Paul Johnson picked up commitment number sixteen yesterday afternoon when three-star running back Jordan Ponchez-Mason announced that he had selected Georgia Tech over reported offers from Navy, Iowa State, and others. A highly-touted player out of Gallatin, TN, Ponchez-Mason figures to play B-Back during his Tech career barring some Mikell Lands-Davis-esque situation which forces him to move all around the field. With his commitment Tech’s recruiting class now stands at No. 52 nationally (per Rivals), still with plenty of room to grow. Quantity is the big thing missing from the 2017 group, with many of the schools that are currently ahead in the recruiting rankings boasting classes in the low to mid twenties but with fewer four-star recruits than Tech’s three. With just a little while left until signing day, we’ll have to wait and see how that all shakes out.
We are still very early in the process, but it really appears that head coach Josh Pastner has kicked Georgia Tech’s rebuild into hyper-drive over the first half of his inaugural season on the Flats. It certainly would’ve been nice for Pastner to have gotten started a little bit earlier to help out with recruiting and building in-state relationships, but that’s really the only thing we can fault former athletic director Mike Bobinski for at this point (besides retaining a struggling Brian Gregory for so long, of course). It looks like an excellent hire and the program has already reached heights that it never did in over four years with Gregory, namely by being above .500 in ACC play. If the recruiting starts to pick up and the level of play remains high, watch out for this program down the road.
One of the absolute brightest parts of this already impressive season of basketball has been freshman guard Josh Okogie, whose exceptional performance against NC State over the weekend earned him his third ACC Rookie of the Week award of the season. It’s easy to forget that Okogie was a three-star recruit coming out of high school, choosing Tech over a modest number of other offers. He’s looking more and more like the next Marcus Georges-Hunt, boasting a similar skillset and flashing the same proclivity for scoring that we saw from Georges-Hunt over the past four years. If he can stay on track, Okogie will score more points this season than MGH did in his freshman season back in 2012. The sky’s the limit from there.