GT Recruiting Targets - Safeties

The Safety position has been upgraded athletically over the past couple of years and Georgia Tech coaches look to build on that with this upcoming recruiting class.

Position: Safety

Current Depth:

SS: Dawan Landry, Chris Reis, Joe Gaston

FS: James Butler, Nathan Burton, Avery Roberson

Needs in recruiting:

The Safety position has been upgraded athletically over the past couple of years and Georgia Tech coaches look to build on that with this upcoming recruiting class. This year's starting Safeties are probably the best combination of speed and ability to hit as we've had in years. Butler will be a senior next season, so we need to add players to compete for his spot. Landry still has 3 years to play, so we look very good at that spot. Behind our starters, we have Nate Burton, who is a former walk-on that has now earned a scholarship. Nate is a senior and currently backs up Butler. Reis is a true sophomore and a guy the coaches seem to like in spite of being on the wrong end of some of Coach Tenuta's more colorful criticisms at practice. Behind Burton & Reis are two talented true freshmen that offer a lot of hope for our future defensive backfield. I'm not sure how much either Gaston or Roberson will see the field at Safety this season but both could be valuable on special teams.

Like the cornerbacks, we actually look pretty good at this position down the road. The numbers certainly aren't what the corners are but there is a good amount of talent up and down the depth chart.

Initial strategy:

Coaches are again focusing on Safeties that can really run and hit hard. We seem to have really gone after this position pretty hard so far in this recruiting season. Many offers have already been extended and the list is an impressive group of athletes. We have already scored a huge recruiting win by landing highly touted Safety Eric "The Hitman" Williams. I suspect that we'll get a commitment from at least one other and possibly two.

Specific Targets:

Safeties that have been offered by Georgia Tech include: Kyle Jackson, Eric Williams, Richard Taylor, Greg Sudderth, Devon Lyons, and possibly Tyvenskie Page.

Kyle Jackson is one of the top athletes in the entire country. GT is right in the mix with The Insiders #3 Safety in the country. We recruited away some of the top talent in the state of Florida last year with Grant, Scott & Carter and look to do that again this year. Chan certainly seems capable of going head-to-head with the "Big 3" in their backyard. One of the big 3, University of Florida, may be our top competition for the 6'1", 176 pound Safety. Other schools in the mix for Kyle include Nebraska, Michigan, and South Carolina. Right now I worry about Kyle wanting to stay close to home and being a longtime UF fan, but I think we will make a great case for him coming to Tech and we'll be in it all the way until the end with Jackson.

Eric Williams was a super pickup for the Yellow Jackets. By now most of us have seen "The Hit" Eric put on that poor WR in the Georgia Dome last year. He has been compared athletically to current GT starter James Butler. Having the #18 Safety in the country as one of your first 5 commitments certainly is a sign of good things to come in this year's class and the Safety position specifically. If we were to land Jackson in addition to Williams, Georgia Tech fans could be talking about this group for years to come.

Richard Taylor, the #41 Safety in the country, is another highly touted Safety that we have offered but unfortunately he has given his pledge to Ralph Friedgen and the Maryland Terrapins. It looks like we split battles with the former GT coach over Williams and Taylor. Both teams got good ones.

Next on the list is Parkview's own Greg Sudderth. I'd love to land Greg and we were the first major school to offer him but the love just does not seem to have been reciprocated yet from Greg. The 6'2", 189-pound hometown star seems to like GT somewhat but seems to be holding out for offers from teams he might like a little more. He has former teammates all over the southeast at Georgia, Clemson and Florida State, so I'm sure they are in his ears to go to their schools once offered. This is where past performances with recruiting Parkview players could be hurting us somewhat. Maryland has also offered Greg, so here comes another battle for a Safety that Ralph also covets. This will be one to keep an eye on but I'd have to say that I'm a little disappointed so far in Greg's response to GT since we came through with an offer to him so early in the process.

Devon Lyons is another example of our recruiting efforts in the state of Pennsylvania. Lyons, a 6'3", 205-pound athlete, already has offers from West Virginia, Boston College, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech. Of that group though, only Pitt does not show up in his current top 4. Lyons finished his junior season with 49 tackles, 5 interceptions, and five caused fumbles. It may be tough pulling Devon out of that region but if he wants to play some Southern Football then GT look to be his top choice.

Tyvenskie Page is a guy that I don't know much about just yet but I'm told he too may have an offer from GT. He's a well-built Safety prospect from Dallas, Texas. I'm guessing that he's a longer shot to leave the region but he's one to keep an eye on.

Other Safeties you will see associated with GT recruiting include: Kenny Ingram, Nick Fewox, Austin Joseph, Maurice Smith, and Frank Usher.

Kenny Ingram is another of the top Safeties in the country. The #16 Safety in the country mentioned Georgia Tech in his top 5 a while back but that is no longer the case. I'm not sure either if we ever came through with an offer but I suspect not. He now lists Miami, USC, Florida State, and Ohio State as his favorites. Of that group only Miami and USC have offered. I'd say you can probably cross this one off of your list at this point but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Nick Fewox is a 2-star prospect from Camden County High in Georgia. He is looking for his first offer but currently favors Georgia and Vanderbilt. Nick plays many positions in HS but projects as a Safety. GT is among the teams he likes after his top 2.

Austin Joseph is another 2-star prospect from Georgia at Collins Hill High. He has 1 major offer to date in Stanford. The 6'1", 180-pound defensive back like Florida State the most. After FSU, he likes Tennessee and Texas, while teams like GT, Stanford and Miami are further down his list.

Maurice Smith, from Athens, Tennessee, camped at Georgia Tech over the summer. He currently has scholarship offers from Marshall, UTC, and Vanderbilt. Marshall is his favorite school right now but also likes Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, and Georgia Tech. I'm sure that if one of those schools came forward with an offer, they could probably make a good case for his services.

Frank Usher is another Safety from Georgia that lists Tech among his favorites. Usher, from Westlake High, is below the radar right now but probably not for long. He recently received offers from Auburn and Louisville and no doubt more will come. The 6'0", 185-pound defensive back also likes UGA, GT and UF. He could be an interesting one to follow. No doubt teams are getting drawn to his 4.4 40 speed. A good season from him and we could be talking about him a lot more.


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