Posted: 2:23 pm Monday, March 24th, 2014

Tech notes: Custis is ‘an animal’ 

By Ken Sugiura

1. The best athlete on Georgia Tech’s football team might be freshman B-back Travis Custis.

Posed the question recently, defensive linemen Adam Gotsis and Shawn Green both voted for Custis, who enrolled in January after NCAA clearinghouse issues prevented him from enrolling last fall.

“That kid is an animal,” Gotsis said.

The team, which begins spring practice Monday, went through testing such as broad jump, vertical jump and 225-pound bench press. Players also participated in winter conditioning workouts that ended two weeks ago, prior to spring break. Green and Gotsis saw Custis only briefly in pads last August, but he has obviously made an impression since January.

“He’s pretty beastly,” said Green, also noting that Custis has “pretty fast feet.”

The translation of speed, explosiveness and power to the football field is not always a simple transfer. Custis will have plenty to learn in spring practice about the B-back position. But, obviously, having the tools helps. With three-year starter David Sims having graduated, Zach Laskey will start out with the first string and face competition from Broderick Snoddy, who will split between A-back and B-back, Matt Connors and Custis.

2. Green is the only rising senior on the line. Injuries have, to this point, largely defined his career. He redshirted in 2010 and then missed time as a freshman in 2011 because of a broken fibula. He played all 14 games as a sophomore in 2011 as the back-up nose tackle in Tech’s 3-4 defense. However, he played the whole season with a shoulder harness to protect a shoulder injury. The plan was for it to heal without surgery after the season, but soon into 2013 spring practice, he had to have surgery to repair his labrum. He missed time last year because of it, and then missed more time with a sprained medial collateral ligament. As a result, he has not had extensive training time with defensive line coach Mike Pelton.

An injury-free spring, not to mention fall, will be of utmost importance.

“I definitely want to make sure I get my fundamentals back because I missed out on all that fundamental time last year,” Green said. “I didn’t do any spring, I didn’t do any fall, so I just jumped in and went off instinct.”

Green said he’ll need to listen to his body a little more closely.

“I think that’s been my biggest problem, just trying to play through everything, and it just leads up to it getting worse every time,” he said. “I feel like maybe I should say something when it first happens, most definitely.”

Green is the second most experienced interior lineman after returning starter Adam Gotsis. Given that, while both are nose tackles, it’s conceivable both could end up on the field at the same time. Gotsis played some at the “3 technique” defensive tackle spot that Euclid Cummings played last season. A line repeated often by coach Paul Johnson, defensive coordinator Ted Roof and line coach Mike Pelton is the goal to get the four best players on the field.

“The thing about Shawn is, Shawn can be a productive player for us,” Pelton said. “It’s just a matter of him staying healthy. He’s battled injuries here and got back last year and then (suffered) another injury, so I think his deal is just getting his body where he can just get physical, get out and compete on a daily basis. … So hopefully this’ll be the year that he can keep that under wraps.”

3. The defensive line has met on a regular basis leading up to spring practice. One thrust of the time together, Green said, is that “Hey, it’s time. It’s time to play ball. It’s time to get right, do what you’ve got to do in order to be able to play ball.”

One of the biggest questions of spring practice will be the degree to which defensive linemen such as Patrick Gamble, Tyler Stargel, Jimmie Kitchen and Francis Kallon can develop. None played extensively last year, as the gap between them and the starting four was so considerable. Consistency of effort and production will be monitored.

Being in starting roles instead of backing up, “we can’t have guys that are just going to go out there and give us one rep, but be out there for the six reps out of the six plays (of a drive),” Gotsis said. “It’s all about finishing off drives.”

Said Pelton, “The theme of these guys this spring, it’s just going to be consistency. Don’t show me flashes and then two days later, I see it (again). Let’s just build consistency. … You don’t replace Jerry (Attaochu) and Euclid with all that experience, and ‘Too Tall’ (Emmanuel Dieke). You don’t replace that with a couple guys. You’re going to have to do this collectively as a group. It shouldn’t be four guys that’s playing. It should be eight guys trying to get what we need accomplished in this day and time.”

 

72 comments
AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

I like how MikeBanning spams my posts.  I'm one of the few who bothers to debate him and he'd rather spam my posts than keep admitting defeat.


Must suck to have everyone despise you, huh?

DallasJack
DallasJack

Who is deleting the comments AJ?"


 That would be you wrexie. In your current form Mike Banning. You are a strange person. I don't remember anyone in my life dedicated to trashing an Institution of higher learning more than you do Georgia Tech. Stranger still is your claim to being a graduate of the same Institute. I don't get it but I'm not privy to that information. Maybe you could share? You'd have to speak with your shrink first. Please keep us posted, but ONLY about your mental health. 

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

I like how MikeBanning spams my posts.  I'm one of the few who bothers to debate him and he'd rather spam my posts than keep admitting defeat.


Must suck to have everyone despise you, huh?

RBR
RBR

Custis is the best recruit to come to GT under CPJ and if he fails to see the field, that's the coach's fault!! He would play for any other team right away...but CPJ tends to make the game much more complicated than it is for these players..... KISS..  I doubt Custis will see the field b/c CPJ is too stubborn to simplify things for a freshman to play.  That's why he's getting the criticism he's getting for being a crotchety, stubborn, coach.  


Now, if Custis plays and has a break out year, then I hope it's b/c CPJ made some coaching/ system adjustments to allow this....but my hopes aren't too high at this point....and that's based on history to this point .


GTJoe
GTJoe

Knowing CPJ, this is Laskey's year at B, with Snoddy at backup.  The competition is really Snoddy vs. Custis for backup (i.e., 25% playing time).


If Snoddy really does move to A-back, kinda makes you wonder why he wasn't at A-back all along (you mean, he couldn't have beaten out the other A-backs last year and start alongside Godhigh?).

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

CPJ just needs to feed him the ball, he is going to be big time back.

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

If Custis is that good and the thing that will keep him off the field is that huge offensive play book, then reduce the load when he is in the game and only have say a half dozen plays for him to know when he is in the game. Add some every week until he is comfortable. 

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Custis may be a fine ball carrier..., but most of playing in Johnson's offense (or any for that matter) is knowing what to do and executing when you DONT have the ball. That's probably why he is, where he is on the depth chart.

Our DL sounds like we may be in trouble. Getting gashed by rushing offenses and allowing Opposing QBs all day to throw the ball is a quick way to lose a lot of games.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Ken....Thanks for the read.

I'm glad you decided to point out Custis' potential as early as possible.

There's absolutely no reason for PJ to hide this kid on the pine simply b/c he's a Frosh.

He's the best GT has & he needs to be in the Backfield Game 1.

---

How are the QB's looking?

Is JT capable of firing a 30 yard out?

How bout the newcomer from Alabama?

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

Custis is going to be the real deal like scouts projected.  I think its very possible that he beats out Laskey for the starting job, even if CPJ has undying loyalty to seniors.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

The O needs a "true" Bback (i.e. big, fast, and not converted from a different position).  Laskey knows the position, played RB in high school, but lacks the home-run speed.  Sims was a converted QB (and also lacked home-run speed).  It sounds like Custis might be cut from the Jon Dwyer mold ...


Hope Roof & Pelton find 8 good ones for the DL rotation!

DallasJack
DallasJack

Ah yes, the good ol' wrexie "tweener" moniker. That's you Mike Banning.

DallasJack
DallasJack

Sounds like Custis is dedicated. Good for him and Tech. I hope that Shawn Green will contribute on the DL.

There are many defensive players that will step up. I do have concerns with JT at QB. Running the TO with a small QB invites injury and mistake.He's not Nesbitt.

gt-40
gt-40

I have it from a totally unreliable source that Travis is a true tweener !... He is way too big and strong to play B-back, and he is way too fast to be a true A-back.. Ah such is life, I guess we are stuck with a big fast strong back that play any position, don't you hate it when that happens...........

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning  ""Boy that cried wolf" (thanks for the analogy AugustaJacket"

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Since all you do is plagiarize WnE, it doesn't shock me that you would borrow other peoples analysis.  


You should try thinking for yourself.

GTJoe
GTJoe

@RBR Simplify?  B Back is probably the easiest position in CPJs offense.


If Custis doesn't play, it will be because, as a freshman, his talent doesn't overcome Laskey's experience.

MarineJacket
MarineJacket

It doesn't make me wonder why Snoddy wasn't an A-back last year. This was addressed before the year started by CPJ and Snoddy. He never felt comfortable running outside. Throughout his entire football career he played the B-position. The question should be, is he comfortable enough running in space to make an impact at the A-back position.

Go Jackets!!!!

GTJoe
GTJoe

And btw, I love Laskey at B; possibly most physical runner CPJ has ever had, more physical than Dwyer (but doesn't have Dwyer's explosiveness of course).

juvenal
juvenal

i would not change the academics if it were possible...........only thing this country is still tops in..........

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@Birmingham__Jacket


What information are you getting that makes you think we may be in trouble on the Defensive Line?  That article last week?

juvenal
juvenal

it's the Blues to lose.........vide infra................Man City this weekend, too.......i think you would make a fine OC.......

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@HighTechJacket99  

Word is that Hunt-Days was working at WDE with the 1st team. Pelton did say he was going to get the best athletes on the field :-)

DallasJack
DallasJack

@gt-40  Sorry, new format messed me up. I got your point. Go Jackets!

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

Great comment about talent vs. experience.  Why didn't you grasp that concept with TW and Vad?

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  "TWO RS-FR. DLs   leaving GT FB  before they ever get a chance to play and both were expected to make the 2-deep.

What do the players KNOW that apologists like YOU AugustaJacket don't know>"

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Both were academics.  One was struggling with the course load, and the other is looking to change majors.  Neither is football related.  This sometimes happens at schools where football players are expected to be STUDENT-athletes.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  You take a lot of cheap shots at Stanford's players, but I'm pretty sure they don't spend almost TWO YEARS at Stanford knowing upfront that Stanford doesn't even have their major.

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That's because Stanford has 245 majors as opposed to the 34 majors offered by GT.  There is approximately 7x the chance that Stanford will have their major.


Don't let facts get in your way, though....

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@juvenal

The Gunners will make the top 4 and the CL - along with both teams in Blue and Liverpool.  My guys are looking at the poison chalice called the Europa League.

Whenever I am feeling down, I just look at the posts on ManU - they really put one over on Everton when they hired wee Davey

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Who was a better athlete than Hunt-Days last year?

GT's back 7 has sorely lacked sideline to sideline hit & run LBs & S's.

That could be probably be shored up by putting your better athletes on the Field!

Do I need to coach this Team!!....Are PJ & Roof capable?

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

Can't really blame those people though...

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  Your guess is as good as mine.  I wouldn't bother replying to posts if I was just going to spam them.  Like I have told you, you have pi$$ed off a LOT of people on here.  Not many are willing to be as fair as I am.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  It's trashing a recruit when you say he " lacks BCS level CFB instincts."  Simply saying he has not performed well enough to earn the position or playing time is how a non-troll would reply.  But then again, you are nothing more than a troll, so you only know how to trash student athletes....

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @GTJoe @AugustaJacket  "Everything ain't trolling!

I am asking a simple and fair question.

What did this recruit think was gonna happen, that GT was gonna add an entire major just for him after he signed?

You still haven't explained WHY would this player sign with a college that did not/does not have his academic major?"

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Yes, actually, I have.  You CANNOT change a major unless you had previously selected a different major, which GT had.


Again, your lack of analytical skills is truly astounding.



GTJoe
GTJoe

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket Idiot:  did you ever think that perhaps he changed his mind and wanted to study Criminal Justice? 


Do you not realize that people change majors ALL the time?


Can't be a Tech grad...can't.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  "You're much too naive AugustaJacket!"

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No.  I'm just not an agenda driven internet troll.  It's hardly talking out of both sides of my mouth, either.  I never disparaged his intelligence.  Saying that a school with 34 majors MIGHT not have the one you want is fairly realistic, and it's something I have been saying for a long time now.  

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  People CHANGE THEIR MINDS.  I started out as an EE and changed my major my Sophomore year.  Fortunately, I had an option available.  Some people don't have that option available at the same school.


Your obtuseness in this matter proves that you are either severely limited in the analytical thinking department, determined to troll, or both.


I'd say both.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  "Isn't this player out of MARYLAND that is supposed to have the ACADEMICS that the GEORGIA HS recruits lack?"

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What does that have to do with limited majors?  If he was Jadaveon Clowney wouldn't matter either.  If he's concerned about his academic future because GT doesn't offer his major, then he needs to shore that up.  All you are doing is trying to find a way to make it fit your agenda, which this doesn't.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeBanning @AugustaJacket  Probably the same reason why we head several people in good academic standing leave the Academy.  Sometimes you realize you don't like what you are studying and want to change majors.  At schools like GT and the Service Academies with limited majors, the one you want to change to might not be available.


That's much more likely than your "conspiracy theories."

Mulk
Mulk

@BigCrimson75  You obviously did not see Hunts-Day TRY to play linebacker last year. A move to another position might work but it is because he couldn't play linebacker.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@BigCrimson75


Considering last I checked you couldn't name 5 players and only knew Gotsis as "the Australian kid," I doubt that's a very good idea.