Throughout spring the two main question areas for the 2019 Georgia Tech football are the offensive and defensive lines. After losing, not only a great person, but a fantastic player in Brandon Adams, the defensive line questions have grown. While the coaching staff searches for pieces to build the defensive line, there is one player taking advantage of the “position flexibility” that has been preached by the coaching staff all spring.
Jahaziel Lee has seemed to make the most of getting reps on the defensive side of the ball. Since Lee got on campus, he has pretty much been a plug and play tackle for the offense, he even got some time at center last season. With the change in scheme, his mean streak, and the chip he plays with, Lee seems to be better suited on the defensive line more than the offensive line.
He played both in high school. He showed us some of his defensive skills running with the gold team defense in the spring game. In the time he got, he managed to get a couple sacks, and also force a fumble on a scramble from James Graham. Lee will be a player to watch as the team heads into summer workouts, then into fall camp. He looked like a veteran defensive lineman out there on Friday and he will only get better with more reps there. Lee could be one of the surprise position flips that actually ends up sticking with the opposite side of the ball from where he started spring.
The Georgia Bulldogs take on the Auburn Tigers at 7:00 in Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs are favored by 13 points in this clash between number 5 and 24. Both teams have rebounded nicely in the last few weeks following their losses. After getting crushed in the Bayou against LSU, the Dawgs look like a brand new team with two straight ranked wins against Florida and Kentucky. The Tigers meanwhile have also won two straight after it looked like their season was headed towards disaster. Ones teams winning streak however will be snapped tonight.
Keys to the game:
The talented Auburn quarterback has been relatively inconsistent this season, with games ranging from good to horrendous. Recently though, Stidham has looked like he has gotten back to throwing the ball well, with 415 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last two weeks. Luckily for the Dawgs, the Auburn offensive lines has some holes, and the Dawgs pass rush has come alive. If they can get constant pressure to assist the secondary, Georgia should be able to keep Stidham and the Auburn offense in check.
Let Fromm keep rolling
After his poor performance in LSU game, many Dawgs fans called for freshman Justin Fields to take his job. However, Fromm turned it around with excellent performances against the Gators and Wildcats. The Dawgs should allow him to play his game and keep the offense rolling. If Fromm can keep up his recent work, the Dawgs should have no problem outscoring a mediocre Auburn offense.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have their biggest game of the season against the Miami Hurricanes when the game kickoffs at 7pm on ESPN2.
The Yellow Jackets are coming into this game winning their previous 2 ACC matchups and keeping their hopes alive for bowl season and potentially win the ACC Coastal; if provided the help they need from other teams.
In 4 of the last 5 games the offense has really found themselves, scoring at least 30 points and putting up unbelievable numbers on the ground. This has been sparked by Tobias Oliver showing he can run Paul Johnson’s offense the triple option has looked great!
Miami is coming into this game losing their previous three games. With their recent struggles they have announced N’kosi Perry as the starting quarterback for this game. Rosier will be benched but we can expect to see both tonight.
With the 3 losses Miami went from running the ACC Coastal to hoping they make a bowl game. They do have an advantage in this game since Mark Richt has a good track record against the Yellow Jackets.
This game will be about who wants it more and also could be a revenge game for Georgia Tech considering what happened last year when they let the game slip away in the 2nd half.
With the commitment from Emery, this is Georgia’s fifth 5-star prospect to commit for the class of 2019. The addition of Emery will move Georgia up to No. 3 nationally in the recruiting rankings of 247Sports.
Emery is ranked as the the No. 2 running back in the nation and No. 31 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Emery will be a huge addition to the already powerhouse backfield in Athens.
Georgia is the only program in the nation to have commits from three or more 5-star prospects in the 2019 class according to DawgNation. And Justin Fields wants credit for his recruiting talents.
Ever since Georgia Tech hired Paul Johnson way back before the 2008 season, the Georgia Tech football program has seen just about everything you can imagine. From ACC Champions in 2009 (later vacated) to winning just 3 games in 2015 in one of the most injury filled seasons I have ever seen. Regardless if you like Paul Johnson or not, if you look at the stats, his decade at the Flats has been one of the more decorated ones in recent Georgia Tech history.
Over the course of the next few weeks leading up to Gameday against Alcorn State, we will be counting the top 10 moments over the course of Paul Johnson’s ten years walking the sidelines at Grant Field.
10. Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech 2014
To kick things off with the countdown we are going to take a trip back in time to Blacksburg, Virginia during the incredible and dramatic finish filled season.
Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech had usually been a Thursday night game but in 2014 it was a Saturday afternoon game, which was a blessing to us Georgia Tech fans because we know how cursed this team seems to be while playing weekday games.
Georgia Tech had not won in Blacksburg since 2006 and were looking to improve on their 3-0 record at the time. Virginia Tech came into the game at 2-1 after losing to Eastern Carolina the week before but toppled #8 Ohio State the week before that. The bad luck in Blacksburg and vs Virginia Tech in general (had won 6 of the last 7 against GT then) was seeming to continue.
Georgia Tech fell behind 13-3 in the second quarter after a Marshawn Williams TD run. Georgia Tech closed the gap to 16-10 at the half but they did let the Hokies drive down the field in 45 seconds before the half to add on a field goal to their lead.
After each team was held scoreless in the third, pure chaos ensued in the 4th quarter. Linebacker PJ Davis intercepted VT quarterback Michael Brewer and returned it for a touchdown to give the Jackets the lead and seemed to give the Jackets all the momentum. Yet, Virginia Tech had one more bag in their trick and, at the time, Georgia Tech fans were feeling like their team just find new ways to lose to the Hokies. Virginia Tech was driving in GT territory until Shai McKenzie coughed it up but the ball bounded straight to quarterback Michael Brewer who was just following the play and he ran it in for the touchdown.
Justin Thomas and Paul Johnson still got the last laugh. After converting what seemed to be a do or die 4th and 15, Justin Thomas led a fierce drive that was capped with a 31 yard Deandre Smelter Touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game to tie things up.
The Jackets defense still needed to get that stop to at least force OT, but DJ White had other plans. On the first play that VT had the ball to try to win it, Big Play DJ White came up with an acrobatic interception that I can still remember today how he broke off his coverage to intercept that pass.
Justin Thomas and crew had the ball at the VT 45 after a false start with 1:55 left. Again, Georgia Tech fans were thinking that they may have missed their chance as the Jackets faced a 3rd and 7 at the VT 37, but again Justin Thomas made a play as he threw a dart to DeAndre Smelter for 18 yards.
Georgia Tech got the ball down to the 7 yard line with 3 seconds left and the game was coming down to the foot of the Georgia Tech all-time leading scorer, Harrison Butker. Butker sent the 24 yard FG through the uprights and a dog pile ensued on the field. As a GT fan it felt like a huge weight was off of our back but for this team it was a momentum building win that sparked an incredible 2014 run.
Throughout this series I will include an Honorable Mention at the end of a couple of the articles of moments/games that didn’t quite make my cut.
This moment took 4,000 miles away in Ireland. Georgia Tech and Boston College met up for an opening weekend showdown in Dublin, Ireland in 2016. A defense filled game between two teams coming off extremely unlucky 2015 seasons that desperately needed a win to build confidence.
Georgia Tech trailed late, 14-10, but the Jackets were driving against a top tier Boston College defense. After converting a 3rd and 10, the Jackets continued to drive deep inside Boston College territory and eventually found themselves at the 4 yard line. Paul Johnson trusted his true Freshman B-back with the game. Mills took the B-Back pitch from senior Justin Thomas and lowered his shoulder into a Boston College linebacker and powered his way into the endzone which proved to be the game winner after the GT defense forced a fumble on BC’s ensuing possession.
This game was a huge momentum builder for the Jackets which proved to be a nice bounce back season for Paul Johnson and crew.
Tune in next for when we release moment number 9 under Paul Johnson!
Bret Anderson: @Bret_A27
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The Atlanta Falcons selected a total of 6 players during the 2018 NFL Draft. Starting out with wide receiver Calvin Ridley out of Alabama that will become the Falcons third wide receiver on the depth chart. Ridley will give the Falcons another deep threat outside of Julio Jones that could potentially take the top off of opposing defenses. With the departure of Taylor Gabriel, the Falcons needed a player who could win his match-up and allow for more one-on-one match-ups for Julio Jones to win and take the pressure off of him. Ridley is currently being compared to Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison.
With the 58th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons selected cornerback Isaiah Oliver out of Colorado.
Oliver has an impressive wingspan of 33 1/2 inches. This length allows him to contest a lot of jump balls which his film reflects. The Falcons have been looking for a cornerback to push Robert Alford inside to nickel for a while now. Jalen Collins would have been that guy but he did not pan out because of his off-the-field issues. Oliver was considered as a fringe first round talent which makes this pick even more impressive. Oliver should start alongside Desmond Trufant in nickel packages with Alford covering the slot receiver. This move would push Brian Poole to dime packages which would give the Atlanta Falcons some great cornerback depth.
In the 3rd round the Falcons selected defensive tackle Deadrin Senat out of South Florida.
Atlanta selects Deadrin Senat with the 90th overall pick – he ranked second in run-stop percentage among draft-eligible interior defenders in 2017 (12.5) pic.twitter.com/yRsfNuqi9u
Senat is built almost exactly like Grady Jarrett. Senat will immediately come in and play 1T in the base defense. Deadrin Senat ranked 2nd in PFF rankings for run stop percentage. Senat was also tied for 4th with 30 total run stops among this years defensive lineman. If replacing Dontari Poe was on your board this is exactly how you do it with this selection.
With the 120th overall pick the Atlanta Falcons selected running back Ito Smith from Southern Mississippi.
Smith is in the mold all three falcons running backs Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and formally Terron Ward. Smith is a shifty back that forced 182 missed tackles out of 829 total touches. Ito Smith is thought of to be the eventual replacement for Tevin Coleman who is in contract year. For this year, think of Smith as competition for the open returner spot the Falcons have and special teams support.
The Falcons traded their two 7th round selections to the Los Angeles Rams to move up into the 6th round. The two players they selected were wide receiver Russell Gage and hybrid linebacker/safety Foyesade Oluokun. Gage is a sort of a gadget player but appeared to be very good in that role. Gage is a converted cornerback so he may be put back at that position in the NFL if Dan Quinn sees fit. Dan Quinn is on record for converting wide receivers into cornerbacks with ex-Falcon C.J. Goodwin and current Falcon Deante Burton.Gage fits immediately as a special teams ace and an eventual 5th receiver on the depth chart. Foye is built in the Kemal Ishmael mold as a player who can play safety but come down and hit when asked. According to sources Foye will be tried out at multiple positions including offense. Foye is a jack of all trades master of none type of player. Look for Oluokun to be purely special teams depth in his first season as an Atlanta Falcon.
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