Zach Laskey #37 BB

Q: How has Justin been doing as the starter thus far?

A: He's definitely stepped up. He's kind of a shy guy but on the football field he's spoken up a little bit more and is trying to take the reigns of this offense.

Q: What have you done this offseason to prepare for carrying the load this year?

A: I picked up 5 or 6 pounds. I dropped my body fat percentage a little bit. I'm a little bit bigger so I can take more of those hits. I got stronger at the squat rack so I'll be able to explode on people. And conditioning. Every day you've got to do something to get better. I really want to maximize my potential while I'm here.

Q: Are the preseason projections for Georgia Tech motivation for the team?

A: Oh yeah, no doubt. The team sees that. Every year we kind of get put on the back burner. This year I'm really hoping we step up and take it to the next level. We're always just a game or two away from doing that.

Q: How is the depth looking behind you? Obviously you have a lot of new guys; what is your role in getting them ramped up?

A: This offseason every Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as Wednesday morning, we did mesh drills and worked on [dive] tracks. This summer I took C.J. in a little bit to teach him plays so that he wouldn't be far behind. Right now we're letting the younger guys work to see what they can do in camp. I'm helping out in any way I can.

Q: What's it like lining up behind a healthy O-Line to start camp?

A: It's always exciting. It's always great when you have a healthy O-Line. Right now we have four units rolling, so I think this is the healthiest we've ever had on the O-Line. It's really nice.

Q: What are your personal goals this year?

A: I just want to be the guy that can carry the load. 1,000 yards rushing. I just want to be the guy that the team can depend on to make big plays.

D.J. White #28 CB

Q: How's it going?

A: Everything is great, life is good.

Q: You closed out last year pretty strong with a good showing in the Music City Bowl. How's your offseason been and what have you improved on?

A: I feel like I've been improving on my game as a whole, up in the press and defending deep. Still some improvements to be made and still working hard.

Q: How far along are you guys in learning the 4-2-5?

D.J. White smiles at the camera

A: It's great. A lot of the things you do in the 4-2-5 are similar to the 4-3. Same concepts except you have another DB. Replacing the LB the DB has coverage concepts he has to learn. We're getting along pretty good.

Q: Who is looking good so far in the defensive backfield?

A: It's hard to choose because everybody is getting better and making plays. From a cornerback perspective I really like how our young guys are doing. Everybody is playing well. The young guys in the offseason like Step Durham have been coming on strong. I'm excited about the group.

Q: Are you going to have any role in special teams?

A: I hope so. I'm trying out for that right now. Hopefully the coaches will give me a shot at returning. We'll see what happens. Whatever they ask me to do I'm going to do full speed.

Q: What are your expectations for your performance this year?

A: I'm a very high expectations guy. I see myself personally being one of the top defensive backs in the country. That's what I'm shooting for and that's my goal. Hopefully I can develop the other guys along with me.

Justin Thomas #5 QB

Q: How was practice today?

A: It was good. We got better than yesterday.

Q: Justin, what was your focus this offseason? Obviously it looks like you've gotten a little bigger; what else have you been working on in addition to that?

A: Like you said, I've been trying to get in the weight room to put some more weight on. Just working with guys [on the field] to make sure we're on the same page.

Q: What can you tell us about the offensive line so far?

A: First thing off the bat we have a lot of depth - more depth than we've had in a while. Right now we're really getting the young guys to know what they're doing.

Q: What are your personal goals this year?

A: Just to be successful. Go out there and play as hard as I can every game and try to come out on the right end.

Isaiah Johnson #1 S

Q: Did you get a chance to read the recent ESPN article that came out?

A: Somebody sent it to me but I just try not to pay attention to the media too much.

Q: As one of the leaders of the defense, is there anything that you are doing differently in practices?

A: Just trying to lead by example as well as teach and relay any type of message that I've learned from past experiences to others and being more vocal.

Q: Some fans are saying that you're going to have 20 interceptions this season, is that true?

A: [Laughs] We will see! It will be more than the past, I can tell you that!

Q: Even though you were injured and unable to play last season, what do you think about Coach Roof's approach to coaching?

A: I love it! Since day one, [Coach Roof] has been working with us on the little things. I feel like, at this point just from watching other teams, everyone has pretty much the same plays but it really comes down to the coaching and teaching the fundamentals and the little things that count. Coach Roof focuses on the little things like where is your eye placement and where is your alignment; I appreciate that.

Q: Are there any younger players that caught your eye so far? Any sleepers?

A: I really like the [Austin] twins, the incoming freshmen. Starting from the summer time when we were doing our 7-on-7s, I was blown away by how ready they are already. It seems like they've been here for a while. They are still learning but I think they will be big time.

Q: Every year the media has low expectations from Georgia Tech and every year GT exceeds those expectations, will it be the same this year?

A: Of course! But we ignore that and know what we have to do. We haven't met up to our own expectations in the past so we have to put that behind us, make progress, and play to the best of our ability.

Head Coach Paul Johnson

ATLANTA, GA - After the team's third practice of Fall Camp 2014, Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson spoke about the team and fielded questions from the media. While confirming that Justin Thomas #5 was the starting quarterback and Tim Byerly #18 was the backup as it stands right now, Coach Johnson also pointed out that there were four weeks to fall camp suggesting that anything could happen before the season started.

Thomas, a 5'11 185 pound redshirt sophomore from Prattville, AL, is recognized for having the speed to get to the edge and the quickness to make defenders miss. On the other hand, Byerly is a 6'0 215 pound redshirt junior from Alpharetta, GA and a transfer from Middle Tennessee, is seen as a tough inside runner that can fight for extra yards after contact. "Justin is more of a 'make you miss' guy and Tim is more of a 'run through, run over you' guy," said Johnson while simplifying differences between the two quarterbacks. Coach Johnson also reiterated that, "they both can do what we need to do in the offense, don't think we'll need to change [the offense] for one or the other."

Heading into his seventh season at the helm of Georgia Tech's football program, Coach Johnson conveyed confidence in the players, their attitude, and the team as a whole. "I feel good about their work ethic and the way they work, they are a pretty tight-knit group, and I think they have high expectations for themselves. They want to be good and I think they believe in what we're doing," said Johnson.

Regarding depth at specific positions, Johnson highlighted that the majority of wide receiver will be back from last season and a lot of players at the A-back position had a lot of experience. Although Robert Godhigh #25, who was the team's 2nd leading rusher last season with 744 yards and averaging a whopping 9.4 yards per carry, will be missed; Johnson listed six familiar names at the position that all have had been part of the A-back rotation for the past few years. Among those that have started games in the past, Georgia Tech will return Deon Hill #31, Charles Perkins #21, Synjyn Days #10, and BJ Bostic #7.

Coach Johnson speaks to the media

"Right now there's a competition between Freddie Burden [#58] and Thomas O'Reilly [#77] [at center] but we'll be fine there," said Johnson of his offensive line. "I feel real good about [the offensive line]. We are probably more athletic on the offensive line than we've been, maybe not as much experience but a little bigger and more athletic." Johnson later continued, "we've got more depth there than we've ever had. We finally got the numbers that you need to have so we'll probably play a few more players there than we have in the past."

On the defensive front, Georgia Tech needs to replace the school's career sack (31.5) record holder set last season by Jeremiah Attaochu #45 who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers as the 18th pick of the 2nd round in the 2014 NFL Draft. Johnson emphasized the need to play by committee on the defensive line with experienced Adam Gotsis #96 and Shawn Green #97 anchoring the interior and looked forward to having the younger players like Francis Kallon #92 and Pat Gamble #91 step up this season. At the ends, Johnson expects those positions to be sorted out in fall camp but highlighted true freshmen KeShun Freeman #42 from spring practice, Tyler Stargel #99, Roderick Rook-Chungong #41, and Nick Menocal #48.

Coach Johnson also acknowledged the concerns about the experience lost from the team a season ago, "there's six guys in NFL camps right now. So we've got to replace those guys. We've got to replace a lot of experience on the offensive line. So there's question marks."

"Are we going to be the most talented team that we've had here? Individually? Probably not." Then the head coach contended, "but that doesn't mean you're not going to be the best team. We'll have to see."

Georgia Tech kicksoff its 2014 season at home against Wofford at 12:30 PM ET on Saturday August 30th, 2014. For the rest of the schedule, please click here.