Overview

With the 2016 season coming to a close, it’s time to look to the future.  So far this season Georgia Tech has a total of 13 commits for the 2017 class.  A four star recruit, 11 three star recruits, and one two star recruit.  While these players may seem a tad under the radar, Paul Johnson and his crew have a knack for finding just the right players for his system.  Here is my breakdown of the class and analysis of the players.

2017 Offensive Commits

Key:  *=Number of Stars for Recruit ¤=Numbers are Nike Verified

  • Offensive Line

    • Michael Minihan OG  ***
      Image Via @Michael_Minihan
      Image Via @Michael_Minihan

      St. Louis School (Honolulu, HI)
      6’3″ 284lbs
      40 Time: 5.36 ¤
      Bench Max: 335 lbs ¤
      Squat Max: 570 lbs ¤
      Deadlift: 595 lbs ¤

      Pros: This man has EXCELLENT footwork in pass blocking.  He blocks aggressively and knows how to finish off blocks.   Minihan has few issues with making blocks in the second level which is crucial for Paul Johnson triple option to work.  He appears to have a fairly lean frame and carries it well on the field.

      Cons:   Minihan needs to improve his hip flexibility to be an effective blocker at the college level.  Played tackle in high school, but he will need to transition to guard due to his stature.

      Summary:  I like this fit for Johnson’s style of blocking.  Minihan is already an athletic and talented blocker.  Moving him inside to be a pull blocker and a second level guy could really utilize his talents.

    • Zach Quinney OG ***
      Image Via @zach_quinney
      Image Via @zach_quinney

       

      Savannah Christian Prep (Savanah, GA)
      6’5″ 265lbs
      40 Time: 5.00
      Bench Max: 320 lbs
      Squat Max: 400 lbs
      Deadlift: N/A

      Pros: Really nice technique as a run blocker.  He explodes off of the line and stays low at the point of attack while keeping his hands inside the shoulder pads.  Shows great athleticism as a downfield blocker.

      Cons:  The guy needs to gain 20+ pounds to be an effective blocker.  He’s not really used to blocking larger players, and needs to improve his strength and footwork to do so.

      Summary: Quinney will have to get bigger and stronger to be an impacting lineman.  He’s a solid player, but I would recommend redshirting a year.

    • Conner Hansen OC ***
      Image Via @Connorhanse
      Image Via @Connorhanse

       

      Lawton Chiles (Tallahassee, FL)
      6’2″ 325lbs
      40 Time: 5.22
      Bench Max: 355 lbs
      Squat Max: 520 lbs
      Deadlift: 545 lbs

      Pros:  Great combination of size and athleticism.  Shows good stamina and versatility as he played guard, center, and nose tackle for his team.

      Cons:  Doesn’t really jump off of the tape.  Doesn’t finish off blocks well, and needs to be more of a snap to whistle blocker.  Relies too much on his size and natural ability as opposed to technique to make his blocks.

      Summary:  This kid could be a monster for the Yellow Jackets.  He only needs to sharpen his technique and be more aggressive.  While I listed a lot of cons for him, these things are things that I’m sure coach Johnson and crew can help him with easily.

  • Running Backs

    • Jerry Howard RB **
      Image Via @Jerry5Howard
      Image Via @Jerry5Howard

       

      Northwestern (Rockhill, SC)
      6’1″ 210 lbs
      40 Time: 4.54
      Bench Max: 305 lbs
      Squat Max: 445 lbs
      Deadlift: N/A

      Pros: This guy is perfect B-Back material for Paul Johnson’s offense.  He’s a Great downhill runner that keeps his feet moving through contact.  Not only does he have good explosion at the line, but he also has enough speed to burn secondaries. Howard is a capable pass catcher out of the backfield as well.

      Cons:  He’s not an elite blocker by any stretch.  Howard needs to learn to chop block seeing Johnson’s offense thrives when everyone blocks their guys.

      Summary:  Could he be another freshman star for Paul Johnson?  My heart wants to say yes, but my brain says redshirt him a year.  With Dedrick Mills and Clinton Lynch already established as a potent one-two punch, waiting a year will do wonders for Howard’s career.  I don’t see why he’s a two star guy with his size, strength, speed, and catching ability, but I guess that’s why I don’t make the big bucks.

  • Athletes

    • Tobias Oliver ATH(QB/WR) ***
      Image Via @tobiasoliver12
      Image Via @tobiasoliver12

       

      Norcross (Warner Robins, GA)
      6’2″ 175 lbs
      40 Time: 4.48
      Bench Max: 265 lbs
      Squat Max: 375 lbs
      Deadlift: N/A

      Pros: Tobias is a tough, aggressive runner despite his lean build.  He has a keen eye for reading the defense while running the triple option, and times pitches really well.  When throwing deep across the middle, he really drives off of his back foot giving it plenty of zip.  His height could really be an advantage in the passing game for Tech

      Cons:  If he’s gonna play quarterback for Paul Johnson, hes gonna need to put on a few more pounds.  He played almost entirely out of the shotgun in his high school career, so he will need to learn to play under center.  Tobias has a tendency to throw off of his back foot on shorter passes which gives the defense a better chance to make a play.

      Summary: Oliver has a lot of potential as a triple option quarterback.  He has a very similar playing style as Justin Thomas with a longer frame.  While I doubt he will get the starting job his freshman year, he will definitely heat up the quarterback competition at Tech.

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