Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football: Key Position Battles to Watch in Spring Practice

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

With spring ball heating up, let's take a look at where the real position battles are happening.

Quarterback

Projected depth chart:

Name Class Height Weight
Justin Thomas R-So 5'11" 185lbs
Tim Byerly R-Jr 6'0" 215lbs
Ty Griffin R-Fr 6'0" 195lbs
Matthew Jordan Fr 6'2" 205lbs

The news out of camp thus far is that this competition is still very much open, with nobody really stepping up and claiming the job yet. That said, it appears to be almost entirely between Thomas and Byerly for the starter spot. In that race, there's no major news -- Thomas has a much higher ceiling, but Byerly is more reliable at this point and the offense probably operates more smoothly when he's at the helms. It's going to be interesting to see what happens if neither guy really jumps up and grabs the job. As much as we've talked about using 2 QB's over the past couple of years, and as little as it's actually happened...I'm not sure Paul Johnson trusts Thomas enough at this point to just hand him the keys to the offense.

B-Back

Projected depth chart:

Name Class Height Weight
Zach Laskey Sr 6'1" 217lbs
Travis Custis Fr 6'0" 207lbs
Matt Connors R-Sr 6'0" 205lbs
Donovan Wilson Fr 6'0" 215lbs

Similar to above, this is looking like a two-horse race, although it could possibly end up a little more complicated. Zach Laskey, the incumbent after the graduation of David Sims, would appear to be the clear starter this fall as it stands -- and that's a good thing. Laskey is a solid back who does everything well outside of pass blocking, and I think he's an underrated player who's quietly become a playmaker for the Jackets over the last couple of years. He's likely to be trailed by incoming freshman Travis Custis, who has a lot to learn about the offense but a fearsome ballcarrier. This "race" is likely more one for playing time at B-Back, where the two will be battling for a greater share of snaps and carries.

Weakside "Rush" Defensive End

Projected depth chart:

Name Class Height Weight
Jabari Hunt-Days R-Jr 6'3" 249lbs
Chaz Cheeks R-Jr 6'4" 232lbs
KeShun Freeman Fr 6'1" 223lbs
Travin Henry R-So 6'3" 225lbs

This might be the one position on the team that's a complete free-for-all, and that's before we add three more candidates to the mix. Jabari Hunt-Days gets my nod at the spot for now, just because he's a two-year starter on defense that I think they're going to try and keep on the field wherever possible. That, plus his freakish athleticism, I think make him a good candidate here. (That being said, if I were to slot him at DE, it'd be at SDE -- but that wouldn't be a good way to get him on the field given Tyler Stargel's hold on the slot.) He's followed up by the career backup Chaz Cheeks, who honestly might be a bit underrated due to his history with the team. The freshman KeShun Freeman, in my book, would probably play a niche role of third-down pass-rusher, given his speed relative to the two guys above him. The group will get even more confusing when we add the transfer Kenderius Whitehead and the prodigy Antonio Simmons in summer workouts.

Who is your favorite to win these position battles? Which battles are we missing on?

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