Greetings Tech Fans!
We are going to take a look at the 2017 recruiting class. Under Paul Johnson, this class was notable for being defensive heavy. The ranking came in at 48 on 247 Sports and 41 on Rivals. That’s honestly average for Paul Johnson who would scoff and say some western Carolina quip about rankings.
However, I lean differently. I see that recruiting class rankings are directly tied to wins and championships. Since Auburn won the 2010 championship, no team has won a title without a top ten class from 3 years prior. This is our class from our 3 years prior.
Top 5 recruits (via 247Composite)
Bruce Jordan-Swilling OLB [Senior] ( .9182 247Composite| 5.8 Rivals ) Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.)
2019 Stats: 27 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks
The highest-rated player of the class sure was exciting at the time. I thought he would be a gamechanger at a linebacker position that was struggling at the time. He was the #9 OLB in the nation per Rivals and made the ESPN 300.
His father Pat Swilling was an All-American in the vaunted ’85 Blackwatch defense. Bruce has appeared in at least 11 games each year over three years as a rotational LB and a few starts. Bruce was originally a standout RB in high school and is switching back to that position for 2020. He ran for 1,716 yards and 28 TDs his senior year.
Jaquan Henderson S [Senior] ( .8813 | 5.7 ) Newton (Covington, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 16 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1 swat
Jaquan is a difficult player to rate because he bounced around positions. He was listed as safety and OLB but has switched to edge rusher in the new defense. He was able to come up with a sack and even some tackles for loss in the 2019 campaign. He sustained an upper body injury halfway through the season last year as he was gaining momentum. Unfortunately, I see him towards the lower end of the projected depth chart this year.
Tre Swilling CB [RS Junior] ( .8787 | 5.8 ) Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.)
2019 Stats: 23 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 10 swats and a fumble recovery
Tre has started 23 games over 2 years at the primary cornerback slot. He’s got the most impressive ability to stick with receivers and honestly became the player we needed him to be. He is also the brother of Bruce Jordan-Swilling who listed playing with his brother as his proudest collegiate athletic accomplishment. Notable last year for picking a fight with u(sic)ga’s top receiver and getting him suspended for the first half of the SEC Championship, which they lost by 27 points.
Kaleb Oliver OLB [RS Junior] ( .8670 | 5.8 ) Oakland (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
2019 Stats: 38 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 4 swats and a forced fumble
Kaleb is a very interesting player. After switching to the hybrid linebacker/corner position known as Nickel, he dominated in slot defense and coverage. He’s an electric player. However, we must note that his rushing defense left something to be desired. Changing roles is difficult for anyone and he otherwise performed beautifully.
Gentry Bonds CB ( .8655 | 5.8 ) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Never appeared in a game for the Jackets, Left the program in Summer 2019 amid roster changes and concerns team wide. Gentry was a highly-rated recruit who just got lost in the shuffle. He is currently in the transfer portal and yet to land anywhere.
Best of the Rest:
Tariq Carpenter S [RS Junior] ( .8182 | 5.4 ) Long County (Ludowici, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 62 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 5 swats
Tariq is a returning two-year starter at safety and has been dependable in that role for quite some time. I found it interesting to see him rated pretty low in recruiting and in our 2017 class. He only missed two games last year due to injury but returns in to a very strong secondary in 2020.
Jordan Mason RB [RS Junior] ( .8158 | 5.5 ) Gallatin Senior (Gallatin, Tenn.)
2019 Stats: 899 rushing with 7 TD, 7 rec
Jordan Mason leap-frogged his RB counterpart Jerry Howard and became not only the starting feature back but he is in the running for All-ACC this year. I’ve said it before. Georgia Tech is simply a better football team when Mason gets plenty of carries. GT has won every single game that Mason received more than 20 carries.
Pressley Harvin P [Senior] ( .8145 | 5.5 ) Sumter (Sumter, S.C.)
2019 Stats: 80 Punts, 44.8 average
I love Stephen’s specialist preview and Harvin gets glowing praise. Harvin even tossed a touchdown during a play fake for 41 yards during the Miami win last year.
My daddy always said that there are three phases to the game: Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. If you win 2 of 3, you’ll win the game. Field position is so vitally important to the game and we’ve got a good one. I just wish they still put hang time up on the screen like the good ol days. Then we would really see his power. Harvin is another one to watch on draft night this year.
Tobias Oliver ATH [RS Junior] ( .8423 | 5.5 ) Northside (Warner Robins, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 11 of 26, 0 TD, 2 INT with 279 rushing and 2 RushTD
As I mentioned last week, Tobias has a cult following around here. He heroically led GT to a victory as the fill-in quarterback in Techmo Bowl 2018. After being shuffled out of the quarterback room halfway through 2019, he got some snaps at WR and returner where he received 14 kicks and had 11 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. He has switched to corner and we saw a couple promising bits from spring practice including an interception.
Obligatory Tobias Meme:
Zach Quinney OG [RS Junior] ( .8396 | 5.6 ) Savannah Christian Prep (Savannah, Ga.)
Started 12 games in 2019, projected starter at RT. Quinney has been dependable over 2 years as a starter at OT.
Jaytlin Askew CB [Senior] ( .8646 | 5.7 ) McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovered
Cortez Alston DE ( .8534 | 5.6 ) Westminster (Atlanta, Ga.)
Redshirted Freshman year and transferred to Penn, yet to appear in a game.
Dameon Williams CB ( .8472 | 5.6 ) Norcross (Norcross, Ga.)
Transferred to Gardner-Webb in 2019, yet to appear in a game.
Michael Minihan OG [RS Junior] ( .8403 | 5.5 ) St Louis School (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Started 6 games in 2019, expects to fit in the reserve rotation at C/G
Kelton Dawson DE [RS Junior] ( .8359 | 5.5 ) Stockbridge (Stockbridge, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 26 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack *Entered Transfer Portal June 2020
T.D. Roof MLB ( .8346 | 5.5 ) Buford (Buford, Ga.)
Son of former DC Ted Roof, transferred to Indiana where he had a good season at backup OLB in 2018, transferred again to App State. His father was App State DC in 2019 but took the DC job at Vandy.
Avery Showell S [RS Junior] ( .8320 | 5.6 ) St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.)
2019 stats: 16 tackles, 1 swat
Connor Hansen C ( .8294 | 5.5 ) Lawton Chiles (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Started final 9 games of 2018 at RG, only appeared in 7 games last year. Left the team in March.
Jerry Howard RB [Senior] ( .8258 | 5.6 ) Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.)
2019 Stats: 102 rushing, 0 RushTD, 6 rec for 92 and 1 Rec TD
Boe Tufele DT ( .8207 | 5.3 ) Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.)
Switched to OL and never appeared in a game for the Yellow Jackets. Left team in Spring 2019
Antwan Owens DE [Senior] ( .8192 | 5.6 ) Amos P. Godby (Tallahassee, Fla.)
2019 stats: 21 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 swat
Charlie Clark OG [RS Junior] ( .8072 | 5.3 ) Marist (Atlanta, Ga.)
Appeared on 6 Above The Line charts but did not appear in 2019.
Brenton King K 2-star ( .7916 | 5.4 ) Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 17-18 Extra points, 3-7 FGs. Transferred to Liberty in March
Adonicas Sanders WR [RS Junior] ( .7910 | 5.2 ) Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.)
2019 Stats: 19 Rec for 249 yds, 0 TD
Wesley Wells K Non-ranked Walk-on, Lumpkin County (Dahlonega, Ga.)
2019 Stats: 6-6 Extra Points, 1 missed FG attempt (30 yard attempt) Left the team in March.
43 Days to Kickoff