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Guyton ready to lead Jackets
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Gary Guyton delivers a bruising hit in a game last season. - photo by File photo
Former Bradwell Institute football standout Gary Guyton understands this is his time to step up and lead.
The Georgia Tech senior linebacker has been moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker and is expected to keep Tech’s defense one of the strongest in the country.
“I’m a senior, so I’m a leader now,” Guyton said. “I’m studying film a little harder and making sure I know that everything is good and in the proper order. I want to be the best I can on defense.”
Guyton’s former high school coach Jim Walsh Jr. is proud of him.
“Obviously, he did what he’s supposed to do,” Walsh said. “He put himself in a position to lead. Before, he was more of a situational player, now he has the opportunity to be a full-time starter, and he’s a guy who can get the job done.
I am definitely proud of what he has accomplished not just on the football field but in the classroom as well,” Walsh said. “This is a great opportunity for him. I know he’s going to be successful as an inside backer. I’m really proud of his three previous years and now he can play every snap.”
Last season, the Rambling Wreck won the ACC Coastal Division, going 7-1. However, they went 9-5 overall, losing their final three games by three points apiece.
Guyton said he would love to win the ACC championship and a bowl game in his final year.
“That would be great to go out on top as ACC champions this year,” he said. The goal of every senior is to have the best outgoing season possible.”
Guyton constantly works hard in the weight room and in the classroom, where he is majoring in management.
The Yellow Jackets are respected all over the country for their stellar defense.
Last year, the Tech defense ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense while holding eight opponents to one touchdown or less. 
Georgia Tech returns 24 defensive lettermen, including eight starters.
Starting for the first time last fall, Guyton made 29 tackles, including eight for losses and two sacks. He also intercepted a pass.
One of Guyton’s shining moments last year was when he returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Jackets’ 38-27 upset of No. 10 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
The win was pivotal in Tech winning the division.
As far as the spring drills, he said the team takes its time going through the fundamentals and the little things.
“We work hard. That’s the bottom line. Work hard and go after it,” he said. “Nothing comes easy. Never fall short. Prepare and work hard.
Spring practice started March 1 and ended Saturday with the annual scrimmage, where Guyton made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Practice resumes Aug. 3 and the Jackets open the season Sept. 1 at Notre Dame. Their first home game is Sept. 8 against Samford.
In the meantime, Guyton will be lifting weights, studying film and going to class.
Guyton said the classes are going well and his advice to youngsters trying to play collegiate ball is to work hard and study the books. 
Guyton visits Hinesville every chance he has and enjoys talking with the Tiger football team.
“Gary has a big impact in talking to the kids about what it takes to play football at any level,” Walsh said. “He talks to them about the football aspect and the academic aspect of it. That’s what kids have to hear.”
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