Sanders providing a steady hand in an improved Tech passing attack
ATLANTA— Watching Georgia Tech’s offense amid a notably difficult transition from Paul Johnson’s option attack, there are a couple of players that have stood out in terms of making plays during times Tech needed them the most.
As Geoff Collins’ third year on the Flats continues to unfold, Adonicas Sanders is a man that has made a name for himself and is continuing to do so as a tried-and-true reliable option for the Jackets in the passing game. After redshirting in 2017, Sanders saw action in games leading back to 2018, while also proving himself repeatedly from 2019 until now in Dave Patenaude's spread offense.
He is fourth on the team in receptions with 20 and caught the game-winning 36-yard touchdown pass in Tech’s last win at Duke with 51 seconds left on the clock.
Sanders credits the Jackets’ strength program run by Lew Caralla as a reason for his progress.
“First, I want to start off and thank Coach Lew for helping me get my lower body strength, and helping me break tackles,” Sanders said. “I don’t like getting tackled in one-on-one coverage, so every time I make a catch and break a tackle I want to say, ‘thank you, Coach Lew’.”
Another huge attribute that Sanders has shown in his time wearing the White and Gold is his sure hands. He has always been a viable target, especially on third down due to this fact and now he is working on refining the rest of his game to continue earning more playing time out wide.
He believes his offseason work improving his hands has paid dividends, and that his route running has gotten better allowing him to be open more often for Jeff Sims.
“This summer, I worked on my hands a lot so when the ball come[s] my way I try to focus as hard as possible and just catch the ball, and [then] make plays after once I secure the catch,” Sanders stated. “I [do] feel like I run better routes now, creating a lot of separation at the top of my routes so Jeff can find me and get me the ball.”
When asked about splitting time with fellow receiver Kalani Norris, Sanders answered with a selfless message that may be one of the reasons why the Jackets’ receiving core has improved the way it has this season.
“I mean, I wasn’t mad, I’m happy for every receiver to be on the field,” Sanders said of the situation. “During that situation when my name was called, I’m just going to make a play. So in that situation when Kalani was in front of me, I just said when my time comes, I just need to be ready to make the best of my opportunities.”
Sanders also acknowledged that the team has been employing an extreme sense of urgency in preparation for this week’s game at Miami.
Tech is (3-5) on the year and (2-4) in the ACC, and he believes that the frustrations of losing games by shooting themselves in the foot with costly mistakes at inopportune times have led to this feeling.
“Most of the games that we lost it was little mistakes and stuff that could be game-changing and cause us to win the game,” Sanders said. “So, we got a few games left we just gotta lock in on [our] attention to details, and [continue] to stay focused on limiting the penalties so we can win from here on out.”
The Jackets will have a chance to focus on their attention to details and that one play at a time mentality this Saturday when they clash with Miami in Hard Rock Stadium at 12:30 p.m.