Hope you’re well. I am working on a story about the ballyhooed 2007 recruiting class, which will play its final game Saturday. The lone remaining members of that class are A-back Roddy Jones, cornerback Michael Peterson, wide receiver Tyler Melton, defensive end Jason Peters and defensive tackle Logan Walls.
“We’re the last of the Mohicans,” Jones said Tuesday. “There’s not too many of us left. This is our swan song, this is our last one, so we want to go out on a high note.”
The class, you likely know, was considered one of the best in school history, if not the best. During recruitment, members of the class developed a camaraderie and decided to enroll at Tech together. I was looking through the paper’s electronic archives and found this quote from then-coach Chan Gailey just before signing day in Feb. 2007.
“What the guys in this recruiting class have talked about, and what we’ve tried to sell them is we are taking the next step to go compete at the highest level, for the championship, ” Gailey said. “They have taken that to heart. They believe that we can get there.”
He was right about the part about competing for championships. It just turned out to not be with him in charge.
“We came in here and we wanted to win a championship and we did that,” Jones said. “We wanted to put guys in the NFL and we’ve done that. Certainly, we are a class who also pride ourselves on graduating and the majority of us have done that as well. … We definitely have accomplished what we set out to.”
The class has spread wide. Defensive end Derrick Morgan, who turned down Ohio State and Penn State to play for Tech, was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft. Steven Threet, a quarterback, transferred to Michigan after Paul Johnson’s hiring, transferred again, to Arizona State, after Rich Rodriguez‘ hiring, and was a student assistant this season after concussions forced him out of the game. Linebacker Albert Rocker gave up his final year of eligibility to take a job with Microsoft. Safety Morgan Burnett won a Super Bowl last year with the Green Bay Packers. Wide receiver Willie White transferred to a junior college in Kansas and played his final two years at Missouri State. Saturday, Jones will leave Tech with the most starts in school history (it’ll be 52 Saturday), has begun work on his MBA and will see if he has a future in the NFL.
Counting the 2007 season, when several of the class members played as true freshmen, and extending through this year, they are 41-24. They’ll finish 1-4 against Virginia Tech and Georgia but 5-1 against Clemson and 4-1 against North Carolina. They won the 2009 ACC title. The one last item on the list is winning a bowl game. The class is 0-4 in bowl games.
Said Melton, “Put that cherry on top, and we’ll have our sundae.”