Georgia Tech offensive guard Shaq Mason and linebacker Quayshawn Nealy represented the Yellow Jackets at the 2014 ACC Football Kickoff, and Paul Johnson also met with reporters to talk about the upcoming season. Here are some of the notable takeaways from the weekend:
*Johnson stated that linebacker-turned-defensive end Jabari Hunt-Days, who has been ruled academically ineligible for this season, will have an opportunity to earn his scholarship back and regain eligibility after this fall. If he chooses, he will be able to practice with the team this year as a walk-on but cannot play in games.
*While many coaches are in favor of an early signing day, Johnson would like to abolish national signing day altogether. “July before you start your senior year, from that point forward, if you say you’re coming, you sign,” Johnson suggested. “Everybody has 85 scholarships, you can’t sign more than 25 in a year, and if you sign a guy and he can’t qualify, you lose him.”
*Mason gave high praise to Justin Thomas, saying that the new starting quarterback adds more big-play potential to the offense. Johnson echoed those thoughts on Monday, saying that in addition to speed, Thomas also possesses a quick release that will help the passing game.
*According to Johnson, the Yellow Jackets’ offensive line is the deepest it’s been since the coach arrived after the 2007 season. “It’s young depth, but we’ve got more depth and more bodies than we’ve ever had and have finally caught up to where we need to be.”
*Nealy pointed to linebacker Tyler Marcordes as a potential breakout player for Georgia Tech’s defense. A year ago, Marcordes recorded 16 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 13 games of action. He’ll be in a starting role this season.