Posted: 11:00 pm Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Georgia Tech’s Big Board for 2015 

By Michael Carvell

LB Tyler Cooksey of GAC (AJC/Michael Carvell)

TECH COMMITS FOR 2015

  • Will Bryan, OL, 6-3, 270, Franklin County: How about some “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate?” Bryan committed early to Georgia Tech, despite the fact that his father played football for UGA and his brother played for the Bulldogs’ baseball team. It has certainly made for a lot of jokes around the family. “I’ve got to admit, it was interesting putting on a Georgia Tech hat for the first time,” said his father, who also added, “I’m going to support him 100 percent.” Bryan has a 4.0 and projects to play guard or tackle.
  • Christian Campbell, QB, 6-1, 195, Ponchatoula, La.: Campbell is Georgia Tech’s second commit at QB in this class, picking the Yellow Jackets over Louisiana-LaFayette, Arizona State and Arkansas State. Campbell was being scouted by some SEC schools at wide receiver or defensive back but preferred to play QB in college. His high school coach called him, “one of the best option quarterbacks I’ve ever been around.” Campbell operates almost the same offense as Georgia Tech in high school, and racked up around 3,000 all-purpose yards as a junior.
  • Tyler Cooksey, ILB, 6-3, 230, Greater Atlanta Christian: He’s a Georgia Tech legacy who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps to play football for Georgia Tech. The 3-star linebacker from Greater Atlanta Christian committed to the Yellow Jackets among 20 reported offers, which also included UNC, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Boston College, Mississippi State and Duke. Cooksey’s father, Tom Cooksey, played football at Georgia Tech from 1976 to 1980.
  • Nathan Cottrell, RB, 5-10, 185, Knoxville (Tenn.) West Knox: The speedster earned an offer at Georgia Tech’s camp after running the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds and committed the next day. He also had early offers from Princeton, Wofford and West Carolina. Cottrell may turn out to be the fastest player that Paul Johnson has coached at Georgia Tech, and he’ll start off playing A-Back.
  • AJ Gray, DB, 6-1, 190, Washington County: He’s one of the state’s best high school quarterbacks, and was named GHSA Class AAA Offensive Player of the Year after helping his team reach the 2013 state finals (they lost to Lovett). “The thing Tech likes about him is that he’s a safety-athlete who can probably be a big safety or he could grow into an outside linebacker,” Washington County coach Joel Ingram said. It was a big recruiting win for Georgia Tech over North Carolina because Gray’s older sister plays basketball for the Tar Heels.
  • Kyle Henderson, DT, 6-2, 280, Tampa (Fla.) Plant: Georgia Tech landed a player out of the same Florida High School that sent Aaron Murray and Orson Charles to UGA. Henderson committed to Georgia Tech over Wake Forest, among 20 offers. “I think he’s a steal of a recruit,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. “Some people have shied away from him a little bit because he’s not (a) 6-3 kid. Some are worried about the size. For me, I like interior linemen who play the game lower. They are just stronger in the interior. I like the tall defensive ends that can get their hands up.
  • Harland Howell, WR, 6-3, 200, Wheeler: The hometown talent committed to Georgia Tech over Boston College, Memphis and Marshall. ““He (Paul Johnson) said my commitment was a big weight off his shoulders,” Howell said. “He was waiting on it. I brought my parents along in his office for the commitment, and he was waiting for it. You could just tell that he was anxious and ready for me to do it.” Howell, who has a 3.8 GPA, plans to enroll early at Georgia Tech in January.
  • Omarhi Jarrett, RB, 5-9 174, New Manchester: Jarrett committed to Georgia Tech less than 24 hours after getting an offer, picking the Yellow Jackets over Northern Illinois, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Miss. He is projected to play A-Back in college.
  • Mikell Lands-Davis, RB, 5-11, 205, Alexander: He committed Georgia Tech over UNC, N.C. State and Clemson. He will play B-Back at Georgia Tech. “They’ve got Zach Laskey, and another other guy on the roster who is a senior,” Lands-Davis said. “They’ve got a freshman coming in who can play either B-Back or A-Back. They told me right away that I could start, if I go in there and earn it … They said how they use B-Back depends a lot on the tools of the players there. They said after Anthony Allen, they haven’t really had the talent there to do things that they want to do at B-Back.”
  • Christian Philpott, WR, 6-3, 200, Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian: Georgia Tech beat out some fierce competition for the 3-star, including Penn State, UCF and Louisville. “The offense is perfect for what I want to do … Their offense really sets you up as a wide receiver to get open for big plays,” Philpott told the AJC.
  • Jaylend Ratliffe, QB, 6-1, 195, Laurinburg, N.C. He committed to Georgia Tech over North Carolina, while also considering N.C. State. “I told my coach I want to make money when I grow up. I want to make money and win championships; Georgia Tech wins a lot of championships, and wins a lot of bowl games. And if I get a degree from Georgia Tech, I can work anywhere in the world …” As a junior at Scotland County High School, Ratliff scored 52 total touchdowns, while rushing for 2,074 yards and passing for 1,838 yards, on the way to an appearance in the Class AAAA state championship game. Ratliffe is a left-handed QB.
  • Trent Sellers, DE, 6-3, 230, Sandy Creek: He is raw and undeveloped but has good potential. His father played football at Auburn. Sandy Creek has been a pipeline of football players over the years to Georgia Tech, including Calvin Johnson.
  • Dante Wigley, DB, 6-1, 183, Carrollton: Wigley might’ve had the greatest unofficial visit in Georgia Tech history. He happened to visit the campus on a random day in July, catching NFL stars Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford and Demaryius Thomas in a private workout at Georgia Tech’s indoor facility. “What an experience of a lifetime to see them,” he said. “I guess I came on the right day. I was happy.” He picked the Yellow Jackets over Boston College, Mississippi State, Troy and Marshall.

*TOP TECH TARGETS FOR 2015

  • Irvin Charles, WR, 6-4, 205, Haddonfield, N.J. (undecided): Charles told Rivals.com he loves Georgia Tech’s tradition at wide receiver with guys like Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. Charles also has Michigan, Penn State, UCLA and West Virginia among his leaders.
  • Nekyle Lundie, WR, 6-0, 190, Tucker (undecided): Lundie was one of the biggest surprises at the Elite Junior Classic, making a couple of acrobatic catches at the junior all-star game.
  • Riley Gessner, TE, 6-4, 240, Dunwoody (undecided): Georgia Tech was the first offer for Gessner, who told JacketsOnline that the Yellow Jackets want him to gain 20 pounds and play offensive tackle.
  • Nick Polino, OL, 6-4, 270, Buford (committed to UNC): Georgia Tech was the first offer for Polino, who said he and his family grew up fans as the Yellow Jackets.
  • Darius Fullwood, DE, 6-4, 229, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel (undecided): Georgia Tech could make the top five for Fullwood, who also likes Alabama and Florida State. The Yellow Jackets have a pipeline to Good Counsel, including current players Louis Young and Roderick Rook-Chungong.
  • Christian Irving, OLB, 5-11, 190, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage (undecided): The linebacker position my be Georgia Tech’s biggest need in this class. Irving has early offers from Georgia Tech and South Florida.
  • Arrington Farrar, S, 6-2, 195, Woodward Academy (committed to Stanford): Almost perfectly fits the profile of the student-athlete that Georgia Tech yearns for.

*This list will radically change through the spring and summer

TECH DE-COMMITS FROM 2015 CLASS

None yet

TECH FLIPS FOR 2015 CLASS

None yet

Want to see what’s going on at UGA? Click HERE to see UGA’s Big Board for 2015

Nathan Cottrell (247sports)

Nathan Cottrell (247sports)

74 comments
Steverino
Steverino

Perhaps it's been mentioned already, but Jarrett is from New Manchester HS (Douglas Co.), and not Manchester HS.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

Hi, that kid Gessner is an example of the cop out CPJ is. Here the kid gains experience at TE, and CPJ wants him to play in a running offense that excludes TEs. Everybody knows that the shotgun teams use TEs and they make BIG gains all season long every season, while CPJ's runners, if lucky, will break a run for a long gain. My user icon has literally been waiting in the wings to heal the tiny winged "Buzz" curse and restore Tech to the Dodd years of my yj and POAD2013's yj. "Follow me, I'm the pied piper", and I will deliver Tech from the RAT-faced, big-nosed, tiny-winged, Baby Jackets "Buzz" to the large-winged varsity yj of the Dodd years, the solution for BD. Then fire CPJ, hire a shotgun coach, drop wearing pink which results in losses more often than not, and require the head coach to get a flu shot in the Fall, as opposed to the one CPJ failed to get two fb seasons ago. I recall TE's at Tech- Mike Oven was one when I was there in the early 70's, and I believe Ken Whisenhunt was one, so the position is not without proof of useful value. CPJ believes it is without though. That's his problem. Nobody uses triple options, they all use shotguns.

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

Come back around mid to late October, and then we can discuss 2015.

HighTechJacket99
HighTechJacket99

This blog sure is more pleasant without Gollum around.  For those who are interested, here are the Rivals star ratings for these players.  Keep in mind the stars increase based on the number of esseeesee schools(sic) that offer.


Will Bryan, OL - 3 stars

Irvin Charles, WR - 4 stars

Nekyle Lundie, WR - N/A

Riley Gessner, TE - N/A

Nick Polino, OL - 3 stars

Darius Fullwood, DE - 4 stars

Christian Irving, OLB - N/A

Arrington Farrar, S - 4 stars



Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

OL and DL are the needs. We need more mass and athletes in the trenches. A common theme for as long as I can remember.

POAD2013
POAD2013

STANFORD has a good pipeline to Woodward Academy will be difficult to flip Farrar. Not sure HOW Stanford got into Woodward but they have been able to pull players from there for a long time even when they were not good.

POAD2013
POAD2013

Nick Polino living deep in Dog country he must be a diehard TECH fan for sure.

Need some BIG Linemen on the O and some LBs for this next class.

POAD2013
POAD2013

Will Bryan must be smarter than the average DWAG.......LOL

It is still a long time before signing day.

Just keep filling the needs and it will be okay.

BigTimeJacketFan
BigTimeJacketFan

320 pound interior defensive linemen.  Need four for 2014.  I assume the starters are Gotsis and Green (both need another twenty pounds, minimum).  After that, Commissiong and Kallon (?).  Who is there after that?  We have plenty of OL (assuming everybody is back healthy).  Move Devine to DL.


Is Morgan Bailey done?  If he is back, what is the over/under for number of games he plays this year?

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

Tech and UGA both need some dominant linemen on both sides of the ball.

Caius
Caius

@BigTimeJacketFan  

Morgan Bailey has left the team due to injuries,  Will concentrate on academics.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigTimeJacketFan  We have 7 scholarship DT's right now. You are leaving out Gamble, Akins, and Kitchen. Gamble is actually projected to start over Green and im not sure why you think Gotsis's size is going to be an issue if you watched him play last year. 

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeBanning  Do you really think every recruit who mentions CJ's name has no idea when he played or who he played for? It must really bug you that his success in the NFL is helping GT huh?

BigTimeJacketFan
BigTimeJacketFan

@GTBob @BigTimeJacketFan  I think Akins is listed at 240 pounds right now - too small for DE.  They do not seem to be able to get Kitchen, although he has got to be 24 or 25 now, above 280.  Gamble sure looks like a DE to me (would not be defensive tackle for AL, I can assure you).  UGA wore us down in the second half, and prevailed in OT - we could not handle Gurley at that point.  If we want to continue to be a mediocre ACC team, we are not far off.  If we want to be legitimate, and play "big boy" football, we must get larger.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob Gotsis needs to add mass! he is tall and lean. If you don't believe then turn on the tape and compare him to the guards we played this year. Miami,UGA,and UVA.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob @MikeBanning Why would any decent Wide receiver come to play for CPJ?

Did you miss the interview with Vad Lee about what CPJ told him after the duke game?

Averys-No1GT-Man
Averys-No1GT-Man

@IhateCPJ @GTBob  With fans like IhateCPJ and all the other whiners out there it's a wonder any player from the state want's to come to Tech after reading the remarks from so called fans like you. Only 3 teams have won more conference games in the past 4 years than Ga.Tech. FSU, Clemson, and Va.Tech. Only Va.Tech is in our division and they have only one a couple more games than us. This is while our Recruiting classes for those years avg around #50. 1st the # of stars a recruit has is No indication of what kind of player he is going to be. Plus I Loved what Irvin Charles had to say about Tech's receivers and only 1 he mentioned did not play for Coach! Also going by the conference record things are not all bad at Tech. Hey all you whiners remember Coach Bobby Ross? By the way Great Coach and I think he was a class act. 1st season 2-9, 2nd season 3-8, 3rd season 7-4 4th season 11-0-1 and we had one of those magical years that it takes to win a NC and that is for everything to bounce your way. His last season ranked preseason #1 we finished with an 8-5 record with a terrible loss to UGA and barley beating Stanford in the Aloha Bowl! With all that said the best Coach since Bobby Dodd was The Most Underrated Coach in all of Football Today. COACH GEORGE O'LEARY! His personality is a lot like Coach Johnson's. So enough about personality. One of the worst personalities in the world just happen to be one of the Top 3 Coaches to ever coach college basketball and he ran a clean program and graduated his players just like Coach Johnson. I Love Coach Johnson's Personality. Paul Johnson is a coach I would have loved to played for back in my day. Another thing if every team is running the shotgun offense like some of you are saying then they are a lot more Loosing with it than are winning with it! GO JACKETS AND BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY COACH!

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ  If you had followed Gotsis at all also then you would know that he was over 300 pounds at one point and dropped weight intentionally to get in better shape. It resulted in a pretty good year for him last year. An improvement over his heavier freshman year. You are too obsessed with weight.

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ  He had a sack, two tackles for loss, and more tackles against UGA then he had in any other game this season. Yeah, they really shut him down.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

He has a great frame to build on! I personally would like to see him get bigger. That doesn't mean he needs to add 50 pounds.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob @IhateCPJ  He needs to add mass dude. Look at the tape! There were a few games he DID play poorly. UGA shut him down!

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ @GTBob  So in your expert opinion you would say that Gotsis was really undersized all year and played poorly?

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt  

The people calling for Paul Johnson's job are not very smart in general. Nick Saban as the head coach at GT would be glad to break even in 2015. Tech should have a pretty good season this coming year, but 2015 will be brutal.

When you have a QB like Vad Lee who decided early in the season that he was leaving GT at season's end, it has to create problems in the locker room. Lee was not a good passing quarterback and was a cowardly ball carrier. I believe that Vad Lee did damage to the entire program and to his team mates last year. I believe if CPJ had known he was leaving, he would have sat Lee and let the other guy play QB. Lee is a selfish jerk who has no guts.

ARobky
ARobky

I don't care what the schedule is like. We will struggle for a while with small lines and lack of playmakers. Super, I'm not one of those who was calling for pj to be fired and will be plenty patient with whomever takes over.

ARobky
ARobky

Would like to think shotgun gives qb better look at coverage without having to drop back. Altering motions might keep line from jumping snap. But not something we will see him do so it doesn't really matter.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@ARobky

So, if a strong defensive front blows up our interior line and is in the backfield, how is lining up in the 'diamond' or other shotgun formation really going to help? 


If your our interior line is getting "blown-up" by a strong defensive front it doesn't matter what formation the "offensive genius" throws (no pun intended) at them.  


Not really that hard to understand.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

Do you really want to face FSU, ND, and Clemson on the road in 2015 with a new coach, ne system (presumably), and all the other factors implicit in a coaching change. You will be screaming for that poor guy's head after only one year.

ARobky
ARobky

I agree wholeheartedly. When throwing out of the under center option, there is not enough time for any qb to find a receiver unless it is the first read and the guy happens to get open. Otherwise, he is a sitting duck back there. A strong defensive front just blows up our interior line and is in the backfield. Timing the snap count is easy to accomplish because we run the same play and motions so often.

Our stubborn "offensive genius" will give us more of the same until he takes his act elsewhere. Hopefully after this season.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@D-Sheets I'm not impressed.

The "diamond" allowed the QB just enough extra time...that's all.

My rant is over....johnson is an under-center option guy and probably will be after he leaves Tech...whenever that is.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@POAD2013 When johnson was hired, he was asked if he would run the option at Tech.  He indicated that the option he used at Navy was his calling card.  He indiated he was successful with it and that was what he would use at Tech . 

ps....you still think Pat Swilling played for G O'L?

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt One final thing from me....If johnson did/does not like passing  (his reputation is for sure his option), why did he even for a minute think that Vad was a good fit for his team?????  A wasted experiment.

Next year I'm looking for about 800 yards running per game.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Hookedonshortpasses @POAD2013

I think Vad gave it everything he could, and I can't fault him for that in the least.  But I just don't think overall he lived up to what we all expected. Would he have improved if he had stayed?  Probably.  Would he have improved enough?  We will never know.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@POAD2013  Getting the QB away from the line gave the QB more time..thus better vision. 

ps... saw brees throw one away once.....

You guys have your thoughts on Vad/passing....I have mine.

johnson is still the coach and he is my coach.  I do not have to like everything he does.   Why, I even hated quick kicks.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@Hookedonshortpasses well do you know how to DOWNLOAD the Tech games on your TV or Laptop? Go back and watch the games. VAD would throw it away when there was a guy open for an EASY TD but it was not his primary receiver. I know we saw 3 or 4 of those plays bt VAD. One was in the UGa game.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Hookedonshortpasses Again, we're back to the formation.   Pitt (PITT!!!) scored 50 points on Duke.   


If you can explain why the formation was the silver bullet, I'm all ears.   But I don't think you can.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Hookedonshortpasses In a small sample, sure, don't worry about process.   If you're looking for something sustainable, it's something you might consider.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@GeorgeStein  Not me.  I don't care if Tech runs 35 yards and wins .  But it still seems odd that johnson had a QB that could throw out of a formatiion that was not used again. You and I disagree about this...that is OK.  I still believeTech could win more last year with passing....but we have all passed a lot of water since then.

GTBob
GTBob

@Hookedonshortpasses @GeorgeStein  The problem is that Vad wasn't going to be able to do that every game so not running the offense properly was going to be a problem going forward. See the VT game as an example or the second half of the UGA game.

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@GTBob Tech W.  Duke L

Style points are for dancing.

No worry though, next year is the year of the run.

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ @GTBob @Hookedonshortpasses  Yes Vad threw 4 TDs which was great, but it doesn't mean he was running the offense all that well. Lets say Alabama ended a game with 35 yards rushing but scored randomly on a couple of bombs by the QB. How happy do you think Saban is going to be after the game?

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ @GTBob  Depends on your definition of an elite WR. Stephen Hill was a scout 4 star receiver ranked in the top 25 in the country. If you mean truly elite though then you are right. Although im not sure GT has ever recruited one of the truly elite WRs in the country other than CJ.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob I have yet to see an Elite WR commit to CPJ. You would be the perfect WR coach for tech GTBOB. Ever thought about applying for the job. I bet you could recruit some top notch guys.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob I have yet to see one top WR recruit commit to CPJ in 6 season. THATS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@GTBob @Hookedonshortpasses So your going to leave out the part where he was upset that VAD threw 4 TDs. DUDE WHY DO YOU THINK CPJ IS SUCH A GOD? FACE THE FACT THAT HE HAS BROUGHT THE PROGRAM DOWN A NOTCH. The football program is NOT in a great hands. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK CPJ IS GOING TO TAKE GT TO A NC ???

IhateCPJ
IhateCPJ

@Hookedonshortpasses @IhateCPJ CPJ was not happy that VAD threw 4 TDS! If you were a WR and your head coach was upset because you won the game throwing the ball, how would you feel? You practice hard everyday with the RBs but yet you only are giving a chance to make a play 5-7 times a game.

GTBob
GTBob

@IhateCPJ @GTBob @MikeBanning  Two receivers that played for CPJ got drafted in the first two rounds of the draft. If you are a quality receiver then you will get a lot of one on one matchups and have plenty of chances for big plays. It's not rocket science.