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Mailbag 4/28

In which we talk about the ideal schedule and uniforms!

Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

The GT 4x800m relay team set a new school record at the Penn Relays, 7:18.84. How do people run that fast for that distance? NOTE: The men won the race, and the women set the record.

I wonder the same thing. I've never been a runner. EVER. It's definitely an acheivement for both the men and the women though.

With question marks at WR, or if a dominant "go-to" guy does not emerge, and I hope they do....will CPJ adjust the passing game to target a little more experienced group of A-backs? I think we all agree we have to have an effective 15-20 yard passing game. The question is does it have to be the "back-shoulder throw" that was so effective last year to our WR or is there a new wrinkle using A-backs that can be added? What might that look like?

So there's a good bit here. I'm gonna start with this whole "go-to" receiver thing. First of all, the whole concept of "go-to" receivers definitely has its pros and cons. It's really nice to have a receiver you know for a fact will catch the ball and is probably deeply embedded into the mind of the quarterback. But at the same time, what about the rest of the receivers? If that go-to guy goes down, we end up throwing the ball deep when the receiver cuts short on fourth down in the ACC Championship Game.

Personally, I prefer to have a balanced group of receivers, which is something I feel like we have this year. Micheal Summers will definitely be one of the starters, while Harland Howell II, Ricky Jeune and Antonio Messick will get playing time there as well. The latter three definitely fill that "big receiver" mold that DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller fit into last season, while Summers is more of a burner type. He'll be the guy getting the back-shoulder stuff while the other three are going to get the contested jump balls.

Will we throw it to our A-backs more? I think so. Dennis Andrews and Broderick Snoddy are both pretty good receivers out of the backfield, and since they're probably our most experienced receivers (except for maybe Summers, but that's debatable), Justin Thomas will definitely be wanting to have some familiarity with those guys.

Did Sunday’s thrilling come from behind in the 10th inning walk off game win and series win over Clemson save the Jacket’s season? 11-13 in the ACC is a whole let better than 10-14 when you’re battling to get in the tournament.

It very well could have. 11-13 will definitely look better for us. We need to have a good series next weekend against Pitt to solidify where we're at.

Did we bring back Kel Johnson too soon? Read earlier today that he is 1-23 at the plate since his return.

I think you're reading too much into it. Any time someone comes back from an injury -- especially one that keeps a player out for an extended period of time -- it will take some time for him to completely return to form. I'll start worrying if he doesn't start hitting here in the next couple of weeks.

Who will be the surprise in the ACC this football season? And why do you think it will be Boston College?

I'm actually gonna go with NC State. Dave Doeren has got a good system and if Jacoby Brissett can get some help, they'll be good this season.

I've been looking at Vad vs Justin. What changed about our offense from 2013 to 2014? As far as A back starters and B back starters? How much experience did 2014 starters have in comparison with other years?

That was really the main change in personnel on offense. The offensive line was pretty different. The backfield all had another year of experience and Synjyn Days also moved to B-back. Our wide receivers continued to improve.

Honestly, apart from the change at quarterback, I think a lot of Tech's improvement on offense is due to the improvement on the offensive line. Going into the season, we pretty much knew what we were getting at guard with Trey Braun and Shaq Mason. Other than that, we had new starters pretty much everywhere else. Everybody had a pretty good idea that Freddie Burden was going to be a good center, but people were more concerned with the tackle spots.

Going into the season, a lot of people thought Chris Griffin would step up and take the left tackle job, and for a while, he had it. But then, CPJ decided to switch him over to right tackle and let Bryan Chamberlain start at left tackle -- a move that made a lot of fans question him. But thankfully, Chamberlain stepped up and became a pretty good left tackle for us this season. Combine that with the combo of Chris Griffin and Errin Joe at right tackle, and we had perhaps the most formidable offensive line Paul Johnson's ever had at Tech.

How have we gone so long without discussing uniforms?

That's a very interesting question, and since you bring it up, I just want to share my favorite uniforms from this past season. First would have to be the Orange Bowl uniforms. These things were just a thing of beauty, but I'm not sure they're something I'd want every week.

Photo credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

My other favorite would have to be the throwbacks we wore against Georgia Southern.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

You are Justin Thomas. You text or tweet Marcus Allen and Patrick Skov and tell them to meet you for some backfield practice. You promise them a pizza. I’ve never played football, so I am unfamiliar with the position specific and skill specific drills and practice routines. Where on campus could they meet to work? Specifically what drills and routines will you design to work not so much on skills and execution as on developing thorough, instinctive, intuitive understanding of where each of you will be, what each of you is thinking and what each of you will do in each play situation? Will you ask an O-lineman or two (promise Shamire three pizzas ;-), or a defender or two (any position) to join you to add a little realism? The question being, what’s the best way outside of formal practice sessions for the guys to get together if they want to (and I strongly suspect, with the caliber of young men we have that they will want to), and work toward developing a mind-reading level of on-the-same-pagedness, on their own?

I would say that the best way to practice unofficially like you're talking about would just be to either do weight-training or just playing around (ie not serious). Through both of those, you get to know your teammates better and build chemistry, while also getting stronger.

Granted, I've never played organized football either, so what do I know?

Gun to your head, which of Georgia Tech's prospects get drafted, and in what order?

Darren Waller will go first since he's healthy and has all the potential in the world. I could see him going as high as the fourth. After him, I'll say DeAndre Smetler. He's a better receiver than Waller, but his injury hurt his stock a little bit. I'll say fifth or sixth for him. Next up will be Shaq Mason. Solid interior O-lineman at the next level. Start out as a depth player, but could develop into a starter, so fifth or sixth for him too. Finally, I'll say Synjyn Days. His size and deceptive speed, along with his vision and balance, will get a team to draft him in the seventh round.

Everybody else will be UDFAs.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Cold pizza and orange juice (aka the breakfast of champions). A lot of people will hear that and think it's the most disgusting thing in the world, but you have not lived until you've done it.

What are your summer plans?

Well the biggest thing that's happening this summer is that my oldest sister is getting married at the end of June. I'll have to go to orientation at some point and am still job-hunting. The other main thing I'll be doing is helping out uga's Baptist Collegiate Ministries with their orientation booth. I've been going there for the past few years and because I have a good relationship with the campus ministers there, they decided to let me help, so that should be fun.

Other than all of that, I guess I'll probably be doing some writing on here.

The football team needs to remove one scholarship player by kickoff if JHD is to get his scholarship back. Top 3 players you think would be likely to depart?

I hate questions like this, because I don't like assuming these things. It could really be any fourth or fifth year player that is buried in the depth chart that can graduate either at the end of this semester or after the summer. It could very well be some player that most of us wouldn't recognize if we saw the name.

That being said, I really wouldn't even know where to begin at trying to predict this player. It's not quite as easy as picking Thomas O'Reilly and Chaz Cheeks.

Does Mbob really not care about Clemson? Recently has said he would not be opposed to dropping the football series…How can we ensure this never happens freaking ever?

Mike Bobinski's tenure with Georgia Tech has been an interesting one thus far. Regarding what he said about Clemson, the only way I would be OK with it is with realignment of the entire conference or a better (read: more balanced) rotation of the opposite division in conference play.

I definitely don't want to stop playing Clemson. Even if we don't win, we always seem to play memorable games with them.

Where are they now? It was only 5 years ago, but what are the 2009 ACC Champion Jackets (seniors and early departures) up to? Did that Thomas kid at WR ever catch on in the NFL (see what I did there?)

Starting on offense, after being on the Bills for a few stints, Joshua Nesbitt was cut and hasn't played since. Nesbitt's back-up quarterback Jaybo Shaw, after his transfer to Georgia Southern and graduation, went on to coach wide receivers for Western Carolina this season.

From the backs, Roddy Jones has moved to the booth as all of you know. Jonathan Dwyer is still playing for the Arizona Caridnals and is looking to get his career back on track. After giving the NFL a shot, Anthony Allen has moved to the Canadian Football League and is currently playing for Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Demariyus Thomas is doing something in the NFL. I think he's playing for the Broncos or something. But since he came out of some silly little high school offense, he'll never amount to much at all. Kevin Cone has bounced around some and is now on the Cleveland Browns' roster. Stephen Hill is on the Panthers' roster the last I heard.

From the offensive line, Sean Bedford is off being very successful in pretyy much any and everything he wants to do. Omeregie Uzzi took a few shots in the NFL, but with his injury issues, he probably will never make a roster. Cord Howard has played for a few different teams in the NFL and the CFL, but he does not seem to be on a roster currently.

On defense, Izaan Cross was on the Bills' roster for a little while, but isn't there any longer. TJ Barnes is still playing for the New York Jets. Derrick Morgan just re-signed with the Tennessee Titans. After getting drafted by the Saints, Rod Sweeting is now playing for the Bills. Fellow corner Mario Butler is also playing for the Bills. Morgan Burnett is still playing with the Packers. Last, but not least, Jemea Thomas is with the Titans.

Which transfer is more important/beneficial? Patrick Skov to Football, or Adam Smith to Basketball?

I'm gonna go with Skov here. I'm doing that mainly because the basketball team needs a lot more help than just Adam Smith, where as the football team will be fine just adding Skov into the mix at B-back.

What is your ideal 12 games schedule? If Georgia Tech could play any 12 teams in any slot, order or conference what would your ideal 12 game schedule be.

This is a fun question. My list is as follows (and this is in order of how much I want to play each team): uga, Clemson, VPI, Notre Dame, Florida State, Duke, Auburn, Tennessee, Oregon, Georgia Southern, Baylor, and Nebraska.

Now a few of those teams were just because I think they would be fun to play (Oregon, Baylor and Nebraska), while others are genuine former or current rivals.

I'd also be interested to see some others' thoughts on this.