The Big Picture - Defensive Backs

GoJackets.com continues its series to help you get a view of the big picture in recruiting. Previously, we covered the A/B-backs, QB, WR, and DL. Next, we will take a look at the defensive back prospects. There are some players Georgia Tech wants at safety versus cornerback. However, most folks consider them to be interchangeable and at this point in the player's careers, they largely are.

Current Depth Chart (by seniority):
2 seniors – Rashaad Reid, Michael Peterson (R)
1 junior – Rod Sweeting
3 sophomores – Louis Young, Isaiah Johnson, Jemea Thomas (R). Fred Holton, Lance Richardson (R)
4 freshmen – Demond Smith, Dominique Noble, Jamal Golden, Corey Dennis, Zach Laskey, Chris Milton

Notes: Holton will be redshirted in 2011 due to injury. Laskey is likely to return to B-back next year, Dennis may move to wide receiver, and Milton is still an option for moving to A-back.
(R) = Redshirt

Expected 2012 Class Open Slots: 2

Current Commits: Antonio Crawford is a 2 star who is ranked as the # 189 receiver by Scout.com. Without attending any combines, Crawford put his name on the map with one busy weekend in which he ran 4.3 forty times at both Georgia and Georgia Tech. He knew going into the weekend at Tech that the camp would be his audition and he also knew that Tech was where he wanted to go. He passed the audition with flying colors and once his transcripts cleared he gave Coach Paul Johnson his verbal. The coaches watched him at both receiver and defensive back but seem to like him better as a cornerback. He continues the run of recruits to Georgia Tech from the Tampa, Florida area.

Remaining Slots: 1

Prospects (Status in terms of commitment):
Traveon Henry- The Pine Crest, Florida athlete is a three star and is ranked by Scout.com as the #65 running back. The Georgia Tech coaches like Henry as a safety. He is however - like many other in the 2012 class - being recruited by Georgia Tech to possibly fit in multiple positions. Henry is not talking about his favorites but his coach does know that Georgia Tech is one of his favorites. Henry likes the coaches at Tech as well as the academics. That will be a positive moving forward. He was previously on campus for an unofficial visit this summer. (We Like Our Chances)

Kenny Orjioke – The Lassiter athlete is not ranked by Scout.com. But like Tech commit Francis Kallon, he will likely be a real find for whomever gets him. As his final season progresses look for him to get more offers in addition to the three he's already received. Kenny has been a standout in his first two games for Lassiter. Additionally, the 6'4" safety is only 16 years old and could still grow into a linebacker or move to wide receiver. Orjioke has not named a favorites list but it appears that Georgia Tech is his early leader. He has always liked Tech and is familiar with their football history and academic excellence. (We Lead)

Elijah Shumate – The Don Bosco Prep, New Jersey safety is a four star and is ranked as the # 5 safety by Scout.com. Shumate visited one of Tech's summer camps which helped elevate Georgia Tech to one of his final six schools. His quote on the visit was as follows: "I went out there to visit and it was beautiful. I really liked it. The coaches really like me. The players really showed me a lot of love. I could see myself playing there." Tech will be battling the home school (Rutgers) along with programs like Oklahoma, Notre Dame South Carolina, and Michigan. Shumate will not be announcing his decision until January 7th so the secondary recruiting position could be a lot clearer by then. He is the one out of this group that they would save a scholarship. (Could Go Either Way)

Ezra Robinson – The Sarasota, Florida defensive back is a three star and is ranked as the # 105 cornerback by Scout.com. While he has Georgia Tech in his top five, the interest from Tech may not be as strong as the safety position is more of a need than cornerback. Robinson is willing to move to safety but Henry, Shumate and Orjioke are probably more of a priority at that position. (Leaning Elsewhere)

Likelihood of committing is rated in 1 of 5 categories:
1. We Lead
2. We Like Our Chances
3. Could Go Either Way
4. Leaning Elsewhere
5. Unlikely But Possible

GoJackets.com Best Guesses:
As noted in the descriptions of the remaining prospects, defensive back is another one of those positions where GT has a lot of flexibility. While there is only 1 slot open at this point, there is a good chance that the coaches could take Shumate, Henry, and Orjioke and then move players around to different positions – Orjioke at OLB or WR and Henry at A/B-back. Shumate is likely to remain a DB, though. And, there are a number of freshmen we noted above that could also move to make room at DB. Our best guess is that GT ends up with Orjioke and Henry and then figures out what position to put them in once they get on campus. Robinson seems to be the odd man out in this scenario and we think he is already looking elsewhere as a result. Shumate is too close to call. But, when that is the case, you almost always go with the home team – and that's not Georgia Tech in this case.

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

Comments:
Scout.com has Crawford rated as a wide receiver. However, he will be a defensive back (likely a cornerback) for Georgia Tech.


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