Ten at 10: On second thought, Tech’s 2007 class ranked No. 3 nationally

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Tech’s recruiting class of 2007 was originally ranked No. 18 in the country. But now it has been re-ranked and moved all the way up to No. 3. The 15-place jump was courtesy of SI.com’s Andy Staples, who has made it an annual tradition to re-rate recruiting classes after players have had a chance to show their stuff on the field (novel idea). He re-rates the classes three years later and he really likes what the Yellow Jackets did with that 2007 class. It was of course led by Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan and Josh Nesbitt and won the 2009 ACC Championship. To quote the former AJC intern Staples:

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 Nesbitt, Dwyer and Jones. It didn’t hurt that this class also included Burnett and 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.”

2. I know you’ll ask so I’ll go ahead and tell you: Georgia’s 2007 class, ranked No. 9 in the original Rivals’ ranking, did not make the re-calibrated Top 10. That’s as far down as Staples goes with it. In fairness it should be noted that the Bulldogs’ 2006 class earned the same re-ranking (No. 4) as their original ranking. That’s the class that included Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Reshad Jones, Asher Allen and Geno Atkins.

3. And speaking of hindsight recruiting analysis, the David Hale of the Macon Telegraph gets a gold star for his breakdown of Georgia’s classes over the last four years. Hale’s approach was to reassign the star ranking assigned to individual signees based on what they actually did/have done as Bulldogs (another novel idea, huh?).  Among Hale’s determinations were that, on average, you can expect a UGA player to perform on average about one star-rating less than he was advertised. And no matter what anybody says, it’s still better to sign 5-star prospects than it is 3-star guys.

4. Hale did a secondary analysis that broke down players’ performances by position and that one showed that certain positions were consistently under-performing. It’s probably not a coincidence that coaching changes were made the last two seasons at the three most under-performing positions: defensive end (Jon Fabris), linebacker (John Jancek) and wide receiver (John Eason).

5. Highly-touted South Carolina signee Victor Hampton was dismissed from his high school in Darlington, S.C., and will have to complete his education at an alternative school. The four-star defensive back was busted with alcohol in his locker and hidden in a restroom. Hampton previously was at Charlotte Independence High but reportedly left there due to discipline problems. At one time he was committed Florida before the Gators cooled on him. Nonetheless, it appears the Gamecocks are going to stick with him. Said South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson to The State newspaper: “He just did something stupid. … It wasn’t criminal. But it was dumb and he knows it. We hope he’ll learn from it and we can move on.” Not to be a stickler but isn’t underage possession a crime?

6. This is not exactly recruiting material but I found it a bit of a surprise that Matt Hayes of The Sporting News labeled Tech’s Demaryius Thomas as one of the NFL draft’s “most overrated” prospects. Wrote Hayes: “[Colt] McCoy and Tim Tebow are knocked for playing in a “system” but Thomas is a top 10 pick despite the fact he ran two routes — curl, go — in Tech’s option offense.” Ouch.

7. The Jackets hope to parlay a very good night in basketball into a very good future for the football team. Several of the state’s top football prospects were in attendance, according to Kelly Quinlan’s report at JacketsOnline.com. Included was Wilcox County quarterback/basketball prospect Nick Marshall, who spent the entire night sitting beside coach Paul Johnson, Quinlan reported. Also at Alexander Memorial Coliseum to witness the 68-51 Yellow Jackets victory were Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dickson, Pope offensive lineman Thomas O’Reilly and East Hall defensive end Sterling Bailey.

8. There was a really interesting exchange between former Georgia Bulldog and NFL player Phillip Daniels and UGASports.com subscribers on the “Dawgvent” this week. Daniels’ son is Davaris Daniels, a nationally-rated wide receiver prospect from Vernon Hills, Ill. It seems the elder Daniels does not feel his alma mater is showing his son enough love. He points out that his son does not yet have an offer from the Bulldogs, who have already offered two other wideouts, and generally feels they don’t give him the level attention he’s getting from other schools.

9. Thomas County Central defensive lineman Ray Drew, who is likely going to be one of the state’s top five overall prospects before it’s all said and done, received scholarship offers from Southern Cal, Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the last week to increase his total to 21 overall. The 6-foot-4, 243-pound athlete, who is also considering offers from Georgia and Georgia Tech, said he really likes the Lane Kiffin’s Trojans. “I like USC,” Drew told SCPlaybook.com. “USC is USC and you can’t overlook them. They have had a lot of good running backs and defensive linemen come out of there as well. Outside of Coach [Ed] Orgeron and Lane Kiffin, I really don’t know much about the USC coaches. But the tradition at ISC is there and nobody can doubt them on that.”

10. Georgia had a basketball official visitor this past weekend that proves coach Mark Fox’s recruiting reach. Dwayne Polee, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing, came all the way from Los Angeles to tour the campus and take in the Bulldogs’ win over South Carolina, according to UGASports.com basketball analyst Dan McDonald. Assistant coach Kwanza Johnson, who came with Fox from Nevada, is responsible for convincing Polee to come all this way. Polee is also considering UNLV, Oregon, Washington and Arizona State.

72 comments Add your comment

Lowndes

February 17th, 2010
10:20 am

Brian

February 17th, 2010
10:24 am

Is Ray Drew looking at being a running back or defensive end? Seems like each would require a different skill set. I’ve seen him pegged only as a DE so far. Is he in the Brandon Jacobs mold?

BigTimeTECHFan

February 17th, 2010
10:31 am

Hope CPJ gave the other players time, and not all was spent on Nick Marshall. UGA pulled a Tenn Nash/D’Rick and signed Outlaw, Nick’s best friend.

wiley

February 17th, 2010
10:32 am

Why would Fox recruit California when Georgia produces some of the best basketball talent in the nation? If UGA, or GT for that matter, could get 20 percent of the basketball talent in this state…both programs would consistently compete for titles. Recruiting Georgia needs to be a priority for both programs, and going out of state should be reserved for only the top flight talent…Chris Bosh from texas, Thad Young from Memphis…etc.

GeoffDawg

February 17th, 2010
10:39 am

I haven’t really been following draft news that closely but I don’t remember Thomas being a consensus top ten pick. I think most GMs are wary of the fact that he didn’t have to run many different routes and that he benefitted from playing against a lot of single coverage.

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
10:40 am

The flaw in Andy’s ranking system is he assume success is ONLY due to talent of players and has NOTHING to do with:
-COACHING
-LEVEL OF COMPETITION

Teams like Boise St. will always finish high in Andy’s ranking, yet can’t beat SEC teams like Georgia, who Andy will always rank lower.

ZamBonE

February 17th, 2010
10:43 am

Demaryius Thomas was a member of the 2006 recruiting class. He would be a redshirt senior if he decided to stay in school for the 2010 season.

Go Jackets

NC Dawg

February 17th, 2010
10:44 am

wiley…. we have to recruit anyone who is good and interested right now. The last couple of coaches killed the program. The GA. products are not looking at UGA right now. But, give Fox time, they will notice. It may take a couple of years, but I believe he will get it done. You do make good points, but kids aren’t looking at UGA right now. Give it time, give it time.

Florida over Georgia

February 17th, 2010
10:45 am

Wiley….YOu are one funny comedian! Georgia produces one maybe two really terrific basketball players per year and the rest are good players. Good players are all over…shoot you could even take someone with little experience and make a good player out of them. But there are few really gifted players out there each year and Georgia produces one or two of these and everyone in the nation goes after them like there is blood in the water.

devildawg

February 17th, 2010
10:48 am

So, I think I’d rather beat the crap out of the #3 class in the nation on their home turf with my unranked recruiting class. That sounds good to me.

30-24

Stomp.

Florida over Georgia

February 17th, 2010
10:48 am

Chip the article for the 2007 recruiting classes had the GATORS #1 which is exactly where they were rated initially. He also mentions five schools as honorable mention and UGA wasn’t on that list either. So of the 15 schools he writes about UGA was outside at least that mark and just taking a general look at the athletes on the UGA roster from that class….Would UGA be in the top 30? The 2008 class for UGA looks solid with lots of starters from that class already. But the 2007 Bulldogs look really weak. Certainly far below the initial top 10 pick they received.

sogadog

February 17th, 2010
10:52 am

Why do you guys strain so hard to make Tech’s football program appear better than UGA’s? Look at the facts, not some SI reporter’s opinion. Tech’s 2007 class has gone 27-13 as compared to UGA’s 2007 class which has gone 29-10. UGA’s SEC schedule been much more difficult than Tech’s during this time. UGA’s 2007 class has gone 2-1 against Tech’s 2007 class. UGA’s 2007 class has won all its bowl games. True, Tech won the ACC, but I would wager UGA could have won the ACC at least one of the last three years. There is no support for your belief Tech’s 2007 class has performed better than UGA’s 2007 class. (Please check me on Tech’s record for 07-09, but I know I am close.)

Bulldawg Nation

February 17th, 2010
10:55 am

Chip,

You say that it doesn’t appear South Carolina will stick with Victor Hampton, but you follow it up with “He just did something stupid. … It wasn’t criminal. But it was dumb and he knows it. We hope he’ll learn from it and we can move on.” Which is it?

Paddy

February 17th, 2010
11:17 am

Bulldawg Nation…….it was not Chip that said “It was not criminal etc…”, it was the SC coach. I believe SC is moving on without this player. At least thats how I understand the article.

Magic Man

February 17th, 2010
11:26 am

Brian,

Ray Drew is all DE in a 4-3 and all OLB in a 3-4. There will be no playing RB in his future, unless he just really decides to be stubborn about it and goes to a school that promises him a shot at RB before moving him to DE/OLB.

BigTimeTECHFan

UGA signing Outlaw won’t have as much of an effect as you think. First off, Outlaw is head to GMC for two years. Marshall will be a freshman in Outlaw’s second year of GMC. Secondly, you should be more worried about the fact that Marshall’s true love is basketball, not football, and he will more than likely be a 5-star recruit. Also, Outlaw isn’t his best friend, he is his cousin. And, do you really think GT will ever sign a blue-chip, national QB. If CPJ ever does, I will be very, very surprised.

GeoffDawg

Demayrius Thomas is thought to be a second round pick at WR. While he may be raw as far as route running and being able to read defenses, his size-speed combination is definitely second round material. He may take a year or two to develop, but should at least be a red zone threat from the get-go.

CT_Jacket

February 17th, 2010
11:31 am

I read the analysis, but how can Tech get a #3 rating with an 0-3 bowl record and only one ACC championship? His criteria appears to be heavily based on the number of starters from that class. That can be extremely biased if prior years’ classes were not very good. A better way, if you don’t want to use NFL draft numbers, would be to use conference and national honors.

Can You Dig It

February 17th, 2010
11:32 am

Who cares about football recruiting reranking…the people that do that have nothing better to do with their lives…the reranking doesn’t change a thing..never has ..never will.As far as Victor Hampton is concerned..S. Carolina has always recruited thugs…always. You don’t have to go back very far to see how many of their athletes have gotten into trouble once they got to school…buglaries, robberies, cheating, fights, alcohol abuse. It happens every year at Carolina. Can You Dig It!

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
11:35 am

Does Andy saeriously think Boise St is a better team than Alabama? According to his rankings, yes.

Hmm, if Ga Tech had a better team, according to Andy, why did Georgia beat them in 2009?

If Florida has a better team, why did Bama BLOW them out in the SEC Champ?

So much for Andy’s theory.

Cleveland, OH jacket

February 17th, 2010
11:36 am

Chip, any word on whether any of the kids that were at GT committed or not? I know O’Rielly was said to be high on GT.

papadawg

February 17th, 2010
11:36 am

OK it’s official, Johnson won with Chan Gaileys players now we’ll see what CPJ can do with his players. It also proves you don’t know what kind of class you recruited for a couple of years.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:46 am

Cleveland, OH jacket: Unless I’ve missed it nobody has committed to the Jackets just yet. But like you I do wonder sometimes why Thomas O’Reilly hasn’t already done it. It seems like he’s on that campus every time the doors open. I’d imagine you’ll hear from somebody pretty soon. The thing is, with CPJ’s stringent “no-more-visits” policy, it probably behooves Tech leans to hold off until they are mighty certain.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:47 am

jb’s house: Remember, they are recruiting rankings, not win-loss rankings. I agree with Staples’ assessment based on what those teams got out of those recruits, and vice versa.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:48 am

CT_Jacket: Two words — ACC Championship.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:52 am

Bulldawg Nation, Paddy: I screwed that up and have since fixed it. It should read the Gamecocks ARE going to stick with this kid. Pretty big gaffe on my part. Sorry.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:54 am

Florida over Georgia: I knew you UF fans wouldn’t miss out on his ranking for the Gators. Didn’t even need to mention it.

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:54 am

devildawg: Good attitude!

Chip Towers

February 17th, 2010
11:58 am

ZamBonE: I stand corrected sir. Thanks.

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
12:01 pm

Andy is on the right track by doing post-analysis to check up on predictions, but I’d like for him to account for strength of schedule in his theory to be more accurate.

Andy’s system will consistently rank teams like Boise St. above Bama, but Boise St. doesn’t play a strong strength of schedule, so their inidividual stats, and win/loss stats, will be better. In other words, it’s level of competition Andy does not account for.

I say there’s no way Boise St’s recruiting class was better than Bama’s, due to differing levels of competition.

That’s why the SEC has won 4 National Championships in a row versus other conferences–level of competition.

Florida over Georgia

February 17th, 2010
12:02 pm

I have to milk every drop out of the last 5 years. I feel Florida will not be the same team in years to come. It’s great to be a Gator.

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
12:09 pm

If you ADJUST for strength of schedule, Georgia finished #14 in 2009.

If you rank teams on STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE in 2009, the SEC would have 10 of the top 15 rankings.

That’s what I dislike about many rankings, they’re not based on strength of schedule.

BigTimeTECHFan

February 17th, 2010
12:11 pm

But Tech 17 recuiting class of 2007 is proceeded and followed by 35/40 ranked classes. UGA’s classes were all top ten. Tech finished in top 20 in the nation and UGA has been unranked.

True story is that this was Chan Gaily’s top class by far, could he have won the ACC with this class, he went to ACC champ with less talent. Question still out if CPJ is really that much better then Chan.
I think CPJ is better by what he did at Navy and GSU, etc, but I don’t think he’s totally proven it at Tech. I knew in 2007 when these recuits came in we would have some really good years when they were JR’s& SR’s. Most impact plays left early so next years team will be true test.

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
12:11 pm

I’d take 4-7 Miss St. to beat 13-0 Boise St. any day of the week.

I have a question

February 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

If they are going to re-rank Tech’s recruiting class to third nationally why didn’t the team finish in the Top Ten? Didn’t they finished the season by losing 2 out of 3 games and finish #13, which was obviously very generous and most people consider that an overrank..

State of Georgia rankings for 2009

February 17th, 2010
12:17 pm

The rankings for the state of Georgia for 2009 are as follows:
#1 – Georgia (beat Tech and holds the Governor’s cup)
#2 – Georgia Tech (lost to Georgia and had to give up the Governor’s Cup)
#3 – Valdosta State
#4 – Georgia Southern

The truth slaps you in the face!

February 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Georgia Tech won 11 mostly easy games but lost to 3 out of the best 4 teams they played.

Put me in coach

February 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Phillip Daniels is a self serving individual. He expects alot and gives very little, just ask the people in Seminole Co. He is out for attention.

The Sham

February 17th, 2010
12:24 pm

Bebe is overated… for that reason I don’t blame him for jumping while his stock is at an all time high. Otherwise, next year he wouldn’t find so many safties in the box and CBs looking into the backfield only to get blown by him… In otherwords – the element of surprise when the nerds actually threw the ball will no longer be there.

I agree his size and speed is admirable, but I seem to recall hands are an important factor as well – how’d he do on 4th down when the pressure was on?

30-24 and 8 out of 9 baby!

ga gator

February 17th, 2010
12:29 pm

jb’s house, Even as an SEC fan, I am not sure about the Ms State beating Boise statement. Maybe if they had beaten Tech last year I would agree with you, cause I would bet the farm on Boise beating Tech.

CT_Jacket

February 17th, 2010
12:44 pm

Well, I made the same mistake that a lot of people do using team results to grade a class. A team is made up of several classes, not just one. So, Tech could have a higher rated class than UGA, but not have as much depth or breadth due to the quality of the other classes. I still think that conference and national honors among a class is the best indicator. Tech’s ‘07 class had Morgan (09 All-America), Dwyer (08 ACC POY, 09 1st ACC RB), Burnett (09 2nd ACC S & 09 Thorpe Watch List), Nesbitt (09 1st ACC QB), Jefferson (09 HM ACC LB), Tarrant (09 3rd ACC CB Steele). Not bad, but probably not 3rd.

What do GT and UG fans have in common?

February 17th, 2010
12:59 pm

They both love talking GEORGIA TECH’S 2007 RECRUITING CLASS on a Wednesday afternoon.

gdawginkalamazoo

February 17th, 2010
1:03 pm

Good point CT Jacket.

The real truth

February 17th, 2010
1:12 pm

JB’s house,

You obviously dont have areading comprehension skill in your brain. Staples wasn’t ranking who were the best teams in 2009, he was ranking the 2007 recruiting classes based on what they’ve done since they’ve been at their respective schools individually and as a team.

Florida Over Georgia is Wrong!

February 17th, 2010
1:16 pm

To “Florida Over Georgia”:

You obviously don’t watch much high school basketball here in Georgia. Metro Atlanta alone routinely produces a TON of Div. I players each year, and the other parts of the state put out their share as well.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’m sure if you looked at the rosters of 300+ Div. I programs, you’ll find plenty of players from Georgia. Shoot, if you just look at Chattahoochee, Walton, Milton, Wheeler, Westlake and Columbia you’ll get close to 10 players who have committed to Div. I programs.

Once Mark Fox establishes that he’s got something good going in Athens, which he is already doing this season, those players will be more inclined to consider UGA. Then you’ll see a program that consistently competes for SEC titles (regular season and tournament) and makes deep NCAA tournament runs.

But to say that Georgia only produces a couple of top players each year is boarderline moronic!

chi-town dawg

February 17th, 2010
1:21 pm

When are the Daniels visiting UGA? I heard Richt may give an offer when they arrive on campus.

gdawginkalamazoo

February 17th, 2010
1:25 pm

chi-town, it would be nice to offer it in person. If I recall Daniels was one hell of a player for the dawgs. He didn’t do too bad in the NFL either. I would image his son is a pretty good athlete too.

jb's house

February 17th, 2010
1:31 pm

It’s just wierd to me how teams like Georgia, with the #7 toughest schedule, get the shaft, while a team like Boise St., with the #117 toughest schedule (only 120 teams), get ranked in the top 3.

That’s why I say any idea that Boise St. recruit’s are ranked HIGHER than Georegia’s, while ignoring strength of schedule, is weak at best, and useless at worst.

Here’s Phil Steele’s Pre-Season sachedule rankings from 2009:

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college/2009/07/phil-steeles-toughest-schedule.html

Phillip Daniels

February 17th, 2010
1:44 pm

@ put me in coach. Why don’t you use your real name. I do a lot for Seminole County so yeah go ask anybody you want to ask who lives there. I come home every year and talk to the youth there which is the most important thing. It’s sad that people get on these sites and think that you will not see what is being said. Are you from Seminole County or just another sad story that wishes a guy that has had success fail. I have donated my time and money to Seminole County so I wonder who your source is. I have never been the type of person to want attention and I have never been flashy. I have always been laid back but when it comes to my children and what’s right, I stand up. So I say to you, shame on you to speak on something you know nothing about. I not only do a lot for Seminole but for all surrounding towns so go ask Bainbridge, Miller and Early counties as well. Have a good day.

Go Jackets!

February 17th, 2010
2:09 pm

2008 uga preseason #1 georgia tech #21 georgia tech 45 uga-42 in crappy sanford stadium….woot woot

Go Jackets!

February 17th, 2010
2:11 pm

Give georgia whatever they want…but three things you know will not happen…they will not beat florida, they will not pass there instate school in national championships & they wont win a national championship….mmmmuuuuuuaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Atlanta Gator

February 17th, 2010
2:17 pm

Interesting stuff, Chip. Very interesting.