4 updates from Georgia Tech spring practice

Georgia Tech took the Bobby Dodd Stadium field for its 12th spring-practice session Saturday morning. The Yellow Jackets have less than a week remaining before spring practice ends with its annual spring game at the stadium Friday night.

Coach Paul Johnson met with media following the closed scrimmage to offer his observations.

1. Stephen Dolphus inches ahead

In the competition for the No. 3 wide receiver spot, Johnson said, sophomore Stephen Dolphus has the lead, if not much of one. Dolphus didn’t play much in the scrimmage because of an injury, but “he’s done some good things,” Johnson said.

Dolphus is competing with Jair Hawkins-Anderson and Adonicas Sanders to be the third wide receiver behind Brad Stewart and Jalen Camp. The spot is important, as Johnson typically rotates at least three wide receivers. Hawkins-Anderson also is a sophomore. He scored an 80-yard touchdown reception off a hitch route Saturday, Johnson said. Sanders is a redshirt freshman.

They’ll compete in the preseason with incoming freshmen Malachi Carter and Peje’ Harris.

2. Lucas Johnson limited

Quarterback Lucas Johnson took part in the scrimmage, but was restricted to throwing the ball, something of a limitation in the Jackets’ run-heavy offense. Johnson suffered an undisclosed injury earlier in spring practice and missed the second week of the spring before returning Monday.

“We didn’t run any option with him, which makes it hard,” coach Paul Johnson said. “It’s hard to play in this offense if you can’t run the ball. But at least he got a few reps.”

Johnson called it disappointing for his quarterback, as he is in need of the practice time. Lucas Johnson is competing with Tobias Oliver to be the No. 2 quarterback behind TaQuon Marshall. The winner of that competition will get a leg up in the race to be the starting quarterback in 2019 after Marshall completes his eligibility this season.

3. Big play by Askew 

Defensive back Jaytlin Askew made one of the plays of the scrimmage, an athletic interception on a deep ball. It was one of a handful of turnovers secured by the defense, though Johnson said that a couple were the result of B-backs mishandling the ball.

Johnson also said that “overall, (the defense) did better on third downs.”

In the April 7 scrimmage, the defense recorded 20 tackles for loss in a 97-play scrimmage. Turnovers and tackles for loss are a big priority for Johnson for new defensive coordinator Nate Woody.

Asked if he believed the defense was making progress in that direction, Johnson responded, “I hope so. We’ll see. You never know until you start playing. But we’ll see.”

4. Injuries thinning depth

Injuries have piled up through three weeks of spring practice, particularly on the offensive line. Johnson said he wasn’t sure if injured players would be able to return for the spring game.

“I don’t think anybody’s serious, but we’ll see,” he said.

Johnson has not doled out praise for the younger offensive linemen, which was again the case Saturday.

“The guys who have played were decent, and the guys who haven’t played weren’t very good,” he said.

Tech has five offensive linemen who started six or more games last season: Parker Braun, Will Bryan, Kenny Cooper, Jahaziel Lee and Jake Stickler. Among others, there are four scholarship redshirt freshmen: Charlie Clark, Mikey Minihan, Zach Quinney and Boe Tufele.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech trying to keep run going vs. Hokies
Georgia Tech trying to keep run going vs. Hokies

Georgia Tech has a chance to make a piece of history Thursday night against Virginia Tech. With a win, the Yellow Jackets would be the first conference opponent to beat Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium in three consecutive visits, following wins in 2014 and 2016. Going back to the Hokies’ time in the Big East, no league opponent has come to Blacksburg...
Who is Tech commit David Didenko? Coach explains
Who is Tech commit David Didenko? Coach explains

David Didenko, who committed to Georgia Tech Sunday, isn’t the typical junior college basketball player. For one thing, he enrolled at Palm Beach State College despite being academically qualified to play at the Division I level. For another, he was attracting power conference attention before he ever played a minute of the season, his coach...
Georgia Tech’s Joe Anoa’i reveals leukemia diagnosis
Georgia Tech’s Joe Anoa’i reveals leukemia diagnosis

Former Georgia Tech football captain Joe Anoa’i – better known to professional wrestling fans as Roman Reigns – announced Monday that he will take a leave of absence from WWE as he begins treatment for leukemia. Anoa’i, a highly popular star in WWE, relinquished the Universal Championship belt as part of his leave. He made the...
Changes coming to Georgia Tech’s return units
Changes coming to Georgia Tech’s return units

The most recent kickoff that Georgia Tech returned was one that will linger in the memory. Juanyeh Thomas fumbled inside the Yellow Jackets’ 10-yard line to give Duke the ball at the 6-yard line to set up the Blue Devils’ final score in their 28-14 win over Tech two Saturdays ago. The two kickoff returns prior to that in the game weren&rsquo...
Georgia Tech-North Carolina kickoff at 12:15 p.m.
Georgia Tech-North Carolina kickoff at 12:15 p.m.

Georgia Tech has been assigned a 12:15 p.m. kickoff time for its November 3 game at North Carolina. The game will be broadcast on the Raycom Sports network, with a likely Atlanta outlet on CW69. It will be the fifth time this season that the Yellow Jackets will play on either a regional sports network or Raycom. ESPN and ABC’s decision to pass...
More Stories