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Mailbag 1/25

Who ya got in the Super Bowl?

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Jellopacket98: Has anyone done an in depth study into why GT kickers were sooooooo horrible under Collins but were perfectly fine under Johnson and Key?

Wells was 48 for 48 in his Freshman year under Johnson, but King and Wells were hideous under Collins. Kelley and Stewart were also pretty bad under Collins. Then Key comes in and all of the sudden Stewart is making all of his kicks.

Was Collins doing something during practice that totally destroyed their confidence? He had to have been doing something severely wrong.

Ben: Anything I can share is only hearsay, so take it for what it’s worth. Generally, from what I understand, Wells and King were given the opportunity to compete for the kicking job, and for whatever reason, Collins liked something he saw in King and only wanted to keep one kicker on scholarship. Beyond that, I think Collins just isn’t a good head coach and was unable to properly manage his team and coaching staff to bring out the best in them. When Key took over as the interim coach, he moved Jason Semore over to assist with special teams, and even though punt coverage was still pretty bad, they were at least able to make kicks, so that probably contributed.

Jake P.: It’s hard to make kicks when your offensive line simply doesn’t block.

CTJacket: There’s been a fair amount of transfer portal activity recently. Could you give a brief recap of the ins and outs?

YankeeJacket: Did Georgia Tech get a quarterback and a wide receiver transfer from Texas A&M? And if so, what are the plans for them?

Ben: To answer the second question first, yes! QB Haynes King and WR Chase Lane both transferred to Georgia Tech. King is expected to compete with Zachs Pyron and Gibson for the starting job, and I expect Lane to play a good bit at receiver. Speaking of receivers, the Yellow Jackets have also added Abdul Janneh (Duquesne) and Christian Leary (Alabama) there to help offset the losses of Malachi Carter (graduation) and Nate McCollum (transfer). With Buster Faulkner likely bringing some air raid concepts, having good receivers will be vital, so I’m happy with the addition of more bodies there. Coming with Faulkner from UGA is tight end Brett Seither, who sat on the bench behind Brock Bowers and Arik Gilbert at UGA. It’s tough to say how he would have been because he was behind some very talented players. With Tech’s lack of depth at TE, I expect he will be in contention there. Most recently, Tech added “former B1G starting linebacker” Austin Dean from Rutgers. This is a depth move in my opinion, but I’ll gladly take another body at linebacker. In the trenches, Tech added Jordan Brown (Charlotte) on the offensive side and Etinosa Reuben (Clemson) on the defensive side. I don’t particularly have anything to say about either of them because neither has a lot of experience. Georgia Tech has also had three players enter the portal recently: WR Kalani Norris, Nickel Kenny Bennett, and CB Zamari Walton. Of these three, Walton is definitely the one that will be missed the most. He was a very solid corner for Tech last season.

DTGT: What’s the Pastner buyout?

Ben: Not publicly available from what I can find. Here’s what I said about it in the mailbag a few weeks ago:

A quick Google search did not provide any helpful information on Pastner’s current contract situation/buyout information, but seeing as Stansbury gave Geoff Collins a full buyout, I imagine Pastner probably got a similar treatment. His contract is currently set to go through a few more seasons at roughly $2.2 million-ish, so it would cost about $6.5 million to fire him after the season, assuming his salary hasn’t changed. And then you have to find and hire an interested coach.

It could potentially be less than that if he wasn’t given a full buyout, but who knows.

Jack: Per Kelly Quinlan on a recent YouTube live stream that was made public, his buyout is just under $4 million after this season. You can check it out here.

Ben (again): After doing a little more digging, I found this article from Ken that talks a bit about the buyout, and he mentions it being closer to $2.5 million, which is much more reasonable than the $6.5 million I guesstimated.

Jake P.: Regardless of what Pastner’s buyout is, J Batt’s first call absolutely has to be to Pat Kelsey at College of Charleston. That man can flat out coach.

Jellopacket98: Are the fans being too harsh on Pastner? I don’t think anyone would deny that had Wright and Alvarez stayed, last year’s team would have been really, really, really good. Also, by staying loyal to the two and waiting on their draft decisions, Pastner was pretty much handicapped in the portal. True, this year’s team would have been a step back, but the players he recruited were being built for next year. Is it really his fault that he did a great job of turning two below the radar prospects into NBA talent that left early and messed up his plans to get old and stay old?

Ben: While I don’t think Pastner is the whole problem with Georgia Tech men’s basketball, I don’t think he’s the whole solution either. The problem, though, is that I don’t know that Tech could attract anyone any better because of what I think the major problem is: Georgia Tech doesn’t have adequate NIL funds for men’s basketball. Without that, any coach is going to be severely handicapped in their recruiting, and I think it’s a lot more important in MBB than it is in football.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Super Bowl, who ya got?

Ben: I’m not even sure I could tell you who is in contention to play for it, so let me Google it. After Googling it, I will say the 49ers for the sole purpose of seeing Brock “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy winning the Super Bowl.

Jack PURDY: I mean, c’mon, the name should say it all, right? 49ers barely beat Cinci.

Jake P.: 49ers over Kansas City. Too story book to not be Mr. Purdy.

reggieball: If you could only play 5 players the remainder of the season, who would they be?

Rob: Miles Kelly, Deebo Coleman, and Jalon Moore are I think the obvious three choices here. They are the teams three leading scorers and are currently averaging over 24 minute per game each (Miles is the only player on the team averaging over 30 minutes per game). All three are sophomores and assuming none of them transfer, they look to be the core pieces of the team for the next 1-2 seasons, whether that is under Coach Pastner or someone else. After these three, it gets a little more tricky. You would definitely need one more big man, which would be a choice between Rodney Howard and Ja’von Franklin. Earlier in the season, I thought Franklin was looking like the much better player, but I think Howard has been playing better recently and seeing more minutes than Franklin, in addition to a 4” height advantage. I think I would have to go Rodney. That leaves one more spot for a guard which would come down to Kyle Sturdivant, Deivon Smith, or Lance Terry. It’s a tough choice between the three as all have had their moments this season. Terry scored 24 against Miami and 17 against FSU while Sturdivant dropped 18 points against Notre Dame. However, I would have to go with Deivon Smith. He simply brings a different level of athleticism to the court that those other two players do not. As a 6-1 guard, he leads the team in rebounding. He is one of the few players on this roster who can create his own shot and create for others (Smith also leads the team in assists). Interestingly enough, my lineup of Smith, Kelly, Coleman, Moore, and Howard is the teams most used lineup over the last 5 games according to Kenpom, with those 5 being on the court 16% of the time.

reggieball: Of Cyril, Freds Pauls or Blue Cain, who will make more of an impact on the court during the next 3 years?

Rob: This is a tough one since we have yet to really see any of the three play for the Jackets yet. I will have to rely on the recruiting rankings and go with Blue Cain, who is a consensus 4-star prospect across all the recruiting sites. I think this is the safest choice, but the sleeper selection could be Cyril strictly because of his size. As a 7-footer, he probably has the most upside.