More material following Georgia Tech's Saturday scrimmage, including coach Paul Johnson addressing Shamire Devine's play, Justin Thomas and Adam Gotsis.
1. Right guard Shamire Devine had a strong scrimmage. At least until Saturday, the position had been something of a quandary for coaches – at least five candidates had been looked at to find a suitable replacement for All-American Shaquille Mason, including Devine.
But, coach Paul Johnson said, Devine “did much better.” It hardly means the competition is over, but Johnson was noticeably encouraged by what he saw from Devine.
“I was very impressed by him,” right tackle Errin Joe said. “He did a good job, stayed in there, moved his feet well and got some good blocks.”
Devine’s potential is considerable, and, as mentioned previously, Tech’s offense has a higher ceiling if Devine can win the job and play well.
2. Johnson on the two weeks of camp practice: “I think we got some things done. You’re never where you’d like to be, but we’ve got 2 ½ weeks to get ready (for the season opener). We’ll get better every day, I hope.”
3. Defensive tackle Adam Gotsis gave praise to tackles Francis Kallon, Patrick Gamble and Jabari Hunt-Days for their progress in camp. (Gotsis mentioned that in camp that he had found out “who’s really about playing and seen a bit of movement on the depth chart, and I followed up with who in particular he had noticed in that regard.) He also named three first-year freshmen, end Anree Saint-Amour and tackles Brentavious Glanton and Kyle Cerge-Henderson.
Gotsis suspected that either Glanton or Cerge-Henderson will play this season and the other will redshirt.
“They’ve been in a good battle all camp,” he said.
I asked Gotsis what he thought about seeing the added depth at tackle and the prospects of being able to get more rest during games, and he gave a characteristic response: “I’m not looking to rest during games. I’m looking to be out there the whole time. It doesn’t bother me; just play hard every chance I get.”
4. Gotsis has 10 more hours and he will earn his management degree in December. It will have taken him 3 ½ years.
5. Quarterback Justin Thomas sounded hopeful about the way he and his receivers have performed in camp, saying that they had been on the same page. Thomas said that wide receiver Micheal Summers had had a great week of practice and improved over the course of practice.
Of freshman Brad Stewart: “He tracks the ball good. He knows how to go up and target it at the right time. He had a good camp, also.”
6. Ball security was exceptional, with one fumble in about 100 snaps. Thomas proposed that, despite the inexperience at the running back spots, the experience that he and Byerly compensates.
“A lot of times, the fumbles, it’s indecisiveness,” he said. “I think we’ve gotten better at that and just making a decision and just going with it.”
(Johnson's less enthusiastic explanation: "There wasn't a lot of people around the ball.")
I asked Thomas if he felt like he had improved at that – making give-pull, pitch-keep decisions – even since spring practice.
Said Thomas, “I felt like I was pretty good at it last year.”
Thomas has kind of a sneaky sense of humor. He’s not quite ready for his own Comedy Central special, but you see it occasionally.