Aug. 29, 2002
As Georgia Tech opens the 2002 season Saturday against Vanderbilt, several Yellow Jacket players have been named to preseason watch lists for the various college football awards.
Tech and the Commodores will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday before a sellout crowd of 43,719 at newly renovated and expanded Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
Leading the way among Tech’s all-star candidates is defensive end Greg Gathers, a second-team all-America in 2001 who is the school’s career leader in quarterback sacks (30) and tackles for loss (56). The senior from LaPlace, La., has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player and the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman.
Joining Gathers on the Lombardi watch list is sophomore offensive tackle Nat Dorsey (New Orleans, La.), who is also a preseason candidate for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top interior lineman. The 6-6, 330-pounder earned first-team all-ACC honors as a true freshman last fall.
Tech linebackers Recardo Wimbush, a senior from Blakely, Ga., and Daryl Smith, a junior from Albany, Ga., were each tabbed to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award for college linebacker of the year. Wimbush was Tech’s top tackler a year ago with 96 hits and nine tackles for loss, while Smith collected 59 tackle sand seven tackles for loss despite missing three-and-a-half games with an elbow injury.
Both of Tech’s kickers–senior placekicker Luke Manget (Conyers, Ga.) and punter Dan Dyke (Winter Springs, Fla.)–have been recognized as all-star candidates with Manget up for the Lou Groza Placekicker Award and Dyke a candidate for the Ray Guy Award. A two-time all-ACC selection, Manget has made an ACC record 131 consecutive extra points, while Dyke is a three-time first-team Academic All-America with a career averge of 42.3 yards per punt.
Senior wide receiver Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.), who caught 42 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns, is on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. Senior free safety Jeremy Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Tech’s active leader with seven interceptions and a two-time second-team all-ACC honoree, is a preseason candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation’s best college defensive back.
Junior center Hugh Reilly (Roswell, Ga.) was named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy as the top collegiate center.