After his team’s first scrimmage of the preseason Aug. 8, Georgia Tech A-back Broderick Snoddy watched the video and saw a player he didn’t quite recognize.
The way he was running, blocking and engaging defenders, he said, "that just wasn't how I played (last year)," Snoddy said.
He wasn’t taking tacklers head on, he said, the way he was doing when he turned into a ruthless playmaker midway through Tech’s 2014 season, when he showed facility in both running past linebackers and defensive backs and running them over.
“After the first scrimmage, I was kind of hard on myself, because I was expecting more,” he said.
Those familiar with Snoddy’s career are likely willing to cut him a break. In the Clemson game last November, he suffered a broken-leg injury that ended his season. Snoddy was cleared to return over the summer, but acknowledged the mental side of the rehabilitation is still ongoing. He said he is still adjusting to getting hit and planting hard with his left foot. The process has been a little more intensive than perhaps he thought. At the start of camp, Snoddy said he was “ready to go.”
Again, the mental challenge is not surprising and certainly understandable. Snoddy does see himself making progress, though. He knows that, as he put it, “the clock is winding down” in the preseason. Tech opens the season Sept. 3 against Alcorn State. He is aware, too, of his responsibility to set an example for a fleet of young A-backs.
He is an important piece in the Tech offensive machine, as well. Snoddy is the only A-back with significant experience in the offense, possessing valuable familiarity with the ins and outs of the scheme. He is also likely the most dangerous playmaker in the group. Last season, he averaged 10.1 yards per carry on 28 attempts. He was at his best against Pittsburgh, carrying six times for 82 yards and three touchdowns.
Coach Paul Johnson said that he hasn’t noticed much change.
“He’s about like he was a year ago,” Johnson said. “No big difference. He’s a year older, probably a little more mature. He’s married.”
(Snoddy also is closing in on business administration degree. In addition to an internship at Barton Executive Search, Snoddy will only need to carry three credit hours in order to graduate in December.)
After the first scrimmage, Snoddy said he committed himself to taking practice repetitions with the same focus and speed that he does snaps in an actual game with the hopes of transferring that to the preseason scrimmages and ultimately to the regular season.
“The second scrimmage (this past Saturday) was a lot better,” he said. “Got a lot of things corrected as far as cutting and knowing my assignments and going fast.”