Patrick Suddes wasn’t kidding when he told us that there were fireworks coming on the 4th of July.
On a momentous 4th of July, Georgia Tech added three commitments to its 2022 class and now sits at 11 pledges.
The first commitment along the defensive front in this class is a big one. KJ Miles stands at 6-4, 288 pounds and projects to play on the interior of the defensive line. Coming out of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, NJ, he reports offers from the who’s who of college football: he picked GT over Texas and Wisconsin (poetic justice for them launching a shirt yesterday ripping off our end of the 3rd tradition!) and also reports offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and USC. Not bad.
Miles checks in as a 4 Star recruit on Rivals and the 247 composite, with a 5.8 rating on Rivals, 89.25 on the Composite, and an 89 on 247. He would be the highest rated defensive line commit for Georgia Tech since 2012. What does he bring to the table?
St. Peters uses Miles all over the interior of the defensive line. You’ll see him lined up in 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4i techniques. For a guy his size, he moves fluidly. In the opening play of his junior highlights, he destroys the offensive guard and records a sack on an attempted screen play! He can bull rush and speed rush, knife through a gap or go through his man. He sheds blockers and finds the ball in the running game. He’s got a great overall presence in the middle of the defense. He maintains gap integrity while creating traffic in rushing lanes. With his frame and athleticism, he looks like he could add 20-30 more pounds to increase his physicality while maintaining his ability to move. Of course, he’s not a perfect prospect; his pad level can get high right after the snap, his technique will need refinement, and he will need to keep getting quicker as he bulks up in college. But Georgia Tech simply does not have defensive lineman who play like this on the current roster.
This is a huge get for Coach Knight.
Efford is another Metro Atlanta target who joins the 2022 class. He plays linebacker at Dacula High about 30 miles up I-85 from Midtown. Although Dacula largely plays him at a standup rush linebacker spot, he has prototypical size for an inside linebacker at 6-2, 225 lbs. Efford reports P5 offers from Michigan, Maryland, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Purdue, and Vanderbilt. He’s a consensus 3 star prospect who is currently rated as a 5.5 on Rivals, an 85 on 247, and 84.16 in the 247 Composite.
Here’s his highlight type from his junior season:
As mentioned above, Efford plays primarily in a stand up spot on the edge, which differs from where the GT staff likely sees him playing. From the outside, he demonstrates excellent size, physicality, and strength. He regularly takes on blocks from linemen, tight ends, and fullbacks, and he’s generally able to overpower anyone of similar or smaller build. Efford shows off skills as a very sure tackler on rushing plays, on pass rushes, and in tracking scrambling quarterbacks. He has good quickness in small spaces and projects well to maintain sound gap coverage against the run.
His speed is not his greatest strength, which means that the role he plays for Dacula is very different than the one Coach Thacker will ask him to play and that we don’t get visual evidence on how he will do that. He’s not going to be a sideline to sideline player, most likely, but he will be a powerful presence in the box.
Kurisky will be the newest addition to Coach Wiesehan’s Tight End room. He plans to head south to Atlanta after finishing up his prep career at Gonzaga in Washington, DC. Kurisky has a great TE frame, already checking in at 6-3, 235 lbs with room to continue filling out. His impressive list of reported offers from P5 schools includes: Miami, VT, Louisville, Rutgers, BC, Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Pitt, Purdue, Vandy, Wake, and Wisconsin. Currently, he’s a consensus 3 star rated as a 5.5 on Rivals, an 85 on 247, and an 84.16 in the 247 Composite.
After a sophomore season in which he was named first team All-WCAC (the association of Catholic schools in the DC area), Kurisky continued to show development during his team’s abbreviated junior season. He’a a versatile player whose skillset already aligns well with what Coach Patenaude wants to do with his Tight Ends.
It’s impressive to see him catch the ball and block from both an in line and flexed out alignment. He’s able to drive guys down the field in the running game and provide pass protection when asked to stay in as a 6th blocker. In the passing game, he tracks the ball well, he attacks the catch with his hands, and he knows how to use his big frame to box out defenders in small spaces. He gets frequently used on pop passes in the RPO game, which has been a largely missing piece the last couple of seasons for the GT offense. He’s also a steady red zone target for Gonzaga, helping to finish drives when his offense gets in close.
Kurisky is not a burner, but his body control and impressive hands make him a reliable weapon in the short and intermediate passing game, areas which welcome improvement for GT. His versatility stands out; he’s already doing most of what Coach Patenaude would want him to do. He looks like a solid addition who can be a multi-year contributor.
Where the Class Stands
After a splendid 4th of July, Georgia Tech’s 2022 class is up to 3 commits on defense and 8 on offense. Looking ahead, we’re likely looking to take one more OL, one RB or WR if they are a high target, and one to two guys at each level of the defense.
With these three additions, the class is back up to 25th in the 247 Composite team rankings with 11 commits. The class average rating stands at 87.30, just ahead of the 2020 class and sitting in a virtual tie with 2007.
Welcome KJ, Kyle, and Nate to the Flats!