A number of Georgia Tech players will play their first-ever college game Thursday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium. What might it be like? A few team members, and two coaches, dug into their memory banks to offer insight. A big thanks to intern JuliaKate Culpepper for her help.
Cornerback D.J. White (Middle Tennessee State, 2012): “I was excited to the point where, on the first kickoff, I slipped when I was running down the field to make a tackle. That was funny. I was just excited to be out there and soak up the environment.”
“Everyone is fast. I’m fast and the guys on defense are fast, but when you don’t exactly know what you’re doing yet, then they’re playing at a different speed than you are.”
Defensive end KeShun Freeman (Wofford, 2014): “I was anxious to see how it would actually be. I remember going out there. I was making a few mistakes my first game because I was playing like a freshman.”
Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Bryan Cook (Cook played for Ithaca College and was a freshman in 1995): “I remember the plays I screwed up, that’s what I remember. I remember I had ‘bad eyes’ (was not watching his assignment) and I bit on a play action playing safety, and the tight end went vertical and he got about five yards behind me. Thank God the quarterback overthrew him. That’s what I remember. And the next team did the same thing and they got me.”
Quarterback Justin Thomas (Elon, 2013): “I was a little nervous, because I hadn’t played in a year, so that feel of the game kind of goes away. But once I got the first few snaps, it kind of started getting back in my head how it’s supposed to go.”
Coach Paul Johnson (first game at Tech; Jacksonville 2008): “I think we won. I don’t remember that much about it. I know we were all over the place.”
Linebacker Tyler Marcordes (Virginia Tech, 2012): “I honestly don’t remember. I have no clue.”