ATLANTA — Georgia Tech hauled in 21 players for its 2014 football signing class on Wednesday, including four early enrollees who are already on campus headlined by four-star cornerback Step Durham (Jacksonville, Fla.) and quarterback Matthew Jordan (Jackson, Ala.).
The class features 10 players from the state of Georgia, six offensive linemen and a handful of versatile players that head coach Paul Johnson said could play on either side of the ball.
“I thought that we really fulfilled some needs,” Johnson said. “We took six offensive linemen which was a priority this year in the class, and we got some backs that we think can come in and compete right away. Overall just really excited with the class.”
The class featured a trio of metro-area players with the late additions of Norcross teammates Myles Autry and Clinton Lynch to go with North Gwinnett running back C.J. Leggett.
Autry, whose brother Anthony Autry is a receiver at Tech already, chose the Yellow Jackets over Florida State and others on Wednesday. Autry played multiple positions for Norcross en route to a AAAAAA state championship and will likely be used as an A-back by Tech. ESPN ranks him a four-star prospect and the 31st best athlete in the country as a member of the ESPN300.
Lynch, a 6-foot, 185-pound receiver, flipped his commitment to Georgia Tech from Georgia State on Tuesday night. Johnson said he thinks that defensive coordinator and Central grad, Ted Roof had a big impact in Tech’s ability to bring in the Gwinnett Country products.
“I think Ted has a lot of experience in the state, playing in Gwinnett County and being there, it’s certainly an advantage,” Johnson said. “He knows the high school coaches and we were able to pick up a couple guys from Gwinnett County this year.”
Leggett, who rushed for 1,784 yards and 23 touchdowns this season as North finished as the 6AAAAA state runner-up, was one the players Johnson mentioned could have an immediate impact.
“I think C.J. is a very talented guy. You don’t lead his classification in rushing (if you’re not),” Johnson said. “He’s got a burning desire to excel. I think he could be either an A-back or a B-back and once we get him in and get him in the system we’ll kind of see where he has a chance to get on the field the fastest and where he fits, and that’s where we’ll play him. But we’re excited, I think he could be a really good player.”
While Johnson is excited about the Yellow Jackets’ class, no recruiting service has the class ranked higher than 46th (Rivals.com). But as usual Johnson dismissed the star ranking system for evaluating how schools do on National Signing Day.
“This is my view. If you go back and look for the last six years, there’s four teams in the ACC who’ve won more games than all of the others. Those teams are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech,” Johnson said. “And that’s my view of the star system. So if our recruiting is so bad, and that is so accurate, then we must be great coaches.
“And from what I read from you guys (media) I don’t believe that. You can’t have it both ways. So that’s the facts. That’s not spin. That’s just facts. So you can write whatever you want. But that’s the numbers that I would be concerned about.”