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Georgia Tech

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

April 21, 2003

Spring 2003 Overview

The PooP

If Chan Gailey didn't completely understand the passion surrounding the Georgia Tech program when he first took the job, he definitely understands now. Tech's second-year coach posted a winning record (7-6, 4-4 ACC) in his debut, yet he was bombarded with angry feedback after an ugly (51-7) loss to rival Georgia, a disappointing bowl defeat and a relatively unimpressive recruiting class. Things got so bad that Tech AD Dave Braine sent a letter to boosters in support of Gailey. The Yellow Jackets enter 2003 on shaky ground — with enough talent on hand for a possible bowl season but also with enough holes to make Tech fans nervous about a difficult (at BYU, Auburn, at Vanderbilt, Georgia) nonconference schedule.

Probable 2003 Starters

Offense

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. Class
QB A.J. Suggs* 6-4/215 Sr.
RB Tony Hollings*+ 5-11/215 Sr.
FB Jimmy Dixon+ 6-1/220 Jr.
WR Jonathan Smith* 5-10/189 Sr.
WR Levon Thomas 6-0/195 Jr.
TE John Paul Foschi 6-4/270 Sr.
LT Nat Dorsey*+ 6-6/330 Jr.
LG Leon Robinson*+ 6-4/320 Jr.
OC Hugh Reilly* 6-4/285 Sr.
RG Brad Honeycutt 6-4/295 So.
RT Kyle Wallace* 6-6/285 Jr.
PK Dan Burnett 6-2/250 Sr.

Defense

DE Eric Henderson* 6-3/265 So.
DT Travis Parker* 6-5/265 So.
DT Alfred Malone* 6-4/300 Jr.
DE Tony Hargrove* 6-4/266 Jr.
LB Ather Brown 6-3/230 Sr.
LB Keyaron Fox* 6-3/220 Sr.
LB Daryl Smith*+ 6-2/235 Sr.
SS Dawan Landry 6-2/215 So.
FS James Butler 6-3/210 Jr.
CB Jonathan Cox* 5-10/185 Sr.
CB Reuben Houston 6-0/195 So.
P Hal Higgins 5-10/185 Sr.

* — returning starter
+ — injured/missed spring drills

Coming On Strong

When everyone is healthy, the Jackets can field offensive and defensive lines on which the starters rank in the top third in the conference in terms of talent and experience. (Depth is another matter.) Rock-solid returning starters: OL Nat Dorsey, DE Tony Hargrove, DE Eric Henderson, RB Tony Hollings, DT Travis Parker, OL Hugh Reilly, LB Daryl Smith, WR Jonathan Smith, OL Kyle Wallace. Also looking good: DB James Butler, TE John Paul Foschi, CB Reuben Houston, LB Kingi McNair, RB Michael Sampson.

Cause For Concern?

Quarterback remains the most important position on the field, and the Jackets again appear to have far more questions than answers at that spot. Embattled incumbent A.J. Suggs watched erratic backup Damarius Bilbo get most of the repetitions this spring, and none of the four candidates for the job (Brian Camp and rookie Al Pena were the others) looked particularly impressive. Things may get even more complicated in August, when two more freshmen enter the mix. Also: depth on the offensive line and at linebacker, inconsistency at receiver, inexperience at defensive back, kicker, punter.

On The Sidelines

The following players missed all or most of spring drills: FB Jimmy Dixon (ankle), OL Nat Dorsey (shoulder), DE Greg Gathers (kidney/no contact), RB Tony Hollings (knee), CB Eddie Ivery (knee), FB Johnathan Jackson (ankle), DE Terron Pullen (shoulder), OL Leon Robinson (hand), LB Daryl Smith (shoulder).

Spring Cleaning

The following scholarship athletes left the program in the past 12-18 months with eligibility remaining: OL John Bennett (medical), QB Rahshan Johnson (transfer/Bowling Green), LB E.J. Kuale (academics), DE Hobie Holiday (left team), DB Albert Poree (left team).