Friday, February 29, 2008

Where are they now - Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh interviews Will Farrell:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where was the medical staff?

I was getting ready for a business meeting and happened to catch the highlights and lowlights of the Georgia Tech / Duke hoops game. ESPN showed Matt Causey busting the back of his noggin, which resulted in a concussion. It then showed him both on the bench and in the game, with his eyes literally rolling in the back of his head.......... and still playing.



So here's my question...... how was he allowed back on the floor, and did anyone else see him acting strange......... or missing his eyeballs? We all know Causey is a competitor and one of those guys that will say he's fine after his arm got ripped off. However, my untrained knowledge and intuition says he was risking serious permanent brain damage. Maybe he was courageous and tough...... or maybe he was just knocked loopy.

Where was the medical staff? What is GT's official position on what happened? No blood no foul?

Just curious....

--------------------------------
UPDATE
Since my original post, AJC posted a story with quotes from Hewitt here. Here are the take-aways that Coach Hewitt wants you to believe:

  • Causey was cleared by Tech trainer Richard Stewart.
  • Stewart claimed Causey never lost consciousness and his symptons resolved themselves pretty quickly
  • Stewart held Causey out for a portion of the 2nd half until he was sure the symptoms were gone.
  • He did NOT have a grade 2 concusion, but a grade 1 concussion, which was less severe.
  • Matt Causey wants you to believe that his weird eye movements were not an involuntary result of his concussion, but a voluntary motion trying to get his focus back. (Either way, it sounds like he was trying to overcome symptoms still impacting his vision).
  • Hewitt says had he seen Causey's eye rolling in the back of his head, he would have benched him regardless of what the medical staff said.

I will say this much. That video of Causey is likely to be used for years and years in the future on shows debating the merits of sports injuries and letting kids play. Causey may just leave a basketball legacy at Tech after all.

R U Ready for some Beeeeessball ?

I'm out in sunny San Diego on business this week, so I happened to miss the Georgia Tech hoops game last night. So let's break it down ................................ GT loses to Duke 71-58, we had an assist to turnover ratio of 3:20 (see me scratching my head in bewilderment?), Duke only hit 2 jumpshots in the 1st half - yet we still trailed, GT's doctors let Matt Causey play after a concussion even though his eyes were rolling in the back of his head....................

I have an idea.......... let's talk beesball. Check this out:
14-0
1-0
5-1
11-2
1-0

That my friends is a series of pitching performances that are nothing short of eye-opening. Three shutouts in 5 games. Folks, we had 2 shutouts all last year. Three earned runs in MORE than 45 innings. Wow. It normally takes me quite awhile to make the mental transition from hoops to beesball. However, the combined stinkage of our hoops team along with the blazing start on the diamond is making it happen a whole lot sooner.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Have Your "Voice" Heard


Ok, I'm trying a brand new experiment here at the 'Blog. I'm a guy that likes to keep on the leading edge. So when people talk about capturing the "voice" of their audience, I've decided to take it literally.

Through the web 2.0 world, I am now a user of a new invitation-only (ohh, ahhh) service by Google called Grandcentral. Google bought this small company recently, and it's basically a phone routing serivce that adds a ton of interesting features / capabilities to your various home / cell / work numbers (for free.... for now). At this point, I'm not using it for any of that stuff. The part that matters to you is that YOU now have the ability to leave me a "voice mail" and I have the ability to post that voice mail for everyone to hear if I think it's interesting enough (and clean enough).

So here's the deal.
1. Pick a topic of interest to you regarding Georgia Tech Sports - and develop your Jim Rome style "take"...... ie......... have........ a ......... take.
2. Click on the "Call Me" button in the right column. If this thing works like it says, the button will flip over, you'll be asked to put in your name and number. The service will actually call your phone, where you will be prompted to leave your message.
3. Leave your fantastic take
4. When I have time I will review the messages, I'll post the most interesting ones.

Just a couple of reminders - no profanity and no bashing of student-athletes. I have no clue how this is going to work and that's the magic on the 'net. Try something and if it don't work, get rid of it and try something else.

Let their voices be heard!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

NFL Combine - Ships Passing in the Night?


Philip Wheeler - Linebacker extraordinaire........ the super-missle....... the playmaker........ the man

Gary Guyton - the raw talent......... Robin to Wheeler's Batman............... 2nd fiddle

So here we are at the NFL Combine, and it is Gary Guyton shining and Wheeler slipping. This from SI.com:

Gary Guyton, Georgia Tech: Guyton ran times of 4.56 and 4.58 seconds. He displayed quickness in drills, easily moving about the field and always staying on balance.

Philip Wheeler, Georgia Tech: Wheeler ran poorly in the forty, timing between the upper 4.7 range to the low 4.8 area. He looked stiff and sluggish in drills and did nothing to dispel the belief he's a one dimensional run stuffing linebacker.


Not only did Guyton run well, he posted the best times of ALL the Linebackers. He posted the highest vertical of all Linebackers. He also posted the longest broad-jump in the field of LB's. In short, Guyton clearly has improved his draft stock, while Wheeler did not dispel the notion that he's a one-dimensional LB.

............. like ships passing in the night.

Where are they now - Geoff Collins

Where is the world is Geoff Collins? First I'll tell you where he's not - Alabama. That's right - he's no longer on staff there............ next I'll tell you he's just taken a job for a guy he USED to work for................. third, I'll tell you it's not Giff Smith................ it's actually George O'Leary, and Collins has left the wonderful world of Saban. Why - well, he's finally going to get his shot as a position coach - LB Coach at UCF. Way to go Geoff!!! Way to escape the looney bin

Anyhow. great news for Geoff.

"Geoff is going to be a great addition to our staff, not only in terms of coaching, but also with his recruiting ability," O'Leary said. "It's great to have someone that I have worked with before and knows the type of system we are going to run. He is only going to enhance our program with his coaching experience and ability to recruit."


"Geoff did a fantastic job for us during his time at the University of Alabama," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "This is a great opportunity for him as well as a great hire for UCF. They are a getting a guy who knows college football, works hard each and every day, and does it with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and positive energy."


Oh yeah, one last thing - Geoff, how about you stop poaching recruits from us................... Maybe you can turn your efforts towards Saban and take some of their guys this time.. ;-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Weekend that was....

I was out-of-town this weekend visiting the mom-in-law, checking out Charleston a bit, then stopping by the Columbia SC Zoo on the way back home with the wife and girls. In the process, I missed just about everything Georgia Tech related, including the following:

HOOPS GANG LOSES ANOTHER
The men's hoopsters lost on the road to VaTech, in what apparently was a fairly unimpressive outing. Fouls galore, terrible rebounding, and proof that great Point Guard play isn't always the answer to what ails you.

At this point, I'm watching games because when the season's over...... it's over. The games left are numbered. Not many left for guys like Jeremis and Anthony. Oh well. Guess it's time to move on.

LADY'S LOSE TO UGAg
Our #1 ladies tennis team lost to...... Georgie.. Great... Just gotta love that..... Of course they have a top 5 team also. Still, we lose enough to those guys. Still hurts no matter the sport.

BEESBALL SWEEPS PENGUINS
The bright spot of the weekend was an opening series sweep of Youngstown State, in which our pitching staff gave up one run in 27 innings. Just an amazing outing and a great way to start off the season. Hitting has been a little spotty with a number of guys left on base. However, it's way early to start worrying about that. Pitching and defense. That's what's supposed to win championships. Nice going.

LADY HOOPSTER REACH MILESTONE
For the first time in school history, the ladies win 20 games in back-to-back seasons with a win over Clemson. Way to go!!!

NFL COMBINE
Tashard Choice ran a 4.54 in the 40 at the combine. Not bad and about what I'd expect. He never had that break-away 2nd gear kind of speed. However, speed ain't the whole picture, and to judge TC on his 40-time would be serious mistake. TC's quicker than he is fast and he's tough to tackle in space. There's a very good chance he goes by the 3rd round............ by the way, Darren McFadden ran a 4.33 officially. Sick. More Combine info here.

Evidently Durant Brooks has been the most impressive punter, displaying some serious directional punting. Should be interesting to see where he is taken.


MORE ON DEAN KEENER HERE.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Does Coach Hewitt Have Room for a Coach??

It looks like former Jackets assistant coach Dean Keener is resigning as head coach at JMU.

“Our record doesn't show what this team and program have accomplished. We knew of the severe challenges when we arrived at JMU, yet we incurred many more unexpectedly along the way,” said Keener in a statement released on jmusports.com.


So, is there room on the bus to bring a guy like that back if he could help shore things up?

Beesball - 1-0 Baby


Nothing like opening up the beesball season with a 14-0 thrashing of the Youngstown State Penguins. The story of the game - 7 innings of 2-hit pitching by David Duncan and solid hitting up and down the line-up. Jay Dantzler gets the first long-ball of the season and the first of his career.


Tell you what - the ACC is going to be brutal this year, and it's going to take solid pitching AND hitting to rise to the top of the conference this season.


By the way, some faces spotted in the crowd (from the Hive) include: Ex beesballers Jeff Kindel, Whit Robbins, Ryan Turner, Jared Hyatt, Steven Blackwood, and Victor Menocal. Former QB Reggie Ball was in attendance along with current players AJ Smith, Andrew Smith, James Liipfert, Tyler Evans and Jim Henry.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's Chan Gailey's Fault


.......sssooooooo, if we didn't have to shell out $1mill a year to former Coach Gailey, would we have had the dough to actually repair the roof at AMC? I'm kidding of course, it makes one wonder about the quality of facilities. A rainout of a hoops game? Bizarre. Was the roof leaking all day, or just 5 minutes before gametime? Did noone have a tarp they could tie up there and refunnel the water somewhere else? Thousands of engineers willing to integrate and differentiate, and yet nobody could get up to the roof and stick a piece of gum in a hole?

Oh well. Evidently D-Rad made the statement that the game will be re-played. They just have to find the right time-window. Of course from the standpoint of the ACC race, it's quite irrelavent. The only real significance would be the eternal asterick in the record books showing UVA and GT playing one less ACC game in 2008.

By the way, did anyone look in the parking lot and make sure that Lee Corso's rental car was ok?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Triple Option Playbook - Sewak Video Secrets

Occasionally I invite other people to guest write on the 'Blog to mix things up. In this case, one of our readers, Peter, sent me a note volunteering to give Jacket fans some inside scoop on one of the Coach Mike Sewak videos we profiled a few weeks back - link here.

One side note - the video is focused on the Triple Option, and in particular the running aspect of the scheme. So there's no background on how you pass out of the formation or integrate that into what you're doing. This video is about how to run the football in the TO.
So with that, for you scheme-nuts, I give you Peter's take on "Secrets of the Triple Option".
----------------------------------------------------------
written by Peter
As I saw from an earlier post on Scott’s blog, our O-line coach and former head coach of Ga. Southern, Mike Sewak, has put out three DVD’s on americanfootballmonthly.com. I decided to buy the ‘Secrets of the Triple Option’ DVD, because it seemed to be the most in depth of the three and I felt I had the most insight to gain from watching it. If you are like me, then you are interested in the X’s and O’s of football but not an expert on the terminology of option football (Arc, Slash, Veer, etc). I would recommend purchasing “WN-07031 - The Triple Option” if you were to buy one of these three films. He makes several comments on this DVD that he is building from that one, and it will save you the time I spent looking up terminology on the internet.

The first thing you should know is the positions in our specific offensive formation. I couldn’t find a picture on wikipedia / google so I constructed one very crudely out of MS Paint. It should get the point across about what players I am referring to.

In all the examples, the play would run to the right - so anything to the right of the center would be playside (playside WR, playside Guard, etc.). The vice versa being backside.

There is some terminology that you should probably know before going onward.

Veer – this is an offensive formation, and also a type of option offense
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veer

Base Scheme – refers to the scheme the players follows prior to the QB keeping the ball or giving it to the FB

Arc Scheme – refers to the scheme after the quarterback keeps the ball and runs an ‘arc’ with an A-back running as a pitch option.

Load Scheme – refers to the scheme after the quarterback gives the ball to the FB to run up the middle.

Okay, so without trying to go into too much detail – here are some key thoughts / insights I got from the DVD. The DVD is broken into chapters by player, so I will write up based on the same.

Secrets of the Playside Wide Receiver

First and foremost, the playside WR must block. Cheat as close to the line as possible. Explode up off the line and fake a vertical route to get the DB set up to defend the pass. The key is to confuse the defender. After the defender knows it is a run, then break down and make contact with him. Do not lose the guy to the outside. Give the back that line.

Keys to the Big Play: Square the defender up and force him to the inside.

Secrets of the Playside A-back

Two ways for the A-back to block: Arc Scheme and Load Scheme. Arc is blocking for the pitch / run support and Load blocking is for the Full Back.

Arc Block Scheme
Mike talks about footwork and setting yourself up to be in the right spot/speed as the back with the ball gets going. Take an outside running path and block at the point of attack on the strong safety. Get 5-7 yards ahead of the runner. Don’t go for a kill shot, but attack the defender as the ball gets there. Knock the safety for a second and let the ball get by the defender. He goes into detail on blocking techniques and how to set up your body.

Keys to the Big Play: Speed and Execution. Block him hard and crisp and at the right time. Work for width.

Load Block Scheme
There are different responsibilities depending on the stunts of the defense (where the tackle, defensive end, and LB move after the ball is snapped).

If blocking a free safety do it in a hurry. Get there before the fullback does. A slot back is not as big as a WR, so brace and get ready for the block on the free safety. Take the hit.

If you have to take on a LB, do not attempt to block him high. He is much bigger then you are. Get low. Drive through the LB, do not dive through. Bring your feet and hips into the block. Tie him up and pin him to the inside.

Secrets of the Playside Tackle

Load Scheme
The playside step is always moving North/South. Do not cross your feet over. Keep your lower body centered and moving forward, it creates power to carry someone with you. Make the Tackle decide whether to go after the full back or protect the linebacker.

If you are blocking the linebacker, square up on him. Put your body in a position as if you were biting the stings on his pads. Try to fight him up the field and pin him on the inside. Allow the fullback to run off the block to the outside and the next level.

Arc Scheme
Roll to the outside after the veer and try to block the Linebacker. If the LB is blocked get up to the safety, you are bigger then he is. Try to divert him. Make him run around you. Make him run side to side instead of at a straight line to the back with the ball. Slow him down if nothing else.

Secrets of a Playside Guard
First two steps are the most critical. Do not step in the same spot. Create 18 inches of movement at the point of attack. Knock the guy off the ball. Take two good steps and engage the defender on the third step.

Base Scheme
If the defender doesn’t release and stays engaged, than stay with him. Pin him to the inside and allow the FB to get to the next level. If you are uncovered then play to block the LB and block for the FB. Don’t square up on the linebacker, push him back. If he releases outside, then make him run side to side to be picked up by the tackle and then go after the weakside safety.

Ace Scheme
Work to the side and help block the nosetackle. Release and go after the weakside linebacker. Pin him to the inside and get him on the ground anyway you can.

Secrets of the Center

Snap and Step Simultaneously. The most important thing is the center/quarterback exchange. Do not move lateral, always move North/South. Mike focuses a lot on footwork and engaging the defenders.

Secrets of the Backside Guard

His path is to block between his crotch and the crotch of the center. It is the Backside Guard’s job to block the Nose Tackle. If the nose tackle moves to the opposite side, you know the fullback has the ball and make a straight line to engage the linebacker. Do not allow him a straight line to the ball, at least make him move east/west. Again, Mike focuses a lot on the initial footwork and the appropriate path/movements.

Secrets of the Backside Tackle

Same role/techniques as the backside guard. Be aware of the defensive end, and do not allow him to run the play down from behind. If there is no threat there, run up to the LB and make him go east/west towards the ball. Again, try to keep him from running a straight line towards the ball.

Secrets of the Backside A-back

Run where the fullback started. Start the run on the heel flick/snap count. When the QB is meshing with the FB, you should be directly behind them. Run parallel with the line for 3 steps. Turn upfield with the QB. The first step with the ball should be for positive yards. Put yourself in a position to make a play.

Secrets of the Backside WR

Push up the field, and then work back to the inside. Square up the cornerback and get him to backpedal. Get him to work north/south. If the corner plays too far off you, be prepared for a 6-8 yard stop route. Attack the inside, fight him high. Put your body between yourself and the ball.
Secrets of the Fullback

When the Quarterback takes a 2nd step, you want to be meshing up with him. Get to the mesh as quick as possible. The quicker you can get to the mesh, the more successful your football team will be. Don’t clamp down on the ball, let the QB decide the play. Get past the line of scrimmage, look for a spot one yard past the line. After that, look to run off blocks. Mesh with the QB, hit the line, then cut to one side or the other. Don’t look downfield, keep your hips and shoulder pads low until you pass the linebackers. All the power comes form staying low. Match up with the QB the same way every play first before cutting towards the left or the right. A good mesh is key to a big play.

Secrets of the QB

So much information, this topic could be its own DVD. The first two steps are the most important. Footwork:

1st step is outside the body (Right foot comes around 90 degrees and back)
2nd step is getting your foot planted (Left foot lines up with the right foot in a normal stance)
3rd step is shifting your weight from the right foot to the left foot (a ‘virtual’ step, with no actual foot movement)
4th step is on the heels of the full back

He goes over the footwork for a while, but it’s all about sinking up with the Fullback and putting yourself in a position to read the play and decide where the play should go. Coming off the mesh with the FB is important. If keeping the ball, force the end to make a decision. You have the football. Do not play to fool the end, threaten him and make him come to you. If he slow plays you, keep the ball and cut back inside. Get square, pitch the ball, and have a good time.

Some of the key thing he highlights on repeatedly:

Lineman need to move North/South, never side to side.
Lineman need to engage the defender on the third step, and build momentum to push the defender back.
Focus is always on making positive yardage plays first and foremost, before making the big plays. Big plays happen after repeatedly executing well.
Execution is getting to the right place at the right time.

I don’t think myself an expert on this by any means, but hopefully this has brought you a little understanding of the offense we are bringing next season. I’m personally very excited for next season on the flats. Go Jackets!


------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Peter for a great inside look at some secrets of the Triple Option from a guy who will be teaching it at GT. Great stuff!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Football - Recruiting - Jackets Nab Two More for 09

Folks, another year, and another trend continues to drive like a freight train. That would be the early commitments of high schoolers. Today the Jackets picked up two more verbals, one a DE and one a DT. To give you a little perspective here, the first guy to verbal AND sign with the Jackets from our most recent recruiting class gave his pledge in May 2007 (Embry Peeples). We'll ignore that WR Chris Jackson actually verballed in 12/2006, but ended up at 'Bama.

So here we are in February and there are already 3 kids that have pledged themselves to Paul Johnson and GT. So who are they?

JOHN DREW, 6'3" 295lb DT, Columbus GA (Northside HS)
Well thought on in the state. Probably Top 30 caliber in the state. Probably not as tall as 6'3", but he is athletic. Plays hoops for his high school team and claims to have a 33" vertical. Had 70 tackles and 9 sacks his junior season. He was hearing from a lot of bigtime southern schools and apparently UGAg has been high on his list for awhile. Some message board chatter from UGAg fans was that he was a talented kid from a good family and that they wished they had gone after him harder sooner. I have no idea what that means, but it is what it is. Seems like a good get all around, and a great interior bookend to go with JC Lanier, the first recruit to verbal in the class of 2009


EMANUEL DIEKE, 6'7", 205lb DE, College Park GA (N.Clayton HS)
Think Michael Johnson. Tall. Fast. Not strong enough. Raw. A bit of a project. But with weight + strength on that frame, the sky's the limit. Send him to the Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet a bunch of times, then send him to the weight room. Then back to the buffet, then back to the weight room. You get the idea. From the same high school as Morgan Burnett. Wants to major in pre-med.


It's interesting. With these early commitments, fans don't have the typical barameters to decide in their minds - "this is a great get". Most of the commits GT is after haven't been ranked by Scout.com or Rivals.com. There aren't a list of articles about the kids. They have only played their junior seasons, so there's limited stats to pick up on.

So here's what seems to happen - a ridiculous amount of people get excited about just having a commit this early. That fact alone for some reason is important enough to people and is "great news". While getting commits early in-and-of-itself is no better than getting great players later in the process, there are reasons to be excited. First, you have to believe that the recruiting process generally involves sending out scholarship offers in waves. A group of Tier 1 kids in a particular position get offers knowing their are X number of spots available. These are the kids the staff has identified as their top targets.

That doesn't necessarily mean they are the best players according to Scout.com or Rivals.com. What it does mean is that they are the best players for our system + the right character guys + the right academic credentials. So you generally have to believe that JC Lanier, John Drew and Emanuel Dieke are considered top priorities by the staff. After all, we are basically on the first wave of offers for the class of 2009.

Paul Johnson has made it clear that his goal is winning championships. To do that, he must attract top caliber talent and bring in kids have to fit his system and can handle the coursework. So be excited because:

  • 1. These seem to be "first wave" offers. Tier 1. That's encouraging.
  • 2. These kids are all from the state of Georgia. That's encouraging.
  • 3. Games are still won in the trenches, no matter what scheme you run. Having some "first wave", Tier 1 DL-man is a nice way to start the class, considering our depth is taking a major hit the next 1-2 years
  • 4. The kids all seem to be solid character kids from good families, which was always a trademark of Coach Gailey. Nice to see PJ bringing in the same type guys.
  • 5. Lots of very positive comments from kids from PJ's first junior day a couple of weeks ago. Evidently it was a well-run, effective event, and Giff Smith & staff understand how to make sure kids feel the true family atmostphere at GT. With kids pledging so early, "junior day" is no longer an event to just plant seeds for the future. It's about today.
  • 6. Many positive comments on Paul Johnson. This from Drew - “I saw that everywhere he has been, he has won. He has been able to turn them into winning programs.”
  • 7. Who likes to wait until late spring and summer to start seeing the verbals trickle in.
  • 8. UGAg is going to sign a VERY small class this year. That certainly leaves more opportunities for GT
  • 9. The in-state talent is much like 2007, when GT cleaned up. There are a bunch of kids with talent who can make the grade - more than in an average year.

So let's keep the momentum. Welcome to GT young men. Welcome to a new era in Georgia Tech football.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hoops - Dreams..... Faded.....

Jackets lose again today....... this time to Miami........ this time at home...... Hard to say exactly what happened this time. Just that it was something different that failed them today. Seems that the effort and energy were much greater than the Clemson game. However, ball control was clearly lacking as evidenced by something like 22 turnovers. Also, while they held Miami's leading scorer, J.McClinton in check the 1st half, they let him go off in the second half, including dagger-like threes late in the game, after major defensive miscues.

No time for an in-depth analysis, but if you ask me, it just all seems to come down to Point Guard play. Both Javaris Crittenton and Jarrett Jack were in the house tonight to see what happens to teams when they leave early. That wasn't all, but it sure seems to always make the difference in a win vs loss. Causey was decent today, but he played out of control in stretches, and Mo Miller was seeming absent.

Not sure where we head from here. We're finally breaking through for a few road wins, and somehow we are 4-6 at the "Thrillerdome". We're 1-4 against ACC teams at home. Go figure.

Coaching? Who knows. It's easy to knock Coach Hewitt and what he isn't doing. I'm not qualified to really say what he's doing right or wrong. I just know it's been another disappointing season. I wanted more. We all wanted more. we knew it was going to be tough with all the roster turmover. With a 4th PG in 4 years. We knew it was going to be tough.....

........ losing Javaris Crittenton
........ losing Thaddeus Young
........ losing Mario West
........ losing RaSean Dickey
........ losing Mouhammad Faye
........ losing Paco Diaw

But you know what? That's life in the big city. That's the college game. Build a system. Build continuity. Develop depth. Get guys to buy in to what you're doing. That's how you weather the storms of losing key guys.

Well, it was another frustrating day, and most likely the nail in the coffin for any postseason hopes. In case you're curious, Dave Glenn has an interesting statistical look at historic ACC records that get you to the dance. Even making the NIT is tenuous since that requires a winning record. You know, I like the guys on the team. Seem like good guys. They seem to represent the school well. Most importantly, THEY are the ones that chose to be at GT and try their hand here at big-time college hoops. It's frustration to see guys you appreciate not getting it done on the court. I'm sure it's doubly frustrating for them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Stinkin' Valentine's Day

I'm actually writing this at the 16 minute mark of the Clemson / Georgia Tech basketball game. Actually, let me rephrase that - Clemson's scrimmage against a high school team parading as a college team.

I am not exaggerating - there has not been a single stretch of more than one minute where we have not had reason to be frustrated.

.... can't inbound the ball
.... can't move on offense
.... can't get a defensive rebound
.... can't dribble
.... can't defend
.... can't defend for the ENTIRE shotclock
.... can't find anyone to step up
.... can't find anyone to box out
.... can't find anyone who is playing with confidence
.... every shot challenged
.... every point a chore
.... can't find a ref who knows the concept of "over the back"

Shall I go on?

Clemson plays harder
Clemson plays smarter
Clemson plays more disciplined defense
Clemson moves the ball better on offense

I know that it's just one game on one night, and Coach Hewitt has certainly gotten this group in better shape recently, but...................

....... I hate to write this, but Coach Hewitt, his staff, and this team embarrassed themselves tonight. They layed an egg. And here's the crazy thing. It wasn't like they weren't trying. They just look undisciplined, unsure, uncoached, un-this and un-that. This was a team without a plan and without a counter-plan. This was a team without a leader. This group had no answers tonight, and I'm not even sure they knew what the questions were.

By the way, I also want to give props to Clemson and in particular to Oliver Purnell. Every year that guy has been at Clemson he has made his team better. He has had a plan since day one and he has gotten his kids to buy in to that plan, and he has executed the plan. Having said all that, he has yet to take his team to the NCAA tourney. This year looks to be the first since he's been at Clemson. Coach Hewitt has gotten higher profile recruits, and has had more success than Purnell. Purnell hasn't sniffed the NCAA tourney and Coach Hewitt played for a National Championship. However, Clemson has seen a slow steady climb with Purnell while Tech has been on a roller-coaster ride since day one. You see a progression at Clemson. As a fan, you can buy in that he is building something with the Tigers. I don't see it at Tech. However, I'm not sure which is better. Talk to me when Purnell is getting his team to the dance and winning some games. However, when it's a roller-coaster ride, it's sure hard being a fan.

One last thing - this loss wasn't just "one of those nights". We stunk. We were outplayed in virtually every facet of the game. Great job Clemson. You took it to us............. meanwhile..... back to the drawing board for Paul Hewitt............. of course we need a winning record to even quality for the NIT, so who knows where this season will end up.

So like I said........... happy stinkin' Valentine's Day.

Football Scheduling

Side note on the schedule - evidently Appalachian St saw where Georgia Tech had an opening in the schedule. So they picked up the phone to see if Dan Radakovich was interested in playing the Mountaineers.

D-Rad: Hello....

App State: Dan, how are you? This is Jay Sutton, the AD over at App.St.

DRad: Jay, how are you?

Sutton: I'm good. Hey Dan, listen. I noticed that you've got an open spot on your schedule and was wondering if you'd be interested in playing our little school next season.

DRad: Jay, I'm trying to remember. Aren't you guys pretty good?

Sutton: Dan, we've had some success, but we're just a little of North Carolina school in I-AA. Playing such a big, important school as yourself would sure give our school the type exposure we need.

DRad: For some reason I keep thinking you guys are real good. Maybe I'm confusing you with Furman or something like that.

Sutton: Oh, yeah, you're definitely getting confused. Not us. We're just a little I-AA school.

DRad: Hang on, let me look you up on the internet.

Sutton: Oh Dan, now, uhhh, you don't have time for that. You're a big AD. Don't go wasting your time doing that.

DRad: Now wait a minute Jay. This site says you just won your third consecutive national championship..................... oh yeah - you were the guys that beat Michigan to open the season.................... oh yeah - you guys run a spread offense................ oh yeah, you have that stud Armanti Edwards at QB.............. Jay, I'm not sure that..............

Sutton: ................ dial tone...........

----------------------------------------------------------------
Truthfully, App St has contacted a bunch of schools like GT, FSU, NC and Clemson, and we all turned down their gracious offer............. AS WE SHOULD!!!

Trust me, we don't want to be opening the season against those guys with a brand new offense, a brand new coaching staff, a brand new QB, blah blah blah.

Props to LSU for taking the challenge. Maybe another time for us. I absolutely abhor the fact that we have two I-AA schools on our schedule, but I sure as heck don't want those guys as one of them.

Here is a quote from an anonymous ACC coach:

"Of course we don’t want to play [Appalachian State]," said an anonymous ACC coach to SI.com. "It’s not because I don’t think we can beat them. … When we play a [FCS] team, we want to play our starters for one quarter, get a lead, and get them out of there. That’s not going to happen against Appalachian."

Where are they now - Alvin Jones

The former Georgia Tech hoops center got into a bit of trouble...... the whole "don't taze me 'bro" kind of trouble. The guy swung at a female bartender, landed on a BMW and did about $2K for of damage, then kicked both windows out of a patrol car. Then he was "hawg-tied". Now, when you're 6'11" and they shove you in the back of a patrol car, I'm guessing if he didn't kick out the windows, his knees would have been about 2 feet behind his head.

Nice mug-shot by the way. Actually pretty tasteful........

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Football - Brian Bohannon Speaks

A Hive member gave a very interesting report on a "Griffin Exchange Club" visit by new assistant coach Brian Bohannon. Bohannon is of course our new QB/B-Backs coach - and of course is also a Georgia grad and former football player. His job is crucial in this offense. Quite frankly it is this QB/BBack relationship that determines so much of the success of the triple option.


You can read the whole thing from the link above, but here are some of the more interesting points for me:


  • Talking the talk....... got the crowd going by saying "we would beat Georgia", and something to the effect of - that's why we're here and the old coaching regime is not. We get it................ of course all that talk is great now.........

  • Voluntary workouts have started
  • First workouts started at 6:00am to get player's attention and make a point - if you are not interested in discipline and focus, then find somewhere else to play. Said they won at Navy because of player attitudes, not just execution of a gameplan. The right attitude leads to the right focus which leads to the right execution. Attitude first. The best players don't win games. The best teams do.
  • PJ more concerned with the attitude than X's / O's at this point.
  • Everybody starts with a clean slate. They will put the best 22 players on the field - no matter what age or experience.
  • Said Morgan Burnett might be the best athlete on the team and they might even look at him at QB if he's interested
  • Felt very good about recruiting - that they got what they were after - great kids, athletes, attitudes. PJ and staff have been very impressed with the quality & character of the kids in this program - which rivals Navy.
  • Team success will hinge on the "middle 3" - center, QB, B-Back.
  • Quote - "We'll throw plenty of passes....... most of them will just be in the pregame warmups (obviously tongue-in-cheek, although anyone who thinks we will pass more than Chan Gailey's teams did is crazy).
  • Said we will probably pass 20-25 times per game, but get more yardage per pass because of the way defenses are forced to defend the run. "Not unusual to see a WR catch a pass with nobody within 20 yards of him".
  • No easy practices. No special jerseys for the QB's. No half-speed drills. Can't learn this offense at half-speed - will be game-speed so it becomes instinctive.
  • Not unusual to end a Friday afternoon practice with a 50-play "scrimmage", then wake up and run a 130-play "scrimmage" 14 hours later.
  • We will get a lot of kids at QB that other schools want at other positions.
  • If a kid cares about how many stars he has, he doesn't belong here.
  • PJ doesn't care a lick about Rivals.com or Scout.com rankings. The formula is: fit-the-system + character + attitude = we want him here.
  • Josh Nesbitt - amazing talent but a complete unknown as an option QB. Has a future at many potential positions
  • Jaybo Shaw - coach's son, knows the offense
  • Tevin Washington - great athlete, could play many different positions
  • Richard Watson - prototypical B-Back, can't wait to get him on the field
  • Will likely see more OL recruits with burst off the line. That means probably fewer 6'7" 320lb guys.
  • Trying to break habits of the current OLine - getting them to move forward at snap - not side-to-side. Quickness + footwork are key.

A lot of cool stuff in there for sure. In addition, there is another Q&A at www.ramblinwreck.com with Jeff Monken. Good stuff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hey Ladies............

I am as guilty as anyone for focusing on the men's sports, and even leaving the non-big three in the dust. Heck, even baseball gets shortchanged. However, it would be totally inappropriate for me not to mention that our Lady Jackets tennis team took home their 3rd consecutive National Championship. That's three in a row folks. Last season they won both the indoor NC and the year end NC (nice White House visit here). They just completed the defense of their indoor title. This group of gals is an amazing bunch and head coach Bryan Shelton is has built nothing short of a powerhouse.

The ladies are back in their rightful spot as #1 in the nation now.

Congrats on a great win and the continued elite level of success. If you're looking for truly elite programs, look no further than the tennis-babes.

GO JACKETS!!!

Scheduling Insight From Around the Nation

An interesting look at scheduling trends by conference - here. While the ACC ended up with three teams with two I-AA opponents on their schedule (GT, Clemson, FSU), it turns out that the conference still stacks up in terms of their willingness to travel and their willingness to play quality opposition. The Big12 and the SEC continue to prove that they are content to kill one another and live off that reputation instead of putting themselves out there on a more consistent basis against quality competition (outside their league).

I am not suggesting for a second the SEC is not the best football conference. They are. However, they do in football what the ACC tends to do in basketball - schedule creampuffs, then whine all year about how the conference "eats their own". I'm not saying they're wrong. However, the only REAL measure of a league is how they stack up against teams outside their conference. The problem is that you are not rewarded for doing it by bowl committees or NCAA tourney committees. Kansas didn't play one BCS team outside their conference, yet ended up with a better bowl than Missouri, who actually beat Kansas and played a tougher schedule.

At the end of the day, you are not rewarded for playing a tough non-conference schedule, and yet it is the only true measure of the strength of a league. Oh the irony. However, while the trend is toward more "easy" victories, this year's schedule of two I-AA opponents was not by design and AD Dan Radakovich tried hard to avoid it. But, when Army backs out at the last minute, that's about all that's left without seriously opening up your wallet. It raises the bar for Paul Johnson, since only one of those wins will count towards bowl eligibility. Now we have to have a 7-win season just to get bowl-eligible.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A 90 minute financial divide

I want to point you to two interesting reads....

FINANCIAL DIVIDES
Over at http://www.sundaymorningqb.com/ they did a very interesting non-scientific study of the have's and have-nots, specifically as it relates to football and comparing "profit-per-player". There are plenty of flaws in the logic, but the big-picture point is worth it.

Basically by comparing revenue vs expenses to gleem profits, then dividing that by 85 scholarship players in football, they come up with this very lose idea of "Profit per player".

Not surprising, the SEC is the most profitable conference per football player, and UGAg is actually the 2nd most profitable school in the nation behind Texas using that metric. They come in at a whopping $451,334 "profit" per player.

Last on their list of BCS schools? You have got to be freakin' kidding me...... welllll.... no..... . that would be us...... at a -$31,467 loss per player. They sum up their article by actually pointing to the disparity in our rivalry:


In short, take away this, at least: if you were constructing a hypothetical scenario, you still couldn't conjure up a greater disparity in philosophy between two rival athletic departments than exists in the gap between Georgia and Georgia Tech.


Does it really mean we have differences in philosophy to UGAg? The article refers to the core academic schools of the ACC as having "non-profit thinking". I would tend to argue against that line of thinking - particularly with new AD Dan Radakovich. Maybe former AD Dave Braine was less inclined to balance the books (or force his academic advisors to understand the books for that matter), but D-Rad is certainly bent on getting in the black. Firing a solid but uninspiring head football coach after 6 straight winning seasons had more to do with loosening the purse strings of hard-to-motivate fans than putting a radically different product on-the-field.

So what does it mean? Well, in good ole' business terms, we're either spending too much on expenses or not bringing in enough top-line. Clearly D-Rad's goal is to drive the topline. He has cut expenses in the department, but that was easily offset by our yearly Gailey-payments of $1mm for the next 4 years. After all, most business leaders realize at some point in their careers that you can't save your way to prosperity. Of course in the business world it's a lot easier to cut heads than to convince customers to buy your unispiring, undifferentiated products. At some point, you're got to give the people value for their dollar. It just turns out in the football world ONLY winning a certain number of games won't cut it. It has a lot to do with which games you win, and a little bit to do with how they were won........

SPEAKING OF HOW THEY WERE WON......
...... I ran across this nice article from Birdog, a Navy blogger. It's really a story about the tribulations of the non-BCS fan. The "mid-major" follower. The "FCS" as it were.

The intesting part of the story is about the fact that the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) has become a proving ground for leading-edge offensive gurus to hone their craft. The entire article is worth the read, but I wanted to include this portion:

The cycle goes something like this: faced with the pressure to win against more talented competition, a coach will devise a scheme that accentuates his team’s strengths while masking their weaknesses. Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. At first, this new scheme is dismissed as a “gimmick” by media outlets and fans. But the more that team is winning, the more credible that scheme is in the eyes of the mainstream. Eventually, someone at a BCS school gets the idea that if a scheme works that well with lesser talent, it will be unstoppable with BCS talent. So the innovative coach is hired at a BCS school, where he installs his scheme and keeps on winning. Success breeds imitation, and other coaches start to incorporate bits of that scheme into their own systems. Eventually, what was once labeled a gimmick becomes part of the mainstream, and soon the non-BCS coaches are devising something else to overcome this new standard. The non-BCS coach subscribes to a slightly different bit of football wisdom: “Good football teams either do something different or they do it better.” Doing it better isn’t really possible without the best talent. That leaves doing things differently.

And when it comes to doing things differently, no place is better than the non-BCS conferences. This is the proving ground of football ideas. This is where Urban Meyer unleashed his offense before taking it to the SEC. This is where Paul Johnson did the
impossible at Navy before taking his spread option to Georgia Tech. This is where Jim Grobe devised the schemes that would take Wake Forest to places it could never have imagined. This is where a school might be willing to take a chance on a high school legend like Art Briles at Houston or Todd Dodge at North Texas. This is the realm of Chris Ault’s pistol and Todd Graham’s Tulsa offense that leaves defenses cross-eyed. This is the last bastion of innovations past, with June Jones running the run & shoot to perfection and Ken Hatfield having clinged to the wishbone at Rice years after both were abandoned by everyone else. Innovation isn’t limited to the offensive side of the ball either, with coaches like Rocky Long perfecting his 3-3-5 scheme at New Mexico. The variety of schemes and ideas are what the game of football interesting, and the laboratories for these ideas are the non-BCS conferences.

So why don’t more BCS schools innovate? Why don’t they take more chances? sometimes they do, especially at schools that have traditionally struggled (Kentucky and Hal Mumme’s Air Raid, Duke with Spurrier’s fun & gun). But for the most part, BCS schools don’t want to innovate. It’s too risky. With the money at stake from boosters, TV, and ticket sales, there is tremendous pressure to win right away. That means hiring proven winners, not visionaries. Faith is something that doesn’t have a place in the BCS hiring process; they don’t want to believe that a coach can win games; they want to know that this coach will win games. And they usually have the money to hire someone who fits the bill.

That leaves the non-BCS schools to carry the flag of ingenuity. And that makes non-BCS football the thinking man’s game. Sure, nobody at the water cooler will care, but they aren’t football fans as much as they are fans of everything that surrounds it. Maybe you don’t have anyone to talk to, but hey– that’s life on the cutting edge. When we watch our games on Saturday, we’re watching the future of the sport.

Hoops - Jackets Lose at UConn

A little late but better than never. The Jackets did lose to UConn on Saturday. If games were 34 minutes long, we would be celebrating. But alas, they are not, and we are not celebrating. The Huskies trailed much of the game, but took over late without any sort of real last charge by the Jackets. UConn's 8 foot tall giant was a monster everywhere (Hasheem Thabeet). No doubt he's progressed in his time with Calhoun. He altered countless shots and block about 7 others.

Bottom-line with this game for me was reinforcement of how much we miss a guy like Luke Schenscher. Having a long-armed 7-footer underneath who knows how to help defend, takes up lots of space in the paint and alters shots counts for a lot more than statistics will ever show. We all kind of hope that Brad Sheehan can eventually provide that type of role, but he has become a non-factor as a redshirt freshman this season. Just not strong enough........ yet. Maybe in a year or two he'll be that guy. Of course we all shouldn't forget that Luke went through a very similar process. It just takes time for big guys.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The ACC Schedule is out......

.... and it looks to be a fairly tough one for the Jackets. I'll have more later, but all I have time is to post it:

2008 Schedule
Aug. 28 (Thur.) JACKSONVILLE STATE
Sept. 6 at Boston College
Sept. 13 at Virginia Tech
Sept. 20 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 27 Open
Oct. 4 DUKE (Family Weekend)
Oct. 11 GARDNER-WEBB
Oct. 18 at Clemson
Oct. 25 VIRGINIA (Homecoming)
Nov. 1 FLORIDA STATE
Nov. 8 at North Carolina
Nov. 15 Open
Nov. 20 (Thur.) MIAMI
Nov. 29 at Georgia

Also announced were a bunch of future match-ups:

2009
Home: Jacksonville State, Georgia, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Away: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, Miami

2010
Home: South Carolina State, Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State, NC State, Virginia, Duke, Miami
Away: Georgia, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

2011
Home: Western Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Away: Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State, NC State, Virginia, Duke, Miami


2012
Home: Middle Tennessee State, Boston College, Virginia, Duke, Miami
Away: Georgia, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

2013
Home: Elon, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Away: Alabama, Boston College, Virginia, Duke, Miami

2014
Home: Wofford, Alabama, Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke, Miami
Away: Tulane, Georgia, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

2015
Home: Tulane, Georgia, Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Away: Syracuse, Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke, Miami

Other Non-Conference Games beyond 2015
2016 Syracuse Home
2017 Auburn Home
2018 Auburn Away
2018 Tulane Home
2019 Tulane Away
2021 South Carolina Away
2022 South Carolina Home

Hoops Recruiting - Iman Shumpert Video

Very impressive video from one of Iman Shumpert's recent games. Thanks WindyCityJacket for the upload. Right now Iman is the sole member of our latest recruiting class.



Here's another highlight video:



Here's Iman attempting some wild dunks:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Recruiting - Football Class of 2009

Well, the ink isn't even dry on the LOI's from the class of 2008 and Paul Johnson gets his first commit for the class of 2009, a Defensive Tackle who's about 6'3", 345lb. Yeah, you read right. He's already a 4-star Rivals.com guy (if that matters to you), and was a much sought after recruit. Clemson has already offered and he was garnering interest from all the major schools.



Definitely a super way to get next year's class going. By the way, take a look at these photo's and tell me you can't wait to see him in a uni:






I'd hate to see the "after" picture from the first one above.

Folks, there are some additional reasons to be pumped about next year's recruiting possibilites.

  • it appears that the state of Georgia is loaded in 2009 - one of the better years in a long time in terms of talent in-state
  • It also appears that a larger portion of that talent will actually be able to get into GT (at least more than typical)
  • Lastly, our friends at Georgie are going to have a relatively small recruiting class, and they already have something like 5 slots filled.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hoops - Jackets Nab Another Close Road ACC Victory

On a day when people are focused on the results of Super Tuesday, and the college world is focused on football recruiting and signing day activities, and much of the hoops world is focused on the first Duke vs North Carolina bout of the year......... another little game was played at a school I like to call Wake Forest. In that little game, our group of rambling wreckage did it again. They got another ACC road win. They looked left for dead in the 2nd half again. They came back and took control of the game in the final minutes.

Some key points:

  • The Jackets are now 3-1 on the road in the ACC.
  • The Jackets are 1-3 at home in the ACC....... go figure.
  • On the season the Jackets are 6-5 on the road + neutral courts.
  • On the season the Jackets are 4-5 at home. So much for the Thrillerdome this season.
  • The Jackets snapped a 16-game home winning streak by WF.
  • The Jackets won for only their 2nd time at WF since Coach Hewitt arrived.
  • A-Mo was a beast in the 2nd half, scoring all but 2 of his points and pretty much sealing the game by draining free throws
  • Speaking of free throws, the Jackets shot almost 80% as a team. Wow.
  • Here's something. This team is seriously taking care of the ball in the 2nd half of their games. I think Wes said that in our last 4 games, we've only had something like 18 turnovers in the 2nd half combined. That's outstanding.
  • What is the deal with Harvey Hale playing the Jackets? He throws bricks against everyone else, but rains three's from all over the floor every time he plays us?
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again - Matt Causey is a firey little cuss. He did it again tonight, intentionally fouling James Johnson, who then started clapping in Causey's face, made contact, which led to a little scuffle. Causey got booed everytime he came on the floor from that moment on. Well........ Matt's Matt. That's all there is to say about that.
  • Up next is UConn on the road. At this point, we need that win to keep any flicker alive for an NCAA hope. Heck, any loss is almost a nail in the coffin. A .500 record in the ACC ain't going to cut it for these Jackets with their poor out-of-conference showing. The way I see it, it's going to take at least a couple of games over .500 in conference, then do a little damage in the ACC Tourney.

Regardless, another solid road win in the ACC. Heck, we've had more road ACC wins the past month than we had the past 2+ years.

Great going Jackets!!!

Paul Johnson - Bad Mammaa Jammaaa

Props to blog http://www.mashonthegas.blogspot.com/ for finding this gem below. Paul Johnson seems to like to have a little fun. This little video was put together as a motivation pep-rally sort-of deal by zealous Navy fans. Notice the Paul Johnson cameo. Kick-A** with a clipboard.




By the way, Johnson was quoted today during his signing day activities with this one - "We're sure going to try and beat them (UGAg). Heck, I've hated them since I was at Georgia Southern".

I'm starting to sense that Paul Johnson has some swagger about him. He has a plan. He has a vision. He fully expects to execute his plan........... and he's not all that into "coach-speak".

The 2008 Class is in the Books


The 2008 Football Recruiting class is complete. Only minor signing day drama, as Tech reeled in a high potential tall but lightweight DE named Antonio Wilson, but also lost Lee Butler back to Duke, where he was originally committed.
So, there are 20 names in total. A nice class. Plenty to be excited about. In the spirit of promoting Georgia Tech athletics, I am going to completely rip-off the bio's on these kids from RamblinWreck.com for your viewing pleasure. Here's their link. I didn't think they would mind...... right :-)


Here's the breakdown:


Offense................... 10
Defense.................. 10
Defensive Line....... 2
Linebackers........... 3
Safeties................... 2
Corners................... 3

Quarterbacks........ 2
Offensive Line....... 3
A-backs (slot)........ 2
B-backs (~FB)....... 1
Wide Receivers..... 2

Now the bio's.

T.J. Barnes
DT/6-7/325
Enterprise HS
Enterprise, Ala.

Was a standout defensive tackle at Enterprise High School and can play line on either side of the ball... ranked as the 48th-best offensive tackle prospect nationally by Rivals.com... ranked by Rivals.com as the 18th-best high school prospect in Alabama... ranked as the 24th-best Alabama prospect by Scout.com... ranked No. 59 nationally among offensive tackle prospects by Scout.com... made more than 70 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss, one sack and one interception as a senior... set a school record with eight sacks in one game... played four years of high school football at almost every position on the offensive and defensive lines... father, Terry Jones, played football at Auburn... cousins Fred Baxter and Randy Hart played football at Auburn... chose Georgia Tech over Louisville, Alabama, Auburn and others... selected Georgia Tech because of the academics, the football and the atmosphere... born June 14, 1990 in Montgomery, Ala... given name is Tarence Jariviz Barnes, but goes by T.J... has four teenage siblings.

Brandon Leslie
S/6-0/195
Edison HS
Fresno, Calif.

Has good agility and is fast in the open field... an aggressive player who delivers hard blows... had 71 tackles and four interceptions as a senior... named to Superprep's All-California team... rated the 49th-best safety prospect nationally and the 73rd-best overall prospect in California... an all-state and all-west coast selection as a sophomore... all-league and all-state as a senior... a good student with a lofty GPA... missed his entire junior season with a shoulder injury... earned four letters in football... served as team captain two years... also earned two letters in basketball... chose Georgia Tech over Nebraska, Stanford, Washington, among others... Leslie said: "The area of the school was just great. I want to be a part of that D. The people at the school, and the fans, they really showed me a lot of love."... chose Georgia Tech because of the academics, the people, the city of Atlanta and the football program... wore No. 24 in high school as a tribute to a close friend who passed away... given name is Brandon Jamal Leslie... born June 11, 1989 in Fresno, Calif... has one sister, Shymel... comes from an athletic family... cousin of former NFL running back Ickey Woods... another cousin, Steve Taylor, played football at Nebraska... father, Mike Leslie, played basketball at Santa Clara... has an uncle who played baseball at Fresno State.

Jon Lockhart
CB/6-0/190
Blountstown HS
Blountstown, Fla.

Has a good blend of size and speed... a good athlete with playmaker potential... has the versatility to play safety and/or receiver... played both wide receiver and cornerback on the high school level... ranked by Rivals as the nation's No. 70 cornerback prospect... ranked No. 61 nationally in the same category by Scout.com... led Blountstown HS to three district championships... was a second team all-state selection at wide receiver as a junior... played four years of high school football under coach Greg Jordan... also played three years on the Blountstown HS basketball team... chose Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt, South Florida, Mississippi, Duke and others.... selected Georgia Tech because the of the academics, the athletics and the city of Atlanta... born October 19, 1989 in Tallahassee, Fla... power-cleaned 385 and had a 41-inch vertical at the Scout.com combine... given name is Jonathan Sinclair Lockhart... has three siblings - Timothy, Raven and Sage.

B.J. Machen
LB/6-1/225
Hilliard Darby HS
Hilliard, Ohio

Has great strength, runs well and is rarely knocked down... relentless in pursuit of the football... athletic enough to avoid blockers... named first team Associated Press Division I All-Ohio... selected to the Columbus Dispatch All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year... Rivals ranks him No. 23 among prospects in Ohio and No. 43 nationally among outside linebackers... ranked as the 73rd-best prospect in the Midwest by Superprep... registered more than 130 tackles to go with five sacks in 13 games as a senior... played in the Big 33 (Ohio vs. Pennsylvania all-stars) Game in June... averaged 13 tackles per game as a junior... led team in tackles, sacks and tackles-for-loss in both 2006 and 2007... led Hilliard Darby to an 11-2 record and the Division I regional final - the school's first playoff appearance... earned three varsity letters in football... also played two years on the track and wrestling teams... the cousin of current Yellow Jacket defensive back DeRon Jasper... a good student with a lofty GPA... chose Georgia Tech over Maryland, Stanford, Duke, West Virginia and Syracuse... Machen said: "I like the location, I like the coaches and I have family down there."... his father, Ron, played at Stanford and his grandfather played at Illinois.... Born June 8, 1990 in Akron, Ohio... given name is Bijan Chrsian-Joseph Machen.

Daniel McKayhan
WR/6-0/180
Martin Luther King, Jr. HS
Decatur, Ga.

Helped lead Martin Luther King, Jr. High School to a Division 5A championship in 2007... a versatile player who may also develop into a punt and kick returner... named all-region and all-county honorable mention in 2007... returned punts for a total of 312 yards as a senior... named all-county and all-region in 2006... made four catches in the DeKalb County East vs. West Game... made six receptions vs. North Atlanta High School as a junior... earned three varsity letters in football at MLKHS, where he played wide receiver, quarterback and returned punts and kickoffs... also earned one letter in baseball... a good student who was on the honor roll every year of high school... member of the National Honor Society... chose Georgia Tech beause of excellent academics, it's close to home and an "opportunity to be a part of something great"... was recruited earlier by Paul Johnson's staff at Navy... chose Georgia Tech over Memphis, Vanderbilt and others... given name is Daniel Lamons McKayhan... born Jan. 15, 1990 in the golf town of Southern Pines, N.C... has two younger siblings, Dee-Dee and Jae-Jae.

Nick McRae
C/6-4/290
Dublin HS
Dublin, Ga.

A highly-touted center prospect with good size... Class 2A all-state honorable mention... also played on Dublin's 2006 state championship basketball team... in the fall of 2006 he led Dublin HS to a state title in football... ranked by Rivals as the 18th-best center prospect nationally... ranked by Superprep as Georgia's No. 45 prospect... earned four varsity letters in football under coach Roger Holmes... played center, defensive tackle and defensive end... served one year as team captain... also played two years of basketball at the center position... chose Georgia Tech over Maryland, Mississippi, NC State and others.... McRae said: "I like Coach Johnson. He seems like a good person and a good coach."... wore No. 76 in high school - the same number his father, Ronald, wore as a prep... born October 23, 1989 in Dublin, Ga... given name is Nicholas Rashad McRae... has three siblings - Natoya, Jasmine and Josh.

Malcolm Munroe
LB/6-3/215
Coral Reef HS
Miami, Fla.

Tall, rangy and athletic linebacker... has a good mix of size and speed... has the versatility to play almost any position on defense... earned three letters in football at Coral Reef High... earned one letter in track in the 200- and 400-meters... named to the Florida Times-Union Super 75... the No. 36-ranked outside linebacker prospect according to Rivals... ranked by Rivals as the No. 42 prospect in the state of Florida... one of Tech's highest-rated recruit by ESPN... invited to play in the Dade County North-South All-Star Game... earned numerous local awards including the Miami Herald's Dade Top 25, top defensive lineman (team award) and all-camp team... nominated for the National Honor Society... considering a major in biotechnology... chose Georgia Tech over Auburn, Louisville, South Carolina and others... chose Georgia Tech because of the football program, the campus atmosphere, the academics, the defensive scheme, and the opportunity to excel off the field... wore No. 42 in high school... given name is Malcolm Shakajamal Munroe... born March 12, 1990 in Miami... has three siblings... brother, Dorian, is a red-shirt junior safety at the University of Florida... father, Norman, captained his collegiate cricket team in England... has an uncle who served in government in Guyana.

Embry Peeples
A-Back/5-10/175
Dr. Phillips HS
Orlando, Fla.

An extremely fast player and an elusive back... has the speed and athleticism to be a return specialist... possesses receiving skills out of the backfield... rushed for 636 yards on 103 carries in 12 games last season (average of 6.18 yards per carry)... rushed for five touchdowns... also had a pair of receptions for 22 yards... plagued with an injury most of senior year... rushed for 909 yards as a junior including eight consecutive 100-yard games... named to Superprep's All-Florida team... on Rivals' list of top 100 prospects in Florida... Rivals ranks him the No. 38 all-purpose back nationally... ranked by Scout.com as the No. 69 running back prospect nationally... named the Orlando Touchdown Club Player of the Week in Week 1 after rushing for 223 yards on 21 carries... helped lead Dr. Phillips HS to a district championship in 2006... played three seasons of high school football - two under coach Kevin Pettis and one under Bob Head... ran track for three years... has run a 10.71 in the 100-meters... maintained a high GPA of 3.5 or better each year... chose Georgia Tech over LSU, West Virginia and others... selected Georgia Tech because of the academics, location and football tradition... born August 24, 1990 in Miami... given name is Embry James Peeples... cousin, Jameal Cook, played more than two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers... has two siblings - Beau and Thi.

Rashaad Reid
CB/5-10/180
St. Augustine HS
St. Augustine, Fla.

A versatile defensive back with a number of skills... named to the Florida Times-Union Super 75... rated as the No. 58 cornerback prospect nationally by Scout.com... played three years of high school football and served one year as team captain... led St. Augustine HS to three consecutive district championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007... was on the class 3A state championship team as a sophomore in 2005... also played three years of basketball and ran track for three years... led the track team to district titles in 2006 and 2007 and was selected all-district in the 4x100 relay... a good student who consistently made the honor roll... chose Georgia Tech over South Florida, Arkansas, NC State and Central Florida... selected Georgia Tech because of the academics, the football program, a chance to compete for a national championship and the city of Atlanta... born Dec. 11, 1989 in St. Augustine, Fla... given name is Rashaad Dwayne Reid... has two siblings... cousin, Willie Cooper, played football at Miami... cousin, Quinterrance Cooper, played football at Western Kentucky.

Kamaron Riley
CB/6-2/180
Hawkinsville HS
Hawkinsville, Ga.

A naturally-gifted athlete... was a standout on both sides of the ball as a cornerback and receiver on the high school level... ranks third in Hawkinsville High history with 10 career interceptions... had six interceptions in 2007 including two in one game... named Class A all-state in '07... was first team all-region as a receiver in `06... also among the top receivers in Hawkinsville history... had 43 receptions as a junior and 78 receptions for his career... averaged 16.4 yards per receptions with 707 yards total as a junior... was a freshman on the 2004 team that won the state championship... Scout.com ranks him among the top 100 prospects at his position nationally... played football at Hawkinsville under coach Lee Campbell... also ran track and played basketball... current Yellow Jackets Trey Dunmon, Robert Hall and Jim Henry also attended Hawkinsville High... chose Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt, Indiana and others.... selected Georgia Tech because of the academics and the people... owns a 36-inch vertical... born March 8, 1990 in Hawkinsville, Ga... given name is Kamaron De'Shaun Riley... has two siblings... cousin, Charles Johnson, played three years of football at Georgia and now plays in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers.

Jaybo Shaw
QB/6-0/190
Flowery Branch HS
Flowery Branch, Ga.

A dual-threat quarterback who could fit nicely into Georgia Tech's offensive scheme... utilizes his athleticism to avoid the rush and buy more time in the pocket... good at improvising when play breaks down... throws well on the run... does a good job of reading the end on the option... fundamentally sound son of a football coach... as a junior he threw for 2,700 yards and 28 touchdowns... rushed for 1,500 yards and 21 TDs as a junior... set just about every school quarterback-related record at Flowery Branch... finished his career with 9,340 yards and 127 touchdowns... named to the North squad in the GACA North-South All-Star Game... selected to the Gainesville Times 2007 all-county first team... ranked as the nation's 10th-best dual-threat quarterback prospect nationally... among Rivals' top 50 prospects in the state of Georgia... ranked as Georgia's No. 58 prospect by Superprep... ranked the No. 56 prospect nationally at quarterback by Scout.com... led Flowery Branch to consecutive sub-region championships and state playoff appearances... played four years of football under coach Lee Shaw... served two years as team captain... also played basketball for three years, ran track two years and played one year of tennis... chose Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and others... Shaw said: "I like Coach Johnson because he's a straight shooter and he's been successful everywhere he's been. He's a winner.".. born October 27, 1989 in Gainesville, Ga... given name is Jaybo Lee Shaw... has two younger siblings - Connor and Anna Kate... father, Lee, played fooball at Western Carolina... mother, Dawn, played basketball at North Georgia.

Quentin Sims
WR/6-3/190
Colerain HS
Cincinnati, Ohio

Has good size and athletic ability... played for one of Ohio's top prep programs... Colerain went 12-1 in 2007 and finished No. 14 in USA Today's National Super 25... had 24 receptions for 313 yards and two touchdowns in 2007... also rushed 75 times for 764 yards and seven touchdowns... moved to quarterback during the state playoffs in place of an injured starting QB... led Colerain to conference championships in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007... won district championships in 2004 and 2006... was part of the 2004 state championship team... earned nine varsity letters at Colerain High School - three in football, four in track and two in basketball... was a sprinter and high-jumper for the track team... a second team all-conference selection in 2007 as a running back... also named all-city honorable mention... had a memorable season opener as a senior in 2007... playing quarterback, he rushed for 228 yards on 12 carries, was 3-for-3 passing with two touchdowns, with one of the TDs going to his younger brother, Damon... was a two-time all-conference selection in track... was part of the school record-breaking 4x400 relay team in '07... member of the high school student senate... chose Georgia Tech over Buffalo, Virginia and others... selected Georgia Tech because of the Management program, the football team and coaching staff, and the city of Atlanta... earned a national championship in karate in 2000... father, Fred Sims, was a running back at Oklahoma in 1981 and 1982... born July 11, 1990 in Tucson, Ariz.

Phil Smith
OT/6-6/290
Jesuit HS
Tampa, Fla.

Possesses good speed for a player his size... earned all-county honors in 2007 as an offensive lineman... selected All-Hillsborough County second team... earned all-state honors by the FSWA as an offensive tackle... rated as the No. 56 prospect nationally at offensive tackle by Scout.com... recorded six sacks on the defensive line as a junior... earned three varsity letters in football at defensive end, offensive tackle and tight end... also earned three letters in basketball as an imposing center... served one year as captain of the basketball team... recorded a triple-double as a sophomore with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocked shots against Berkeley Prep... selected for the student council as a senior... attended same high school as current Yellow Jackets Andrew Smith, A.J. Smith and Michael Peterson... former Tech quarterback George Godsey also attended Jesuit HS... Smith said "It's a family atmosphere" at Georgia Tech... chose Georgia Tech over Penn State and several other schools... born July 24, 1990 in Tampa... given name is Philip Wallace Smith... father, Mark, played football for four years at Nicholls State... has a younger brother, Brad.

Steven Sylvester
LB/6-2/225
Union Grove HS
McDonough, Ga.

Has natural tools of a linebacker but also the skills to play running back... has good size... a strong tackler who consistently knocks ball carriers backwards... ranked by Superprep as Georgia's No. 21 prospect... ranked No. 26 in the same category by Rivals... Rivals ranks him the 26th-best prospect nationally at inside linebacker... Scout.com ranks him 23rd nationally as a weakside linebacker prospect... named first team all-region as a senior and second team as a sophomore and junior... selected to play in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game... scored four touchdowns in his final high school game... earned four varsity letters in football under coaches Bill Hobbs and Mike McDonald... also earned three letters in basketball as a power forward... former teammate of Georgia Tech redshirt freshman linebacker Kyle Jackson... was vice-president of the student body... homecoming king as a senior... received the Coca-Cola Award for outstanding athletic and academic achievement... chose Georgia Tech over Georgia and Alabama, among others... Sylvester said: "I like Coach Johnson. He's a no-nonsense type guy and knows what he wants. He was really successful at Navy and I'm happy to be able to play for him."... born October 18, 1989 in Enterprise, Ala... once lived in Seattle... given name is Steven Joseph Sylvester.

Cooper Taylor
S/6-4/195
Marist School
Atlanta, Ga.

A good-sized safety with ability to play linebacker... a solid pass defender... ranked by Superprep as Georgia's No. 61 prospect... ranked by Scout.com as the No. 78 prospect nationally at safety... a two-time all-state and all-county selection... a good student... earned three varsity letters in football... played a variety of positions on the prep level including wide receiver, free safety, running back and quarterback... led team to the state championship game and a regional championship in 2006... broke the school single-season interception record in '06... chose Georgia Tech over Mississippi State, Virginia, Duke and others... Taylor said: "I really like Coach Johnson and he told me what plans he had for Georgia Tech."... born April 14, 1990 in Atlanta... given name is Cooper Austin Taylor... the son of former Georgia Tech quarterback Jim Bob Taylor, who went on to play for the Baltimore Colts in 1983.

Omoregie Uzzi
OG/6-3/291
Chamblee HS
Chamblee, Ga.

A highly-touted recruit who excelled on both the offensive and defensive lines in high school... has good size... moves well laterally and plays with great effort... the ninth-rated offensive guard prospect nationally according to Scout.com... a first team all-state selection in 2007... also named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's All-Citywide Team... a 2007 U.S. Army All-American... chosen to play in the first Dekalb County Senior All-Star Game... named most outstanding lineman at Chamblee High School... helped lead Chamblee to a 12-2 record in 2007 - the most wins in school history... Chamblee advanced to the state semifinals and earned a final state ranking of No. 3... was instrumental in Chamblee rushing for 4,267 yards (7.5 yards per carry) and 60 touchdowns in 2007... as a junior in 2006, Uzzi recorded 70 tackles and two sacks... selected Georgia Tech over Alabama, Virginia, Georgia and others.

Tevin Washington
QB/6-1/205
Wetumpka HS
Wetumpka, Ala.

Named first team class 6A all-state... also a two-time member of the Montgomery Advertiser all-metro team... earned all-county honors three times... ranked as the No. 60 prospect nationally at quarterback by Scout.com... posted career numbers of 5,042 yards passing, 2,097 yards rushing, 42 passing touchdowns and 25 rushing TDs... rushed for 1,088 yards and 14 TDs as a senior... led Wetumpka to a 10-2 record in 2007... passed for more than 200 yards five times in `07, including a season-high 254 yards in the second round of the state playoffs... rushed for more than 100 yards in five games, including a season-high 214 yards vs. Fairhope HS... a three-year starter for the Indians... played four years of football, including two as team captain, under coach Chad Anderson... also played basketball and baseball in high school... Coach Anderson on Washington: "He doesn't try to force things, but he can get you out of a bad situation with his ability. He routinely made plays that made you just say `Wow!'"... chose Georgia Tech over Louisville, Troy and Memphis... selected Georgia Tech because of its academic tradition, the opportunity to play college football at the highest level and to play for Coach Paul Johnson... born May 19, 1990 in Montgomery, Ala... given name is Tevin Cory-Hunter Washington... has three siblings - Trey, Adrienne and Audrie... father, Lewis, played basketball at Faulkner University.

Richard Watson
B-Back/6-1/225
FAMU HS
Tallahassee, Fla.

A big, bruising back who runs with power... a north-south runner who is very tough between the tackles... has good balance and quick feet for a big back.... prefers to run through defenders as opposed to around them... was a star on offense on the high school level but has the skills to play linebacker on defense... selected to the FSWA Class 1B All-State Team... member of the Florida Times Union's Super 75... named to Superprep's All-Florida team... rated as the nation's third-best fullback recruit by Rivals and the fourth-best fullback by Scout.com... also among Florida's top 75 prospects by Rivals... led FAMU High School to the Class 1B state championship game in back-to-back years including a state title as a junior... led team to three consecutive district titles and two straight regional crowns... rushed for more than 1,500 yards as a senior... as a junior, ran for 2,140 yards and 34 touchdowns, ending the season with a 123-yard effort in the state championship game... served two years as a team captain... earned the Tallahassee Quarterback Club's Offensive Player of the Year... made 75 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and five sacks as a sophomore... chose Georgia Tech over Ohio State, Boston College, Arkansas and others... selected Georgia Tech because of the academics, the coaches and the family atmosphere... born June 18, 1990 in Irvine, Calif... given name is Richard C. Watson... has two brothers - Brandon and Alexander.

Antonio Wilson
DE/6-6/220
Columbia HS
Decatur, Ga.

An intriguing prospect who starred in basketball but played high school football for the first time as a senior in 2007... listed as a defensive end but is athletic enough to play receiver... played in just four games in 2007 after suffering an injury in an automobile accident... had 25 tackles and 11 sacks in those four games... has fully recovered from the injury... played three seasons of basketball at Columbia... helped Columbia to the 2006 state championship in basketball... an outstanding student with a GPA approaching 4.0... consistently on the honor roll... member of the National Honor Society... chose Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt and others... selected Tech because of the football, the engineering major and because it's close to home... considering a major in chemical engineering... born October 9, 1989 in Decatur, Ga... given name is Antonio DeMario Wilson... has one sister, Kristie.

Marcus Wright
A-Back/5-8/175
Reagan HS
San Antonio, Texas

A small but extremely quick back... has an exceptional initial burst... has a second gear in the open field... compared by some to Garett Wolfe... rushed for a San Antonio city record of 3,374 yards on 359 carries and scored 45 touchdowns last season as a senior... had at least one carry of 70-plus yards in eight consecutive games... a Parade All-American... an Army All-America selection... played in the Army All-America Bowl... a first team all-state selection... played in eight career playoff games, producing 2,201 yards and 31 touchdowns... named the Texas Class 5A offensive player of the year... selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl... finished high school career by rushing for 100 or more yards in 25 consecutive games... had a career total of 7,036 career yards and 85 touchdowns... earned three varsity letters in football and three in track and field as a sprinter... wore No. 21 in high school - the same number worn by his brother... has four siblings... chose Georgia Tech over Tulsa, among others... chose Georgia Tech because of the football program, academics and the location... given name is Marcus Lamar Wright... born Nov. 28, 1989 in Atlanta... father, Michael, played football at Alabama State.


Recruiting Day Post

I won't be able to update this much during the day, but thought I would create a post for people to comment on. In addition, here is a link to www.ramblinwreck.com, where they are already posting some LOI's that have arrived.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Signing Day - The Night Before

Well, Wednesday is that annual culmination of the year-around effort to convince kids why they should give the next four/five years of their life to you and your school. Signing day. Coaches mostly hope for very few surprises, unless it's one of those good ones.

Paul Johnson and staff expect to sign upwards of 21 kids, and could be as low as 19 my guess. In all fairness, this class really cannot be considered Paul Johnson's first. PJ has had a grand total of about 3-4 weeks with his staff in place to make an impression. Recruiting is a year-long process. It's about relationships and trust. It's hard to build that in 3-4 weeks. Chan Gailey's first class had a few gems in it like Chris Reis, but truthfully it was a disaster from the standpoint of long-term contribution. Very few of the players made the 2-deep. Very few made it the full 4/5 years in the program. Of course that was the year Coach Gailey decided to stick with the Dolphins as OC until his season was over. This time around, PJ has probably even less time to make things happen.

As always, you can NEVER truly judge the quality of a recruiting class until year 4. Only in hindsight can you say whether they "panned out". From all signs, this is a balanced class. A bunch of guys with good rankings. Only one guy considered "4/5 star", but only two below "3 star" status. Frankly, I think PJ did fine considering the time crunch. He kept most of the guys that were on-board and brought on some guys that have a good shot at showcasing themselves in the triple-option system................. So a bunch of guys who have a chance to.................................

Monday, February 04, 2008

Meet Your Superbowl Champions

......... and a little love from MM's hometown peeps:


Aaaahhhhh yyyyeeeeaaahhhhh..........

Rankings Schmankings

Paul Johnson has reeled in a few new recruits the past few days:

Omoregie Uzzi, 6'3" 291lb OG, 4-star kid from Chamblee GA.
Daniel McKayhan, 6'0", 180lb, 2-star WR from Lithonia GA (video here)
Quentin Sims, 6'4" 190lb, 2-star WR from Cincy OH

In addition, it looks like Lee Butler, who switched his commit from Duke to GT, is waivering again. How about this from the article:

Because Tech runs the triple option under Johnson, the former Navy coach, Butler
agreed with Duke coaches who said, “how in the world can a (defensive back) be
the best he can be if he’s not going against top-notch receivers?”

Excellent point, because heaven knows since they've won like ONE ACC game in like 4 years, Duke is stocked with guys that will teach DB's to learn the game. Love that one. But hey, all's fair in love and recruiting.............. considering we went after him after he committed to Duke anyhow.

So let's get back to recruit rankings. Everyone knows it, but we should remind - grains of saltiness required. Look, it's fun to look at recruiting rankings and try to see where you "stack up" against other schools. However, I think there's enough proof out there that shows Scout.com and Rivals.com and ESPN.com and every other ranking service are making nothing more than semi-educated guesses. It's not so hard for them to figure out the 4/5 star guys. But does anyone really expect that they can evaluate and rank all those hundreds other other players and figure out who is a 2/3 star vs 4? Come on.

Case in point. Scout.com just re-ranked the 2004 classes. GT was originally ranked #35, but low-and-behold, after on-the-field results, they come in at #15, even ahead of our sisters in Athens, who DROPPED from #6 to #17. Last year David Glenn of the ACC Sports Journal ranked ACC classes in what was Chan Gailey's 2nd recruiting class. What was considered near the bottom of the ACC at the time ended up ranked as the #1 recruiting class in the ACC - based on real results and production.

It goes on and on. Recruiting services cater to an audience. They are trying to drive revenue. You don't think it's a coincidence that Notre Dame has wonderful classes every year yet somehow manage to NEVER live up to them? Money makes the world go-round. Folks, GT consistently out-performs our recruiting rankings year-after-year-after-year-after-year-etc-etc. We just don't have quite the audience of Texas, Michigan, etc, etc.

Having said all that - the services get a lot correct - just mainly the players at the top of the lists. Beyond the truly elite players, it gets REAL fuzzy........ and of course there are other factors that determine "success" after four years - strength/conditioning programs, academics, the "system", good coaches, talent evaluation.

In hindsight, I think it's fair to say that Chan Gailey was an outstanding evaluator of talent. That doesn't always mean he got his guy, but he knew how to pick out a lot of those supposed "2 star" guys and magically turn them into 4/5 star wonders. Andrew Gardner was a 2-star guy that only Duke and Vandy wanted to take a chance on and now 2 all-ACC teams later, look who's talking. There are plenty of examples.

I only ramble on in order to make the point not to get caught up in stars and numbers. On paper this class looks like it has a chance to be a decent one. On paper it has a lot of potential. On paper it looks very consistent across the board. In the end games aren't played on paper. Don't sweat the rankings too much. Just have fun with them. And when your Clemson friends gloat about their top 5 class ranking, just tell them how much fun it will be whooping them again, only this time with a new coach and a new system.