Georgia Tech picked up perhaps its biggest commitment of the 2017 cycle yesterday morning when four-star defensive back Gentry Bonds committed to Tech over reported offers from Clemson, Missouri, Louisville, Tennessee, and a number of other strong programs. Bonds becomes commitment number eleven of what has quickly turned into a class deep with defensive backs and offensive linemen, but relatively light on everything else. As it stands right now, Bonds is currently the highest-rated player of the 2017 class for Tech; he's the first four-star player of the cycle thus far, per Rivals. It's a big get for Tech and primary recruiter Andy McCollum, particularly because the coaching staff was able to once again beat out a local team for a great player (or three, in this case; MTSU, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt had all offered the Murfreesboro native). Check out the FTRS breakdown right here.
It's no secret that the outlook for the 2016 Tech basketball season rests somewhere between murky and a lost cause. The roster is simply barren at this point, filled with guys who could be excellent role players on a winning team but completely lacking solid starters with well-developed all-around games. One player who very well could make the jump from role player to solid starter during his senior season is Quinton Stephens, one of few guys with a sizable amount of experience in both non-conference and ACC play already under his belt. The knock on Stephens has always been his bulk, which has been slow to develop. Nevertheless, he's been a lot of fun to watch dating all the way back to his freshman year. It always seems that he gives his all, even when vastly outweighed in the paint, and his shooting repertoire makes him a potential difference-maker this season. That potential "difference" would likely not be between making the postseason or not, but it's easy to imagine a guy like Stephens making his presence felt this year.
Unfortunately, no week would be complete without some horrific injury news. This time around, it's former four-star defensive end Jordan Woods, who will miss his freshman season with an upper body injury. It flat-out sucks to have season-ending injuries before the season, but it stings even more when the injury bug hits a position that has been as weak as the defensive line over the past few seasons.
#GaTech freshman DE former 4-star Jordan Woods out for the year with an upper body injury, needs surgery. Will be back for spring— Kelly Quinlan (@Kelly_Quinlan) August 18, 2016
It's a tough pill to swallow, but hopefully Woods will come out of it bigger and stronger than before. It's unclear when he'll be able to practice again, but it looks like game-day action during the 2016 season has been completely ruled out. He likely wouldn't have played much if at all anyways, but there's still something to be said for taking another option off the table for Johnson and the staff.
When it comes to the debate over conference scheduling, both sides of the aisles have had some pretty staunch supporters since the debate's conception a few years back. On the eight-plus-two side, you have the schools like Tech that already play a permanent power five opponent (UGA in our case), but the nine-game plan has some major proponents as well. The bottom line is that the adoption of either plan will increase quality of competition across the league, but there is some serious upside to both plans as well. I hope the conference acts quickly.
Have a great weekend!