Though he doesn’t read the news off a teleprompter as the fictitious movie character Ron Burgundy does, he is the Yellow Jackets’ top returning offensive lineman.
“I guess it goes well with me because I love Will Ferrell and I love that movie,” Finch said. “I’m not going to shy away from it. But it’s not something I’m going to try and go after. I guess (my teammates) thought it was just amusing. It was funny.”
The senior center has been named to the Rimington trophy watch list — an award given to college football’s top center. Finch is a key cog in what has been deemed as the deepest offensive line in Paul Johnson’s tenure as coach at Georgia Tech.
Finch will be playing on the same offensive line with Omeregie Uzzi at guard, a second-team preseason All-American candidate by Phil Steele and a member of the preseason all-ACC first team.
“We have great chemistry,” Finch said. “Uzzi has been out there with us getting ready. Everybody’s healthy … We’ve had a lot of people who have played here: me, (Ray) Beno, (Tyler) Kidney. Tyler Morgan has played a good bit, Shaq (Mason) — we do have a lot of experience, which is good for chemistry.”
More than being good for chemistry, it’s good for playing through the wear and tear of a full season. Finch missed a game against Clemson last season after having to be carted off the field for a knee injury on the first play of the game at Miami last season.
Finch was able to work his way back into the starting lineup prior to last year’s Virginia Tech game, but believes that his training in the offseason will lead to a better chance of staying healthy for every game this season.
“(Strength coach John) Sisk has been great,” Finch said. “He’s very knowledgeable about injury prevention. I’ll do this or this. For me, my shoulder bothers me from time to time, which I guess happens from being a center and snapping so much. (The new workouts) help me recover and rebuild muscles that I need. It’s been really good. I know that it’s helped a lot of other people, too.”
With the added emphasis in the offseason on different workouts rather than the standard lifts, curls and power cleans, Finch is able to focus more on what’s ahead. More than award watch lists and preseason publicity, Finch is focused on Georgia Tech’s first game of the season, a road trip to Virginia Tech on Labor Day. After being picked second in the ACC’s Coastal Division by the press at the ACC media days, Finch said he had plenty of motive to overcome the league’s favorite to win the division.
“9-3,” he said. “Just to know that date is getting here, it’s been great to have that little facebook countdown. I can never forget because whenever I’m on my computer, I can always see it because someone has either tweeted it or whatever. But it’s good. It’s something to keep you driven because, every day, we get that much closer to the season. There’s no time off.”