Aug. 14, 2001
ATLANTA– – With the Georgia Tech football team more than a week into preseason drills, head coach George O’Leary is looking for the Yellow Jackets to work through the doldrums of two-a-day practices.
“I thought we were a little sluggish,” said O’Leary following Tuesday’s early session at Rose Bowl Field. “Basically, they’re into the 10th practice, and it’s starting to wear on them a little bit, but they need to fight through that.”
Tech’s season opener is less than two weeks away as the Yellow Jackets prepare to face Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic, Aug. 26 in East Rutherford, N.J.
“I think we have everything in we want, so now the key is execution , attention to detail and exactness,” continued O’Leary. “Do it exactly right. Not somewhat right, but exactly right, and then you have a chance to be successful.”
Backup quarterback Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and true freshman Damarius Bilbo (Moss Point, Miss.) continue to see plenty of repetitions as Tech looks to solidify the quarterback position beyond starter George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.).
“I want to see those two in action,” said O’Leary. “When you run a lot of blitzes, there’s a lot of indecision, but that’s the stuff you have to go through. Team blitz is probably the best drill to run. That’s where you find out who knows what they’re doing and who knows exactly what has to get done.”
O’Leary announced that sophomore wide receiver Nate Curry (Miami, Fla.) has sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and is expected to be out for the season. He is scheduled to have surgery later this week.
“Any time you lose a kid of great character who is also a good football player, it’s very disappointing,” said O’Leary, “That’s part of the game, and thankfully we have other players at that position. But again, you don’t like to lose a kid of his substance. He has great character besides being a good football player.”
Curry, who suffered the injury last week in a non-contact drill, had won a starting job in the spring after playing last season as a true freshman. He caught 22 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns in 2000, and his best performance came in Tech’s win over Virginia, with eight receptions for 98 yards and one score.
In addition to all-ACC senior Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.), Tech can turn to juniors Kerry Watkins (LaPlace, La.) and Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Jonathan Smith (Argyle, Ga.). Freshman Levon Thomas (Atlanta, Ga.) could also see action.
“I would say that between three guys–Kerry Watkins, Jonathan Smith and Will Glover–one of them will line up out there,” said O’Leary.