Georgia Tech safety Jamal Golden gave his insights on the Yellow Jackets’ spring practice, which concludes Friday with the spring game.
1. The work on defense this spring in defensive coordinator Ted Roof’s second year has been different than last year.
“We pretty much had to throw everything in one pot really fast, but this year it’s stuff we’ve known already, and we’re just trying to get better at our craft at those certain things,” he said. “I feel like we’re just doing the same stuff, just trying to polish up on stuff.”
Rather than going over the broad scheme, there has been more teaching of fundamentals and techniques.
“Blow delivery, pad level, things of that nature that, as a defense, we’re just trying to polish up and be able to do it when we’re tired,” he said.
2. The scheme has sunk in.
“I feel like we’re more comfortable as a whole, just knowing why we do things instead of just doing them,” he said. “I just feel like as a whole, we’re getting more comfortable on the defense, so it’s allowing us to play faster.”
3. Two improved players? Linebacker Tyler Marcordes and early-enrollee defensive end KeShun Freeman.
“KeShun just came in and I’m so impressed with him, learning this defense and just playing fast, making plays,” he said. “Coaches are really excited about him.”
What is Freeman doing, exactly?
“He’s just a baller,” Golden said. “Just making plays when the ball’s around him.”
4. Corey Griffin is behind Golden at free safety. John Marvin is backing up Isaiah Johnson at strong safety. Chris Milton and Step Durham are backing up D.J. White and Lynn Griffin at corner. Demond Smith has the No. 1 job at nickel back ahead of Domonique Noble.
5. Golden’s evaluation of another freshman, B-back Travis Custis:
“Travis, he’s a tough runner. He’s a tough guy to bring down. Perfect example, first scrimmage, he broke a long run, I went to get him, he hit me with a straight arm. I had to go down low on him, and he still scored on the play. He’s a good runner. It seems like he knows what he’s doing. I don’t really know what’s going on on the other side of the ball, but he’s a load to tackle and he runs hard.”
The spring game will begin at 7 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Admission is free. Pre-game festivities, including inflatables, food trucks and a concert performed by Reuben’s Bell, will begin at 5 p.m. There will also be a post-game fireworks show. The game will be streamed online on ESPN3.