This will be the third season in the new system for Sean Bedford and the offensive line and the line is starting to include lineman that have been recruited for Coach Johnson's system. We're getting guys that can move and are strong," said Bedford. "We're also seeing bigger guys that may not have been able to play at Navy because of the rigorous physical requirements."
Two players that fit that mold and have a chance to start this season are Omoregie Uzzi and Nick McRae. "You look at a guy like Uzzi who's built like a house and is a bulldozer and I get excited seeing that," said Sean. "We also have guys like Zach Krish and Nick McRae who are big and strong and can still get downfield." Because of those players and others like Raymond Beno and Will Jackson, Bedford feels they have a lot to be excited about.
Taller players like Nick Claytor and Phil Smith also have a place in the system. Height is not necessarily a disadvantage. They've learned to get downfield and have worked on being more mobile," said Bedford. "Nick had troubles with the veer system but he's gotten that down now and he had to lose some weight to get there but it's really paid off for him and he's really working hard."
The Jackets return three starters along the offensive line as they head into the preseason. How will they compare to last year's offensive line? "I don't see us having a starting five right now," said Sean. "I see us having a starting eight or nine." The line is a close knit group and they have a lot of confidence in each other."
One position that will get a lot of attention in the preseason will be the center position and trying to develop a backup center for Bedford. The player in question looks to be redshirt freshman Jay Finch. "He's come a long way despite struggling in the beginning with timing issues." Finch has really worked hard in the off-season. "He's been out there snapping with me and Tevin (Washington) and (Joshua) Nesbitt and I think he's going to have a bright future for us."
There has been some cause for concern with the numbers along the offensive line with two players transferring and one leaving school. "You go to battle with what you have and I think we have a good group of guys and we'll go out there and give it our best and see what happens."
The players have been paying attention to the activities at the ACC Kickoff and especially to the voting on the division winners. The Jackets were picked to finish third in the Coastal and that didn't go unnoticed by the players. "It gives us a lot of motivation."
Since Coach Paul Johnson has been at Georgia Tech the players haven't had a hard time buying into the scheme or the mentality. "I don't think the national media has necessarily bought into it," said Bedford. "As long as people keep downing us we're going to have to keep proving them wrong."
The team was not surprised by the results of the voting based on the players they've lost but at the same time they are confident with the players they have returning. "We have a group that is willing to fight and there are no prima donnas on this team and we're going to use the results as motivation." The team as a whole learned that they need to play right up until the final whistle. "We're not a team that wins in a pretty way and we have to be ready to play four quarters and fight every weekend."
The schedule more so than the loss of players may be a factor in how this year's team does. "We have a tough road schedule for sure but you have to go out and take care of your business." Can the Georgia Tech fans give the team the same home field advantage that they'll face on the road? "I think we have a very loyal and passionate fan base and they've made our stadium as loud as stadium's that have 30,000 or 40,000 more in seating capacity." Bedford and the team are looking for the fans to give them that advantage every game.