Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2014 Edition SEASON PREVIEW STARTING BACKFIELD QB- SO Jeremy Cooke (84ovr, 86thp, 89tha) RB- FR Clifford Perry (79ovr, 92spd, 79car) FB- FR John Campbell (73ovr, 76spd, 89imp) ---It's unsure of what playbook Cooke will use but Cooke is a pure pocket passer. He's accurate (89tha) and is a sophomore so it looks like he could start for 3 years. Cooke learned a lot and leapfrogged QB Andy Jones, who was more of a dual threat QB who lacked accuracy. By all accounts, Clifford Perry will win the starting gig. Starting at as a true freshman will be a tough task for Perry who possesses the best gamebreaking ability out of all of the backs. Richard Smith (84ovr, 84btk) figures to be the short yardage back with his power. Another true freshman rounds out the backfield in Campbell, a solid runner who can block very well. STARTING RECEIVERS WR- SR Shaun Brown (92ovr, 89rte, 91rle) WR- JR Joe West (89ovr, 92spd, 88rte) TE- Avery Stevenson (95ovr, 89imb, 86cit) ---GT scrambled for some good WR's but they are still in decent hands with Brown and West. Brown is the pure route runner, who despite his 171lb frame can get off the press at the line of scrimmage. Meanwhile West is the gamebreaking WR, with 92 speed. West came to GT as an athlete and has found his way into the starting lineup midway through last season when Stephen Hill fell to injury. Avery Stevenson leads a group of TE's but Stevenson has the hands and the excellent blocking to hopefully get the RB's some good yardage. STARTING OLINE LT- JR Richard Gallagher (91ovr, 91pbk, 90rbk) LG- JR Tyrone Baker (93ovr, 93pbk, 86rbk) C- SO Greg Newsome (89ovr, 84pbk, 85rbk) RG- SR Darius Wells (94ovr, 95pbk, 87rbk) RT- JR Adam Jacobs (90ovr, 88pbk, 85rbk) ---Overall, this group is more of a pass block group but the cohesiveness should be there as these guys are all starting their 2nd year together. Darius Wells is the best pass blocking guys on the team and last year he gave up only 3 sacks all year. Meanwhile look for Gallagher to be the man GT tries to run behind. He's their most effective run blocker. SO-C Greg Newsome has the potential to be the best out of all the OL though. STARTING D-LINE DE- SO Marcus Gunn (88ovr, 86spd, 88bsd) DT- JR Tony Brooks (93ovr, 96str, 91pwm) DT- SO Justin Hurd (87ovr, 95str, 86tak) DE- SR Brannon Edwards (94ovr, 85spd, 90bsd) ---The leader here is Brannon Edwards who has posted back to back years of 22 tackles for loss. This big DE is powerful and fast and his size (281lbs) leads him to get off his blocks very effectively. The interior linemen are strong as the duo of Hurd and Brooks try to make GT fans forget about the past great GT DT's. SO Marcus Gunn improved tremendously and stole the other end spot from JR Brandon Young, who's 219lb frame worries the staff at how truly effective he can be. STARTING LB LB- SR Adam King (95ovr, 86spd, 94bsd) LB- JR Alex Gore (87ovr, 86spd, 90tak) ---Adam King really missed out last year getting major PT with the switch to the 4-2-5. Watts and Gore rode the starting spots and rarely missed time. With Watts leaving, King slides over to the other LB spot and Gore moves to MLB, an area of weakness for the Yellow Jackets. Gore's a sure tackler so he's a natural fit at MLB. Adam King will finally get a chance to strut his stuff and show he's a true NFL prospect despite not getting a lot of time to prove so. SECONDARY CB- SR Jermaine Bell (95ovr, 90spd, 99mcv) CB- JR Ross Merrick (91ovr, 93spd, 91mcv) FS- JR George Dunn (85ovr, 85hpw, 92mcv) SS- JR Michael Banks (91ovr, 90spd, 95pst) SS- SR Robert Boyd (93ovr, 94mcv, 97pst) ---The most stable part of the team. Bell returns for his final year and looks to continue to shutdown opposing CB's. Merrick, Dunn and Banks all return as juniors this time. Dunn and Banks have quietly become a dangerous tandem. The one to watch here is Robert Boyd, who transferred to GT. He'll play down in the block as the 5th guy in the secondary. He's pretty much a LB but his man/zone coverage is spectacular and we expect him to pick up the slack that Lance Richardson left. SPECIAL TEAMS K- JR Nick Smith (79ovr, 85kpw, 82kac) P- JR Ryan Horne (81ovr, 85kpw, 84kac) KR- JR Richard Smith (90ovr) PR- SO Mike Britt (86ovr) ---Smith, a JR walks on and will become the kicker while Horne will presume punting duties. This year Perry Thomas would have become the full-time KR/PR but his hands are still bad as he dropped some punts and kicks in spring practice. Therefore, GT will throw their RB's back there, most notably Richard Smith and Mike Britt to do the returning. Overally, we expect the defense to make key plays when needed. They are a veteran bunch of guys who are ballhawks. The ends are quick and powerful, the LB's are smart with good speed and are aware. The CB's are amazingly aware and are ballhawks. Meanwhile on offense, there are concerns about the run game as they are literally throwing paint on the wall and hoping the true freshman is the answer. Cooke starting off the bat is a concern but the WR corps is pretty solid overall. Can they repeat? It's a huge IF here...uncertainty on offense and with the run game may prevent the Yellow Jackets from going back to back, belly to belly.