Paul Johnson on a myth

Crossing over into a that’s territory off my beat, but appropriate to my beat, I ran across this question to Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson while listening to tape from the past few weeks: Has winning the ACC improved your recruiting, compared to two years ago?

“I’ve never seen a problem recruiting anyway. That’s another myth everyone wants to perpetuate. Occasionally, you’ll have a guy who is more concerned about their own individual deal or being highlighted. It’s my experience through the years, if the guy is that concerned about that I’m not real sure you want them, if they are going to be bigger than the team right from the beginning.

“If you’ll look, we’ve had people drafted and play in the NFL at every position, except for quarterback. Through the years we’ve had guys. …Tracy Ham had a choice between the NFL and CFL and he went up there and was the MVP two or three times and won some Grey Cups. … We’ve not had a NFL quarterback, but other than that there’s not a position we haven’t had in the NFL.”

Has a higher success level caused more people to notice?

“I haven’t seen a notable difference. When I first got there, we didn’t have guys turning us away then. Certain guys fit certain schools. We recruit a lot in state. Our primary rival in recruiting is probably the University of Georgia. It’s very different than Georgia Tech. Different location, Different school. …  No one is going to confuse Georgia Tech with Georgia as being the same. Some guys are going to like the school in town that’s more technical and some guys are going to like the school that’s not in town. You’ve got the same difference with Clemson or whoever you are recruiting against.

“Hopefully our football program has enough perception out there to carry it from an exposure standpoint and what we’ve accomplished that recruits think they can do whatever they need to do to be successful.”

The Jackets have nine commitments for the 2011 signing class, six from within the state. They await word on Vad Lee, a highly-regarded QB from Durham, N.C. who is supposed to make his college decision known on Thursday.

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93 comments Add your comment

Dannyboy

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

“If you’ll look, we’ve had people drafted and play in the NFL at every position, except for quarterback.”

Dang…don’t think that comment will help QB recruiting too much…

Sowega

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

Johnson will never rank too highly in recruiting because of two reasons. First, Tech is a niche school that is only going to appeal to some players. You have to like being mentally challenged to go there and be successful. Second, Johnson’s offense is unconventional. Many highly rated recruits only want to play in a pro-style system.

JJ Red Panties

August 18th, 2010
9:14 am

JB

August 18th, 2010
9:16 am

Tech is a special place for the special player. I think Johnson is kidding himself to say that a certain player at a certain position would not consider Tech because of his System. I think they will, and do. As a Georgia grad and fan, It’s obvious Tech has standards and studies limits that will keep a lot of ball players away. Tech always seems to find and coach up diamonds in the rough, but it takes a lot of them and depth to win a NC. It will always be a up hill battle for Tech. Not bashing, just say’n.

Atlanta Jackets

August 18th, 2010
9:18 am

But this year we’ll have a QB drafted! Nesbot will be taken in the second round and will be a solid NFL quarterback.

JB

August 18th, 2010
9:21 am

Not unless he can show he can drop back and fire a pass to a receiver on a regular basis. I hope Nesbit does get drafted. A great guy, player and a state of Georgia guy. I hope he looks at Hines Ward as an example of what he can become in the NFL.

lucky21

August 18th, 2010
9:23 am

well dannyboy if CPJ can find the next tracy ham(who btw is a CFB hall of famer) then
I think that could change.

destin dawg

August 18th, 2010
9:26 am

Johnson came in at Ga. Southern after Chris Hatcher ( friend of my son ) from Valdosta… had a good program in place all ready so all Johnson had to do was coach no big recruiting turn around was necessary…. at navy I don’t know how much recruiting is done ??? Bottom Line: he needs to start getting some good players of his own ?? Good luck in all of ‘em but one !!!

Dawg82

August 18th, 2010
9:28 am

lucky21 ..where did Tracy Ham play pro ball?

Dan

August 18th, 2010
9:28 am

All very fair comments, JB.

Teck Sucks

August 18th, 2010
9:28 am

“Nesbitt will be drafted in the second round” ???

Nesbitt will be an undrafted free agent, AT BEST, unless he immediately shows that he is willing and able to change positions. Even then he is looking at the 4th round or worse. He will never take a snap at QB in the NFL, except in the wildcat formation.

Tech82

August 18th, 2010
9:28 am

I am a HUGE Josh Nesbitt fan but I can’t see him playing QB in the NFL unless he has grown a lot as a passer during the off season. He is a stellar athlete and I could see him being drafted but not as a QB. I think the earlier comparison to Hines Ward is a good one.

gt45

August 18th, 2010
9:31 am

Blablabla-you gag fans are idiots. The more exposure Tech gets, the more doors come open. Kids want to play for a winner, and there is no coach more driven to win than CPJ. But you guys keep telling us why we can’t recruit, win titles, and win championships! Go Jackets and long live the Good Word!

beauvighn

August 18th, 2010
9:32 am

Destin Dawg…you have been in the sun too long….Johnson did not follow Hatcher at Ga. Southern…Paul Johnson was coaching at Ga. Southern when Chris Hatcher was a gleam in two teenagers eye in the back of a 65′ camaro…

And Yes…you do have to recruit at Navy

Dan

August 18th, 2010
9:33 am

destin dawg – Chris Hatcher was the head coach at Georgia Southern starting in 2007. And he as since been let go.

Dan

August 18th, 2010
9:34 am

Which makes him the exact same as many UGA quarterbacks, Tech Sucks.

Paddy

August 18th, 2010
9:35 am

Danny boy…qb at Tech may not ever fit the NFL mold. But getting a good QB at Tech should never be a problem for CPJ. A Tech QB is a human hightlight reel!

Rod

August 18th, 2010
9:38 am

destin dawg
“Johnson came in at Ga. Southern after Chris Hatcher ( friend of my son ) from Valdosta… had a good program in place all ready so all Johnson had to do was coach no big recruiting turn around was necessary…. “…Chris Hatcher did not start coaching at Georgia Southern until 2007. Paul Johnson replaced Tim Stowers in 1997 after Georgia Southern came off of it’s first losing season. So yes CPJ did have to do some recruiting.

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:39 am

just making the obvious point that there are just as many, if not more, uga haters on the tech blog as there are the other way around.

Tuck Fech

August 18th, 2010
9:44 am

The only way Tech will succeed in the recruiting war is for UGA to simply disappear.

St. Clarrkston

August 18th, 2010
9:45 am

Why don’t you and Paul get a room!

Bromariyus Thomas

August 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Johnson won’t have a problem getting the recruits we need. Just because we aren’t going to ever be USC or Florida doesn’t mean that we won’t get good recruits. The fact is, every year I went to Tech, we had a first round NFL draft pick. We are taking high school players and developing them into NFL players, which should be proof enough for any high school recruit.

Ted

August 18th, 2010
9:52 am

Dawg82 – Tracy Ham played 13 years in the Canadian Football League, and is in their Hall of Fame with 40,000+ passing yards – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracy_Ham

JB

August 18th, 2010
9:53 am

Mr. Thomas, Georgia had the Number 1 pick at QB in the NFL ( bash Stafford if you like, but I’d say the NFL and 60 million dollars later, they know what they’re doing) and we were lousy. How many titles did Calvin Johnson win ya’ll? Stafford won us NONE.

JB

August 18th, 2010
9:57 am

Tracy Ham owes Paul Johnson everything in his life he has to him. I loved watching him and that team play at Southern. Tracy’s training at Southern was perfect for the CFL. I hope Tracy is financially set because of it.

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
9:58 am

I am Nesbitt’s biggest fan, but he will not play QB in the NFL.

Even if he was a great passer, he is only 6′0″ tall.

Tell me how many other NFL starting QBs are under 6′2″…I can think of one…Drew Brees. And he is probably the most accurate passer in the league.

Nesbitt isn’t nearly as bad a thrower as many make him out to be, but he is not great either.

I love the Hines Ward comparison…I have actually used that many times to describe his NFL chances to my friends.

He is quick, strong, and not afraid to hit. I think he could be a very good slot receiver at the next level.

Dawg82

August 18th, 2010
9:59 am

Ted …thanks that is what I thought. There is a huge difference in caliber of athlete between the CFL and the NFL IMOA

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:05 am

I could not care less if we ever win “recruiting championships.” We probably never will, as Tech is just not as attractive as schools with more diverse (or in the case of many high school players, easier) curricula and set in “college town” atmospheres.

As long as Johnson wins, the recruiting doesn’t matter.

He’s won 20 games in his first two seasons when most (if not all) “experts” thought he would fail.

GIVE ME A BREAK

August 18th, 2010
10:07 am

UGA, it’s been 30 long years. Just what exactly are ya’ll so proud of?

David

August 18th, 2010
10:08 am

@JB your first comment may have been the most respectful I’ve seen from a dawg fan. Per today’s Mark Bradley column on Favre, “my default dislike position has been reset.”

And re: your 9:53 comment about Stafford: measuring a program by National Championships is a fool’s errand. There are a few elite programs that have had a good run but inevitably they’re exposed for the tradeoffs they had to make in integrity (e.g. USC) and other values, such as properly spelling your opponent’s name on the tickets (e.g. Alabama vs. Miss St). Don’t get me wrong: I *want* GT to win a NC. But I don’t want to be Alabama.

Paddy

August 18th, 2010
10:09 am

Dawg82…your question was, where did Hamm play pro ball. Asked and answered

Keith

August 18th, 2010
10:09 am

I find it very interesting that all you GA fans are talking about Tech, CPJ and Tech’s recruiting. Have you become bored with NCAA violations, arrests of your AD, the fact that you haven’t won a championship of any kind in almost a decade, or that the Gym Dawgs are a better product than your football team. One thing is true, you don’t have to have a highly ranked recruiting class to win a conference championship.

Dawg82

August 18th, 2010
10:10 am

Paddy …glad you could see that ……….

Tech

August 18th, 2010
10:11 am

Tech never had an NFL QB even when we were running a pro style offense. Might as well run something that you can be successful at. The NFL will find you no matter what school or system you play in, too bad kids don’t realize this at a younger age. Check out the NFL rosters, besides the few superstars, the entire rosters are kids people never even heard about in college.

Burdell

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

Give destin dawg a break….the poor guy thinks that Texas A&M was a better team than Iowa last year.

That still puts a smile on my face…you can’t teach ignorance.

Dawg82

August 18th, 2010
10:12 am

Keith ….2005 is not almost a decade

Jack this

August 18th, 2010
10:16 am

NESBITT will play in the nfl, if you do not like it too bad

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:20 am

David…. it’s the new me…….I decided to quit bashing on Friday, August. 13th….. Go Jackets. except for you know when…..

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:23 am

JB generally goes back and forth between being a level-headed, reasonable, pleasant guy and a total idiotic homer jackass…

Like most of the rest of us…

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:25 am

Amen ramble……but I’m going to everything i can to just talk football

Burdell

August 18th, 2010
10:25 am

Good call Ramble…I, for one, try to be civil and level-headed but then I snap when I read some vitriol spewed from the lunatic fringe.

Here’s to both teams representing our fine state in our respective conferences…save the Good Old-Fashioned Hate for after Thanksgiving!

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:26 am

Me too JB…usually the only reason I turn to the jerk side is because of some junk spouted by one of the few who is always a homer jackass…of which GA and Tech both have our fair share

Bryan G.

August 18th, 2010
10:29 am

I hate to be a nit-picker, but PJ didn’t recruit Nesbitt or any of the guys drafted this past April from the trade school on north ave.

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:29 am

The junk will still be on here…in heavy doses, but i grew tired of it. I think with the season getting closer, I ‘m just ready to talk football.

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:34 am

Right on JB…good luck to UGA until late November

No, you’re right, Bryan G…but look at the recruiting rankings (if those are what you think really determine quality)…Johnson’s have been about as good as Gailey’s best season.

Mostly three star guys with a handful of four stars thrown in…I am very excited about this group of freshmen coming in this year, particularly on defense…we got some great players in the secondary and on the D-line.

Like I said, Tech will never lead in recruiting rankings, but if Johnson wins with them, what does it matter?

Another point…Nesbitt was ranked about the same as Jordan Luallen, who will be a redshirt freshman this year…though he actually hasn’t been as impressive (so far) as some of our other guys who were not ranked as highly.

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:35 am

By the way…..there is another “JB” Georgia guy on these blogs. He ALWAYS signs off at the bottom HBTD……………….That is not me !!

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:36 am

The other thing, JB, is that I really think most of the “lunatic fringe” are actually fans of the teams they are downing…just trying to stir up stuff. The rest who actually think their own team is unbeatable, and everyone else sucks, are most likely 13 year old kids.

RambleOn84

August 18th, 2010
10:37 am

Yet another problem with anonymous blogs…I have been impersonated many times too.

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:39 am

I’m also worried a ” hater from anywhere or any school” will see this and high jack my handle and spew hate…..I will just disappear from the blogs for a while if that happens…..

JB

August 18th, 2010
10:41 am

I wish the AJC would lock out post except what matched your Email from the beginning.