Fall Camp is officially here and that means the start of the 2022 college football season is right around the corner.
There are not a ton of teams that enter the 2022 season with as many questions marks as Georgia Tech does. Head coach Geoff Collins enters into his fourth season and is under a ton of pressure after three straight three-win seasons.
The offensive staff underwent change this offseason, with offensive line coach Brent Key being the only holdover from the previous staff. The offense has not been very creative the past few seasons and quarterback Jeff Sims has not developed, despite his obvious physical talents. New offensive coordinator Chip Long and quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke were brought in with Sims development in mind and that is a storyline to watch.
New transfers were brought in at every position, besides at wide receiver. These guys will push for starting jobs and improve the depth at most positions, which has been a problem in Collins tenure.
So what are the three biggest questions that the Georgia Tech offense needs to answer in fall camp? Let's break them down below
3. Which of the young receivers are ready for a bigger role?
Georgia Tech's leading receiver last season, Malachi Carter, is back, but the rest of the wide receiver depth chart has question marks on it. There are some talented players that could be ready, but it is time for them to show it in fall camp.
They guy getting the most attention is redshirt freshman Leo Blackburn and it is for good reason. Blackburn did not play last season due to an injury, but he is a mismatch problem at 6-5 225 LBS and is primed to grab a starting spot.
James BlackStrain is another name to know ahead of camp. BlackStrain was a four-star recruit in the 2021 class and the highest-rated recruit in that class. He did not see any playing time last season, but should be a key part of the rotation this year.
Malik Rutherford, Jullian Lewis, and DJ Moore are three other young guys that I think are going to be key players for Georgia Tech this season.
I expect this offense to be better and one reason for that is the talent at the receiver position. Who steps up and takes over a starting spot is the key question.
2. How does Georgia Tech replace Jahmyr Gibbs?
Georgia Tech took a big loss this offseason when the best player from their past couple of teams transferred. Jahmyr Gibbs is now at Alabama and now, Georgia Tech has the monster task of replacing him. While none of the backs on the roster have his upside or raw talent, there is reason for optimism from this group.
Dontae Smith has been waiting patiently for his opportunity to be the lead back for the Yellow Jackets and he is ready for this chance. I think Smith is in for a breakout season and is a big play-threat.
Smith won't be the only ball carrier in this run-focused offense. Buffalo transfer Dylan McDuffie is coming off of a 1,000 yard season and is a tough physical back. He played for running backs coach Mike Daniels at Buffalo and should be a key part of the offense this season.
Louisville transfer Hassan Hall is a big play back that got plenty experience over the years with the Cardinals. He will get carries in this offense and bring needed leadership to the locker.
Gibbs is going to be impossible to replace, but that does not mean there isn't any talent in the running back room.
1. How does the offensive line come together?
For this offense to be successful in 2022, the offensive line has to be better. It was not a great unit overall last year, especially when it comes to pass blocking. The coaching staff brought on four transfers this offseason to push for starting spots and give the unit depth.
Jordan Williams is returning and he will be occupying one of the tackle spots, but the rest of the spots are up for grabs.
Alabama transfer Pierce Quick is a likely starter either at tackle or guard, Clemson transfer Paul Tchio is a candidate at either guard spot, and Kentucky transfer RJ Adams can play anywhere along the interior. Sophomore Weston Franklin is going to be competing for a spot at center, and redshirt freshman Jakiah Leftwich will be doing so at tackle.
The offensive line has a lot of moving parts heading into fall camp and it will be up to the coaching staff to find where each guy fits the best and put the five best guys on the field. This is the unit that is most crucial to any offensive success this year.
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