Signing Day Surprises for GT

Signing Day for Georgia Tech fans was a little different this year. This year we not only waited for the known commitments to FAX in their Letters of Intent but we joined some of the big football programs in holding our collective breath while some big names made their choices known.

Welcome the GT recruiting class of 2004!

AJ Smith - DE 6-6 225 Tampa, FL (Jesuit HS)

Andrew Gardner - OL 6-6 250 Tyrone, GA (Sandy Creek HS)

Calvin Johnson - WR 6-4 215 Tyrone, GA (Sandy Creek HS)

Darrell Robertson DE 6-5 205 Jonesboro, GA (Jonesboro HS)

Darryl Richard DL 6-4 285 Destrehan, LA (Destrahan HS)

David Brown - DL 6-3 255 Madison, AL (Bob Jones HS)

DJay Jones - DB 6-1 185 St Mary's, GA (Camden County HS)

Drew Gause - RB 5-8 205 Spring, TX (Spring HS)

Elris Anyaibe - DL 6-3 275 Desoto, TX (Desoto HS)

Eric Williams - DB/LB 6-3 200 Metter, GA (Metter HS)

Gary Guyton - LB 6-2 220 Hinesville, GA (Bradwell Institute HS)

Jacob Lonowski - OL 6-5 290 Elkhorn, NE (Elkhorn HS)

Jamal Lewis - DB 6-0 170 Jonesboro, GA (Jonesboro HS)

James Johnson - WR 6-0 180 Winter Garden, FL (West Orange HS)

Jon Morrison - TE 6-5 235 Marietta, GA (Marietta HS)

Justin Guadagni - 6-1 FB 228 Glassport, PA (South Allegheny HS)

Kieran Delaney - OL 6-5 310 Bristol, RI (Old Farms HS, Avon, CT)

Kyle Belcher - PK/P 6-4 200 Albany, GA (Deerfield Windsor HS)

Kyle Manley - QB 6-2 185 Buford, GA (Buford HS)

Mike Cox - RB 6-2 248 Lewisberry, PA (Redland HS)

Nathan McManus - OL 6-4 290 Mountain Brook, AL (Mountain Brook HS)

Patrick Clark WR 5-10 175 Jacksonville, FL (Mandarin HS)

Travis Chambers - LB 6-0 215 Chamblee, GA (Chamblee HS)

Signing Day for Georgia Tech fans was a little different this year. This year we not only waited for the known commitments to FAX in their Letters of Intent but we joined some of the big football programs in holding our collective breath while some big names made their choices known. The three names left on our board before Signing Day were blue-chip prospects: Darryl Richard, Darrell Robertson, and Brandon Miller.

Over 50 hardcore fans packed the conference room at the Edge Center to celebrate the official signing of the recruiting class they had followed for months. Each time a new name was written on the board, conversations paused and folks carefully watched as Allison George, Director of Communications, delivered the good news. The jewel of the class, WR Calvin Johnson, would have caused a lot of nervousness to the group had he waited long to send in his paperwork. Instead his name was already on the board at number 4 by the time most fans had shown up. While we waited for all of the signatures to become official, coaches would come to the front of the room to speak on all of the kids on the list that they recruited as the last of their group became official.

When the board was up to 20 names, the usual nervousness began. That's when the first surprise was unleashed and a very unusual one at that. Someone asked about Pat Clark and Jarrell Johnson. When would they FAX their letters in? It was at that time that the crowd was told Jarrell was not a GT commitment but Clark's LOI was expected at any moment. It turns out that Jarrell committed to GT but our coaches gave no such commitment to him in return.

Soon after, Coach Curtis Modkins walked to the front of the room with Allison. Allison wrote Clark's name and now it was time to begin waiting for word to come in on the press conferences for players announcing late. But wait, she wasn't done writing. As Modkins was about to start talking, fans jokingly asked him to stop and let Allison finish writing. As she wrote out the name Darryl Richard, the sizable gathering made some noise with a big round of applause. Darryl is a big-time Defensive Tackle, which has usually been hard to come by for GT. It marked a huge victory by winning him from away from recruiting giant Miami.

A couple of hours later word was getting around that we may have scored our second victory of the day by getting local Defensive End Darrell Robertson to change his commitment to GT from Florida State. A call to Scott Kennedy confirmed that news through a solid source of his. But how sure was he? "In this game, you're either right or you're wrong, and I'm right on this one," said Scott assuredly! "You guys are two-for-two today, congratulations," and Scott was gone to follow other stories. After notifying the now thinning crowd at the Edge Center of Scott's news, many rejoiced then broke for lunch.

Unfortunately the day was not to be a perfect 3-for-3 though. The state's #1 player Brandon Miller called to tell our Coach Nix that he was going to commit to rival University of Georgia. Coach had put a lot of hours and effort into recruiting Brandon, as well as the others and was disappointed but understanding of the decision.

So with that we closed the book on one of the more satisfying classes in the past several years. It is a class that will be remembered for its surprises, both good and bad, on the last day. When looking back it could also mark the turning point in Chan Gailey's legacy when we sent notice to the football powers-that-be, that we were now going to be players in this game of recruiting and will soon challenge for conference supremacy in the new ACC.

GoJackets.com will continue the recruiting discussion over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back in. Report Cards will soon go out to this recruiting class, position-by-position, staring with Quarterback.


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