ATLANTA (March 28) — Georgia Tech’s linebacker corps has received a boost from the return of Matt Miller, plus the addition of transfer Cody Price, redshirt freshman Ather Brown, and wide receiver convert Anthony Lawston.
The Yellow Jackets continue spring drills this week with workouts on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, followed by a Saturday morning scrimmage. The annual Springfest Spring Scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m.
At linebacker Tech also returns leading tackler Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.), a rising sophomore who earned third-team freshman all-America honors last fall as he collected 91 tackles, and junior Ross Mitchell (Grayson, Ga.), who started the second half of the season and made 53 tackles.
Miller, a junior from Alpharetta, Ga., returns to his middle linebacker post after missing the 1999 season with a knee injury. He was Tech’s fourth-leading tackler in 1998 with 65, including four tackles for loss.
“Having Matt Miller back adds to the chemistry of the defense,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s been there before and he has seen everything, and some of the younger kids feed off that. I think that’s something that was missing from the defense last year.”
Currently working on the first team with Miller and Wimbush is the freshman Brown, a 6-3, 218-pounder from Macon, Ga.
“Ather Brown has really had a nice spring so far,” said O’Leary. “I’ve been very impressed with him. He learns quickly, he moves very well and he has good size. He’s going to be a big kid. You like those 6-3, 230-pound linebackers who can run. He’s going to help us.”
Price, a 6-2, 230-pound junior, is a transfer from Arizona State who practiced on Tech’s scout team last fall. He played in 10 games for the Sun Devils in 1998. Lawston, a 6-3, 218-pound redshirt freshman, is playing linebacker for the first time after moving from wide receiver.
“Cody Price has played before, and he just has to get used to our system,” continued O’Leary. “Anthony Lawston really looks at home there, more so than he did at receiver. He has some range and height and he can run.
“I think that’s really three good additions who have helped that group. All three have caught my eye in some phase. They just have to continue to understand their assignments, but I’m pleased with all three.”
In Wimbush, Tech returns the first player ever to lead Tech in tackles as a freshman.
“He’s a good football player, obviously, since he started as a true freshman, and he’s only going to get better,” said O’Leary. “That year between your first year and your second year is a big growth year.”