So far Izaan Cross, David Sims (GT Commit), Dontae Aycock, Julian Burnett, Euclid Cummings, and Nolan MacMillan are off the prediction board. GoJackets.com continues to feel very good about these first six picks. Cross we feel is a matter of time. Sims is a Yellow Jacket already. Aycock & Burnett we are both looking very good with – there has been speculation that at least one of those two is in the bag. Cummings is a battle with other good schools but he's in this weekend so that's a great sign of interest level from both sides. We don't necessarily predict he'll leave this weekend having committed but we still like Tech's chances. MacMillian is the main OL target for Tech and he'll be here on the 19th so things seem to be looking good there.
This final article will be done a little differently than the first three. We'll still show consensus picks at the end to go along with our first six but this time, you're going to get a chance to read each staff member write how he feels the story will play out in his own words. We will include reasoning for our picks and who we think won't make it and why.
The coaching staff still feels like the final number will be between 23-25.
Ending by: Kamden Robb
Currently, Georgia Tech with 17 verbally committed players, has the #25 ranked recruiting class for 2009 according to Scout.com's ratings system. It appears that one of those commits, Demond Dennis, will not qualify, bringing the class back down to 16...but not for long. With one of its big official visit weekends scheduled to take place in a few days, Georgia Tech will try to notch a few more commitments. Of the eleven players scheduled to visit, only two are uncommitted: QB Courtney Dalcourt and DE Euclid Cummings. I have been predicting Dalcourt would pull the trigger for a few weeks, but I guess he is waiting until taking his official visit, just to make sure. I expect both players will ultimately choose the Yellow Jackets, but only Dalcourt this weekend. I think Cummings will take a few more visits before making his decision. In an ideal world, both players commit on Friday after taking their first bite of steak at Fogo de Chao in Buckhead. Another player on the verge of committing soon is LB Julian Burnett, a player who has been on GT's radar since Junior Day back in February. It seems the explosive linebacker from Westside Macon would already be a commit if it weren't for some transcript issues. I believe those issues will ultimately be resolved and he will be a Yellow Jacket.
Many (if not all) of the remaining committed players will take their official visits the following weekend, along with uncommitted players like CB Marsalis Teague, RB Joel Kight, OT Nolan MacMillan. The other player that will probably make it for this weekend is DE Izaan Cross along with his teammate and current GT commit Daniel Drummond (their team is still in the playoffs). After this weekend, I think the remainder of the recruiting class will fill in fast! All of the uncommitted players (Kight, MacMillan, Cross and Teague) will commit during or shortly after the weekend.
The remaining players on GT's radar with committable offers, S Darren Myles and QB Dontae Aycock, will end up scheduling visits in January. I think Georgia Tech will get verbals from both (Dontae nearly committed when he visited unofficially earlier in the season), with Myles waiting until National Signing Day to make his intentions known, surprising fans and coaches alike by becoming the last member of Georgia Tech's 2009 recruiting class.
So, here is my prediction of how things will shape up for the Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech over the next few weeks leading up to NSD 2008:
#17 Courtney Dalcourt
#18 Julian Burnett
#19 Joel Kight
#20 Nolan MacMillan
#21 Marsalis Teague
#22 Izaan Cross
#23 Euclid Cummings
#24 Dontae Aycock
#25 Darren Myles Jr.
I think most people are hedging their bets and saying 24 for the class, but that is mainly because Myles is such an unknown. I think this recruiting class will go down as one of the best in GT history, providing a lot of quality depth at key positions and potential stars in Jemea Thomas, Stephen Hill, Jordan Luallen and J.C. Lanier among others.
Ending by: Jonathan Leifheit
I think we sign 24 or 25 in the end and I'll explain the number at the end. I also think Demond Dennis ends up elsewhere - too much smoke for there not to be some fire. Unless he pulled a really good fall semester, I think he goes elsewhere. So, that leaves 8 more to go. We already have covered Cross, Burnett, Aycock, MacMillan and Cummings who are all on my final list. So, that leaves another 3 to go.
My last 3 are....
Courtney Dalcourt - A very good athlete, I think Courtney pulls the trigger pretty soon and ends up on the Flats.
Joel Kight - While Coach Johnson debates on this one, I think losing Dennis will ultimately mean that Kight will get an offer and he'll commit pretty quickly. Obviously, if Dennis' grades turn out to be OK, then I think Kight will not be a Jacket.
Darren Myles - It seems like there's no real information on where he is leaning and his interviews don't seem to be very revealing. But, he has been around our program and I think his seeming preference to stay near home will work to our advantage.
Now, the last one on the list that I think we MIGHT get is Mike Gilliard. He seems to still be interested in our program and I've heard that he gets along nicely with the guys already in the program. So, I think that if he ultimately switches sides that we'll take him. But, he would be commit #25. If he doesn't commit, then we take only 24.
Ending by: Dale McDuffie
As a group we said that Izaan Cross, David Sims, Dontae Aycock, Julian Burnett, Euclid Cummings, and Nolan McMillian will be the next ones to commit to Georgia Tech. Out of that group, David Sims has already pledged his verbal to Georgia Tech. Of the 17 commits GT has, I have heard rumors and have been told by several people I trust with information regarding GT recruiting that we will lose one of those recruits. Demond Dennis will be a casualty from that group. That leaves us with 22 that have either committed to GT or the GoJackets staff believe will be a Yellow Jacket come signing day. I believe that we will take anywhere from 23 to 25 recruits so there has to be some others that the coaching staff at GT is looking at and will offer or have offered that will accept.
I believe that Courtney Dalcourt will commit to Georgia Tech on his visit this month. He has had GT high on his list for along time. He had been told that we will take one more QB and he will take that slot. However GT will take Dontae Aycock if Dalcourt commits or not, so Dalcourt will take his scholarship on his visit to secure a place on the Jackets roster. If Aycock commits first then all bets are off with Dalcourt.
The fact that Kight and Swift haven't received firm offers leave me to believe that there might be something going on with Teague or Gillislee. I believe that both are long shots and in the end we will get Kight as a commit. Luke Swift could become a player in this situation if Kight fails to commit to GT or if he (Swift) decides to take a preferred walk-on status with the chance to get a scholarship next season.
That leaves one scholarship left and I believe that Darren Myles will ultimately get that one. I know he likes LSU a lot, just as much as he does GT, but the fact he did not commit to LSU on his visit tells me one of two things, one that he has offer provided someone else doesn't work out as LSU already is pushing the 85 man limit plus some or secondly, he like GT better and will commit as soon as he takes a visit here.
I will throw a wild card in here, Mike Gilliard. He is one player that has been on the horizon of Georgia Tech recruiting and I think that even if GT has 25 commits, GT will take him and find a way to work the numbers within NCCA guidelines mind you. He has spent a lot of time with Georgia Tech players and his best friend in Antonio Foster is a GT commit. This is just a pure gut feeling and I believe he will change. The fact that several UGA coaches were at his house this week speaks volumes too. One way for this too work is if Aycock commits before Dalcourt, then that ship will be used here. In fact that ship could be a factor in three players, Gilliard, Teague, or Gillespie.
Ending by: Rod MacKenzie
Choosing the first 6 players in our attempt to guess the most likely players to commit presented some challenges but none like the final installment presented. Most of the staff agreed on the first 6 picks. Finding a consensus for the final picks probably wouldn't have been as easy.
The first decision to make was trying to decide whether we'd take 2 or 3 more recruits. The second decision was trying to decide which of 6 players to eliminate.
The first player I eliminated was Marsalis Teague. The 4-star athlete from Henry Co., TN listed us as his second choice but I think the lure of playing for Florida will be too much for us to overcome. His official visit next weekend may change his mind but in the end I think he'll choose Florida.
The second player I eliminated was Ricky Johnson, the 3-star athlete that committed to Arkansas. He took an official visit to Tech despite being committed to Arkansas but has not made the change following his visit. It appears that he'll stay with Arkansas.
The final player that I eliminated was one that I originally had in my first 6. Darren Myles, the 4-star safety, has made numerous changes in his recruiting plans and the latest led me to believe that he may be going elsewhere. Alabama, Purdue, and LSU are possibilities for Darren.
My decision to go with 3 more players revolved around one recruit. If Donate Aycock had announced his decision to come to Tech I may have stopped with 2 but one of the visitors this weekend led me to believe that we'll take 2 more qbs/athletes to close out the class.
COURTNEY DALCOURT - Courtney has been hearing from Louisville, Cincinnati, Central Michigan, and Georgia Tech. As of this coming weekend, Tech is the only school to get an official visit. He really liked his first trip here and this weekend should seal the deal. I look for him to be one of the final three for this year's class.
MIKE GILLIARD - I may be going out on a limb with this one especially since he hasn't set up an official visit yet. My selection is not based on info but on a feeling about the way it will end. He has a few current commits working on him. Commits whose opinion he respects. He also came away impressed with our showing against Georgia. For that reason, I chose the linebacker from Valdosta to change his commit from Georgia to Tech.
JOEL KIGHT - When push comes to shove, I think Joel will get the offer that he's waited on since it's been mentioned to him. The coaches like what they see from him and I look for him to get the offer on his visit next weekend. That offer should also lead to a commit from Joel.
Ending by: Jared Kimmel
First things first - I believe Demond Dennis will not end up at Tech because of grades issues. That puts us at 16 commits. In the previous articles we've predicted Sims (already a commit included in the 16 total), Cross, Aycock, Burnett, Cummings, and MacMillan. I think we get all of these guys to bring us to 21 commitments. Here's how the other ones shake out to me. I predict a total of 25 commitments for this class. Here are the remaining four.
Luke Swift - I've heard from multiple sources, including Swift's high school teammate Jordan Luallen, that Swift is close to getting the offer he wants. Luke can play receiver or A-back at the next level. He should be a nice fit to the Yellow Jacket offense and I think he commits.
Courtney Dalcourt - With two quarterback commitments already, and likely Aycock on the way, I still think Dalcourt doesn't back down from the competition and decides to come to Atlanta instead of staying home at Kentucky. I think Dalcourt feels at home with the Yellow Jackets' staff and players and loves the atmosphere.
Mike Gilliard - Surprise! Yes, I think Mike switches from rival Georgia to a school he's always loved. His teammate Antonio Foster is headed to Tech and Mike really feels comfortable with the Tech players. Getting Gilliard would be icing on the cake for Tech fans who follow recruiting after the victory over Georgia last month.
Darren Myles - Another surprise. This would be a huge commit for the Yellow Jackets. I don't believe LSU really has any room left for him with their numbers almost full and already loaded with defensive backs. Alabama will make a run, as will his father's alma mater Purdue. A starting spot at Tech is likely not guaranteed, but the Yellow Jackets often play five defensive backs. Myles wants to play next year and I think he has the best chance to do that at Purdue and Georgia Tech. So, will he go with his father's alma mater with new coaching staff or a team that's winning big games and close to home? Myles feels wanted at Tech and I think that staying in Atlanta just might be the total package he needs.
Ending by: Ryan Bass
Tech's commit count is at 17 but as most know by now Demond Dennis might not qualify academically, which is unfortunate. The videos for Dennis are outstanding and I have really been looking forward to seeing what he could do in Coach Johnson's offense. I think he could be a star. Like we saw with Roddy Jones, Dennis could be that kind of home run hitter potentially. For the sake of my picks though, I'm not going to count Demond. Should it work out with him I'll be very pleased.
That starts me out with 16 plus the 5 we have come to a consensus on as a group. At 21 commits, I see us finishing out with 23. With all of the promising names remaining on the list, it was difficult to cut the remaining names to just two more.
The next most likely in my eyes is Courtney Dalcourt. Looking back, it's almost surprising that he's not made it into our top 6 most likely commits but I was one of the reasons he didn't. This is the first time I've put in a vote for him but he's been maybe one vote away from making the list each time. With Sims taking a return visit for the Miami game, we thought he might pull the trigger so he bumped Courtney. Then Aycock became the popular pick for next QB to commit. After that I think there was some hesitation to predict we'd land a third one with other new offers going out to OL and LB. In my mind though there became scenarios in which Dalcourt could end up at Tech. The most likely as it appears now is for him to commit before Aycock. I know how much Dontae is coveted and I worried that if he committed first, we could lose out on Dalcourt – probably to Kentucky. But with Courtney in for an official visit this weekend, I can picture him taking his spot perhaps before the end of the weekend. If that happens, Aycock is still very much in the plans. It's easy to see the value in bringing in the best athletes and letting them have their shot at QB. Not only will we be assured of having a solid QB but you now also have guys recruited as RBs, WRs and DBs by other top Division-1 schools able to change positions down the road and you'll fill needs that way.
For my last spot I'll predict Tech lands Joel Kight. To me it fits well with our needs and the signs are pointing to a higher likelihood that he ends up here. First, if we assume no Dennis then Kight would be an excellent choice to take a spot at A-back. Secondly, that would open up the possibility even more of Jemea Thomas starting off on the defense – though that could be affected by a number of surprise commits at defensive back, which I'm not predicting at this time to happen. I feel even better about selecting Joel now that he's one of only a handful of uncommitted player who have an official visit scheduled for Tech in the coming weeks.
I thought hard about the others but there are either too many unknowns now or I just don't think it's likely for them to end up at Tech. It's possible that we could end up signing 25, but I don't think it's as likely as 24 or 23. Besides, it is always nice to leave a spot or two at the end in case a super prospect wants to commit late or change his mind from elsewhere and maybe play closer to home.
The one I thought the most about was Darren Myles. I didn't select him because of the unknown factors. I'd like to first see that he sets up an official visit to Tech – the sooner the better. I don't usually feel good about it when you recruit someone a long time and they take their visit the last week or two of January – not a concern if it's someone you offer late. Many point to LSU filling up as to why he won't go there but if Myles is as good as analyst think he is, teams like LSU or Alabama will find ways to take him if he wants to be there. I met Myles at Tech on a couple of occasions and he's just not an easy on to get a good read on. He could very well be GT all the way but I just haven't read/heard enough to feel more comfortable about those chances than I do the others. By the way, I'd love to carry on my tradition of not predicting a good safety prospect to end of at Tech only to be wrong as I was last year with Cooper Taylor!
The other close call for me is Luke Swift. I'm sure he'll come to Tech if offered; it's just a question of if he'll be offered. I think that will be something that won't be determined until near the end of the recruiting season once we know how all scholarships will shake out. If he doesn't receive any other major offer, I'd love to see him join Jordan and start off as a preferred walk-on. Perhaps getting that offer from Purdue could even help him get a late offer from Tech if we want to keep him from going elsewhere.
Others of note:
Marsalis Teague – I was surprised to see him set up an official visit. That's exciting because anything can happen once you get them on campus – as we've seen over the years. I think in the end though it's probably somewhere like Florida for him. Getting him on campus though is a great start.
Ricky Johnson – I think we liked him early on but now think we have better options filling that role. He could be a late surprise only if we have some misses along the way.
Mike Gillislee – That would be quite a highlight reel steal taking a RB away from Florida late. I just don't see any chance of it happening.
Mike Gilliard – Of all the long-shot guesses, I thing this one has the most legs. I don't suspect it will happen but wouldn't it be sweet to steal one from Georgia after having beaten them this year too. It is feasible to see this happening because of two reasons. One, his high school teammate Antonio Foster bailed on an SEC school (though it was under extenuating circumstances). Two, we've worked hard on Mike for a long time now and haven't given up. So, he's not only familiar with our program but seems comfortable with the players and coaches in the program.
Final GoJackets.com consensus picks
Though you can grade us individually on our final picks, as a group there were three more players with a majority of votes to join the list of consensus picks for the site. Here is the final list bringing the total number of commits to 24:
David Sims (GT Commit)
Darren Myles Jr.