UPDATED: Attaochu to return for senior season

Updated, 4;30 p.m. – Georgia Tech outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu will stay in school for his senior season. He made the announcement Monday afternoon.

“There’s still things that have to be done,” Attaochu said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to come back and be a leader on this team.”

Attaochu had drawn attention to his situation by entering his name to the NFL draft advisory board in December and not offering indication of his intentions until Monday. Attaochu said the board advised him that he had the potential to be drafted.

He called it a pretty difficult decision, one that he arrived on Saturday after talking it over with his family back home in Washington, D.C. The opportunities to develop as a player and teammate and continue towards his degree were certainties that outweighed the lure of being able to start his NFL career a year ahead of schedule and the uncertainty of not knowing who Tech’s next defensive coordinator will be.

“It was tough,” he said, “but at the end of the day I feel like I’m making the best decision right now.”

Attaochu led Tech in sacks and tackles for loss this season for the second year in a row with 10 and 12, respectively. Attaochu played with more production in the latter half of the season. He recorded eight of his sacks in the final six games of the season.

With Attaochu in the fold, Tech will have 16 starters returning for the 2013 season.

Attaochu is recovering from the dislocated elbow he suffered in the Sun Bowl. He wore a sling for a week, he said, but was out of it Monday.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

39 comments Add your comment


January 7th, 2013
3:41 pm


January 7th, 2013
4:01 pm


January 7th, 2013
4:04 pm

good call, mr attaochu.

another 12-14 games to show people what you’ve got.

i predict big things for georgia tech in 2013.


January 7th, 2013
4:10 pm

Like I said, he needs another year. The defense is starting to look better and with another year under his belt, he will go much higher in the draft.


January 7th, 2013
4:21 pm

just beat uga in everything

Not Disppointed

January 7th, 2013
4:27 pm

I my humble opinion, it was an excellent decision! Way to Attaochu! You want regret it! I am expecting big things out of Jackets this fall!

GT Falcon

January 7th, 2013
4:28 pm

Maybe he knows something about the DC hire that we don’t? Could be a name big enough for him to stay back for his senior year? Whatever it may be, we’re glad to have you back in white and gold. Go Jackets!


January 7th, 2013
4:42 pm

Excellent choice Mr Attaochu.. Get that degree!!!!!


January 7th, 2013
4:46 pm

Good news for sure. Now get that TECH degree Sneezy, don’t want to be messing around with that later on in life.

Need Holton and I. Johnson to get healthy, and a couple of the RSFrosh to step up on the D-Line, and 2013 may just be alright.

Jim 70

January 7th, 2013
4:58 pm

The nfl path will be there next year. A degree from gt is great back-up. Plus once your nfl career is over and you want to coach, many schools require it. And if you want to go into a business profession, it is critical. Excellent choice and looking forward to seeing you on the gt field next year.

SSI Oldtimer

January 7th, 2013
5:03 pm

A tough leader coming back for the final season is more important for the defense than a high-level recruit who is unproven. Nice move for our top defensive playmaker!

Tech Fan Since 1950

January 7th, 2013
5:32 pm

Great news! Great choice to work even more toward that degree which will help manage all that future money and security from the NFL. Ken, you might as well put those Georgia beat writers and colleagues of yours—Mark Bradley, Jeff Schultz, Michael Carvell and Chip Towers—on alert. I have been saying for all of 2012 that 2013 is the year for the Yellow Jackets. The players have the talent and the depth, they just need to work hard during the off season and stay focused game to game. Go Jackets!


January 7th, 2013
5:51 pm

Great!!!! We need him! Go Jackets!!!

Like, where else...

January 7th, 2013
6:00 pm

….did he think he would be playing next year? This was a no brainer, ’cause he ain’t no Stephen Hill…

Road Scholar

January 7th, 2013
6:10 pm

I agree with helluvaengineer above….GET YOUR DEGREE.and then play pro ball. Have something to fall back on..that will open more doors !

now that Giff is availalble

January 7th, 2013
6:15 pm

Chuck Oliver.Net: ACC, C-USA and SEC college football news, opinion and analysis by a contributor network that spans the South.
College Football Rumors

What’s Next for Georgia Tech? Choose Giff (Smith)

October 3, 2012 | 8:16 PM Comments: Comments Off
By Joseph Wyatt

After a crushing loss like the one Georgia Tech endured last Saturday the Yellow Jacket nation and local media have been taking stock of where the program is, where it should be and whether it can get there under the current management. Calls for the head of Al Groh and now even Paul Johnson have become louder. The same arguments that were made under former athletic director Dave Braine resurface that GT has a limitation and the type of success (or mediocrity as it were) under Chan Gailey is about where this program can expect to be. I’m here to tell you it’s a false premise, drastic changes are not needed and one only needs to do some quick investigation to find where things went off track and what can be done to maximize this program’s potential once again.
Paul Johnson has been as successful a coach in his 5 seasons at GT as anybody not named John Heisman, Bobby Dodd or Bobby Ross. So cutting him loose is an irrational option. But his success has tailed off since the end of the 1st half in Blacksburg in November 2010. You’ll remember that’s the moment Josh Nesbitt’s career ended at GT. That would seem to give credence to the argument that Johnson won with Gailey’s players. However, that ignores the majority of Gailey’s tenure where the program’s mediocrity was only matched by the mediocrity of the players recruited to it. But “what about Calvin Johnson?” you would say. It is well known that Calvin wanted to be an engineer and was from the Atlanta area. So GT had a great chance of getting him regardless of who was coaching there. Well then, “what about Jonathan Dwyer, Roddy Jones, Morgan Burnett, Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas?” you’d say. But I don’t consider that group of players to be Gailey recruits. I’ll come back to this in a moment.
One of the strengths of GT’s defense in recent times was the defensive line. It was not that long ago that GT fielded a defensive line that contained four future NFL players. DE’s Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan along with DT’s Vance Walker and Daryl Richard were a force. Morgan was the last one left in 2009 and he was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. But GT hasn’t developed a difference maker on the defensive line since.
So what do these two things have in common? Giff Smith. Smith was the defensive line coach from 2004-2009. So that all time line I mentioned above, along with All-ACC performers like Eric Henderson, Joe Anoai and Adamm Oliver were coached and developed by Smith. In addition, Smith became the recruiting coordinator for GT in 2006. By his second recruiting season, he brought in the single greatest recruiting class in GT history. Smith had great relationships in the state of Georgia among the high schools and knew how to create a sense of community among the recruits. That’s why I don’t call those guys Gailey’s recruits.
In January 2010, Giff Smith decided to take the defensive line coaching job with the Buffalo Bills, reuniting with Gailey. What event immediately preceded his departure? The hiring of Al Groh as defensive coordinator. I have no idea if Smith was ever interviewed or considered for the job or if he didn’t see himself as a fit to coach DL in a 3-4 scheme. But I do know Smith wants to be a head coach one day. Getting a coordinator job would seem to have been a logical next step for him.
That was the moment GT lost its best recruiter and its best position coach. Who knows maybe the past two years would have been different. Paul Johnson has lifted GT’s offense to as high a level as it has ever been. The offense, for all its built in disadvantages, is one that can continue to succeed in the ACC. So I think he has earned the right to remain head coach here. But wouldn’t it be interesting to see where GT could take its program if they could once again marry Johnson’s offense with Giff Smith’s recruiting and ability to develop NFL quality defensive players? I seem to recall a local team that had some success hiring an NFL defensive line coach, but the team escapes me at this point. Smith worked with Johnson at Georgia Southern, so presumably they have a relationship beyond the two years overlap at GT. In my opinion this is a realistic idea that could reinvigorate the program. We saw what the combination did in 2008-2009. I’d choose Giff.


January 7th, 2013
6:52 pm

JA will be a beast next year……..will end up being drafted in the 1st or 2nd round after a stellar 2013 season!

GT will end the next two seasons in the Top 25…..remember that you heard these predictions from GT GRAD in January 2013!!

1 4 GT

January 7th, 2013
6:58 pm

So glad Sneezy has decided to return for his senior year. Go get ‘em young man. Work hard in class & on the field, have fun as a young studly college ball player and do well in life. You won’t regret it. Work hard enough at football & be a 1st round pick for the NFL!


January 7th, 2013
7:03 pm

When is it a good thing to return 16 starter that were 7-7 and lost to MTSU by 21 points?


January 7th, 2013
7:07 pm

Hard to over estimate the impact that this will have on next years D. JA is the GT pass rush. We would have routed USC if he hadn’t got injured. The D will definitely be improved next year, regardless who is DC.


January 7th, 2013
7:09 pm

Tech will be lucky to win 5 games nex year!


January 7th, 2013
7:10 pm

He may have gone in this years draft 5 or 6th round. Good decision to return he may move up to a 3 or 4th round pick. Honorable mention all ACC aren’t going in the upper rounds.

The Anti Insta-Toot

January 7th, 2013
7:10 pm

Attaochu to return for senior season. Who cares?


January 7th, 2013
7:23 pm

Rivals is reporting Kelly is leaving GT for FSU. We must have offered DC to someone else.


January 7th, 2013
7:26 pm

bulldogs suck and so do their fans.


January 7th, 2013
8:17 pm

@chas_jacket – post the link. can’t find the story.


January 7th, 2013
9:54 pm

Where was he going to go? The lingerie league?

Atomic Dog

January 7th, 2013
10:05 pm

Paul in NH

January 7th, 2013
10:39 pm

This is a smart move for Attaochu. Rather than being a low round pick, he has an opportunity to improve his draft position for 2014. If you are a JR LB who is likely to be picked in the first 2 rounds you coe out, otherwise you stay.


January 7th, 2013
10:40 pm

Good story. You will do well young man.

I love the optimism from the fans. We can all sit here and worry, like most of our fellow Falcon brothers are doing now, or enjoy the ride. I too think Tech can be really good next year. Just make the right hire at DC and ride the momentum from the bowl win.


January 7th, 2013
10:55 pm

Man, we better buckle our chinstraps down at the high school stadium by the Varsity now!


January 7th, 2013
11:19 pm

One Dawg fan with class(Dawglasville) mixed in with the typical classless hicks we have to endure day in and day out in this state. Some things never change.


January 8th, 2013
7:22 am

Anti Insta-Toot……….who cares if JA returns, you say. Well, GT fans on the GT blog seems like an answer that would make alot of sense and should be obvious to most football fans. Except you, I guess.

Go Dawgs


January 8th, 2013
8:56 am

A bit of good news for GT that JA will be returning. Still curious about the departure of Coach Kelly. I figured he had the inside track for DC. I guess not.

Freddie Blassie

January 8th, 2013
10:32 am

It is rare that in my several years on this planet that I have a good idea, so I offer this incredibly bad idea for Coach Johnson:

hire the tanned and rested Jerry Glanville as defensive coordinator! He’s back in Atlanta, folks.

Glanville was the freshman coach at Georgia Tech “I’d tell ‘em the Regency Hyatt House was the freshman dorm.”
Glanville was a great recruiter: “Georgia Tech has the finest Forestry School in the nation!”

Is Glanville as crazy as a March hare? Definitely!

Would there be constant NCAA scrutiny? Oh yeah!

Would he and CPJ get along? Of course not!

Does Glanville have baggage? Think Cleopatra.

Can he recruit? Can he coach some D? Check and doublecheck!

Would Glanville be a distraction? From what, giving up 40 points a game? It would be a welcome one.

What’s the worst thing that could happen (other than lose eleven games and get the death penalty)?
That’s what I’m talking about.

That would be more fun than smearing Gorgeous George’s mascara down at the old Municipal Auditorium on a Saturday night!


January 8th, 2013
11:35 am

It is time to name a DC!!!!

Ga Tech Old Timer

January 8th, 2013
11:47 am

AWESOME!!! We need more leaders on our team. It’s not enough to have leadership in the coaching staff – it’s absolutely necessary to have players who will step into the leadership role as well. JA is a perfect example of what a leader should be and how he should command the respect of his fellow team mates through his relentless play on the field in practice and on game days – and off the field through his personal life at school and in the community. Go Jackets!


January 8th, 2013
1:06 pm

Attaochu!!!!!!! God bless you!

where have you gone bobby ross

January 9th, 2013
10:21 pm

I don’t think much of uga, and I don’t think much of anybody that does…………..