Needs in recruiting:
Georgia Tech has an excellent starting Offensive Line for 2003. But the line corp is not deep and most starters are juniors or seniors, so OL will need to be heavily addressed in recruiting. GT currently has 15 linemen. 4 are seniors, 4 are junior, 4 sophomores and 3 freshmen. That's a decent balance but included are 3 untested freshmen, 1 untested transfer, and a lack of experience not counting the starters. Also, you never know, if Dorsey or Robinson have super seasons whether they'll flirt with the NFL next off-season. Four new linemen are a must, six would be a luxury but five is the number I'll be happy with.
You'd like to bring in a few solid Tackle prospects to play behind Wallace & Dorsey for a season before possibly taking over in 2005. By then only transfer Kenton Johnson will be around at Tackle along with incoming freshman Eddy Parker. I do not know yet what to expect from Johnson but Parker was our most highly touted OL recruit from a year ago. He is likely pegged for a future starting spot. I would prefer to see 2 (or even 3) additional well-thought-of Tackles fight for the future spots or provide depth. There is also the possibility of Mansfield Wrotto moving to Tackle in the future but we definitely need him on Defense for 2003.
The center position will just about be cleaned out after this season when Reilly and Hartley graduate. Of course it's always feasible to move a Guard to Center in the future but Tuminello is the only "true" Center left after this season. I wouldn't mind finding another true Center this year to compete with Kevin but if we don't find a good one then just add another number to the Guard position. Tidwell-Neal is certainly capable of moving back to this position which he used to man.
The Guard position is probably in the best shape down the road. Honeycutt, the current starter, is a sophomore and Andy will push for playing time too if he doesn't go back to Center. Besirevic is an interesting case. He moved from TE to OT and now he's at Guard. He provides good depth. And Rhodes will get into the mix down the road. The thing is though, you want to stockpile Guards. They can play 3 of the OL positions and some even grow into Tackles. I'd recommend bringing in 2 more Guards and make it 3 if we don't find a true Center.
By signing three linemen in the last recruiting class, we helped replenish a thinning position. However, we are really being "stung" by only signing one OL from the year before. That lone signee was Zeb McHargue, who as we all now know is no longer at GT. Because of that void, we probably should have signed another lineman or two last year but that's in the past. To make up for it, the strategy needs to be to sign a few more than normal to make up for the mistakes from two years ago.
From talking with coaches last year, it appears that they are very particular about what type of lineman they recruit. I think it's good that they have a picture of exactly the type of lineman they want to work with. It appears that they are looking for high schoolers that not only have a good frame to grow on but also have better than average footwork. Now it will be more difficult than normal for us to tell what our targets are because the coaches likely have targets that they think they can work with but don't want all of the other schools finding out about. I do see excellent planning with regards to recruiting this position. They targeted Parker early last year and got him to commit before all of the other Texas school starting drooling over him. They were also excited to land Rhodes, who most other recruiting experts knew little about. And Tuminello was a solid pickup that can play center and has a brother that was a starter and team leader for Toledo. I feel as comfortable with our recruiting plan on this position than any other. And we've already started it off by picking up Jacob "The Big" Lonowski from under the radar early on. We were the first to offer this Nebraska lineman before schools like Nebraska and Iowa State. So he escapes from their backyard and is heading to Atlanta next fall.
Offensive Linemen that have been offered by Georgia Tech (besides Lonowski) include: Marque Hall, Seth Watts, Dave Weber and several other linemen that have already committed to other school. Since they're already committed, I won't go into detail on them. So that leaves only 3 linemen that I know of to have offers. I have no doubt that we have offered (or will offer) more, but like I said above, we may not know some of these targets because we may be going under the radar for several prospects. In addition many OL get offers later in the game as I will talk about at the end of this report.
Marque Hall is rated as the Insiders #9 OL in the country. We are on his radar for top teams but the 6'5", 305-pound OL from North Carolina seems to prefer NC State, North Carolina, and Virginia at this time over Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and the Georgia schools. He will be a guy that will wait until close to signing day before choosing a school so look for this one to drag out. Let's hope we can crack his top 5 and stay in it with him until the end.
Seth Watts, from Washington County High, is a guy we have offered but appear to have little to no chance with. He loves UGA and lists them as number one on his list. Also Washington High is a breeding ground for dawgs as a school that produced the Edwards brothers in addition to many other top Division One football talents. After Georgia he lists Auburn, Florida State, Stanford, and Notre Dame. My money is on UGA here though.
Dave Weber is a kid from Pennsylvania whom we have offered and actually have a shot at landing. Right now he prefers the closer University of Pittsburgh but we are high on his list as well. The 6'4", 310-pound lineman doesn't seem to be too concerned about distance from home, so he could be swayed to GT by a successful campus visit. Look for him to possibly commit early but I'm hoping he takes longer. I think time will be on our side for this prospect the longer he takes to commit.
Other lineman listed in connection with GT include: Jason Bosley, Eddie Matthews, Matt Wood, Cameron Mayo, Thomas Nyaoga, Antony Driver, Ben Gabbard, Fred Roland, Evan Gilyard, John Paul Gillis, Luke Warring, Nygel Pearson, Dillon Mullis, Brandon Luther, Michael Parenton, David Menocal, and Nate McManus.
Bosley, from Alabama, doesn't have any offers yet but I would expect him to likely stay in his home state. He is leaning to Auburn right now. His father went there and his brother currently goes there as well so that's where I'd guess he ends up if he gets an offer from them.
Matthews, from Douglas County High, at 6'3" is probably too short to be a Tackle, so look for him to be an interior offensive or defensive lineman. Matthews currently lists Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, West Georgia, and Marshall as his favorite teams right now. He has no offers at this time and it wouldn't surprise me if teams got more interested in him as a defensive player.
Mike Wood is an interesting case for GT. He is from Brookwood HS, same HS as Mansfield Wrotto. Because of Wrotto, Wood has some big interest in GT. He also likes Clemson but is still awaiting his first offer. He's one to watch for and is a big kid at 6'5", 293.
Cameron Mayo, from Dalton High in Georgia, is one I'd like to get involved with but our coaches don't seem as interested. He's received offers so far from the likes of Auburn, Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi, and South Carolina, just to name a few. At 6'5", 250 he has a great frame but will need to add weight. He's been to GT's camp so we know him well by now. I think we can move up his list pretty high if we decide to come forward with an offer, but we'll have to wait and see if one is forthcoming. Keep your eye on Cam though.
Nyaoga, from Texas, is the final 2-star or better prospect on this list. Our Texas connections could help with the 6'5", 285-pound OL with a reputation for having a real mean streak.
Driver, from Columbus High in Georgia, is only 6'0" which is unheard of these days for an OL. Like Matthews, I'd expect to see teams start to look at him more as a defensive lineman. His short but stout 330-pound frame could make for quick a hole plugger on the defense. GT is currently 5th on his list anyway, so he's not really high on my radar just yet.
Ben Gabbard, a big OL from Maryland, has 1 major offer so far and it's from his favorite team, Clemson. It may be tough to pull him away from there if we do decide to offer. Also, if Maryland offers him too they could possibly steal him from both us and Clemson. I'd say the odds of landing Ben are a little long right now but an offer could put us in the game.
Fred Roland, from Hephzibah High in Georgia, is an interesting one to watch for. If we decide to offer the massive 6'8", 305-pound prospect, he could be ours. He had a great time at GT camp and thought the coaches were very interested in him. He'd be a nice Tackle prospect to add to our program. I am hopeful of landing Fred but UGA could be an obstacle here as he seems favor them if they were to come through with an offer. Keep an eye on this one.
Evan Gilyard, a 6'2", 283-pound lineman from South Carolina, is wide open still and awaiting his first offer. He is currently looking at Georgia Tech, Clemson, Miami, South Carolina, and Auburn
John Paul Gillis, a tall 6'6", 280-pound prospect also from South Carolina, is looking for his first offer as well. He currently favors South Carolina and Virginia.
It's too early to tell where DC lineman Luke Warring is leaning to. He still wide open and has many schools on his list. He is still waiting for his first offer like several others on this list. He's friends with Kory Gedin, who signed with UNC last year so they could have an edge is they decide to go after Luke.
Nygel Pearson is another South Carolina OL looking for his first major offer. Right now the 6'6", 300-pounder favors North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee over Tech and Vandy.
Dillon Mullis is a smart kid from North Carolina. I'd bet that the 6'4", 268-pound lineman ends as a Demon Deacon. After Wake, he likes Stanford, Georgia Tech, and Duke.
Brandon Luther is a big (and I mean HUGE) and strong lineman from Florida. The 6'5", 341-pound really likes home state schools Florida & Florida State but is still looking for his first offer from those two and other major football programs. This run-blocking OL also likes Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee.
Michael Parenton, from Louisiana, is one of those "pure" center prospects that we are taking a look at. The 6'3", 287-pounder is starting to get offers from smaller schools like Tulane and Northwestern State, and is making his rounds this summer to try and attract attention from some of the bigger boys. He's been to the Florida, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU and Notre Dame this summer just to name a few. I think a bigger program will offer him eventually.
The name David Menocal may sound familiar to you. He's the brother of former GT baseball standout Victor Menocal. The 6'3", 255-pound lineman from Gainesville is looking for his first offer and has GT on his list of schools.
Nate McManus, a 6'3", 280-pound lineman from Alabama is another kid that camped at GT over the summer. I'd say we have a great shot at him if we decide to offer this aspiring Engineer.
It appears that the no-brainer top of the line Offensive Linemen have all kinds of offers and have their pick of schools. All of the others in the next tier seem to be under intense evaluation from all of the major programs. Many will probably have to wait for offers once the High School season starts. I suspect many on this list without offers will not be that way for long once schools are able to see more of them in action. It's probably harder to offer OL just based off of what you see from film.