One of the premier places for major college programs to view potential recruits is in the annual Under Armour All-America Game. The Georgia Tech recruiting staff will certainly be on hand to see some kids they’ve had their eyes on first hand, and hopefully can make some headway into getting needed commits.
The game will be played at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2 and can be seen on ESPN. The Yellow Jackets will have several needs, and already have some commits to help fill voids that are opening up due to departing seniors. But having depth can never hurt, especially in an option offense.
If you are looking for defensive backs–and based on Tech’s performance in 2013, they should be–there are some great ones taking the field in this game. Of course, No. 1-rated CB Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), has already committed to Michigan. But the No. 2 cornerback, Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), has yet to pick a school, and is certain to be an impact player immediately. No. 3 CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) is also uncommitted, and has great size to match up with the bigger wide receivers that are becoming the norm in football today.
Another area where Paul Johnson might need to find some help is on the offensive line. Tech had a great year running the ball, but several members of the veteran line will be gone. Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) is the only OT playing in the game who is still uncommitted. Tucker had committed verbally to USC, but has de-committed in the same way. He’s an impressive blocker with great footwork who could fit perfectly with the blocking scheme the Jackets use.
There are other players in the game that Tech’s coaching staff will certainly look closely at, but who are already committed to other schools, such as slot receiver Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) who is currently committed to Notre Dame, defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin) who has committed to Texas A&M, and defensive tackle Garrald McDowell (Covington, La.) who has given a verbal commitment to Ole Miss.
Also interesting to note that QB Michael O’Connor, Athlete De’Andre Thompkins, receiver Chris Godwin, and DT Thomas Holley were all committed to Penn State, but could possibly be rethinking their future with the departure of head coach Bill O’Brien and much of his coaching staff.
The great thing about this game is that it gives coaches an opportunity to see potential recruits performing against talent of a similar level. There are always some surprise performances, and the Yellow Jackets just might be able to get a gem of a player if they play their cards right.