The Big Picture - A/B-Backs

GoJackets.com is starting a regular series to help you get a view of the big picture in recruiting. We'll do this by taking a look at positions (or groups of positions) and project the number of openings, and who we think will fill those openings.

First, we will break down the A-back and B-back prospects. We grouped the A-back and B-backs together due to several comments from commits and prospects that they were being looked at for either of the positions.

Current A-Back Depth Chart (by seniority):
3 seniors - Roddy Jones, Embry Peeples, Marcus Wright
1 junior - Orwin Smith
2 sophomores - B.J. Bostic, Robbie Godhigh
3 freshmen - Deon Hill, Tony Zenon, Broderick Snoddy

Current B-Back Depth Chart (by seniority):
1 senior - Preston Lyons
1 junior - Richard Watson
1 sophomore - David Sims
1 freshman - Charles Perkins (possible return of Zach Laskey from safety)

Expected 2012 Class Open Slots: 2

Current Commits: Marcus Allen

Remaining Slots: 1

Prospects (projected odds of commitment with an open slot):

Tevin Coleman – The 3-star running back is ranked #45 by Scout.com. Coleman named GT as his favorite last week and there is a good chance that he could commit on his visit (date not yet set). The GT coaches like him on the edge as an A Back to use his 4.48 speed. His speed and ability to break tackles are his strengths Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and West Virginia are also schools of interest for Coleman. He plans on making his decision following his official visits. (70%)

Shadrach Thornton – The 3 star running back is ranked #80 by Scout.com. His picture may not be as clear as Coleman's. Thornton has a short list of four that includes GT, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and North Carolina State. North Carolina State appears to be the main competition until he visits Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The coaches have told him he could play either of the backfield positions. He will make his decision following visits to Vanderbilt and Kentucky. The depth chart at the four schools will be a big factor in his decision. Thornton is being considered for both A-back as well as B-back. (60%)

Jevon Tyree – The 3 star player is ranked #24 by Scout.com as a cornerback. Most schools are recruiting him as an athlete. But, Coach Johnson likes him as a running back. Tyree was impressed with Atlanta and GT on his visit and he named GT as one of his favorites last week. The home school of Rutgers has to be considered one of the favorites along with Wisconsin, and Oregon. His 4.3 speed makes him a perfect fit for the A Back position. He has scheduled an official to GT. Tyree doesn't plan on making his decision until December. (50%)

GoJackets.com Best Guesses:
Obviously, Marcus Allen is in the first slot and while he mentions playing A or B-back in his interview, we believe that he'll be a B-back all the way. Given that, Tevin Coleman seems like the likely favorite for what appears to be a single slot at this point. The question will be whether or not Coach Johnson will open up a 3rd slot for an A/B. We think this is very possible given the numbers of seniors on the squad. Given the need for flexibility, we expect that last back to be Thornton – who also could be an A or a B. This would give another player that has flexibility in where he can play. We expect Tyree's timetable and his size limiting him to a single equation is going to leave him out of the equation.

Notable News Since the Last Update:
None since this is the first update.

Comments:
Given the number of seniors on the squad in these positions (4), it is interesting that GT only seems to have 2 open slots for A and B-backs. We think that this speaks to the abundance of A-backs on the roster and following 2011, the numbers will even out.


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