2012’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets look similar to last years squad that started 6-0, but finished 8-5. QB Tevin Washington, RB Orwin Smith, S Isaiah Johnson, LB Jeremiah Attaochu, and 11 others. Yet the one lifeblood on defense not returning is ILB Julian Burnett, who suffered a career ending neck injury in Tech’s Sun Bowl loss to Utah. Replacing Burnett will be akin to replacing 3 starters and it will be tough to fill his void during the 2012 campaign. The going will get tough for the Jackets, who have seemed softer to begin with in years past on the defensive side of the ball. In the wake of Burnett’s permanent departure, Jeremiah Attaochu is the go-to defensive player. He will need to assume the leadership role and rally his team around his productivity.
Offensively, Washington is the best man for the job under center coming in to the season. But he may not be the best. RS Freshman Vad Lee is considered to be the best throwing quarterback on the team and the team seems to be polarizing to him. But Paul Johnson’s squad still implements the triple option as their bread and butter. The team appears to be grooming Lee’s running abilities in order to be Washington’s replacement should something happen along the way.
Yet for all the moving pieces on both sides of the ball, the schedule is favorable throughout the season. At Virginia Tech and at Clemson are the toughest games prior to hosting BYU. Their record should be good and they’ll still have a lot to play for in the 2012 season. This will be the last ‘tough’ game for BYU, which also features Utah, Boise St., and Notre Dame, among others.