Despite playing baseball, Roddy Jones was still part of the summer workouts. With strength coach Eric Ciano moving on to the Buffalo Bills, his assistant Neal Peduzzi took over the program and changed things up a little. "We've seen a difference in the conditioning workouts and he's been working us pretty hard."
With last season's starting A Back Anthony Allen moving to the starting B Back position, don't expect the Jacket A Backs to miss a beat. "I think we'll have four or five guys getting a lot of time." Jones, Embry Peeples, Marcus Wright, Orwin Smith, and maybe somebody else like Robbie Godhigh or even Charles Perkins," said Jones. "We have a lot of guys who can make some big plays." With the returning veterans back, Georgia Tech should have another strong group at the A Back position this season.
Jones returns for his junior season healthy and not having to worry about the injury that plagued him last season. "It was something that happened before the season and set me back a little bit." Playing with a cast on his wrist hindered Jones in carrying the ball as the cast hindered his mobility with his wrist and hand.
The emphasis in the spring for the A Backs and Jones was catching ball. "I felt like two years ago I caught the ball real well but last year I was hindered and I didn't but catching the ball has definitely been an emphasis for us."
The Georgia Tech offensive line will be breaking in a new set of guards on the offensive line with the graduation of Cord Howard and the transfer of Joseph Gilbert. "I think Omoregie (Uzzi) is going to do a great job for us and Nick McRae is going to do a good job as well." The Jackets also return starting center Sean Bedford and tackles Phil Smith, Nick Claytor, and Austin Barrick. All three tackles have started games for the Jackets.
A healthy Smith and Claytor will be important to the success of this year's team. "Both missed time last year and I think it hurt us down the stretch." Both players enter the upcoming season healthy and ready to lead the offensive attack that has led the ACC in rushing in Coach Paul Johnson's first two years at Georgia Tech.
After winning the ACC championship last season, it's understood that winning again is a goal of this year's team. Much has been written about the Jackets chances of repeating this year with most projections having the Jackets finishing in the middle of the pack. "I've seen a lot of people write us off because of the four juniors leaving early for the pros." Look for the Tech team to come into this season with a chip on their shoulder to prove that they have what it takes to repeat.
The 2010 Georgia Tech team is one that has been described as scrappy. They learned a lot from their experience from last season of winning close games and learning to play the entire game. "We're an experienced team at a lot of positions and we have a lot of guys coming back on offense and we've learned how to win games." The players returning learned how to hold leads, how to win close games, and were in just about every position a team could be in last season. "Working off those experiences will definitely help us and as long as we have Josh (Nesbitt) under center, I think we have a chance to win every ballgame."