Although there is a general consensus that things simply cannot get any worse than they were in 2015 for Georgia Tech, the AJC's Mark Bradley advises you to pump the breaks on any expectations of improvement for the team in time for 2016. Bradley makes some good points about the rest of the ACC Coastal getting much stronger around the Jackets, but I'm not willing to use that as justification for another bad season quite yet. New coaching hires happen all the times. Some pan out, others don't. In terms of the new coaches in the Coastal, only Mark Richt seems like a sure thing. The rest are all huge question marks, but admittedly so are the Jackets. Will it get any worse? Likely not. But it will not be easy to get a whole lot better, either.
Head coach Paul Johnson and the recruiting staff showed off their range last week, pulling in commitment number eleven from defensive end Desmond Branch, a JUCO transfer from New Mexico. Getting JUCO transfers is always good, but Georgia Tech doesn't exactly have a glistening track record of retaining them any; misses on guys such as Travis Custis and others are not encouraging. It is great to have Branch nevertheless -- he will have a good shot at improving Tech's ailing passrush next season.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry beat out Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey over the weekend to bring the 79th annual Heisman Trophy back to Tuscaloosa. Henry, one of the top running backs in the nation this year, delivered his acceptance speech while flanked by a number of fellow winners, including former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, with great success. You better believe that Nick Saban, who was sitting two rows behind Henry when his name was called, starting seeing dollar signs immediately -- I'm sure he'll find a way to capitalize on coaching a Heisman winner in the near future. I made the argument before the award's announcement that Watson and McCaffrey were both more deserving, but there's really no room to argue with a player as good as Henry. Congratulation to him and may he overcome the Heisman curse at the next level.
One of the most heartfelt moments of the entire Heisman ceremony actually took place all the way down in Florida, where Derrick Henry's grandmother Gladys and much of his family were watching in a local hospital. Gladys Henry, who raised Derrick for much of his life, was too sick to attend the ceremony in New York and was forced instead to watch her grandson accept college football's most prestigious award on television. Her reaction, which went viral, can be seen below.