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Georgia Tech Football: Recruiting Classes Revisited - 2019

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A class recruited by two different head coaches saw a lot of early playing time.

Georgia v Georgia Tech Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The freshman class of last year was built with two philosophies in mind. Some were recruited by Paul Johnson who decided to retire at the end of 2018 and the rest were brought by Coach Collins during his mad dash to sign a few players to fit his new vision for the team. With a composite rating of .8553, the class came in at 50th in the nation and 9th in the ACC. The class wasn’t without some notable players and a few surprises though.

We will look at each signee and see how he fared in his first season or what we can expect from him going forward. Players are listed by their overall composite ranking.

RB Jamious Griffin | 4-Star | .8917 Rating

Griffin was a prospect that Collins worked hard to get in the short span he had until signing from when he became the new head coach. Griffin bolstered the class as the only 4-star and the highest-rated running back since Dwyer. He saw the second-most carries at RB last season and should be a major player, especially when Jordan Mason departs.

DB Wesley Walker | 3-Star | .8750 Rating

Walker took a redshirt after only appearing in three games and recording 3 total tackles between Virginia and Georgia. He has the task of trying to unseat someone in the deepest position group on the team so it could be another year or two before Walker truly gets into the rotation.

WR Kalani Norris | 3-Star | .8709 Rating

Norris appeared in seven games but didn’t record any stats in his limited time with a struggling offense. Expect him to wait while there are bigger and more experienced guys ahead of him in the lineup.

WR Ahmarean Brown | 3-Star | .8709 Rating

Ahmarean came in as a 3-star recruit who ended up with a 5-star effort by the end of the season. In his first season with the team, he tied the freshman receiving touchdown record help by Yellow Jacket legend, Calvin Johnson. It’s safe to assume Brown will continue to be used as a weapon to go over the top of defenses as his speed proved a problem for opposing defenses.

QB Jordan Yates | 3-Star | .8687 Rating

Yates redshirted after only seeing action in two games with almost all of it coming during the Virginia Tech game after it had got out of hand. Yates was performing well in Spring Practice this year until things were cut short. It could have been an intriguing quarterback battle in the Spring Game, but Yates should still be in a position to make a case for more playing time this year.

DB Jordan Huff | 3-Star | .8671 Rating

Jordan Huff redshirted after not recording in any stats in his first on the team. He faces the same odds as many young defensive backs in such a deep unit. The coaching staff loves to rotate fresh legs but it could be another year before Huff is a consistent name to watch.

DE Sylvain Yondjouen | 3-Star | .8661 Rating

Yondjouen came to Tech as the number one player in the country...of Belgium. As a young player, he made a few plays and showed off his raw talent. Expect him to become more refined as he grows when he should spell out the now eligible Antonneous Clayton.

WR Zach Owens | 3-Star | .8581 Rating

Owens redshirted without appearing in any games. He is a bigger-bodied receiver who could compete for time later after Jalen Camp and others move on.

DB Kenan Johnson | 3-Star | .8551 Rating

Johnson didn’t see playing time and redshirted this past year. He will need to bulk up a bit to be able to become a complete player in the secondary.

DT Michael Lockhart | 3-Star | .8537 Rating

Lockhart didn’t participate in any game and redshirted. At defensive tackle, he is at one of the thinner units that had a player depart this past year. If he added some mass to his tall frame he could see some rotation this coming season.

RB Tony Amerson | 3-Star | .8526 Rating

Amerson didn’t get a chance to play in Tech’s loaded backfield. With more highly touted talent coming into the position, Amerson will have to really impress coaches to break into some meaningful playing time.

LB Chico Bennett Jr. | 3-Star | .8519 Rating

Bennett saw quite a bit of playing time early in the season. He could have had even more of a chance to grow if not for a mid-season injury. Linebacker isn’t an exceptionally deep group so expect Chico to make some more plays this Fall.

RB Devin Ellison | 3-Star | .8505 Rating

Redshirted without any stats recorded. Ellison will probably fall victim to being recruited to play running back in an option offense to being left out of a more traditional one with loaded talent.

LB Kendall Young | 3-Star | .8464 Rating

Young did not appear in any games and decided to transfer at the end of the year after leaving the team halfway through the season.

WR Nazir Burnett | 3-Star | .8457 Rating

Burnett left the team to enter the transfer portal after seeing two games early in the season. He made his way back closer to home to Collins’ former team, Temple.

TE Dylan Deveney | 3-Star | .8445 Rating

Deveney became the first tight end recruit to Georgia Tech since before the Paul Johnson era. He earned time in all 12 games recording only six receptions. With grad transfer Tyler Davis drafted to Jacksonville, Dylan will be the most experienced tight end in his young career.

DB Jeremiah Smith | 3-Star | .8431 Rating

Smith, who was the first commit of the cycle, redshirted without any playing time in 2019. Much like the running back room, Smith will have to contend with a deep and talented secondary to earn playing time.

LB Demetrius Knight | 3-Star | .8431 Rating

After being recruited to play QB in the option offense, Knight swapped to linebacker where he found a natural fit as a bruising tackler. His biggest play was strip sacking Miami’s QB where the fumble was recovered for a touchdown. Knight should play an even bigger role this season with Charlie Thomas moving over the Nickel position.

LB Cornelius Evans | 3-Star | .8389 Rating

Evans did not play in the 2019 season but with the linebacker position needing reliable backups, Evans could earn some time this season.

DT D’Quan Douse | 3-Star | .8343 Rating

Redshirted without playing time last year but could take advantage of a weaker position group with an impressive camp.

DT Jamal Camp | 3-Star | .8327 Rating

Jamal has the frame to be a good anchor on the interior of the defensive line. He still has four seasons after redshirting and should be a contributor by his later years on the team.

TE Dylan Leonard | Not Rated

While not recording any stats besides two receptions, Leonard got some experience throughout the year and could see more while the position group makes its return to Georgia Tech.

Transfers

OL Jared Southers | Vanderbilt

Southers came to Georgia Tech for one year as a grad transfer from Vandy. He gave some needed experience and size to an offensive line learning how to play in a new system.

DB Myles Sims | Michigan

Sims was a highly rated prospect from the 2018 recruiting class where he originally signed to Michigan. He was granted immediate eligibility to play for Georgia Tech and saw some decent playing time while making some plays. He should be a factor in the corner rotation for the next three years.

DE Antonneous Clayton | Florida

Clayton was denied immediate eligibility in a head scratching-decision by the NCAA. It’s a shame as Clayton could have been force rushing the passer for the Yellow Jackets last season. He should be a dangerous weapon come this fall as he has the skill set to be a top playmaker in the ACC.

WR Marquez Ezzard | Miami

Ezzard also had to sit out the season by NCAA rule. He was another top recruit from the 2018 class and could create matchup problems in a receiving core that has the potential to be much better than expected.

TE Tyler Davis | UConn

Tyler Davis came as a grad transfer from UConn where he was a solid contributor. Looking to help rebuild the tight end position at Georgia Tech along with a better chance to make the NFL, Davis found both as he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.