For the 2018 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets it will be a year of having the game slow down. Just consider what the team was replaced in 2017 and you can understand how inexperienced the “Ramblin Wreck” was.
They were replacing Quarterback Justin Thomas with Taquon Marshall, two fullbacks, and essentially revamping an entire offensive line.
In 2018, with several pieces in place, Tech will be looking for continued improvement and could surprise some people this season.
Offensively, Georgia Tech returns along with Marshall, KirVonte Benson, sophomore fullback Jerry Howard who burst on the scene last year with 7.6 yards a carry, and an additional set of A-backs including seniors Qua Searcy and Clinton Lynch, and junior Nathan Cottrell.
The option and power running game has returned for head coach Paul Johnson’s offense.
Tech also brings back six offensive linemen with significant playing experience which should pay dividends for this run-heavy attack, however replacing receiver Ricky Jeune who had more than half of the receptions for Georgia Tech last season will be difficult.
Defensively, the boys from North Avenue, seemed to try to implement a “bend but don’t break philosophy”, and at times it worked, but this year a change has been made at Defensive Coordinator.
Longtime great defensive mind Ted Roof is out and here comes Nate Woody from Appalachian State.
App State has been a highly successful FCS Program for the past several years, so choosing Woody as DC is not too much of a stretch, but he will need to bring a creative scheme for creating turnovers and getting off the field on 3rd Down.
He will have some experience at the Defensive Ends as Anree Saint-Armour and Desmond Branch are returning along with Linebackers Victor Alexander and Brant Mitchell.
The front seven is solid and bringing in more talent, but the secondary is a bit of concern as they gave up a lot of big plays last season.
Overall, Georgia Tech is a work in progress but as Coach Johnson has always proven when you think he is left for dead, he always finds a way to get it done.