Georgia Tech released an updated team roster this week in anticipation of the beginning of spring practice next week, and there were two noticeable omissions that confirm some long-held suspicions by Yellow Jacket fans. Redshirt seniors OL Thomas O'Reilly and DE/LB Chaz Cheeks are both missing from the list, indicating that they have been removed from the team.
Cheeks was a longtime backup at Georgia Tech, playing limitedly over the last two years after not seeing the field as a true or redshirt freshman. He moved around some, from linebacker in Al Groh's 3-4 scheme to defensive end and even some defensive tackle in Ted Roof's scheme. Over the last two seasons, Cheeks checked in to a total of 12 games, recording one half tackle for a loss against Alabama A&M in 2013 and breaking up a pass against Tulane in 2014. Those were the entirety of his career statistics.
O'Reilly began his career at Auburn in 2011 with a redshirt season before he transferred to Georgia Tech to be a little closer to home. After sitting out 2012 to fulfill NCAA transfer rules, O'Reilly played in 6 games each during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In 2013, he spent time as starting center Jay Finch's backup, but became buried in the depth chart throughout the 2014 season.
Both players should be set to graduate this spring or summer, and may seek a fifth year of eligibility elsewhere immediately after completing their studies. Neither player figured to play much of a role in position battles this spring.
Attrition of some variety was expected when the coaching staff signed 27 recruits in the 2015 recruiting class, two more than numbers would have typically allowed for. QB Jaylend Ratliffe was confirmed to be enrolling with the 2016 class, but a potential return of Jabari Hunt-Days would require the early departures of at least two players. Connecting a few dots says that the coaches signed Victor Alexander and Brad Stewart knowing that both O'Reilly and Cheeks would be gone before the season began.