Interview with Coach Dave Wommack

Georgia Tech completed the third week of preseason practice today with a short scrimmage. GoJackets.com met with Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack following today's scrimmage to find out how his players are progressing for Jacksonville State.

How has the defense progressed during fall camp?

"I think the ones have made a lot of progress. That's only natural. They feel confident. They have the ability to go against the option so we can convert back and forth from conventional and we can tweak against the option. About half the twos are where we want them to be. They're getting closer to where we want them to be. To say we're twenty two deep across the board, we're not there yet. We have some young players, some freshmen that are going to be in the two deep. We need to bring them along before we break into the scout team."

Who would those players be?

"The top guys are Julian Burnett at linebacker, Izaan Cross on the front, and on the back Jemea Thomas and Roderick Sweeting seem to be the farthest along right now."

At the safety position you don't have much experience beyond Dominique Reese, Morgan Burnett and Cooper Taylor - if you move him back there. Have you seen any progress with the backups?

"We're still in a situation where we're going to have to work combinations. Dominique is going to have to play some 'husky' and free safety for us. So can Cooper and Rashaad can play some 'husky' or strong safety if you will or corner for us. I think Jemea has come the farthest for us. He's going to be in the two deep."

What has Jerrard Tarrant added to your defense?

"I've seen him make a lot of progress and make a lot of plays out there. You hate to jump out on that limb because he's never played a down of college football. I'm pleased with where he's at. We'll wait and see what happens with him."

Can you talk about the opinion that playing against the option won't prepare us for teams with conventional offenses?

"I've always said this and it's probably getting old but it makes you tougher as a defense because they come at you with their blocks and it forces you to put your eyes in the right place, which is great training to go against any offense. As a defensive player or a defensive coach, I don't know what more you could ask for. As far as practicing, we get to work against conventional and organize so we're ready to go before the first game."

With Ben Anderson missing some days, has that allowed anyone to step up and get some good reps while he was out?

"I think T.J. Barnes has stepped it up the last two weeks. He's probably not as consistent as we want him to be, but he's gotten better in the last two weeks. Logan Walls and some of those guys too because you're going to have to play two deep. It's given them an opportunity to get more reps. That's been good."


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