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Suggs, Foschi Spend Summer Laying Foundation

Aug. 12, 2002

By Simit Shah – Two Yellow Jackets spent the summer building: quarterback A.J. Suggs built portfolios, while tight end John Paul Foschi helped build a stadium.

Suggs, the junior transfer from Tennessee, interned at the Buckhead office of brokerage firm Smith Barney. The management major wasn’t initially interested in the field, but a friend turned him onto the idea and arranged an interview.

“He started talking about the business, and it sounded interesting, especially with the volatility of the market right now,” said Suggs.

Suggs rotated around the branch, experiencing different aspects of the firm. He’s probably the only person who found the current state of the market educational, as opposed to debilitating.

“It was kind of a break for me away from football, getting some experience in the real world and help build my resume,” he said. “It was a great time to be in there with the market like it is. I liked seeing how they handled the pressure. You can compare that to football.”

One of those Suggs worked with was former Tech all-American defensive tackle Coleman Rudolph, who will be enshrined in the school’s Sports Hall of Fame later this fall. Suggs admitted that their conversations were more about football than funds.

So what’s in Suggs portfolio? “Not much of anything, not with my budget,” he laughed.

While Suggs was testing the waters of the financial world, Foschi sought to take a step towards fulfilling his ambition of running his own construction company.

The Foschi family business is construction, and his father Robert is a general contractor. Growing up in Glen Head, N.Y, Foschi spent several summers working on sites, mainly demolition and foundations, but he wanted to learn more about the business side of construction.

So the 6-4, 240-pound junior passed his resume along to Turner Construction, the company responsible for the Bobby Dodd Stadium renovation. Serving as an assistant project engineer, Foschi became the “biggest paper pusher” on the site.

“My whole life I’ve been doing construction, but I never did the paperwork side,” Foschi said. “I was always on the manual labor side. It was definitely a plus for me since this is what I want to do. I think the major part of construction is learning to do the paperwork side of it.”

As the summer progressed, Foschi became the team’s resident expert on the project, fielding daily questions from teammates and coaches about the stadium’s status.

Sitting in the west stands on media day, Foschi surveyed the stadium and precisely explained various aspects of the project, as well as what remains to be done prior to the August 31 season opener.

“My favorite part is the North stands, because it’s going to be huge,” he said, referring to the upper deck that will be added after this season. “Unfortunately, the steel isn’t up yet, but that was what I was looking forward to. If you could have seen those trusses on the ground, they are enormous. It would have been something to see the crane lift those up.”

Foschi enjoyed the opportunity and hopes to spend next summer helping complete the final phase of the project.

“I knew a lot coming in, but I didn’t know much of the technical stuff. I was working with some top-notch people,” he said. “Everyday I’d go in and absorb everything I could.

“Everyday this summer I was here from 8 to 4, so I’ve put in a little extra effort into the stadium. I’ve put a lot of hard work in here, so it’ll mean a lot to me when I’m out there playing.”

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