The first year and a half of Morgan Bailey's career at Georgia Tech was spent watching on the sideline as multiple injuries hampered one of the Jackets' most talented linemen. After finally healing up last fall, Bailey became a key player in the final two games of 2011 and he is poised to start this fall at right tackle.
Bailey says the adjustment to playing is an ongoing process, but he feels more comfortable and with the help of left tackle Ray Beno, he has adjusted to the college game.
"I am still learning too and Beno has helped me a lot, but I am also trying to help the younger guys develop at the same time," he said. "I am still getting used to game speed and that has been the biggest adjustment to playing."
After playing in the season opener against Western Carolina, Bailey got hurt and missed most of the season until the Georgia game. This fall has been the first time he has been fully healthy since arriving at Tech and that has been a huge relief for him.
"Not having to worry about my body breaking down has been awesome," he said.
Bailey says both summer workouts and fall camp practices have been a little more intense than in the past because of the looming showdown with Virginia Tech on Labor Day.
"We pick up the tempo everyday and work hard. We have a really big game coming up, the first one of the year against a good team and it is a lot of work," Bailey said. "I think as a team we just wanted it more and we worked really hard this summer. I hope it is going to show."
Like many of his teammates, Bailey sang the praises of new strength and conditioning coordinator John Sisk and credited Coach Sisk for some of the hard work this summer.
"Coach Sisk is a great guy and he will get you ready to fight somebody before you workout. He is a great motivational speaker," he said.
One other major adjustment this fall has been the move to one offensive line coach, Mike Sewak. Bailey says the players who were used to two offensive line coaches have rallied around Sewak and they are a tighter unit because of the change.
"Coach Sewak has been a lot closer to us this year and that has been an adjustment and I think we are a lot tighter as a group than we have been," he said.
Bailey also says he isn't the only young lineman that has been making waves in fall camp.
"Bryan Chamberlain has been doing a good job and of course Shaq (Mason) is great. Trey Braun has been coming on too though he has been battling through injuries.
If the linemen can stay healthy this should be the deepest and most talented offensive line head coach Paul Johnson has had at Georgia Tech and one of the big keys will be Bailey staying healthy.