Aug. 23, 2002
ATLANTA – At the ripe old age of 21, Georgia Tech senior free safety Jeremy Muyres might be labeled the grandpa of the Jackets’ standout defensive unit.
“We always joke that every year of college football takes about five years off your life,” said Muyres, a two-time All-ACC selection. “Some of us veterans have some aches and pains, and it takes us a little bit longer to get stretched. It definitely takes a toll on your body.”
Muyres has also taken his toll on opposing offenses. He is Tech’s active leader with seven interceptions and has 197 tackles in three seasons, including a career-high 85 a year ago.
But more important than his numbers are the intangibles that he brings to the field from his free safety position. For the past three seasons he has served as Tech’s defensive quarterback. This role will not change under new head coach Chan Gailey and new defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta.
“The thing about the free safety’s role is you’ve got to make sure everyone’s on the same page,” said Muyres, who was an all-state honoree at Stone Mountain’s Parkview High. “That’s the same in any system. You’ve got to make sure everyone knows the call and knows the situation. You’ve got to be a leader back there and make sure everyone knows what they are doing.”
But Muyres should have a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball, as the Jackets return nine starters from a unit that ranked third in the ACC in total defense and second against the run. These returnees, coupled with Tenuta, who was the architect of the league’s top defense a year ago at North Carolina, give Tech a most impressive unit and a big start on reaching the squad’s ultimate goal, an ACC title.
“We want to have the best defense in the ACC,” said Muyres. “As a team, we want to have a shot at winning the ACC. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but as long as we stick together and stay injury free, we can reach that goal.”
While these team-oriented goals dominate Muyres’ thoughts these days, he still has visions of playing in the NFL in the back of his mind.
“It’s always been my dream to play at the next level, and if it’s God’s plan for me to be there then I will,” said Muyres. “I’m going to take every second to work hard at it, but I’m not to going to worry about it until after the season.”
If a professional gig does not pan out, Muyres will have plenty of other options. A management major, he is a two-time Academic All-ACC choice and the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Scholarship for 2002-03, which recognizes Tech’s top male scholar-athlete.
Both on and off the field, Muyres has accomplished a lot in his four years on The Flats. “Time is flying,” said Muyres. “It seems like I was just getting here, just graduating from Parkview, getting here and playing with my brother (former Tech receiver Jon Muyres). Now I’m a senior and it’s just crazy how fast it’s gone. I really need to not take this season for granted and sit down and enjoy this year.”
If his first three years are any indication, both Muyres and Tech fans should have a lot to enjoy in 2002.