2007 ACC Preview: Georgia Tech

After four years, Georgia Tech fans finally get their wish and that's the removal of Reggie Ball as quarterback due to his expulsion of his eligibility.

2006 RECORD: 9-5 overall, 7-1 ACC (Coastal Division Champs).

HEAD COACH: Chan Gailey 61-38 overall in eight seasons; 37-27 in five seasons at Georgia Tech.

RETURNING STARTERS: Offense: 7; Defense: 8.

KEY SIGNEES: QB Josh Nesbitt, QB Steven Threet, RB Jonathan Dwyer, S D.J. Donley, OT Nick Claytor, DE Derrick Morgan, S Morgan Burnett, DE Jason Peters, WR Willie White.

KEY LOSSES: WR Calvin Johnson, QB Reggie Ball, OT Mansfield Wrotto, DT Joe Anoai, LB KaMichael Hall, CB Kenny Scott.

OFFENSE: After four years, Georgia Tech fans finally get their wish and that's the removal of Reggie Ball as quarterback due to his expulsion of his eligibility. Taylor Bennett is now the quarterback and fans couldn't be happier. He throws better passes than Ball, is more accurate and appears to have better decision making abilities. He doesn't have the running and scrambling capabilities as Ball, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The one thing hampering Bennett is the loss of stud receiver Calvin Johnson. Junior receiver James Johnson will likely be the new go-to guy, with sophomore Greg Smith filling the role as the second receiver. Also, with Bennett, look for the Yellow Jackets to incorporate the use of the tight end to a greater degree. There are three seniors on the offensive line, which is a good sign, especially for star senior running back Tashard Choice, who was 13th in the nation in rushing last year.

DEFENSE: This was a very good unit last season, which ranked 27th in the nation last year. And with nine starters returning, there's no reason why the defense can't be even better. The defense is anchored by senior defensive ends Darrell Robinson and Adamm Oliver, who look to be one of the best tandems in the nation. The linebackers are pretty solid with senior Gary Guyton and Phillip Wheeler leading the way. The other spot will be held down by either a freshman or sophomore. The secondary is the big question mark on defense. The main issue is at cornerback. There doesn't look to be any solutions as Avery Roberson, Pat Clark and Jahi Word-Daniels aren't exactly studs and would be hard pressed to be starters on any other team in the league. It's unclear if star freshman Laurence Marius, who left the team due to depression, will return. If he does, that would solve one of the corner positions.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – Number of touchdowns Taylor Bennett threw against West Virginia in his only start last season.


WR James Johnson



LB Philip Wheeler



RB Tashard Choice


OTHER ACC PREVIEWS:
* Duke

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