Michael Preddy became Georgia Tech's eleventh commitment on July 12th, 2013, ending a two-week drought following the commitment of Matthew Jordan. He hails from the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC, and is listed at 6'5", 240lbs. Chances are that by the time the Jackets kick off in the fall, he'll be quite a bit heavier. Yes, he's a really big guy. Like some of his fellow signees, Preddy played both ways in high school, in the trenches on both ends. He played RT on offense and mainly DE on defense with the occasional cameo at DT. (Quick note: Why on Earth would you put your stud OT on the right side? It's not like there is an OL of comparable talent on their roster. Guess they wanted to focus on running, and wanted Preddy to be out in front on the strong side?) He is the first noteworthy prospect out of his high school since 3-star WR Stanton Seckinger signed with Clemson back in 2011. However, on the note of his high school, the Porter-Gaud Wikipedia page cites the average SAT score (M+CR -- just the 1600 scale) as 1310 -- meaning if Preddy's anything like his classmates, he should be just fine in class once he's at school. Preddy committed to Georgia Tech over offers from Louisville, Wake Forest, and Rutgers, with interest from a number of major local programs.
Preddy's film is very encouraging whether he ends up on offense or defense. As an offensive lineman (where he's thought to be slated initially), he does a really nice job of using his upper body, particularly extending his arms and arching his back in pass protection. In the run game, he does a great job of keeping his feet moving and somehow managing to get leverage using his tall frame. He also has a great "motor" as much as an OL can, sticking with his blocks long past the first hit or two. As a defensive end, Preddy is likely best-suited for the "rush end" WDE role, as he likes to use his long arms and powerful upper body to get into the backfield and cause problems moreso than a brute-force bull rush. Those long arms really work to his favor too, as it enables him to grab ball carriers (or QBs) from a farther distance than would otherwise be normal.
I'd say Preddy is well-suited to be an offensive lineman at Georgia Tech, and exhibits skills that should put him on par with some of the more successful guys who have come through that position in the past few years. However, he'll have the advantage of size, with a few extra inches and room for more weight than recent guys have had. In fact, look at Paul Johnson's past two or three recruiting classes as compared to the first few while he was at Georgia Tech. It's apparent that he's really started to focus on adding more beef up front, where we used to talk about "smaller linemen being faster and better-suited for this offense". I think Johnson has learned that smaller OL worked really well at Navy, but also that the strategy has to change with a change in competition. Guys like Ray Beno (6'2", 285lbs -- listed at 295lbs but I think that's a little generous) can be really good linemen, but maybe not as effective as if they were 6'4"-6'6" and 310lbs+. Again, Preddy is only listed at 240lbs, but one look at him with the knowledge that he's 6'5" says that 240 is an underestimate, and he's got plenty of room to get up over 300lbs.
As for whether he plays this fall, it's hard to imagine he will. It's no knock on Preddy, it's just that the last offensive lineman to play as a true freshman was Shaquille Mason, and he's one of a half-dozen OL prospects in this class. Over time though, if he's kept at OL it'll be because he's good at his job. I think that worst-case is Preddy becomes a solid player -- maybe not starting, but seeing plenty of meaningful time in the rotation. Best case? Sky's the limit. Preddy has what it takes to be a real star, regardless of which side of the ball we're talking about.
Preddy is listed as a 3-star prospect by Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (.8292).
Like what you see from Preddy? Expect him to be a real "Georgia Tech guy" given his background? Would you rather see him play offense or defense?
- Beesball beats Spartans 7-3
- Georgia Tech Basketball: Jackets Fight to Stay Above .500 Against Rival Clemson
- Baseball: THEY ARE SPARTA!!!!
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Recruiting: Meet Qua Searcy
- Georgia Tech Athletics: Bobby Cremins & Homer Rice to be Inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday