1. Hopefully you read the story I wrote for myajc and Tuesday’s paper about Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas and his wearing a gold (non-contact) jersey in Saturday’s scrimmage (and again Monday, and perhaps the remainder of spring).
I found it interesting for a reason that speaks to coach Paul Johnson’s commitment to doing things his own way. While nearly all college teams put quarterbacks in non-contact jerseys in practice, Johnson has rarely followed the practice.
“Not often,” was Johnson’s response when I asked him about it.
Tevin Washington, who happened to be at Saturday’s scrimmage, said that he had been accorded non-contact status once for a scrimmage (in the final scrimmage of the 2012 preseason) although in the 2011 spring game, he said that Johnson called a lot of passes for Washington to protect him.
It says something about Johnson that the news (or at least an interesting development, from my perspective) isn’t that Johnson is doing something unusual, but instead doing something everyone else does.
“We’re unusual,” Johnson said. “Most teams put ’em in gold (or another color – Georgia’s is green, I believe) from the time they get there. Some of them don’t even hit ’em until they get in the game. I don’t like to do that. I doubt that we’ll hit him this spring. We might.”
He paused, then added one last thought.
“It (ticks) me off.”
2. What may (tick) off some elements of the Tech fan base – the gold jerseys that Thomas and others practicing under non-contact conditions are not old gold or metallic gold. It’s more like cobalt yellow. A storming of the Edge Center may be in order.
(Although the point of the jersey is to stand out, not be in accordance with institute dictums.)
3. The Tech baseball team was swept by No. 7 Louisville over the weekend in the team’s first-ever trip to play the Cardinals. The Jackets never led in any of the three games and hit .194 over the series. (Louisville leads the ACC in strikeouts, ERA and opposing batting average.)
Matt Gonzalez has had a rough go of things in the No. 3 spot in place of Kel Johnson, who has missed the past four games with a sprained ankle. He is 3-for-16 in those games after hitting .278 previously.
Tech begins its season series with Georgia Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. Tech plays a Georgia State Wednesday at 6 p.m., broadcast on WREK.
4. Pitcher Devin Stanton was one of 30 players nationally to be named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes achievements in community, classroom, character and competition.
Stanton carries a 3.56 GPA, traveled to the Dominican Republic last year with other Tech athletes to volunteer at an orphanage and brings unused team gear and clothing to a local homeless shelter for children. He has a career 3.14 career ERA in 51 career appearances. He will start for Tech Tuesday against Georgia.
Catcher Arden Pabst was named to the Johnny Bench Award 80-player watch list last Friday. Pabst has thrown out an ACC-best 14 runners in 32 base-steal attempts. He was 4-for-6 at Louisville to lift his batting average to .271.
5. Swimmer Andrew Kosic received All-American status for two events at the NCAA championships in Iowa City, Iowa, last weekend. Kosic finished fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and 12th in the 100 freestyle. He broke his own school record in the 50 free twice, finishing in 19.11 in the preliminaries and then 19.10 in the finals.
Kosic provided all of Tech’s scoring for the six-man contingent as the Jackets finished 28th with 19 points. Kosic will leave Tech with five individual school records and standing as one of the top two or three swimmers in school history.
6. The Tech golf team finished in 10th place at the Valspar Invitational this weekend in Palm City, Fla. The Jackets won the event last year. The 13-team event had eight teams in the Golfweek top 20, including No. 5 Tech.
Anders Albertson was Tech’s low scorer for all three rounds and finished tied for 11th at 2-under-par 211. Ollie Schniederjans turned in an 82 in the final round. It tied for the highest one-round score of his Tech career. For the season, his 18-hole average is 69.86, a little behind his 69.51 average last season, when he won five events, including the ACC championship. He was at 69.25 before his unlikely 82.
7. The Tech track team won five events at its Yellow Jacket Invitational – Andres Littig (men’s 800 meters, 1:50.35), Morgan Jackson (women’s 800, 2:10.50), Samantha Becker (pole vault, 13’ 3.5”), Courtney Naser (3,000 steeplechase, 11:40.17) and the women’s 4×400 relay (Jazmyne Taylor, Domonique Hall, Ama Larbi and Christina Pensock, 3:44.47).
Becker’s height would have put her in a jump-off at last year’s NCAA East preliminaries to go to the national championship meet.
Readers of the website may recognize this as an imitation of my colleague Chip Towers’ popular “10 @10” blog regarding goings-on in UGA athletics, which I will try to replicate in some form going forward. This is a little late in the day (I’m a little under the weather and allowed myself to stay in bed most of the morning), but I plan to have this as a standing feature going forward Tuesdays.