Thursday, February 02, 2006


Man, signing day has got to be the most overated college sports day of the year - but it still gives the football crazed portion of the nation something to run their yappers about for at least another month during the offseason. Quite honestly we have no clue how it will pan out in 5 years, because guys as good as P.J Daniels are walking on somewhere - the second Lofa Tatupu isn't getting a single Division 1 offer, etc. Somewhere there's another Mark Logan (remember him?) who is going to have absolutely no impact this level. Much moreso than basketball recruiting, football recruiting is a giant crap shoot - and yet signing day is such huge business that we even have MRC's (mythical recruiting championships) and websites with hour to hour updates on who's in the lead for #1 like it's a gametracker - congratulations to Urban Myer and the Gators on their MRC by the way.

Obviously though, recruiting has a huge impact on actual on field results (it's more about the Jon's and Joe's than the X's and O's), so it is something as fans we should be paying attention too ... but I have never subscribed to the theory that you have any clue how good a class is until at least 2-3 years down the road. This is much different for basketball, but that's an entirely different column at a later date.

Yadda, yadda whatever - instant gratification. How did Tech do, and is Gailey a winner or loser this year? Well, how about neither? and and basically everyone else grades classes on both quality and quantity, and because of probation and a limited number of graduating seniors, the quantity portion was immediately out of the picture for Tech. There was no way on God's green earth this was going to be a top 25 "ranked" recruiting class, and everyone knew that. Combine that with the fact that Tech has only had one non-qualifier in the last 5 years, and you get smaller class sizes. NCSU has had 20(!) non-qualifiers in the past 5 years, that's 4 kids a year to count towards your recruiting rankings but have actually 0 impact on your program. So, with all that to consider - expecting a class ranked better than 30ish was foolish and plain ignorant, there was no way a 15-17 person class was going to be ranked higher.

Lets look at the "supposedly" key newcomers for this year I'm most excited about (who knows, they could all be busts and a 2* TE we don't hype ends up playing in the NFL like Keyaron Fox):

Anthony Barnes (LB) - remember that one non-qualifier Tech has had in the past 5 years? Here he is, and he's qualified now and will be a true freshman this year. It's always nice to have a 4* linebacker stached away in your back pocket, and while he technically doesn't count towards this class for ranking purposes, he's a nice addition to the team for practical on the field purposes.

Demaryius Thomas (WR) - Big wideout who most of the other major schools wanted to play TE. I'm excited about him, Tech has had a lot of success recently with bigger WR's - the question with Demaryius is if he's fast enough to get deep at the D-1A level or if he's going to be a "possession receiver".

Osahon Tongo (LB) - Projects to have nice size for an outside LB in college, and along with Barnes and Sedric Griffin gives Tech a nice core at LB for this class. This has been a position that Tech has had a lot of success at in the past, we'll see how this group pans out.

Sedric Griffin (LB) - About as "under the radar" as you can get, until he blew up at the Shrine Bowl. Could be this year's Vance Walker, a gem in the rough that nobody knew about - or he could have just had the best week of his life when everyone was watching. Chan's staff has done a decent job finding this type of player before, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Laurence Marius (DB) - Highly thought of recruit (4*) out of Florida with good size, speed and quickness for a corner. With Pat Clark moving to CB as well, there will be plenty of depth at that position.

Jamaal Evans (RB) - Highly ranked RB who just lit up the Texas large class high schools for the past couple of years. 2000+ yards in that competition is nothing to sneeze about. On the other hand, he's itsy bitsy and isn't reported to have the breakaway speed you think a smaller back has to have to suceed. We'll see, there's a reason he put up all those yards in high school - hopefully that same reason translates to the college level.

DaRon Jasper (S) - On this list because he's probably going to have to play a lot next year, with Tech's serious depth problems at Safety. Local kid with great size, we'll see how he does if he's thrown to the wolves next year.

Other players of note include Byron Ingram, Correy Earls and Quincy Kelly - guys who may all play a role in the future of Tech football, though probably not right off the bat. Actually, I'm not sure how many true freshman are going to have much of a role on what will be a fairly veteran Tech team next year.

Overall this class is pretty vanilla, which is what I've come to expect with Gailey. No surefire "SUPERSTAR!!!" talents, but probably a couple of gem in the rough kids who'll have more of an impact than people expect. It's not "we're going to be Vandy" time, but it's not a class that's going to excite the fanbase and get folks to buy season tickets with visions of BCS bowls dancing in their heads either. Basically, it's probably a 7-5 class which fits, because Tech has become a 7-5 program. We lost a kid we really wanted (Heath Bachelor), but kept another one (Demaryius Thomas) ... in all, just another year in Tech recruiting.

Overall 2006 recruiting effort? C (average grade for an average job)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reports from the coaches at signing day about jamaal evans were that he is a r.grant type player and has the ability to take it to the house every play. I don't know if that means he has breakaway speed, but I like what they have to say about him.

6:43 PM  

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