5. Running Back
Running backs, they say you can never have enough of them. Last season we found that out for ourselves with injuries to Tony Hollings, Ajenavi Eziemefe, Jermaine Hatch, Sidney Ford, and Gordon Clinkscale. We have been fortunate so far this season with a healthy P. J. Daniels carrying the load. Hatch graduates this year leaving us with P.J., Chris Woods, ACE, and Rashaun Grant. We have a commitment from Mike Cox, who is built like a fullback but has the potential to touch the ball more than a fullback, much like Mike Alstott has done for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, that does not seem like enough to go into a season with. We could receive a huge boost at the position if Michael Sampson were to return from being academically ineligible but it certainly would not hurt to add another true tailback type. Our top targets are Sampson Taylor & Darius Walker, who may look to leave the state of Georgia. Others we have been involved with include Parrish Fisher, Phillip Hyde (a possible package deal along with Calvin Johnson and Will Judson), Tyease Thompson, and Anthony Heard.
4. Tight End
Tight End is not the most "important" position on the football team but it is not a position to be ignored. That is what we did with it in last year's recruiting class and it will have to be addressed in this year's class. J.P. Foschi graduates after this season, leaving us with only Darius Williams (a rising senior), and unproven talents George Cooper, & Gavin Tarquinio. It is imperative that we add at least one to this group. Sarasota native Chris Zellner is the top talent to keep an eye on here.
3. Wide Receiver
Long gone are the days of Dez White and Kelly Campbell. Last year's top receiver, Kerry Watkins is gone too and soon, so will our current top playmaker Freddie Smith. Looking at the remaining receivers in the program, next season will be the first time in years that we will enter the season not knowing who our top playmaker will be. Nate Curry would seem to be a fine candidate but has been too inconsistent to lean on. The rest of the group features some good talents that have yet to really be heavy contributors like Damarius Bilbo, & Levon Thomas. It's also possible that LaKeldrick Bridges returns and becomes our go to guy next year. He was playing very well before his academic problems. The question will be, if he returns, how long will it take him to get back to where he was before and beyond. Depth wise, we're not in terrible shape but we do need to add a couple new receivers. It will be very important though that we add quality to this group. It is even possible that the playmaker we're looking for is currently not even in college. It could come in the form of highly touted Sandy Creek High star Calvin Johnson. Another super looking receiving prospect we're looking good with is Parkview star Greg Sudderth, who has the honor of wearing his HS coveted #12 jersey this season.
2. Defensive Line
We need to sign around 4 or 5 here total and currently have 0. This position becomes more of a concern too because we have only 10 on scholarship for next year and 1 of those, Gerris Wilkinson, is expected to return to LB, while another, LeShawn Newberry, will be returning from major knee surgery. We currently lead for 6'7" Tampa native A.J. Smith, but beyond him, there's no telling who we might end up with. On the other hand, we do return the entire starting group and have a good #5 in the rotation in Joe Anoai, so that leaves enough room for the #1 need left in Georgia Tech's recruiting class.
1. Offensive Line
I would say that this is not only the current number one need but that it's number one by a large margin. The rock of the current starting line, Hugh Reilly, will finally graduate after being at Tech for seemingly ten years. He'll be sorely missed for starters. His replacement could come from Kevin Tuminello or Andy Tidwell-Neal, but I'm sure we'd prefer to keep Andy at Guard, where he's done a bang up job this season. Reserves Will Hardy & Garren Findlay will graduate as well. That leaves us really leaning on 3 redshirt freshmen, Tuminello, Eddy Parker and Matthew Rhodes. There is a big possibility that attrition could strike the line once again in the upcoming off-season, so numbers and quality talent will be very important to this class. We're off to a good start with a big Offensive Tackle prospect, Jacob Lonowski, from Nebraska. It would also be nice to steal blue-chip OL Jeremy Ciulla away from Michigan, where he's currently committed. He will visit GT. Another target to keep an eye on is big Fred Roland from Hephzibah High. He prefers UGA at this time but he appears to currently be on their next tier of targets, leaving an opening for GT to offer and sign.
So, GT is off to a great start but will need to finish strong and fill the needs mentioned above. If we can continue to fill those needs with the quality we've brought in to date or better, then this could be a very good recruiting class.