Spring Position Battle - A - Back

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Eric, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Tech loses the biggest play maker on offense in Robbie Godhigh and he will be hard to replace...Both A back spots will be open for competition/

    Competitors - Synjyn Days, BJ Bostic, Tony Zenon, Deon Hill, Charles Perkins, Broderick Snoddy and Dennis Andrews.

    Favorites - Synjyn Days. the other is wide open.

    I would consider Synjyn a big favorite to win of the starting jobs due him likely being the best blocker we have at A-back now. Days really came on this season in that area. He doesn't have a lot of touches running the ball as he only had 27 carries last season. I would expect him to see more carries this season.

    BJ Bostic seen his carries cut from 34 in the 2012 season to 16 in 2013...Bostic really struggled this season and did not show much when he was on the field. He struggled to find running lanes and seemed to always run into his blockers...As far as blocking I didn't see much in that area. Bostic has speed but he has not shown on the field yet. I am hoping that Bostic can have a breakout season this year...He is someone that I think can do some things in the slot.

    Like Bostic, Tony Zenon seen his carries cut in half over the last two years. We have not got to see a lot of Zenon on the field and form what I have heard he has been in CPJ's doghouse for awhile now. I would be very surprised to see Zenon get significant minutes this season.

    The young A back that I like the most is Dennis Andrews. Andrews was a RS Freshman last year and did not see many carries but he looked good when he was in the game. He seems to be a natural running the ball and finding lanes. I like what he brings to the team...He is someone who I expect to see a much bigger role this season.

    The fastest guy on the team is Broderick Snoddy but he just can't seem to find his fit in our system. He started out his career at A-back but was then switched to B-back. Now on NSD, CPJ hinted that Snoddy could be heading back to A back in the Spring. The big knock on Snoddy was his ability or lack thereof to block from the A back spot...Snoddy also needs to learn to be more of a north-south runner. When he gets going he can fly but he is not a guy who is laterally quick enough to be a east-west runner.

    Seems like just yesterday that Charles Perkins was entering the program..now he is a Senior. Perkins has been another guy who has bounced around from position to position but he seemed to find a home at A back last year. He actually showed some promise when he was on the field this past season.

    Deon Hill was named a starter heading into the 2013 season but had a unfortunate medical issue...He was hospitalized after the Elon game and diagnosed with Crohn's disease. This caused him to miss several games last season...however he seems good to go and is looking forward to ending his career on a high note. Hill is a player that the coaches like a lot and think is a good player. I think Hill has a breakout season this year.

    Prediction - Synjyn Days, Deon Hill

    * I am not listing the three Freshman that are coming in at A Back in CJ Leggett, Clinton Lynch and Myles Autry.
     
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  2. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Helluva Engineer

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    Another great write up, thanks. Pretty much completely agree with everything you stated.
     
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  3. LargeFO

    LargeFO Helluva Engineer

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    I think Andrews is better than Zenon, Snoddy and Bostic by a solid amount.
     
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  4. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    I agree with Zenon and Bostic...I still have some hope for Snoddy.
     
  5. yellowRambler

    yellowRambler Ramblin' Wreck

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    I hope for a top 4 of Days, Hill, Perkins, and Andrews
     
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  6. Bule

    Bule Helluva Engineer

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    I think Dennis ends up being the starter opposite Days. After that in the fall, I think that at least one true freshman, maybe two, get some playing time at A back, probably Myles and maybe Leggett. We seem pretty stacked here if all goes well.
     
  7. croberts

    croberts Helluva Engineer

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    When you look at tape on all of the A-Backs since 2008, the only back that has gained significant yards after contact- or making the first tackler miss has been Godhigh. I just want someone in this group to not just gain chunks of yards because of the system and a wide open sprint to the finish line. Now I love watching those plays but want more. Andrews looks to be the most natural of our backs and Snoddy seems to be the example of the fish out of water. I remember when the 49ers talked Renaldo Nehemiah in to coming out to play for them. Some football players happen to be great track guys but alot of track guys are not football players. Days - Andrews as starters.
     
  8. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

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    Do we know for sure Bostic will return?
     
  9. techman78

    techman78 Helluva Engineer

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    I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Zenon and Bostic have stepped on the field for the final time at Tech. Not my personal opinion just things I have read elsewhere. If they don't crack the 2-deep by end of spring practice look for them to be gone. As for starters I'm with many of y'all saying Days and Hill. I do look for Andrews to get significant PT though. Now sure about the incoming freshmen.
     
  10. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

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    Can we win more than 7 games with Days, Laskey, and Perkins as our starters. I too am a big Andrews fan, but I am looking for at least one new starter from the incoming crowd.
     
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  11. Yaller Jacket

    Yaller Jacket Helluva Engineer

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    We run a strange offense in many ways. Most teams have a set of starters and others play situationally or to give the starter a blow. We play six or more A backs every game. They are always going in and out. Maybe it's not a bad thing that we don't have clear starters.

    I've seen some good things from Andrews and Perkins running the ball. Days is powerful and tough, but he doesn't impress me running the ball. I don't watch carefully enough to see who is blocking well and who is missing, except maybe on pass plays when I see a back totally miss a rusher.

    We have a new element this year, something we have never had under PJ. The biggest big play A back on the field will touch the ball every play, guaranteed Justin. If Synjyn is a really good blocker and part of what he does is to clear the way for Thomas, that might work out just fine.
     
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  12. Longestday

    Longestday Helluva Engineer Featured Member

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    Days is a good to great blocker and is now the best ABack blocker on the team. He and Smelter smash defensive players. When running, he leaves his feet on contact a lot of the time. He had a great spring game in hard running through defenders and receptions. In 2013 games he had a tendency to "jump" when anticipating contact or loose footing. The game footage showed defenders on the ground when blocking, but stats show his running was flawed or he had a lot of bad luck.

    Hill blocks well and runs good. He does not have the vision or wiggle that Godhigh showed. I have seen him try to run between our guy and Defensive back a few times. He has several good receptions. I like Hill... I don't think he can be a Godhigh or Smith replacement.

    Andrews showed some blocking ability and good vision on his runs. I hope we invest in this young man over playing players that have reached their ceiling. His limited stats point to being a good runner.

    I don't have a lot of information on Perkin's ability to block. He does run well after contact on the edge. Perkin's seems like he could be a faster Days that can keep his feet on the ground when running. His limited stats also point to being a good runner.

    Snoddy showed improvement in 2013. I was very critical of those who drooled over his speed because the speed did not transfer to yards on the field in 2012. His want to increased in 2013 and he had several good runs out of the diamond. I don't know his blocking skills, but I think he could continue to improve on the run. He still has issues on catching the ball.

    Bostic is a good/great receiver, is inconsistent when blocking, and has difficulty with vision and yards after contact.

    Zenon had some good runs in earlier 2012, but he disappeared. I thought he was injured, but I also heard he was in CPJ's dog house.

    We really need that 9 yard per carry average guy. I hope we can field one in 2014. What is vision and wiggle in a 6 foot 200 lbs back that can and is willing to block... the ideal ABack. Orwin and Godhigh proved that speed was not the critical need in an ABack... Timing and wiggle go a long way in this position.
     
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  13. Ggee87

    Ggee87 Helluva Engineer

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    Im not a big fan of the A-back rotation having so many participants. Whoever shines in practice anf spring games should get the bulk of the touches. I understand keeping everybody happy, but were trying to win games here. Im not sure who the favs are going in but im gonna guess Synjyn, and Perkins start with Andrews not far behind. I really like the class we just brought in and am expecting big things from them in the future.
     
  14. techman78

    techman78 Helluva Engineer

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    I would like to see Perkins get more touches but I doubt that will happen because of his lingering shoulder issues. When he was injured in 2012 he almost left the team before last season. He did seem to blossom some at A back with several nice runs but the shoulder is going to continue to be an issue.
     
  15. RamblinCharger

    RamblinCharger Helluva Engineer

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    I understand blocking is most important to Paul but he's had some talented kids out of high school that he's put at Aback and none of them have really produced at a high level because they don't get enough touches. That has to hurt out recruiting in the area. Bostic was a 4 star if I remember correctly and after his freshman year I thought he would be great then idk what happened. Hill was supposed to be a better orwin but he's had bad luck or just hasn't turned out to be what we thought. Andrews looks like a playmaker to me but didn't get a lot of touches last year. Perkins is another 4 star guy that looks great to me when he's on the field but I guess the coaches don't see the same thing. If I had my pick it would be Perkins and hill first with days and Andrews second. Strong runners that can also block decently should be most important but I guess blocking ability comes first for Paul. It's a shame that they can't teach kids to be great blockers.
     
  16. Yoda

    Yoda Helluva Engineer

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    If Marcus Wright hadn't screwed the pooch, we'd be taking about him a lot more.
     
  17. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Bostic and Zenon are the two to watch...will depend where they stand after the Spring and if they graduate.
     
  18. AlabamaBuzz

    AlabamaBuzz Helluva Engineer

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    I really like what I saw from Perkins last year. He seemed to have a little bit of a burst that the others did not seem to have, so I am rooting for him to get even better and get some touches, and yes, hopefully his shoulder will stay healthy...
     
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  19. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

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    I agree that Synjyn's the guy that seems to have the most momentum coming out of last season, and I expect he's going to work to keep it. I also expect that he was doing a lot of things right in practice because it seemed like they wanted to get him some touchdowns.

    With respect to Perkins, the doctors didn't know if he was going to be able to play again, iiuc. It was that kind of injury. CPJ gushed with praise for and pride in Perkins in how he fought back. I think they were still wanting to be careful with him, but I reckon he still has a chance to be a game changer at A-Back.

    I like Dennis Andrews, but I also liked him at QB. I actually liked his QB film better than Vad's, fwiw. He's going to be a good one.

    As far as Bostic, Hill, and Zenon, I think it's just a matter of want to. If they decide to buy-in, they'll get their minutes and touches. Bostic's got to figure out what's going on inside his head. When he got the ball last year, I kept thinking about the guy who looks at the tree that he doesn't want to hit while skiing down a mountain. More times than not you'll follow your eyes. So, I don't know if he's afraid of looking away from the potential hit or what but if he can get his focus back, he'll be a good one.

    I think Autry's shirt will be burned because of special teams and will make the field at a-back by mid to end of the season.
     
  20. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    I agree with YallerJacket's and LongestDays' take. Although, I think Zenon showed good ability as a runner. We need the AB to maximize the yardage available to them by first of all picking the right path/lane to run. Seems like something to take for granted until you see our guys screwing up a good play by running right into a guy who should be blocked. It does no good for the TO to outnumber the defense when our runner makes it easy for the blocked defender to make a play on him. Zenon could do that. If a guy has special ability to make more out of a run than the defense is giving, that's some great icing on the cake - that would be guys like Godhigh, Smith, Allen.

    It seems to me that the best runners we've got would go like this:
    Special: Andrews (maybe Perkins)
    Adequate: Zenon, Hill, (maybe Perkins)
    Inadequate: Bostic, Days

    An X-factor here would be Wilson coming off of a redshirt. If we feel good about Laskey and Custis carrying the load at BB and Connors staying to provide that 3rd depth guy, then I wouldn't mind at all seeing a bruiser like Wilson staying and making noise at AB. Snoddy is also an X-factor.

    Of course, blocking and receiving are the hidden components and many of you have pointed that out. That's why Days is the favorite. But, I'm very down on him as a runner who doesn't maximize the yardage available. It's on the coaches to put these guys in a position to make the best use of what they're good at. You can't do that all the time or the defense can key on it, but you can do it most of the time.

    I'm hoping Andrews and Perkins take over the starting spots by becoming proficient blockers and continue to show special ability as outside runners. If not Perkins, then I'd pull for Hill or Wilson or maybe even Zenon over Days. I hope Days can continue to be utilized primarily as a blocker and perhaps a pass catcher.
     

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