July 10, 2006

Georgia Tech making recruiting strides

What is going on at Georgia Tech?

A program known more under current head coach Chan Gailey for taking unknown talent and "coaching it up" (and of course, signing Calvin Johnson) than raking in Top 25 recruiting classes, the Yellow Jackets appear to be on their way to bringing quite a group of players to The Flats in the Class of 2007.

And it's in-state talent, too. Something that hasn't been easy to come by with in-state power Georgia and regional SEC and ACC powers getting most of the Peach State's top talent in recent years.

That, however, is changing.

Georgia Tech currently is in excellent shape to potentially land Rivals100 offensive lineman Nick Claytor (Gainesville), Rivals250 running back Jonathan Dwyer (Marietta Kell), four-star wide receiver D.J. Donley (Folkston Charlton County) and Georgia Top 50 prospects Logan Walls (Dawson County), a defensive tackle, and Roddy Jones (Chamblee), an all-purpose back.

According to sources, it could be a matter of weeks before the Ramblin Wreck has Donley, Walls and Jones wrapped up.

And of course this is recruiting where nothing is guaranteed. Auburn and Ohio State are factors with Claytor and Dwyer has offers from nearly every school in the ACC and SEC, but as things stand today, Georgia Tech has done an excellent job and is the proverbial "team to beat".

Tech has seven commitments, four from in-state, including linebackers Brad Jefferson of Wrightsville Johnson County and Kyle Jackson of McDonough Union Grove, both Georgia Top 50 selections.

The Jackets also have brought in a couple of gems from out-of-state. Quarterback Steven Threet of Michigan has a chance to be special and Mario Butler from Saint Augustine Nease is a Florida Top 100 selection. Among the uncommitted, Georgia Tech currently leads for Rivals100 defensive end Jacoby Monroe of Jacksonville Sandalwood and another Rivals100 defensive end from the same city, D'Angelo McCray of Andrew Jackson, says he's visiting for the Notre Dame game. McCray has been friends with Butler since the two were five-years-old.

So what is going on? Well, recruiting coordinator Giff Smith, who grew up in the Atlanta suburb of Mableton, is in his first season running the show and his approach seems to have paid dividends with the in-state prospects.

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