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Ken SugiuraKen Sugiura

Who emerges at A-back for Tech?

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A-back Tony Zenon, who came out of spring practice at the top of the depth chart, will be one of several with a legitimate shot at a starting job. Photo by Johnny Crawford/AJC.

A-back Tony Zenon, who came out of spring practice at the top of the depth chart, will be one of several with a legitimate shot at a starting job. Photo by Johnny Crawford/AJC.

 

Georgia Tech won’t lack for experience or depth at A-back – Synjyn Days, Deon Hill, B.J. Bostic and Tony Zenon all started games for the Yellow Jackets last year. Dennis Andrews and Charles Perkins also saw playing time last season. The group is packed with seniors.

The challenge for each going into preseason camp, which begins Thursday, is moving to the head of the pack.

“You’d love for one of those guys to say, ‘I’m going to be a dominant blocker, and every time I go out there, somebody’s going on the ground. That’s my role,’” coach Paul Johnson said. “Everybody can’t have the ball every play.”

Johnson said he’ll be fine spreading out snaps among the group if there aren’t a few players who assert themselves. But he obviously would prefer that one or two demand more playing time with their productivity.

“Robbie Godhigh played a great deal more than the other guys last year, for good reason,” Johnson said.

Godhigh excelled for the Jackets the past two seasons in all three A-back roles, running, pass receiving and perimeter blocking. None of the other A-backs approached his value to the offense. For example, Godhigh had 16 plays of 20 yards or more last season on 102 touches. The returning scholarship A-backs, not counting Broderick Snoddy, who mostly played B-back last season, had nine 20-yard plays in 110 total touches. (It perhaps should be mentioned that many of Godhigh’s 16 touches for 20-plus yards were sprung by blocks by returning A-backs.)

Days is probably the best blocker, although Perkins is capable. Snoddy is the fastest. Hill, who missed all of spring practice with complications from Crohn’s disease but is expected to take part in the preseason, might possess the best all-around game.

Bostic is quick and has had flashes. Zenon is shifty, but slight. Andrews has shown well in the spring and is particularly effective in space, but will miss the first two games with a suspension. Incoming freshman Clinton Lynch will get a chance to prove himself.

Myles Autry would have been plugged in at A-back, and he at the least offered significant potential to be a playmaker at the position, but has been released from his letter of intent.

Of the eight mentioned, all but Snoddy, Andrews and Lynch are seniors, meaning it’s the last shot those five will have to punctuate careers that have yet to distinguish themselves on the field, which could prove to be the motivational carrot that the group needs.

“You always like to see a couple guys separate themselves,” Johnson said.

 

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