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Georgia Tech Recruiting Reset: Class Taking Shape as Signing Day Approaches

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It's been an excellent week for the Yellow Jackets' coaches on the recruiting trail. Can they finish strong?

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

With two out of three major recruiting weekends in the books, Georgia Tech has a few new commitments and its recruiting class is being finalized with National Signing Day just over a week away. It was a strong week for the Yellow Jackets' coaches with regards to recruiting, as they flipped a trio of targets off of long-term commitments to other schools and then added a highly-rated player who was all but gone less than two weeks ago. With some top targets still left on the board, let's take a look at who Georgia Tech is looking to lock down over the next week.

For reference, the Recruiting Reset from two weeks ago can be found here, last week's Recruiting Reset can be found here, and a detailed Scholarship Breakdown can be found here (and is accessible from the "Library" tab at the top of any FTRS window).

Current Recruiting Class

Pos Player Ht Wt Status Rivals 247Sports Composite
LB Emmanuel Bridges 6-1 208 Enrolled (1/11/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8634)
BB Dedrick Mills 5-10 220 Enrolled (1/11/2016) 3-Star (5.6) 3-Star (0.8535)
DE Desmond Branch 6-4 265 Enrolled (1/11/2016) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8348)
AB Xavier Gantt 5-10 170 Committed (2/11/2015) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8606)
LB Jakob Brashear 6-1 210 Committed (3/19/2015) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8339)
DT Chris Martin 6-2 250 Committed (5/9/2015) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8454)
DB Jarett Cole 5-10 185 Committed (7/30/2015) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8473)
OL Parker Braun 6-3 272 Committed (8/29/2015) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8712)
WR Steve Dolphus 6-5 200 Committed (10/21/2015) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8410)
OL Kenny Cooper 6-3 285 Committed (12/8/2015) 2-Star (5.3) 2-Star (0.7852)
WR Jalen Camp 6-2 210 Committed (12/9/2015) 2-Star (5.2) 3-Star (0.7986)
WR Jair Anderson 6-2 185 Committed (12/26/2015) 2-Star (5.4) 3-Star (0.8456)
QB/ATH Jay Jones 6-0 180 Committed (1/16/2016) 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8515)
OL/DL Jahaziel Lee 6-3 260 Committed (1/24/2016) 2-Star (5.2) 2-Star (0.7678)
DT Brandon Adams 6-2 305 Committed (1/24/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8476)
DE Jordan Woods 6-4 255 Committed (1/25/2016) 4-Star (5.8) 3-Star (0.8869)
QB Lucas Johnson 6-2 190 Committed (1/25/2016) 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8162)
Total Commitments: 17

As you can see above, it's been a big week for the Yellow Jackets. The second weekend of visits included several uncommitted prospects, but it didn't stay that way for long, as the floodgates opened on Sunday around lunch time. Kicking it off was Louisiana OL/DL Jahaziel Lee committing on Sunday morning in the wake of his official visit, flipping from his previous long-standing commitment to Louisiana-Lafayette. He could play a variety of roles for the Jackets, largely dependent on need and how he continues to grow. The party continued Sunday evening, when Georgia Tech's coaches successfully flipped big-bodied DT Brandon Adams off of his long-standing commitment to Vanderbilt, his hometown program. Adams had visited the Flats the previous weekend before officially visiting the Commodores this weekend, and when it was all said and done, he renounced his own 6-month commitment in favor of playing as a Yellow Jacket. Then, late Monday evening, Georgia Tech got perhaps its biggest commitment in years from Florida DE Jordan Woods. It was Woods who appeared ready to commit to Tennessee less than two weeks ago, just before he took a visit to Atlanta on the first major recruiting weekend. A little over a week after the conclusion of that visit, Woods pledged to Georgia Tech. Finally, it was even later on Monday evening (although not so late for him) that San Diego QB Lucas Johnson committed to the Yellow Jackets, flipping from his long-standing commitment to San Diego State following a visit to each of the schools over the past two weekends.

With four new players in the class, let's take a look at the Jackets' updated wish list for this recruiting class:

  • 1 Quarterback
  • 1 Offensive Lineman
  • 1 Defensive Tackle
  • 1 Defensive Lineman (DT/DE)
  • 1 Defensive Back
  • 1 Athlete (Defensive Back/A-Back)
  • (Up to 2 Best Available, at coaches' discretion)

(For these purposes, Lucas Johnson has filled the QB spot, and Jay Jones has filled the Athlete spot, although they should both begin their careers at Quarterback.)

As a reminder, Georgia Tech has enough open scholarships to safely take 3 more commitments without any further attrition prior to the start of the 2016 season. However, history tells us that 1-2 scholarships will be left open in case of potential transfers or to be awarded to walk-on players. That said, history also tells us that more players will leave the program prior to the start of the season, which may leave the coaches with a little bit of wiggle room should a top-level prospect want to commit after other spots have been filled.

This Weekend's Visitors

This past weekend, Georgia Tech had one committed player, a player who committed, and a few yet uncommitted players on campus. Here's the outlook for the players who were on campus and have yet to commit.

Positive Outlook

QB/ATH Deshaunte Jones

The athlete from Cincinnati is thought to be deciding between Georgia Tech and his hometown Bearcats. That said, there's thought to be some marginal interest from Ohio State, with potential for Jones to be invited to Columbus for a visit. Unless Jones decides to gamble on that possibility and potentially lose a spot at Georgia Tech or Cincinnati (or even both), there's a good chance he'll make a decision this week. That said, following the commitments of Lucas Johnson and Jay Jones, it's uncertain as to whether there will be room in this recruiting class for Jones to join.

CB Nick McCloud

One of two defensive backs in play for the Jackets, McCloud visited this past weekend. He enjoyed the visit, and "had a real good relationship with the players he met". His only other visit has been to N.C. State, but is reportedly considering UCLA and Vanderbilt as well. That said, this one probably comes down to the two ACC teams. McCloud is set to decide this week, although he won't reveal his decision until National Signing Day.

Neutral Outlook

ATH Arkeem Byrd

With a minimally-utilized Twitter account and a less-than-public recruitment, there's a lack of clarity on Byrd's preferences, even after his second official visit weekend in January. With how well visits to Georgia Tech seem to have gone for other recruits, the Yellow Jackets are likely not out after his visit this past weekend. His other official visits have been to Wake Forest (the previous weekend), Minnesota (October), and Colorado State (September), although Tennessee is also thought to be involved here. It's probably a good sign, too, that he's calling off his visit to Clemson:

Negative Outlook

DT Michail Carter

Though he's technically still in play for the Jackets, chances are slim that Carter ends up on the Flats as he's being pursued by Clemson, Alabama, and georgia. After visiting the Tigers last weekend and Georgia Tech this past weekend, Carter is due to visit Alabama later this week and then georgia for the following weekend. The primary scenario where Carter ends up at Georgia Tech is one where the other three schools run out of room for him in their recruiting classes, while the Jackets would take him in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

Other Updates

Neutral Outlook

OL Donavaughn Campbell

Campbell was expected to visit Alabama this past weekend, but posted on Twitter last Tuesday afternoon that he would be forgoing that trip.

It's also noteworthy here that new Georgia Tech commitment Jahaziel Lee is a high school teammate of both Christian and Donavaughn Campbell. As if the idea of playing with his brother weren't enough, Campbell would potentially have the opportunity to play alongside a high school teammate if he ends up flipping to Georgia Tech. Also worth noting? Lee is going to "work his butt off" trying to convince Campbell to join him in Atlanta.

Campbell is due to officially visit the Flats this weekend. Like Carter, the coaches would take Campbell in a heartbeat, regardless of which other prospects have committed.

DB Romeo Finley

One of the top DB targets on Georgia Tech's board, Finley visited Clemson this weekend at it went "better than expected". He says that Georgia Tech still leads after the Clemson visit, but that he "has a lot to think about". Finley is expected to get an in-home visit from the Jackets later this week, before visiting Miami next weekend.

Like Carter's recruitment, Finley's commitment may come down to which school has room in its recruiting class. That said, it's not a guarantee that the Jackets would take his commitment if someone like Nick McCloud were to commit beforehand.

Negative Outlook

ATH Demetris Robertson

Although he remains slated to visit Georgia Tech this weekend, there has been very little indication that Robertson has any legitimate interest in playing on the Flats. There appear to be several schools ahead of the Jackets at the current moment, including Stanford, Notre Dame, Alabama, and georgia. With an official visit still to come, anything can happen, but for Robertson to play at Georgia Tech would probably be considered the National Signing Day version of a "Christmas miracle".

OL Jordan Johnson

The month of January has seen Johnson take visits to UCF and now Georgia Southern, with an official visit to Georgia Tech still in the plans for this coming weekend. With the commitment of Lee, it's unclear at this point as to whether the Jackets would even take Johnson's commitment, although the possibility remains that they would take him as one extra offensive lineman in the event that Donavaughn Campbell sticks with his commitment to LSU. It seems like he's there if the Yellow Jackets want him -- although whether they do or not remains the question.

Off the Board

OL Dylan Powell

Though he was previously scheduled to visit Georgia Tech this coming weekend, Powell will pass on that visit in favor of a visit to either Virginia Tech (where he was planning to visit this past weekend but was thwarted by weather) or Stanford. It's hard to imagine that he's still in play at all for the Jackets.

Big Board

Position Player Height Weight Status Visit Date Rivals 247Sports Composite
ATH Demetris Robertson 6-0 180 Uncommitted 1/29/2016 5-Star (6.1) 5-Star (0.9839)
OL Donavaughn Campbell 6-5 340 Committed to LSU 1/29/2016 4-Star (5.9) 4-Star (0.9369)
DT Michail Carter 6-3 288 Uncommitted 1/22/2016 4-Star (5.9) 4-Star (0.9346)
DB Romeo Finley 6-1 202 Uncommitted 1/15/2016 4-Star (5.8) 4-Star (0.8927)
OL Jordan Johnson 6-3 260 Uncommitted 1/29/2016 3-Star (5.7) 3-Star (0.8647)
ATH Deshaunte Jones 5-10 170 Uncommitted 1/22/2016 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8578)
ATH Arkeem Byrd 6-1 190 Uncommitted 1/22/2016 3-Star (5.5) 3-Star (0.8144)
DB Nick McCloud 6-2 166 Uncommitted 1/22/2016 3-Star (5.6) 3-Star (0.8488)
DB Ajani Kerr 6-0 183 Uncommitted 1/29/2016 2-Star (5.2) N/A
OL Dylan Powell 6-3 270 Off the Board -- 3-Star (5.6) 3-Star (0.8206)
Ajani Kerr

The only notable change to the Big Board (aside from the players that were moved up to the list of commitments) is the addition of Kerr, a cornerback from McEachern High School in Powder Springs. Kerr would primarily come into play if things were to go sideways regarding both Finley and McCloud, although the coaches may also prefer someone such as Deshaunte Jones as a defensive back ahead of Kerr. All of that to say that Kerr is a "Plan B" type for Georgia Tech right now, with the Yellow Jackets being his only FBS-level offer aside from Army and Navy.

What's Next?

As outlined above, the Jackets need at least one more commitment from a defensive back moving forward, and have a pair of very high-profile targets visiting this weekend. Although the coaches may elect to go through with signing 18 players in total, they also will have the flexibility to take at least another 1-2 players beyond that number if someone like Demetris Robertson, Donavaughn Campbell, or Michail Carter were to try and commit as well. (Whether Jordan Johnson, Romeo Finley, or Nick McCloud would fit into that category is yet to be seen.)

Needless to say, in the last two weeks, the recruiting class has shaped up very nicely, with the coaches hitting on several of their top targets thus far. With a few more top-tier prospects still squarely in play, Georgia Tech may be in for one of its more memorable finishes to a recruiting class in years. Whatever happens, stay tuned to FTRS, as we'll keep you updated all the way through National Signing Day on February 3!