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Football: Week 3 Depth Chart Update

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This might look a tad familiar

NCAA Football: Mercer at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Mercer game did its job as a tune-up game and an opportunity for several third-string and fourth-string players to get on the field. On the flip side, the 35-10 victory was not so useful in resolving Tech’s lingering position battles, as the official Week 3 depth chart looks... well, very familiar.

How familiar? There was a grand total of one change from last week’s depth chart. Said change is listed in bold text (spoiler alert: Dedrick Mills is listed at B-back again).

That said, several competitions remain—especially along the offensive line and at punter—and the Mercer game did provide some valuable insight into who has the upper hand in each of them. Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt should be more useful for actually clearing up those position battles.

Offensive Skill Positions

Offensive Skill Positions
Position First String Second String
QB Justin Thomas (R-Sr.) Matthew Jordan (R-So.)
BB Dedrick Mills (Fr.)
Marcus Marshall (So.)
Marcus Allen (R-Sr.)
AB Qua Searcy (R-So.) Austin McClellan (R-Sr.)
AB J.J. Green (R-Jr.)
Clinton Lynch (R-So.)
Isiah Willis (R-Sr.)
n/a
WR Brad Stewart (So.) Harland Howell (R-Fr.)
WR Ricky Jeune (R-Jr.) Mikell Lands-Davis (So.)

QB is the same as ever. The only item of note is that third-stringer TaQuon Marshall was under center for Tech’s final offensive series, so he will not be redshirting after all.

At B-back, Mills is returning from a one-game suspension and will share the top line with Marshall, who on paper had a decent game as last week’s starter (10 carries, 51 yards, one TD). But he also fumbled on Tech’s opening possession, which is... not the best way to win over Paul Johnson’s heart. The starting job will remain up for grabs against Vanderbilt, but either way, both will play plenty and Allen will make the occasional cameo.

Searcy remains the clear starter at one A-back spot after leading Tech in rushing on Saturday, with 91 yards on seven carries. Green got the start across from him, but Lynch was the only player listed at the second spot to get a carry on Saturday, rushing five times for 37 yards.

Lands-Davis has emerged as the clear No. 3 receiver. He’ll be a fixture in the rotation while Howell, junior Antonio Messick, and true freshman Jalen Camp compete for additional playing time.

Offensive Line

Offensive Line
Position First String Second String
LT Eason Fromayan (R-Jr.)
Andrew Marshall (Jr.)
n/a
LG Will Bryan (So.)
Brad Morgan (R-Fr.)
n/a
C Freddie Burden (R-Sr.) Kenny Cooper (Fr.)
RG Shamire Devine (R-Jr.)
Parker Braun (Fr.)
n/a
RT Trey Klock (R-So.) Jake Stickler (R-So.)

A week ago, Johnson put the entire offensive line on alert, and three starting jobs were officially up for grabs. Fast forward to today, and... apparently nothing has been decided.

Marshall started at LT against Mercer and seems to have the clear upper hand on Fromayan in their position battle; however, both played plenty last week after RT Trey Klock’s injury, with Marshall shifting to the right side and Fromayan stepping in. Klock has practiced this week and should play against Vanderbilt, so expect Marshall and Klock to be the starters once more.

Bryan and Devine are unlikely to relinquish their starting jobs any time soon, if only due to their backups’ lack of experience. Still, true freshman Parker Braun made multiple key blocks in his debut on Saturday and should be the primary reserve guard going forward. Given Bryan’s early struggles at his new position and Devine’s stamina issues, Braun is in line to see plenty of action.

Defensive Line

Defensive Line
Position First String Second String
WDE KeShun Freeman (Jr.) Anree Saint-Amour (So.)
DT Francis Kallon (R-Sr.) Brentavious Glanton (R-Fr.)
DT Patrick Gamble (R-Sr.) Kyle Cerge-Henderson (So.)
SDE Rod Rook-Chungong (R-Sr.) Antonio Simmons (Jr.)

For now, the defensive line rotation seems fairly fixed. All eight players listed will continue to see plenty of snaps. The only other player to keep an eye on is true freshman defensive tackle Brandon Adams, who made his debut against Mercer and could be a valuable run-stuffing presence in the middle of the line going forward.

Linebackers

Linebackers
Position First String Second String
WLB Terrell Lewis (Jr.) David Curry (R-Fr.)
MLB Brant Mitchell (So.) Chase Alford (Sr.)
SLB P.J. Davis (Sr.) Victor Alexander (So.)

A competition at weakside linebacker seems to be brewing, as Curry’s play against Mercer won praise from defensive coordinator Ted Roof and a promise for more playing time this weekend. Lewis remains the starter for now, though, and with Vanderbilt’s run-heavy offense on tap this weekend, both WLBs should get plenty of playing time.

Davis and Mitchell are safe in their starting roles, though Alford will continue to play the occasional series in the middle.

Secondary

Secondary
Position First String Second String
FCB Lance Austin (Jr.) Dorian Walker (R-Fr.)
FS A.J. Gray (So.) Shaun Kagawa (Jr.)
SS Corey Griffin (R-Jr.) Lawrence Austin (Jr.)
BCB Step Durham (Jr.) Lamont Simmons (R-So.)

The secondary remains unchanged from a week ago. Lawrence Austin could see more time filling in for Griffin at strong safety this week, particularly if Tech relies on the 4-3 front for most of the game.

Specialists

Specialists
Position First String Second String
K Harrison Butker (Sr.) Shaun Davis (R-Fr.)
P Ryan Rodwell (R-Sr.)
Grant Aasen (Jr.)
n/a
LS Casey Wilson (R-So.) Lucas Patelles (Fr.)
KR J.J. Green (R-Jr.) Dedrick Mills (Fr.)
PR Brad Stewart (So.) Qua Searcy (R-Fr.)

Stop me if this sounds familiar: nothing new to report on special teams either.

The punter for this week has likely been decided internally by now, but Johnson has yet to name a starter. Against Mercer, Aasen got the start but shanked his only punt of the afternoon, so that competition remains unresolved. It’ll probably stay that way for a while unless this weekend’s starter booms four or more punts for 45+ yards.