Burnett, Dwyer, Morgan leave Tech — updated

MorganBurnett
Three more players are leaving Georgia Tech for the NFL.

Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer and Derrick Morgan announced on Monday that they are leaving the Yellow Jackets after their junior seasons. In a room full of teammates, the three said they wanted to fulfill their dream of playing in the NFL.

Dwyer said he told his mother when he was 5 years old that he would one day play pro ball. Today, his father, Tony, said it still hasn’t sunk in.

Derrick Morgan is projected to go top-10 in the NFL Draft.

Derrick Morgan is projected to go top-10 in the NFL Draft.

Morgan, the ACC’s defensive player of the year, had 12 1/2 sacks this season and is projected to be a top-10 pick in April’s NFL draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper rates Morgan, 6-4, 272-pounds, as the top defensive end in the junior class, saying he’s a “proven pass-rusher, stout versus run. Very productive.” Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc. rates Morgan as the fifth-best player overall.

He has already signed with an agency and is leaving for Arizona this afternoon to begin workouts in  Arizona.

Dwyer is projected a first- or second-round selection.

Dwyer is projected a first- or second-round selection.

Dwyer, the ACC’s player of the year two seasons ago,  rushed for 1,395 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, after rushing for 1,395 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008. He is projected to go as high as late in the first-round. Kiper rates Dwyer, who is 6-0, 235 pounds, as the fourth-best junior running back. Scouts rates Dwyer as the 30th-best player. He is leaving Wednesday to begin preparing for the draft at a clinic in Dallas. He hasn’t signed with an agent yet.

Burnett, a 6-1, 210-pound safety, has intercepted 14 passes and made 235 tackles in three seasons. Kiper rates him the second-best junior safety. Burnett isn’t in Scouts’ top 100. He hasn’t signed with an agent and hasn’t decided where he will begin his draft preparation.

Four players have now left Tech for the NFL.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, a redshirt junior, announced last week that he was also leaving school.

Despite the loss of talent, Nick Claytor, Roddy Jones and Brad Jefferson said they are ready to defend their ACC title.

“It’s time to not only a win a bowl game, but a BCS game,” Claytor said.

Jefferson, Burnett and Josh Nesbitt are best friends. As he looked around the room, Burnett said “It’s getting touching now.  Seeing more and more of  my teammates coming in. I call him my younger, big brother, Brad Jefferson. Seeing him be supportive. It shows the closeness of my class. It shows the closeness of the situation. Made family-like bonds. It’s going to be hard to leave people.”

Said Morgan: “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.”

During Thomas’ press conference on Friday, Tech coach Paul Johnson said: “I’ve sat down with all those guys and they have to make the best decision for them. I would love to see them all come back if that’s what they chose to do. There’s a lot of money out there. Whatever they decide, I’m going to support 100 percent.”

Johnson was at an NCAA convention in Orlando and wasn’t able to attend the press conference.

Burnett, Dwyer and Morgan dominated the snaps at their respective positions the past two seasons.

Anthony Allen, Preston Lyons, Richard Watson and Daniel Drummond would likely compete for the starting B-back spot.

Izaan Cross, Emmanuel Dieke, Robert Hall, Jason Peters and Anthony Egbuniwe are a few who would likely compete for the two starting defensive end spots. Much depends upon who is hired as defensive coordinator and what system they implement.

Cooper Taylor, Mario Edwards, Jemea Thomas and Dominique Reese are a few of the players who could compete at the safety position.

276 comments Add your comment

dekalb fan

January 11th, 2010
1:11 pm

Good luck at the next level gentlemen. I am sure all GT fans thank you for fond memories and a great 2009 football season.

The UGALY Truth

January 11th, 2010
1:15 pm

Thanks for the memories guys & Good Luck!!

flagboy?

January 11th, 2010
1:15 pm

Always wish people the best.

Good luck at the next level. . . . surround yourself with good people, not hangers-on.

Maybe come back and finish your degree at some point.

John

January 11th, 2010
1:15 pm

The Falcons could use them all. Go Jackets!!

Tech Teacher

January 11th, 2010
1:15 pm

Thanks for all of the great memories guys. I appreciate everything you’ve done for our program.

thank you

January 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

I do thank you but it hurts…this is a NCAA rule that needs to be changed

joehamiltonfan14

January 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

I still think Morgan Burnett has gotten some bad info (I just don’t see him being drafted that high, or at the very least hasn’t played like a high draft pick) but good luck to all three in the NFL. we won’t see the kind of improvement we would have seen had they come back. We should still be in the thick of the ACC race and be a contender for the NC.

He does have an out-of-wedlock-baby to support however.

Technophobia

January 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

Congratulations and good luck in the NFL. I hope you all have great careers!

J Lo

January 11th, 2010
1:17 pm

Good Luck guys..hate to see you go. But I know CPJ will continue plugging away and we will get better as he keeps developing the program.

Paul in RDU

January 11th, 2010
1:17 pm

All 4 of the JRs coming out are doing the right thing. Good luck to them in the NFL

Morgan Burnett

January 11th, 2010
1:18 pm

It’s official! FINALLY I don’t have to chase an UNTOUCHED Caleb King anymore en route to 30-24!

Chris

January 11th, 2010
1:18 pm

I’m not excited about the list of players competing for those now vacant spots.

Go Jackets!!!

January 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

Adios, boys. Good luck in the NFL and thanks for a great season.

ACC CHAMPS!

Coach Paul Johnson

January 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

Hoping I can find SOMEBODY, ANYBODY that can help my offense average more than 5 points per bowl game!

gtfan 2011

January 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, thanks for the memorable season and representing GT so well. I wish you the best of luck in the NFL. Won’t ever forget some of your amazing contributions to GT football lore.

John

January 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

This equals 6-6 for us next year

Dacula Jacket

January 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

Good luck guys! Thanks for all you’ve done for the preogram. Make us Tech fans proud!

VT Yellow Jacket

January 11th, 2010
1:20 pm

I think Dwyer and Morgan will have strong NFL careers. On the other hand, Burnett maybe should have examined the market a little better. Well, best of luck to all of them. I’d love to see Dwyer go to the Patriots. :^)

collegeballfan

January 11th, 2010
1:20 pm

Good luck guys. All four of you made the correct decision.

Now watch your money, invest soundly for when you are old like me.

Dammmmm

January 11th, 2010
1:20 pm

This hurts — good luck to all four of them. Hopefully we’ll win 8 games next year.

Derrick Morgan

January 11th, 2010
1:21 pm

Good, finally I won’t get pancaked all night by Cordy Glenn and Ben Jones while the Dawgs’ backs put up 335+ rushing yards!

Not Disappointed

January 11th, 2010
1:21 pm

You guys will be missed! God Bless you and come back to get your degree!

Ramblin Wreck out………….

b.davis

January 11th, 2010
1:21 pm

Good luck to all of them.

JB

January 11th, 2010
1:21 pm

I felt pretty good that we’d be off on another winning streak over the maggots but now that your four best players have left early, I feel REALLY good about.

HBTD!!!

Matt

January 11th, 2010
1:22 pm

Congrats and good luck! Make us proud! Thanks for all your hard work.

Burdell

January 11th, 2010
1:22 pm

We’ll miss you all, guys. Thanks for an awesome season!

b.davis

January 11th, 2010
1:22 pm

JB,

Did you hear that Richt`s hairdresser is leaving for Southern California and the entire Georgia staff is leaving with him.

Tech82

January 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

Good luck and Godspeed to all three. I hope history proves that each made the right decision in leaving.

GTperfect2010

January 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

Once again we fins these teenagers turning their backs on school and jumping for the riches of the NFL. They would be better off staying to secure a degree, espeiclly in these uncertain economic times under Obama!

wow

January 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

who are those guys?

Jeepers

January 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

Darn. You fellas will be missed tremendously. Best of luck going forward! Don’t forget to visit during the next spring game and some regular season games.

tech fan of my word

January 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

Four players can’t keep their comment to the school that has invested so much into them. I have no respect for someone who can’t keep their word. In my opinion, they should have to give a percent of their 1st year’s pay back to GA TECH for leaving early.

WRONG WRONG WRONG!

GO JACKETS!

GT Dad

January 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

Good riddance you bunch of traitors!

JRM

January 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Enter your comments here

Bay-Bay Thomas

January 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Sorry fans but had to do it after my 4th down drop against the Dawgs and not having a single catch in the Orange Bowl. See ya!

Little Stinger

January 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Me so sad they are leaving.

Me so sad they lost to the Bulldogs this year.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

January 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

No worries, mates. Cooper Taylor will be back. All’s well.

Tech82

January 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

JB – Four best players? You don’t watch much football do you?

Not Disappointed

January 11th, 2010
1:26 pm

jb is it hard to wish an athlete well? I wrote a nice note for Curran earlier today. These young men are trying to make a future for their families. Decency means anything to you? Surely you’re not as ignorant as M, St Simmon, etc.

Ramblin Wreck…………Out!

Susan

January 11th, 2010
1:26 pm

Good luck to all of them. Can’t disagree with their decision really. But any 2010 national title talk will walk out the door with them. Supposing we get Groh, I think we can repeat as ACC champs though.

http://www.stinGTees.com

Brunswick-Tech

January 11th, 2010
1:26 pm

I hate to see you go. I wish you guy would have stayed and earned a degree. The money would have waited. Good luck where ever you guys land.

nola dawg

January 11th, 2010
1:26 pm

as a die hard UGA fan, i even say good luck to three jackets at the next level. thank god i don’t have to see 21 again …

collegeballfan

January 11th, 2010
1:26 pm

Hey, players come and players go. GT has to build a program that simply plugs in the next guy when a players is injured or leaves for money. It appears that Johnson is building such a program. Of the four leaving, the only one that will be difficult to replace is Derrick Morgan. He was special. Replacements for the others are in place.

To the douche posting under their names

January 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

Stay classy, UGA fans. >:[

Johnathan Dwyer

January 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

Hated to got out like this, my last carry was for -13 yards (and almost a safety) against that pesky Iowas defense. I wish I could have secured more than 50 yards rushing this year against the UGA or Iowa but that’s the way the ball bounces.

Let’s Safety Dance!

Champaign Dawg

January 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

I was gonna congratulate the Tech fans on showing an amazing amount of class by not responding to the childish UGA fan posting dumb responses.

Till b.davis blew it.

Anyway, here’s to the rest of you who are keeping it on the up and up. Sorry about your losses today. But seriously, CPJ did more with less the last 2 years. No reason to think he can’t keep doing it.

N.GA.DAWG

January 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

lets see hmmm. we lost 2 early last year qb rb and went 8-5. tech loses 4, wr rb db dl, i say 6-6. and the wr was a beast and may have the best nfl career of all if he holds on to the ball.

JRM

January 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

To all those High school players that think they can’t go Pro at GT, take a second look

Loco Perro

January 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

Dwyer’s OK, but he’s no C.J. Spiller.

They Gone!

January 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

DAGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!