ATLANTA — There are many good adjectives Paul Johnson could use to describe the kicking competition he has witnessed thus far in Georgia Tech’s preseason camp, but to this point, only one has really come to mind: “Ragged.”
A Johnson favorite, the word has been used often by the head coach throughout his now three-year tenure on the Flats whenever he wants to indicate his feelings about less-than-stellar performances from his ballplayers. On Sunday, after the Yellow Jackets partook in a kicking scrimmage that lacked the enthusiasm he wished to see, he used the term once again.
“It was ragged,” he said, before adding the next day that “neither one of those (players) has kicked as well as they’re capable of yet.”
The two players in question — senior Scott Blair and true freshman Justin Moore — entered preseason camp with credentials most place-kickers would envy.
Scott Blair, 14, kicks one of his four field goals during the ACC championship game. Photo credit: zimbio.com
Blair, the veteran, took a crash course in pressure-kicking last season when he sank each of his four attempts against Clemson in the Yellow Jackets’ ACC championship win last December. Three of the kicks were from beyond 40 yards.
The challenger, Moore, is coming off a strong high school career in which he went 11-for-17 on field goals and booted home 88 of 89 extra point opportunities. The former Marist School standout earned Atlanta Touchdown Club all-star team honors after booting home a school-record 50-yard field goal and lofting 48 career touchbacks on kickoffs.
Despite such extensive resumes, kicking this August in the dense, humid Atlanta air has proved difficult for Blair and Moore, the lone competitors in the Yellow Jackets’ preseason place-kicking battle.
“I think I’m going to enter it,” Johnson said, jokingly.....
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