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Georgia Tech Football: Meet the Newcomers - Quarterback

Jeff Sims was able to make a huge impact in his freshman season, will we see another true freshman quarterback this season? (Spoilers: probably not in an expanded role)

Georgia Tech v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Assuming nothing goes horribly wrong in the next several months (knocks on all the wood) Georgia Tech will have its first multi-year starting quarterback since TaQuon Marshall started in 2017 and 2018. And that means that there will not be another quarterback competition this year! Sims more than earned his keep last season, starting every game last season and showing some serious promise.

But with Sims’ success, that means that the quarterback room has shrunk a little bit with the departures of both James Graham and Tucker Gleason, who both transferred this offseason. To help offset the departure, Geoff Collins and Co. added two new quarterbacks to the fold in signee Chayden Peery and preferred walk-on Brody Rhodes.

(I also want to make a quick note here that Demetrius Knight also moved back to quarterback from linebacker, but since he was already on the team, I will not be discussing him here.)

Chayden Peery

Last May, Georgia Tech secured Peery’s commitment via an announcement on Twitter.

Peery was rated as a three-star recruit by both Rivals (5.6) and the 247 Sports Composite (0.8668) and selected Tech over other reported offers from a nice mix of academic stalwarts (Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia) and Power 5 schools (Arizona State, Louisville, Maryland), among others.

So what exactly is Georgia Tech getting in Peery? No senior season highlights were available on Hudl, so let’s look at his junior season highlights. The first thing that stands out to me is that card of his stats: just over 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception. That’s a pretty solid stat line, but it’s the one interception that I really like.

Watching his film, there are some things to like. Peery seems like a pretty pure drop-back passer, which is a nice offset from Jeff Sims, though he does have enough mobility to escape pressure or run an occasional draw play (2:01). Around 2:15, Peery has a play where he’s forced out of the pocket and has to throw on the run, and he is able to hit his receiver in stride. It was a very heads up play by him. It seems like every deep ball he throws is placed incredibly well.

The one thing I would have liked to see is Peery working through his progressions. In virtually every play in his highlight film, Peery stares down his receiver. There are a couple times he had to throw into traffic, and he zipped it in to his receiver, but he will not be able to get away with that at the collegiate level. Now, that’s not uncommon for a high school quarterback, but I wish it was less common.

With Jordan Yates and Knight both available as back-ups, I fully expect Peery to redshirt this year but if there are some garbage time opportunities, I could see Peery getting a couple drives just to get him some in-game experience. Ultimately, I think it will be much better to have that extra year between him and Sims.

Brody Rhodes

The other quarterback that Tech is adding is Brody Rhodes, who announced his commitment as a PWO to Georgia Tech back in December.

Rhodes joins Tech over other reported offers from three option schools: Army, Kennesaw State and The Citadel, so I think it’s safe to say he’s probably a dual-threat quarterback. He was unrated by Rivals and does not have a profile on 247.

Rhodes is really good on his feet. He easily escapes pressure and also has plenty of designed runs, and he does a good job of avoiding taking hits. As a passer, he isn’t quite as developed as Peery, which is to be expected, but he’s no slouch. He shows some good touch on his passes, but does not have the arm strength to really make all the throws you need.

I think this is a pretty solid pick up, and Rhodes has an opportunity to take some time and learn the system and be a key reserve in the coming years.

Conclusion

Georgia Tech didn’t need an immediate starting quarterback in its 2021 class. Sims will be the starter for the foreseeable future, so they were able to get a couple guys who have solid ceilings but are not ready to play right away. I expect we probably won’t see much of either one of them this season, but I also don’t think that’s a bad thing, but they both have the opportunity to contribute at some point down the line.

What do you think of Georgia Tech’s additions at quarterback?