It was a quiet week of recruiting around the ACC and in college football as a whole, but that lull also gives people a chance to take a step back and look at the current state of the incoming recruiting class and what needs to be addressed. If you are looking at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, it looks like a typical Paul Johnson recruiting class. But is that type of status quo going to be able to sustain the Jackets as a top college football program?
Right now the Yellow Jackets have 18 total commits for the 2014 class, not at all a terrible number. But within those 18, there are only two 4-star recruits and zero 5-stars. Ten of their commits are defensive players, and one of them is in the nebulous “athlete” category.
The triple-option system that Paul Johnson runs on offense doesn’t require the top running backs or quarterbacks in the nation, and so losing out on the Todd Gurleys of the world doesn’t necessarily mean that it will hinder the Yellow Jackets ability to run the ball. But will that lack of star power begin to exponentially wear away at Johnson’s ability to even get the athletes he needs to establish depth in both the running game and on the line?
The bottom line is, college football recruiting is about two things – championships, and face time on television. If a school isn’t able to offer at least one of those factors, recruits are going to shy away from even considering them. Playing in the ACC guarantees a certain amount of media exposure, but that may not be enough to get Johnson the guys he needs, and we may already be seeing the effects of the lack of championship contention at Georgia Tech.
If you combine those issues with the academic standards that are required to even be accepted at Georgia Tech, along with Johnson’s no-visit policy, it makes for a pretty impotent recruiting brew.
ESPN recruiting reporter Corey Dowlar said of Johnson’s incoming class, “Sure, they don’t always need the best players on offense due to the system they’ve got in place. But it wouldn’t hurt, either. As long as this group is given time to develop and get coached up, it should be an adequate class. At some point, though, you have to wonder if they’ll ever be able to go head-to-head with the big dogs in the state of Georgia for the biggest names with this staff.”
Therein lies the problem. Not only competing within the borders of the State of Georgia, but also trying to keep pace in the ACC with recruiting heavyweights like Florida State, Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech.