Georgia Tech's Production of Professional Athletes

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

A major measure of an athletics program's success in today's world is its ability to produce pro-level talent. Today, we look at how successful Georgia Tech has been at this in recent years.

FTRS Readers: Today, our team grows to add another member. Please welcome the newest addition to our writing staff, Doug Walker! -- Joey

Hello Georgia Tech fans. My name's Doug Walker (most of you know me as Dwalk1217 by now) and I'm proud to say that I am the newest writer for FTRS. I'm a rising 3rd year Mechanical Engineering Major, so I have had a chance to experience all of the incredible traditions and events Tech has to offer. Although I didn't grow up a Tech sports fan, I can now say that I am a passionate, enthusiastic Georgia Tech supporter and enjoy every last THWG chant.

Hopefully most of you at one point checked out GT Pros, which was the blog I had been working on before this opportunity arose. I believe the majority of my contributions to FTRS will be similar to the areas I covered on GT Pros, which means there will be more posts related to Tech's ability to produce athletes that can compete at the next level. With that said, I'd like to make this first post similar to that topic.

Georgia Tech's ability to produce professional athletes has largely been independent of its success in college sports. From 2002-07, Georgia Tech managed five 7 win seasons in six years. In those same years, however, Georgia Tech produced successful NFL players like Calvin Johnson, Daryl Smith, Dawan Landry, and Philip Wheeler. In basketball, Paul Hewitt was able to recruit NBA talent while failing to create a consistently successful basketball program. In the last two years, however, we have produced 2 drafted players (Stephen Hill and Glen Rice Jr.) in both the NFL and NBA Drafts combined (I'm including this year's NBA draft and Rice Jr. should be drafted). Georgia Tech clearly experienced a talent drought the last couple of years, but it doesn't look like a trend that will stick around.

Although the ACC's recent expansion has made life harder for Tech in conference play, there has been a pretty dramatic change in talent on both the football and basketball rosters. Our record may not improve like some people expect, but I am very excited about the improvements our team will make on the field. The football roster is loaded with game changing talent. There is legitimate first round talent on the defensive side of the ball with Attaochu and Hunt-Days and there are some very good developmental players on the offense (most notably Justin Thomas and Shaq Mason). The basketball team looks like it ‘s in even better position, with players like Robert Carter Jr., Marcus Georges-Hunt, and Solomon Poole returning.

The last few years have been rough for Georgia Tech fans and there has been a noticeable lack of pro talent on display. The future is much brighter now than it was a year ago, however, and I believe our teams are headed in the right direction. Although producing pro talent isn't the most important goal of a college sports program, it does make difficult seasons easier to handle when you remember Calvin Johnson is destroying the NFL record books. When do you believe Georgia Tech will return to producing top caliber pro players?

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