Below are some of the many comments from Paul Johnson as he spoke to fans attending Georgia Tech's unofficial Signing Day release event. As letters trickled through this morning, some 100 Yellow Jackets fans packed one of the football classrooms inside the Edge Center to meet -- through video -- their newest players.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson welcomes 22 to Bobby Dodd Stadium this fall. Photo Credit: ramblinwreck.com
We’ve gotten everybody in that we expected.
Overall, it’s some really good athletes and some (players) with some high character and some attributes that are going to serve Georgia Tech well. Somebody asked me about grading a class. Well, certainly, you’re going to give them an A because you recruited them. They’re guys who you thought were good players and they fit a certain niche you were looking for.
(On trying to reach the ever-elusive 85-scholarship mark. By my unofficial math, the Jackets are still about six scholarships short) We’re closer to balancing where we need to be. We’re trying to get the numbers aligned and straighter per class, per position. I feel good about where we are. We still have a little bit of room to maneuver. We still have a couple of (players) that are in the program that I’ve got to look at where we promised them if they walked on they would play, that we would help them. Certainly, that’s going to be an issue.
(On whether 305-pound offensive lineman Shaq Mason will play on the offensive or defensive line) He’s an offensive lineman. Everybody’s screaming about defensive lineman. We have three defensive lineman on our defense and 11 guys on scholarship. In a perfect world, you might have 12. That would probably be the max. Now, we’ll lose two next year (Jason Peters and Logan Walls), so it will be imperative that we bring some in next year. Would we have taken a couple of the guys that we lost a shot at? Sure. (The Jackets had three defensive linemen in Tre Jackson, Trey Flowers and Stephon Tuitt de-commit to go elsewhere) But it’s not, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to have to cancel the season because we didn’t sign them.’
We do have 11 guys on scholarship, we do have three freshmen that were redshirted — but will still be freshmen — who will be on the defensive line…
(On the recruiting process) All this stuff in recruiting, and you read all this — for lack of a better term, crap — most of it’s not true. I’m reading something this morning that I talked to this (player) and that (player), and I never even talked to the (player). I don’t know where they get the stuff from. I really don’t. I think that sometimes the 17-year-old (players) tell them something and they just run with it. Some of this stuff is common sense now. If a guy ends up signing with one of the lower-tier teams, he probably didn’t have a scholarship offer from Alabama or Florida. They might say they did, but most of the time, that didn’t usually happen. But you can right whatever.
I saw for five days where I pulled this (player’s) scholarship and that (player’s) scholarship. I hadn’t talked to him in two weeks. Literally. It just kind of takes a mind of its own. So that’s kind of how this stuff works.
(On recruiting so many linebackers and if they could play defensive end) If they grow (they could switch). But we recruited them as linebackers. We’ve got plenty of defensive ends. We’ve got all the ones who played last year right back.
(On identifying potential leaders in this class and whether that was a focus) What you do in recruiting is you try to identify guys that are good players, that are good citizens, that are kind of guys you want in your program. We look at that and we try to weigh in the character, try to weigh in everything involved. You don’t know who are going to be the leaders; it’ll evolve. Go pull, anybody’s recruiting list from 2007. I don’t care (who), just pull them. See how many of them are there. See how many are playing. How many of them are doing what they’re supposed to do. You’d be real surprised. More than half of them aren’t even there or they aren’t playing. All these guys who got talked about on this day in 2007 as being the saviors of the program, some of them will and some of them won’t. It’s a process. The guys that are willing to come in and work and buy into those things, I think will have a great career.
(On recruits and what they say on social media like Facebook, Twitter) I would say it’s safe to say it gets monitored fairly regularly.