ATLANTA — Georgia Tech class of incoming freshmen and newcomers got a running start on their career with the Rambling Wreck football program, literally.
The 31 newcomers, including 23 scholarship athletes and eight walk-ons, began their first practice with the 12-minute run.
“They all finished the run and a lot of them made their time,” said O’Leary. “I was happy to see that. It’s an athletic group.
“This morning’s practice was a good one considering that it began with the 12-minute run. We got about an hour and 15 minutes work on the field. We’ve got some athletes we can look at, and hopefully things will start taking shape Monday and we can make some determination on who can help us.”
Free safety Jeremy Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.), the younger brother of Tech receiver Jon Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.), and walk-on receiver Kelly Basinger (Jacksonville, Fla.) had the top performances in the 12-minute run. Basinger, a high school teammate of all-Atlantic Coast Conference split end Dez White (Orange Park, Fla.) at the Bolles School, is the nephew of actress Kim Basinger.
“I’m looking for guys athletically who can help the positions on defense from a speed standpoint,” said O’Leary. “Offensively, I’m looking at who can learn enough to help us at the skill positions. We’re looking for return people. We have some with the varsity, but I want to see if we have anyone else who can catch the ball and do something with it when they catch it.”
“This morning was a mental challenge because they had to go through a lot today, but each practice they will pick up more and get more confidence on the field. The first time on the field they were all lost. We’ll just keep working with them and putting installation in and then see how much they pick up.”
O’Leary cited linebacker Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.), an honorable mention prep all-America by USA Today, as someone who was impressive from athletic standpoint. He also mentioned punter Philip Newman (Marietta, Ga.), who is vying for a starting position as the Jackets seek a replacement for Rodney Williams. Newman averaged 44 yards a punt as a senior at Walton High School.
“I thought Philip Newman hit some good punts today,” said O’Leary. “We didn’t kick so I didn’t look at Luke Manget (Conyers, Ga.), but he has a strong leg, too.”