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Finding a place for Damarius

Gailey backtracks, says Bilbo may play some QB

Posted: Saturday August 09, 2003 7:01 PM
Updated: Sunday August 10, 2003 10:20 AM

ATLANTA (AP) -- Damarius Bilbo could become Georgia Tech's "Slash."

Coach Chan Gailey said Saturday that he's considering Bilbo for several roles after deciding the sophomore wasn't working out as the first-team quarterback.

"We'll find a place for him," Gailey said. "It could be 'Slash,' with the wide receiver-quarterback thing. We're going to find a place for him to contribute to the offense where's he comfortable and we're comfortable."

Gailey was offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s when Kordell Stewart crafted the original Slash role, showing his versatility as a passer, runner and receiver.

Bilbo, who was visibly upset Friday when told that he wouldn't be starting at quarterback, said he wants to stay at Georgia Tech.

"I worked the whole summer for Georgia Tech. I didn't work for another school," he said after practice. "I worked in the weight room for Tech, and I'm going to play wherever I can this season and win some games for us."

Bilbo, who played eight games at quarterback last season, was initially moved to running back. He will also try out at receiver and could wind up playing quarterback in a limited role.

"I'm kind of confused and excited at the same time," Bilbo said. "We've still got a game coming up on Aug. 28, so I'm just excited and hoping for the best right now."

Bilbo said he's willing to try several positions, though he still considers himself a quarterback.

"I tried the running back thing, and Tony Hollings didn't come out of me, so I'm going to try some receiver," he joked. "But I'm still a quarterback, too. Coach Gailey told me I could still be a quarterback, but he wants me to do some of that 'Slash' stuff so he look at some of the other quarterbacks.

"I'm not really comfortable yet, but I'm happy with the situation."

Gailey said he will find a way to take advantage of Bilbo's athleticism.

"He's got a great attitude," Gailey said. "He's an unbelievable young man, and he'll be an asset to our football team in some way, shape or form."

During a Saturday night scrimmage, the three remaining quarterbacks all had their positive moments.

Freshman Reggie Ball, now taking a majority of snaps with the first team, connected with Nate Curry on a short pass that Curry turned into a 32-yard touchdown by breaking a tackle.

A.J. Suggs, who started all 13 games last season, led the Yellow Jackets on a 70-yard touchdown drive that included a 37-yard completion to Levon Thomas.

Another freshman, Patrick Carter, threw a 37-yard TD pass to Chris Dunlap and hooked up with Rashaun Grant for a 12-yard touchdown on a screen pass.

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