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
|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
- OG Parker Braun
- WR Jalen Camp
- DT Brandon Adams
- DE Desmond Branch
- 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?