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Mailbag 5/4

What was your favorite Star Wars Halloween costume growing up?

New York City Decorates For Halloween 2021 Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Which GT player newly added to the Pros do you think will have the earliest success? - Notwima13

Ben: I think Tariq Carpenter is the easy answer. Even if he doesn’t get playing time on defense, I think he can be a ST contributor pretty early on. My darkhorse is Devin Cochran. I don’t know that he’ll have much quantifiable success, but I think he should be a solid swing tackle for the Bengals. Great size and length.

Logan: Given a combination of the player’s talent, injuries which occur at the position, and the city he’s in, I’d like to think Jordan Mason will see the earliest success if he can stay on the team. I think he could be a solid RB2 in the future and feature on the goal line. I don’t think Mason’s the most talented of our guys, but he may have secretly found himself a great team to move up the chart with.

The worst-performing secondary in FBS had 1 draftee (Tariq Carpenter) + 2 UDFAs (Juanyeh Thomas and Tre Swilling) + 1 mini-camp invitee (Tobias Oliver). First of all, congrats and well done to those young men.

A common refrain in the 2021 season was that the secondary had plenty of theoretical talent. It was unclear if the players didn’t live up to their potential, were coached poorly, or were deployed poorly.

Do these draft results put to bed any doubt about the root cause being a coaching failure? Was there any doubt even before the draft? Or is it all still a mixed bag? - GTBuzzed

Ben: Was there anyone who didn’t think it was a coaching failure that we kept hearing about how talented the secondary was only to see them perform each and every year? I think it probably also doesn’t reflect well that Tariq Carpenter got drafted as a linebacker after only playing there for a couple weeks, yet Tech refused to play him there. I think each of the four you mentioned are pretty talented and could have been drafted higher.

Logan: I hate speculating on something like that, because it’s never just one or two factors that lead to bad results on the field.

If you need an answer, then my thought would be that the schemes run may not have been fully taking advantage of the talent in the secondary, but that also ties into how the D-line and Linebackers are able to play. This is one of those questions you could spend days doing a deep dive on. I don’t necessarily think a lack of performance in college is completely due to coaching. You just can’t simplify it all down to coaches when so many other factors are in play.

Carter: Geoff Collins cannot fail, only be failed.

How impactful do you think a player’s performance in the pros is on college recruiting? Do you think guys like Alvarado or Waller who have made more of a national name for themselves post-GT have a significant impact on current GT athletics? - Pkaltman1

Ben: It certainly doesn’t hurt. I think Waller’s case (and ultimately Tariq Carpenter’s case) is a little different, since he plays a different position in the NFL than he did at Tech. Regardless, having players in the NFL is always a good recruiting tactic. It looks a whole lot better, though, when the players in the NFL were also players under the current head coach.

Logan: I actually think it’s a very important factor to have faces from your school being stars in the pros. Kids who grow into college athletes want to play where there favorite stars once did. I’m not saying it’s everything, but it helps when your team has a star like Megatron or Chris Bosh to point to as an alumni. Alvarado and Waller are interesting because they a growing cults in the cities they play at, even if they aren’t necessarily super stars. I do certainly think that you will see players for future yellow jackets teams referencing Alvarado and Waller as reasons they wanted to play at Tech.

Jake: I can’t say I was around for the Waller years at Tech, but I most certainly lined up with Alvarado, and watching him play was so exhilarating every game. What he has been able to do is take that same passionate and lively play to the NBA, and I really do think it matters to be able to point to players as having success and getting the Tech name and success story out there.

Jake P.: Having those success stories definitely doesn’t hurt. But naming one or two players that have performed well simply doesn’t compare to the professional success that schools like Alabama and Ohio State can promote in football and UNC and Kentucky in basketball. It helps, but the Tech is definitely outgunned.

Carter: There’s an argument to be made that a coach getting players drafted creates a positive feedback loop where recruits notice and are more likely to commit to play for said coach, but I’ve noticed it doesn’t seem to apply universally, especially here at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Should players taken in the draft (total number, trend, acceleration, round ranking modifier) be a KPI for a CFB coach? Kirby just went GOAT; the 404? Not so much. - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I mean, if you have players getting drafted, you gotta be doing something right. That doesn’t happen by chance. Getting drafted is one of the least likely scenarios for players leaving school. Potential can get you part of the way there, but good coaching can help push you up the boards.

Logan: not sure what KPI means, but having your players get drafted is part of the job. Good players want to go to a school where they now they will have a chance to get drafted. That’s why more players fight to go to Schools like Alabama and not schools like Hawaii (despite Hawaii being a very nice location from what I hear). So short answer is, yes being drafted is important.

Carter: The primary goal of a college football coach is to win college football games. That’s what they should be measured on first and foremost. But getting players into the professional leagues should probably be a metric for performance.

Fan or not Fan of the new comment system? Default “Sort by” Newest was kinda “take the red pill” at first. - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I don’t know that I have any particularly strong feelings about it. I know there were a lot of people who had very strong negative feelings about it when SBN first started rolling it out, but personally, I don’t have any issues with it.

Logan: It seems to cause problems on my phone, and the number of comments on an article to show improperly at times. I don’t hate it, but I’m not super thrilled about it either.

Carter: RIP comment subject lines.

GT is ranked again. What’s the ceiling for this post season? Can we get a three or four solid games in a row from starters? (submitted via email)

Ben: I think your guess is probably as good as mine on that one.

Logan: I’ll be honest, the new playoff policies confuse and scare me. I think we can get past the first playoff round, and from there… maybe win a few games but not go much farther. I like our talent and we can definitely score runs with the best of them, but the pitching is just not there this year. There is potential for us to go far, but odds are not in our favor. For your second question, I expect more consistency from our starters now that the starting rotation seems fixed in place. Relievers… your guess is as good as mine on that.

Jake: The bats can hit better than anyone in the country when they are on. I think those alone could, if they catch fire, carry this team quite far. There have certainly been quality starts from a number of folks on the staff, but I think we’d have to get a few to align in order to do any serious damage. I think anything is possible, including the three or four solid games in a row question — it seems that the floor is a complete flameout, but the ceiling is Omaha. What’s most likely is the same as ever — a solid game or two in a row in a regional, and then shown the regional “return to Atlanta” door.

Carter: I feel like putting faith in this pitching staff is a mistake, but I can’t stop you.

Ahoi hoi fellas,

This week my question is related to star wars. Who is your favorite star wars character to dress up as for halloween. Not favorite in general, just favorite to dress up as. That’s all I got, later guys.

Ned Flanders (submitted via email)

Ben: Finally! A Star Wars question! Growing up, my favorite Star Wars Halloween costume was Luke Skywalker. If I were to start doing Star Wars costumes/cosplay now, I would probably go for more niche characters. One that I have wanted to do for a while is Count Dooku. I’ve always been a big fan of his lightsaber hilt design, and I just love Christopher Lee.

Logan: who doesn’t love dressing up as Darth Vader and doing the fake mechanical breathing and voice? That’s my first choice. If Vader is unavailable I have the body of Jabba the Hut so I can make that work for me.

Jake: I honestly don’t think I’ve ever dressed up as a Star Wars character for Halloween, so I honestly couldn’t tell you.

Jake P.: The Jake Caucus is in unision on never having dressed up as a Star Wars character. However, dressing up as the Exogorth seems like it would be cool.

Carter: Having actually dressed up as a Star Wars character as an adult, Han Solo is my current favorite, but if someone wants to 3D print me a Mandalorian armor set, I’m totally down.