Aug. 23, 2001
ATLANTA– – Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary has always stressed the importance of chemistry in a team’s success, and he says that the personality of this year’s edition of the Yellow Jackets is a work in progress as Sunday’s Kickoff Classic approaches.
Tenth-ranked Tech faces Syracuse in the 2 p.m. nationally televised (ABC-TV) contest at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
“I don’t think you really see a personality develop until you’ve got a couple of games under your belt so you can see what the chemistry is and where the leadership is coming from,” said O’Leary. “I really think you don’t see who the leaders are until you have some setbacks and some bad plays so you can see who the other players looks to.”
This year’s Tech team features just 14 seniors, including graduate student George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.). Ten of those seniors are in the two-deep with seven on offense and just three on defense. O’Leary named center David Schmidgall (Clearwater, Fla.) and defensive end Nick Rogers (East Point, Ga.) as the captains for this game.
Two Yellow Jackets are approaching milestones as Tech begins the 2001 season.
Senior wide receiver Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.) needs just 93 receiving yards to become Tech’s career leader in that category. He enters the season with 2,199 yards, trailing Harvey Middleton’s total of 2,291 yards from 1994-97.
Already Tech’s all-time leader in touchdown catches, Campbell has 139 career catches, is within striking distance this season of Middleton’s record of 165 receptions.
Junior placekicker Luke Manget (Conyers, Ga.), a preseason nominee for the Lou Groza Award after earning semifinal status last season, enters the season with a school-record streak of 91 consecutive PATs. He needs just three more extra points to break the Atlantic Coast Conference record of 93 in row by Jess Atkinson of Maryland. Manget already ranks third in Tech history in career points by kicking with 160.