5 things to know from the Georgia Tech secondary in spring practice


Details gleaned from Monday’s post-practice media availability from Georgia Tech spring practice. The Yellow Jackets are 13 practices with just two remaining, including the spring game Friday.

Trust in the secondary

Having experience in the secondary, where all five starters return (cornerbacks Step Durham and Lance Austin, nickel Lawrence Austin, safeties A.J. Gray and Corey Griffin), enables players to trust in one another more. That’s a primary benefit, as defensive coordinator Ted Roof sees it. Their knowledge of the defensive schemes and of each other allows them to play with an understanding of what the other might do.

They can “know when you can take a chance, know when you can’t, so you’re playing team defense, and that way to know when you can roll the dice a little bit,” Roof said.

Versatile backup

Lamont Simmons is working at both the field and boundary cornerback positions, backing up Durham (boundary) and Austin (field).

“It’s fun, I don’t have to just stick to the boundary, I can also go to the field, so I’ve just been having fun with it,” Simmons said.

Positioning himself to play

Redshirt freshman Ajani Kerr is the No. 4 corner behind Lawrence Austin, Durham and Simmons.

“Ajani’s coming along nicely, continues to compete hard,” cornerbacks coach Joe Speed said. “He’ll stick his nose in there.”

Simmons complimented him for the progress he’s made thus far.

“He redshirted last year but this spring he’s been working pretty hard,” Simmons said. “I can see the growth. It’s shocking to me, but I like it.”

Early-enrollee report

Speed said that early-enrollee freshman cornerback Jaytlin Askew is making mistakes but giving full effort.

“I’m pleased from that standpoint, but everybody’s going to make mistakes,” Speed said. “What are you going to do after the mistake? One, are you going to run full speed, and two, are you not going to give up? He’s shown that he takes a lot of pride in his craft, and when a ball’s completed on him or thrown at him, he wants to compete and do well.”

Taking more turns in spring

One advantage particularly for the two early enrollees, Gentry Bonds and Askew, is that there isn’t as much competition for reps. Cornerbacks Dorian Walker and Meiko Dotson both transferred, leaving the depth chart thinner. Bonds and Askew will be joined in the fall by signees Dameon Williams and Tre Swilling.

“The reps they’re getting in the spring, they’re going to be more spread out come the fall, and we’ll see the guys that show up how fast they can pick it up,” Speed said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

D’Marcus Simonds has big plans for his time at Georgia State  
D’Marcus Simonds has big plans for his time at Georgia State  

School had been snowed out for yet another day, but not practice. It’s the season, and the heat is always on in the gym.  Inside Georgia State’s third-floor court, the Panthers’ star guard was easy to pick out from among the sweaty swirl of teammates. He was the only one who could carry off those warm-up pants, the color open...
What you need to know to enjoy Sunday’s NFL playoffs 
What you need to know to enjoy Sunday’s NFL playoffs 

What: The NFC and AFC Championship Games Why: The winners go to the Super Bowl Jaguars (10-6) at Patriots (13-3), 3:05 p.m. Vikings (13-3) at Eagles (13-3), 6:40 P.M. Jaguars-Patriots, CBS Vikings-Eagles, Fox After this: The Super Bowl is two weeks later, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota.  -- Patriots QB Tom Brady suffered...
Fayetteville’s Christian Coleman sets world record in 60-meter dash
Fayetteville’s Christian Coleman sets world record in 60-meter dash

Christian Coleman headed back to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday, not overly impressed with himself, but thankful to have set the world record in the 60 meters.  “I didn’t really feel like it was one of my best races,” Coleman said after running a world record time of 6.37 seconds in the 60-meter dash at...
Analysis: Duke big men toy with Pittsburgh in easy win
Analysis: Duke big men toy with Pittsburgh in easy win

Wendell Carter Jr. scored in the paint. Marvin Bagley III countered by showing he could drive coast-to-coast for a layup. It appeared at times Saturday as if Duke’s star freshmen were engaged in a friendly contest of trying to outdo each other. While fifth-ranked Duke toyed with lowly Pittsburgh, Carter and Bagley found ways of having fun...
Mike Vrabel named Tennessee Titans head coach
Mike Vrabel named Tennessee Titans head coach

More Stories