I'm doing this as a favor for Cade, who does a ridiculously good job keeping up with these day after day. Technically my title here is "Social Media Coordinator", so I'm not sure if that qualifies me to do any decent writing. So let me apologize ahead to Cade and any other Ramblin' Wrecks out there before I, as told in the subhead, ruin Technical Tidbits.
If you were a Tech fan of any kind and were on any form of social media yesterday, I assume you'll recognize the name "Xavier Gantt". Gantt is Tech's first commit for the 2016 class and just for those of you still confused, all of that hoopla about a week ago was for the 2015 signing class. We've got a along way to go before Gantt can sign the dotted line, but if he holds to his word it'll prove to be another run of the mill Paul Johnson recruit.
Gantt is a three-star prospect and listed as an "athlete" by most big recruiting sites. I've never liked the classifying term "athlete" by the way, it's just lazy. "Athlete" can mean a recruit plays all the skill positions or the scouts can't figure out if he's a linebacker or a safety. By the way, they're technically all athlete's Rivals. Stupids.
Anyway, Gantt looks to be prototypical A-Back material. He's got great open field speed, good balance, knows how to follow his blockers and is a patient runner. Paul Johnson doesn't recruit stars, he recruits players who fit in his system. He's not the only coach who does it (Mark Helfrich, Chris Peterson), however CPJ doesn't draw praise other coaches get by some pundits (Todd Luginbill). Where's the love for Coach Johnson? Either way, it's a nice pick up. For the real skinny on Gantt, you can check out Ben's heads-up work here.
Yesterday it was brought to our attention that ESPN's Mark Schlabach has Georgia Tech ranked No. 19 in his way too early top 25. He acknowledges Tech has lost a lot in the backfield, but the defense returns eight starters and adds depth with recruits like Victor Alexander, Anree Saint-Amour and Brant Mitchell. I think it's a fair spot for Tech, although I prefer the "picked to finish tenth in conference, wins Orange Bowl" story line to the "started in top 25, wins Bitcoin Bowl" one. Let's be totally honest though, no one's going to know anything until about week six of the 2015 season. There's a lot of football to be played, but I still think Tech is a safe bet to contend in the Coastal. Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Duke make up this very weird mixture of contending teams for the division next year, which makes me very hopeful for Tech's chances to go back to the ACC Championship game.
Georgia Tech Baseball, or the more appropriately named Beesball, starts tomorrow with high expectations as far as I'm concerned. This is a team that possesses the kind of offense that can win the ACC tournament again, or at the very least make a regional. Bullpen depth could be an issue, but Ben should have all of that covered in the pitching preview coming out today. But, for now, check out his look at the expected batting order come opening day.
Baseball should make for a nice buffer for basketball season, which has already killed six of my nine lives (yes, I'm actually a cat). I am so tired of harping on the basketball team, so it'll be a nice change of pace to see a team finish games for a change of pace in my sporting life. It's really a shame to see a talented team just crash game after game. Just take a page from the Oakland Raiders handbook and say, "On to the next year!"
Finally, let's take a second to acknowledge the death of legendary college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Tark's best known for his long run with UNLV, where he won the 1990 NCAA Tournament. He retired with a career winning percentage of over 75 percent, and from 1982 to 1992 the Running Reb's won the Big West in some capacity. He had many documented run-in's with the NCAA and was one of the first college coaches who took the system head on. I'm way to young to be speaking on Tarkanian's legacy, as I was 10 when he coached his last game. I've seen many pictures of him biting towels and 25 year-old clips of his teams beating Duke in NCAA Tournament games. Perhaps the best thing he ever gave me personally was one half of the best NBA Jamz team ever in Larry Johnson (paired with Muggsy Bogues? Can't stop it). In all seriousness, the world of college hoops has lost another legend. Rest in peace coach.
Did I completely kill Technical Tidbits forever? Will I ever get to write one again?
Just remember, tomorrow is Friday.