In his third year on the flats, Head Coach Paul Johnson pulled in a strong class for Tech with 18 total commitments.
The class features a large number of in-state players, with 14 of the 18 total commitments coming from the state of Ga. Johnson continued his trend of focusing on in-state players as Tech signed the same number of recruits from Ga as last year.
Johnson and his staff signed 12 defensive players in an attempt to address the unit’s struggles last season and the loss of defensive end Derrick Morgan and safety Morgan Burnett.
Tech added depth at several positions, as the class includes five defensive backs, three defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, three running backs and a kicker.
“We addressed needs at every position and we signed a number of players who are extremely athletic and versatile,” Johnson said in an interview with .
Tech started this year’s recruiting process earlier than most teams. Running back Charles Perkins from Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga. committed to the Jackets on Jan. 31, 2009. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Perkins could fill either of Tech’s running back positions.
Perkins is also one of three Tech commitments who have already enrolled in school. He is joined by two fellow Georgia natives, safety Isaiah Johnson and cornerback B.J. Bostic.
To replace the loss of safety Morgan Burnett, Tech signed six defensive backs, three of which will most likely play safety.
Tech’s highest-rated commitment according to espn.com is among the six. Cornerback Ryan Ayers from Douglasville, Ga. committed to the Jackets before the season and has remained firmly committed since.
One of Tech’s safety recruits, Jake Skole, is the brother of Tech baseball’s sophomore third baseman Matt Skole. Jake Skole doubled as a receiver in high school but will likely stay on the defensive side for the Jackets.
Another defensive back, Louis Young, had committed to Stanford for most of the offseason, but changed his commitment to Tech one day before the Feb. 3 Signing Day. Young hails from Olney, Md., and he was highly sought after by many schools partly because his height allows him to match up with taller receivers.
Tech picked up commitments from Young and outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu thanks in large part from newly hired Defensive Coordinator Al Groh. Groh recruited both players while he was a head coach at Virginia and both players quickly signed with Tech once he joined the Jackets’ staff.
The Nigerian-born Attaochu went to high school in Washington, D.C. and is an ideal fit at linebacker in Tech’s new 3-4 defense. At 6-foot-3, he brings great size and speed to the Flats, and Attaochu also brings a strong nose for the football. As a senior, Attaochu had four touchdowns by blocking kicks and returning fumbles.
Tech will most likely look internally to replace All-ACC defensive end Derrick Morgan, but Tech did add depth to the defensive line.
Tech picked up two four-star defensive tackles that could start one day in Tech’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Shawn Green of Loganville, Ga. and Denzel McCoy from Duluth, Ga. both committed to the Jackets well before Groh’s hiring and signed.
On the offensive line, Tech will try to replace departed guard Cord Howard and add depth with two offensive line commitments.
Guard Morgan Bailey, who stands 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, will likely be a guard for the Jackets. Catlin Alford could also see some time at guard even though Tech recruited him as a tackle.
The Jackets also sought to improve their special teams, as Justin Moore is the first kicker to recieve a scholarship offer under the Johnson era. Moore holds the record for the longest successful field goal in Marist School history with a 50-yard field goal.