Georgia Tech Football Season Preview: THE GOON SQUAD

The Goon Squad are a BAD bunch of men. They don't need helmets -- no time to fear for their own safety when too busy endangering that of others.

Check out our posts on Wide Receivers, Quarterbacks, Special Teams, B-Backs, and A-Backs!

One of the biggest noted points of weakness through Paul Johnson's tenure at Georgia Tech has been the offensive line. Any time the offense has struggled, one of the first units to get blamed was the offensive line for getting blown up. Last year, that took a turn for the better with the breakout of the Goon Squad, as the line exhibited great chemistry and technique, resulting in more effective run blocking and MUCH more effective pass blocking. This year, I've got news for you: it's about to get even better.

Our line returns 5+ starters from last year -- and I say 5+ because at times CPJ has liked to play those positions "by committee", where we have 3-4 tackles or guards who need to see playing time given their level of skill. That being said, our biggest loss is OT Phil Smith, who graduated in May and transferred to UCF for graduate school. The guys we have returning are incredibly athletic, smart, and now have plenty of experience to aid them. Or, as the Goon Squad's Twitter account points out, they're "Bigger than You, Faster than You, Smarter than You." This unit is looking impressive, and they're sure to cause Frank Beamer all kinds of headaches with what he calls "Chop Blocks" (better known as "Cut Blocks").

Individual position breakdowns on deck, after the jump!

Center -- Starting at Center will be RS Junior Jay Finch. Finch is 6'3", 285lbs and is looking to be the anchor of a line he's played a big role in for the past two years. From talking to his buddy and previous mentor Sean Bedford, there's an awful lot of reason to be excited about what he'll bring to the line.

Guard -- RS Junior Will Jackson will line up to Finch's left at guard, while All-ACC RS Senior Omoregie Uzzi will flank him to the right. Jackson measures the same height and weight as Finch (and being in the same signing class, you know they have great chemistry together -- crucial on the O-Line), while Uzzi adds another 15lbs at the same height. Our interior line is strong, and is backed up mainly by Catlin Alford, Nick McRae, and Shaquille Mason.

Tackle -- We're looking at another "by committee" unit this year, as there are 3 good candidates for only two spots. RS Junior Ray Beno (6'2", 295), RS Junior Tyler Kidney (6'2", 262), and RS Sophomore Morgan Bailey (6'4", 295) all will be competing for playing time and may just rotate drives or series. These guys have been really impressive at run blocking for tackles (typically more focused on pass protection).

One thing that really strikes me about this group is how much size we're adding. In the past it was a struggle because our line, while technically sound and generally efficient, was simply smaller than the oafs they were trying to stop (picture is of 6'3", 351 John Jenkins), creating an obstacle nearly impossible to overcome. Now, our guys are bigger -- Finch, Jackson, and Kidney are the only linemen we have listed as less than 290lbs -- meaning the playing field is being leveled when it comes to size, and the technique will really be able to shine.

I'm really excited to see what this team can do on Labor Day. Johnson has said time and time again this offseason that this unit will be as deep as he's ever seen it at Tech, and may be the deepest and most talented on the team. I don't know about you, but I think we'll really like what we're going to see this fall from the Goon Squad -- and Grady will really like the ambulance that's going to be making loops to the visitor's locker room.

Excited about this unit? Think they're overhyped? Think you really wouldn't want to encounter them in a dark alley? Concerned for the well-being of opposing defenses? Let's hear your thoughts.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join From The Rumble Seat

You must be a member of From The Rumble Seat to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at From The Rumble Seat. You should read them.

Join From The Rumble Seat

You must be a member of From The Rumble Seat to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at From The Rumble Seat. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker