Lance Austin may be nothing if not practical.
Prior to his leaving Lamar County for Georgia Tech to begin his freshman year, I asked him what were one or two things he would make sure to bring with him to school. Other teammates had mentioned possessions like a guitar, video-game system and a stereo.
“I really don’t have anything specific, just making sure I bring my wallet and my underwear,” he said. “Those are the two main things, I guess.”
Austin and his twin brother Lawrence are an anticipated pair at cornerback. Neither has great size – Lance is 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds and Lawrence is 5-9, 170 – but have reputations as big hitters. They picked Tech over offers from Vanderbilt and South Carolina, among others. Linebackers coach Andy McCollum, who helped bring the two to Tech, memorably compared them to piranhas on signing day.
Austin naturally wants to play this season as a true freshman. It would seem he and his brother both stand a decent chance to do so, likely in a special-teams role.
Prior to enrolling, Austin said he had spoken with defensive coordinator Ted Roof about playing at nickel back. In the post-spring practice depth chart, Demond Smith and Domonique Noble have the top two spots at that spot in the 4-2-5 alignment. Austin mostly played cornerback at Lamar County but said he had played nickel in 7-on-7 scrimmages.
Austin is undoubtedly enjoying the World Cup; he grew up playing soccer but gave it up to run track. (He, Lawrence and Qua Searcy, another Tech freshman, led the Trojans to the Class AA state track title.) His favorite player is Neymar of Brazil.
“I love watching Brazil,” he said. “They’ve just got that swagger about them.”
The same may someday be said of Austin. Asked what he wanted Tech fans to know about him, he responded, “That I want to come in and win some championships.”
Eighth in a series of updates on Tech’s freshman class