Aug. 2, 2002
With the start of the 2002 football season just four weeks away, 22 Georgia Tech freshmen players reported to campus Friday and will begin practice Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets, under first-year head coach Chan Gailey, open the season by hosting Vanderbilt on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
The Tech freshmen class, including 15 scholarship players and seven walk-ons, checked into their temporary accommodations Friday. After physicals and other administrative procedures, they will practice for the first time Saturday at 5:45 p.m. at Rose Bowl Field. There is no practice schedule for Sunday, but the freshmen will work out at 9:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Monday.
“It’s exciting when you see everyone again and you know that something is about to happen,” said Gailey. “We’ve been talking a lot, but now we get to actually do. You recruited these guys and you know what they look on film, but now you get to see them in person. That’s always exciting.”
The name in the class that is most familiar to Tech fans is Eddie Lee Ivery, Jr., whose father is one of the great players in Tech history. Eddie Lee Ivery, Sr., is the third-leading rusher in Rambling Wreck annals with 3,517 yards, including a then-NCAA record 356 yards versus Air Force in 1978. He was a first-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers, for whom he played from 1979-87 and is now an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Tech.
Walk-on defensive lineman Cory Wallace of Lawrenceville, Ga., is the younger brother of Tech sophomore Kyle Wallace, who is slated to start for the Jackets at right tackle. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Cory is slighter smaller than his 6-5, 280-pound big brother. Another familiar name is safety Kingi McNair (Pelahatchie, Miss.), who is a relative of Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair.
The Tech varsity players report next Tuesday, Aug. 6, with the first full-squad practice scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 8. The first practice in pads will be Monday, Aug. 12.
“THAT’S when practice starts,” noted Gailey.
Name, Pos., Hometown Jarod Alford, QB, Valdosta, Ga. Brad Brezina, DL, Greensboro, Ga. LeKeldrick Bridges, WR, Dallas, Texas Jerry Coffee, DB/RB, Milledgeville, Ga. George Cooper, TE, Westerville, Ohio Ajenavi Eziemefe, RB, New Orleans, La. Jay Forrester, LB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Venice Gilliam, DB, Tallahassee, Fla. Eric Griswold, P, Kennesaw, Ga. I-Perfection Harris, DB, Staten Island, N.Y. Brian Hernandez, WR, Phoenix, Ariz. Eddie Ivery, RB, Tampa, Fla. David Jordan, PK, Columbus, Ga. Travis Kelly, OL, Warner Robins, Ga. Michael Matthews, DE, Cincinnati, Ohio Xavier McGuire, WR, Dallas, Texas Kingi McNair, DB, Pelahatchie, Miss. Zeb McHargue, OL, Gray, Ga. Terron Pullen, DL, Wrightsville, Ga. Chris Reis, DB, Roswell, Ga. Michael Sampson, RB, Lewisville, Texas Cory Wallace, DE, Lawrenceville, Ga.
IMPORTANT DATES Aug. 2, Freshmen Report Aug. 3, Freshmen Practice, 5:45 p.m. Aug. 5, Freshmen Practice, 9:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Aug. 6, Varsity Report Aug. 7, MEDIA DAY, 5 P.M. (MEDIA ONLY) Aug. 8, First full squad practices Aug. 16, Kickoff Celebration Aug. 17, Fan Photo Day, 4 p.m. Aug. 31, Season Opener vs. Vanderbilt (6 p.m., Bobby Dodd Stadium)