Football gets largest class since ‘04

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the Jackets signed a total of 22 football players to letters of intent for the 2011 season. The class consisted of 10 prospects from within the state of Ga., making this the third straight year with at least 10 in-state signings. Unlike the previous two years, the majority of the class came from out of state, with four players from Fla., three from N.C., two from Ala., and one each from Tenn., Ill., and N.J.
Tech, needing depth at the linebacker position, used this class to address its No. 1 need. The eight newly signed linebackers will be developed in order to fit into the new 3-4 defense implemented by Defensive Coordinator Al Groh. Highlighting the linebacker prospects is Jabari Hunt-Days. Days is the brother of Tech quarterback Synjyn Days, and will be joining after playing in Marietta, Ga.
Sean Tobin, recruited to aid the recent struggles on special teams, will be working at the long snapper position along with linebacker. As a late addition to the class, Nick Menocal of Miami, Fla. decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes and joined the Jackets, adding a run stopping ability that could help Tech’s rushing defense. Anthony Harrell from Tampa, Fla. comes from Jesuit High School, which has sent Tech talented athletes such as former B-back Anthony Allen.
With two starters leaving the offensive line after the 2010 season, the Jackets were expected to recruit some replacements. Tech picked up some major size on the line, with two linemen over 300 pounds and all four over 285 pounds. Errin Joe is a prototypical lineman for Head Coach Paul Johnson’s offense, combining speed along with the ability to knock defenders over.
Keeping up with the tradition of tall receivers, Tech signed two tall athletes in Darren Waller and Jeff Greene. Waller, at six-foot-five, could be seeing time at receiver or safety and has been heavily praised for his blocking ability that is crucial to the execution of the spread option. Greene, the tallest recruit at six-foot-six, will be looked upon to use his size to jump up and catch the ball over the heads of defenders.
Another need addressed in the class was at the running back position with the majority of the experienced backs leaving at the end of the 2011 season. Broderick Snoddy from Carollton, Ga. is a speedy track athlete that will play at A-back and possibly as a returner in the kicking game. Zach Laskey will likely see time at the B-back position with his physical running style. However, he will need to gain some muscle weight to shape up for the position.
Many of the players who signed in the class are versatile athletes that could see time at one of many positions. Seven former quarterbacks appear on the commitments list, such as Demontevious Smith who may see time under center or as a defensive back. Tech appears to have gotten a steal in commitment Jamal Golden, the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year. Golden could see time at many positions but likely will be tested at the cornerback position.
Arguably the biggest recruit signed in the class, however, is Vad Lee from Durham, N.C. Lee fits the spread option scheme very well with his natural scrambling ability. During his senior season in high school, he led Hillside High School to an undefeated season and a class 4A state championship. His arm impresses the Tech coaches as well, as he threw for 3223 yards, and rushed for another 1300 during his career. His excitement to join the team has the Tech coaches and fans alike ready to see the results in the future at the quarterback position.
The only player in the class to enroll early is offensive lineman Trey Braun, with the rest joining the team during the summer for fall practices.
“I think we addressed our needs and signed a very balanced, talented group…We are excited about this class and feel like we have a number of players who are not only quality players, but quality young men as well,” Johnson said.


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