Georgia Tech

Tech gets star defensive end, running back

Georgia Tech picked up two more players on the second National Signing Day, one that might immediately be able to help the defense and another who will add size and speed to the running back corps.

The Yellow Jackets signed Jaquon Griffin, a 6-foot, 275-pound defensive end from Rome, and Christian Malloy, a 5-10, 200-pound back from Parkview High School in Lilburn.

Georgia Tech may still add one more player.

Griffin originally made a verbal commitment to LSU, but backed off in December. There was some thought that he might sign with the Yellow Jackets in the first signing period, but he made the decision final on Wednesday.

“We feel like he’s a really good player,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “He’s very explosive, really strong. The defensive staff feels he can come in and compete right way for playing time. And that’s an area where we want to build more depth.”

Malloy can play either backfield position, but will start out at B-back. He was originally committed to Florida State, but the Seminoles backed off when Malloy hurt his knee during his junior season.

“We got on him late,” Johnson said. “But we always followed him. The injury was early his junior year and it limited his recruitment early. After watching him play this year, it was clear he’d regained his mobility, especially at the end of the year.”

Malloy committed to Florida International earlier this month. He rushed for 1,538 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games for Parkview. He ran for 763 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

Malloy could also play A-back if Johnson decides he wants a bigger body at the position. Holdovers Qua Searcy, Nathan Cottrell and Clinton Lynch are smaller.

In a Tweet that included a photograph of Malloy wearing a Georgia Tech jersey, he wrote: “All Glory to God. Home is where the heart is.”

Georgia Tech also added offensive lineman Jack DeFoor, a Calhoun native who transferred from Ole Miss. DeFoor (6-5, 300) will have to sit out this season but should have three more years of eligibility with the Yellow Jackets.

Johnson said the addition of an early signing period was beneficial to everyone.

“It’s been great, a win-win for everybody,” Johnson said. “It’s certainly a lot less drama for us. We were able to get to 85 (scholarships) a lot easier.”

With less drama on the second national signing day, Johnson had time to visit some schools that he hadn’t been to lately. He visited all the private schools in the Atlanta area, whether or not there was a prospect there.

“It was a chance to say hey to the coach and visit the school,” Johnson said.