live video

Democratic gubernatorial debate underway

Paul Johnson calls early signing period ‘win-win’


Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was in support of the early signing period in December, and his approval was reiterated again Wednesday. This year’s recruiting cycle was the first in which recruits had an opportunity to sign before February, having been granted a three-day window Dec. 20-22.

“I think it’s been great,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a win-win for everybody. Certainly there was a lot less drama, at least for us. It enables you to hit your number of 85 (scholarships) much easier. It lets you know where you’re at.”

Tech has allocated all 85 scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year, a rarity for the Yellow Jackets. Often, Tech has had committed players poached by other teams as the February signing day approached, leaving coaches scrambling to try to find replacements. Tech coaches have likewise done similarly, trying to nab prospects who had committed elsewhere.

But with the ability to lock up committed players about a month and a half earlier, much of that gamesmanship has been eliminated. Tech had two committed players who withdrew their commitments and signed elsewhere, Pike County High running back C’Bo Flemister (Notre Dame) and defensive lineman Julius Welschof (Michigan) of Germany.

With 18 players signed in the early signing period and only three scholarships available, Tech coaches spent January working on the 2019 class. 

Previously, “as a head coach, you’re trying to babysit (committed prospects) and finish off and make sure you’ve got everybody signed, and with the early signing period, it enables you to go out and just see some schools that maybe you haven’t been to in a while,” Johnson said.

“I know, for instance, for myself, last week I got to go to all the private schools here in Atlanta whether they had a prospect there or not, just to say ‘Hey’ to the coaches and get into the schools. You’re able to get out and see some of the juniors. With the rules, you can’t contact them or talk to them, but at least they know you’re in the school.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech gets No. 8 seed in ACC tournament
Georgia Tech gets No. 8 seed in ACC tournament

Likely still needing to pick up some wins to make the NCAA tournament, Georgia Tech has been put in a pool with top-seeded North Carolina and 12th-seeded Pittsburgh for the ACC tournament beginning Tuesday in Durham, N.C. Tech has the No. 8 seed. Tech finished the regular season with a series win over No. 10 Duke this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium...
Josh Okogie impressing at NBA draft combine
Josh Okogie impressing at NBA draft combine

The likelihood of Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie leaving Tech apparently has taken a significant step forward the past two days in Chicago, where he has impressed onlookers at the NBA draft combine. According to a report from SI.com, Okogie “fortified his case to stay in the draft” with his play Thursday and Friday. He was named ...
In Puerto Rico, ‘life-changing experience’ for Georgia Tech athletes
In Puerto Rico, ‘life-changing experience’ for Georgia Tech athletes

Brad Stewart flew home from Puerto Rico on May 12 with memories that he intends never to forget. The Georgia Tech wide receiver plans to keep forever a Puerto Rican flag that he received as a gift. After spending a week-long service trip on the hurricane-ravaged island with 17 other Tech athletes and three staff members, Stewart wants to ensure that...
4 Georgia Tech kickoff times announced
4 Georgia Tech kickoff times announced

The kickoff times and TV assignments for four of Georgia Tech’s 12 games were announced Friday by the ACC, including two games that will start in the noon hour. Tech will play its Sept. 1 season opener against Alcorn State at Bobby Dodd Stadium at 12:30 p.m. The third game of the season, Sept. 15 at Pittsburgh, also will be a 12:30 p.m. kickoff...
Tech women’s tennis into NCAA Elite Eight
Tech women’s tennis into NCAA Elite Eight

The fourth-ranked Georgia Tech women’s team advanced Thursday to the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship with a 4-3 win over No. 13 Pepperdine in the round of 16 in Winston-Salem, N.C. It’s the farthest that the Yellow Jackets have advanced since 2008 and is just the third Elite Eight appearance in school history. Tech won the national...
More Stories