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Spring Scrimmage Set for Saturday

April 12, 2004

The Georgia Tech football team concludes spring practice with its final Spring Scrimmage on Saturday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field.

Fan can access Bobby Dodd Stadium via Gate 9 (Techwood Drive) only, and all seating will be in the lower East stands. The gate will open at 9:30 a.m. and admission is free, with concessions on sale. Free parking is available on the lower level of Peters Parking Deck as well as the O’Keefe and Alexander Memorial Coliseum lots.

With Tech returning seven starters on offense and seven on defense, developing depth has been a top priority this spring, particularly at quarterback and on the offensive line, which lost two starters.

At quarterback, starter Reggie Ball, last fall’s ACC Rookie of the Year, returns, but the Jackets’ depth could be bolstered significantly by a healthy Patrick Carter, a redshirt freshman who was limited by injury last fall.

“If he can stay healthy, he gives us another excellent athlete at that position,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “In the last few practices, he’s made giant steps.”

True freshman quarterback Taylor Bennett has also shown promise, and with Carter taking snaps, senior Mark Logan is able to split time between quarterback and wide receiver.

“Right now he’s got a dual role, playing a little bit at quarterback and taking some snaps at wide receiver,” Gailey said of Logan. “I don’t know where he’ll end up. The great thing is that he’s versatile enough to be able to help us in a couple of different spots.”

On the offensive line, the Jackets have made a couple of changes this spring, most notably moving two-year starter Kyle Wallace from right tackle to the left side and inserting redshirt freshman Kevin Tuminello at center. Guards Andy Tidwell-Neal and Brad Honeycutt return. At the right tackle slot, senior Kenton Johnson and the much-improved junior Salih Besirevic are competing.

“Salih has really improved, and he has probably made the biggest leap of anyone in spring practice, which has been a pleasant surprise,” said Gailey.

One of Tech’s deepest positions is tailback, where the Jackets return the ACC’s leading rusher in junior P.J. Daniels, a first-team all-ACC selection who gained 1,447 yards last fall. Backups Chris Woods, a junior who transferred to Tech from Morris Brown prior to last season, and redshirt freshman Rashaun Grant have been impressive in spring practice.

“They both are running the ball well,” said Gailey of the two backups. “Chris Woods has made a big jump this spring. Rashaun Grant can really run the ball, but he’s a long way to go on pass protection and knowledge of the system.

In the kicking game, redshirt freshman Travis Bell appears to be the leader to replace Dan Burnett at placekicker, while at punter the competition is between senior Andy Thomson, who split time with Hal Higgins last year, and former track athlete David Smith, who has kicked well this spring.

The Yellow Jackets practice Tuesday and Thursday this week in preparation for Saturday’s scrimmage.

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