O Line Starters

Augusta_Jacket

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Nice. Although New London isn't the nicest place to be. Most elite school in the US.

I went to HS in Guilford.

All in all, New London wasn't bad. Conn College was right across the street from the Academy and they had some nice Coeds. Nightlife wasn't great but the Academy didn't give too many free nights anyways. Winters there were an eye opener for a southern boy like me. LOL
 

SOWEGA Jacket

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This O-line will be the most improved unit on the team, and probably the most improved O-line in the ACC.

They will make a material difference in our success this year.

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Offensive lines are the engine to any football team. How they play determines win and losses waaay more than any RB or WR. Take a look at that Miss St. Orange Bowl. Our OLine won that game. Thomas, Days, and Laskey weren’t getting touched until they were downfield. Bama wins, not because of guys like Ruggs or Smith or Harris. They win because of their offensive line.
 

Pointer

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Offensive lines are the engine to any football team. How they play determines win and losses waaay more than any RB or WR. Take a look at that Miss St. Orange Bowl. Our OLine won that game. Thomas, Days, and Laskey weren’t getting touched until they were downfield. Bama wins, not because of guys like Ruggs or Smith or Harris. They win because of their offensive line.
So true, Bama's success is clearly visible in that front. Any other recent national champs have the same formula. Look at Clemson with the devastating defensive lines recently.

And if you want to look at the league, look at New England. Specifically when Tom Brady was there, he consistently had the most amount of time in the pocket. New England always seemed to be able to put any running back/slot receiver in there and they would become extremely productive. All boils down to their legit line play.

I think if we avoid key injuries, that could be the biggest hope for a turn around season. Experience,depth, and health make me optimistic for this season.
 

SOWEGA Jacket

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Our problem has been two fold along the lines - 1) not getting high end players and 2) no depth on either line. Hence, injuries kill us even though we don’t have any more injuries along the lines than any other team. The difference is we have no depth. Most schools within driving distance of ATL (UGA, Auburn, Clemson, Bama, FSU, USC) have backups more highly rated than our starters and more of them. Thankfully, Collins and Key know this and have been “working the problem” since they got back here. Everyone likes to talk about Sims, Gibbs, and which WR’s will break out. None of them matter if the O and D Lines don’t work. We’ve only won 3 games each year because the lines have been 3 win lines. No different than when we won 3 games in 2015. It’s an constant in football. We’ll know where we are when the buses leave Clemson.
 

GaTech4ever

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He backed up Freddie Burden as a Tr Fr in 2016 and started when Burden was out. Kenny was the primary starting center for '17, '18. Was the starting center to begin '19, gut got injured early on and took a redshirt. He missed the spring last year recovering and played primarily as a backup at guard and on ST. I'm not sure if he was ever fully healthy last year.

Minihan is the entrenched starter at center now. Cooper can certainly play center. But it sounds like having both of them on the field gets our best 5 linemen out there.

Yeah Kenny only played 45 snaps on offense last year in 3 games.
 

85Escape

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I have a lot of mixed feelings about our offensive line situation. We are returning 3 of the 5 starters plus an expeienced former starter and an SEC caliber transfer with a ton of game experience. That's the good news but also may be the bad news. If you look at how the starters perfomed last year, we were not very good so unless they substantially up their performance, this may actually be bad news. I find it concerning that so many of the younger guys we have recruited are not progressing to the point of even competing for playing time. Guys like Austin Smith, Mike May, Rankin, Vaipulu, Green, Spiers, Franklin, Leftwich, and Kootsouradis don't seem to be progressing to the point of being ready to play. It's probably time to encourage the guys that have been here more than 2 years to move on for to be honest they are just taking up scholarships that could go to other more talented players. The balance of the young guys have not got much press other than Franklin and Green but they are yet to go through the fire of competition so basically they are unknowns.

To me with the level of coaching we have, I would have expected more production out of ournunder classmen. It is a tale tale sign that we continue to pound the transfer portal to find guys who can come in and play right away. I don't think that iis a sustainable long term staffing strategy. Guys like Johnson, Cochran and Kirby are good players but not great players and I think that is true of 99% of all transfers. I don't see us upgrading our performance to the elite level using transfers to address our needs.

So in summary, I like the size of our line but I still have concerns as to how well they will play. I would sure love to see some of our younger guys step forward and contribute so we can truly say we have some quality depth. I am hopeful that all of the positive talk will play out as we roll into this season.

Go Jackets!

Get old, stay old. That's the winning formula for linemen that seems to work.
 

stinger 1957

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Think I'm a little surprised that only one player out of CGC/CBK first OL recruiting class is playing at all, that being Williams. Anyone have thoughts on this?
 

SOWEGA Jacket

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Think I'm a little surprised that only one player out of CGC/CBK first OL recruiting class is playing at all, that being Williams. Anyone have thoughts on this?
Not really. The timing was odd. Johnson surprised everyone by leaving so TStan was caught off guard regarding a new hire. Thankfully, instead of rushing in he took his time and made a hire. But by doing that Collins first recruiting class was a mix of Johnson’s committed guys and whatever projects he could find. I’m from South Georgia and know Lee County. Use Wing Green as an example. Not a lot of offers but dude has size. At that point Collins was just taking flyers on possible upside guys. Compare to now where Collins has had 2 years to build relationships and now we are getting known top end guys like Willis. I’m not worried about the OLine any more because Collins and Key are on it.
 

MountainBuzzMan

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Not really. The timing was odd. Johnson surprised everyone by leaving so TStan was caught off guard regarding a new hire. Thankfully, instead of rushing in he took his time and made a hire. But by doing that Collins first recruiting class was a mix of Johnson’s committed guys and whatever projects he could find. I’m from South Georgia and know Lee County. Use Wing Green as an example. Not a lot of offers but dude has size. At that point Collins was just taking flyers on possible upside guys. Compare to now where Collins has had 2 years to build relationships and now we are getting known top end guys like Willis. I’m not worried about the OLine any more because Collins and Key are on it.
Johnson leaving surprised no one in the know. He was more pushed out by those in the know than they were not surprised. People who keep repeating this "surprise" thing really dont know what they are talking about. Could he have stayed another year? sure but the pressure was really ramping
 

stinger 1957

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I am not surprised more freshman aren’t starting. It would be unusual for anyone to have multiple freshman starting on the offensive line.
But they are not FB freshmen, they're now FB sophs, that's my whole reason for the question. Williams was a FB FR last year now a FB soph, am I getting it wrong some how? We don't even mention any of the others that came in with Williams who are all FB sophs now, at least I never see their names mentioned by any of the coaches or writers etc.
 

gville_jacket

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But they are not FB freshmen, they're now FB sophs, that's my whole reason for the question. Williams was a FB FR last year now a FB soph, am I getting it wrong some how? We don't even mention any of the others that came in with Williams who are all FB sophs now, at least I never see their names mentioned by any of the coaches or writers etc.
I would argue even in normal circumstances those players would have redshirted, therefore still freshman. Even true sophomores starting is less common. Because of the size, physical development, and depth of knowledge typically required on the O Line, it’s much less common to start under classmen. All this said should highlight how impressive it is that Williams held the starting job. The other young players on the O Line are starting to push for rotational snaps and they’ll challenge for starting role next year.
 

TheNaturalScientist

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
87
Our problem has been two fold along the lines - 1) not getting high end players and 2) no depth on either line. Hence, injuries kill us even though we don’t have any more injuries along the lines than any other team. The difference is we have no depth. Most schools within driving distance of ATL (UGA, Auburn, Clemson, Bama, FSU, USC) have backups more highly rated than our starters and more of them. Thankfully, Collins and Key know this and have been “working the problem” since they got back here. Everyone likes to talk about Sims, Gibbs, and which WR’s will break out. None of them matter if the O and D Lines don’t work. We’ve only won 3 games each year because the lines have been 3 win lines. No different than when we won 3 games in 2015. It’s an constant in football. We’ll know where we are when the buses leave Clemson.
I agree with all of this until your last point. We won’t know who we are after the first 3 weeks of the season. Pretty much everyone thinks we will be 2-1 after 3 games. It’s the 9 other games which will be question marks
 

jayparr

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Not really. The timing was odd. Johnson surprised everyone by leaving so TStan was caught off guard regarding a new hire. Thankfully, instead of rushing in he took his time and made a hire. But by doing that Collins first recruiting class was a mix of Johnson’s committed guys and whatever projects he could find. I’m from South Georgia and know Lee County. Use Wing Green as an example. Not a lot of offers but dude has size. At that point Collins was just taking flyers on possible upside guys. Compare to now where Collins has had 2 years to build relationships and now we are getting known top end guys like Willis. I’m not worried about the OLine any more because Collins and Key are on it.
Great post reply!!
 

Gt2019

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But they are not FB freshmen, they're now FB sophs, that's my whole reason for the question. Williams was a FB FR last year now a FB soph, am I getting it wrong some how? We don't even mention any of the others that came in with Williams who are all FB sophs now, at least I never see their names mentioned by any of the coaches or writers etc.
The other guys that came in with Williams are mentioned. Only 2 guys from that aren’t, rankins left the team and then spiers. Green and Paula are both in the 2nd/3rd group and koots I wouldn’t put anything into since he’s sorta on scholly but not. This is a good thing, it shows we have good depth and guys are battling.
 

Jacketman99

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But they are not FB freshmen, they're now FB sophs, that's my whole reason for the question. Williams was a FB FR last year now a FB soph, am I getting it wrong some how? We don't even mention any of the others that came in with Williams who are all FB sophs now, at least I never see their names mentioned by any of the coaches or writers etc.
I don't think you have listened to all of the press conferences then. There has been mention of Paula, Wing Green, and even true freshmen Franklin and Leftwich. Key is very high on Leftwich and Franklin has been pushing Minihan at center. It would not surprise me at all to see either of these two starting next year. And let's not forget Pendley who I believe is technically still a redshirt freshman.
 
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