It will be hard to pinpoint the surprises on the Georgia Tech football team until the Yellow Jackets actually play a game, but there have been some players who have stepped forward and appear to be ready to make a contribution this year.
Here are five players you might want to keep an eye on in the season opener against Boston College on Sept. 3.
Dedrick Mills, B-back: The true freshman from Waycross runs like a freight train and is a load to bring down. But unlike Patrick Skov a year ago, Mills hits people and still keeps going. He has received high marks for his ability to learn quickly from his mistakes. Mills is going to play a lot this season and could combine with Marcus Marshall to give the Yellow Jackets a one-two punch at the position like they enjoyed in 2014 with Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days.
Shamire Devine, guard: The junior has gotten serious about shedding the pounds and getting in shape. He’s probably better off than he has been since arriving at Georgia Tech. If Devine can continue on this path and keep improving, he could have a pro career. He has the size and the ability to play at the next level. He just has to stay on the field.
Eason Fromayan, offensive tackle: He has been kicking around for two years without much fanfare, playing 13 games as a redshirt freshman (after transferring from TCU) in 2014 and 12 games in 2015. He has gotten stronger and has taken advantage of the school’s nutrition program to move to the front of the line. He might be the team’s second-best lineman behind center Freddie Burden.
Terrell Lewis, linebacker: The junior has quietly been running with the first group and could be in the starting lineup. The Ocoee, Florida, native played 11 games, mostly on special teams, as a true freshman and had seven tackles in 12 games in 2015. Lewis said he understands the defense a lot better and has worked hard to be a more physical player. He’ll get the opportunity to prove it.
Victor Alexander, linebacker: He isn’t likely to start unless someone gets hurt, but Alexander could end up playing a lot. He played in 12 games as a true freshman a year ago and wound up with nine tackles. The Jacksonville, Florida, native isn’t afraid to stick his nose in there; he had two tackles against Clemson a year ago. He will benefit from watching and learning from senior P.J. Davis.
Paul Johnson’s radio show returns
The Paul Johnson Radio Show returns at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Three Dollar Café in midtown Atlanta. It can be heard on the Georgia Tech Gameday app that is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
The show will be hosted by new broadcaster Andy Demetra. Fans can submit questions via Twitter using #GTRadio or through the Georgia Tech Athletics Facebook page.