1. Georgia Tech’s bowl trip begins Tuesday.
After reconvening Monday, the Yellow Jackets are scheduled for a Tuesday morning practice on campus and then a flight down to Jacksonville, Fla., for their week-long stay for the TaxSlayer Bowl matchup against Kentucky.
Tech will stay at a resort on Amelia Island, Fla., about 30 miles north of Jacksonville. Kentucky is staying at a resort in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach. The Wildcats arrived on Sunday.
The Jackets will practice Wednesday and Thursday at Fernandina Beach High and also have two local visits planned, to a nearby Top Golf Wednesday and Thursday to the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville.
2. Tech’s most recent visitor to Jacksonville’s EverBank Field? That is probably cornerback Step Durham. Last year, with the Yellow Jackets stuck at home after going 3-9, the Jacksonville resident went to last year’s TaxSlayer Bowl with his father, also Step. The participants – Penn State and … Georgia. (The Bulldogs won 24-17.)
“He said, ‘Man, I’d do anything to not be sitting in these stands. I’d rather be playing,’” said Durham’s father Step Durham III.
The elder Durham said he recently reminded his son of his 12-month-old wish.
Durham is one of four Tech players who played their high-school ball in Jacksonville – cornerback Lamont Simmons, defensive end Antonio Simmons and linebacker Victor Alexander are the others. Durham’s father said it’s his son’s childhood dream come true to play at the home of the NFL’s Jaguars.
The Durhams had Jaguars season tickets before Step IV’s recruitment began to take them out of town on weekends.
For more on how Tech has had success in recruiting Jacksonville, read this story on Tech A-backs coach Lamar Owens.
3. Tech cornerbacks Lance and Lawrence Austin will try to carry the momentum of their strong finish to Jacksonville. The twins won ACC defensive back of the week for the final three weeks of the season, Lance twice and Lawrence once.
“They do feed off each other. They are very competitive with each other,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “They had a pretty good streak going there (with the defensive awards). I texted their dad a message: ‘Can you guys have another kid?’”
Read Steve Hummer’s story on the Austin twins here.
4. When Tech arrives at its team hotel Tuesday, a select group of Jackets were scheduled to be made available for interviews –coach Paul Johnson, one or two Jacksonville natives and offensive lineman Eason Fromayan.
He has made a bit of a name for himself since news broke that he will forego his final year of eligibility to try to join a NASCAR pit crew. Fromayan has been interviewed on ESPN’s SportsCenter, got a short mention on the network’s Outside the Lines program and was written up on the NASCAR website.
You can read the myajc story here.
5. As part of their gift package for playing in the TaxSlayer Bowl, the Jackets will receive Oakley sunglasses, a white-paneled football for autographs, a carry-on suitcase and something that no one else at any other bowl game will receive – their own personalized bobblehead doll.
“That’d be pretty cool,” Tech center Freddie Burden said. “I’m going to put it up in my room somewhere and look at myself all day.”