When you’re a genius, how much does recruiting matter, anyway?

Henry noticed that some of us were taken with his Georgia Tech observation in yesterday’s post about in state recruiting, so he emailed me with this:

Based on the 247Sports Composite rankings, since the 2008 recruiting class, which was Johnson’s first at Tech:
— Tech over 11 years has averaged signing the No. 30 ranked player in Georgia as their highest ranked in-state recruit
— The highest player Tech has signed in the last 11 years was ranked No. 17 in 2002
— There have only been two years when Tech signed a Top 20 player
— There were two years when Tech’s highest in-state recruit was ranked No. 50
— In the last five recruiting classes, Tech has averaged signing the No. 41 player in the state
— In Johnson’s first six recruiting classes, Tech averaged signing the No. 21 ranked player in the state
— In 2007, the year before Johnson became the coach, Tech signed the No. 5 and No. 7 ranked player in the state. It was a Chantastic year as Tech had the No. 15 ranked recruiting class in the country and the second in the ACC
— Johnson’s average recruiting class since then has ranked No. 51 nationally and No. 9 in the ACC.  His best national class was ranked No. 41 in 2007 and his worst was No. 70 in 2013
— During the last 11 years Duke, Stanford, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Cal — all highly ranked academic schools — have signed four or more players from the state of Georgia who ranked higher than the highest player signed by Tech.

To which he concludes:  “These numbers are so bad I had to go back and check some of them multiple times to be sure I wasn’t missing something.  In all cases I rounded down to give Tech the benefit of the doubt. Seriously, UGA should be contributing to Johnson’s salary just to keep him around.”

I can only add a couple of things to all that.  People tend to forget what a living Johnson made off Chan Gailey’s last recruiting class, which was truly excellent.  And those of you who keep wanting to end the series with Tech are cutting off your noses to spite your faces.  Anything Georgia can do to keep the Jackets propped up while they abandon the recruiting field is a win-win, especially when the Dawgs are winning at better than a 70% clip in the series.

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76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

76 responses to “When you’re a genius, how much does recruiting matter, anyway?

  1. Walt

    Tech fans reading this better head over to Sting Talk to get recalibrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 81Dog

    UGA has been winning at a 70 percent clip since Vince Dooley rode into town. For all that GTU fans liked to mock Ray Goff, he was 5-2 against them. That is 71 percent and change. The only classes at GTU to finish with a winning record against UGA in the last 50 years are the ones who get to count the Jasper Sanks non-fumble game (horrible call, but it still counts), which oddly enough coincides with the time frame for which GTU got put on probation.

    We run this state. They can bring back Bobby Dodd, they can hire nick Saban, or Jon Gruden, or whoever. Meet the new boss, nerds. Same as the old boss.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Otto

      Exactly, all this talk of keeping Fish Fry, UGA has beaten Tech regularly since Eisenhower.

      I had rather see Johnson leave as UGA has to dedicate practice time to defend his option and it increases the chances of injuries before the SEC Championship Game.

      Like

  3. JasonC

    One thing I will say, is that in the genius’ tenure, they have won 3 times and only 3 of the games didn’t end up that close. Some of you might have better memories than I do about the particulars each year, but for someone that doesn’t recruit well, he has probably turned in better results than his recruiting alone should produce. However, I still think he’s a old, bloated, arrogant fart and if he actually did care about recruiting or defense, he could have done much better for himself. So I guess he’s not that smart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raleigh St. Claire

      I think the interesting thing is that there appears to be a hint of decline with Paul these days.

      His team this year sucked.

      I’ve also watched the Tech game again since the end of the season and they were completely outclassed, across the board.

      Nothing that has happened since then suggests the situation is changing either.

      Like

  4. Dolly Llama

    The highest player Tech has signed in the last 11 years was ranked No. 17 in 2002.

    Does not compute.

    Like

  5. When your offense is the triple option and then throw a desperation deep pass every once in a while hoping to catch the defense looking in the backfield, you don’t tend to get HS players with NFL dreams. When you are constantly cut blocked in practice, you don’t get defensive players who would like to be able to walk when they are 50.

    Don’t listen to us, Genius, keep doing what you’re doing.

    Like

    • 79DawgatWork

      We can all understand why they can’t recruit the top-ranked offensive skill players (who, by and large, are the highest rated recruits), but there are tons of defensive players and offensive linemen in the top-50 in the state – the fact that they basically can’t recruit ANY of them is just beyond pathetic…

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      • Defensive linemen don’t want to be cut in practice every day. Offensive linemen would like to learn how to pass block. There’s a reason the service academies run this scheme. They don’t recruit players who have NFL dreams. They want to get a great education, serve their country, and, finally, play ball.

        Like

  6. Charlottedawg

    Butts mehre should have justified ticket price increases by saying they needed more money to retain Johnson at tech. I for one would have gladly funded keeping him there forever.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. HiAltDawg

    “During the last 11 years Duke, Stanford, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Cal — all highly ranked academic schools — have signed four or more players from the state of Georgia who ranked higher than the highest player signed by Tech.”

    Dayum! It’s not like any of those “Institutions” would be above taking in academically questionable athletes (and in nc’s case place them in a class/eligibility scam that UGA would give itself the Death Penalty in all sports for). I wonder if Tech just spites itself on admissions bitterly clingning to that narrative. If so, Tech and Johnson deserve each other, lol

    Like

    • archiecreek

      Looks like we have to take Notre Dame out of the “elite” institutions. Looks like they vacated victories because of academic fraud. Pitiful!!

      Like

  8. Bright Idea

    Look we know Johnson is too aloof and arrogant to brown nose big time recruits but the bigger question is why do the Stingtalkers and Tech administration continue to stand for it. Running a freak offense is Johnson’s only calling card. It’s not like he’s in a talent poor state. He’s not even living up to Mullen’s blind squirrel concept.

    Like

  9. mp

    I hate to say it, but given the lack of talent the gimmick offense has overachieved. How many ACC championship games have they gotten into in the last 10 years? At least a couple. That’s clearly the ceiling, though – backing into the championship game by taking advantage of some weak conference years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why should we care about ACC championships? All that matters to us is that GT has ceded in state recruiting to UGA and that, at best, they win three out of every ten games against UGA.

      Hell, if winning the ACC gets Johnson a contract extension, I’m all for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Otto

        It always looks good on the resume trying to get into the playoff. Granted it should only possibly come in to play if UGA didn’t win the SEC but has 1 loss.

        Has Johnson really done that much better or worse than Chan? UGA has to put in more scout team time to defend the option and defenders are more likely to be tired, sore or nursing injury the game after the option.

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      • mp

        Just to be clear, I don’t care. As long as the fan base is satiated by sniffing the ACC, there won’t be any large calls to replace him, and I definitely don’t want him gone. If they got even competent recruiting, it would be bad for us. Sitting on top of one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country as a Power 5 team and getting these results you almost have to be intentionally incompetent. I like that.

        Like

    • Sanford222view

      Gailey’s players were a big part of his early success and the group that won the ACC in 2009 which has since been vacated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Macallanlover

      I think you are giving way too much credit for their very modest achievements, the little success they have had is due to the quirkiness of the offense who teams see so infrequently. It is simply an alien concept to most opponents and goes against the usual keys defenses work off of. So yeah, they win most of their games due to the oddity they are, not accomplishing because of teaching them up. They are like a knuckleball pitcher in baseball, or a sidearm thrower who brings the ball in from odd angles; except not that tricky. It will be a massive undertaking to overhaul their talent when they leave the safety of being a ventriloquist. The good thing for GT is they have little competition for the type offensive talent they need to recruit. Plenty of small QBs and RBs looking for a place to go when they leave the HS offense they prospered in.

      Like

  10. Greg

    Given the recruiting disparity, you’d think we’d be beating them at a 80-90% clip. Embarrassing that they’ve won the last two and three of the past five in Athens.

    Like

    • 81Dog

      I don’t mean to pick at any old scabs, but Mark Richt was 13-2 against them, right? That’s 87% (if you round it off). Whatever he got fired for, it wasn’t failing to dominate GTU. You can make a pretty good argument that his 2 losses were pure gifts to the bees, too. Kirby got off on kind of a wrong foot with them, but I expect he’s going to atone for that by running off about 10 in a row.

      Tech, save for the aforementioned Jasper Sanks year, hasn’t beaten us in Atlanta since 1989. Nineteen. Eighty. Nine. Not with whatever players, not with whatever coaches, not with whatever injuries/brain cramps/bad luck was going on with UGA. Think about that. If the next GTU coach, whoever it is and whenever he takes over, wins every home game, it will take him almost 2 seasons to win as many home games as UGA has rung up over there since the turn of the century. Which, frankly, is both hilarious and a little pathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. When Erk started GSU he picked Johnson’s offense because it was the hardest he ever had to defend against.

    You can’t recruit great talent to it. It isn’t going to make it to Sunday afternoons. It is ridiculously hard to defend.

    You send Johnson to Tuscaloosa with a willing QB this spring and they would seal club every team on their schedule and coast to another national championship.

    Had Erk gotten the Georgia job in 1989 our opinions of fish fry would be far different. As would our view of SOS.

    That being said, what would be hilarious would be to watch a new coach try and do anything with that roster. If they hired any type of modern era offensive coach they’d have a real chance at 0-12.

    Like

    • Tony Barnfart

      im pretty sure you could send any of about 50+ coaches to Tuscaloosa and they would be successful. That argument reminds me of the UCF fans over the last couple months (“just give us SEC money and watch who dominates”)

      With this post and these comments, I’ve definitely been swayed off my previous position of “drop GT”. Near certain victory and a de facto home game every single year coupled with credit for a Power 5 victory. You can’t recreate that anywhere. I just hope they don’t read this blog.

      Like

      • I’m saying nobody finishes within 21 points, us included.

        They would be like the mid 1990s Nebraska teams. Not just winning but crushing good teams.

        That’s different than just winning now. And btw there are a ton of coaches who would screw that place up in short order.

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        • Otto

          You’re assuming Johnson could recruit Frazier and that OL, I don’t think he could.

          Like

          • Not assuming anything. I said Johnson takes over Saban’s roster in the spring and they play his offense in the 2018 season. If you have a willing QB they would destroy folks.

            I’m not suggesting he could maintain it. He couldn’t. That’s why he’s at tech.

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            • Otto

              “Had Erk gotten the Georgia job in 1989 our opinions of fish fry would be far different. As would our view of SOS.”

              That makes the assumption he would maintain it.

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              • The story I heard was that CPJ was getting on a plane in honolulu to come be OC when the deal fell through.

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                • Otto

                  UGA fans may always debate how close Erk was or was not to geting the job. CPJ’s recruiting has proven that he would never have sustained a dominant program as a long term OC or HC.

                  Like

                  • We’ll never know. I can say that how we did vs. UF in 1995 playing a pro-style offense was considerably different then how Nebraska did vs. UF later that same season running option football.

                    Like

      • Macallanlover

        It is a certain victory as long as we have the linebacker talent to control the perimeter and stout DL studs to jam the middle. Without both, you get few possessions to score enough as they dominate the clock. That clock eating offense is the protection for a smallish defense that cannot hold up against a decent offense. They will get a few wins because of that but look at what Venables has done the past couple of years to shut them down, or what Tucker did with a spy as talented as R.

        Like

    • Otto

      Georgia Southern was also at a lower division where here again, you are not concerned about recruiting kids who are very much concerned about their chances of playing on Sunday.

      You are also assuming Erk would have been assuming Erk would have been as successful in Athens as he was in Statesboro. I would wager he wouldn’t be and the option was more viable in the early 80s but if Erk would not evolve past the option I think he would have been sadly fired. UGA and Auburn both moved away from the option or wishbone in the late 70s, early 80s. Yes Nebraska had their run using it but I don’t believe Erk could recruit well enough to have anywhere close to that level of success.

      Like

      • Otto

        Sorry the last mention of Erk should have been Johnson

        Like

      • There was a time you could field a team that didn’t cater to the NFL. See the 1990 Nebraska teams.

        When Erk took over at GSU in 1981, we weren’t playing with an NFL offense. Nobody was.

        Lots of teams in the 1980’s were winning big with variations of option football.

        Like

        • Otto

          It was fading in the 80s as I stated and again CPJ couldn’t recruit at the level required.

          Like

          • That part where I said he would, could, has, then, now in the future, or on some distant planet or whatever your fantasy it is that I said about his recruiting prowess, Ill stipulate that thing I didn’t say was wrong.

            I’m just making a simple point about the offense and what it would do with talent relative to its current performance. Not suggesting anyone should try it. Not saying it would work over time. Im not saying one of the big boys should hand CPJ the keys.

            I’m just saying with the right qb and competitive talent that system destroys its talent equals. It’s an anachronism and unless college football survives the nfl it won’t gain any prominence but as a football fan I just appreciate how many problems that system as designed gives opposing defenses without the need for even a written playsheet on game day. Erk saw it and installed it and won quickly. I think he kinda sorta knew defensive football maybe.

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  12. Randy

    With the way Georgia is rolling right now; I think it will be quite a while before Tech finds a way to beat Georgia in football for quite some time. In short, it doesn’t matter if Tech keeps our dumps CPJ. They are badly over matched… The Tech folks know it… They live here and can see what is going on – on a daily basis. Georgia is finally living up to it’s potential, which is their biggest nightmare…

    Like

    • Otto

      Possibly but Chan was a season removed from playing in the ACCG, and he was fired. Chan’s biggest problem was he was facing Richt at his best.

      Like

  13. Raleigh St. Claire

    Senator, do you think the fact that Tech is in the ACC will prevent this rivalry from going the route of LSU/Tulane?

    Like

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Just incredible! The school that should be our top competitor for state talent is a non-factor, by choice.

    Like

  15. Hobnail_Boot

    That stingtalk thread is delicious. Their tears sustain me.

    Like

  16. Chris Austin

    This is great. It is funny these guys wonder why they can’t get great talent like GA. Look at your offense. It won’t get you to the NFL. For supposedly smart people they are dumb. Of course I support them on keeping their coach. Once he retires make him AD.

    Like

  17. Russ

    We should never drop Tech. And I don’t expect Kirby to lose to them again for a while. The loss in his first season obviously stung, so much so that he dedicated a bit of practice each week to beating them. And then he beat them silly. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    A near-guaranteed P5 win each season, and we get Stinktalk threads like posted above. What’s not to love?

    Like

  18. djrichiep

    I’m not really advocating for an end to the series with GTU but… wouldn’t the poke in their eye be almost worth it?

    Like

  19. BMan

    I’d have to look, but it seems to me the years the Dawgs have lost to Fish Fry seem to have coincided with a change in defensive coaching staff (and/or head coach). Did we lose to them the first year Johnson coached there? Then maybe the first year under Grantham? And the first year under the Smart regime. I could be wrong about some of that, but it seems to me that once our defensive staff has seen it once, we win against it (though not always handily). And with Kirby at the helm, I don’t really see him losing to Johnson after that first one. Let Johnson stay there long enough to make it “nine in a row, bitch.”

    Like

  20. Muttley

    I’ve got a great idea: you remember how we used to have honorary guest coaches like Lewis Grizzard for the two squads at G-Day? Let’s start doing that for the annual GT beatdown- let somebody guest-coach the beating of tech and make Johnson shake that guy’s hand at midfield afterwards.

    First up, next year in Athens: Larry, the Dr. Pepper guy.
    2019 back in Atlanta: maybe the two Sonic guys. Or Flo, from Progressive.

    Like

    • Muttley

      …And of course, they’d be officially credited for the win, so over at College Football Data Warehouse, other sites, and all the media guides, Larry the Dr. Pepper guy and others would be listed forever at 1-0 with a win over tech.

      Like