In the college football world of complex offensive systems, replacing a quarterback has become a lot tougher than it used to be. Finding the person to lead your methodical chess game of an offense down the field is crucial. This spring, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson has the task of seeing if sophomore Vad Lee can be that man. The decision, however, shouldn’t be that tough.
Although he played the backup role last season to two-year starter Tevin Washington, Lee is not short on experience.
Vad appeared in 12 games last season for the Ramblin’ Wreck, going 27-56 for 596 yards and four touchdowns. Having that kind of game experience in Johnson’s complex triple-option attack eases the transition a lot more than people would think. It also takes a huge weight off of the head coach’s shoulders as well.
This past week, Johnson lost long-time assistant, and QB evaluator, Brian Bohannon. Bohannon accepted an offer to become the first ever head coach at Kennesaw State University. All the way back to their days at the Naval Academy, the new Kennesaw State coach was Johnson’s main evaluator of field general talent. Now, the head coach has to pay a little more attention to his quarterbacks than he normally does.
While he is the assumed successor to Washington, Lee will have a little bit of competition to fend off this spring. Redshirt freshman Justin Thomas and Middle Tennessee State transfer, sophomore Tim Byerly, will also be taking snaps with the Tech offense. But, I would have to assume that it would either take an unfortunate injury or some sort of miraculous performance by one of the other two to have Johnson decide that Vad Lee is not his guy.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a season where they were minutes away from a BCS appearance in the Orange Bowl. Losing an experienced starter such as Tevin Washington could commonly be seen as a major setback. But this quarterback replacement project is more about making sure Lee develops more than it is about having to teach him.
With GT only losing two starters on the offensive side of the ball, an extremely prepared Lee under center for the Yellow jackets makes a return trip to the ACC Title Game that much more possible.