Freshman A-Back Nathan Cottrell became the latest Tech running back to sustain a serious injury this offseason when his knee broke down, ending his 2015 season before it even started. Cottrell, a three-star player out of Tennessee, had a great opportunity to earn some early playing time this season following the dismissal of A-Back Dennis Andrews but will now redshirt and sit out the entire year. He will now join fellow freshmen C.J. Leggett (ACL tear, out for season) and Quaide Weimerskirch (foot injury, should return early this season but could still redshirt) on the sideline. The injury also prompted Mikell Lands-Davis, yet anther freshman, to move to A-Back in an attempt to increase depth at the position and give him a better shot at playing time.
For a more in depth look at what Cottrell's season-ending injury means for the team, take a look at this AJC article from over the weekend, before the severity of the injury was announced -- it gives a nice preview of who else is in the running at the A-Back position. Though it always hurts to lose a player so early in the season, the good news is that there are plenty of suitors besides just veteran Broderick Snoddy ready to step up and play. Paul Johnson moved former third-string quarterback Matthew Jordan to A-Back just last week, a move that I'm a huge fan of given the huge potential that Jordan possesses at any position. If you recall, Johnson has had some great success with playing former quarterbacks at running back in the past -- both Synjyn Days and David Sims began their careers as signal callers. Jordan will hopefully be able to add to that lineage of successful former quarterbacks.
In alumni news, former Georgia Tech guard Shaq Mason, a fourth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots a few months back, is making a very positive impression with the coaching staff up in Foxboro. Mason, a former All-American while at Tech, was lauded for his versatility and footwork by NFL teams leading up to the draft and was, at one point, thought to project as a center at the NFL level. As it turns out, his role with the Patriots may very well be at guard after all -- a combination of retirement and injury has opened up a very nice door for Mason during what will be his rookie season. He has already outplayed fellow rookie Tre Jackson of Florida State for the most part and has a great chance of cracking the two-deep by week one -- he currently sits at third at the left guard position.
The Georgia Tech basketball team will be wrapping up its trip to the Bahamas later on this week and appears to have really grown closer on the excursion. The Jackets, who dominated the Bahamanian All-Star team each time they faced them during the trip, made the voyage to the islands seeking chemistry and a fresh start for the upcoming season. Although I can't attest to how much beating an All-Star team from the Bahamas means for a DI college program, I will say that the soundness with which they dispatched the tropical foe is very encouraging. There may be reason yet to be excited for the upcoming season.
How does Nathan Cottrell's injury change the outlook for the 2015 season? What was his ceiling for the season?