Georgia Tech Football: Speculated Post-Spring Depth Chart

Is Dennis Andrews poised to break out at A-Back this year? - Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

With spring practice wrapped up, it's time to take a look at the results on the depth chart.

With the spring game a couple of weeks back, Georgia Tech concluded spring football practice. Spring practice is always a time for depth chart shifting, with some players having departed and others acting as newcomers, while others have made position changes. Whatever the case, there's a lot of moving pieces on the depth chart coming out of any team's spring practice. That being said, here's a little update on where I think things stand.

But first, a couple of qualifying statements...

  • This list does not include any players who have not yet enrolled and did not take part in spring practice.
  • This list does not reflect who I think will start the season. It purely reflects where I think players stand at the current point in time.
  • Some of these spots are populated by multiple players. That means I think they're either too close to call, or used situationally at this point.
  • I'm only designating two strings for each position. If players aren't on here, they're buried pretty far down my depth chart.

Now, without further ado...

Position First String Second String
QB Justin Thomas (R-So)
Timmy Byerly (R-Jr)
Ty Griffin (R-Fr)
Matthew Jordan (Fr)

Prior to the spring, we all would have said that Thomas was pretty clearly the starter, and Byerly pretty clearly the first back-up. I think it's fair to say that this spring, the waters were somewhat muddied on that issue. Byerly came on strong with a solid performance in the spring game (all things considered), and adds a pretty different element from what Thomas does. I think that he and Thomas, as it stands now, share time at the QB position, although the distribution there isn't necessarily determined.

Also to take note of are Ty Griffin and Matthew Jordan. Typically, if a guy had no shot of playing or was almost guaranteed a position change, I'd leave him off of here. That said, Griffin and Jordan are both still on, and with good reason. Griffin in particular impressed me with his athleticism in the spring game. His game is certainly rough around the edges, but with a lot of bright spots in between. I think he's about as good of a third string QB as we can ask for at this point. Similarly, Jordan came in as a true freshman and, although he displayed that he has a lot to learn, also displayed that he can really play at this level. I liked a lot of what I saw from both of these guys, and though they both have room for improvement, I think the future is pretty bright for each.

Position First String Second String
BB Zach Laskey (Sr) Travis Custis (Fr)
Matt Connors (R-Sr)
"Small" AB Deon Hill (R-Sr)
B.J. Bostic(R-Sr)
Tony Zenon (R-Sr)
Dennis Andrews (R-So)
"Big" AB Synjyn Days (R-Sr) Charles Perkins (R-Sr)
Broderick Snoddy (R-Jr)

I think that the running back situation is going to be really interesting this year. At B-Back, there's a pretty clear starter in Laskey. His performance in the spring game really cemented that. His name isn't one many Tech fans are familiar with, but man, can he really carry the ball. The same can be said about the true (ish) freshman Travis Custis. Custis is pretty raw in a lot the finer aspects of his game (pass protection especially), but is dynamic carrying the ball and should see playing time in a number of spots this year. The scenario at B-Back that I find most intriguing is in the case that Laskey is not in the game -- due to exhaustion, injury, etc. In that case, will CPJ play the freshman Custis, or the redshirt senior walk-on Matt Connors? Surely Custis is a better ball carrier there, but CPJ has a record of playing guys at B-Back in the past that can do the little things right moreso than the best ball carrier.

At A-Back, the number you really need to know is the number 5. That's the number of redshirt seniors in the two-deep -- B.J. Bostic, Synjyn DaysDeon HillCharles Perkins, and Tony Zenon. In there with them are the dynamic ball carriers Dennis Andrews and Broderick Snoddy. One thing to watch in this group is the health of Deon Hill -- he suffers from Crohn's Disease, and the extent of his future as it relates to football is very much in question. If he is able to play, I think he starts over Bostic. If not, it'll shake things up quite a bit. At the "Big" A-Back spot (if you will), I think Synjyn Days is pretty clearly starting, with Perkins as his first backup. Perkins may have his action limited by a nagging shoulder injury that's been with him all through college, but expect him to impress when on the field. (Shameless homer, whatever.) Someone else who played a big role in the A-Back spot in the spring game was Tony Zenon. It was good seeing him play well after a lengthy career of little playing time. Might he find a way to play a significant role this spring? That may hinge on the health of Hill.

Position First String Second String
WR Anthony Autry (R-So)
Michael Summers (R-So)
Ricky Jeune (R-Fr)
Antonio Messick (R-Fr)
WR DeAndre Smelter (Sr) Darren Waller (Sr)
Corey Dennis (R-Sr)

I'm not sure how much the depth chart here surprises anyone. Smelter is the obvious starter, coming back as a senior after being the go-to guy last year. He'll be flanked, in most cases, by either Autry or Summers -- as for who starts, for all I know Coach Johnson's going to pick the one that doesn't make him swear first that day in warm-ups. (Or maybe the one that does make him swear first, like it's a game within game day.) Probably the most noteworthy name here is Darren Waller, who somehow went from being a starter to being about the second guy off the bench (for me). Chances are Corey Dennis will play a handful of plays this fall, not making any big plays but not really screwing anything up either. You also might see some of the two redshirt freshmen, although time will tell in what capacity.

Position First String Second String
LT Bryan Chamberlain (R-Jr) Chris Griffin (R-Fr)
LG Trey Braun (R-Jr) Shamire DeVine (R-Fr)
C Freddie Burden (R-So) Thomas O'Reilly (R-Jr)
RG Shaquille Mason (Sr) Nick Brigham (R-So)
RT Chase Roberts (R-So) Errin Joe (R-Jr)

To start, let me repeat myself. I think that this is where the depth chart is right now. That does not necessarily mean this is where I think the depth chart will be when the season starts. I say that because I do not see Bryan Chamberlain starting the season as a starter on our offensive line, and if he does it's likely more of a testament to a lack of depth. I think that (without seeing any freshmen) Chris Griffin will start at OT, and so will Chase Roberts if healthy. If not, Chamberlain will be duking it out with Errin Joe for the other tackle slot, and that could be a pretty close battle. Chamberlain struggles with mental discipline, with a lot of false starts, and even a couple in the spring game. (To be fair to him, there was a large crowd there making quite a lot of noise. #RewriteTheNarrative)

Inside, I really like the duo of seasoned veteran Shaq Mason and Twitter champion Trey Braun. Those guys might be our two best OL right now, and I think they make a pretty nasty tandem on either shoulder of the center. Behind them, the third guy is looking to be Shamire Devine, who's lost around 25lbs to get down to 360 (and yes, you did read that right). He's a beast of an offensive lineman who did a great job in his spring game action. His main downfall right now is simple conditioning -- if he can get that in line this summer, I could see him as a starter at guard, with Trey Braun at tackle.

One thing the spring game made extremely apparent is that replacing Jay Finch at center will be no small endeavor. Currently, Freddie Burden is thought to be the leader, but neither him nor O'Reilly has really established themselves yet as "the guy" at center, so the job is very much up for grabs. In fact, it could happen that Andrew Marshall, Georgia's #1 prospect at center last year, could compete for the job upon arrival this fall.

Do you agree with the above depth chart? Are there any guys who will break out? Are there any guys who will be duds?

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