… 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.”
… 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…