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Ken Sugiura

Justin Thomas ‘has the ability to keep the play alive’

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Georgia tech yellow jackets, college football

Justin Thomas (5) is likely candidate to be Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback ahead of Tim Byerly and Ty Griffin. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

1. I am working on a story for Saturday about Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas’ development thus far. I talked with him and position coach Bryan Cook following Wednesday’s practice.

“He’s done alright,” Cook said. “He’s got a lot of work to do.”

Cook elongated “a lot” like “a lo-o-o-o-t” of work to do. He named three priorities, finishing runs, running the option game and reading progressions and the defense when dropping back to pass.

“All the basic things to being a quarterback,” he said.

But, Cook said he’s improving and getting good experience out of repetitions with the option, though he also mentioned that “he probably doesn’t value them as he needs to, but we’re getting there.”

While the pace of development is not swift, Thomas still has shown the ability to create plays when the designed plays fail.

“I’d rather have that, because you can’t coach that,” Cook said. “I’d rather drive myself nuts coaching the other stuff and have a guy that can do that, if I was choosing.”

Cook said there’ve been “a bunch” of such plays thus far in spring practice.

“He just did it 15 minutes ago,” Cook said shortly after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s just when stuff breaks down in the pocket, he has the ability to keep the play alive and extend it. He’s not going to get sacked real easily.”

2. The team did not make much of an impression on coach Paul Johnson in Wednesday’s practice, the sixth out of 15.

“Some guys pushed through it, but we had a lot that didn’t,” he said after the practice.

It’s one practice out of 15, and some will be better and some will be worse, but certainly not the ideal evaluation.

3. I think I mentioned earlier that wide receiver Ricky Jeune was out with a knee injury. It was in a myajc story, I know for certain. Jeune will miss the rest of spring practice, but Johnson said he’ll be back for preseason camp, which means it isn’t a ligament tear. Regardless, it is unfortunate for Jeune, who could have used the reps this spring but was out before the end of the first week.

4. Neither of the next two Saturday morning scrimmages will likely be open. It is a change from at least the past three spring practices that I’ve covered, when at least one of the scrimmages has been open to the public. Logistical issues (a coaches clinic this weekend and the Pi Mile race next weekend) were cited as the reasons.

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