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Technical Tidbits 1/3: Seniors reflect on playing for Johnson, Clemson advances to title

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For Tech’s graduating class, playing for Paul Johnson was the right decision all these years later.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

For three of Georgia Tech’s graduating seniors, the chance to learn and play under Paul Johnson was an experience they won’t soon forget. In a brief interview on the AJC’s site, placekicker Harrison Butker, defensive lineman Patrick Gamble, and quarterback Justin Thomas gave some insight into their decision to play football on the Flats and what they enjoyed the most about their time with the coaching staff and their teammates. Thomas in particular seems to have a very strong bond with coach Johnson and we’ve already seen that he shares a number of personality traits with the longest-tenured coach in the ACC; perhaps we could see him return as a graduate assistant in the future. In the meantime, he’ll have to settle for being one of the most successful quarterbacks in Tech history.

Yeah, we are going to miss that guy so, so much. Because of the offense Paul Johnson runs, the full extent of the contributions that Justin Thomas truly made will never show up in the stat sheet. Yep! Despite his career stat sheet being ridiculous for an option quarterback, his contributions went so much deeper. It’s truly a shame that the rest of the team was such a letdown during the 2015 season; it now stands as an unfortunate blemish on both his time at Tech and the legacy of Paul Johnson. We watched him beat UGA twice and we saw him dominate SEC opponents in bowls twice. North Carolina proved to be quite the enigma, but that’s the defense’s problem for the most part. I hope the next signal caller is just as successful, but we won’t know how good a quarterback we just lost until next season — which is impressive, because we all know we lost an exceptionally good one.

For the second year in a row, the national title will come down to a game between Alabama and Clemson. The Tigers absolutely destroyed Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes over the weekend, thrashing one of the best-coached teams in the nation by a final score of 31-0. Meyer has now lost three bowl games as a head coach, two of which have come against Dabo Swinney’s Tigers. At this point, it’s time to recognize exactly what Swinney himself said after the game: Clemson is a national powerhouse, on par with Ohio State and likely even Alabama. Given that we play the Tigers every year, that’s hardly news to us. Hopefully Tech can continue to be a thorn in the giant’s side every once in a while.