The very first game of the 2015 season came and went last night and there were plenty of freshmen who showed us what they were made of, even if they only played a few snaps each. It goes without saying that each and every newcomer who took the field for the first time last night was nervous, but what exactly do freshmen feel when they appear in their first college game? That's where this piece from the AJC could be helpful -- Ken Sugiura took the time to ask a few of Tech's veteran players about what specifically they experienced prior to their first games on The Flats. Most of the responses went about as you'd expect, with various players hinting at a combination of nervousness and excitement when describing their college debuts. Paul Johnson, on the other hand, seems completely indifferent -- he doesn't even remember the game and only vaguely remembers winning. Good work, CPJ.
Yellow Jacked Up's Wesley Morton recently published an article detailing five of the players that he believes will break out during the 2015 season, a list that features the likes of former walk-on A-Back Isiah Willis, sleeping giant Jabari Hunt-Days, and resident superhero Harrison Butker. One of the other players on his list is linebacker Tyler Marcordes, who just so happens to have been one of my sleeper picks for roughly the past three seasons now. He is about as underrated as a linebacker can be, at least in terms of potential, and I really hope 2015 is the season he puts it all together. It will be, after all, his swan song and therefore his last opportunity to do so.
If you had asked me yesterday how Georgia Tech persuaded former linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days to make the transition to defensive tackle, my instinctive answer would be that Hunt-Days showed up to practice one morning and was met by Paul Johnson, who said something along the lines of "congratulations, you play defensive tackle now." As it happens, the move was not nearly as painless for Hunt-Days to make, even though it seems more than worthwhile in hindsight -- it took a lot of hard thinking before Jabari was fully on board. While gaining 40 pounds to play out of your original position is tough enough for most anyone who doesn't have easy access to an on-campus rib restaurant, what made the transition even tougher was the fact that defensive tackle is so different in terms of technique. I know we haven't seen much from Hunt-Days at defensive tackle yet, but I truly can't wait to see more.
If you think you had a rough day, just head on up to New Jersey and take a quick peek at the issues that Rutgers went through yesterday. In just one day, the Scarlett Knights had a whopping five players suspended, all of which were tied to allegations of assault and burglary. If these allegations are true, then this is just another classic case of can't fix stupid. These student athletes should teach a class called "How to Throw Away a Free $100 Thousand Education in Less Than a Minute" because that is word for word exactly what they did.
What did you notice in the game last night that excites you for the season? What makes you worry?