- Heather Dinich, College Football Reporter
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When Georgia Tech’s season begins this fall, it will probably be the first time coach Paul Johnson has had the maximum 85 scholarships to work with. The program is getting back on track, and it all starts with recruiting. This year’s class, while small and unheralded nationally, has Johnson confident about the program’s future.
“We wanted to try to get good athletes,” Johnson said. “ … We’re excited about the class. I think we got some really, really good players, good athletes, speed, guys who can run.”
Tech addressed every position group within the class, including five defensive backs, three defensive linemen, two offensive linemen and two A-backs.
They restocked on defense with three four-star recruits, and for any Jackets fans who are concerned about the depth up front, Johnson pointed out that he was able to redshirt four defensive linemen in last year’s class, which means a lot of talent most people are unaware of. Plus, if Georgia Tech makes the switch to a 3-4 defense, as expected with the hire of Al Groh as defensive coordinator, the staff won’t need as many linemen, though there are 16 players currently on scholarship who are defensive linemen.
Instead of losing any commitments because of the departure of former recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Giff Smith to the NFL, the addition of Groh actually helped Georgia Tech pluck two players from the Washington, D.C. area. Cornerback Louis Young and linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu were late additions.
“In the end he helped us pick up a couple of guys from D.C., and hopefully we’ll get our foot in the door up there,” he said.
One area the staff doesn’t need any help infiltrating is the state of Georgia, where 14 of the 18 players in this class are from. It’s the second straight year the staff has brought in 14 in-state players, the most the program has signed in 20 years.
When Georgia Tech’s season begins this fall, it will probably be the first time coach Paul Johnson has had the maximum 85 scholarships to work with.