Ryan's Ramblins - 2012 Special Teams

GoJackets.com continues its series to help you get a view of the big picture in recruiting. With National Signing Day over and Georgia Tech's recruiting class completed, GoJackets.com is taking a position-by-position look at the 2012 recruiting class. Today we will look at special teams.

Current Depth Chart:

K: Justin Moore, David Scully
P: Sean Poole, Ryan Rodwell
LS: Sean Tobin, Tyler Morgan

Current Seniority Chart:

1 senior – Morgan
3 juniors – Poole (R), Scully (R), Moore
1 sophomore – Tobin
1 freshman – Rodwell

Expected 2013 Class Open Slots: 1 (maybe Tech tries again for a kicker)

Notes: Special teams at Tech hasn't been so special of late. Tech looked to shore up the kicker and punter positions via scholarships to some high school seniors in this class. Last year Moore gave coaches a bit of indigestion throughout the season. He was a perfect 56-of-56 on PAT's but missed 6 of 17 field goals. He was perfect from inside 29 yards, 4-for-6 at 30-39 yards, 3-for-6 at 40-49 yards, and his longest was only 41 yards (missed one from 50+). Often times Coach Paul Johnson would go for it on 4th downs in the shadow of the goal posts rather than leave it up to the kicker. Scully has the bigger leg and was used more on kickoffs (43 times to Moore's 29 times). Don't be surprised to see Scully try some of the longer field goals next season.

Poole was good at times as a punter. He punted 36 times (5 times against Utah alone), putting 6 inside the 20, 1 touchback and 8 fair catches. His 39.7 yard per kick average was 3 yards shorter than Tech opponents last year though so he could have been better too. Rodwell could provide an instant challenge to Poole.

I don't recall hearing Tobin's name too often in games so that probably means he was doing his job well!

GT Commits:

RYAN RODWELL

Ryan Rodwell (6-2, 195) is a two-star player unranked as a punter by Scout.com. Scout doesn't rate too many punters above two-stars. Last recruiting season there were four such three-star punters. Those were Roberto Aguayo (Florida State), Collin Barber (Georgia), Devon Bell (Mississippi State), and Korey Durkee (Washington). GT was the only offer for Rodwell.

Notes: I was expecting to find that nobody really gave scholarships to punters out of high school, but just from the list above I see that at least three of the top 20 recruiting classes – FSU (#11), UGA (#14), and MSU (#18) – signed a punter in their class. It seems like a bit of a desperate move for a team to do that but if it's a real need, I suppose you go out and do it. For Tech, special teams has been a bit of an adventure of late. If Rodwell can provide some serious help with field position in class where Tech had to reach at other position just to fill out the class, then I don't see a good reason why to not take the chance if they think they found a good one. Otherwise there's no real way to judge the choice based on rankings or offers because punters rarely collect impressive lists in either category. His size seems fine as he's a built well at 6'2" and 195 pounds and I know nothing about demeanor. The only true area to assess a punter is fit for the team. In this case, it's a need. The only question is whether or not one just as good could have been found as a walk-on. I'm not sure Tech was close to filling up at the end so it's a moot point. The signing of Rodwell passes muster given the situation.

The one who got away:

Nicholas St. Germain (South Carolina)

Nicholas was a kicker GT was after. He held offers from Middle Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and South Alabama before South Carolina & GT put on the press. He visited Tech for the exciting win over Clemson, but it was his next visit to South Carolina that sealed up his services. Tech let Germain (McEachern High – Powder Springs, Ga.) out of their own back yard.

Ryan Norton (Syracuse) out of New York received attention from Tech as well but chose to stay in the home state by signing with Syracuse. Ryan Frain (Illinois), from Indiana, looked at Tech after Illinois fired head coach Ron Zook. New Illinois head coach Tim Beckman won Frain back over though on his official visit.

So Tech saw strike one, strike two and strike three with the placekickers, though coaches did get the punter they wanted. Two of the placekickers stayed close to home and the third was closer to Tech but decided to go away from home. In a tough recruiting season, that's how it sometimes goes. Tech may try for a kicker again in this recruiting season.


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