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Safeties Muyres, Young Anchor Tech Secondary

ATLANTA (Mar. 29) – Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary often speaks of the tremendous improvement that players can make after their first season, and sophomore free safety Jeremy Muyres is no exception.

The Yellow Jackets continue spring drills this week with a workout Friday afternoon, followed by a Saturday morning scrimmage. The annual Springfest Spring Scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m.

Muyres, one of three true freshman starters on Tech’s 1999 defense, moved into the starting lineup midway through last fall and ended the season as the Jackets’ fourth-leading tackler with 69. The 6-3, 205-pound sophomore from Stone Mountain, Ga., and Parkview High, who could be joined in the starting lineup by older brother Jon at split end, averaged 9.1 tackles in his seven starts, including 18 hits against Wake Forest.

“Jeremy is going to be a really fine football player,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary after Wednesday’s workout at Rose Bowl Field. “He’s a smart kid, and he can do so many things for us. You can see that the playing experience last year has really helped him.”

Muyres combines with junior strong safety Chris Young (Senoia, Ga.) to give Tech a solid tandem of safeties. Young was Tech’s second-leading tackler last fall with 89, along with one interception, five pass breakups and a game-saving fumble recovery against Georgia.

With Muyres and Young at the safeties and senior Jamara Clark (Bradenton, Fla.) and sophomore Marvious Hester (Smyrna, Ga.) starting at the corners, O’Leary would like to see some of the younger players step forward on the second unit. Other than senior cornerback Troy Tolbert (Augusta, Ga.), the backups are all underclassmen, including sophomore Cory Collins (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) at free safety, redshirt freshman Eric Lavette (Smyrna, Ga.) at strong safety, and sophomore Selywn Scott (Boynton Beach, Fla.), redshirt freshman Winfred Brown (Marietta, Ga.) and sophomore Kelley Rhino (Smyrna, Ga.) at cornerback.

“The experience shows in the guys who played last year, but some of the younger secondary guys who didn’t play last year need to turn it up a notch,” said O’Leary. “There are some kids playing well this spring, but I think the whole group needs to tackle better.”

Youth is a common theme on the defense. Even though Tech returns nine of 11 starters, only two starters are seniors in Clark and defensive end Felipe Claybrooks (Decatur, Ga.).

“Collectively on defense we only have five seniors on the entire two-deep, but we do have a lot of guys who have played.” said O’Leary. “The leadership and chemistry are going to have to come from experience, not necessarily from seniors because there aren’t that many seniors.”

Tech’s quarterback battle continues to include four players – junior George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.), sophomore Jermaine Crenshaw (Greenville, Ala.), and redshirt freshmen Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and Brian Camp (Dublin, Ohio) – but O’Leary said that he hoped to at least narrow the field to two following Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I’d like to shake it down and see what two we want to work with,” said O’Leary. “We can’t continue to work with all four and get everybody ready for the season.”

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