Spring is in full-swing here in Atlanta, and that means warmer weather (excluding temperatures in the thirties yesterday morning), NFL draft preparation (and speculation), and just a few more months until football kicks off. It also means there is a lot of activity to cover, so here we go!
Athlon Sports released their article rating the ACC's best quarterbacks, and Justin Thomas did not get a lot of love despite being a near perfect fit for Paul Johnson's option offense. They had Thomas rated at ninth out of fourteen starting quarterbacks in the ACC, and while this is not necessarily a bad place for him, I could easily see him being ranked as high as seventh (ahead of Syracuse's Terrel Hunt and NC State's Jacoby Brissett) and I am very excited to see what he will do in his first season as a starter (assuming he wins the starting job). I would even go so far as to say that Thomas has the potential to be better than Vad Lee was expected, and he certainly has the skills to be able to stun the ACC and have a big impact this season; as we saw last year, he is a threat to take it all the way every time he touches the ball. It was also brought to my attention while reading the comments yesterday that Vad Lee had begun to exhibit a "Reggie Ballesque tendency to run backwards" (full credit to jabbajacket for that gem of an analogy) and Justin Thomas doesn't backtrack nearly as much as Vad Lee while carrying the ball.
Georgia Tech is now projected to be a number two seed at the Tuscaloosa Regional as their resume of impressive series victories continues to grow by the week. Perfect Game has the Jackets headed down to Crimson Tide territory along with the Lipscomb Bison and the Indiana State Sycamores, both of which are predicted to win their respective conferences and earn an automatic berth. While it is unlikely that the prediction itself is totally accurate, it is very encouraging for the Jackets to be recognized as a potential tournament team in light of their success lately. The dawgs are currently projected to be a three seed in the Seattle Regional. Emphasis on "REGIONAL". Geography never has been a strong suit up in Athens.
Bleacher Report, which is trying its hardest to make up for predicting a blowout in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, has named Georgia Tech's spring game as one of the top fifteen for week three. They again reiterated what I said earlier, which is that Justin Thomas has the potential to be very successful, but they still have a long way to go before any Georgia Tech fan will forgive them for the comments made about the rivalry blowout. (In case you missed it and have no clue what I'm talking about, have a look here.)
Josh Heath, the former USF point guard who is set to transfer to Tech, could begin to play a significant role for the Jackets as soon as this season. He averaged 2.6 points and 3.6 assists per game during his freshman season with USF last year as a backup after an injury to the team's original starter and is poised to help out with depth on the Jackets' roster for 2014. There are a number of situations in which Heath could become much more than depth at the point guard position, especially if Travis Jorgenson's recovery schedule is slowed down or an injury is incurred by either Jorgenson or Corey Heyward, but for now it appears that he will most likely start the season as the third option at guard. Heath is cut from the same fabric as Corey Heyward and Travis Jorgenson (a pass-first point guard) and will hopefully help orchestrate the Georgia Tech offense, which has at times been flat out stagnant, find a better rhythm in 2014.
Just in case you missed the Knicks-Nets game Tuesday night (like most people), please know that Iman Shumpert did some insane things that only I had been known to do previously, including crossing up Paul Pierce and taking a ridiculous alley-oop off the glass from Toure Murry, both of which you can see below. You've made us all proud, Shump!
To finish up today, I would like to present the loyal FTRS readers with an interesting and highly debatable question which arose when the 49ers' Aldon Smith made a false bomb threat at LAX a few days ago; if Smith was a "lower roster player", would he have been released already and is he only still around because of his immense talent? It is certainly a question that has been faced in college football as well as in the NFL, so what do you all think? Be sure to share in the comments! The following tweet is what got me thinking about it:
Re Aldon Smith/49ers: the NFL is not a democracy. Were he down-the-roster player, would be long gone. More talent = more tolerance.
— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) April 14, 2014
Thanks for reading, have a great day, and Go Jackets!