With the National Championship game on Monday, college football's on-field season will come to a close. At the same time, its off-field season will be revving up the engines for a stretch run as coaches look to put the finishing touches on their recruiting classes for the class of 2016.
For Georgia Tech, January projects to be a little more busy than most would have hoped. At the moment, they only have 12 commitments (including 3 enrolled), and have enough open scholarships to add another 7, not counting any further attrition or walk-on players being awarded scholarships. (Click the link to view the current scholarship breakdown.) That said, let's take a look at where things currently stand and where the Jackets are likely to look in order to fill out their recruiting class.
Current Recruiting Class
|LB||Emmanuel Bridges||Enrolled (1/11/2016)||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8634)|
|BB||Dedrick Mills||Enrolled (1/11/2016)||3-Star (5.6)||3-Star (0.8535)|
|DE||Desmond Branch||Enrolled (1/11/2016)||2-Star (5.4)||3-Star (0.8348)|
|AB||Xavier Gantt||Committed (2/11/2015)||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8606)|
|LB||Jakob Brashear||Committed (3/19/2015)||2-Star (5.4)||3-Star (0.8339)|
|DT||Chris Martin||Committed (5/9/2015)||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8454)|
|DB||Jarrett Cole||Committed (7/30/2015)||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8473)|
|OL||Parker Braun||Committed (8/29/2015)||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8712)|
|WR||Steve Dolphus||Committed (10/21/2015)||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8410)|
|OL||Kenny Cooper||Committed (12/8/2015)||2-Star (5.3)||2-Star (0.7852)|
|WR||Jalen Camp||Committed (12/9/2015)||2-Star (5.2)||3-Star (0.7986)|
|ATH||Jair Anderson||Committed (12/26/2015)||2-Star (5.4)||3-Star (0.8456)|
|Total Commitments: 12|
As it stands, Georgia Tech has a rather pedestrian 12 commitments, few of which came with much fanfare in terms of recruiting rankings. That said, with several weeks yet to go until Signing Day, the coaches have not yet been pushed into "desperation" mode and wouldn't have given out scholarship offers or accepted commitments from players that they hadn't evaluated and approved of.
The current class consists of:
- 2 A-Backs (including Anderson)
- 1 B-Back
- 2 Wide Receivers
- 2 Offensive Linemen
- 1 Defensive Tackle
- 1 Defensive End (a transfer)
- 2 Linebackers
- 1 Defensive Back
With that in mind, the likely path forward for Georgia Tech is as follows:
- 1 Quarterback
- 1 Offensive Lineman (potentially a Center)
- 1 Defensive Tackle
- 1 Defensive End
- 1 Cornerback
- 1 Athlete (Defensive Back/A-Back)
- 1 Best Available
So, considering the needs to fill out the class, let's look at the current potential to accomplish those goals.
|Position||Player||Status||Visit Date||Rivals||247Sports Composite|
|ATH||Demetris Robertson||Uncommitted||1/29/2016||5-Star (6.1)||5-Star (0.9839)|
|OL||Donavaughn Campbell||Committed to LSU||1/29/2016||4-Star (5.9)||4-Star (0.9369)|
|DT||Michail Carter||Uncommitted||1/22/2016||4-Star (5.9)||4-Star (0.9346)|
|DB||Romeo Finley||Uncommitted||1/15/2016||4-Star (5.8)||4-Star (0.8927)|
|DE||Jordan Woods||Uncommitted||1/15/2016||4-Star (5.8)||3-Star (0.8869)|
|OL||Jordan Johnson||Uncommitted||1/29/2016||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8647)|
|CB||Baylen Buchanan||Committed to Tennessee||1/15/2016||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8568)|
|QB/ATH||Jay Jones||Uncommitted (No Offer)||1/15/2016||3-Star (5.7)||3-Star (0.8515)|
|QB/ATH||Deshaunte Jones||Uncommitted||1/22/2016||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8578)|
|DT||Brandon Adams||Committed to Vanderbilt||1/15/2016||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8309)|
|QB||Lucas Johnson||Committed to San Diego State||1/15/2016||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8162)|
|ATH||Arkeem Byrd||Uncommitted||1/29/2016||3-Star (5.5)||3-Star (0.8144)|
As you can see, there's an awful lot of potential left on the board for holes in the class to be filled. Also, keeping in mind that several of the higher-rated prospects are relatively unlikely to end up at Georgia Tech, the fact that they'll be taking an official visit at all means that the Jackets have a chance. So, what do those chances look like?
DB Romeo Finley
Finley has long been a Georgia Tech lean, and his only other scheduled official visit at the moment is to Clemson the weekend after his visit to the Flats. Don't be surprised to see him commit during (or shortly after) his official visit next weekend.
QB/ATH Jay Jones
The Yellow Jackets are a bit of a late addition to the recruitment of Jones after he spent several months surveying Auburn, Florida, and Mississippi State, but they may well end up with him anyways. Jones was on campus and in attendance for Georgia Tech's huge win over Florida State, and his only reported visit for January is to the Flats.
DT Brandon Adams
Georgia Tech badly needs to add a big body at defensive tackle in this recruiting class, and at upwards of 300 pounds, Adams would be a big get for the Jackets in multiple ways. He's been committed to Vanderbilt since July, but will make a final decision following his visit to Georgia Tech this weekend.
QB Lucas Johnson
While Johnson is a native of San Diego, distance may not be an issue (or could even be a plus) for Georgia Tech in his situation. In addition, the ability to play at the Power-5 level may be enough to entice Johnson away from his commitment.
OL Donavaughn Campbell
The long-fabled brother of Georgia Tech QB Christian Campbell, Donavaughn has made several visits to Atlanta throughout the fall and seemed to enjoy his time on the Flats when there. Campbell has long been a commit to LSU, and kids from southern Louisiana with offers from LSU are nearly impossible to pull away. However, with his brother in Atlanta and the relative instability of the coaching staff in Baton Rouge, the Jackets may well have a shot at pulling off the recruiting coup of the decade were the younger Campbell to join his brother in Atlanta.
DE Jordan Woods
Another higher-rated prospect that Georgia Tech could very realistically end up signing, Woods will visit the Yellow Jackets before visits to West Virginia and Miami, in that order. Of those two, the Hurricanes pose the biggest threat to the Jackets for the Florida native, although the 'Canes already have three defensive ends committed. Woods has also officially visited Tennessee and South Florida, although neither of those appear to be major threats. Chances are that we won't find out about the final verdict from Woods until closer to Signing Day.
OL Jordan Johnson
Yes, the very same. Johnson, the long-time Georgia Tech commit who decided to decommit after a well-publicized disagreement between his family and the GTPD at the georgia game back in November, is lined up to make an official visit, and may end up on the Flats after all. It's unclear if anything has changed between him and the coaching staff, or what might have changed during that time, but Johnson is undoubtedly a talented football player who could help out the Yellow Jackets' offensive line immensely.
QB/ATH Deshaunte Jones
The Cincinnati native would appear to be something of a backup plan for Georgia Tech, in case they don't get one of the quarterbacks listed above. Most of Jones' reported offers are from non-Power-5 schools, and it may be difficult to pull him away from more local suitors Cincinnati and Louisville.
ATH Demetris Robertson
The consensus five-star prospect would be the biggest signing in Georgia Tech's history. His pending visit to the Flats is a good thing, but there are thought to be multiple programs ahead of the Jackets on Robertson's list, including Stanford. Don't hold your breath -- this one's probably just a pipe dream.
DT Michail Carter
Although he's still in play to a degree, Georgia Tech is up against some awfully tough competition. His visit is sandwiched in between visits to Clemson and georgia, although each program does have multiple highly-rated commitments at the same position already. Although signing him would be a major recruiting win for the Yellow Jackets and it's possible that they do so, don't get your hopes up for this one just yet.
CB Baylen Buchanan
Even through a long commitment to Louisville, the Jackets continued to recruit Buchanan -- son of the legendary Falcons CB Ray Buchanan. When he renounced that commitment, Georgia Tech had its window open. Since then, Buchanan committed to Tennessee and received an offer from Ohio State. He's still reportedly due to visit Georgia Tech, but the chances of even that happening might be slim at this point.
ATH Arkeem Byrd
One of this year's late bloomers, Byrd added an offer in early December from Georgia Tech, and has since added offers from Tennessee and Louisville. The Volunteers are thought to be the leaders for Byrd, who can play on either side of the ball and would fit the "Defensive Back/A-Back"-type of athlete that the Jackets will look to add before Signing Day.
From a recruiting standpoint, it's pretty tough to say. The month of January tends to be fairly crazy with regards to recruiting, and the major coaching carousel last month only figures to intensify the nonsense. I can almost guarantee that there will be names in play beyond those listed above, but only time will tell who that might be.
What I can promise you, though, is that FTRS will be covering this final month of recruiting very closely. We'll be updating the big board as recruits move in and out of the picture and posting updates from the official visits to come. Keep your browsers tuned here during the lead up to National Signing Day for any and all commitments, news, and developments!