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Georgia Tech Football Recruiting: 'Tis the Season

With Bowl season done, it's time for the other most wonderful time of the year...

Joey Weaver/SB Nation

It's time for the main event, folks. That's right, all that gridiron nonsense that went on for the past 5 months was just a warm up for the next 19 days. As of midnight on Thursday, the quiet/dead period ended and it's officially open season in the world of recruiting! Dreams will be made, hearts will be broken, boys will be boys, and a whole bunch of adults will devote their livelihoods to tracking a bunch of high schoolers in an effort to make sense of what they're doing.

Trust me when I tell you, things are going to get weird. They're going to get really weird. There may well come a point where all Hell breaks loose and Steve Spurrier calls me to see if I want to play a linebacker/placekicker/third base hybrid role for him at Kansas, and we'll all just start wondering what game we're even playing. Seriously, buckle your seatbelts.

Seriously though, my prediction is that Wednesday, January 29th is the day that everything will break down and turn to complete chaos of flipped commitments, rushed official visits, and desperate acts that somehow tiptoe through the minefield known as the rulebook.

So, to get you ready for the madness that is about to go down, I've prepared a breakdown of where Tech is at in the recruiting game. As always, this is very subject to change.

Signees (4)

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout
Stepheny "Step" Durham DB 5'11" 185 lbs Jacksonville, FL ||
KeShun Freeman DE 6'1" 223 lbs Hogansville, GA ||
Tre "Stonewall" Jackson LB 5'10" 220 lbs Valdosta, GA ||
Matthew Jordan QB 6'2" 190 lbs Jackson, AL ||

The early signees are those who were early-enrolled and are already in class. They're off the board and locked in to Tech. This has the potential to be a really solid group of players. Durham will likely earn playing time in the fall, and Jordan could potentially be the third-string guy in front of Ty Griffin. He reads the option well and is on a frame similar to that of Vad Lee. The coaches like Jackson a lot as well, and KeShun Freeman had a really good senior year. These guys could all end up contributing early in their time at Tech.

Current Commits (15)

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout
Lance Austin DB 5'9" 179 lbs Griffin, GA ||
Lawrence Austin DB 5'9" 181 lbs Griffin, GA ||
Gary Brown OL 6'1" 280 lbs Tampa, FL ||
Jalen Johnson WR/DB 6'2" 193 lbs Oneonta, AL ||
Trey Klock TE/OL/DL 6'4" 264 lbs Hummelstown, PA ||
C.J. Leggett RB 5'10" 207 lbs Suwanee, GA ||
Terell Lewis LB 6'2" 217 lbs Ocoee, FL ||
Andrew Marshall OL 6'4" 267 lbs Cumming, GA ||
Tyler Merriweather DE 6'3" 230 lbs Demopolis, AL ||
Michael Preddy DE 6'5" 240 lbs Charleston, SC ||
Qua ("Kway") Searcy DB 5'11" 165 lbs Barnesville, GA ||
Antonio Simmons DE 6'4" 210 lbs Jacksonville, FL ||
Jake Stickler OL 6'5" 281 lbs Bradenton, FL ||
Miles Taylor DB 6'0" 185 lbs Washington, DC ||
Jake Whitley OL 6'4" 295 lbs North Augusta, SC ||

If you look at the position groupings here, you'll see there were a couple of obvious focuses with this class. The coaches went out and got 4 OL (I'm considering Klock an OL for this purpose), 3 DL (in addition to Freeman), and 4 DB (in addition to Durham). Out of 19 players, the coaches brought in 4 OL, 4 DL, and 5 DBs. I'd consider that a mission accomplished.

As far as those most likely to flip, it's anyone's guess. Reports are that most of these guys are solid and not entertaining contact from other schools. If I had to guess though, it would be Antonio Simmons or Andrew Marshall. Simmons had a fantastic senior year in Jacksonville, and Marshall was a pretty hot commodity when Georgia Tech secured his commitment. That said, any of these guys could flip, or none of them could. (The latter is unlikely given recent history alone.)

Biggest Remaining Targets

The "big board" Tech coaches work off of goes on far longer than it would ever need to (it's good to have Plan B, and great to have Plan C, but in this world you had better have Plans F, G, and H as well). However, we'll look here at some of the major names still in play. For the record, Tech has room for somewhere between 21-24 players to sign, depending on attrition in the coming months. That leaves anywhere from 2-5 spots open, depending on who's looking to commit and when. In no particular order...

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Mike Sawyers DT 6'2" 307 lbs Nashville, TN || 1/17/2014

You may have heard of Sawyers, a recent defector of Vanderbilt and just one of many casualties felt in recruiting from coach James Franklin's departure. Sawyers has dropped Vanderbilt altogether and has scheduled official visits to Georgia Tech (this weekend), Ole Miss (next weekend), and Tennessee (final weekend). My hopes are high here, but we're all plenty familiar with the luck Tech has had in recruiting.

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Grant Haley AB/CB 5'10" 180 lbs Atlanta, GA || N/A

Haley has been committed to Vanderbilt since July, but has reopened his recruitment in the wake of James Franklin's departure. He has the ability to play on either side of the ball, and is being pursued by Penn State in addition to Georgia Tech. This will be very interesting to watch how it plays out.

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Jimmy Bayes DE/LB 6'3" 197 lbs Immokalee, FL || 1/24/2014

Bayes has been committed to South Florida for almost a full year now, but will be visiting Atlanta next weekend. The staff has wavered on him for a while, but he would appear to be a major talent that could really add a lot in the pass rush. There's no telling what to expect here. You'd think a guy committed for a year was pretty hard set in his commitment, and yet here we are.

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Myles Autry AB/DB 5'10" 175 lbs Norcross, GA || 1/31/2014

The brother of Anthony, Autry has interest in visiting Ohio State, Oregon, Florida State, and a variety of others, but the question remains who's interested in him. He was lazy in his rehab from an ACL injury leading to an unimpressive senior season, but his talent is still pretty incredible and he could be a real gamebreaker at A-Back. Despite his interest in visiting elsewhere, his only scheduled visit is to Georgia Tech. Also noteworthy is that Momma Autry wants her boys playing together.

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Rashawn Shaw DE 6'3" 234 lbs Fort Pierce, FL || 1/24/2014

Shaw has been committed to Louisville since the end of June, but has visits scheduled for Wake Forest, Virginia, and Georgia Tech in the wake of Charlie Strong's departure. This is one that could end in a variety of ways, but my expectation is that he flips somewhere...because who wants to play for Todd Grantham?

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Mike Rogers AB/BB/DB 6'0" 180 lbs Smyrna, GA || N/A

Rogers has been committed to George O'Leary since the end of July, but reportedly has interest in Georgia Tech. This situation will be fairly unique, as Rogers has yet to take his SAT/ACT test, meaning he won't have his score (and therefore won't be able to commit) by National Signing Day. Rogers is a very versatile player who can play a number of roles, and has a major knack for making plays.

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Jesse Burkett OL 6'5" 290 lbs Jacksonville, FL || N/A

Burkett has been committed to Vanderbilt since mid-July, and remains committed even after Franklin's departure. Not to be discouraged by that, a number of schools are still trying to recruit him, including Georgia Tech. He has a visit scheduled to Vanderbilt for next weekend, and may well stay committed there. Never hurts to try though, right?

Name Position Height Weight Hometown Rivals || Scout Official Visit
Ja'Merez Bowen OL/DL 6'5" 270 lbs Cleveland, OH || N/A

Bowen might not be a "Plan A" guy, but would be a good backup plan in case some of the loftier aspirations fall through. He's yet to schedule a visit at Tech (or anywhere else, for that matter), but has interest from a number of schools such as Kentucky, NC State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Illinois. We'll see how this one plays out.

Thoughts on what Tech has in the works, both in their signees/commitments and remaining targets? Who of these remaining guys would you want most? Are you ready for the pandemonium that's about to happen?