Jay Finch is going to bring a lot to the Georgia Tech team when he arrives in fall of 2009. First off he's tough – he looks tough, he talks tough, and he backs it all up by playing tough. He's a high-energy player with what football people like to call a good motor. He'll give you the same effort whether it's game or a drill without pads. He plays both offense and defense in high school and will bring a defensive mentality to the offensive line for the Jackets. He also moves well for an offensive lineman and is accustomed to pulling and being in an option-based offense.
So how did it all work out to where he ended up at Tech's camp and committing to the Yellow Jackets?
"I was talking to Georgia but they never offered me and that wasn't really the place for me so I ended up canceling going to their one-day camp to go to Georgia Tech's," said Finch. "All of the places I had offers from were the ones I was really focusing on. I mean, schools by now would have offered if they were sincerely interested. So I was focusing on those schools."
Jay listed academics as a big reason for picking Tech and he also joked about having the chance start up a rivalry with a former teammate who picked a different in-state school last year.
"Probably academics because I wanted to do Architecture or something in the Engineering field and that's Tech's specialty," said Finch. "So, that's really what unbalanced the scale. Plus I get to hit Bryce Ros (former teammate and UGA 2008 commit) for the next four or five years."
Jay has played on both sides of the ball and doesn't really prefer one to the other.
"I loved them both," said Finch. "On offense I'm the guy who gets to push them into the end zone to score. On defense I get to keep them out of the end zone by making a 4th down stop."
Finch, who says he was measured at 6'3", 258 pounds at the camp without shoes or socks, described going from the wing-T his high school runs to Tech's triple option offense and how well he thinks he can adjust.
"I think it will be a really easy transition because they run a very similar scheme with their offense," said Finch. "They do a lot of releasing to the linebackers where the guards or tackles try to release and pickup the 'backer. So, they're looking to get to the sidelines and break it every time."
I mentioned to Jay that there were some big name defensive linemen also at the camp and wondered how he faired against them in one-on-one drills. Jay says he fared just fine – thank you.
"I'm not sure which ones were which but I don't believe any of them got to the quarterback," said Finch. "And I was also playing on defense and if they were playing offense, I believe I got to the quarterback every time. Even if it's a drill and we're not in pads, I'm still 110%. I'm trying to do what I've got to do. That's just kind of how I am."
Since Jay was recruited by both in-state schools I asked him to give me his take on the rivalry he's about to become a part of.
"Well, put it this way, you know how people say, 'last one in is a rotten egg?' Well, we say, 'last one in is a bulldog.' We were doing that at camp and it kind of stuck and that's how I feel about it," said Finch.
Another Tech commit, QB Jordan Luallen, had been in touch with Jay prior to the camp and they got to spend some time getting to know each other better in person at the camp over the weekend. It's a smart move for Luallen to make buddies with Finch, who'll be keeping defensive lineman off him on the field a little over a year from now. "I'll be protecting him I guess because he'll probably be in my class so we'll see how that goes," said Finch.
"I had talked to him on the phone before, so it was good to meet him in person," Finch said about Luallen. "And he's fast for a quarterback – I can tell you that much. I got to see him run, he was hauling some butt."
Luallen is planning on making a trip back down to Atlanta next month, so Jay is planning on meeting up with him and showing Jordan around town.