ATLANTA -- Defense will be the focus of this years recruiting class at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets lost seven starters from that side of the ball and will start restocking the shelves with this years class.
Eleven of the 19 commitments can play on the defensive side, with five who could potentially land in the secondary.
One of the top recruits is four-star prospect Stepheny Durham of Jacksonville, Fla., who has enrolled early at Georgia Tech and will participate in spring practice. He is expected to play cornerback. Durham could come in and compete for playing time as a true freshman. He has a good vertical jump (38.5 inches) and has a reputation of being able to learn at an accelerated rate; he was the first freshman starter in the history of Atlantic Coast High School in Jacksonville.
Three defensive backs are from Lamar County: twins Lance and Lawrence Austin and Qua Searcy. Those three helped Lamar County team reach the GHSA Class AA championship game. Miles Taylor from Washington committed in March but is under late pressure to flip to Iowa.
The star of the class might be outside linebacker KeShun Freeman, who chose Georgia Tech over Arkansas, Clemson and Boston College. Other linebackers who have committed include Tre Jackson of Valdosta and Terrell Lewis of Ocoee, Fla.
Defensive linemen include Tyler Merriweather of Demopolis, Ala., Michael Preddy of Charleston, S.C., and Antonio Simmons of Jacksonville. Preddy has the size and quickness to be a quality pass rusher in the ACC.
In an effort to bring in some fresh offensive linemen, Georgia Tech has received commitments from Andrew Marshall of West Forsyth, Jack Stickler of Bradenton, Fla., Gary Brown of Tampa, Fla., and Jake Whitley of North Augusta, S.C. Marshall is a center who was considered one of the states top offensive linemen; he turn down offers from Duke and Wake Forest.
The only quarterback on the board is Matthew Jordan of Jackson, Ala. He has a strong arm and is fast but took most of his high school snaps from the shotgun, not an option offense.
The running back class will be boosted by Travis Custis, who helped Lovejoy finish second in the Class AAAAAA championship in 2012. He had some issues with the NCAA clearinghouse that have been resolved, and he will be around for spring practice. Custis could give the Yellow Jackets the sort of punch theyve been missing at B-back.
The Yellow Jackets picked up a nice A-back prospect in C.J. Leggett from North Gwinnett. Leggett overcame some turf toe issues that plagued him early and finished with 1,743 yards for the Bulldogs.