ATLANTA – Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary has been impressed with his rookie offensive linemen in the Yellow Jackets’ two days of freshmen workouts.
Tech’s freshmen class, which conducted two-a-day practices Wednesday and Thursday, includes just two scholarship offensive linemen, Jeremy Phillips of Watkinsville, Ga., and Oconee County High School and Leon Robinson of Garden City, Ga., and Groves High, but both caught the head coach’s eye.
“I’m very pleased with the two offensive linemen we recruited,” said O’Leary, whose squad opens the 2000 season Aug. 27 at Virginia Tech. “There’s no question they have a bright future at Georgia Tech if they keep progressing. From a physical standpoint, both are what you are looking for, especially as young freshmen.
“I was surprised with how strong they both are. We test our athletes on the 225-pound pro bench. Both of them were high in the 20’s (number of repetitions), which is exceptional for a freshman. That’s what separates the freshmen who can play, strength and speed.”
The class also includes two highly regarded quarterbacks in Mark Logan of Greenwood, S.C., and Brandon Sumner of Daytona Beach, Fla.
“Both quarterbacks are typical of freshmen quarterbacks; they have a lot of good habits but they have a lot of bad habits, too, that you have to break,” said O’Leary. “Thats why I always say it’s very difficult for freshmen quarterbacks to play because they have so many things to think about.
“But both quarterbacks are what we recruited. Both are athletes who can do what we want to get done with our offense.”
After finishing their two days of practice, the freshmen will go through academic orientation Friday, the day the varsity arrives. The first full squad practice is slated for Monday, Aug. 7.
“I saw a big improvement this morning,” said O’Leary as he begins his sixth season on the Flats. “We’re putting a lot of installation in, and they’re thinking about what they have to do. You can see that the athletic ability, and that’s what I’m looking for at this stage. Obviously there are some athletes out here, but they’ve got to keep up with the installation if they’re going to play.
“I’m very pleased because each practice has improved, and that’s what you’re looking for.”