Spring Football Preview: Offensive Backfield

Vad Lee Runs for an 81-yard gain against Presbyterian in 2012. - Scott Cunningham

Today's spring preview covers the offensive backfield. Who will be running the ball in 2013?

Welcome to the FTRS spring football preview series, which will be running all this week ahead of the start of spring practice next Monday. We start today by analyzing the offensive backfield: QB, AB, and BB. Remember to keep it locked to this story stream for all the very best in GT spring practice analysis and commentary.

Tentative Pre-Spring Depth Chart

Position First String Second String Third String
QB Vad Lee (R-So) Justin Thomas (R-Fr) Timmy Byerly (R-Fr)
AB Robert Godhigh (R-Sr) Tony Zenon (R-Jr) Deon Hill (R-Jr)
AB B.J. Bostic (R-Jr) Synjyn Days (R-Jr) Dennis Andrews (R-Fr)
BB David Sims (R-Sr) Zach Laskey (Jr) Charles Perkins (R-Jr)

Key Players

You can't mention "Georgia Tech" and "offense" in the same sentence without people thinking of two things: the T.O. and Vad Lee. Lee will be the man this season trying to lead the team back to an elite position and an appearance in the ACC championship game unaided by NCAA bylaws (or fear of the incompetent windbags enforcing them, but that's a whole other article). Lee completed just shy of 50% of his 57 pass attempts last season and rushed for 600 yards in 5-6 games worth of action. That completion percentage should go up with another year of training under his belt and his rushing totals will certainly skyrocket if there's no QB-by-committee with Justin Thomas. Even if Lee and Thomas split time though, there's no question Vad will be the driving force.

David Sims also needs to have a good year. He doesn't have to be Jon Dwyer, but he certainly does have to get three or four yards on the dive every time his number is called. He improved a lot at the end of last year and certainly gave us reason to be hopeful; but then again college football is a perpetual motion machine, its entropy tends toward infinity.

A player I'm calling the number of right now is a young man named Broderick Snoddy, who's somehow not on the depth chart at A-Back. He ran a scorching 10.32 100m the other day which essentially means he can be down the football field in 10 seconds traveling in a straight line. If coach Sisk can get some weight on this young man this summer while he maintains his speed then he could be a major threat at B-Back too.

Expectations

Expectations are obviously high for Lee because of the adoration a sector of the fan base feels for him. A lot of people want him to come and be God; complete 95% of his passes and rush for 2500 yards. While I think we all know that's not going to happen, the beginning of his tenure may be perceived to be a little tumultuous because he's not meeting these wild conjectures. We've actually got a poll down below asking you what you think his offensive production will end up looking like, so do take it. As for the spring, I think VL2 just needs to not screw up. As long as he doesn't lose the job and does well in the spring game, there will be no worry. I the biggest thing people would like to see in the offensive backfield is the B-Back corps step up this year and hit the holes. Like I said earlier, they don't have to pick up 50 yards every down but they do have to make sure opponents can't just sell out the outside and stop the run. The triple option only works if you have three options and the B-Back group (in my opinion) is the only one in a state of flux. The A-Backs, however, are another story. There's plenty of these guys and there will be more than enough carries to go around.

Q&A

>> Who will step into the B-Back role?

Nate Seyz: Snoddy if he can add 15 or 20 pounds while still maintaining his speed, but that's a tall order. Expect Sims to close the spring with the job.

>> Will there be a QB contest between Lee and Thomas?

Nate Seyz: most definitely, but it will just be coach Johnson's way of motivating Vad. I don't think his job is in any real danger unless he gets injured or something else happens.

>> Is there going to be any drama at A-Back?

Nate Seyz: sure as there's 24 hours in the day. There's a million different candidates all vying for two starting postions. It will be fun to watch, and we're certain to come out with the fastest guys. Keep an eye out for Zenon and Godhigh, I have a feeling that's who will be called upon come August 31st.

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