Recruiting Roundup - Countdown to NSD

Discussion in 'GT Swarm Articles, Interviews & Photos' started by Eric, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    With the regular season ending and NSD rapidly approaching the recruiting trail has been quite busy...Georgia Tech has been busy sending out offers and hosting players on visits.

    Recaping the last week

    What a busy week it was for Georgia Tech.....The staff hosted 4* Erick Smith and 4* Marshon Lattimore on official visits Wednesday thru Friday morning...making a surprise visit was 4* ATH Mike Rogers who showed up at Tech on Thursday and then had a in home visit with Coach McCollum that night.

    Friday thru Sunday mid-day Tech hosted commits Matthew Jordan, Tyler Merriweather, Tre Jackson, KeShun Freeman and Shai Mckenzie.

    Erick Smith and Lattimore seemed to have a good time on the trip and really enjoyed the nightlife in Atlanta more than anything. After these visits they followed them up with going to Ohio State on Friday....from all reports they really enjoyed the Ohio State visits and will be announcing for OSU at the Army All American game.

    Another Thursday visitor (Mike Rogers) was someone who we have been trying to get on campus for a longtime....he is a very talented kid who committed to UCF very early in the process and has seen his recruitment blow up with offers from GT, Arky, Vandy, etc. He is a highly talented kid on both sides of the ball...I like him a lot at S but from what I hear he would start out at A back here. The staff will now be trying to get a OV from him....UCF, Arky, Vandy, UGA, Ohio State and Auburn all also are pushing him for visits. Will be one to watch till NSD...he is a quiet kid so he could pop out anytime and make a commitment to a school.

    The last surprise visitor of the week was Kenderius Whitehead. As I have posted on here before I feel that Whitehead is one of the "1-8" guys that CPJ talks about...I think if Whitehead comes to Tech he will our top pass rusher the day he steps on campus. The coaches are still working on things from the academic side are trying to find a way to get him in...He had a very good visit to Tech and if he can get in then Tech is likely where he ends up at. Some other schools are starting to watch him as well.

    Now on to the weekend visitors

    Matthew Jordan is a early enrolle who will start Tech in January...Coaches have done a great job with him since he committed and have kept him solid to Tech the last time...last weekend was the last chance he will have to visit a school before he enrolls and Tech blew him away again. He was hosted by Tim Byrerly and Zach Laskey and had tons of compliments for everything this weekend. I am glad we have him enrolling early.

    Tre Jackson is another guy enrolling early...he signed his aid agreement with Tech about a week ago now...All reports I have heard from his side say that he had a very good visit and loved his time in Atlanta. It also seems that all of the current commits are really gelling well together...Jackson coming in early is a big advantage and I would not be surprised to see him earn some time next year at least on special teams.

    Another official visitor this weekend was the highly talented and longtime DE commit Tyler Merriweather...Merriweather gushed about his visit and the time he had with his fellow commits. He stated he wished he would have enrolled early. He told me that on his way to visit GT it felt like he was "on his way home"...He along with the other GT visitors ran into the Falcons in the hotel...great exposure for GT and is really a great thing for the recruits to see.

    The last commit that visited this weekend was KeShun Freeman. As the others he had nothing but great things to say...he told me "It was great! I really enjoyed seeing everything and being in the town. It was amazing all around!". KeShun and his family loved the visit...he also signed his financial aid agreement will he was here which means he will be enrolling early.

    I saved the biggest on for last in Shai McKenzie...The highly touted running back prospect made his final official visit to Georgia Tech..For those who don't know his Mom and sister live in Atlanta. His Mom favors GT but is also okay with Pitt because she wants one of the parents close to him if needed...however they are both leaving it all up to him and are fine with whatever school he picks...Matthew Jordan, Freeman and Merriweather really pushed hard for him this weekend and Jordan is still on him...the feeling from those guys is that Georgia Tech has a good shot with him. Most recruiting experts and people I have talked to feel that he will commit to Pitt..the other few say VT. So not many people outside of GT are giving us a shot...My gut feel on Shai is Pitt. I have no confidence in that pick and it is just a guess. He is down to GT, VT and Pitt. Will announce at 1 on Friday.

    New offers

    After watching North Gwinnett in the Dome the Tech coaches extended a scholarship to RB CJ Leggett. I have often wondered why we were not in on him...he is a good fit for this offense. He has shown good hands in high school and can really catch...he is good sized as well and I like him a lot in the A back spot. He has named Tech his leader and it would not be a surprise to see his name called for GT on NSD.

    If you want to talk about a big time sleep then look no further than Dominick Sanders...That kid can really play. He could be a A back or a DB. Personally I would like to see him on the defensive side of the ball as he has a knack for big plays...after bumping his test scores up it was reported by the AJC that Tech has extended a offer to him. I would look for him to visit in January...a lot of schools are looking at him.

    What's Left

    I have already covered McKenzie, Sanders, Legget, Smith and Lattimore above...just because I do not mention them below does not mean they are not still targets for us.

    Myles Autry - It seems every time I do a write up there is some new twist or turn with Myles...Well once again that is the case. In the state championship game Myles showed why he was so highly regarded last year and coming into this year...He is a electric player when he is healthy and has gamechanging abilty...I think the performance in the dome is really going to help his recruiting going forward. He has set up a official visit to Georgia Tech the weekend before NSD at the Autry family's request...He says he plans to announce on NSD. I personally hope the staff takes Autry and can get him to decide before NSD because I do not think we will save a spot for him if Leggett/Rogers and McKenzie all jump on board. Georgia Tech is still the most likely choice here and I think he will end up a Jacket somehow.

    Trevon Mathis - He is someone we have been keeping a eye on all year and as I reported in one of my updates not too long ago he is working to set up a official visit to Tech in January...Tech likes him at DB. I do think he is a backup option but I am interested to if the coaches are willing to take him over someone like Lamont Simmons. I have not heard much on him lately besides what is above...I do not think he is a take right now and I would no longer project him to Tech.

    Kenderius Whitehead - As I have posted on here before I feel that Whitehead is one of the "1-8" guys that CPJ talks about...I think if Whitehead comes to Tech he will our top pass rusher the day he steps on campus. The coaches are still working on things from the academic side are trying to find a way to get him in...He visited Tech on Thursday.

    Lamont Simmons - What a up and down recruitment we have seen from Simmons...after pledging to Rutgers awhile back he backed off of that and said he picked up offers from Southern Cal and Penn State. He took a official visit to Auburn last weekend and said he had a good time...he is visiting Southern Cal on Jan 17th, GT on the 24th and Penn State on the 31st. Tech has been a favorite of his for some time now...if we decided to take him we will be right in the thick of it. Southern Cal appears to be the team to beat at this time.

    Ja'Merez Bowen - I posted early on that Bowen was a lineman that I really liked and the coaches did as well...he had some grade problems and then we filled up so his name was not mentioned for a long time. Now he has set up a visit to Tech in January...I assume that he is a backup option but I would have no with the coaches taking him in this class. Really athletic guy...He has visited Cincy and they are the favorite for him right now.

    Marcelys Jones - The Ohio State commit was scheduled to take a official visit to Tech with his teammates Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore...however Urban Meyer told him that if he visited he would pull his scholarship so he decided not to visit. Which means he won't be coming to Tech.

    Jamiyus Pittman - All is status the same here...He is not a take for Tech and with all the other targets we have I doubt we decided to take a gamble on him. He is likely going to take the greyshirt from Ole Miss unless some school steps up with him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  2. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Had to break it up into two sections because it was so long...

    Questions

    Q: Any current commits that could be waffling?

    A: As I have posted in the last few updates there are 2-3 guys who we will have to stay on top of to get them to sign with GT on NSD. For the most part majority of the guys in this class seem really solid and are sold on coming to Tech. Lets hope things stay that way.

    Q: How many spots do we have open?

    A: Great question that I wish I knew...from what I have heard we have 3 spots for sure that are open. But we have 1-2 more we hope to come open that we would use in this class. I personally hope we area able to find room for at least four more in this class.

    Q: How many do you think will leave off the team?

    A: Talking scholarship only I think it is going to be fairly low this year...I will say around 2.

    Q: Been trying to keep up about pittman, but I'm guessing we are done with him, is this true?

    A: Hopefully I answered your question above...basically the answer is unless something crazy happens yes we are done with Pittman.

    Q: What specifically do you attribute a seemingly better class this year vs the last few years?

    A: Quite a few things...having more spots open, having camp at a better time and doing things different with that, Pelton and Roof, new additions to recruiting staff and CPJ has had time to figure the ropes out here now and put things together the way he wants.

    Q: Which guys are targeted to play immediately once on campus?

    A: We don't pick any specific guys out ahead of time...but we would like a OL and a DB. So I would say someone like Stickler and Durham. Anything can happen though...just depends on how guys are in camp.

    Q: Can we flip anyone already committed?

    A: Yes...I have posted for awhile now I think we will get a flip.

    Q: The difference in strategy and how it paid off?

    A: Not a big of a difference as people think but we are casting a wider range...for example look at the RB spot. We would like to take 2 guys in years past we did not do a good job of keeping enough backup options warm...now this year we want 2 rbs and we have Autry, Leggett, McKenzie, Sanders as options that we know of. We have done a lot better job of keeping backup options open..We have always stayed on the recruits on they committed but it seems to me that we put a little more effort in that area this year.

    Q: A breakdown of coach performance in recruiting?

    A long one huh? haha.

    Bryan Cook - Matthew Jordan, Trey Klock and Andrew Marshall...In his first year I would have to say Bryan Cook has done a really good job. He has not missed on any of his main targets and did a good job pulling in the guys he has committed to him...Jordan really had a lot of good things to say about him.

    Mike Sewak - This has been a area that he has been putrid in but he actually has some decent guys committed to him this year...Gary Brown, Stickler and Whitley are all his guys....Brown and especially Stickler have told me how much they like him. For his standards he has had a very good year so far...surprised to say that to be honest.

    Buzz Preston - Can't say that he has a stellar year as he only has KeShun Freeman committed but he really has not had a lot of top targets in his area this year. Overall Preston is a decent recruiter.

    Lamar Owens - Has this guy figured out the recruiting trail or what..Step Durham, Antonio Simmons, Michael Preddy and Terrell Lewis are all his...He has done wonderful on the trail this year and kids have very positive things to say about him. He could be our best position coach recruiter now....he is a up and comer.

    Andy McCollum - I think he is a lot better of a recruiter than people realize..if there is someone we need help on we usually send CAM in. This year he has the Austin twins, Searcey and Tre Jackson...he is also still working on Mike Rogers and doing a fantastic job with him I might add. I love McCollum on the trail...good recruiter.

    Joe Speed - This is a guy that I was really high on two or three years ago...after talking to him in person I thought he would be a very good recruiter...but that has yet to be shown. He has landed Miles Taylor this year and that was a great pull but I just thought overall that Speed would have a bigger impact than he has had up to this time.

    Mike Pelton - Pelton came in ready to recruit...coming from Auburn he knows a thing or two about recruiting. His ties in Alabama helped us land Jordan, Johnson and Merriweather. I look for him to be a valuable guy for us.

    Q: Your thoughts on how this class is starting to look like compared to previous years?

    A: This is our best class since 07 in my mind....we have some very talented players coming in and we have addressed the biggest area of needs for us going forward. I think it is easily the best class CPJ has had while at Tech.

    Q: Would like to hear what kind of effect Ted Roof has had on recruiting?

    A: A very good one...he is well respected in Georgia and really everywhere he goes. People really like Ted....He also is hands down our best recruiter. He develops good relationships with recruits and can really sell a school. Having him go in home and things with kids is a huge plus for us.

    Q: Are there any PWO guys you think we might get?

    A: I really have not tracked any of that down yet and that is something that is in flux right now...I will make sure to make you guys aware of any when I find out.

    Q: Projections for how current recruits will pan out at GT?

    A: I plan on doing a big feature on this after NSD.

    As always feel free to ask any questions.
     
  3. Bule

    Bule Helluva Engineer

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    Very nice report Eric, thanks for taking so much time to put it together. My gut tells me you are wrong on Shai and that he ends up at GT. Hope I am right!
     
  4. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Tbanks...took longer than I anticipated. I'm done writing for awhile haha.

    Me too! Would love to be wrong.
     
  5. xenoabe

    xenoabe Ramblin' Wreck

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    Thanks Eric. Not directly related to recruiting but do you think with the guys coming in next year, guys returning from injury, plus added experience that the offense can be more potent than it was this year? It seems our defense finally stepped up but our offense took a step back (especially in big games).
     
  6. kg01

    kg01 Helluva Engineer Featured Member

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    Mediocre report this time Eric. Not enough "I know something you don't know" in there. Really need to step up your game. :yawn:

    Of course I'm kidding. Thanks for your efforts.
     
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  7. DaddyBill

    DaddyBill Helluva Engineer

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    Eric...is there any reason you omitted Tre' Jackson from your recap of those who made official visits to GT this past weekend?
     
  8. bat_082994

    bat_082994 Helluva Engineer

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    Good report Eric! Thanks!
     
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  9. iopjacket

    iopjacket Ramblin' Wreck

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    Thanks for a great write up.
     
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  10. GT_Johnnybodkin

    GT_Johnnybodkin Ramblin' Wreck

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    Thanks Eric!!!
     
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  11. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Hmm he was in there before I edited it on word....I will add him back when I get to a computer. Sorry about that
     
  12. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

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    Because we all think of him as already a jacket!
     
  13. UgaBlows

    UgaBlows Helluva Engineer

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    Great job, i can't tell you how much i am enjoying your FREE insights on recruiting! Thanks for all the hard work.
     
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  14. DuckGT

    DuckGT Ramblin' Wreck

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    Whats going on with Lo Wood?
     
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  15. IronJacket7

    IronJacket7 Helluva Engineer

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    Shhhhhhhhhhhh....... ;)
     
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  16. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

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    Great job Eric! One question that probably no one knows: If we have two spots open and 4-5 targets, Do we take a commit even if we think another one may commit down the road that is higher on the board?
     
    Eric likes this.
  17. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

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    Great write up Eric. Just curious, what do you contribute our recruiting renaissance to? It looks like we really picked it up with this class. Do you think this is a sign of things to come, or just a fluke?
     
  18. jayparr

    jayparr Helluva Engineer

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  19. jayparr

    jayparr Helluva Engineer

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    My take is that it very well may be CPJ's best class. That being said it is my take that it is a very good solid class. If we get a couple of our highest rated recruits, and get a couple of our already commits upgraded then I would say it is a great class!
     
  20. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    I think it a combo of things...more people added to the recruiting staff, Roof and Pelton, having more spots open and coaches being here awhile.
     

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