Tackles have Experience and Versatility

Coach Todd Spencer nurtured the Georgia Tech offensive tackles through an injury riddled season and is now looking forward to having four healthy players return. All four have either started or have game experience and Coach Spencer likes the sound of that.

Georgia Tech lost Brad Sellers but return a healthy Nick Claytor and Phil Smith following a year marred by injuries. "I'm real pleased with the way they're learning the details of the position and grinding through the fundamentals right now." Coach Spencer and Sewak are both please with the way they're learning the details and they're hoping to keep the learning curve moving upward.

The work ethic is something that has stood out thus far to Coach Spencer. "We're never satisfied but they're out there working hard and pushing through it. Coach Spencer likes the fact that there is competition at the position and thinks that will help them improve.

The summer conditioning program was seen as a positive for what Coach Spencer has seen thus far with the offensive line. "They did a good job of working and conditioning this summer and it shows." Tackle Austin Barrick shared Coach Spencer's feelings on the conditioning program. "The summer was tough and the program was somewhat similar to Coach (Eric) Ciano's program and everybody did a good job."

Not only does Coach Spencer have four players with experience to work with at the tackle position but he also has four versatile players. "They've all played, especially Phil and Nick, both sides of the line the past two years so they can play both sides of the line."

As things stand now it looks like we'll be seeing all of them (Smith, Claytor, Barrick, Krish) getting reps. "All those guys are playing and we don't know who the starters are yet and Coach (Paul) Johnson will decide that and Coach (Mike) Sewak and I will have some interjection," said Coach Spencer. "Those guys are really competing hard for the starting spots and right now I see good competition."

The offensive line also has the addition of two freshmen in Catlin Alford and Morgan Bailey. It still hasn't been determined where they'll be playing. "Both of them are good athletes and have good bend and flexibility and have real strong hands." Coach Spencer has seen improvement in both players since arriving at Georgia Tech. "They're both dialed in and good meeting room guys."

One of the veterans at the tackle position is redshirt senior Austin Barrick. Barrick likes what he's seen so far coming out of the spring. "We saw how everyone had progressed in the spring and I think everyone is going to get better in the fall," said Barrick. "The past couple of years getting everyone in the system and now they're comfortable with the offense and we know what we're doing so things are really looking up for us." Now that the Jackets have the tackles that are comfortable with the system, Barrick knows how important it is to keep everyone healthy. "I think we have four guys right now that could start at any time so we have some depth there but in order to have a good football team we need to have everybody healthy."

Barrick enters his final season in good health and will start the season weighing 285. Austin will be primarily used on the right side of the line as the Jackets prepare for the upcoming season. He and his line teammates do, however know each other's assignments which will be a plus for the line this season. "You can tell a big difference from when Coach Johnson first arrived and everything feels real fluid." Barrick and his offensive line teammates are excited about the possibility of playing for their second consecutive ACC title.

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