While I am very aware of how cliche and cheesy it may sound, I am nevertheless honored to be able to write this, a final salute to Synjyn Days’ career at Georgia Tech. Synjyn is a member of a group of seniors who first saw the field in 2011 - my freshman year - which makes his career particularly nostalgic to me. His career at Tech took him down a long, winding path with many unexpected turns, but his resilience never failed him and he never gave up.
Synjyn was initially recruited in 2010 as a quarterback out of Hillgrove High School, a Class 6A high school just a short drive northwest of Atlanta. He was seen as the successor to Joshua Nesbitt, a tough runner with years of experience running the option. While he did play backup to Tevin Washington in 2011, and even led the Jackets on a scoring drive against georgia, things never quite panned out for him at quarterback.
He moved to A-back the following season and played there for most of his sophomore and junior seasons, occasionally coming in as a wildcat QB for goal line situations. He was used sparingly as a backup A-back, but made an appearance in every game in 2012 and 2013, helping out in any way he could. His stats show a smattering of carries and receptions across these two years, but they don’t show his positive energy and natural leadership abilities that helped the team through a couple of tough seasons.
2014 heralded in a new era for Synjyn as a football player when he made the move to B-back. He and Zach Laskey, dubbed Ebony and Ivory, turned into a sensational B-back tandem, the likes of which has been very entertaining to watch. While Laskey got the majority of the carries at the beginning of the season, Synjyn was called to active starting duty when Zach went down with a shoulder injury before the Pitt game. Synjyn answered the call with three consecutive 100+ rushing yard performances.
Synjyn played a key role in the Jackets’ final four games, helping lead the Jackets to wins over Clemson, georgia, and Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl through stellar performances on the ground and exceptional senior leadership. His finest work may have been his performance in the Orange Bowl, in which he tallied a ridiculous 171 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Synjyn finished the season with 926 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, despite only having started seven games. More importantly, though, he became a driving force of positive energy for a team that had struggled through the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and played an integral part in making 2014 one of the best seasons in Georgia Tech history.
My favorite memories of Synjyn are when he showed just how selfless of a player and how supportive of a teammate he was. Even when the player he was behind on the depth chart made a huge play, he was among the first to greet them on the sidelines and celebrate with them. When Tevin Washington was having a tough game, he was always there with words of encouragement. His priority was always the good of the team.
A selfless player. A relentless B-back. A fan favorite. Thank you for all of your hard work, Synjyn.