Throughout all of the hoopla that was National Signing Day yesterday, one thing that we did not see was a top recruit declare his intentions to attend Georgia Tech to further his football playing career. Frankly, we rarely ever see that sight. But, Georgia Tech may be one of the few examples of a program that doesn’t need to impress us in February to impress us in December.
When Paul Johnson left the Navy program that he had put back on the map in 2007, many questioned whether Johnson’s practice of the Triple-Option Offense would work in “big time college football”. Actually, people didn’t really question whether or not it would work as much as they just predicted flat out failure for the coach. But one of the aspects of his job Johnson shouldn’t be judged as harshly as others about, is recruiting.
The system that Johnson runs is exactly that, a system. To execute this system to near perfection, all of the pieces have to fit in correctly. Most of the time, that doesn’t involve signing a kid that has his face plastered all over the recruiting boards for most of his high school career. Just because a young can launch a football 60 yards on a line with accuracy, does that mean that he can properly read the movements of an oncoming defensive end, and read them quickly? No it doesn’t. Because a running back can run 40 yards in 4.4 seconds, does that mean that he can properly utilize the complex blocking scheme of his linemen? Again, no it doesn’t.
Last year, Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to the ACC Championship game, where they almost found themselves on the right side of an upset against the Florida State Seminoles. Sure, they were there due to the absence of the Miami Hurricanes, who were sitting out the postseason due to self imposed sanctions, but they were there nonetheless. After nearly clinching a surprising BCS berth, they went on to play the preseason number one, USC Trojans, in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve. In one of the shockers of the bowl season, Tech pulled off a convincing 21-7 upset that very few saw coming. Whether they were prepared or not, USC just simply looked dumbfounded trying to stop the Yellow Jacket offense.
Georgia Tech may only be a few pieces short of putting this all together and clinching that BCS berth that eluded them last year. The main difference is that we didn’t see any of those pieces yesterday in front of an ESPN camera. We won’t know names like Ty Griffin, Travis Custis, or Antonio Messick until they’re executing Johnson’s complex offense on the field, where, in the end, is where it really matters most.
Jack is a College Football Contributor for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @FSUYankee14