We did it. Finally, we're talking about our 17th and final recruit (as of now), and who else would get pushed to the end than the one who plays a position that is commonly joked about as being played by a guy who is "not a real football player"? That's right, our final recruit is the punter, P Ryan Rodwell of DeLand, FL. He stands 6'2" and weighs in at 215 lbs, meaning if he ever gets tired of kicking he might have a place in our secondary. Also, if he ever found himself as a punter who had to carry the ball on a fake punt, he'd be one of the least favorite punters that any defense ever had to tackle. He committed to Georgia Tech on January 22 over a few FCS offers, although he received some interest from Alabama, South Florida and Central Florida and was offered a walk-on spot with Miami and Marshall. He visited on that weekend, and was offered before he left. He met with Coach Johnson, and Rodwell recalled the situation, saying, "He just came out and said ‘We're going to do it a little backwards here. Normally, we want a punter or kicker to walk-on and try to earn a scholarship. We're going to do it a little different because you're from out of state and we think you can win the punter's job.' Coach Johnson offered me and asked ‘Is this what you want to do?' Yes, I did, and I committed." (via) Perhaps most importantly, he sports a GPA of a 3.9 and plans to major in the best program we offer at this fine institution, Industrial Engineering. Kid's bringing a tear to my eye and he hasn't even stepped on the field yet!
But when he does step on the field, here's what we can expect from him. As a punter in high school, his punts were usually around 4 seconds in hang time and maxed out around 50-55 yards in the air. He's also a very good directional punter, and seems to have good control over the leg strength vs trajectory combination that ends in opponents pinned inside their own 10 yard line a lot more than they'd like. Hopefully he's able to contribute a lot to our special teams situation (which is a little rough at the moment, to say the least), and I don't think it's anywhere near out of the question to think that he could be starting this fall. Welcome to Tech, Ryan!
Hopefully you guys have enjoyed reading a little bit about each of our new recruits in this class. We'll finish up this week with overviews of the offensive and defensive classes, as well as the class as a whole and what to look for in the coming year of recruitment.