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Yellow Jackets Begin Full Contact Thursday

Aug. 6, 2003

With the mandated five-day acclimatization period concluding Wednesday, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will hold their first full-contact practices Thursday, which is also the first two-a-day.

Tech, which began practicing last Saturday, had two practices in shorts, two in shorts with shoulder pads, and then today practiced in full pads but without full contact. Tomorrow’s workouts, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Rose Bowl Field, will be in full pads and will include some scrimmage work.

“You always look forward to live play because you get a chance to really evaluate,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey after Wednesday’s workout. “The speed of the game is fast right now, especially to these freshmen, but it’s getting ready to take another jump when this thing goes full-speed tomorrow.

“It will be good for our team. It will be good for the freshmen especially, but our veterans need it, too, to get back in the groove.”

Senior placekicker Dan Burnett has solidified the starting role, and Gailey has been pleased with the work of Burnett together with his holder, Hal Higgins, and long-snapper Andrew Economos.

“He is hitting the ball really well,” said Gailey of Burnett. “He’s made everything, he’s splitting the middle and he’s had plenty of distance. That operation right now, with Economos, Higgins and Burnett, is very solid.”

Higgins and junior lefty Andy Thomson continue to compete for the punting job.

“Hal is punting the ball well, and Andy Thomson hit it great today, so that’s still a little bit of a battle,” said Gailey.

Gailey announced that all of Tech’s players are eligible for the fall semester.

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