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Georgia Tech Recruiting: Needs for the 2021 Class

Coach Collins’ second full class may be heavy on the defense.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Pitt at Georgia Tech Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bringing in the 24th ranked class for the 2020 cycle was a positive step forward for Georgia Tech in Coach Collins’ first full year of recruiting. Tech brought in 24 players, and the ratio for offense to defense is 14 to 10. This class leaned heavy along the line of scrimmage with 6 players recruited on each side of the line making up for half of the 24 recruits.

When the Jackets take the field this fall they will do so with the second-most returning production in the country, but that also means after the season a good amount of departures will be seen. The recruiting dead-period will end with the beginning of March, and the battle for recruits to fill the gaps will resume. Here should be the key positions Tech will want to focus on in the 2021 class.

High Priority

Defensive Tackle

If there was a flaw in the 2020 class it was the lack of interior defensive linemen. Even though the class had 6 recruits for the defensive line, they were all tabbed as edge rushers or more traditional defensive ends. Chris Martin, Jahaziel Lee, TK Chimdeza, and Ja’Quon Griffin are the primary contenders, but Martin and Lee will be gone after this year, leaving a lack of depth in the middle. Interior linemen are usually a position that cycles players during a game so this would force inexperience into possible key situations. So don’t be surprised if the transfer portal could become an option to help fill the need along with recruiting.

Tight End

Tech’s roster shows a few players listed at tight end, but the only two recruited are sophomore Dylan Deveney and Billy Ward. Ward will not enroll until the Fall so this is a very young position that is being reestablished back into the offense. Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude used a two tight end set often at his previous stop in Temple. While there they were an integral part of the passing game. However, of the 1607 receiving yards Tech gained in the 2019 season, only 202 yards belonged to the tight ends. It’s safe to assume the need to find additional talented recruits to increase the competitiveness of the position.

Needs Some Work

Linebacker

This position won’t hurt for depth this upcoming season as it returns David Curry, after being granted an extra year by the NCAA, and Charlie Thomas. Jerry Howard and Bruce Jordan-Swilling did a one-for-one swap at their positions so Howard will be in the rotation now as well, with Bruce moving to running back. There are a few more players who saw some meaningful time, but this position group will thin out next year with Curry and Howard moving on. That would leave five upperclassmen for the 21 season, but only two linebackers were signed this year. It needs to be balanced among the classes for the coming years or risk a heavy freshman presence down the road.

Safety

The defense likes to go heavy in the secondary with a 4-2-5 scheme as their base defense so having a few more bodies in the rotation is essential for a position that is commonly rotated to keep legs fresh. Tariq Carpenter and Juanyeh Thomas are the mainstays at safety, but Carpenter is a senior and Thomas a junior. It’s possible they could rotate guys from the nickel position, but having a few who specialize in one position is ideal.

Bonus

Punter

This is more of recognition that this is the last year Pressley Harvin III will flip fields from his own end zone for Georgia Tech. It’s not every day that a team has a punter that impacts the game as he does. Miami is still trying to figure that one out. So, if another punter like this exists, then hand him a scholarship.