1. The team arrived at its Amelia Island, Fla., resort hotel Tuesday afternoon, escorted by police from Jacksonville International Airport. If you want visual evidence, look no further. Further, coach Paul Johnson was the bearer of good news for the players’ eligibility for the game.
A thick fog covered the grounds when the team arrived.
“It looks nice,” offensive tackle Eason Fromayan said of his room. “I’ve heard it’s oceanfront. Just got to wait for this fog to clear out.”
2. Georgia Tech B-back Marcus Allen was compared to Anthony Allen when he signed with the Yellow Jackets out of Hilliard, Fla., not far from Jacksonville. His career didn’t unfold in the same manner (Anthony Allen was All-ACC in 2010 and played two NFL seasons), but his time at Tech has been a success in its own meaningful way.
3. From the 4th-and-19 against Boston College to A.J. Gray channeling D.J. White against Duke to Lance Austin’s interceptions against Virginia and Georgia, the Yellow Jackets’ eight win seasons was characterized by a number of big plays. Coaches and players shared their recollections of one moment from each victory.
4. Wednesday and Thursday, bowl organizers have activities planned for the team – TopGolf on Wednesday and a visit to Naval Station Mayport on Thursday. As for the coaches?
“I think we’ll probably be involved with most of the team functions, and we have a lot of functions on our own,” Johnson said. “I’ll have a dinner (Wednesday) night for the coaching staff and some things like that, so we kind of have our own itinerary as well.”
5. Johnson’s assessment of Kentucky: “I think they were playing very well towards the end of the year. Offensively, they run the ball very well and they’ve been able to put together some scoring drives, especially at the end when they need it. And defensively, they’re very athletic. Their two linebackers inside are good players, and they’ve got a pretty good secondary, too, as well. It ought to be a heck of a game.”
Johnson on cornerback Step Durham: “He came in, and he’s kind of waited his turn and he’s been a starter now for this year, the full year. He was the first guy going in a year ago. He continues to work hard and hopefully he continues to get better every game.”
Worth reading: Andy Demetra’s story on how Qua Searcy’s life has changed since his last-minute touchdown against Georgia. Kentucky beat writer Jen Smith of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader explains the Wildcats’ success with the long ball. You may have missed stories I wrote about Dedrick Mills as he approaches 2017 and Johnson’s assessment of the 2016 season.