2004 Class Report Card: S

The 2-deep at the Safety position is currently filled with all upper classmen. GT added two to the group last year and could afford to be choosy in picking out players for the position this season.


New Editions (1):

Djay Jones

Depth Chart:

SS: Dawan Landry, Chris Reis, Joe Gaston, Djay Jones

FS: *James Butler, Nathan Burton, Avery Roberson

* Previous All-ACC 1st Team Selection

The 2-deep at the Safety position is currently filled with all upper classmen. Georgia Tech added two to the group last year and one this year. It will soon be time for the younger ones to show that they can be counted on in subsequent years. This will be the year for one of them to step up and push the Juniors and Seniors ahead of them.

The one that got away:

Chris Davis

Chris Davis seemed like a near lock to commit to GT. Losing Coach Glenn Spencer to Duke probably didn't help but that's a kid we wanted. Some believed that we only wanted one between Djay and Chris but that wasn't the case. We would have taken commitments from both as it turns out. Our coaches believed that we probably led for him but in the end it was another former GT coach winning him over, Ted Roof. We also made a strong early run for blue-chip Safety, Kyle Jackson, but in the end he chose Florida. We were on his final list of teams but our chances fell considerably once his friend Ciatrick Fason, started getting more playing time at Florida and scrapped thoughts of transferring to a school in Atlanta. There really weren't too many others where mutual interests existed.

Position Needs:

Seeing that we're upperclassmen heavy at Safety it was really a position that we could be picky about who we landed. We needed at least 1 but 2 would have been ideal. Joe Gaston and Avery Roberson should now start to battle for 2-deep spots in spring. They will get even more of a look if Landry is tried experimentally at linebacker, which has been rumored. That is another reason why landing two would have been better but still, we're not in a bad spot at the Safety position right now. It will likely be imperative though next year to land at least 2.

Who GT signed:

Djay Jones

Djay is one of the best Safeties in the state of Georgia and an integral part of his HS team, Camdem County, which won the state championship and was undefeated. For some unknown reason, Djay didn't receive as much attention as you might think he would from some of the southern football factory schools. I have heard though from unbiased sources that others are very impressed with his abilities and believed that their schools should have offered. So besides Duke and Wake Forest, there wasn't much other competition for his services. From what I know of him, he could really turn into quite a steal for the Yellow Jackets. I look for Djay to get involved with special teams as a freshman and to possibly push for a starting spot in a year after Butler & Burton graduate.

Another possibility is that signee Eric Williams goes back to Safety, his HS position. It is almost certain that he'll add weight his freshman year and look to compete the following year at linebacker though. Williams was TheInsiders.com's number 1 Senior Safety in Georgia last season.

Recruiting Grade: B-

Had GT decided to keep Williams at Safety rather than moving him to LB, the grade would be significantly higher. I think signing Djay though was an excellent move but I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to the Safety position in general this year. We'll soon find out that Jones play will not reflect the small number of offers he received from other football programs. He is used to winning and will hopefully bring that mentality to our defensive backfield. As for next year's recruiting, I think Safety is one of the positions that I'd most like to see us land a blue-chip prospect. We've landed some solid prospects there in the past 2 seasons but I'd like to see them pushed by a top flight talent such as Kenny Scott at Corner or Darryl Richard at Defensive Tackle. I think the competition would push the young group into one that has to really fight it out to earn future playing time. It would be good for Jones, Gaston & Roberson to raise their level of play and it would be good for our program.

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