Friday, August 31, 2007

Football Recruiting - Our Peeps

Check out recent video of Embry Peeples, a RB from the state of FL who committed to the Jackets for next year. His team lost by one TD to the 4th ranked team in the state (Edgewater), but Peeples rushed for something like 230 yards on the day. Outstanding.

One Day Folks.............. One Day

"Psstt..........Hey........ Hey John............Philip here ............ You mind if I stop by South Bend next season to say hi to your new QB? I'd love to whisper sweet nothings into his ear................. you know......... "break" him in just right................. What do you think?................. From the look on your face, I'm guessing you're pretty happy your 5 years are up."

(Philip Wheeler flies in to discuss things with 5th year senior TE John Carlson during last season's GT/ND game)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are You Ready?????

Three days people. Three days. Until then you can read Charlie Weiss's photographic recital of every Georgia Tech player by name in his recent press conference.

Here's the thing Coach Charlie - there ain't going to be a lot you can do about it. The train is coming to South Bend. Oh's coming............ and there will be gold aboard. However, it won't be the tarnished gold of leprechauns. It will be a golden swarm.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why didn't I think of that

Did you see the recent announcement that the ladies softball team will begin an annual alumni game pitting former players against the current squad. Reading this I had one of those "duhh" moments.............. It is so obvious ..............

This is a brilliant idea and we need to begin the process of scheduling the same thing in the other sports. Do you hear me Mr.Radakovich? How cool would an alumni football game be? Who wouldn't want to see Ken Whisenhunt get speared by Philip Wheeler? What about Ted Roof trying to get to Taylor Bennett in the backfield? Of course, Keith Brooking could come back and kick everyone's tail. We could stock plenty of BenGay and walkers on the sidelines. To make it really authentic, we could make the old guys wear the throwback helmets.

After thinking this through pretty carefully, I just don't see a downside.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Football - Patrick Nix Speaks GT

Wow - some interesting comments based on an interview with Patrick Nix by a Miami writer. Thought I would post them first, then offer a translation:

On leaving Georgia Tech to seek his own identity away from Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey, who was widely viewed as running the team’s offense even though Nix served as offensive coordinator last season: “For me and my career, I knew I had to separate from coach Gailey. Sometimes you have to make that separation so the people can understand who you are, that you can handle it, [that] you can do it. “

On why he wanted the Miami job: “It’s a place you’re going to have a chance to win. You’re expected to win — big. Not just win 9 or 10 games a year. At Georgia Tech, sometimes they can’t decide what their expectations are. You win your side of the conference [as the Yellow Jackets did last season], then they’re saying you should have won [the ACC title game against Wake Forest] when at the beginning of the season they said you shouldn’t even get there. That’s frustrating at times. It didn’t seem like we had the full support all the time by everybody. Here, you know going into the season what’s expected. I think that’s fun. I think that’s the way it should be. That’s what I’m used to. At Auburn [where he played from 1992-95], that’s the way it was. You’re expected to win every game.”“

Let's break these comments down and translate them:

“For me and my career, I knew I had to separate from coach Gailey. Sometimes you have to make that separation so the people can understand who you are, that you can handle it, [that] you can do it. “

Translated: "I was ready to move out of the house and make my own decisions, but Dad...... err Coach Gailey.......... thought I wasn't ready to have friends over to the house by myself. Well, I was. Now, nevermind the fact that Coach Gailey handed me the play-calling duties last season and EVERYONE knew that I was the guy calling the 3-and-1 reverse or completely abondoning the use of the ACC leading rusher when we needed hyim most. Being "the guy" scared the life out of me last season, and without Calvin Johnson and Tashard Choice it might have been worse, and to prevent being exposed at a school that presents more challenges, I wanted to go somewhere else where my chances of success are higher WITHOUT being exposed. As part of my schtick, I will begin saying that I need people to "understand who I am" and that I needed to "separate" from Coach Gailey.......... What do you think? Is it working?"

“It’s (Miami) a place you’re going to have a chance to win. "

Translated: "Miami is a place that can consistently pull in the best recruits in the nation and the academic and legal standards are low enough to get them in. Heck, if they could get Willie Williams into "the U" with his glittered juvenile arrest record, then it's going to be a LOT harder for me to screw this up than it was at GT. I might not even have to worry as much about my skills at developing gameplans and calling plays. I can continue to sit in my office diagramming plays and not have to spend much time on the practice field with my players. Throw in the fact that Miami has been down the past few seasons and the fanbase is frustrated, and it sure will be hard for me to screw this up."

You’re expected to win — big. Not just win 9 or 10 games a year. "

Translated: "Obviously I care a lot about what other people think, and as such I let expectations impact the quality of my coaching. If people expect me to win more than 9 or 10 games per season, well then I better just work harder than I did at GT."

At Georgia Tech, sometimes they can’t decide what their expectations are. You win your side of the conference [as the Yellow Jackets did last season], then they’re saying you should have won [the ACC title game against Wake Forest] when at the beginning of the season they said you shouldn’t even get there. That’s frustrating at times.

Translated: "At Georgia Tech, it's harder to win than at Miami. As a result, fans and the media differ in their opinion of what your program can be. Some people were highly impressed making it to the ACC Championship game. Some people thought we should win more than we did. I had a hard time with that, because..... well......... winning at GT is hard. I wasn't sure I could do it, so I wanted to go somewhere that had no limitations imposed on me to win. It's kind of like the Geico cavemen. I wanted to go somewhere where it should be so easy to win that even a caveman could do it. "

"It didn’t seem like we had the full support all the time by everybody (at GT)."

Translation: "That's the beauty of Miami football. Everyone supports your program no-matter what. The media writes nothing but nice things about the school, and never challenges the direction they are headed. They pack the stadiums every home game and travel well on the road. They do pack the stadiums in Miami.....right? They surely lead the ACC is attendence, right? They support their team win or lose, right? At Miami, they MUST get the full 100% support "all the time by everybody".............. Surely only at Georgia Tech are fans nutty and irrational......... right?

"Here (at Miami), you know going into the season what’s expected. I think that’s fun. I think that’s the way it should be. That’s what I’m used to. At Auburn [where he played from 1992-95], that’s the way it was. You’re expected to win every game.”“

Translated: "I like when expectations are high based on nothing that I have done. For the sole reason that it is Miami or Auburn, people just expect you to win all the time. That way I don't have to live with the burden of being the guy who helped build something from the ground up. At GT, I didn't think I had the background or skill to build them into a consistent top-of-the-conference winner. But at Miami or Auburn, I don't actually need the background or skill. Everyone else can help me along because it is a football factory. I can git-er-done on the backs of great recruiting and the rest of the coaching staff. I just wanted to be at a place that has every conceivable advantage when it comes to winning. Besides, am I going to be able to get my big head coaching break at my young age coaching at Georgia Tech? Not likely. I will have to learn the ropes. At Miami, I can ride the coat-tales of Randy Shannon, then sucker some program into hiring as a head coach in the next 3 years........... if of course I stay that long at Miami."

Lastly, I ran across this article with this quote - the season BEFORE Nix took over play-calling duties:

"Here's a guy that's been in the NFL. He's been there and done it all, but he'll still come up and ask, 'What do you guys think about this?' He's sincere when he says that he'll take something out if we don't think it'll work. That's amazing to me. It's fun to be around a guy like that."
What you meant is "fun for awhile".

Ok -so I was a bit hard on Coach Nix. However, in my mind, I think he opened himself up with his comments. Fair-game if you ask me. I wish him nothing but the best at the U, except against our Jackets. Coach Nix seems to have a bright future coaching and in the end, we will just be one of the short stops along the way.

I will take some comfort in knowing that while he is pushing away from Coach Gailey much like a teenager leaving the house, other comments made me realize what he has learned from Coach Gailey. In other interviews, he talks about winning football games in terms of ball control, not in terms of flashy passing stats and high scoring affairs. He talks more about the basics of the game, and this is a guy with a history of coaching teams with fancy passing stats. All philosophies he learned directly from our current head coach.

UPDATE: Forgot to add the most important commentary of all. Coach Nix likes Auburn and Miami because they expect to win all the time. I guess the actual winning is not so important - just the expectation................ Did we happen to mention that Auburn and Miami's combined record against GT the last 4 games is 0-4..................... Put that in your pipe and smoke it Chief War Eagle.

All in good fun, and Jacket fans have moved on and welcomed our new OC, Coach Bond, who has universally gotten positive reviews to this point. Of course, if our points / game goes down to about 17 this season, we'll see what the bloom on that rose looks like. Of course, at Georgia Tech, we don't fully support our coaches anyhow and we have no idea what we want, right? I mean, what do you want people?????

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Football - ACC Previews

Nice video previews of each ACC team for your viewing pleasure:

Day Two (August 10): Virginia Tech

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Four (August 14): Virginia

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Six (August 16): North Carolina

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Eight (August 20): Miami

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day 10 (August 22): Georgia Tech

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day 12 (August 24): Duke

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview

Day One (August 9): Wake Forest

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Three (August 13): NC State

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Five (August 15): Maryland

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Seven (August 17): Florida State

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day Nine (August 21): Clemson

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview
Day 11 (August 23): Boston College

Pre-Season Video
Season Preview

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Football - What do we Know?

Ok, we've had two week of practice. We've had two scrimmages. We have the fall freshman in the mix now. It's becoming more clear who will redshirt. Now all future practices are closed, so we'll only know what coaches want us to know. So what DO we know at this point?

We went into fall practice fairly healthy. After week one it seemed like we were running a mash unit. While getting banged up is part of the reality of fall practice, it's still concerning. A bunch of guys were dinged up during week one and made their way back by the last scrimmage. However there are still a lot of question marks. So what do we have?

  • Michael Johnson looks to be ready but has had off-and-on participation. Word is he is 100% ready, but let's get 4 quarters against the Irish under his belt first.
  • James Johnson did not participate in the spring and was absent a decent amount the past two weeks as well.
  • Colin Peek continues to nurse an Achilles issue. One of those deals where he could be fine or just have it nag him for a long time. Word is he should be back in practice Monday - just in time to put some secret tight end packages in place.
  • AJ Smith - he was the clear leader for the open RT job until he injured his elbow. Supposedly should be ready to go by Notre Dame, but how long can a guy go without practicing and truly be ready? Guess we'll find out.
  • Demaryius Thomas caught a cleat in the turf and twisted his knee pretty good. While the injury was not as bad as feared he's a bit rusty working his way back in - as expected. Will we be seeing the 100% BeBe early in the season? Will fans get a glimpse at what players have been raving about? Time will tell.
  • Andrew Gardner is dinged up (shoulder) and true frosh Clyde Yandell is getting most of his 1st team snaps, as back-up Jason Hill is also hurt. Gardner should be ready for week 1 - but again, let's really hope this is not one of those nagging things.
  • Travis Chambers also nursing some kind of shoulder injury.
  • Matt Rhodes was limited some during the first week and then again in the 2nd week with some foot issue. He will probably be fine for Notre Dame.
  • Andrew Smith was helped from practice last week with some kind of knee issue.
  • Jamal Lewis sprained his ankle but is back again.
  • Kevin Tuminello was fighting some illness in week 1.
  • Logan Walls still nursing a broken leg suffered playing high school soccer. Very strong candidate to redshirt.
  • There are even more "dings" to go around. Mike Cox's sprained ankle. J.Dwyer's leg. Really too many to discuss - but which will be an issue? Stay tuned......

Anyone EVER remember a summer where we (or any other team for that matter) lost 3 QB's to transfer? Well, it's happened. First, it was Jonathan Garner, then it was Steven Threet, and now it's Byron Ingram. He's headed somewhere else and I'm sure we'll hear where once he makes that decision. Maybe guys seeing writing on the wall? Nobody knows the real story, but with talents like Nesbitt and Renfree coming in next year - and throw in Drew Little as a high likelihood to commit next year - and certain guys certainly could get lost in the depth chart. Three QB's transfer in one off-season. That's a new one to me.

There are a handful of guys that are academic question marks - Pat Clark, Cord Howard are the key guys. Stay tuned as we should be confirmation of their status this week............

....and they are making their mark. Some of the most impressive include Derrick Morgan (spring arrival getting in the 2-deep), Morgan Burnett (wow, maybe a starter by year-end?), Mario Butler (showing some talent), J.Dwyer (moving up the depth chart quickly), DJ Donley (WR reps making people forget him as a DB.... for now), Josh Nesbitt (get ready for the Tim Tebow package), Roddy Jones (surpising people with his speed, but just too stacked at RB for pt), Willie White (making some nice catches), Clyde Yandell (getting 1st team reps with Gardner dinged up)....... and there are others...


On Josh Nesbitt:

"We knew he was a great running quarterback coming in, but we want to see what he would do with a package like the one that the University ofFlorida has used. He showed today that he has great running ability and made a lot of plays. He's well on his way to being a productive player this year."

On D.J. Donley:

"He's very impressive. He's a big target that looked good today. He's got a lot to learn about running routes and a lot to learn about assignments, but he has a chance to be a very good player."
Here's my redshirt guesses:
  • Definitely not: M.Burnett, D.Morgan
  • Probably not: J.Nesbitt, J.Dwyer, DJ Donley,
  • Probably will: C.Yandell, R.Jones, W.White, M.Butler, J.Tarrant
  • Definitely will: M.Peterson, N.Claytor, J.Peters, A.Rocker, L.Walls, K.Jackson, B.Jefferson, J.Gilbert
Now, the X-factors in all this is of course injuries and needs on special teams. Lots of guys that will see the field a significant amount of time NEXT season are likely to see time on special teams this season.

There are a few key spots still up in the air worth discussing:
  1. LB. After Wheeler and Guyton, the 3rd spot is still up for grabs. The two guys battling are Shane Bowen and AT Barnes. At this point, Bowen is "the guy". However, remember that this 3rd LB spot comes out of the game in nickel situations, while D-Rich comes out and Adamm Oliver slides over to DT - bringing in M.Johnson. This will be interesting to watch.
  2. RT. It looks like AJ Smith has this one locked up. However, his injury could throw the mix open again. If Cord Howard can straighten out his academic issues, he could make a run. With backup Jason Hill hurt, this position could be wide open, particularly if Clyde Yandell or someone else steps up. However, look for Smith to lock this thing down when he returns.
  3. DB's. There are still some guys trying different positions. It should line-up like this - Avery Roberson and Jahi Word-Daniels at the corners, with Jamal Lewis and Djay Jones at safety. However, look out for Joe Gaston and Morgan Burnett and possibly Pat Clark (if he can straighten out his academic issue). The only real issue is personnel for the nickel package. Who goes where? Who's the 5th guy? Still to be determinined.


The D-Line is the heart of this Jacket team. They are not incredibly vocal, but as a unit, they are talented, athletic, deep and experienced. On the inside, look for D-Richard and Vance Walker to anchor the starting unit. Personally, I am looking for Vance Walker to be THE #1 jump in terms of on-the-field contribution this season. I am expecting big things from him. While he won't get the press of a BeBe Thomas, I think he has the chance to make the biggest jump. Remember, if Robo and MJ and Oliver are having monster years on the ends, make no mistake that the play of the DT's will have a lot to do with it. Look for Elris Anyaibe and Marcus Harris to get some snaps in the 2-deep. Maybe even a few from RFr Ben Anderson.

On the ends, there are "players" everywhere. You have Darrell Robertson and Adamm Oliver anchoring the starting spots. While I am expecting big things from Robo, I am still in shock that he got hip-checked and body-slammed by our fair-haired QB. When you're 6'5" 240lb, that's not supposed to happen........... ahhh, I'm only ribbing him.................... This unit is stout - athletic, skilled and deep. On clear passing downs, look for Oliver to slide to the middle, with Robo and Michael Johnson to man the ends. Meanwhile, I fully expect Derrick Morgan to see action on a regular basis. At 6'4" 270lb, he brings something quite different that MJ and DR.

Overall, one of the best DL units in the ACC, and they should once again wreak havoc on O-Lineman.

Battles are won in the trenches, so we move across the line............ and it's a good one. Athletic, experienced and pretty deep. This group clearly excels at setting up the run, particularly from the 20-to-20, helping Tashard Choice lead the ACC in rushing last season with a solid 5.0ypc. At times they bogged down in goal-line situations which can happen when coverages get compressed. In terms of pass protection, I would rate them above average, but not elite. This year will bring a new challenge, as Bennett will not be a scrambler. This could work for them and against them at the same time. It's a little clearer how to hold your block when you know where your QB is going to be. However, we are also likely to give up more sacks, as Reggie was the scramble and thow OB master.

Andrew Gardner is the clear anchor of the line, and looks to stay at LT even though we sport a lefty QB. AJ Smith should win the RT spot, with Nate McManus and Matt Rhodes at the Guard spots. Then you have Kevin Tuminello at center. Throw in Colin Peek as a hopefully healthy tight end and you have yourselves the making of a winning line. But will all these guys be truly 100% when the season starts? Every one of them has battled some type of minor injury this fall.

Keys will really be staying healthy and developing consistent pass protection. There will be plenty of teams stacking the box to force the Jackets to throw, so they will be put to the test.

Enough has been written about Taylor Bennett. He has looked decent enough in practice, and looked good during the scrimmage, except his tendency to hold the ball too long. No problem with the green jersey........ It will be a problem in South Bend.

Calvin Booker has locked up 2nd string and is sporty a new physique - about 20 pounds lighter. He is also sporting new confidence, better control and leadership and command as a QB. He made a big jump over the summer and appears to be a very capable guy to step in should something happen to TB

While Josh Nesbitt is probably the #3 guy on the depth chart at this point, it is likely that he could see more time than Booker. Why?........ The "Tebow" package. Nesbitt has displayed his athletic abilities running the football and Coach Gailey has made it clear he just might use Nesbitt at times on clear running downs to add a new threat on the field. His accuracy and decision-making are clearly at an inexperienced level, so I think his playing time would be very limited. He clearly has a cannon of an arm and he is fast, so there are some interesting things Coach Bond could do with him.

No Calvin Johnson. So where are we going to get some "truth"? Well, you've got James Johnson locking up the #1 WR position, but he's been in limited action due to some unknown injury - and he didn't participate in the spring. He started the fall slowly, dropping too many passes, but he has come on strong the 2nd half of the week, until an ankle injury slowed him down again.

Greg Smith is quickly locking up the opposite #2 WR position. In fact, based on practices and the scrimmage, Greg Smith might even be TB's #1 go-to-guy. Those two guys seem to have a good communication between them. He has impressed this fall more than anyone, and could have a big year.

Demaryius Thomas looks to be the key slot guy - that is if his knee injury proves to be a minor one. He has wowed him teammates so much that they call him "baby Calvin". Correy Earls is another speedster to look out for and true freshman DJ Donley has impressed coaches as well.

This group will establish their pecking order and their identity probably by the 3rd game. Should be interesting.

Stacked. Not much more to say. We bring back the ACC's leading rusher, Tashard Choice, along with Jamaal Evens and R.Grant. Throw in the best fullback in the nation Mike Cox. Oh yeah, throw in freshmen Jonathan Dwyer and Roddy Jones, both who have impressed early, and you have a stacked and packed group of RB's.

Key for Dwyer and Jones to get playing time in clean-up duty is protecting the football. They have not had a clean record this fall in that category. There is also a chance these guys could win roles returning kicks or punts

Barring injury - it's probably going to go down like this:
Tashard = workhorse = 20-25 carries per game
Cox = ice-breaker = bowling over defenders to give Choice free reign
Grant = multiplicity = slot one down = halfback one down = wideout one = versatile
Evans = mop-up duty + "give TC a rest" guy + kick-off returner
Dwyer / Jones = guys we would REALLY like to redshirt, but probably will only RS one.

Philip Wheeler is the unquestioned leader of the defense. He's the new #1 team freak, as Calvin left for greener pastures. Gary Guyton should have a monster season, and someone new will establish themselves as the next in a line of great LB's at Tech. Shane Bowen has staked that claim so far, but others are nipping at his heels.

It's not often you have a starting defensive backfield of all juniors and seniors - and you're still worried about pass protection. That's where my head is at though. I still see Jon Tenuta devising scheme's to force QB's to get rid of the ball quickly so as not to test this group and get burned. There is a lot of experience back there, but I'm just not sure how much high level talent is there. Can't wait for them to prove me wrong.

My general feeling is that we will be fine in pass protection. I just wonder how they would fare without every other player blitzing the QB.

Again, the only real question mark is what the nickel package will look like. That will be determined in the next two weeks, but is likely to change often based on results.

We do have the nation's #1 returning punter in super-weapon Durant Brooks. We do have a senior FG kicker, Travis Bell, who is giving us reason to think he could be "automatic" again from 40 yards and-in. Those are the pluses.

However, we do have a kick-off unit that struggles to kick deep and then cover those kicks. We have a kick-off return until that had few "bursts of joy" and mostly returned us to the 15-30 yard line every time.

Is it a scheme problem? Is it our teaching of proper wedge techniques? Is it on-the-field talent and good ole' execution problems? Don't know, but overall, there needs to be some serious improvement in key areas for us to taken another step forward this season.

This will be the #1 reason why some of these freshman will not redshirt. We need some speed and talent on special teams, and it's always hard to put your starters in on those plays - too much chance of injury. So of course - sacrifice the freshman. Of course this gives many of them a feel for the speed of the game.

Coach Bond knows we'll all be watching. It's been popular to brush-off Patrick Nix and welcome Coach Bond as a huge upgrade. Heck, I think that Kool-Aid tastes decent. However, how are we going to feel if we lose one of these games 14-10? How are we going to feel when the inevitable happens - our offense can't move the ball? Patrick Nix did better with what he was given the one year he was allowed to call the plays. Points did go up. I am as excited as everyone about Coach Bond, but once again - let's see what the games bring. I certainly like the enthusiasm and hands-on coaching style he has brought. I just hope it translates to the games.

So your team has a brand new QB. You just lost college football's best wide receiver in a decade. Your returning WR core is largely inexperienced. You lost both starting tight ends and only one other guy has ever taken a snap in a game - and he's injury prone. You also have one of the best O-Line's in the conference and the conference leading rusher returning as a senior.

I think it becomes clear how this thing is going to play out for Jacket oppenents - at least early in the season...............
...........Stack the box.
.......... Stuff the run.
...........Force the throw.

Bottom-line: Make GT beat you through the air. Force Taylor Bennett to beat you............. How will Bennett and his pass-protection and this group of inexperienced receivers respond when Tashard Choice is stuffed on first and second down? When it's 3rd-and-8, what's it going to be?

That could be a key thread to pull on. The hope we have in Taylor Bennett is well founded but don't crown this young man yet. If you don't think he's going to have multiple INT games, low completion percentage games, bogged down offense games - then you need to take off the rose-colored glasses. He will have his highs........ and his lows. This is high first shot to run the offense, and it should be exciting................ and at times frustrating.

As usual - as long as our stout D keeps us in every game, our offense should have a chance to punch through some plays and give us a chance to win. I can't wait!!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hoops - Academics Strike Again

Darn those books and classes. The beast that is GT has downed another victim - our post-man Ra'Sean Dickey. He will be out fall quarter and it remains to be seen if he'll be back after December.

Well, Coach Hewitt's team was already going to take on a different look. Now with Dickey out early, should be an even more interesting battle for playing time between Aminu, Peacock and Sheehan.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Be There Saturday

Saw this on the Hive and thought I would spread the word:

Dear Hivers & Fans,

ParentBuzz, the parent and family member organization of the GT Football players, will be fundraising again this year at the Great Yellow Jacket Encounter on August 18th. We would like to extend an early offer to the Hive fan base to pre-order the items we'll be selling. Each year, the Senior players and Team Chaplain Derrick Moore, determine the football teams inspirational motto for the season. For this 2007 season, the message will be focused around "4 Quarters". Further details of this message and the foundation for this motto will be revealed on YJ Encounter day and will become an essential part of each of our games. Trust us when we tell you it is thrilling and sure to generate an abundance of excitement for us all!!

Again this season, we will proudly offer for sale the official players silicone bracelets and players t-shirt with this motto on them. These items are given to the players on the morning of Yellow Jacket Encounter (YJE/Fan Photo Day) and will be for sale to the fans ONLY during the morning scrimmage (11:00am to 1:00pm) and during YJE/Fan Photo Day (3:00pm-5:00pm). The bracelets color will be solid old gold, available in youth and adult sizes and sold for $2.00 each. The t-shirts will be navy in color with old gold, white and grey front & back print and sold for $15.00 each. The available t-shirts sizes are: Youth L, Adult M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL & 4XL.

If you would like to pre-order either of these items please send an email with the items you want, quantity and sizes, along with your name, phone number & email address to: All email pre-orders can be paid for and picked up at the "ParentBuzz Headquarters" table at YJE/Fan Photo Day or we also will have a "sneak preview" sale of these items during afternoon football practice on Friday, Aug 17th. If you attend this practice, you can purchase and/or pick up email orders then. Checks & cash only. Make checks payable to "ParentBuzz".

On behalf of the entire ParentBuzz population, we extend a heartfelt thanks to you all for your loyalty and support of our sons. We look forward to meeting you at the Great Yellow Jacket Encounter!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Beesball - Wieters Signs with O's

Proving yet again the power of money and the pull of the major leagues versus another year cracking books for tuition, Matt Wieters signed with the O's for a fraction of the sum he was asking bat 11:51pm, 9 minutes before the deadline.

Per, two other potential Jackets also inked deals:

  • In addition, Jarrod Parker signed with Arizona and Neil Ramirez signed with Texas.

  • The Houston Astros were unable to come to terms with IF Derek Dietrich. The Ohio native will begin classes at Tech next week. See story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Beesball Countdown

Quick note - GT had 7 players drafted (4 from the current team, 3 high school players). None have signed contracts and if they do not do so by midnight tonight, odds are they will play for the Jackets next season. This includes Matt Wieters, who is represented by Scott Boras. A report from local Orioles media was that the two sides really aren't close and that they want Mark Tiexiera type of signing money and the O's were offering far less. Stay tuned.............

Friday, August 10, 2007

Where are they now - Calvin Johnson

See both of Calvin Johnson's catches last night here..................... and so it begins.

UPDATE: Saw this comment by Lions WR Shaun McDonald:

Detroit scored its first touchdown and cut the Bengals' lead to 9-7 on an 83-yard pass from quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan to Shaun McDonald. Miscommunication between cornerback Keiwan Ratliff and rookie safeties Chinedum Ndukwe and Marvin White allowed McDonald to get deep with no one covering him.

"They were all watching (Calvin Johnson) and I was wide open down the middle," said McDonald. "The ball felt like it was up there for a good minute or two."

THAT, my friends, is the Calvin impact. It ain't just the balls he catches. It's what HE helps everyone else on the field do.

Here's what Calvin had to say:

"I had a blast our there," said Johnson, who was the second overall pick in the draft. "It was everything that we did in practice; it was like another practice. We were trying to get a score before halftime and I had two crossing routes and I went up and snapped them down."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Where are they now - Tony Hargrove

The weird saga of Tony Hargrove takes another strange turn.

Football - The Bennett Mystery

A nice article from Adam Van Brimmer about Taylor Bennett, with a quote that Jacket fans should really internalize when trying to make the argument that Chan Gailey played Reggie Ball because of some misguided loyalty:

"What they don't understand was there was a reason I was sitting -- I didn't know anything," Bennett said. "I only started one year in high school. When I got here, I couldn't tell you the difference between a Cover-2 defense and a Cover-3 or 4. As much as I wanted to play, I know I wasn't ready to play mentally or physically."
This from Tashard Choice on Reggie winning the starting role again at the beginning of last season:

"I guess with Reggie being there for so long and being the starter for so long, Taylor really had to look so much better than Reggie to take the job," Choice said. "So they went with Reggie, and that was OK because we all believed in Reggie."

Lastly, this from OC John Bond:

"It wasn't a fluke that he put up big numbers in the bowl game," Bond said. "Taylor can play. The thing is, he just hasn't played. But as far as I'm concerned, that's all he is lacking is game experience. He can make all the throws. He's a good leader. If Taylor Bennett plays up to his potential, he can be an outstanding quarterback.

"And I'm expecting that to happen."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where are they now - Brian Oliver / Joe Hamilton

Watch the moment these guys get their degree. Congrats!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Football - Bring it on Baby

Folks, as most of you know, today is day #1 of fall practice. The boys over at the AJC are live-blogging the event - make sure the read the comments for more Knobler / Winklejohn commentary. Some early notes:

  • The only guy being limited seems to Michael Johnson, although Logan Walls (broken leg last spring), spent some time on "the beach", where the limited players workout while the others practice.
  • 12 new walk-ons added to the roster last night
  • Jerrard Tarrant, one of the new freshman, spent some time fielding punts, joining James Johnson, Andrew Smith, Pat Clark, Tyler Evans
  • Mark Schlabach of is on hand watching. By the way, he is a UGAg grad.
  • From Knobler - "Calvin’s gone, but Tech still has tall receivers. Newcomers D.J. Donley (6-4) and Willie White (6-3) are every bit of their listed heights. White is rail thin. He’s going to need to beef up a bit."
  • IN 11-on-11, Bowen worked ahead of Barnes for the 3rd LB spot
  • Chan Gailey on Tashard Choice yesterday at the media event: "I don't know what a Heisman season looks like but Tashard has a chance to have an outstanding season. The guy led the ACC in rushing last season (1,473 yards) but not a lot of people know that. And he may have to carry the load for a while as we figure out exactly what Taylor will be able to do."
  • Here's some video from a Coach Gailey interview with Tony Barnhardt
  • D.J. Donley and Willie White are starting out at WR
  • Calvin Booker is getting the 2nd team QB snaps
  • Nice article on Nick Claytor, who is ready to strap it on.
  • Philip Wheeler is ready as well. Check out this quote from Guyton: "He's definitely our leader," teammate Gary Guyton said. "You watch him fly around and wreak havoc, and you want to do the same thing. We have other leaders, but we will all follow him."
  • The coaches poll is out and the Jackets clock in at #27. In case you're curious why Duke got a vote, Steve Spurrier casts his first week vote every season for Duke.
  • Don't ask me what is thinking (see insert below), but they have glasses that are even more gold colored than my own. They think the Jackets are the #10 team in the nation. While I think Tech has every chance to be a top 10, they have to prove it on the team.

10. Georgia Tech
- Georgia Tech | Offense Preview | Defense
| Depth Chart
Why Georgia Tech should be No. 1: Had Calvin Johnson foolishly decided to come back for his senior year, Georgia Tech probably would've been our sleeper choice to play USC for the national title. There might not be a better set of lines in the country, and everything will revolve around them. RB Tashard Choice is an elite runner who'll have plenty of room to run, while QB Taylor Bennett will be an upgrade over Reggie Ball. Just about everyone returns to a stellar defense, led by LB Philip Wheeler, and a top-notch safety tandem of Jamal Lewis and Djay Jones.
Why Georgia Tech isn't No. 1: James Johnson might be a nice receiver, but he's not Calvin Johnson. Losing CJ will hurt the most, but losing offensive coordinator Patrick Nix to Miami will also sting. The depth is thin at linebacker and the corners aren't necessarily special. Tech's biggest problem has always been game-in-and-game-out consistency, and this year won't be any different. You know the total clunker is coming, you just don't know when (possibly at Maryland).
Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses:
Wide Receiver, Secondary

Where are they now - Great News Addion

Calvin Johnson signs a big deal with the Lions, which should guarantee a lifetime of financial security with somewhere in the neighborhood of 26MM in guaranteed money. He's already at camp catching passes this morning after signing the deal at 8:00am.......... Time to talk about stuff on the field now CJ.

It is an absolute glorious day when you see that two of your most beloved GT collegiate sports figures get their degrees. These guys have done it. It's funny, the general rule people believe is that when an athlete leaves prior to finishing his degree, he/she talks about coming back - says it will happen - but it never does. "It never really happens" is something I've seen written on more than one occasion. Well, it happened......... and it happened to two great guys - Brian Oliver and Joe Hamilton. I was there when Lethal Weapon Three terrorized opponents and I watched in amazement at what Little Joe could do with a football. Congratulations gentleman. Congratulations college graduates!

"Basketball has been a really big part of my life, but me getting my degree is much bigger than me," Oliver said, explaining that he hopes he can set an example for other athletes. "This is right up there after my marrying my wife."
"By doing this ... not only do I solidify myself as being a total person and starting what I finish, but it also symbolizes to me that I can set a precedent," Hamilton said. "Maybe somebody else can go back and say, 'I can do it because Joe did it.' "

Picture of Joe Hamilton from JOEY IVANSCO / AJC

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What's Buzzin' August 2, 2007

The world lost a couple of prominent sports figures this week. First was the unexpected passing of Wake Forest hoops head man Skip Prosser. Incredibly sad and certainly Jacket nation sends our prayers. An unfortunate side-effect is the question-mark for recruiting followers who are interested in what this means for Al Farqouq Aminu, who recently committed to WF. Even though SI.COM just did a story saying they are still committed until a new coach is named and they have a chance to talk to him, my advice to you is this - don't worry about it. Just let the young man deal with his grief and cope with how his world has just changed. If he wants to stay, great for him. If he wants to change his mind - everyone will understand. Just don't ask and just let the young man alone. If he wants to make something public, he will.

Aminu, who said he had just begun to forge a strong relationship with Prosser, called the coach's death "heartbreaking." With Parker's help, he and Woods penned sympathy cards for Prosser's wife, Nancy.

"I committed to Wake Forest. I'm going to sit down with the new coach, when he's hired, and see how it is. If everything goes well, I'm staying." Those comments would seem to provide the Deacons with further incentive to follow the most popular plan of action amongst Wake fans: elevating one of the Prosser assistants who helped recruit the Big Three. Aminu said he'd be excited if his main recruiter, Kelsey, were promoted, even though Kelsey has not been mentioned as a realistic candidate for the job.
The second significant loss in the sports world was Bill Walsh. Now, you have to understand some of my background to understand the significance of the 49ers in my life. I moved to Walnut Creek California back in 1980. I was in 6th grade and got in on the big start of what would become the dynasty of the 80's and beyond. I was swept up right from year one, and it was those early years of the 49er success and "Billy Ball" at the Oakland A's and the Atlanta Braves on TBS that fueled my passion for sports. It was the springboard for where sports fits into my life. My wife is probably rolling her eyes, but there it is.

Walsh really was a genious and probably spawned a larger family tree of successful coaches down through more than one generation than any other coach in history.

Wow, Tuesday night Tex arrives, they flash a video feed of him in the clubhouse the crowd gives him a standing ovation, then on his first night in the line-up he goes deep and the Braves win. This could be fun my friends. This could be fun.

“I hope the fans are ready for a great pennant race,” said Teixeira, a switch-hitting slugger acquired from Texas in a major trade Tuesday. “I know I am.”
Now, there is typically a yin-to-the-yang, as you can see with Ranger fans, who aren't upset to see him go.

Could be something. Could be nothing. But there's nothing like a good ole scandal to dampen enthusiasm for the impending fall season.
"I've had a few curtain calls in my career and the fans tell you," said Teixeira, who was acquired from the Rangers on Tuesday. "After the at-bat, if they're still cheering and they're still yelling, they want you to do it. It was fun going out there."