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Jackets Report, Begin Practice Saturday

Aug. 1, 2003

Georgia Tech’s football team reported to campus Friday to begin preparations for the 2003 season opener, which looms less than four weeks away as the Yellow Jackets travel to Brigham Young for a nationally televised contest on Thursday, Aug. 28.

Tech’s home opener is Sept. 6, when the Yellow Jackets host Auburn at 3:30 p.m. in the first game in the newly expanded, 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field.

The Tigers are ranked sixth in the preseason ESPN/USA Today top 25 coaches’ poll, which was released yesterday. Auburn is one of six Tech opponents in the preseason poll, including Georgia at No. 9, Florida State No. 12, Maryland No. 13, NC State No. 14 and Virginia No. 17. Tech was not ranked but received nine votes in the poll.

“Every year I’ve been in it, I’ve been excited about the start of the season,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey as he enters his second season with the Jackets. “I’m excited about what we do have, the guys that are here and where we are headed. That’s the way that I go into every season.

“Coaches talk about trying to win every game that you line up for, and I’m no different. You go in, you lift weights in February, March, and April, and in May and June you run sprints when it’s 100 degrees out there in order to win when every time you line up. You spend hours on film, you spend hours on your game plan in order to win. I don’t ever approach anything other than trying to win every game that you play, with whatever the situation is. Whatever happens, happens. That’s the only way to approach it: to expect that you’re going to win. I’ve coached in this business long enough that I think we can find ways to put ourselves in position to win every game that we play.”

Nearly 100 players–varsity and freshmen, scholarship and walk-ons–checked in Friday in preparation for Saturday’s first practice, which will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. at Rose Bowl Field and is open to the public.

Before that, however, the Yellow Jackets will host their annual Fan Photo Day from 1-3 p.m. in the west concourse of Bobby Dodd Stadium. Admission is free, and Tech players and coaches will be available for photos and autographs.

WQXI Radio, 790 The Zone, Tech’s flagship station, will broadcast live from Georgia Tech Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., including live interviews with Gailey, assistant coaches Jon Tenuta and Patrick Nix and several Tech players.

Unlike in past years, both newcomers and veterans will begin practice Saturday due to a change in NCAA rules. Tech’s freshmen class includes 20 scholarship players. Another newcomer is sophomore running back Chris Woods, a transfer from Morris Brown.

Backup offensive tackle Jeremy Phillips will give up football for medical reasons. The junior from Watkinsville, Ga., has battled a series of knee injuries.

GEORGIA TECH FAN PHOTO DAY

When: Saturday, Aug. 2, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Richards Festival concourse, West Stands, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field

Admission: FREE

Parking: Free parking is available in Peters Parking Deck and the Burge Parking Deck on North Avenue. Fans should enter from Gate 1 on North Avenue or Gate 3 behind the West Stands. Due to construction, Gate 4 on Bobby Dodd Way will not be available, but fans parking in Peters Parking Deck will be directed to Gate 3.

PRESEASON PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Subject to Change

Preseason practices open to the public until further notice

Saturday, Aug. 2, 5-7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 3, 5-7:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 4, 5-7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 5, 5-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 5-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 8, 5-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 11, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 5-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 14, 5-7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 16, 5-7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 17, 4-6:30 p.m.

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