Aug. 13, 2002
Georgia Tech’s starting offensive line features four returnees with starting experience, but Rambling Wreck head coach Chan Gailey is focusing on developing depth.
“Depth is a concern,” said Gailey of his offensive line. “It’s not that we don’t have some players that we think will be able to help us; it’s just that they’re not tested. They haven’t played.”
The first unit features starting experience at every position except right tackle, where sophomore Kyle Wallace (Lawrenceville, Ga.) will start for the first time. Left tackle Nat Dorsey (New Orleans, La.), left guard Leon Robinson (Garden City, Ga.) and center Hugh Reilly (Alpharetta, Ga.) are returning starters from last season, while right guard Raymond Roberts-Blake (Walthourville, Ga.) has made 19 career starts, including every game in 2000.
The largest player on the front line is the sophomore Dorsey (New Orleans, La.), an all-America candidate in just his second year after earning first-team all-conference honors last fall.
“He’s still just a sophomore, but he’s a very developed young player,” said Gailey of the 6-6, 330-pound Dorsey.
Reilly, a junior who has taken over at center after starting at right guard last fall, has also earned preseason all-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition.
Candidates for backup roles include sophomore center Andy Tidwell-Neal (Plymouth, Minn.), tackles Salih Besirevic (Denver, Colo.) and Brad Honeycutt (Mesquite, Texas), both redshirt freshmen, and guards Clay Hartley (Bryceville, Fla.) and Beau Cleland (Panama City, Fla.). Hartley has been working with the first team while Robinson nurses a quadriceps injury.
“Right now the first five are the guys who have played the most and the guys we are counting on, but after that, there is not very much experience at all,” said Gailey. “That point does concern us, and we’ve got to let these guys try to get some reps. Without playing in games, how does that happen? Scrimmage situations, live inside drills, those types of things.”
The Yellow Jackets continued two-a-day drills Tuesday.
“This morning was better,” said Gailey after Tuesday’s first session. “Second day of two-a-days in pads, and it was a little bit slower, but there was some better execution.”