The results are in for Athlons Sports annual All-ACC preseason football teams, with three Georgia Tech players making the list: linebacker Charlie Thomas, running back Donte Smith, and offensive lineman Jordan Williams. All three players had roles with the Yellow Jackets last season.
Thomas was selected to the third team All-ACC preseason team after finishing with 70 tackles and two interceptions, including a two-interception performance against the Kennesaw State Owls. He played a big part in the Yellow Jackets stunning defeat of then-ranked North Carolina, getting to the quarterback three times, two of them being solo sacks. Thomas led the Yellow Jackets in interceptions (2) and tackles for loss (10) last season. Although he started to fizzle out towards the end of the year, Thomas will be looked at as a major contributor for the Yellow Jackets this Fall. The Yellow Jackets don’t have much depth at the linebacker spot, so Thomas could wind up being on the field more than he is accustomed to. He will be a fifth year senior and being that he is on a Georgia Tech team that has struggled on the defensive side of the ball since he got there, Thomas could be in for a big year in 2022.
Williams earned fourth team All-ACC honors after being one of the only viable blockers that Georgia Tech put on the field last season, starting nine games for the Yellow Jackets at right tackle. Williams was a little bit of a bright spot for the Yellow Jackets in the trenches, an area that they have struggled in over the past three seasons. With this only being his sophomore year, hopes are high for the 6’6 333 pound lineman going forward, as the Yellow Jackets are desperate to find a leader in the trenches. Williams just could be that guy moving forward for this football program.
With Jordan Mason and Jahmyr Gibbs gone, the Yellow Jackets will have to rely on a new feature back in the backfield, as the duo accounted for 230 touches last season. Jamious Griffin left via the transfer portal in the offseason, leaving Smith as the only running back on the roster that got playing time last season. So it makes sense that the Yellow Jackets would choose him as their feature back this season, and it could be a big one. Smith has been in the program for three years now, with each season being better than the last. He finished last season with 68 carries for 378 yards and four touchdowns. We don’t know how incoming freshman Antonio Martin Jr. will do, and transfer Hassan Hall seems to almost have the backup spot secured and could split carries with Smith. It was easy to see why Smith was featured on the list, being selected to the fourth team All-ACC preseason team. Everything is looking up for Smith, and 2022 is set to be one with low expectations for the Yellow Jackets, so they will try to find their main guy and stick to him.