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Georgia Tech Football: Recruiting Classes Revisited - 2016

Farewell to a class that had some really good players in it

NCAA Football: South Florida at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

To close out the week, we’re going to be looking at a very special class: the 2016 class. I certainly wouldn’t call it the best class that Paul Johnson ever brought in, but it certainly had some good players.

Georgia Tech 2016 Recruiting Class

Position Player Height Weight Status Rivals 247Sports Composite
Position Player Height Weight Status Rivals 247Sports Composite
LB Emmanuel Bridges 6-1" 208 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8634)
BB Dedrick Mills 5-10" 220 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.6) 3-Star (0.8535)
DE Desmond Branch 6-4" 265 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8348)
DT Chris Martin 6-2" 250 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8454)
DB Jarett Cole 5-10" 185 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8473)
OL Kenny Cooper 6-3" 285 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.3) 2-Star (0.7852)
DT Brandon Adams 6-2" 300 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8309)
WR Jalen Camp 6-2" 210 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.2) 3-Star (0.7986)
WR Jair Anderson 6-2" 185 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8456)
WR Steve Dolphus 6-5" 200 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8410)
LB Jakob Brashear 6-1" 210 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8339)
AB Xavier Gantt 5-10" 170 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8606)
QB/ATH Jay Jones 6-0" 180 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8515)
OL Parker Braun 6-3" 272 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8712)
DE Jordan Woods 6-3" 250 Signed (2/3/2016) 4-Star (5.8) 3-Star (0.8869)
CB Ajani Kerr 6-1" 185 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.2) Not Rated
OL/DL Jahaziel Lee 6-3" 260 Signed (2/3/2016) 2-Star (5.2) 2-Star (0.7678)
QB Lucas Johnson 6-3" 185 Signed (2/3/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8162)

Of these players, there is exactly one that is still on the team: Kenny Cooper. Cooper has been a steady contributor on the offensive line for nearly his entire career at Georgia Tech, though he has been surpassed in the last couple years. This will be his final season, so I hope he is able to make a good impact at some point. If nothing else, I know he will be able to serve as a good mentor for some of the younger offensive linemen.

So what happened to everyone else?

DT Brandon Adams

This is definitely the hardest part of this article. Brandon Adams unfortunately passed away prior to the 2019 season. In his time at Georgia Tech, he was an integral part of the defensive line and would have continued to do just that.

DE Desmond Branch

Branch had a solid career at Georgia Tech, finishing as a starter in one-year DC Nate Woody’s defense. He finished that season with four tackles for a loss and an interception.

LB Jakob Brashear

Brashear was placed on medical redshirt in the offseason prior to the 2019 season, ending his football career.

OL Parker Braun

Braun was a stalwart on Paul Johnson’s offensive line during his time on the Flats. After graduating, he transferred to Texas to finish his collegiate playing career. In his final season, he started every game for Texas at left guard.

LB Emmanuel Bridges

Bridges came in with a good deal of promise, but never got much of a chance to show that on the field.

WR Jalen Camp

Camp was a rock at receiver, both under Paul Johnson and Geoff Collins. He provided a safety net to a few different young QBs before being drafted by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, NFL Division Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round.

DB Jarrett Cole

After not getting much playing time, Cole put his name in the transfer portal, and after a quick Google search, I could not find any update after that.

WR Steve Dolphus

Dolphus finished his career at Georgia Tech, but mostly as a reserve. He started a couple games over the course of his career.

RB Xavier Gantt

Similar to Jarrett Cole, Gantt entered the transfer portal, and I could not find any update after that.

WR/DB Jair Hawkins-Anderson

It looks like Hawkins-Anderson moved to defensive back in Geoff Collins’ first season before entering the transfer portal.

QB Lucas Johnson

After serving as a back-up quarterback under Geoff Collins, Johnson ultimately transferred closer to home, finishing his career at San Diego State. He played sparingly last season and looks to be the starter for the Aztecs this season.

QB Jay Jones

Before ever getting an opportunity to play, Jones transferred to Oregon to play alongside his brother. After that, he transferred to Independence Community College, where he was featured on Last Chance U. I cannot find anything showing he played anywhere after his stint at Independence CC.

DB Ajani Kerr

Kerr transferred to Tulane prior to the 2020 season, and played in 11 games, starting two of them. He is still listed on the roster for this season, so this should be his last season.

OL/DL Jahaziel Lee

Lee transferred to Utah State prior to this season, after spending time on Tech’s offensive and defensive lines.

DT Chris Martin

Martin left the team during the season and explained his decision in a paywalled AJC article. At Tech, he was a regular back-up and saw a good deal of playing time.

RB Dedrick Mills

Oh man, what could have been. After just a season on the Flats, Mills transferred to Nebraska to finish his collegiate career before being signed as an UDFA by the Detroit Lions.

DE Jordan Woods

Another what could have been. Woods was one of the highest-rated recruits in the class. He missed his first season due to injury, and then transferred to FIU, where he played as a reserve defensive lineman with a couple starts.

Top 5 Players from the Class

  1. OG Parker Braun
  2. WR Jalen Camp
  3. DT Brandon Adams
  4. DE Desmond Branch
  5. OL/DL Jahaziel Lee and OL Kenny Cooper

After the first three, this got a little tough. Branch, Lee and Cooper all had pretty productive careers on the Flats, but the top three were pretty easy decisions.

How would you rank the 2016 class?