Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Football - Practice #1 in the books

The first day of practice is complete. Here's some juice for you to digest:

The Jackets nabbed another athletic O-Line recruit - Ray Beano. He's a right tackle in high school in Newnan, although he's sure to be tabbed as a center or guard at the collegiate level. At 6'2", 280lb, with an athletic build, he fits more of the stereotypical mold of a Paul Johnson O-Lineman. Athletic for his size, moves his feet well, but needs to gain strength. A bit undersized right now, but seems to have a good frame to add some muscle.

Embry Peeples and TJ Barnes were noticably late today, but evidently some players had finals today, so hopefully that's the reason for their absense.

Biggest change is that Jon Lockhart was practicing at A-back and even WR, although he was recruited as a DB. Jon looked pretty good today. Another one to watch out for would be Austin Barrick. I haven't heard or read about any changes, but I just can't see him staying at A-back.

Coach Johnson has made it clear that while he wants Josh Nesbitt to win the job, he hasn't yet. He has to earn it. Walk-on Bryce Dykes was getting the 2nd string reps and looked comfortable both passing and running. True freshman Jaybo Shaw looked very comfortable with the option, which is to be expected, since he ran it in high school. True frosh Tevin Washington has a bit of a quirky throwing motion and it remains to be seen if he'll be ready for primetime. Apparently both Nesbitt and Shaw were zipping nice passes all day as well.

The entire offense was doing plenty of up-and-downs, which occur anytime someone fumbles. In fact, the QB's / BB's / AB's were working on a read and pitch drill, during which they apparently stopped approximately 10 times to do up/downs. On one hand, I wonder how much drill / practice time that takes away. On the other hand, if it sinks in for them to get it right, so be it.

Lot's of coaching on Defense today. Mario Butler and Kyle Jackson were amongst a handful of guys that got an earful for being out of position at times. The D had their share of up/downs as well.

......... watched practice in street clothes.

- Donnie Davis watched practice
- Roddy Jones looked very good at A-Back and displayed excellent hands catching balls
- Morgan Burnett has the cast off and his wrist wrapped up during practice
- Greg Smith is back all the way - healthy again
- Strong punting today from Scott Blair
- Derrick Morgan looked good at DE - big and fast.
- The "beach" was empty today (no IR's)
- The heat was brutal today


Lastly, some new stats on player weights from the Hive:

PLAYER 2007 Wt. 2008 Wt.

Burnett 182 198
T. Clark 200 213
D. Thomas 220 229
Nesbitt 204 214
Frierson 200 208
Dwyer 208 227
R. Jones 184 194
Daniels 185 194
Q. Kelly 230 238
Rocker 205 225
Jefferson 215 227
S. Griffin 220 239
K. Jackson 225 236
Tongo 245 252
Krish 275 286
J. Gilbert 280 288
Voss 305 294
Yandell 304 296
M. Johnson 244 260
Richard 285 280
Walker 275 293


There are times when you have to ask yourself if the feelings you have are "normal". It's bad enough to wrestle with excitement over the decisions of 17 year old kids while following the recruiting process. Then the Atlanta Journal Constitution publishes the following picture:

Here's the full gallery.

The guy in the picture is Michael Johnson. While fan attitude towards Johnson's leadership, playmaking ability and attitude already bordered on unhealthy, this has kicked it over the top. I know understand why Georgia Tech needed a new deal with Russell Athletic, since Johnson can be seen here literally exploding the right sleeve of his shirt into anti-matter.

That picture pushes me over the very fine line of man-crush. In order to know if my feelings were "ok", I found the wisdom of "Dr.Awesome", who indicates that this particular situation is perfectly legit when it comes to a man-crush.

Say what you want about Chan Gailey. Coach Gailey recruited this guy, who was slated as a tight end, then let Jon Tenuta have him on the D-Line. What a great choice.

So as you go about your day, know that the feelings you have are ok. They're normal. They cannot be helped. Even Johnson's own teammates in the new media guide voted him "Strongest guy on the team", 2nd toughest (behind Bryce Dykes), 3rd best "Leader" (behind Daryl Richard / Andrew Gardner) and 2nd "Most athletic" (behind Morgan Burnett). His own teammates have a man-crush. It's ok.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Football - Players Report

Georgia Tech's football players reported to fall camp today, checking in to their hotel rooms. They hit the practice field Wednesday. They will have practice Wed, Thurs, Fri at 3:00pm and practices will in fact be open to the public ("until further notice"). ESPN Gameday had a short Q&A from fans at the end of their show today (thanks DVR), where a GT fan asked if the ACC was ready for Paul Johnson's offense. Their short answer was "no". Then at the end, they said that Paul Johnson is so confident in his offense, that he's opened his practices for anyone to see.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where are they now? Extravaganza

Let's hit some quick highlights here:


Named MVP of the summer league "Revue" he participated in, and managed to sign a contract with the Golden State Warriors. Golden State doesn't release terms of contracts, but it's likely a one year deal. Still music to A-Mo's ears. He only hit 17-23 3 point hots with the Warriors summer league team. He only averaged about 21 points. Heck, if you look at his entire July, including time in the Miami Heat summer league, he hit 27-39 from behind the arc. Sizzling. A-Mo looked good driving to the hoop as well, confounding Tech fans wondering why he kept it a secret for so long.

Yes, Mike is basically getting a 5th year of collegiate football by playing for his college coach. However, when you know the playbook cold, and Chan Gailey has seen your work up close for 4 years, you should feel pretty good. Mike is getting the first team snaps as the KC Chiefs fullback, and he wasn't even drafted. Mike says the playbook is exactly the same (which should really unite Chiefs fans... chortle). Great for Mike

Reggie's season is over. He injured his knee in practice with the Detroit Lions last Friday. I hate it for him, as the Lions were looking for another receiver for camp and he impressed enough to be signed to the practice squad last season.

Tashard looks like he's locked in on the 3rd string spot and it's his to lose. Knowing TC, he's eyeing that #2 spot next.

Keith is being moving back to weakside linebacker, his position of choice. He's turning into a regular ironman in the ATL. Go Keith!

Not a popular WATN, but here it is anyhow. Wilson is working for Jackie Sherrell, the former Miss St, Texas A&M and Pitt coach. Sherrill is president and national coordinator of GameOn Sports Nutrition, a company that produces some kind of sports energy drink. Well, our former recruiting coordinator works for Sherrill at said company. So now you know.......... not that you wanted to.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paul Johnson Video from ACC Kick-off

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hoops Recruiting - Jackets Nab Two More

Yesterday Guard Mfon Udofia committed to Paul Hewitt and the Yellow Jackets. Today Glen Rice Jr, did the same.

I'll have more on this class later. Key targets left are Noel Johnson and Derrick Favors. If somehow those two guys signed up, you just might be looking at the best class ever to land in the ATL.

More later.

Where are they now - Anthony Morrow

Anthony Morrow is absolutely lighting up the summer league when he gets a chance. His latest outing - 27 pts (9-16, 4-5 3pt, 5-6 free throws), 10 rebounds, 5 assists. His 3 pt shooting percentage has been lights out, and he's got a legit shot to grab one of the Golden State Warrior's final roster spots. Check it out:

On the style of the Warriors:I love the style of play, just run and gun.

On how he played against the Mav’s:This is probably one of the best games I’ve played in.

On how he plans to improve his game:I know there’s a lot of guys who didn’t get drafted that are, talent-wise, better than me so I’m gonna’ work hard on my game, pray to God I get an opportunity.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hoops - The Strange Life of Ra'Sean Dickey

Photo from Getty Images

It is being reported by Jeff Goodman over at that Ra'Sean Dickey's career at Georgia Tech is over. He will be taking his mysteriously frustrating game overseas to play professionally.

- Speaking of Georgia Tech, Hewitt confirmed to that senior big man Ra’Sean Dickey will not be returning to school and instead has signed a pro contract to play in the Ukraine. ``It was a mutual decision and was best for Ra’Sean and his family,” Hewitt said.

There are rumors of grade issues, so it will be interesting to hear if he actually leaves in good academic standing and how it impacts the APR (Academic Progress Rate). Ra'Sean's been in school for 4 years, but most Georgia Tech students don't graduate in 4 years, so I wonder how close he is to getting his degree.

For me personally, this is frustrating. I saw Dickey play in high school, and always felt that he had more potential than anyone on the team from the day he arrived. Dickey was a big man with excellent footwork in the post, a very good rebounder, and a very nice jump shot out to 15-18 feet. I was really pumped to see him running the floor again, but it's not going to happen.

The big knock on Dickey in high school was his focus, drive and energy level. From the outside looking in, it sure seems like those questions turned out to be. His had short bursts of exciting play, but was mostly quiet both on and off the court. I still feel that his potential is sky high, but until he gets his mind wrapped around it, it will just stay potential. Nobody really knows the "real" story and it would be presumptuous to think we do, but regardless, we see what we see.

For the Jackets, this is NOT addition by subtraction. We will miss him. We went from a good rebounding team with him 2 years ago to a horrible rebounding team without him - even after adding Gani Lawal. The only guy we add is Guard Iman Shumpert, and with the loss of Jeremis Smith, our muscle down low just took a hit. Make no mistake - Zach Peacock and Gani Lawal have every opportunity to step up. Truthfully, I could see Zach having a breakout season and could end up as the best player on the team. In addition, there's an opportunity for Brad Sheehan to step up and start making a contribution. So far he hasn't looked ready for much more than clean-up duty.

So the strange life of Ra'Sean Dickey continues. Potential unfulfilled. Frustration (his and ours I'm sure). Now Dickey will forever become a member of the "Where are they now" club.

At least Coach Hewitt keeps his streak alive - sending almost every guy from his program to the "pro's" somewhere (NBA or Euro-leagues).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where are they now - Will Bynum

Will Bynum walks away from an overseas contract in Itlay to sign a multi-year deal with........... get ready......... the Detriot Pistons. Turns out the Thrill is not "gone" at all. Check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

GTSB Top 5 Results: Most Memorable Plays

Your votes have been cast. All hanging chads have been accounted for. There was a tie, so our "Top 5" is acutally a "Top 6". Al Gore has not protested. When you ask for the "most memorable plays", naturally the slant is going to be on the modern, during the time when most people either lived it in person or saw it on TV. There were so many good choices that we had to leave out some truly magical ones. For example, William Bell's magical run in 1990 against Nebraska in the Citrus Bowl, James Forrest's magical 3pt shot in the 1992 tourney against USC-west (Holy Mackeral anyone?), and there were hundreds of magical plays from games only covered in print and remembered only through the living history of our "seniors".

I proudly present to you your Top 5 most memorable plays in Georgia Tech history.

In one of the most improbably comebacks in Georgia Tech history, the Jackets manage to score 3 TD's in the last 4:30 to beat Clemson. It was Calvin Johnson's coming out party, as the highly touted freshman caught 3 TD passes and amassed 127 yards in the air. In addition, this call by Wes Durham has to go down as one of the classics in GT history. It just captures everything we love about Wes, as he was as excited and amazed as anyone else watching (I mean, does it really compare to this?). Classic, classic, classic!


The year, 1990. It was a magical year if you were on campus........ I was. Final Fours, football National Championships. The crowing moment was this 37 yard field goal by ice-water-in-the-veins kicker Scott Sisson. Did I mention I was Scott's "RA" (Resident Assistant) in Field dorm, so I'd like to think I had a hand in it all. That kick ousted Virginia from the #1 spot in the nation and propelled Georgia Tech to a National Championship under Bobby Ross. Anyone remember the bonfires in the intersection of Techwood and Bobby Dodd Way? Anyone remember the stop lights catching on fire? Anyone remember tearing down the goal posts in BDS (that was an away game)?

Five feet and change. Will the Thrill Bynum. No Georgia Tech team had ever played for a National Championship. The Jackets were on the verge. Little Will, the transfer from Arizona, was finally learning to accept a role coming off the bench. Coach Hewitt kept telling him to be patient; that his time would come; that it mattered more who finished than who started............... and oh did he finish. "Look at that little fellow take it in there and use his strength" - Bill Packer.

November 28, 2000. Kerry Watkins has something to say to Calvin Johnson about who owns "the catch". He would also take umbrage at who is the biggest heartbreaker of Tiger fans in Death Valley. I was at this game as well. Unfortunately I could not find video of another magical miracle victory over Clemson, but I did find this:

No. 92 Georgia Tech 31 ... Clemson 28, November 28, 2000
At the time: Georgia Tech had won three straight and was 5-2. Number four Clemson had started off the season 8-0 and was looking forward to a showdown with Florida State the following week with the hopes of securing an ACC title.

The setup: It was a tremendous game with long scoring drives and an 88-yard punt return for a score from Clemson's Brian Mance. The Tigers took a 28-24 lead with under two minutes to play on a Rod Gardner touchdown catch. Kelly Campbell finished with 209 receiving yards for the Yellow Jackets, but it was another Tech receiver that would steal the show.

The ending: Tech QB George Godsey, who finished with a school record 454 passing yards, had the ball on the Clemson 16 with time running out. He lofted a pass into the end zone for Kerry Watkins, but it looked out of reach. Watkins dove making a one-handed grab for the game-winning score with just seven seconds to play.

If someone finds the video of this one on YouTube or elsewhere, I update this post. It was magic.

March 1, 1989. "There's mayhem in Alexander Memorial Coliseum". Georgia Tech down 2 with 5 seconds on the clock and UNC has the ball. One of many magical buzzer beaters in Georgia Tech hoops history, but Dennis Scott managed to squeeze the improbable off against the hated Tarheels, by stealing the ball and draining a three. The Bobby Cremins reaction goes down as the classic moment..... and to think, if Karl Brown hadn't messed up and made the stinkin' free throws we may have never seen the magic.

It is good to see that enough of you voted for what goes down as not only one of the most memorable plays in Georgia Tech history, but in college football history. In fact, the story of the 1929 Rose Bowl truthfully goes down as one of the most memorable plays in the history of the game - period. ESPN named it the 26th most important moment that defined college football. In 1971, Sports Illustrated said it was "the best-known play in the history of American football". Riegels was parodied in Hollywood by heavyweights such as Frank Capra.

Georgia Tech and Cal were locked up in a tight, low-scoring battle. Locked up 0-0, Tech back Stumpy Thomason had the ball knocked loose. With the ball squirting lose on a fumble, Cal's Roy Riegels picked up the ball, spun around and proceeded to jaunt 69 yards....... the wrong way. His own teammates tried to pull him down, and one of them finally did - at the one yard line. Riegels was ticked because he thought his own teammates wanted the credit for the TD. On Cal's next play, they attempted to punt the ball from the endzone (with Riegels snapping). The Tech line broke through, blocked the punt, notched a safety and posted 2 points on the scoreboard. That safety ended up being enough for a winning margin for Georgia Tech, as they won 8-7.

The result was that Bill Alexander's Yellow Jackets remained undefeated and went on to win their 2nd National Championship. For Riegels, much was written and said, but he want on to become a Cal team captain, successful coach and businessman.

"You know," he says slowly, "I really wasn't a bad football player. But for the life of me, I still don't know how or why I did what I did." He dismisses the damning memorabilia with a hearty wave. "Now I ask you, isn't this a hell of a way to become famous?"

"I used to be sensitive," he says, "but everybody else thought it was funny and I finally decided that all I could do was laugh with them. Sometimes my 10-year-old son calls me 'Wrong Way Riegels'—and I don't even spank him for it."

I'll leave you with this memorable flyover - unforgettable!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Football - ACC Media Days GT Player Quotes

Andrew Gardner and Vance Walker represented Georgia Tech today at the ACC Football Kickoff. Here's what they had to say:


What have been the differences in conditioning this year?

There's been a lot more running, especially the tackles. On a lot of plays, you are expected to run 20 yards downfield and try to get the safety. There is a lot of second and third level blocking so we have a conditioning test that we have to do before camp that we did not have in the past. Some of the lineman have been put on weight loss plans over the summer. In this offense, we do a lot more running and bottom line is, we just needed to be in better shape. There is more expected out of lineman in this offense than in year's past. This is the kind of offense that can be real fun for an offensive lineman. Once we get going, we can knock people over. I think the guys are really excited to get going.

What is one of the biggest differences on the line in regards to this new offense?

I definitely think it is the amount of cut blocking. Every team in the ACC is going to dread the week that Georgia Tech is on the schedule because they know that they are going get their legs knocked out from under them.

Was spring a little weird with all of the player changes as well?

It is always going to happen with a coaching change, but you can't worry about it. The big thing is that the guys here are the committed ones. For the guys that didn't want to be here, it's probably better for themselves and the team that they did leave. You don't want anyone that doesn't want to be here talking bad or bringing the rest of the team down. You want everybody moving in the same direction and doing what's best for the team.


What is Coach Johnson trying to change about the team?

A lot of people played for themselves last year and Coach Johnson wants us to realize that the scoreboard doesn't read Georgia Tech vs. Georgia Tech. That's what he has been working very hard to instill in us and it's the biggest thing he wanted to get rid of.

What are your impressions so far of Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack?

We all like coach Womack. He is a great person and he has a great charisma about him and he is very exciting so we believe all his stuff. It's not even about believing, we know what he has done and we on the defense know each other well so we think it will work.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Football Recruiting - Jackets Nab O-Lineman

Will Jackson, a TN standout at O-Line, committed to the Jackets today. More later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's here folks - 2008 Media Guide

For your ravenous, brain-starved consumption - the 2008 Georgia Tech Football Media Guide. The cover tells you what's on the menu - new blood!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Atlanta Sports Council - no friend of GT

The Atlanta Sports Council is fodder for some good debate, but their mission in life in most ways works directly against the best interests of the hometown Jackets as well as the mutts in Athens.

The Atlanta Sports Council promotes the value of sports growth in Atlanta and Georgia by acting as an authority on the economic impact, visibility and quality of life issues associated with sports. Its mission is to lead, organize and support sports development with the goal of building Atlanta's reputation as the Sports Capital of the World.

Sounds good on the surface. Who wouldn't want their university to be based in the "Sports Capital of the World"? However, the recent announcement that Virginia Tech would open their season next year in the ATL against an unnamed opponent in the Georgia Dome is case #2 that their interests don't always coincide with GT. Case #1 is the season opener this fall in the Georgia Dome, pitting Clemson against Alabama. That little announcement is what most likely resulted in Georgia Tech moving their opener to Thursday night. Whoops. Thanks ASC.

I'm sure the ASC wants to make that thing the annual "Kickoff Classic". Nick Saban appears to want to make a Dome visit an annual ritual, and why not? Behind California, Florida and Texas, you can argue that Georgia has the deepest high school talent pool in the nation - in ALL three major sports no less. So if I'm in the shoes of AD's surrounding the state, I'd be putting my bid in to play that game each year as well. If the state didn't have the high school talent, would Saban or Bowden care? Of course not. This is a decision purely about money and exposure, facilitated by the ASC.

Sorry, but the mission of that group by definition creates competition for eyeballs and wallets. While the pure mission would be to bring in more people who wouldn't normally attend an event, it will certainly cannabalize D-Rad's effort to attract casual ATL area fans to BDS. Not so sure it's the ASC's problem though. It's certainly Dan Radakovich's problem - who happens to sit on the board of the ASC.

If I were sitting in the AD chair down in Athens, I'd be a little concerned as well, although they seem to be doing just fine when it comes to attracting fans.

By the way, note that the ASC is sponsoring an event July 28 where Paul Johnson, Bill Curry, March Richt, Lee Corso and Tony Barnhardt are speaking (college football preview luncheon).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Daryl Richard Anointed

It's one thing to tout the "superiority" of Georgia Tech athletes from an intellectual perspective to our sisters in Athens. Mostly it helps the medicine go down when we lose to them. However, it's another thing when one of your football players is selected to help chose the next President of your University. I mean, are you serious?

Here's the committee:

Members of the Presidential Search Committee are as follows:

Regent Willis Potts, committee chair
Regent Hugh Carter
Regent Mansfield Jennings
Regent Jim Jolly
Regent Don Leebern
Regent Elridge McMillan
Regent Ben Tarbutton
Regent Richard Tucker
Dr. Gisele Bennett, professor, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Dr. Thomas Boston, professor, School of Economics
Dr. Steven French, professor, College of Architecture
Dr. Don Giddens, Dean, College of Engineering
Dr. Gary May, professor, College of Engineering
Dr. Sandra Slaughter, professor, College of Management
Dr. Jeffrey Wu, professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Mr. Herky Harris, Georgia Tech Foundation chair
Mr. Darryl Richard, MBA Student, Athlete, and Member of the Georgia Tech All-Academic Team
Mr. Joe Rogers, Waffle House
Mr. Bill Todd, Georgia Tech Alumni Association president
Mr. Chris Young, Georgia Department of Economic Development

Help me out here, but not only is Daryl Richard, standout Defensive Tackle, on the committee, he's the ONLY student on it. Here's a guy who graduated in 3 years, is now in the MBA program, and has an NFL Future ahead of him, even though one of his goals is to be an Athletic Director. Heck, sign up the guy now if you ask me. That's just insane if you ask me.

On a side note, I "know" the guy heading the committee, Willis Potts. He won't remember me, but I met him a few times during my 14 years in the paper industry. Potts retired from Temple-Inland Corp, and worked for the now "absorbed" Union Camp Corp (now International Paper) for a long time. Potts is a great guy and a GT alumni. I was involved with the Georgia Tech Pulp & Paper Foundation and he spoke once and was very engaging. Super guy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jay Bilas on Dennis Scott

Jay Bilas posted his crack at the to p 25 3pt shooters in college history. Guess who clocks in at his #1? None other than 3D, Dennis Scott. With 3D it wasn't so much about his percentage, it was about his range. It was about leisurely jumpers from half-court. It's on ESPN Insider. Here's the take on D-Scott:

1. Dennis Scott, Georgia Tech, 1988-90: 351-831 (.422)
Scott gave "range" a whole new meaning. I first heard about Dennis when he was in seventh grade, and I never saw anyone shoot with such ease from so deep.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hoops Recruiting - Jackets Get Commit #2

Paul Hewitt and company received a verbal commitment from forward Kammeon Holsey. Different sites have him listed between 6'7" and 6'9", and one quote from Holsey indicated that Paul Hewitt has a vision for his role similar to Thaddeus Young, with an inside/outside game playing both the 3/4 spots. Holsey plays at Hancock Central High School in Spara GA. lists Holsey as a 4-star and has him at #124 in the nation. He seems to have offers from FSU and Clemson, Alabama, Nebraska and Xavier. For the star watchers he's a 4-star guy on Scout and a 3-star guy on Rivals.

As a junior Holsey averaged 18.1 pts, 11.8 boards, and 2 blocks and helped lead his team to a state championship.

Sounds like a solid addition to the team. This year's recruiting class is going to be a foundational class for future years. Yes, there's a lot of interest in super-stud Derrick Favors, but ultimately this is a critical recruiting year to build a foundational class for the next few years.

Holsey becomes the 2nd verbal commit, to go with 2/3 Brian Oliver

Thursday, July 10, 2008

WATN - Tashard Choice - Stage Actor ?

Tashard Choice attended one of those NFL camp lectures by a guy teaching newly crowned professionals how to handle their business when every "cousin" and long lost friend comes out of the woodwork. Choice got picked to come up on stage and act out an impromptu scenario. Choice absolutely does his deal, and has his fellow pro's laughing.

Classic Tashard Choice. Classic. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

WATN? - Bonus Coverage

There's a plethora of Where Are They Now? bonus coverage to be had for Georgia Tech fans. Let's roll right into it:

A-Mo had quite the outing this week during his summer league stint with the Miami Heat. How's about 5 3-pointers, dropping 19 points in a victory where top Miami pick Michael Beasley had 9 pts on 1-13 shooting, 7 fouls and 5 turnovers. Kansas's Mario Chalmers had 19 pts and 9 assists for the Heat as well.

Renso "Rock" Perdoni has been named to the 75th anniversary all-Sun Bowl team. He's one of 75 guys named.

The former Georgia Tech standout football player Jake Rudolph passed away last week. Rudolph was on Bobby Dodd's back-to-back undefeated teams back in the early 50's. The AJC recounts his famous plays and some nice back-story. Rest in peace young man.

Some see this year as a breakout season for Calvin "The Truth" Johnson, being all healthy and all.

Interesting story about the guy largely responsible for building Greenville Tech (a local technical school here in upstate SC). While the guy was a Clemson graduate, I couldn't help but notice the following statement:

Of the festivities surrounding his retirement, Barton said, "I'd like for both my mother and Coach Frank Howard to see today what has happened."

Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech, who coached Barton's final football game, wanted to help him find a career. He contacted a number of schools, and Barton wound up with a job teaching and coaching at Brown High in west Atlanta.

Someone help me with the connection here?

Former Georgia Tech diamond-baller Jason Perry was swapped around by four different clubs before finally getting his first taste of the bigs back in the he played his college ball. The Atlanta Braves call-up only tripled in his first at-bat and has been contributing ever since.

Who is John Paul Foschi? A Kansas City Chief - that's who. Chan Gailey continues to look after some of his old guys.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Don't Bury the Bone Yet

Over at SMQ, they have proclaimed that all things "bone" are not dead, as Paul Johnson has been trying to convince people of for years.

Even more importantly, Johnson begins the experimental odyssey of transplanting the flexbone to one of the major conferences, where the triple option's immediate future may again be in his hands -- the current promulgation of the spread/spread option was based on the early, experimental success of Randy Walker, Joe Tiller, Hal Mumme, Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez at schools with serious deficits in talent, much like Georgia Tech's in relation to the rest of the ACC and the BCS leagues as a whole. This is part of the same cyclical struggle: as the optimal window begins to close on the subversive deception of the spread and spread option, the great talent-maskers of the last two decades, the pendulum will begin to swing the other way -- while Texas, Florida, Michigan, Auburn a cavalcade of first-rate recruiting powers are taking the "defend the entire field and the running quarterback" concept mainstream, less talented teams that relied on surprising defenses with the unfamiliar week after week must begin looking for a new edge. Maybe Johnson's aggressive, high-scoring version of the old bone concept is it; maybe he can't get away with leaving faster, more disciplined defenders unblocked the way the Midshipmen could against second and third-tier defenses. Either way -- for now, at least -- your father's option still has legs, after all.

Ahhhh, music to my tired ears.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

HD Scoreboard - $6.1 million ?

Dan Radakovich indicated we were getting a modern new video scoreboard as part of BDS renovations after this upcoming season. So how big will it be? Turns out Mississippi State just approved a "true HD board", which will measure 152' wide by 135'6" tall. The main HD screen will be 111' wide by 47' tall. It will be the largest true high-def board in the SEC, and will be able to be used as one big board, or broken into many smaller displays using state-of-the-art LED's.......... all for the reasonable price tag of $6.1 million.

Of course that doesn't quite rival "Godzillatron" out in Texas, which is 134' x 55', and requires 40 5-ton A/C units to keep it cool.

Do you have HD-envy yet? With our financial picture, what type scoreboard do you see us hooking up with?

Football - Trev Alberts like GT

Trev Alberts likes Miami and UNC and Georgia Tech as surprise teams in the ACC this season. Honestly, the Coastal division is pretty much a murky pond. You can assume VaTech will be near the top and Duke will be near the bottom, but the rest is pretty much up in the air.

Friday, July 04, 2008

GTSB TOP 5 - Most Memorable Plays?

Time for a new segment which involves more participation from readers. It's called the "GTSB Top Five". It's simple. I'm going to ask a question. You're going to "vote" through the comment section by giving your answer. Sometime later in the week, I'll tally the answers and do a write-up on the top 5 winning answers. Your answer must be in the comment section to register a vote. I strongly encourage you to put your name or a pseudonym at least. Not sure yet if I'll count the "anonymous" posts yet.

The question is - what is the most memorable play in Georgia Tech history? It can be any sport during any era. I suspect we'll get votes mostly from the "modern" era. Cast your vote for the most memorable play in GT history.


.... and Happy Fourth of July!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Crimes and school policy

It's interesting to see other stories of players charged with crimes and how their head coaches handle the situation. Tommy Bowden at Clemson is dealing with a sophomore safety, DeAndre McDaniel, who was arrested June 21 on charges of assault-and-battery "of a high and aggravated nature" against his girlfriend.

While the case has gotten a little flaky, McDaniel has not been suspended "pending the legal outcome" of the case, like Jerrard Tarrant at Georgia Tech. He has not been kicked out of school either, leaving the door open for him to play pending the legal outcome. The article says that Bowden is expected to address the situation Monday, and that he has been "gathering information about the case".

In another case at UGAg (the 7th player to be charged with a crime this off-season), Michael Lemon has had an arrest warrant issued against him by Athens police, for causing a "blowout fracture of the left eye-socket" of a guy he allegedly punched a handful of times in the kisser. This one just came across the wire, so at press time, I guess he had not been arrested.

The article states - "Because it is a felony charge, Lemon is expected to be suspended indefinitely from the football team until his case is resolved."

So, in Paul Johnson's case, the player is suspended from the team until his legal case is resolved. It appears that is also the policy for Mark Richt, particularly for felony offenses. Meanwhile, Tommy Bowden appears to be doing his own Private Eye routine before making a judgement. In effect, Bowden is making a decision based on the known facts in the case, not based on the fact that there was enough evidence to arrest his player. He's got a "fluid" policy.

I'm not saying one way is right and one is wrong. If we live in a country where you are presumed innocent until guilty, then why wouldn't you be allowed to play if you haven't been convicted of anything (if you are pleading innocent of the charges of course)? Well, one reason is the court of public opinion. If you setup a policy that allows players to play until they are convicted of a crime, AND you have a track record of guys getting arrested, then you'll be crucified on blogs and in the media - you know, the "Thug U" tag.

Now, there are laws and there are rules. When people break laws, the legal system handles it. When people break rules, the institutions, companies, etc, handle it. There are still consequences, but what should institutions do when their students / employees are accused? Should they suspend them automatically? Should they make their own judgement based on the facts of the case? Should they only focus on the question of whether team rules were broken? Maybe Bowden got the player's version of the events and decided that if true, then he never broke the law NOR violated any team policies. As such, he shouldn't be punished until the law convicts him. If Paul Johnson had that same perspective, then maybe he would decide that Tarrant's version of the events did not constitute any team rules violations and as such, he should continue to play until the legal system deems him guilty.

The other aspect of this is sending a message to kids in the first place - get into trouble and you're dead. Even if you're innocent, if you put yourself into situations that get you into hot water with the law, then you're going to pay a price even if you didn't do it.

How would handle these situations if you were the head coach? If a kid was accussed of a crime and arrested, and he says he's innocent, what would you do? Presumably there's enough evidence out there to justify an arrest, but many times it's a "he said, she said" situation - a la Jerrard Tarrant. What would you do? Reuben Houston was allowed to stay in school and actually made his way back to the field towards the end of the season after his situation played out. However, he did miss most of the season.

What would you do if you were Paul Johnson? Mark Richt? Tommy Bowden?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Navy Stats - to make you feel good

This write-up from "the Quad" on Navy has some interesting mentions for Georgia Tech fans. How's this for an opener:

Contrary to common belief (pay attention, Georgia Tech fans), Navy’s triple-option offense was one of the most explosive in the nation in 2007: third in the nation with scoring drives of a minute or less (13), 10th in scoring drives of two minutes or less (25) and eighth in offensive plays of 25 yards or more (16). Over all, the offense was tremendous, scoring a team-record 511 points (39.3 per game, 10th in the nation) and 444.1 yards per game (22nd in the nation). These numbers contradict the perception of the option offense as a plodding, methodical, ball-control system; instead, Navy has shown over the last five seasons that its many looks give the option as much big-play potential as any philosophy in college football.

Here's another stat you might find interesting (and some wide receivers as well). Paul Johnson designed a run first, run second and run third offense at Navy out of necessity, right? It was pretty successful. They led the nation in rushing the last three seasons and threw sparingly. On the other hand, Chan Gailey ran a ball-control offense with a stronger passing attack..... right?

Here's the stat.......... Georgia Tech's "pro style" offense threw a grand total of 10 TD passes last season........ Navy's run, run, run offense last season threw 9 TD's. We sure know that GT will throw more than Navy did, right? So it stands to reason that we will probably see more TD passes under PJ than CG. Hmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Jerrard Tarrant Update

More details are starting to emerge. Read it yourself. I'm not going to try and draw any conclusions at this point. We'll just let things play out..........

Football - GT Player Arrested

Georgia Tech freshman Jerrard Tarrant was arrested last Friday on rape and sodomy charges. Uhhh, not good. Here's what we know about the alleged incident:

- reportedly occurred before 4:15am April 25.
- victim reported it in the morning on April 25
- reportedly happened at Undergraduate Living Center
- no weapons used per GT police incident report
- reported to Dekalb County police
- Tarrant arrested Friday June 27
- Tarrant released on $40,000 bond
- Monday, Tarrant was suspended by Paul Johnson indefinitely, pending the legal outcome
- Tarrant's legal team has been investigating the facts for awhile.

Tarrant's lawyer, Charles Lea, had the following statement:

"He is in fact, innocent. We have done some extensive investigations, interviewed numerous witnesses in this case and at the proper time we fully intend to present our defense, the real version of events, what happened in this case," - Charles Lea

Tarrant's facebook page had the following statement per the AJC:

“Jerrard Tarrant is truly MISUNDERSTOOD, when will they see the real me????”

Honestly, there are no real details that are public right now. Most are timeline related and what happened to Tarrant. As always we have to remember innocent until proven guilty. We sure hope Tarrant is able to clear his name and we hope the alleged victim is ultimately ok if this is true.

Another story had the following statement from Tarrant's lawyer:

'A two month investigation into the claims was conducted. Lab results are pending. “The activity was consensual. The circumstances are such the surrounding facts will show no sexual activity took place against the will of the female,” says Tarrant’s attorney.

Now, I'm no lawyer, but my guess is that Jarrard's facebook page will be changed or coming down soon (if not already). If I were his lawyer, I'd be checking out his entire online life..... quickly. I haven't looked, but can you find his facebook page?

Reading between the timeline, what should we conclude based on the fact that the alleged incident was reported back in April, yet the arrest only happened last week? Did investigators build their case during that time? I've watched enough Law-and-Order. Heck they do it in 30 minutes every time. It's uncanny.

If Tarrant is found guilty, obviously there is no way he sees the field again. However, what scenarios exist that would allow him to see the field this season? Barring dropping the charges, I can't think of one. Even if he's ultimately found not guilty, the legal process will probably still play out too late. What do you think?

Some Hivers speculated that the fact Tarrant was able to get bond so quickly is a good sign, and speculated that this is not typical for rape charges. Somehow, I can't buy that, but I have no idea. Do you?

Let's talk irony. Joe Hamilton is at a low point in his life - at least based on fan perceptions. He quit his job after a multi-charge DUI, drug, etc, etc incident. Based on 2nd hand information from people at the Hive, a guy who has been "brought on staff", maybe to replace Joe, is Lamar Owens Jr. First, I have no confirmation this is true or not. I'm sure we'll hear more on that soon if true. Owens is a guy that played QB for Paul Johnson at Navy.

Here's the irony - Owens Jr was the "victim" of an alleged rape charge that absolutely changed his life..... a bogus rape charge, that in effect ended his collegiate career. He was completely acquitted of charges, but evidently Navy's Naval Academy's superintendent, Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt, decided that he wanted a witch-hunt to appease the feminists who were always on Navy's case when it came to cadet incidents.

According to another affidavit, this one sworn by three other Navy alums who attended Optekar's dinner party, Rempt also said that the consensual-sex and failure-to-obey convictions would be considered felonies, and that they would bar Owens from voting and require him to notify any future employer, for the rest of his life, that he was a convicted felon. (Rempt has disputed the affidavits.)

This despite the fact that the military jury, after a 10-day trial, not only acquitted Owens of rape but also determined after careful deliberation that there should be "no punishment" for his two minor convictions. And despite the fact that but for the bogus rape charge there would have been no general court-martial at all—only administrative discipline under an often-violated regulation prohibiting sex in Bancroft Hall. And despite football coach Paul Johnson's characterization of Owens as the "outstanding leader" of his team, one who "cares about people that are around him" and has "a natural ability that draws people."

How about the outcome. Check it out:

While Owens still faces grave consequences for his minor convictions, his accuser is on her way to graduating and being commissioned. This despite the military jury's implicit finding that she was as guilty as Owens of having sex in Bancroft Hall. Not to mention her serial, admitted underage binge drinking and other violations of Naval Academy rules.

The accuser will go unpunished because Rempt granted her broad testimonial immunity. From behind this shield, she admitted at the trial that she had left Bancroft Hall "about four times" after having signed a muster sheet that she was there, and that hours before the incident with Owens she had consumed "three rum and Diet cokes, two shots of tequila, one shot of Southern Comfort, and a Kamikaze."

In addition, she had occasionally blacked out in a party house in Annapolis that she rented with male and female friends. Sperm—not from Lamar Owens—was found on her comforter in Bancroft Hall. It "could have been the sperm from some guy I was with that was on that blanket," she later said. She was known to have been sexually aggressive with multiple men. Some "victim."

The assessment of all this offered by Reid Weingarten, Lamar Owens's defense lawyer, seems more than fair: "This is a case of political correctness gone totally awry. The academy's otherwise laudable effort to protect its women broke down when their charges proved to be demonstrably and palpably untrue and their target proved to be a young man of uncommon integrity, strength, and character. They tried to make Lamar a poster child, but they picked the wrong case and the wrong kid."

'Rape' and the Navy's P.C. Police
Former Navy QB Acquitted of Rape

Innocent until proven guilty............. but branded whether innocent or guilty. Stigma's live on. We give people second chances, but stigma's don't die.

Interesting that Paul Johnson might have Owens back on his staff here at Georgia Tech. If true, sure could be an interesting guy for Tarrant to talk to. Might even be God's way of adding purpose to lives by bringing them together.......... after all, there are no accidents in life.

GT Fight Song - where does it rank?

Fox Sports writer (and Bleacherreport writer) Justin Goar says that the Georgia Tech fight song is the 3rd best in the nation. Can't argue with that.

No. 3 Georgia Tech
If this were a list of most-fun-fight-songs, "Ramblin Wreck" would be at the top. It's truly a song that should always be associated with Saturdays in the fall. I do wonder when this song was written, how many choices of words they tried that rhymed with "Tech" before they settled on "wreck"? I think after countless hours of debate and coffee and cigarette chasers they went "Ok, 'wreck' is a term that's usually bad, but we're gonna make it good."

Everyone agreed and called it a night. I think it worked. (Actual history may vary).
Link to mp3