Here are some notes and observations from the portion of Georgia Tech’s preseason practice Friday that was open to media.
1. In a one-on-one passing drill, among the standouts were receivers Ahmarean Brown and Malachi Carter and defensive backs Avery Showell, Devin Smith and Zamari Walton.
Brown showed off his speed to get free on a deep ball down the middle. Carter made a deft adjustment on a ball to bring down a pass into the end zone from 40 yards out. Showell and Smith challenged for breakups, and Walton came up with the only interception of the drill.
2. Quarterback Tobias Oliver returned to practice after missing the first two days with an illness. Oliver was limited in his participation because he did not have shoulder pads on unlike the rest of the team, as NCAA rules mandate that players progress through an acclimatization process going from helmets with no pads, to helmets and shoulder pads to finally full pads.
Oliver did take part in an 11-on-11 drill in which he made an option pitch to running back Dontae Smith, who gained the perimeter and ran down the sideline for a significant gain.
3. Jair Hawkins-Anderson, who flipped between wide receiver and cornerback in the spring and began the preseason at cornerback, was back at wide receiver Friday. After practice, defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker said that Hawkins-Anderson was moved to provide more depth at wide receiver.
“He’s been a great teammate,” Thacker said.
4. Linebacker David Curry and defensive tackle Brentavious Glanton were among playmakers in an 11-on-11 period early in practice. Curry made back-to-back stops near the line of scrimmage.
Glanton made at least two stops at or behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack to end the period.
5. The practice included a “sudden change,” in which players had to rush out of individual drills to an 11-on-11 period, something of an effort to simulate game conditions in which a unit will have to unexpectedly get back on the field because of a turnover.
The offense started with the ball on the defense’s 42-yard line and was attempting to drive for a score. In the first series, the offense reached the 21 before stalling, with kicker Wesley Wells making a field goal from about 39 yards out.
The lone big offensive play was a swing pass from quarterback Lucas Johnson to running back Jordan Mason for a gain of about 20 yards. The defense stopped the offense with pass breakups by Jaylon King, Jaquan Henderson and Bruce Jordan-Swilling.
6. A camera crew from the ACC Network was at practice, recording material for an “all-access” show for the network, set to launch Aug. 22.
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