ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech’s coaches are hopeful that depth will equal strength this season at the A-back position.
There are plenty of candidates to man the two A-back spots. Seven experienced lettermen return to the fold. But so far, no one has stepped up to take the lead role that was left vacant by the graduation of the overachieving Robert Godhigh.
“There’s a lot of experience there,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “Robbie Godhigh was very productive for us a year ago, so we have to find somebody to fill that role.”
The main contenders are Synjyn Days, Tony Zenon, B.J. Bostic, Deon Hill, Charles Perkins, Broderick Snoddy and Dennis Andrews.
“There’s a lot of guys that can play that position,” Johnson said. “It’s also pretty deep.”
Days, a transplanted quarterback, moved into a starting role for the final seven games of the 2013 season. He may know the position better than the others and is probably the best blocker among the returnees. Days rushed for 93 yards, a 3.4 yard average and four touchdowns last season. He has 472 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in his career.
Zenon is a redshirt senior from Albany who is smaller (5-foot-8, 174 pounds) than the others but with great quickness. Zenon played in 11 games last year and made one start. He ran for 193 yards in 2012 but saw that total drop to 35 yards in 2013. He has averaged 5.2 yards in his career. Zenon hooked with quarterback Justin Thomas for a long reception in Monday’s practice.
Bostic is a redshirt senior from Jefferson County who has played in 38 games in his career. In 2013, Bostic carried 16 times for 116 yards, a 7.2 yard average. Bostic is considered a possible game-breaker as a runner or a receiver.
Deon Hill, a redshirt senior from Phenix City, Alabama, is trying to come back from Crohn’s Disease, which caused him to miss the final four games last year. Hill (6-0, 194) is an athletic player who doubles as an excellent receiver. He rushed for 119 yards, a 9.2 yard average a year ago.
Perkins, a redshirt senior from Lawrenceville, has had a career hampered by injuries. Last year was his healthiest season, and he ran for 114 yards, an 8.8-yard average and two touchdowns. Perkins is a load (6-1, 216) with excellent speed, which makes him difficult to bring down. He did not have any rushing attempts for negative yardage in 2013.
Snoddy, a redshirt junior from Carrollton, is the fastest player on the team. He will be moving from B-back to A-back this season and gives the Yellow Jackets another breakaway threat. He rushed for 124 yards, a 6.2 yard average, last season.
Andrews, a redshirt-sophomore from Tallahassee, Florida, played in 13 games in 2013. He rushed 12 times for 140 yards, an 11.7-yard average. Andrews has good size (6-0, 182) and game-changing skills that might be compared to those of Orwin Smith.
Freshmen Clinton Lynch from Norcross arrived at camp early and Isiah Willis of Marietta has had some good moments early in practice.
“It’s looking great,” Days said. “We’ve got a lot of seniors. We all have a different type of game that we bring it together. I think we’ll have a great season at A-back.