In the next part of the Georgia Tech football spring preview series, we take a look at the Jackets B-Back position group headlined by KirVonte Benson.
- B-Backs (Today):
- OL (4/11):
- WR (4/12):
- DL (4/13):
- LB (4/16):
- CB (4/17):
- S (4/18):
- Special Teams (4/19)
Despite losing star b-back Dedrick Mills last fall, Georgia Tech football’s collection of B-Backs performed well last season. This spring it was already announced that Quaide Weimerskirch would be leaving the program and transferring to the University of West Florida, a Division II program that came out of nowhere last year to make it to the National Championship game.
That leaves the Yellow Jackets with just four B-Backs this spring an five next fall.
This time last year, Benson was the Yellow Jackets backup B-Back behind then expected star Dedrick Mills. A year later, Mills is gone from the program and is at Garden City Community College in Kansas while Benson is coming off a 1,000+ yard season rushing. He finished the season with 204-carries for 1,053-yards and six touchdowns
In 2018, Benson will return as the Yellow Jackets starter at B-Back and will look to take another step forward. Benson throughout last season showed his ability to show off his speed but also being able to a running back who can hand out a bruising. At 5-foot-9 and 211-pounds, Benson may not be the biggest back but could certainty dish it out on opposing defense. That being said, if the Jackets offense is going to take a step forward in 2018 so will Benson.
For Benson to take that crucial step forward, the Marietta, Georgia native will need to be more consistent. In the 11-games that he appeared in last season, Benson was only able to rush for 100 or more yards in five games. Outside of his five 100+ yard performances, Benson averaged just 56.3 yards per game.
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With a year of experience under his belt, Benson should be in prime position to take a step forward next season.
As a freshman, Jerry Howard certainly left a good impression on the coaching staff and fans despite limited playing time. Last season, Howard saw playing time in nine games but only had 23 carries on the season.
In those 23 carries, Howard showed off some tremendous abilities, rushing for 175-yards, an average of 7.6 yards per carry. With great speed, Howard showed his ability to be able to be a home run threat when ever he touched the ball. He showcased that the best against Jacksonville State when he took one rushing attempt 65-yards to the house.
Howard should see more carries in 2018 and if he keeps up when he’s shown on the ground could be challenging Benson for carries during the season. Until then, Howard could be one of the best secret weapons in the ACC and college football.
Ponchez-Mason redshirted his true freshman season but has impressed coaches since arriving on campus according to reports. With Benson and Howard seeming to have the starting and backup positions on the depth chart locked down, Mason may see time at A-Back this upcoming season. With high-upside and the ability to be a potential big play threat, the Yellow Jackets will look to get Mason on the field as much as they can but only in the right situations.
A walk on, Macrina most likely won’t see the field unless the Jackets are involved in an absolute blowout, late-game situations, or significant injuries. However, Macrina could see a good amount of playing time in their upcoming spring game.
Malloy hasn’t enrolled yet on The Flats and will this upcoming summer. That being said, he’ll spend the 2018 season red shirting and practicing with the scout team this fall. Malloy certainly has potential but he’ll have to be patient as he’s at least still a year in a half away from seeing the field.