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Georgia Tech Football: 2014 Recruiting Class Has Huge Potential

After all the build-up, phone calls, tweets, texts, faxes and photo-ops are done, a coach is left with a list of names. A list of young men who made the decision to attend his school, and to be a part of his program. This year, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has a list that should make him smile.

The media spectacle that has become National Signing Day whizzed by faster than most could believe. 20 of Tech’s 21 recruits had sent their Letters of Intent over to the Flats by 10:30 am, and now the Yellow Jacket coaching staff has to do some evaluation – both on paper, and once they see the kids they spent so much time recruiting on the field.

So what were some needs that Georgia Tech football had after the disappointing 2013 season?

With the unexpected (?) transfer of former starting quarterback, Vad Lee, there was a need for one more athletic dual-threat quarterback to either back up Justin Thomas, or even challenge for a starting spot.

They got Matthew Jordan 6-2/190, and one of the top rated dual-threat QBs in the nation.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof needed some help in the secondary. He needed some tough, athletic defensive backs, and some hybrid-ready linebackers that could get the Jackets’ pass defense back on track.

He got:

Step Durham  5-11/185, #23 DB in the nation
Lawrence Austin  5-9/181, #55 DB in the nation
Lance Austin 5-9/179, #56 DB in the nation
Qua Searcy  5-11/165, #62 DB in the nation
Terrell Lewis  6-2/217 LB
Tre Jackson  5-10/220 LB

Roof also needed some interior linemen and ends, in particular to replace some of the sacks and pass rush that will be lost by the departure of Jeremiah Attaochu.

He got:

Kenderius Whitehead  6-5/210, JUCO transfer
KeShun Freeman
  6-1/223, #32 DE in the nation
Tyler Merriweather 6-3/230
Michael Preddy  6-5/240
Antonio Simmons  6-4/210

Johnson needed to replace some offensive linemen, and to have some fresh young talent to mold into big nasty goon squad members in the years to come.

He got:

Andrew Marshall  6-4/267, #9 OL in the nation
Gary Brown  6-1/280 OL
Trey Klock  6-4/264 TE
Jake Stickler  6-5/281 OL
Jake Whitley  6-4/295 OL

And of course, in the option offense you can never have too many running backs and wide receivers, especially when you are graduating two good ones like David Sims and Robert Godhigh.

They got:

Jalen Johnson WR 6-2/196
C.J. Leggett RB 5-10/207 #34
Clinton Lynch RB 6-0/185
Myles Autry ATH 5-10/175 #93

That’s about as balanced of a recruiting class as you will find. 21 new athletes, 21 reasons for excitement, 21 young men for fans to pin their hopes to for the future. Johnson and his staff addressed the needs, and even got a couple of surprises.

Now many–probably most–of these young men will get a redshirt, or at the very least, a lot of time watching from the sidelines. There are always a few impact players in each draft class, just as there are some surprises…and, unfortunately…some busts.

But for now, all of these young men have a clean slate. They can come in knowing they have a chance to compete to play at the highest collegiate level, and to potentially become part of something very special.

Tell us who you are most excited about in this year’s recruiting class, and who do you think could potentially surprise some people?

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Tags: Football Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets National Signing Day Recruiting

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