By the assessment of the recruiting service 247 Sports, Georgia Tech’s Orange Bowl berth qualifies a bit of an outlier event. The Yellow Jackets’ last five classes have had an average ranking of 54, the second lowest (behind Kansas State) among the top 15 teams in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings.
Those classes include this crew of 247 two-stars – linebacker P.J. Davis, safety Jamal Golden, B-back Zach Laskey, linebacker Tyler Marcordes and guard Shaquille Mason. Golden, Laskey and Mason were named All-ACC and Mason was named to the USA Today All-America team.
It’s been said before many times, but it speaks again to the limited value of recruiting rankings. CFP semifinalists Alabama (five-year average: 1.8), Florida State (5.2) and Ohio State (7.4) are among the best teams in the country annually because they clearly bring in many of the best prospects. But determining the top 10 players in the country is one thing.
Comparing the 100th and 500th is likely a far more difficult endeavor. Further, character and work ethic, which factor so heavily in how a prospect develops, are not easily discerned off a highlight tape or combine workout. Also, Tech has been penalized for its retention, which has kept recruiting classes relatively small, which has lowered its rankings. And, perhaps coach Paul Johnson and his staff do a passable job developing talent.