The early signing period is upon us in the world of college football, meaning recruits around the country will begin signing letters of intent of where they will be playing their college football.
The signing period marks the beginning of the end for possibly the oddest recruiting cycle in college football history as none of the recruits that will be signing in the early signing period or during the regular signing period in February will have taken an official visit. Some recruits may have never even been able to take an unofficial visit to campuses if they were late bloomers. That being said, thanks to the technology of the modern world, players still were able to see campuses, talk to coaches, and more. Some players across the country, even paid for visits to campuses on their own dime, just to see campuses before making their decisions.
That being said, Georgia Tech on Wednesday will hope to sign a majority, if not all of their currently top-40 ranked recruiting class that features 18 commitments and five transfers.
Below, you can find a quick blurb on each of the Jackets’ 18 commitments and five transfers. As they sign we’ll add in their official Georgia Tech Football signing day tweet. Starting tomorrow (December 17), we’ll be looking deeper at each prospect one-by-one.
WR James Blackstrain (Melbourne, FL): The Jackets’ top overall commitment, is the Florida receiver, a composite four-star recruit and top-300 prospect in the country. He’ll add size and really good route running to the Jackets receiving core and while he doesn’t have elite speed, he’s the type of receiver that ends up leading your team in catches for multiple-years. A classic possession wide receiver.
LB Trenilyas Tatum (Jonesboro, GA): A top-400 prospect, Tatum is the Jackets’ highest-rated defensive commitment and will be the highest-rated Collins recruited linebacker at the position. Tatum was recruited by a mixture of Power Five and Group of Five schools but overall should develop into a multi-year starter for the Yellow Jackets.
OG Weston Franklin (Jesup, GA): A well-sought after offensive lineman, Franklin will come to Georgia Tech with great size already at 6-foot-4 and 308-pounds. A top-500 prospect nationally and a top-30 offensive guard, Franklin has a ton of potential and will have the time to develop thanks to the Jackets offensive line for next season mostly being set. That being said, Franklin should end up making his fair share of starts and is likely a multi-year starter for the Jackets in the future.
TE Leo Blackburn (Atlanta, GA): From just right down the street, the three-star prospect is listed on 247Sports as a wide receiver but he’ll come to Georgia Tech to play tight end. He already has good height for the position at 6-foot-5, but he’ll need to add more weight to his frame as he’s listed at just 215-pounds. He’ll need to get up more towards 240-250 pounds before he steps on the field.
S Kaleb Edwards (Dacula, GA): One of the prospects, I’m personally most excited to see in terms of their potential and development is Edwards. A top-500 prospect nationally, Edwards has nice size and length which is the Jackets targeted build for their secondary prospects. With quite a few players ahead of him, Edwards will be given all the time he needs to develop before needing to contribute on the field.
TE River Helms (Lester, AL): Another tight end recruit (second of three), Helms has been a commitment courted by several other programs since committing to the Jackets in October but he has stayed solid. Like Blackburn, Helms already has the quality height for the position but will likely need to add on some weight before he takes the field.
S Sirad Bryant (Cordele, GA):
A solid addition to the Jackets secondary, Bryant will likely need a bit more time to develop than Edwards. That being said, Bryant has good size and length at 6-foot-1 while also having some really good speed that allows him to get himself into plays even if he’s across the field. There’s a lot to like about Bryant.
DE Joshua Robinson (Douglasville, GA)
Robinson was highly recruited, collecting 30 scholarship offers during his recruitment before ultimately committing to the Jackets. Robinson has a great frame already at 6-foot-4 and 235-pounds, meaning physically, he may not be too far off from seeing the field. He doesn’t have a great first step, however, so he’ll need to work on that if he hopes to have an impact at the next level. He’ll need at least a year or two to develop before seeing the field.
WR Malik Rutherford (Hialeah, FL): The Jackets first commitment in the 2021 recruiting class, Rutherford is a classic take the top off the defense speedster at wideout. With the departure of Ahmarean Brown from the program, Rutherford actually could have a chance to play sooner than later. Obviously, you’d like to see him put on more muscle and weight at just 165-pounds, but Brown as a true freshman was about the same size and did quite well for himself. He may not see much playing time in 2021 but by as early as 2022 he could see consistent playing time thanks to his speed.
QB Chayden Peery (Chatsworth, CA): The Jackets only quarterback commitment in the class, the three-star prospect out of California will come to Georgia Tech and will sit for at least two years before having a chance to start. With Jeff Sims at least having two more years as the starting quarterback, Peery will need to have patience.
DE Noah Collins (Loganville, GA):
A former UCF commit, Collins flipped to the Yellow Jackets back in May and has been committed to the program ever since. He has good height at the position at 6-foot-3/6-foot-4 depending on who you ask but is still likely a year or two away from playing time at just 215-pounds. He has strong fundamentals as well which should allow him to get on the field sooner if he can develop fast enough physically.
OT Jakiah Leftwich (Atlanta, GA): Leftwich if memory serves correctly was the Jackets’ first offensive line commitment of the cycle and once again hits the spot for the Jackets recruiting lineman who are already there physically. Leftwich is already 6-foot-6 and 302-pounds, meaning really, more of his physical development will be shedding some fat and turning it into muscle. The Jackets haven’t been afraid to play offensive lineman early in the past and while I don’t think we see a ton of Leftwich, if, at all in 2021, he is a prospect who could see the field sooner than others.
DE Grey Carroll (Alcoa, TN): The Jackets lone commitment out of Tennessee, Carroll is a three-star prospect and is one of the more physically developed defensive commitments at 6-foo-3 and 245-pounds and also shows really good speed. That being said, he’s still probably a year or two away from consistent playing time with some refinement needed in his fundamentals and skillset but the potential is there for Carroll to be an impact player in the future.
ATH Jamal Haynes (Loganville, GA): A three-star prospect, Haynes is much like Malik Rutherford, a true speed threat at the wide receiver position and a future slot receiver for the Yellow Jackets. He shows some good route running traits as well which may allow him to see the field rather quickly on The Flats. He could also provide the Jackets with a good option at kick and punt returns in the future.
TE Ben Postma (Cypress, TX): A third tight end, Postma actually has a similar size to River Helms and will likely need time to develop before getting on the field. That being said, with just three other tight ends on the roster, one of those these three tight-ends will get their time in 2021, perhaps all three but from a usual standpoint at most programs. All three, need time to add more weight to their frames. Perhaps, one or all of them will be able to do so this offseason. We’ll have to see, that being said, Postma has a good bit of potential but is likely a rotational/back-up tight end for the Jackets long-term.
LB Sebastian Sagar (Loganville, GA): Another Grayson product, Sagar might be more of a long-term development plan. He has strong height and length at 6-foot-4 and he also has some good speed which could help him make a move to the defensive line if the Jackets choose to go that direction. If so, he’ll be probably a few years away from seeing the field, as he’ll have to add on at least 40-50 pounds.
P David Shanahan (Australia):
Shanahan is the Jackets only special teams related scholarship in the 2021 class. If Pressley Harvin III decides to go pro and to not return to The Flats for one more season, Shanahan is likely to take over as the starting punter in our eyes. If Harvin III does return, then he’ll simply have to wait one more season.
DT Zeek Biggers (Mount Ulla, NC):
Finally, the last high school recruit signing on Wednesday is North Carolina native Zeek Biggers. Biggers will come to Georgia Tech with the needed size at 6-foot-6 and 325-pounds but is still likely a few years from seeing a consistent role on the field with some development needed both on and off the field.
Most collegiate transfers across the country will also sign letters of intent on Wednesday including five for the Yellow Jackets.
LB Kevin Harris: A former four-star recruit in the 2019 recruiting class, the former Grayson product will return to Georgia after spending two years with Alabama. Harris has a ton of potential to become one of the best defensive players for the Yellow Jackets and is likely a starter in the near future.
OG Nick Pendley: The offensive line has been a position group that Geoff Collins and his coaching staff have always hit hard in the transfer portal and they did so once again in this cycle. Former Mississippi State offensive guard Nick Pendley will come to The Flats for next season after appearing in six games for the Bulldogs over two seasons. He was originally a three-star recruit in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
CB Kenyatta Watson II: The transfer from Texas is coming to Tech after just two years at Texas. As a true freshman for the Longhorns, Watson had six tackles and one pass breakup. He made a decision early this season to transfer away from the program. The former four-star prospect is also another addition to the Jackets roster from the ever-growing Grayson (Loganville, GA) pipeline.
DE Keion White: The newest addition to the incoming transfer list, White made his announcement yesterday that he would be signing with the Yellow Jackets. A second-team All-Conference USA selection last year, White will add a big-time play maker to the Jackets defensive line at a position of need.
DE Makius Scott: The last player on the list is the South Carolina transfer in Scott. The Gainesville, GA native was at South Carolina less than six months before deciding that he was ready to move on from the program. A former three-star prospect, Scott was a top-800 player in the country in the 2020 recruiting class.