Local players expected to contribute for Tech in Independence Bowl

By Doug Gorman


When Georgia Tech takes the field Monday afternoon against the Air Force Academy at the Independence Bow in Shreveport, La., it will be try end the season with a winning record.

The Yellow Jackets (6-6) struggled at the end of the regular season, losing four of their last five games.

It will be Tech's 14th-straight bowl appearence. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN2

Tech faces an Air Force Academy (8-4) squad that is strikingly similar on offense. Both teams operate out of the triple-option, running the football more than they pass it. Air Force as won its last three games.

A year ago, Georgia beat Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl.

Several local players are expected to contribute for Georgia Tech against the Falcons:

Rod Sweeting: The sophomore cornerback from Luella High School saw time in all 12 games during the regular season, often coming into the game in passing situations. Sweeting had 36 tackles and one interception.

Steven Sylvester: The junior linebacker from Union Grove high school started all 12 games for the Yellow Jackets this past season. Had 55 tackles, including a career high with 10 against Wake Forest. Also had two sacks in the team's loss at Kansas.

Kyle Jackson: Was Sylvester's high school teammate at Union Grove, Jackson, also a linebacker, missed all of last season with an injury. This season he played in nine of the team's 10 games, starting twice. He finished with 13 tackles and one interception.

Emmanuel Dieke: A red-shirt freshman from North Clayton, the defensive end has seen limited action this season for the Yellow Jackets.

Darryl Dickey: A walk-on at quarterback, the former Ola football player isn't expected to see action for the Yellow Jackets against the Falcons. In high school, Dickey was the student body president and a member of the National Honor Society. Was an outstanding baseball player in high school, leading the Mustangs to region titles in 2009 and 2010.

Chris Jackson: No longer on the team, the former Henry County wide receiver never played a down at Tech. Jackson transferred into Tech this year after starting his career at Alabama, but was sidelined with an injury. He now hopes to play at Georgia State where he would be teammates with his friend and former high school quarterback Drew Little.