ATLANTA – Both the offensive and defensive units had their moments in Georgia Tech’s first scrimmage of the spring, but it was the defense that was particularly impressive, especially as the Jackets concluded the controlled scrimmage with a goal-line segment.
“I thought the defense did well,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary following Saturday’s scrimmage at Rose Bowl Field. “We’re running to the ball extremely well, and if you can do that, you can play good defense.”
The Jackets return nine starters on defense, led by defensive ends Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.) and Nick Rogers (East Point, Ga.), safeties Jeremy Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Chris Young (Senoia, Ga.) and linebacker Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.).
Coming up with quarterback sacks for the defense were Gathers and Rogers as well as sophomores Hobie Holiday (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Reggie Koon (Miramar, Fla.), while junior cornerback Marvious Hester (Smyrna, Ga.) had an interception.
“For a first scrimmage after only four days of practice, I thought both sides did some good things,” said O’Leary. “The key now is to keep working and keep getting better. There’s still a lot of work to get done.”
With starting quarterback George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.) sidelined for the spring by offseason knee surgery, sophomore Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and redshirt freshman Mark Logan (Greenwood, S.C.) are battling for the backup position this spring. Those two, plus sophomore transfer A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.), who is not eligible until 2001, handled the quarterback duties.
“All three quarterbacks threw the ball better today than I’ve seen to this point, so I was pleased with that,” said O’Leary. “We just need to continue working on the timing in the passing game. That is usually the last thing to come around.
“It was good to see some of the younger kids getting a lot of work, and we’ve just got to keep improving,” O’Leary continued. “We’re trying to give them all a look-see and find out what they can do.”
Some of the young players at whom O’Leary is looking this spring include Logan, redshirt freshman tailback Jimmy Dixon (Arlington, Texas) and redshirt freshman fullback Johnathan Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla.) on offense, as well as redshirt freshman defensive end Chirod Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Leon Robinson (Garden City, Ga.) on defense.
The Yellow Jackets will scrimmage again for next Saturday’s Springfest Scrimmage at Rose Bowl Field.