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Georgia Tech’s Spring Showcase

By BJ Bennett
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The stars, Geoff Collins included, worked the sidelines all night, first-bumps serving as the pulse of the show.

This Georgia Tech spring scrimmage was different. 

For one, the Yellow Jackets opened the game with a pass to the tight end. Updated roles at the skill positions were the schematic focus of the evening. A proficient a downfield passing game showcased the team's switch from Paul Johnson's flexbone option scheme. Head coach Geoff Collins made his unofficial debut in front of a record-setting crowd at Historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The most obvious theme of the contest was a fresh and palpable program energy. It, notably, was the most striking change on display.   

Looking up and down the field pre-game, you saw dozens of high-profile recruits. Also, college football legends Calvin Johnson and Joe Hamilton, along with national championship-winning former head coach Bobby Ross. Johnson fired up the crowd before the first snap by asking the crowd over and over again "...what's the good word?". Given the hype and anticipation surrounding this new era, the pre-game scene was fitting. 

The stars, Collins included, worked the sidelines all night, first-bumps serving as the pulse of the show.  

As the players lined up for the first snap of the game under center, the formation suddenly shifted to a shotgun, four-receiver set. Collins starting jumping up and down in the offensive backfield, quickly bringing 21,194 fans to their feet. It wasn't just a cheer, but a collective embracing of a more up-tempo idendity. The script proved true as the two offenses combined for 50 total points.  

Like a YouTube highlight clip, a steady beat, featuring a number of Atlanta-area artists, was the backdrop for every drop back. The progress made was music to the ears of many Georgia Tech fans; Yellow Jacket quarterbacks combined to throw for 324 passing yards, with three touchdowns. James Graham set the tone early with a 39-yard score to Adonicas Sanders. Lucas Johnson completed 12-of-16 attempts for 87 yards and a touchdown. Jaylen Jackson had a 58-yard catch. 

Georgia Tech's spring game, above all else, was fun. For all the talk of offensive yards, first downs and scores, smiles may have been the ultimate measure. There was a bounce in the steps of the players and coaches. Recruits seemed engaged. Laughs followed the likes of JoeHam, Megatron and Roddy Jones, recently announced as a member of the ACC Network, like the echos of stadium cheers.

In the heart of the city, a wave of confidence consumed the oldest on-campus venue in all of college football. Those inside didn't just ride it, they "swag-surfed".

After great success under the iconic Johnson, who brought multiple trips to the ACC Championship Game, a conference title and an Orange Bowl triumph to the Flats, Georgia Tech has a powerful program momentum under Collins, a former assistant for the Yellow Jackets and a metro-Atlanta native. He has channeled the flow of the 404. Georgia Tech, right off I-75, is full speed ahead.

Friday night in mid-town was just a spring game. It was also a start and a springboard.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports