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Spring Practice Winding Down

April 19, 2006

ATLANTA–Spring practice is winding down for the Georgia Tech football team, which has just one practice remaining on Friday afternoon before Saturday’s final scrimmage, scheduled for 11 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field

Starting quarterback Reggie Ball, who had been sidelined by a minor injury for much of the spring, has returned to practice this week and is expected to participate in the scrimmage.

“He’s rusty, but he’s done some good things out there,” Tech head coach Chan Gailey said of Ball following Wednesday’s practice, which was delayed about 30 minutes by thunderstorms.

Gailey estimated that Ball “probably would have had 50 to 75 more snaps,” had he not been injured this spring.

“It feels good just to get back on the field with the guys and get back in the huddle,” said Ball, the three-year starter who enters his senior season as the third-leading passer in Tech history (6,308 yards). He also ranks third in total offense (7,406 yards), fourth in touchdown passes (37) and fourth in touchdown responsbility (46).

Tech’s secondary has been under construction this spring after graduating three starters and then losing senior Joe Gaston to a season-ending knee injury.

Senior cornerback Kenny Scott is the lone returning starter in the secondary. Junior Djay Jones moves into the starting lineup at free safety, and junior Jamal Lewis has moved from corner to fill the strong safety position.

“Jamal had played some nickel, which is a little bit like safety,” said Gailey. “He’s certainly got a lot of ability, but he’s got a long way to go to learn that spot and be comfortable and help our defense there. There’s lots of thinking that goes on there.”

Junior Avery Roberson is working at cornerback, but he has also played safety. Senior Sam Williams is another veteran who could play more than position. Also in the mix in the secondary are junior Pat Clark and sophomore Jahi Word-Daniels at cornerback and freshman Jake Blackwood at safety.

“I think in the fall we’ll still be in the position of deciding who’s going to play what positions for the first two weeks,” said Gailey. “And then we’ve got to make a decision one way or the other after two weeks and go with it. And the interesting part will be how quickly any of the freshmen might be able to get involved.”

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