Freshman Update: Ten True Freshman Have Made Appearances

In what is increasingly looking like a transition year, the Jackets have had to rely on the help of true freshman as injuries have begun to pile up. I speculated here after the Alcorn State game as to which players would take a redshirt year. Eight true freshman played in that game against the Braves, and I figured those would be the only ones to play the rest of the year. However, as starting A-back Qua Searcy has been lost for the year and Broderick Snoddy’s availability going forward remains a mystery, two more players have burned their redshirt status.

AB Mikell Lands-Davis saw action at home against the Tar Heels. He had three rushes for 18 yards and a two catches for 24 yards and the only receiving touchdown for the Jackets on Saturday. Depending on the health of the A-backs, he may remain in the rotation along with junior Austin McClellan, who last saw action two seasons ago.

An injury to DT/DE Pat Gamble prior to the UNC game and an ejection to starting DT Adam Gotsis quickly depleted the defensive line depth. This meant Kyle Cerge-Henderson saw a few snaps in relief of Francis Kallon as a true freshman. It’s been a toss up as to whether Cerge-Henderson or Brentavious Glanton would be the emergency option and it looks like the former has won that fight.

The first year freshmen currently having the biggest impact include special teams standout A.J. Gray, who has 12 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery so far despite not starting any games. He figures to take over the free safety spot from the graduating Jamal Golden next season. Wide receiver Brad Stewart has also started in the wake of the injury to Michael Summers and has hauled in four passes for 45 yards.

While Tech’s 2-3 record is an enormous disappointment to date, the silver lining is that many underclassmen are logging much needed playing time. Down the road, it may be a benefit to get significant action for the future of this program. Even still, the season is not yet down the drains. Let’s all hope for the improved health of the upperclassmen to turn this season around.