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August 29, 2018

Paul Johnson

Greensboro, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson.

Coach, please make an opening statement and then we'll take questions.

PAUL JOHNSON: Good morning. We're looking forward to finally getting to open the season after you go through a spring practice and fall camp. I'm sure our guys are ready to play somebody in a different colored outfit, just excited to get this thing underway, looking forward to the season.


Q. With the new NCAA redshirt rule, going into the year do you have kind of a set plan in mind of guys you'd like to play a certain amount or is it just a completely fluid situation?
PAUL JOHNSON: Well, I think we have a plan of the freshmen that we know we're probably not going to redshirt at all. I think with that new rule, it also gives you the option of sometimes if you think you have a guy that's going to play, they go through the first four games, they haven't played very much or they haven't played as well as you thought, you can always pull that and redshirt 'em.

As far as the other guys, we're not looking to put anybody in the first couple of games just to put them in. I think we would rather wait, let them mature, if they're not ready to help us win right away. At some point during the season, we'll be able to use most of those guys, whether it's on special teams or when you have depth issues or whatever.

The last thing I want to do is kind of put them all in the first four games, then if you end up with injuries, some things that happen towards the end, they would have to lose a redshirt year.

Yeah, I guess to answer your question, we have a plan for it. It will be fluid because you can never tell what's going to happen injury-wise and depth-wise. We do have a plan.

Q. Do you think for some of the young guys who aren't ready game one or aren't in the plan right now, that knowing there's a chance they could play late in the season or a bowl game, will that help keep them stay engaged during the year?
PAUL JOHNSON: I think certainly. I think if you're out there and you know that you're not playing, that's tough work being on the scout team for a year knowing you're not going to play in the game.

If you have the opportunity that you get better or you know that you're going to have a chance to play somewhere along the year, then certainly I think your attitude and everything is probably better.

Q. To take a look at Jordan Mason, he'll get the start coming up here, what he's done for you through fall camp?
PAUL JOHNSON: I think Jordan had a good spring and a good fall camp. He was a redshirt. Got hurt early last year in camp, so we redshirted him. He wasn't ready when the season started. KirVonte had a really good year. KirVonte is still the starter. He's sitting out the first quarter of this game. That will give Jordan a chance to start. Jerry Howard missed some practice. But that position, there's a lot of depth there. All three of those guys are kind of interchangeable.

We feel pretty good about that spot. I think Jordan can be a really good player. I'm anxious to see him get his chance on Saturday.

Q. As far as the defensive side of things, seniors and redshirt seniors are throughout the defense for you at every single piece of it. What can you say about the evolution of that defense, the leadership and experience you're going to have on that side of the ball?
PAUL JOHNSON: It's a brand-new defense for us, a new defensive scheme. I think our players are excited about that. The first group has some experience and some seniors. We have three seniors up front, one of the inside backers, couple of the outside backers. The secondary is going to be some younger guys probably.

But what we've got to do on defense is we've got to be able to start to build some depth right from the start. A lot of the young players, redshirt freshmen, are really going to be good. We have to kind of integrate those guys, get them in there and get them some experience.

THE MODERATOR: Coach Johnson, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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