Incoming Tech receivers will get a shot

Greetings-

A word on wide receivers, a note about Paul Johnson (and his players) earning a notable achievement and one short note about a signee.

If I had to choose the most likely position where you’ll see true freshmen make the field this fall and even make a notable contribution, it would be wide receiver. Not a bold prediction, I realize, as it was one of the weakest spots last fall. Second, it’s one of the easier positions for players to step in quickly. Third, I think Johnson likes the group he has coming in.

Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton return as starters with Daniel McKayhan, Jon Lockhart and Jeremy Moore are backups. The latter three have a combined two career catches. Yikes.

I asked Johnson Tuesday at the season preview event in Macon if Melton and Hill have considerable separation in the competition.

“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “They ended the spring as starters, but I think that’s a position where we’ve got a chance to see some young freshmen play.”

Of the group as a whole, Johnson said, “They’ve got to be way more consistent. There’s not many areas we couldn’t improve and do better.”

Jeff Greene and Darren Waller go 6-4, 200 and 6-5, 204, respectively. Corey Dennis, recruited as an athlete, will get a shot at wide receiver, as well. He’s 6-2, 205. They’ll presumably start working in the player-organized 7-on-7 sessions over the summer when they enroll.

Johnson rated No. 4 for APR score

Brett McMurphy at cbssports.com ranked the 120 FBS coaches by their average APR (academic progress rate) score. Johnson tied for fourth, behind only Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Navy’s Ken Niumatolo (who was promoted after Johnson was hired at Tech).

Johnson’s 980 average, which was tied with Rutgers and coach Greg Schiano, is out of a possible 1,000. Johnson’s score includes his years at Navy. But his average for his first two full years at Tech (09-10 is the most recent year for which there are APR scores) is actually higher than his Navy average. Chan Gailey’s average was 954.

APR scores are based on eligibility, retention and graduation rates.

If you’re wondering, and I know you are, Mark Richt’s average is 972, 11th overall and highest in the SEC. Georgia scored a perfect 1,000 in 09-10. (I wonder if this might prompt some posts comparing the schools’ curriculums…)

You can dig around for yourself on the NCAA website. My thanks to Tech sports information maven Dean Buchan for tweeting about the rankings.

Here are the scores for the ACC, with overall ranking (As with Johnson, the scores also include the coaches’ previous schools, which is why, for instance, David Cutcliffe is not higher than you’d expect.)

1. Dabo Swinney, Clemson 988

4. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech 980

7. Frank Spaziani, Boston College 978

8. David Cutcliffe, Duke 976

13. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest 969

29. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State 959

30. Mike London, Virginia 958

33. Butch Davis, North Carolina 956

41. Randy Edsall, Maryland 951

(tie) Tom O’Brien, N.C. State 951

59. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech 943

83. Al Golden, Miami 931

Golden undrafted

This escaped my attention until I read a little about the signing class, but defensive back Jamal Golden was pegged as a potential early-round pick in the major league draft, held earlier this month. One scouting website even named him the top high school prospect in Alabama. It obviously led to some consternation that he’d get drafted high and take a pass on college football, as Tech signee Jake Skole did last year.

However, presumably because he was so vocal about his intention to play in college, Golden went undrafted, so no worries about him not making it to fall camp. At last check, he also plans to play baseball for Tech.

51 comments Add your comment

Who cares (the orginal)

June 16th, 2011
10:55 am

Dare I say 1st

Who cares (the orginal)

June 16th, 2011
10:56 am

I would say the taller WRs should help the passing game with not having to be as accurate, but Hill is 6-4.

Go Jackets!!!

dumb nerds

June 16th, 2011
11:13 am

who’s gonna run the high school offense? you looked good against air force.

BIG BEE

June 16th, 2011
11:20 am

DUMB NERDS, you didn’t look good agains’t anyone!!!

Jacket Backer

June 16th, 2011
11:43 am

Thanks for the updates Ken and GO Jackets!!

fan of shorter passes

June 16th, 2011
11:50 am

any of the new guys adept at catching a punt?

collegeballfan

June 16th, 2011
11:54 am

“who’s gonna run the high school offense?”

My money is on Aaron Murray, after all he is the returner.

311GTFan

June 16th, 2011
11:57 am

BIG BEE did that include the game where Tech hung 500 yards against Georgia? Silly Redneck…stay off the computer and get back to your highway rest stop security job!

Jacket Man

June 16th, 2011
11:58 am

Ken; Thanks for your (typical) great reporting on the Jackets. It’s a shame you can’t keep some of the trash off the site so we can enjoy your work even more. ;)

Oldjr

June 16th, 2011
12:06 pm

It gets me how fast a Uga fans responds to a GT blog. Guess they don’t have anything better to do than
Read about a school they hate

between the lines

June 16th, 2011
12:16 pm

311GTfan, 500 yards or 5000 the only thing that counts is the score,Moral victories don’t count.

JM

June 16th, 2011
12:34 pm

Glad to have Jamal on the team. He’ll be a great addition.

Congrats to Coach Johnson for the rankings and his priority in the classroom.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
12:36 pm

Problem with this is the freshmen receivers are usually busy learning the blocking schemes on non-pass plays. The key to them getting the starting nod would be learning that (and blocking very very well) without losing their touch on pass catching.

But, Go Jackets, just the same!

Bill Halasz

June 16th, 2011
12:36 pm

The plural of curriculum is curricula not curriculums. Additionally,the latin word grossly misused by the media and general public is alumni. The correct word forms are as follows: alumnus (singular masculine), alumni (plural masculine), alumna (singular feminine), alumnae (plural feminine), alumni (plural masculine and feminine). Please save these for future use so that you’re correct. I don’t want to sound sarcastic, but, these words are from freshman high school Latin courses. Examples: I am an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University. My wife is an alumna of Case Western Reserve University. We are alumni of Case Western Reserve University. My fraternity brother and I are alumni of Case Western Reserve University. My wife and her sorority sisters are alumnae of Case Western Reserve University. Hope this helps.

Spanky

June 16th, 2011
12:43 pm

“Johnson rated No. 4 for APR score”….. seriously, man?! (sigh)

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
12:52 pm

Spanky, good sigh or bad sigh? That #4 out of ~120 FBS coaches, mind you. Hoping that’s a good sigh. You’re aware that’s tough to do at any school, right? It means this coach is successful in making his players go to class. Sounds like they’re cracking down at Georgia on this too. Don’t you want the players in the college game to be good at their first job…earning a degree? I just don’t see a bad way to spin this.

Genius Jacket

June 16th, 2011
12:57 pm

It’s good to see that I am not the only pedantic Tech fan.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
1:02 pm

Well you know what Jeff Foxworthy (a Jacket) says…you might be pedantic if: you have used the word pedantic!

Go Jackets! I too, have to hold back my grammar enforcement. Education’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Delbert D.

June 16th, 2011
1:31 pm

Bill Halasz – I wonder if the British pronounce “alumnus” as “aluminius” (al-you-miny-ous).

JasonGT

June 16th, 2011
1:34 pm

I don’t know about freshman making a big impact at receiver. They have to learn blocking schemes for our “high school offense” which is about 80% of what a receiver does in the option. I predict Hill will be a good bit better this year, if not catching at least sealing off the corner for the A-backs

Techmate

June 16th, 2011
1:36 pm

My hope is that the incoming receivers will be more aggressive in “owning” the ball and that they can push the guys currently ahead of them. If they can handle the change in learning a new system as well as learning to be college students, this is a terriffic opportunity for some playing time. Go Jackets!

albanyfan

June 16th, 2011
1:48 pm

Consider the majos UGA players take they should be ranked higher!

Jacket Man

June 16th, 2011
2:06 pm

Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green contributed as Freshmen wide receivers.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
2:15 pm

Jacket Man, neither of them had to block for a spread option offense. It’s just a little bit different. That said, Bey Bey Thomas did it (and did it really well), so it definitely can be done. I honestly hope it doesn’t HAVE to be a freshman.

Ken Sugiura

June 16th, 2011
2:28 pm

thanks, all, for the kind words, and thanks for the grammar lesson, bill. my all-lower-caps style must drive you BANANAS!!!
and, to borrow from my colleague mark bradley, kudos (or is that kuda?) to who cares.

BS Patrol

June 16th, 2011
2:29 pm

Haw Haw!! Good one albanyfan!

Ken Sugiura

June 16th, 2011
2:30 pm

for what it’s worth, Stephen Hill also played (and started one game) as a true freshman. it’s possible.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
2:49 pm

I see your reality, Ken, and augment it with my own ideas.

RamblinRecluseRoad

June 16th, 2011
2:58 pm

CPJ always blames the players instead of blaming his passless offense. It is his offense that needs to get better, conforming to the winners’ offenses which use shotguns alot. To get better at receiving, they need to line up in a shotgun, pass some crawl before you can walk short passes, perhaps to running backs running out of the backfield, and try to increase the pass yardage into long bombs. Vad Lee is the long bomb expert. The player talent is there, but the offensive coordinator talent is not. Look at how complex Auburn’s and Oregon’s downfield shotguns were in nat champ game last year, not needing to send it to the sidelines first prior to taking it down toward the goal line like Tech does. Also, Tech uses the color black in uniform selection as a weapon against their own team, completely disregarding or not knowing about what the head of the alumni association said in the “Tech Topics” when he said “black is out” as a uniform color. If some alum like me expresses this, then the team deliberately wears black in defiance of what the uniform code is at Tech as far as alumni are concerned. I’ve noticed that when Tech wears black or bw combos, meaning black, they lose alum support and thus lose the games. They have to have alum support to win, and they keep trying to wear this bw integrated look, trying to dabble in black, which is one of Georgia’s colors, and they can’t do it. Gee, does anybody recall when Larry Csonka wore black high tops as a running back for the Dolphins? Black shoes and boots are ok for Tech because they are traditional, and the black ends there moving upward on a player’s image, not including black pin stripes and/or numbers, which are ok. Otherwise “black is out”. Please discontinue trying to give Tech an integrated look for uniforms. We don’t mind an integrated student body, but we do mind integrated uniforms.

Tech Fan

June 16th, 2011
3:04 pm

Thanks for the weird rant RamblinRecluseRoad :)

All I care about for the receivers is to block the s*&%t out of someone.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
3:06 pm

Recluse, where to begin? Coach Johnson has shouldered PLENTY of the blame after games. He puts it on the payers when it IS their fault and admits where he needs to change things.

As for passing – say what you will. He’s gonna run his offense. He’ll pass when he has players that can toss ‘em and catch ‘em (and what coach wouldn’t?)

As for black on the uniforms – what? Do you care THAT MUCH what the players wear? You’re willing to threaten to pull your support over some fabric?! Sheesh…

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
3:08 pm

Ken,
Correct me if I am wrong. I thought Moore was out all year with an injury last season, and is Chris Jackson not also competing to get back on the team as a WR?
Any information on McCoy and his condition, I have also read very little about Williams and his chances of seeing d-line rotation.

Ken Sugiura

June 16th, 2011
3:12 pm

juvenal – forgot to (try to) answer your question. i haven’t looked at it yet much, but i can tell you that the AA is projecting to have a net loss of $700,000 for fiscal year 2011, which ends June 30. It’s been a little less the past couple years. lower-than-projected ticket sales and the “basketball transition,” as it was termed, were the primary factors. it appears the new espn money, though, should have tech in the black (sorry, recluse) in years to come.

Ken Sugiura

June 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

ramblin – you are right about moore. and, yes, chris jackson, assuming all goes well through the summer, will compete. i neglected to mention him. i’ll see what i can find out about the other stuff.

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
3:14 pm

Recluse,
Most of the passing game was short yardage last year with bombs tried and WRs dropping them. How do you think O. Smith was the second leading reciever? With both Washington and Days lacking the arm strength for the long ball I expect to see more short passes and quick sideline strikes. The season will probably not be pretty. I mainly want to see defensive progress throughout the year and the o-line to progress.

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
3:19 pm

Ken one last thing. Any word on punt/kickoff returners? I would expect Bostic to be in the mix and somebody electric is REALLY needed there.

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
3:24 pm

Recluse, I may have responded in a way that made no sense (but turnabout is fair play, as they say). Are you referring to the away game pants with the dark areas at the hip? Those areas were NAVY. The only black on Tech’s uniforms came in the Orange Bowl…and I doubt it was the reason any alumni pulled support (do alumni do any REAL cheering anyway?)

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
3:42 pm

Ramblin Man, didn’t Tony Zenon “return” (they don’t play it all the way out) a few on T-day? He looks pretty electric. Really fast.

Jerry

June 16th, 2011
4:29 pm

RamblinRecluseRoad:

Wait, What?

Most random post ever

kingster

June 16th, 2011
4:30 pm

Please stop UGA fans from bashing TECH’s blog

Tech Fan Since 1950

June 16th, 2011
4:37 pm

Congratulations to Coach Johnson and Coach Richt. I know we as fans want to win all of our games but it nice to know that these two coaches are doing it the right way. I know I am old school, but you go to college to get an education and the football experience can be a great part of it. Student athletes should be students first and athletes second. We all know the roster playing fields across the nation are not all level, but I think the state of Georgia can be proud that we have outstanding head coaches setting the proper examples.

superDawg

June 16th, 2011
4:43 pm

311 you act like tek won that game.No you lost good try at your moral victory.

Dawg-Hatin' Jacket

June 16th, 2011
4:44 pm

Congrats CPJ on the high ranking.

Regarding the punt return game, let’s just find somebody who can catch the stupid ball. We’d have another bowl win if we had that.

GT-'93

June 16th, 2011
4:45 pm

A certain freshman better get a significant “shot” at the QB position, or it’s going to be one LOOOONG, MISERABLE SEASON….

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
5:24 pm

ManUp,
You are right, I forgot and could not get his name in my head.

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
5:27 pm

Dawg-Hatin’ Jacket,
That’s why I think the incoming freshman have a shot at making the starting roster. Daniel McKayhan muffed two punts in the bowl game so where as I hope he has improved I do not have high hopes for him or Hill.

fan of shorter passes

June 16th, 2011
5:35 pm

looks like the basketball team will be without Oliver…too bad!

BankerDawg

June 16th, 2011
5:35 pm

Looks like a couple of big, strong guys coming in for you guys at the WR position. I have heard from a couple of my Tech buddies who follow high school ball that the Waller kid could be something special.

If you guys get anyone even approaching the D. Thomas level, you will be almost impossible to stop…keeping in mind of course you ran up over 500 yards of offense against us last year with ZERO passing game, which is a little scary in its own right. I am still convinced that if you guys don’t turn over the ball last year, you beat us by 2 TDs…BUT, you did turn it over and lost the game, as I remind those same Tech buddies.

You will be fine. I expect a big improvement in your record over last year.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM! WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

Erin Steele

June 16th, 2011
6:01 pm

Very impressed that Coach Johnson rated No. 4 for APR score! Well done! CoachWatcher has a lot more information like this… http://www.CoachWatcher.com

let's go Jackets

June 19th, 2011
11:05 pm

Here is one of Stephen Hill’s completed passes as a freshman so freshman cab get the job done

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlddyNbuAm4