scrimmage, fans are invited to cheer on the Georgia Tech softball team, which hosts Florida State in an Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Glenn Field, and the Tech men’s tennis team, which hosts Wake Forest at 2 p.m. at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. Admission is free.

“It’s not a game, and we won’t be keeping score. We’re just trying to get better,” Tech head coach Chan Gailey said of Saturday’s scrimmage.

Tech returns 19 players who started in the Gator Bowl, so there are not many position battles this spring, but one of them is at the “sam” outside linebacker position. Last year’s starter there, senior Gary Guyton, moved to the other outside linebacker slot at “will” to replace graduated KaMichael Hall, so sophomore Shane Bowen and redshirt freshman Anthony Barnes have been working there.

“Shane is working with the ones right now, but I think it’s still a close battle,” said Gailey.

Bowen, from Pickerington, Ohio, earned playing time as a true freshman last year, when he was the Jackets’ top backup at linebacker while also working on special teams.

“Consistency is the key at that position, and really, at any position on our defense,” said Gailey. “You’ve got to know your responsibility and make sure you fit where you’re supposed to fit every play. We’re so multiple on defense, so you’ve got to know what you’re doing and go get it done. I would think that’s the key for Shane. I’d like for him to be a little bit bigger and a little bit more physical. I think time in the weight room will help that, but the key is consistency.”

Barnes, from Cartersville, Ga., is a talented athlete who is still adjusting to the linebacker position after playing safety in high school

“He’s just got a lot to learn,” said Gailey. “He’s come a long way, but he had a long way to go, so there’s still some more work to do.”

A number of key players will be held out of the scrimmage due to injury, but all are expected back for the fall, including free safety Djay Jones, fullback Mike Cox, defensive ends Adamm Oliver and Michael Johnson, tight end Colin Peek, offensive tackle Cord Howard and cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels.

The Yellow Jackets’ final practice before the scrimmage is scheduled for Friday at 3:45 p.m. at Rose Bowl Field.

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