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Georgia Tech Football: Position Profiles- Quarterback

Who will head Brent Key’s inaugural offense?

Georgia Tech v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

After cycling through every option in the quarterback slot last season, the Jackets hope to zero in on the 2023 leader of the offense. Five players make up the QB room this year: Red-shirt freshman, Zach Pyron; sophomore Texas A&M transfer, Haynes King; Red-shirt junior, Zach Gibson; Red-shirt sophomore, Brody Rhodes; and Red-shirt freshman, Aidan Semo.

Haynes King: Haynes King was one of the most sought-after recruits of the 2020 class, but his high school dominance has yet to transfer into the world of Division I football. King spent three years at Texas A&M, playing in 10 games during his tenure. He redshirted his freshman year in 2020 and was named QB1 the following season. After a semi-successful start in the season opener against Kent State (292 yds, two TDs, and three INTs), King suffered a season-ending injury in the following game against Colorado. In his final season at TAMU, King was again named the starter. In the season opener versus Sam Houston, King passed for 364 yards (the most by an Aggie in a season opener since 2009), going 20 for 31 with three touchdowns and two interceptions. However, an uninspiring 97-yard performance vs. Appalachian St. one week later landed King on the bench for the foreseeable future, in what was Jimbo Fisher’s first non-Power 5 loss at Texas A&M. King would see the field again at Bryant-Denny stadium, after an injury to Max Johnson, where he would throw for 297 yds and two touchdowns. Down by 4 and with time expiring, Haynes led the Aggies down the field before throwing a pick into double coverage. Although a defensive pass interference call overturned the ugly interception, King was unable to convert from the 2-yard line and lost the game on an incompletion. It’s currently unclear whether King’s volatility will benefit a Brent Key offense that desperately needs consistency at the QB position, but his ceiling is the highest of the bunch.

Zach Pyron: Zach Pyron was an essential part of the Jackets’ offense last season... for three games. As a true freshman, Pryon saw the field first against Florida State after Jeff Sims sustained a foot injury against Virginia. Despite getting whooped by the Seminoles, Pyron showed grit and promise against the defense, completing 18 of 28 passes for 198 yards and our only two touchdowns. After Pyron’s showing against FSU, Coach Key placed him as the starter against Virginia Tech. In that game, Pyron led the offense to their third dub of the season in an exciting 11-point comeback in the fourth where he accounted for two touchdowns. The following week, the Jackets faced Miami at home, a game that could send the Jackets bowling for the first time in three years. On a 19-yard run late in the third quarter, Pryon broke his clavicle and the offense quickly fell apart against the Hurricanes. Pyron showed promise as a starter within a Brent Key system but has yet to showcase consistency over the course of a full ACC schedule.

Zach Gibson: Gibson was redshirted his freshman year at the University of Akron, and played for two more seasons before moving on to Atlanta to join his little brother, Tyler Gibson (OL), on the Flats. Gibson got his first snap as a Jacket in the Virginia game last season after Jeff Sims was sent to the locker room with an injury. After a total of 41 yards of offense in the second half, Georgia Tech somehow found themselves in a position to tie or win the game with about seven seconds left. Gibson took the snap and was chased out of the pocket, and with time expiring, he ran out of bounds rather than heaving a pass downfield, leaving the Jackets to mourn the 16-9 loss. Gibson lost the starting position to Zach Pryon the next week against Florida State but was able to gain it back after Pyron broke his collarbone against Miami. Gibson shared time in the pocket with Clemson transfer, Taisun Phommachanh, against North Carolina; but was responsible for the majority of the passing yards (174) in the 17-point deficit win over the No. 13 Tar Heels. Gibson also started against u(sic)GA and his 34-yard pass to Nate McCollum aided in Georgia Tech becoming the first team to score a first-quarter touchdown on the dawgs.

Brody Rhodes: Rhodes was redshirted last year and was the only rostered QB that did not see any action for the Jackets. We haven’t seen much of him as a Jacket, but he did throw this electric touchdown in the spring game:

Aiden Semo: Also a red-shirt freshman, Semo is a preferred walk-on.

Logic would suggest that King or Pyron is the guy for this upcoming season. While Pyron has experience inside a Brent Key offense and would be a safer choice, King seems to have a higher ceiling in terms of play-making ability and athleticism.