Georgia Tech’s highest ranked recruit of the 2018 recruiting class could see early playing time this upcoming season.
One of the top athletes in the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Georgia Tech coaching staff landed one of their biggest recruits in recent memory in Tennessee native Jaylon King. At Tech, King will be playing cornerback and could be a viable option for early playing time.
A great athlete and a high football IQ player, King has all the skills and intangibles to a be a productive player from day one at Tech. However, it’s ultimately the coaching staff’s decision about how many chances he will get in his true freshman season. He’ll have to prove himself in August if he wants to be playing on Saturday’s come September.
Before delving into what to expect this upcoming season, let’s do a quick recruiting refresher.
A four-star recruit out of Ensworth High School in Nashville, Jaylon King had his fair share of options coming out of high school with 11 reported scholarship offers. King received interest but no offers from programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame, and Stanford. If one thing stood out about his offer list and schools interested in the four-star recruit is that King is not just a great athlete but a great student.
For most of his recruitment it seemed that it was a two program battle for the four-star between the Yellow Jackets and the hometown, Vanderbilt Commodores. Ultimately, King committed ended up committing to the Jackets late last July and stayed committed throughout the process.
What to expect in 2018:
With the Yellow Jackets slated to find new starters for the entire secondary, King will have a great chance late this summer and early fall to find his place in the rotation. While the chances of King starting right away is probably extremely low, he should see plenty of early playing time over the first two-to-three weeks of the season.
A great beneficiary of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule allowing players that play in four games or less to keep their redshirt eligibility. The expectation on our end is that the Jackets will most likely use King a strong amount in the first two-to-three weeks when the situation is right. His best chance to see a strong amount of playing time will be in the second half of the season opener against Alcorn State. The Jackets in these first few weeks will get to see King either “sink or swim”.
If King plays up to expectations, he could see more and more playing time as the season goes on or if he struggles , the coaching staff may decide to pull him back and give him a redshirt season to allow him to develop.
Ultimately, we expect King to be a player that can come to Tech and make a considerable impact right away. Will he be a shutdown cornerback for the Yellow Jackets this season? Most likely not. But can he be a good situational cornerback that the Yellow Jackets can feel safe putting him on the field? Yes. But at the same time, pulling King back and redshirting him this season wouldn’t be a horrible idea if the Jackets want to think long-term more than short-term.
That being said, down the road, King could certainly be a shutdown corner for the Jackets and be the centerpiece of their defense for the three or four years following this season.