Collins welcomes six new freshmen to 2020 roster

Photo by Allie Ghisson, Student Publications

Six members of the 2020 football recruiting class were welcomed to the 404 as they moved in the weekend before spring semester began. Coach Collins’ efforts to utilize the Atlanta related branding for the program have paid off, as half of the early enrollees are from Georgia high schools. 

The local talent, combined with multiple stand-out out of state players, has made the 2020 recruiting class one of the best in recent Georgia Tech history. By signing day in December, the Jackets had signed 22 recruits, with the class being ranked 20th by Rivals nationally, and 4th in the Atlantic Coastal Conference. 

The early enrollees have the opportunity to jump-start their career on the Flats as they dive into spring training and practices in the coming months. For Sims and Gleason in particular, the extra off season time will be crucial for them to gain comfort behind the ball, which could become an important reserve to draw from, now that redshirt Junior quarterback Lucas Johnson has entered the transfer portal. 

Among the early enrollees is Jordan Williams, a three star offensive tackle from Gainesville, Georgia. Williams was one of the earliest recruits of the 2020 class, with heavy interest stemming from Offensive Line and Assistant Head Coach, Brent Key. Standing at 6’6” and 310 pounds, Williams is bringing his size to the advantage of the offensive line. One look at his highlight tape from his time at Gainesville High School shows that despite his size, he brings an athletic tempo to the position that can potentially benefit the Jackets against heavy defensive teams. 

Jalen Huff, a three star cornerback hailing from Buford, Georgia will be joining the team as an important defensive tool for Collins to put to use within the next season. His lean stature, standing at 5’11” and 180 pounds, speedily carries him around the field to make big plays. Huff, a highly recruited player who was originally committed to Oklahoma State University, will become a player to watch in Bobby Dodd. 

The last of the in-state players to enroll early is Akelo Stone, a three star defensive end from Savannah, Georgia. Stone will not only be bringing his defensive talents to the Flats but also a re-energized optimism for the program’s future. Starting early this spring is going to be a crucial development period for Stone to make gains and beef up before he has the chance to face some of the ACC’s biggest guys this fall. 

Jacksonville, Florida’s Jeff Sims was a significant pick up for Collin’s recruiting class this year. The four star quarterback was originally committed to Florida State, but flipped his decision and signed with Tech in mid December. Looking at his highlights from Sandalwood High School show that Sims could become exactly what Georgia Tech needs in the pocket. He is able to complete long passes under pressure and can also run the ball when needed, toughing it out for yardage when he has multiple players covering him. 

Another Floridian quarterback joining the Jackets this spring is Tampa’s Tucker Gleason. Gleason was an early pick-up for Tech, making his interest known during the early signing period back in March 2019. Gleason’s development as quarterback will be an interesting one to watch, as he also received offers from Georgia, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia Tech. He has shown great accuracy and precision in the pocket, which the team needs to develop as Collins continues to transition the team’s offense. 

The last of the early enrollees is Ryan Spiers, a three star offensive linemen from Biloxi, Mississippi. Spiers will most likely end up being one of Brent Key’s power players in a season or two, as he has already made a conscious effort in high school to bulk up for the position. Tech’s team simply lacks the size and weight that other ranked teams, such as Clemson, heavily use against us on the defensive side. With the addition of Spiers in the spring, giving him more time to size up in his position, we could see those gaps close as we approach next season. 

While only analyzing the spring enrollees, it’s clear that Coach Collins and his recruitment team have been successful in bringing talent into Atlanta, and keeping strong players in the state.