Georgia Tech football’s top offensive lineman will be leaving the program as a grad transfer according to a report from Rivals.
It appears that the known first transfer of the Geoff Collins era is upon us as Georgia Tech offensive lineman Parker Braun will be leaving the program according to a report by Rivals’ Kelly Quinlan. The article is behind a paywall so unless you have a Rivals subscription you can’t read it.
Braun, a two-time All-ACC guard for the Yellow Jackets has already graduated or set to graduate and will be eligible to play at a new program next season. For the Jackets, the loss of Braun is a notable one and it’s easy to see why. The Florida native was arguably the Jackets top draft prospect entering next season but was also their best and most consistent offensive lineman.
The former three-star recruit saw immediate playing time once he stepped foot on The Flats in 2016, making three Freshman All-American teams. In 2017 and 2018, Braun was named First Team All-ACC for his respective efforts. Over the last three seasons, he has started 31 straight games for the Yellow Jackets and has never missed a game due to injury. The keystone of the Jackets offensive line, Paul Johnson could always trust Braun to be ready to go on Saturday’s.
What does it mean for the Yellow Jackets;
Braun’s departure is without a doubt a big blow for the Yellow Jackets. Having or losing a playing like Braun could play a major role in the success of an offensive lineman, while he was a guard, he was a guard you could expect to stand up and play strong against some of the best defensive linemen the ACC had to offer. He wasn’t a perfect left guard for the Jackets but he was pretty close and one of the best to come through The Flats during the Paul Johnson era.
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Behind Braun on the depth chart was redshirt freshman Charlie Clark, a former three-star recruit out of the Marist School. Clark presents similar size to Braun, coming in just a tick taller than the three-year starter at 6-foot-4 and 280-pounds, that being said, Clark compared to Braun has seen minimal time and played in five games this season. Will Clark be in the fold this upcoming season? That question remains to be seen.
The Jackets do have several options at left guard including a few players who could play multiple positions. While Geoff Collins has preached the ability to be versatile and move players around, with the offensive line being such an important position, I personally assume the Jackets will put someone there who at least has experience at the position.
Obviously, two names that Tech fans are going to think of right away are Jack DeFoor and Jared Southers, two former SEC transfers who have joined the programs in the last two seasons. Both players come to Tech as tackles naturally and with the departure of Andrew Marshall at right tackle, I expect one of them will take over for Marshall while the other will battle it out for the left tackle spot. Out of the two the, I believe Southers is more cut out for left tackle than DeFoor but I expect both to see ample playing time if not to start next season.
One other place to look is on the opposite side of the line with Connor Hansen and Brad Morgan who both can play left guard if needed but are both better off on the right side of the line. I believe this is a place the coaching staff will potentially look down the road but I wouldn’t bet on either one being the starting left guard to start off next season.
With all this being said, the Jackets have plenty of options to go with at left guard and some options may not even be on the roster currently. Either way, replacing Braun is going to be a very hard task for the coaching staff and will be one to watch going forward.
For the Jackets, attrition was going to happen with a new coaching staff and it was a matter of time when the first name would fall. Braun most likely won’t be the last guy to transfer either and there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s today’s college football. Geoff Collins and his staff are still building a strong foundation at Tech and while losing a rising senior, team captain, and top offensive lineman is a tough pill to swallow, it is only a minor setback in the long term picture for the Yellow Jackets.
Yellow Jacked Up wishes Parker and his family all the best in the future and hopes he enjoys his new home wherever that may be, come next fall.