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Georgia Tech snares 22 players -- 12 from outside the state --- on National Signing Day

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATLANTA -- Monroe High's Bryan Chamberlain of Albany headlined Georgia Tech's 2011 class that it signed Wednesday on National Signing Day, although the Yellow Jackets went mostly out of state for 12 of its 22 signees to land what coach Paul Johnson called a "very balanced, talented class."

An Albany Herald Dynamite Dozen selection, Chamberlain is a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman. He signed his scholarship during an intimate ceremony surrounded by family and friends Wednesday evening at Oakridge Baptist Church in Albany, becoming one of four offensive lineman signed by Johnson and the Yellow Jackets. Chamberlain becomes the third player from Albany in the last five years to ink with the Yellow Jackets, joining a pair of former Deerfield stars Tony Zenon (2010) and QB Paul Reese (2007).

Of course, it's not every year that Georgia Tech signs six incoming freshmen who played quarterback in high school.

Just two of the six, Vad Lee of Durham, N.C., and Demontevious Smith of Monroe, Ga., are projected to play quarterback for Georgia Tech.

The rest, including Chris Milton of Folkston, Ga., Jamal Golden of Wetumpka, Ala., and Tyler Marcordes of Normal, Ill., will likely settle in at other positions.

"Usually those guys are great athletes, and we're looking forward to seeing what those guys do at different spots," Johnson said. "I think just think as general rule, it's been my experience through the years that most high school teams put their best player at quarterback."

Johnson isn't concerned that only 10 signees are from the state of Georgia.

"There were some really good players in the state this year, but there's a niche that has to fit your program your program and have to fit you school," he said. "Certainly academics come into play a great deal in this state, and that doesn't preclude us from everyone because we have a few exceptions, too, but unless education is a big deal or there's something that draws you -- if you want to find a place with a bigger stadium, you can."

The 2011 class includes eight linebackers, four offensive linemen and three running backs who hope to help the Yellow Jackets improve on last year's 6-7 record.

Georgia Tech signed three players from North Carolina -- Lee, linebacker Tremayne McNair and defensive back Domonique Noble. Three players are from Florida, two from Alabama and one each from Tennessee, Illinois and New Jersey.

"I think we addressed our needs and signed a very balanced, talented group," Johnson said.

Golden is from the same hometown as Georgia Tech's projected starting quarterback, junior Tevin Washington. Golden, a highly touted baseball player, will begin his college football career at cornerback.

Linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days of Hillgrove High in Marietta is the younger brother of redshirt freshman quarterback Synjyn Days.

Offensive lineman Trey Braun of Tallahassee, Fla., is the only signee already enrolled at Georgia Tech. The other 21 are expected to enroll in August.

Johnson believes Marcordes' proverbial ceiling is very high.

"He's 6-3, 235 and certainly right now he can play outside linebacker," Johnson said. "He may be a defensive end before it's all said and done. You just don't know how those guys are going to grow, but you know they're good athletes."

Milton, who was recruited as a running back, is another versatile option.

"He was a really good quarterback at Charlton County and one of the best players in that area for two or three years," Johnson said. "He could be an A-back, he could be a safety, he could be a receiver. He could be a lot of things."