Prior to Fan Day today, Georgia Tech hosted several members of local media for a Q&A session with a number of returning Yellow Jackets, punctuated by a pre-season press conference with Coach Johnson himself. FTRS did not have anyone on-site, but the press conferences were made available online. Coach Johnson answered questions from the media (with varying levels of candidness) for around 35 minutes, and you can view the whole event here (with Coach Johnson’s responses beginning around the 1:25:00 mark).
One of the things that stands out from his comments is the revelation that Chris Griffin will not, in fact, return from his knee injury suffered over 18 months ago. Instead, Griffin will be granted a medical hardship by the NCAA, meaning his playing days are over. You may remember that Griffin, originally a member of Georgia Tech’s 2013 signing class, tore his ACL playing basketball in the wake of the 2014 season, and missed the 2015 season as a result. His recovery involved setbacks, which ultimately led to today’s announcement. Griffin becomes the second offensive lineman to be medically disqualified since fall camp began on Thursday, joining Jake Whitley, who was set to be a redshirt sophomore this fall.
The announcement is a big blow to the Yellow Jackets’ offensive line, where Griffin would’ve figured to be one of its starters at OT (as would have been the case in 2015). Instead, the starters figure to be redshirt sophomore Trey Klock and former-TCU transfer and redshirt juior Eason Fromayan, with redshirt sophomore Jake Sticker as the primary backup to that tandem. With Will Bryan, Freddie Burden, and Shamire Devine in between them, the tackles figure to be the shakiest group of the entire offensive line.
Griffin’s disqualification also counts as yet another blow against the 2013 recruiting class, which was arguably the recruiting low point of Paul Johnson’s tenure at Georgia Tech. For those unaware, here’s where things stand regarding that recruiting class:
|Paul Davis||DB||Cairo, GA||5'10"||200||2-star (5.2)||2-star (0.7811)||2/3/2013||Starter|
|Ricky Jeune||WR||Montvale, NJ||6'3"||205||3-star (5.6)||3-star (0.8443)||1/13/2013||Starter|
|Harrison Butker||K||Atlanta, GA||6'3"||170||3-star (5.5)||3-star (0.8354)||6/16/2012||Starter|
|Shamire DeVine||OL||East Point, GA||6'6"||360||3-star (5.7)||4-star (0.9077)||5/17/2012||Starter|
|Corey Griffin||DB||Tyrone, GA||6'2"||195||2-star (5.4)||2-star (0.7793)||2/6/2013||Potential Starter|
|Antonio Messick||WR||Fayetteville, GA||6'3"||185||2-star (5.4)||3-star (0.8035)||7/15/2012||Reserve|
|Chris Griffin||OL||Crawfordville, FL||6'6"||265||3-star (5.6)||3-star (0.8352)||6/13/2012||Medical Hardship|
|Ty Griffin||QB||Kennesaw, GA||6'0"||190||2-star (5.4)||3-star (0.8056)||1/31/2013||Transferred|
|Justin Akins||DE||Jackson, GA||6'5"||235||3-star (5.6)||3-star (0.8246)||6/29/2012||Transferred|
|Kevin Robbins||DE||Forestville, MD||6'4"||235||3-star (5.6)||3-star (0.8528)||6/3/2012||Transferred|
|Donovan Wilson||RB||Dublin, OH||6'0"||205||3-star (5.6)||3-star (0.8382)||5/16/2012||Transferred|
|John Marvin||DB||Fort Walton Beach, FL||6'1"||188||3-star (5.5)||3-star (0.8197)||6/29/2012||Dismissed|
|Darius Commissiong||DT||Forestville, MD||6'2"||285||3-star (5.5)||3-star (0.8435)||5/24/2012||Dismissed|
|Travis Custis||RB||Hampton, GA||6'0"||205||3-star (5.7)||3-star (0.8585)||4/3/2012||Never enrolled|
Georgia Tech’s fall camp resumes on Monday. The good news from here is that there are no other expected medical issues facing the team, so hopefully the 80 players who remain on scholarship can stay healthy through the remainder of camp and this season.