“We play such a big role in the offense without even touching the ball.”

Sales pitch

… When receiving prospects worry that Georgia Tech’s run-first approach could cause them to get ignored by NFL scouts, Preston need only point to the fact that Thomas got drafted in the first round.

“It doesn’t matter what offense you’re in,” Preston said. “If you have that goal and are willing to pay the price and be a great teammate, you work hard, don’t worry about your individual stats and if you have the ability, you’re going to make it big.”

vs. reality.

… Hill’s departure and the end of wide receiver Tyler Melton’s career leave an experience vacuum at that position. No returning receiver caught a pass this season.

Which would make this guy’s friends… um… right.

“My friends were all saying things like, ‘You’re not going to get any catches, you’re not going to have any stats’ and blah-blah-blah,” said Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller, who just completed his freshman season.

And this is just a shame.

… Georgia Tech’s current coaching staff can’t take credit for Calvin Johnson, who won the 2006 Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top collegiate receiver while playing in a more conventional offense under former Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey.

But they can point to Thomas as evidence that Georgia Tech’s option attack doesn’t necessarily preclude a wide receiver from a pro career.

Thomas was a Gailey recruit, too.  Stephen Hill is Paul Johnson’s first home-grown receiving product being offered to the pros.  Let’s see if he kicks ass in the draft.  His college stats in comparison to Thomas’ would suggest otherwise.

DELIVERING ON THEIR OPPORTUNITIES
Although Georgia Tech averages roughly a dozen passes per game during Paul Johnson‘s four years running the program, at least one Yellow Jacket has accumulated over 600 receiving yards in three of those seasons. Here’s a look at Georgia Tech’s top receiver in each year of Johnson’s tenure.
Year Player Rec. Yards Avg. TD
2008 Demaryius Thomas 39 627 16.1 3
2009 Demaryius Thomas 46 1,154 25.1 8
2010 Stephen Hill 15 291 19.4 3
2011 Stephen Hill 28 820 29.3 5

That’s right – Thomas caught more passes in his last year at Tech than Hill did in his last two.  That’s not exactly an encouraging trend (especially since Tech didn’t have a lot of other receiving options last season).  Still, I bet the Tech coaches will be taking out their laptops and waiving that Rivals article in recruits’ faces, at least until they get tired of the blank stares…

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

9 responses to ““We play such a big role in the offense without even touching the ball.”

  1. Spike

    This is both laughable and pathetic at the same time. Only at Tech is that possible.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    The biggest thing that Georgia Tech won’t tell you is that Paul Johnson would be perfectly happy to throw to his top receiver as often as he through to Bay Bay Thomas. I personally remember him chucking up two prayers and a dropped ball on the last series against Georgia in 2009. It seems like he always comes out in a big game throwing the ball early, apparently because he thinks defenses will be so shocked to see a ball in the air after preparing for the option that they’ll panic (surprisingly enough, they don’t).

    The problem is that even if you DO have the ability to catch the football, Johnson isn’t recruiting quarterbacks who have the ability to get the ball into your hands. Josh Nesbitt? Chan Gailey recruit. He wasn’t a square peg in the round hole of Johnson’s offense, but he was an oval peg hammered into that round hole. He could throw the ball. Remember how excited they were on the Flats after they beat Kansas when they thought that they could throw the ball? Ha. Tevin Washington is a terrible passer. Paul Johnson knows better than to put too much on his shoulders unless he can run some crazy gadget play that puts a receiver wide open in space. Easy against Kansas. Less easy against a real defense (even the ones you see in the mighty ACC).

    So, good luck, receiving recruits. But if it comes down to Georgia Tech or say… Furman for your services, I’d recommend Furman. It’s a much easier path to the pros.

    • Go Dawgs!

      My favorite part of the article is Al Groh’s claim that it takes three years to implement his 3-4 defense (Grantham did it in two, but no big deal). The AJC article then notes a three year progression of defensive improvement at UVA… in Groh’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons. Now, I am not a Tech graduate, so perhaps the math escapes me. But doesn’t that mean it takes FOUR years to implement Groh’s defense? I’m a little surprised the AJC didn’t point that out, but their Tech beat writer is little more than a Jacket fan with a laptop.

      • Normaltown Mike

        C’mon man, you know that’s not a fair statement.

        It is taking longer at Tek b/c the “student athletes” at Tek are immersed in a rigorous engineering education and they don’t have time to work on such silly things as college football.

        • Cojones

          Oh yes they do. I saw them once. Of course the computers dangling on their arms didn’t help except in blocking.

    • Doug

      The way Tech reacted after that Kansas game was laughable even without the benefit of hindsight — seriously, kids, y’all are throwing ticker-tape parades for dropping a bajillion yards on a team that went 3-9 last year? OK then — but it’s even more so now. Congratulations, Tech, you just proved you can dump a ton of points on what was the worst defense in the bowl subdivision in nearly every statistical category. TOP SCORE.

    • Go Dawgs!

      * threw, not through.

    • All due respect to Logan Grey, I still wish we’d taken Nesbitt over him at QB that year. His tape out of Greene County was big time. He had the legs, and the strong arm, that looked almost Vick-ish. It’d be interesting to see how he’d have developed with someone teaching him how to actually play QB, instead of play RB that throws.

  3. Cojones

    I can remember back to when Tech lived by the pass. The AJC ran pictures on their sports page that showed the travel of the ball on a dotted line across the page and sometimes continuing across to the facing page. Them was the days when pictures said a thousand words, thankfully, because only a paucity of words described the game. Furman Bisher, indeed.