QB Byerly to earn scholarship at Ga. Tech

In retrospect, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said, he probably should’ve recruited quarterback Tim Byerly.

As one of the top high school players in the state of Georgia, Byerly led Chattahoochee High to the 2010 Class AAAA state championship and a 15-0 record, becoming the first player in school history to pass and rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season.

Now, the 2012 transfer from Middle Tennessee State will finally earn a scholarship from Georgia Tech this summer.

There’s no question Justin Thomas is Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback heading into summer camp, but don’t be surprised to see more of Byerly, who is coming off an impressive spring. With Thomas sidelined for the spring game this past weekend for precautionary injury reasons, Byerly rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and passed for 69 yards to lead the White team past the Gold team, 20-12.

“They’ll sort that out themselves, but I feel good about him if we have to put him in a game,” Johnson said of shared playing time. “I think he’s closed the distance a lot. Tim played well this spring. We were really, really pleased with him.”

Byerly sat out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules, and last season he played in four games as the third-string quarterback behind Vad Lee and Thomas. Georgia Tech doesn't often accept transfer students, and Johnson said that when they do, he usually asks them to walk-on, which is why Byerly hasn't been on a scholarship. Lee’s decision to transfer left Byerly as the second-most experienced quarterback on the roster. Not only has Byerly earned some playing time, he has also earned his scholarship.

Despite the turnover on the roster, Johnson said he’s just as confident in his quarterbacks as he was a year ago.

“I feel like these guys at quarterback will be good,” he said. “We’ve still got some stuff we have to get better at, but Justin made improvement this spring and Timmy Byerly really improved. They’re tough guys.”