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Georgia Tech Recruiting Update 12/19

It was a pretty big weekend for Georgia Tech! Let’s take a look at just how well it went.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Florida at Texas A&M Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This past weekend was Brent Key’s first big official visit weekend since he took over as the full-time head coach at Georgia Tech, and Kenyatta Watson—the director of scouting and pro liaison—seemed to be pretty optimistic that it would go well.

It turns out he was right! The weekend resulted in the commitment of five new players: linebacker Nacari Ashley, defensive lineman Shymeik Jones, runningback Evan Dickens, Texas A&M transfer quarterback Haynes King, and Minnesota transfer linebacker Braelen Oliver. Several others received predictions that they would commit to Georgia Tech.

Nacari Ashley

Nacari Ashley is a tall linebacker, standing at 6-5, 205 pounds. He is rated as a 2-star (5.4) by Rivals and unrated by the 247 Sports Composite. He did not have any other reported Power 5 offers, but was reportedly receiving interest from Kansas State.

Watching his film, it is very interesting to see that he lines up all over the place. There were times where he lined up in the nickel and then on the next clip, he would be lined up at defensive end with a hand in the dirt. While he does showcase some coverage ability, a lot of what we see is him rushing the passer or stopping the run. He seems a bit raw to me, but I think he controls his body very well, in that he is able to change direction on a dime to find the ball carrier.

Shymeik Jones

Shymeik Jones flipped to Georgia Tech after previously being committed to Appalachian State. He is rated as a 3-star on the 247 Sports Composite (0.8700) and is unrated by Rivals. He committed to Georgia Tech over other reported offers from Duke, Florida State, and NC State. Of that group, NC State is the only one he has OV’d to recently. He OV’d to Duke back in June.

Jones is much more of a traditional hand-in-the-ground defensive lineman, and I would not be shocked to see him end up at defensive tackle. Although he showed some deceptive speed in the last clip to chase down that receiver, that speed was not evident through the rest of his clips. He seems like a good bull rusher, but I would also like to see him develop some other pass rushing moves to really be effective at the next level.

Evan Dickens

Evan Dickens is one of two players to commit to Tech today! He is rated as a three-star by the 247 Sports Composite (0.8428) and a two-star by Rivals (5.4) and does not have any other reported Power 5 offers. He stands at 5-11, 180 pounds and is coming out of IMG Academy after previously playing at Blessed Trinity.

There’s a lot to like with Dickens’ film. In addition to being a bit slippery, he is able to get an extra gear and outpace defenders. That bodes well for getting the ball in space on outside runs and screens. I particularly liked how he was able to stutter and change direction and instantly be outrunning guys again. He could be a fun one.

Ezra Odinjor

Ezra Odinjor joined Dickens in announcing his commitment today! Odinjor is rated as a three-star recruit by both Rivals (5.5) and the 247 Sports Composite (0.8578). He committed to Georgia Tech over other reported offers to Auburn, Louisville, and a few other P5 schools.

Odinjor is a lot to handle at end. He does a good job switching up moves to beat offensive linemen and get to the quarterback. He also has really good reach which helps him still bring guys down while he’s engaged.

Haynes King

Haynes King transfers to Georgia Tech with three full years of eligibility, the same as assumed starting quarterback Zach Pyron. King originally committed to A&M prior to the 2020 season. He was rated as a four-star by 247 and three-star by Rivals. After earning the starting job at quarterback, King dealt with injuries and then was ultimately beat out for the starting job, which led him to enter the portal.

Haynes King at Texas A&M

Season Completion Percentage Pass Yards Pass TDs INTs EPA/Dropback Pass SR Rush Yards Rush TDs Yards/Rush EPA/Rush Rush SR
Season Completion Percentage Pass Yards Pass TDs INTs EPA/Dropback Pass SR Rush Yards Rush TDs Yards/Rush EPA/Rush Rush SR
2020 50.00% 118 2 2 0.24 50% 86 0 7.17 0.42 50%
2021 64.71% 300 2 3 0.02 47% 31 0 7.75 0.60 50%
2022 55.61% 1199 7 7 -0.21 38% 119 1 5.41 0.40 50%
Stats courtesy of

With the departures of Jeff Sims and Taisun Phommachanh, it is a bit relieving to have another quarterback in the room with Zachs Pyron and Gibson. From what I have been able to tell, King came in with a lot of promise, but some poor on-field decision-making was what led to his benching. It is certainly possible a change of scenery and coaching could be good for him, but I will not expect him to come in and just light things up. If nothing else, I think this is a good depth move to add another quarterback who could potentially step in as the starter if need be.

Braelen Oliver

Georgia Tech’s last addition from this weekend is Minnesota linebacker Braelen Oliver, the brother of former Georgia Tech alumnus Brandon Oliver. Appearing in every game this season, Oliver totaled 33 sacks. With Tech losing Charlie Thomas and Ace Eley, Tech desperately needs help at linebacker. I don’t know if he will start, but he will bring valuable experience to the linebacker corps.

Where does Georgia Tech’s class stand?

Georgia Tech 2023 Recruiting Class

Name Position Rivals 247 Sports Composite Signed
Name Position Rivals 247 Sports Composite Signed
Ethan Mackenny OL 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8642) Yes
Anthony Little DE 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8583) No
Justyn Reid TE 2-star (5.4) 3-star (0.8336) No
Zion Taylor WR 3-star (5.6) 3-star (0.8622) Yes
Elias Cloy OL 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8500) Yes
Ashton Heflin LB 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8417) Yes
Patrick Screws OL 3-star (5.7) 3-star (0.8653) Yes
Justyn Reid TE 2-star (5.4) 3-star (0.8336) No
Jacob Cruz ATH 3-star (5.6) 3-star (0.8664) Yes
Benjamin Galloway OL 3-star (5.6) 3-star (0.8664) Yes
Gabriel Fortson OL 3-star (5.7) 3-star (0.8728) Yes
Bryce Dopson WR 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8544) Yes
Nico Dowdell DB 2-star (5.4) 3-star (0.8553) Yes
Shymeik Jones DE 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8700) Yes
Nacari Ashley LB 3-star (5.5) Unrated Yes
Ezra Odinjor DE 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8578) Yes
Evan Dickens RB 3-star (5.6) 3-star (0.8428) Yes
Steven Jones CB 2-star (5.4) Unrated Yes
Taye Seymore S 3-star (5.5) 3-star (0.8570) Yes
Byrston Dixon DL 2-star (5.4) 3-star (0.8437) Yes
Eric Singleton WR 2-star (5.4) 3-star (0.8619) Yes
Malcolm Pugh DL Unrated Unrated Yes
Jackson Long TE N/A No transfer rating Yes
Chase Lane WR N/A 3-star (0.8700) Yes
Braelen Oliver LB N/A No transfer rating Yes
Haynes King QB N/A 3-star (0.8500) Yes
Trevion Cooley RB N/A No transfer rating Yes
Andre White LB N/A 3-star (0.8600) Yes

As Georgia Tech prepared to enter the Early Signing Period on Wednesday, it’s 2023 class is currently ranked 62nd by Rivals 58th (overall) by 247 (64th composite, 11th transfer). the 247 ranking does not include the additions of Ezra Odinjor or Evan Dickens.

Georgia Tech has also lost several notable players who were committed earlier in the cycle. Most notable are Javin Simpkins and Zachariah Keith. Keith has since committed to West Virginia, but Simpkins has not committed anywhere yet.

Looking at the Crystal Balls and Future Casts, there are still a few players being projected to join the Yellow Jackets’ recruiting class: CB Steven Jones, LB Taye Semore, and DE Ashley Williams (just one CB). Transfers RB Nay’Quan Wright and LB Andre White have also received Crystal Balls.

I am absolutely down to get more depth at linebacker and running back, so I would be good with really any of these guys. It should hopefully be a pretty exciting next few days!

What are you hoping to see from Tech the next few days?