Everyone knows that the quarterback of the football team is the big man on campus. This season the big man on the Georgia Tech campus will be 5-foot-11, 185 pound sophomore Justin Thomas.
Now with those dimensions he is not your prototypical size for a QB, but then again the “flexbone offense” is not your prototypical offense.
Thomas compensates for his lack of size with blazing speed that can get him outside to either run the ball on his own, or so he can see down field and hit receiving targets.
It seems that it is the popular opinion of most critics that most QBs of Thomas’ stature will not be able to take the punishment game in and game out.
This is something that Jackets’ head coach Paul Johnson is not only aware that critics are saying about his QBs, but he also sounds like he finds the critique humorous.
In an article on macon.com by George Henry, Paul Johnson talks about the noise he hears from naysayers about his quarterback situations since he has been at The Flats:
“If you go back and look, we’ve been here six years, and it’s the same party line every year — that guys are going to get knocked out, and you need to have two or three of them with the licks they take. To the best of my knowledge, we haven’t one knocked out yet.”
What he is saying is actually true. The only QB injury that took place was to Josh Nesbitt who broke his arm trying to tackle a Virginia Tech defender after a pick he threw back in 2010.
Paul Johnson feels that Thomas is tough enough and fast enough to pilot this offense from under center.
Thomas does have incredible speed as evidenced by him winning the 100 meters while he was in high school with a time of 10.79 seconds.
Last year for Tech, Thomas rushed 33 times for 234 yards and two touchdowns averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Thomas also got to show off his arm a little bit hitting 9 of 17 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Thomas is one of 11 quarterbacks in Division I football that will be starting under center without any previous starting quarterback experience.
Though he does not have experience he has the one thing that any QB needs going into the football season, and that is the confidence of his coach.