October 5, 2009

Lyons hopes to perfect the option

Originally recruited by Paul Johnson at the Naval Academy, B-back Preston Lyons transferred to Georgia Tech once he discovered that the triple option offense was coming to Atlanta. Lyons is a red-shirt sophomore that played his high school ball at Marist where they ran a very similar offense. The decision to transfer was an easy one and the transition to Tech has been smooth so far.

Lyons caught Coach Johnson's attention during spring and fall practice and his performance has earned him the back-up spot to Jonathan Dwyer. Lyons has had the luxury of learning from one of the best running backs in the nation.

He commented on Dwyer by saying, "He is really helpful to me. During practice I'll watch him in pass protection in order to know where blocks are coming from and where the defense is lined up and how to read them."

Lyons is a north to south runner that does not have the same speed as someone like Dwyer, but he gets his pads low and carries defenders for tough yards through the middle of the defense. He has also shown good vision during practice, especially on screen passes, where reading downfield blocks becomes an integral part of gaining extra yards.

When asked about the most important part of playing B-back in the offense, Lyons responded, "You've got to be tough. You are going to get hit every play whether or not you have the ball. You've got to run hard and look for someone to block, so I think toughness is the key."

Lyons has seen his playing time slowly increase over the course of the season and he is looking to get involved in the offense wherever he can. Through four games, Lyons has rushed nine times for 21 yards.

"I'll do whatever I need to do to help," he said. "If Jon (Dwyer) needs a break, I will go in. I think that he is more effective the less tired that he is. I'll go in whenever they need me to."

The Jackets are looking to improve on offense each week as they strive for "The Perfect Option."

Lyons summed it up by saying, "Every day at practice we're working at perfecting what we have so that we can execute the offense better. One of our goals is to finish. We've had some good drives and a lot of offensive production but sometimes we've got to learn how to dig deep for another two or three plays and finish the drive with a touchdown."

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