Head coach Paul Johnson has begun to shift and tinker with his starting offensive line, moving a number of potential main contributors to various different positions on the line as spring practice continues. As recently as Wednesday's practice, the starting offensive line featured Eason Fromayan at left tackle, Will Bryan at left guard, Andrew Marshall at center, Brad Morgan at right guard, and Trey Klock at right tackle. Veteran Freddie Burden, who is expected to anchor the line from the center position this season, is still recovering from offseason hand surgery but will ideally be good to go before week one; he figures to take over for Marshall at center when he returns. Paul Johnson is clearly still not impressed with the unit's performance, but the offensive line at least has the talent to be successful this season. Whether or not the young, inexperienced players who will be leaned on this year can deliver still remains to be seen.
Georgia Tech baseball will kick of a critical series tonight when they take on yet another top-25 team in the NC State Wolfpack, this time within the warmer confines of Russ Chandler Stadium. This is a series that Tech absolutely must win if they hope to remain relevant within the ACC and nationally -- the Jackets currently stand at 7-7 within the conference and truly need to get over that .500 hump that they've been at quite literally all season long. The Pack, which lost ace Carlos Rodon to the MLB draft following the conclusion of last season, has had a pair of immensely successful weekend starters in Brian Brown and Ryan Williamson step up and take his place. Tech will get to face both of them this series, creating a daunting task for the team's inconsistent offense. The whole team will need to come out firing (possibly even on all cylinders) for a shot at the sweep.
Georgia Tech released Josh Pastner's full contract details to the public yesterday, revealing that the former Memphis head coach's deal is worth just over $11 million for the next six seasons. That link directs you to an AJC breakdown of the contract, but the best and most comprehensive analysis out there really comes from right here at FTRS; Joey did an excellent job of taking a look at some of the key figures and clauses yesterday. One of my favorite parts of the deal is that Pastner actually took a huge pay cut of exactly $1 million for his first season at Tech, when he'll make $1.6 million compared to his $2.6 million salary at Memphis. I can't really say what his thought process was when he agreed to this, but it really seems like Pastner was excited for a fresh start at Tech. His buyout, by the way, ensures that he will be coaching here at Tech for at least four years and probably longer unless something horrific happens. If you are still rooting against him for whatever reason, now's the time to stop that. He's going to be your coach for a long while, no matter what happens.
I'll leave you today with another quirky little NCAA rules change, this most recent one allowing for coaches to more effectively leverage social media for their recruiting efforts. This seems trivial, but it actually represents a small step in the direction of coaches actually being allowed to acknowledge recruits prior to their signing. Here's what a couple of this recruits had to say:
"Good (flexing arm emoji). At least they will notice me (crying laughing emoji) (100 emoji)" -Jacob Copeland, 2018 receiver.
And, for those who prefer emoji-free comments, this from Florida commitment Jake Allen:
"Yeah, that would be cool" -Jake Allen
Well said, Jake. Well said indeed.
Have a great weekend!