Justin Thomas, Redshirt Sophomore, Quarterback
We're in a weird place when it comes to college football. Transfers are entirely normal in today's game. They're no fun for the team losing a player, but they're also not unheard of. A little more unusual is when a team loses a starter, and especially when they lose a starting quarterback to transfer. That exact situation happened to Georgia Tech this offseason (only a few days after the bowl game) when starting QB Vad Lee transferred out to James Madison, citing unhappiness with the offense. Taking his place under center will be redshirt sophomore Justin Thomas, a 5'10", 185 pound high school track champion who would prefer to display that speed on the gridiron.
A lot of Tech fans out there are concerned about Justin Thomas. "He's too small! He can't throw! He's got basically no experience!" My advice to you, worrying fans, is to stop worrying. You're doing the thing that Tech fans love to do and worrying about something that you've been given no reason to worry about yet. I think the positive that Vad Lee did for this team is overblown though. There were a lot of offensive struggles last year that resulted from Lee making poor decisions and not understanding or buying into the system he was attempting to run. On the other hand, Thomas very much understands the system and is good at running it. It was even being said last year that Thomas could probably run the option better than Lee could.
Justin Thomas is going to surprise a lot of people this fall. He's going to be at least as good as Lee was, mainly because he's good at what he's supposed to be good at -- making reads and running the ball. For Tech fans that are worrying -- stop. You're going to be impressed watching the offense this year and comparing it to last year's, and a lot of that is going to have to do with the trigger man. All aboard the Smoov train! It's going to be a great first year as a starter for Thomas.
Am I crazy? Is Thomas going to surprise folks in a good or bad way? Who got left off of the "breakout players" list that you were expecting to see?