Going into the Spring Game the Yellow Jackets were bruised, battered and scarred.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Quaide Weimerskirch and C.J. Leggett did not even play in it because of injury. The offensive line was makeshift after injuries to Chris Griffin, Shamire Devine, Andrew Marshall, Brian Chamberlain, and Nick Brigham took place during practice.
But all those injuries actually were not a deterrent for pundits. They favor the Yellow Jackets as the front runner to win the ACC.
In fact, somehow the Yellow Jackets improved their position after the Spring.
ESPN.com writer Andrea Adelson came out with her Post-spring ACC Power Rankings, and had Georgia Tech ranked No.1 after being ranked No.2 going into the Spring.
Her reasoning was as follows in the espn.com piece:
“Why the move up to No. 1 from our first set of 2015 power rankings when the season ended? With spring over, there is much more certainty at quarterback with Justin Thomas returning. As the centerpiece of Paul Johnson’s offense, his return makes up for uncertainty at the other skill positions. Plus, the already opportunistic defense should be vastly improved with eight starters back.”
The defense is going to be a huge factor going into the 2015 season. The secondary only lost one player when you consider that Isaiah Johnson is really the only person missing from that group .
D.J. White, Corey Griffin, Lynn Griffin, Chris Milton, Lance Austin, Lawrence Austin, among others, are going to be the defensive backfield.
Jabari Hunt-Days, KeShun Freeman, Adam Gotsis, Rod Rook-Chungong, Tyler Marcordes, among others, bring depth to the front side of the defense.
The defense returns with experience and depth this season which has to be attractive to prognosticators who are looking in their crystal balls to make sense of the ACC.
What gave the pundits added security to make the bump up to No.1 in the power ranking had to be the way Marcus Allen toted the rock in the Spring Game.
Allen rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield in the Spring Game, and put minds at ease about the Yellow Jackets backfield situation.
Tech bringing in Patrick Skov via transfer from Stanford and Marcus Marshall’s availability for the Fall also eases the pain.
Fans of the Yellow Jackets need to hope that the team is not reading the press clippings and predictions about how good people think they can be.
The Jackets went into 2014 as the hunters, and that is why they were able to come from under the radar to accomplish what they did.
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This year they will be the hunted with teams looking to knock them off the pedestal that the press is going to put them on.
Keep in mind that the Jackets are ranked No.1 and we have not even gotten to the real ACC Pre-Season Rankings yet. Last year only one reporter thought they were worthy of a first-place vote.
This team needs to ignore the hype and take care of business. These rankings did not mean anything last season, and they don’t now.
There is still a lot of work to be done and Paul Johnson will not let his team get a swollen head.