After further review, Tech had the No. 3 signing class of 2007

Roddy Jones, 3-star recruit, scores against an unknown opponent. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Roddy Jones, 3-star recruit, scores against a team wearing red. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

These are the kinds of where-are-they-nows I enjoy: Andy Staples of SI.com re-ranks the recruiting classes of 2007 on performance, as opposed to potential, and discovers … knock me over with a feather … Georgia Tech’s was really, really good.

A bit of history: Tech’s class of 2007 was rated 18th-best by Rivals.com. According to Rivals, the Jackets didn’t sign a single 5-star player that year. But when viewing that class today — and many of those players will play for Tech again next season — Staples rates it third behind Florida’s (which was indeed rated No. 1 back then and  included Joe Haden, Carlos Dunlap and the Pouncey twins) and Boise State’s (which was rated 68th but has yielded a three-year record of 36-4).

Staples on Tech’s class of ‘07:

“Chan Gailey signed a great class in 2007, only neither he nor anyone else realized just how good it could be. The Yellow Jackets brass fired Gailey after the 2007 season and brought in Paul Johnson, a coach who knew how to unlock the potential in [Josh] Nesbitt, [Jonathan] Dwyer and [Roddy] Jones. It didn’t hurt that this class also included [Morgan] Burnett and [Derrick] Morgan, two defenders who would have become stars under any coach.

“Who knows? Maybe Gailey, now coaching the Buffalo Bills, will draft one or both players in April so he can spend more time coaching them.”

You know the really weird part? It almost seems as if Gailey, who ran a pro-style offense, was signing players to fit into his successor’s spread option. Would Nesbitt, who runs better than he throws, have become a starter under Chan? Would Jones, who’s on the smallish side, ever have been more than a third-down back, as opposed to a starting A-back? (Dwyer’s not an issue: He’d have been a starting tailback had Gailey been allowed to stick around.)

Oh, and maybe you’re wondering about Georgia. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 9 according to Rivals in 2007; they didn’t make Staples’ top 10. Or his five honorable mentions.

Shameless plug: Andy McCollum, Georgia Tech’s new recruiting coordinator, talks about his job, the state and the Big Chicken.

202 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

February 17th, 2010
1:20 am

mmgtfan

February 17th, 2010
1:21 am

I’m like LSU. I’m better at night

gtgpd11

February 17th, 2010
1:22 am

First, I wish the AJC would continue to analyze recruiting classes after a couple of years. I guess that would not sell magazines though.

Mark Bradley

February 17th, 2010
1:24 am

Two for you in two days, mmgtfan. You’re in Sonny Clusters territory. Kudos!

Mark Bradley

February 17th, 2010
1:25 am

Do we sell magazines? Nobody tells me a thing.

Innocent Bystander

February 17th, 2010
1:46 am

Very interesting look back in time. I guess it should be no surprise that we will be taking quite the hit losing Dwyer, Thomas, Morgan & Burnett. But on the bright side, Roddy Jones will be playing baseball this season!

Seven

February 17th, 2010
1:49 am

I wish GT would schedule some bigger non conference games… next year’s home schedule is not much fun.

BPhil

February 17th, 2010
2:03 am

I think Roddy would have forced Chan to get him on the field more than just on third downs if Chan had stayed at Tech. Roddy might be undersized but he is a football player, and he can flat out play. My high school played his high school his senior year and they beat us because they got him the ball every play, and I mean every play. He must have gotten 40-50 touches that game and he was the sole reason they but us, him and him only. And we weren’t a pushover, either. We got to the second round of the state playoffs that year and beat Reshad Jones’ alma mater to get there, who’s team had won their region that year. And Reshad Jones couldn’t stop Roddy either, as made evident in the UGA-Tech game two seasons ago.

BPhil

February 17th, 2010
2:05 am

JacketFan86

February 17th, 2010
2:10 am

These are the things i like to see. Analyzing a class 3 years after the fact ALWAYS tells you more about that class…than say BEFORE they even play a down let alone have a practice! Thanks for the article mark! I expect you to continue putting these articles out there every year or at least telling us about someone elses article :-P

Bob in SF

February 17th, 2010
2:14 am

“Who knows? Maybe Gailey, now coaching the Buffalo Bills, will draft one or both players in April so he can spend more time coaching them.”
That’s a chilling line for a prospect who is interested in continuity; I give Chan 3 season tops before he joins the list of unloved Bills coaches not named Marv.

Bob in SF

February 17th, 2010
2:14 am

Maybe the Bills will hire Paul Johnson to replace him too.

JW

February 17th, 2010
4:05 am

Mark,

I’m starting to see rumblings on sites about the possibility of Tech rejoining the SEC if the Big12 winds up gettin ARK (with all of the Texas/Colorado talk). What do you make of this? Honestly, it’s interesting because tech has tons of SEC history.

Conyers Yellow Jacket

February 17th, 2010
4:47 am

Mark: Re. JW`s post: Gt fans better hope this never happens. If it did, GT would never be competitive over the long haul especially if the divisions were realigned and we were logically in the SEC East.The only major mistake Bobby Dodd ever made was taking GT out of the SEC and becoming an independent It was done because Tech thought it was so good that it would always go to major bowl games every year and not have to share bowl receipts. It backfired and we were lucky to get in the ACC a few years later. Bottom line: GT needs to stay put and try to become a more conventional team instead of having a one dimensional TO offense that was used in the 70`s and 80`s. Otherwise, even the ACC will have our number in a short time just as UGA and Iowa did last year.

JW

February 17th, 2010
5:07 am

Conyers,

I think you don’t respect Paul Johnson nearly enough. As a matter of fact you seem like a dog in disguise!

dagnabit

February 17th, 2010
5:31 am

Tech going back into the SEC sounds great to me . Tech vs. Auburn ; Tech vs. Tennessee every year. And how about Bobby Dodd’s proposal that Tech play Jawja in the first game of the football season and the last game of every season. Coach Dodd thought this would focus the nation’s attention on Georgia every year.

Alabama Jack

February 17th, 2010
6:33 am

Conyers, that is not why Dodd left the SEC. I was there covering the story. It was all about scholarships.

Jaime

February 17th, 2010
6:40 am

It takes the #3 class to beat the DAWGS about once in 25 years. LOL. Note: I’m not including the years cheats and plays ineligible players for example.

Gainesviille Dawg

February 17th, 2010
6:45 am

Funny – the last time I saw Tech’s #3 ranked Class of ‘07 they were trudging off their home field with 30-24 tattooed on their butts, courtesy of the Bulldogs’ un-ranked class. From there, they went on to stink up yet another bowl game.

Dr.Phil

February 17th, 2010
6:50 am

Gailey recruited very good players but what about Johnson’s players in the past? How many are in the NFL?

LMAO

February 17th, 2010
6:56 am

Say it ain’t so…I always thought the mutt’s had the #1 class always! Oh, sorry. Guess it is just the big head of the trailer trash fans they have.

option smoption

February 17th, 2010
6:57 am

1-2 Vs Dawgs. Great Class. What a homer, Bradley.

The Grinch

February 17th, 2010
7:02 am

2007…….2007………..oh yeah, Chan Gailey was the tech coach.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
7:10 am

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

toga

February 17th, 2010
7:13 am

Another missed tackle.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
7:14 am

Tech players are like fine wine. They improve over time.

georgia fans are like fine whine. And they are disproved over time!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

February 17th, 2010
7:15 am

i agree, don’t be shocked if the Bills select Dwyer or Morgan in the 1rst round- maybe Chan had it right all this time.

barr12

February 17th, 2010
7:20 am

PJ coached at GS and Navy. Navy guys don’t go pro right away due to military obligations. GS was IAA. They only guy I can think of is Adrian Petterson(not OK lore) in the late 90’s he made to the NFL.

Larry

February 17th, 2010
7:22 am

By the way…this is 2010.

Marv Albert

February 17th, 2010
7:24 am

Well played Bradley, pull my hair and spank my butt-your love for Gt is only exceeded by my desire for kinky sex…..YES!

collegeballfan

February 17th, 2010
7:27 am

I am not sure I would go to #3 on the list but that did turn out to be a good class. And this concept is what is needed in recruiting, judging a class after 3 or more years.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
7:32 am

collegeballfan

February 17th, 2010
7:27 am
I am not sure I would go to #3 on the list but that did turn out to be a good class. And this concept is what is needed in recruiting, judging a class after 3 or more years.

And if you really want to differentiate Tech from georgia, judge their graduation classes afetr 3 years. It’s like $70k-$35k.

Huh?

February 17th, 2010
7:36 am

Yellow Fuzz – Where did you get your facts?

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
7:42 am

Huh?

same place you do

GT

February 17th, 2010
7:50 am

Tech is the new generation of colleges that is in a perfect storm. TCU is another one. Located in a major metro area, in the heart of a football crazy region, with a black population that is maturing and wanting more out of life that these football factories and their fat bellied cigar chomping plantation mentality supporters have to offer. Why would you go to Georgia where the student body is in the 90s percent white, and the police lurk in the shadows waiting to arrest any minor violation and put his name and picture on the front page of the local newspaper like he was a rapist. You think Tech players has that much better character than Georgia players or is it the law enforcement here is a little more busy with real business unlike the Barney Fife group in Athens.

Now with all this players on their own ,like a Calvin Johnson migrate to Tech. A guy like Gailey looks like a go getter when we all know he wasn’t, but everybody wants to keep the stereotype of college football in Forrest Grump times where morons still got scholarships. With that and recruiters knowing they have independent thinker ,the phone doesn’t ring as much for a Rodney Jones as for a Caleb King who transferred to a private school to prep up for Georgia his senior year. There is an independent thinker, recruited somewhere in the middle of his high school career and shepherded to Georgia like one of that cult groups that serves koolaid. The one thing Georgia does at a national level is PR. Paul Johnson lets reality do his talking, Georgia spins it with help from every journalistic corner. Use to work before the world caught up with the learning curve. A black man today can be anything he wants why settle for less.

Herschel Talker

February 17th, 2010
7:51 am

Yellow Fuzz:

30-24. So suck on some of that.

Herschel Talker

P.S. Anyone heard from Saint Simons lately?

malibuGT

February 17th, 2010
7:56 am

ah well, when you look after the fact it isn’t just the recruiting talent, it’s coaching that has a big influence. As Staples noted, I don’t think some of those guys would’ve reached the same potential under Gailey as they did/are under CPJ. And that’s why our good friends in Athens are so bitter about their situation……

Reality Check

February 17th, 2010
7:57 am

This just in. #3 GT class of 2007 = 1-2 against UGA. By definition this makes UGA #1 or # 2 class?

Typical MB or JS column, always a last dig at UGA. Get over it Mark. This also just in. 30-24, final score from the flats.

flagboy?

February 17th, 2010
7:57 am

GT

Yes, the barney fife group in Athens. . . i guess they don’t have to deal with students running around with swords as often.

Your post is one of the dumbest i’ve ever read on here, tech backer or UGA backer. . . and that’s saying something.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
7:57 am

Herhsal Talker:

I will (in 2011) when you return to the Flats.

Meanwhile, 45-42! Swallow on some of that as we will return to your septic tank this fall. Hope you guys don’t get up and leave again before it’s over! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

shreveport

February 17th, 2010
7:58 am

that may be a good recruiting class but it is a shame though that they didn’t make it to the poulan weedeater bowl

Frank Ros

February 17th, 2010
8:01 am

“I’ve seen them both on film and in person and Eddie Lee Ivory was a far more complete running back than Hershel Walker”.

flagboy?

February 17th, 2010
8:05 am

Frank Ros

February 17th, 2010
8:01 am
“I’ve seen them both on film and in person and Eddie Lee Ivory was a far more complete running back than Hershel Walker”.
_______________________________________

I don’t think you’ve talked UGA fans into that trade just yet. . . Maybe pitch it to Wren.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
8:06 am

2007 recruiting classes (3 years later)

Georgia Tech (eight 4 star recruits) = BCS Orange Bowl
georgia (Tweleve 4 star recruits) = Shreveport

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

Reality Check

February 17th, 2010
8:07 am

Yellow Fuzz, how sad you are lving off of 2008. You are a one to talk about academics for atheletes. How many basketball players has GT recruited that you knew were leaving after one or two years? (Derrick Favors, Marbury, kenny Anderson, etc.) There is nothing wrong with it just do not sit back and through the academics card. If you prefer the crime infested campus on North Avenue to Athens then you are even more delusional than your posts.

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
8:07 am

Tech Recruits = fine wine
georgia fans = fine whine

GeoffDawg

February 17th, 2010
8:11 am

Agree with option smoption. Some good individual players but still just 1-2 against Georgia.

Huh?

February 17th, 2010
8:11 am

LoL… I didn’t list any facts. Apparently you didn’t either, since it sounds like you made that up. It’s funny that you list going to a BCS bowl as a major accomplishement. You forgot to mention who won that game. You’re funny…

Yellow Fuzz

February 17th, 2010
8:12 am

Reality Yeck
Do you really want to compare the intellect of past Tech vs Dog basketball players?
Talk about
D
E
L
U
S
I
O
N
A
L

GeoffDawg

February 17th, 2010
8:15 am

Yellow Fuzz, if you’re bringing wine to a football game, you need to relearn some tailgating fundamentals.