Dabo Swinney is counting on Tyshon Dye being something special, once he puts his injuries behind him.
The highly-touted running back from Elbert County, Ga. went into preseason camp with high hopes, penciled in to play as a first-year freshman for what he brought to the table - a big-back body, with speed to spare.
It didn't work out.
Dye developed a back injury during August, and when the injury didn't respond to rest and physical therapy, he underwent surgery last month to correct a problem with a disc.
While he was in surgery, he also had work done on his ankle, which had been injured previously.
Swinney said this week that Dye's rehab is on schedule, but he won't likely be cleared to resume work until spring practice.
"He's just rehabbing right now," Swinney said. "He had the back surgery. He had a disc they had to clean up, and that went great. He feels good.
"He also had a ligament thing on his ankle that he's just been playing with. We just kind of cleaned that up to get that out of the way while he's rehabbing."
Swinney said the prospect of having Dye in the backfield for the next four years is consolation for his season lost.
"He is a phenomenal young man," Swinney said. "I hate that he got hurt because I think he would have been a special player this year. But we've got him for four more years. I don't have any doubt that if he's healthy, he's going to show up pretty quick."
Swinney said that the only two active Tigers who'll be limited in practice for the Georgia Tech game are running back C.J. Davidson and defensive back Ronald Geohaghan. Both are recovering from mild MCL sprains.
"Going into game 10 we have a lot of guys beat up but only a couple of guys out of practice," Swinney said. "Geohaghan is still coming back, and it's the same thing with C.J. I think both of those guys will be back pretty soon. Everybody else is practicing and getting after it.
Garry Peters is out there practicing, but I wouldn't say he's 100-percent, but he's in the process of working his way back to that. He's in a green jersey. We're not letting him have contact. I'm excited to get him back going.”