The Big Picture - Linebackers

GoJackets.com wraps up its first round of big picture views of recruiting. And, the final focus is on the 4 linebacker positions on the defensive side of the ball. As usual, we'll take a look at who's committed and who is still left on the board.

Current Depth Chart (by seniority):
1 senior – Steven Sylvester
3 juniors – Malcolm Munroe (R), Julian Burnett, BJ Machen (R)
2 sophomores – Daniel Drummond (R), Jeremiah Attaochu, Brandon Watts (R)
6 freshmen – Quayshawn Nealy (R), Tyler Marcordes, Chaz Cheeks, Kyle Travis, Anthony Harrell, Jabari Hunt-Days, Tremayne McNair, Nick Menocal
Note: Marcodes, Cheeks, Harrell, and Hunt-Days are all expected to redshirt in 2011 at this time.
(R) = Redshirt

Expected 2012 Class Open Slots: 3

Current Commits:
Junior Gnonkonde is a 3 star ranked as the #100 outside linebacker by Scout.com. The 6'4"-215 Ivory Coast athlete first visited Georgia Tech for Junior Day and then received an offer and wasted little time in committing. Gnonkonde became the first commit in the 2012 class when he called Coach Paul Johnson on February 18th to give him the verbal commit. Gnonkonde was receiving interest from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and Georgia prior to his commitment.

Tyler Stargel is a 3 star and is ranked as the #40 middle linebacker by Scout.com. The 6'4"-250 Gulf Shores, Alabama visited campus June 4th and was hosted by Coach Charles Kelly. The following day Stargel gave Georgia Tech his verbal commit. Stargel is known for his leadership and is also known as a student of the game. He is ranked as the #32 recruit in Alabama by Scout.com's Andrew Bone. He was also named to the state's 2nd team preseason all-state team.

Remaining Slots: 1

Prospects (Status in terms of commitment):
Alex McCalister is a 3 star and is ranked as the #45 defensive end by Scout.com. The West Forsyth, North Carolina athlete is being recruited as an outside linebacker. He is one of the 2012 recruits that could end up as a four star in the next rankings. McCalister has a top four that includes Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Florida, and North Carolina. Georgia Tech and Florida are said to be his top two. However, Florida has not yet offered McCalister and the odds of that offer coming aren't clear at this point. McCalister still plans to visit all four of his top choices before making a decision. In some late-breaking news, GoJackets.com has also learned that McAlister will be on campus for a visit the weekend of 9/24 (UNC game). (Could Go Either Way)

Jordan Jenkins is a 5 star player – ranked 6th at DE by Scout.com. The Harris County HS recruit would be an outside linebacker in Georgia Tech's 3-4 defense. However, Jenkins has eliminated Georgia Tech from consideration and will end up signing elsewhere. (No Chance)

Likelihood of committing is rated in 1 of 6 categories:
1. We Lead
2. We Like Our Chances
3. Could Go Either Way
4. Leaning Elsewhere
5. Unlikely But Possible
6. No Chance

GoJackets.com Best Guesses:
The transition to 3-4 defense style linebackers continues with this class and Georgia Tech will end up with 2-3 linebackers. After taking 7 LB's last year, it appears that the coaching staff is ready to take the 2 committed prospects plus Alex McAlister. So, what if McAlister doesn't commit to GT? Well, then Georgia Tech will only take 2 players that will start out at LB in this class. Don't forget, however, that there are other players - such as Marcus Allen (committed as an A-back) and Kenny Orjioke - that could move positions. Allen's position move is not considered likely and Orjioke's final position will largely depend on how much more he grows (he is only 16 years old).

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

Comments:
None


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