As prospects, No. 12 Jackets ranked outside top 50

Georgia Tech safety Jamal Golden was a state player of the year in Alabama, but rated a two-star prospect by 247 Sports. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Georgia Tech safety Jamal Golden was a state player of the year in Alabama, but rated a two-star prospect by 247 Sports. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

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.

 

Team 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Avg.
1. Alabama 1 1 1 1 5 1.8
2. Oregon 21 19 13 11 13 15.4
3. FSU 4 10 3 2 7 5.2
4. Ohio State 3 2 5 7 20 7.4
5. Baylor 26 27 26 46 40 33.0
6. TCU 42 35 29 30 55 38.2
7. Miss. State 35 25 22 34 34 30.0
8. Mich. State 25 37 33 32 29 31.2
9. Ole Miss 15 8 47 20 22 22.4
10. Arizona 31 44 41 48 47 42.2
11. Kan. State 49 61 74 50 75 61.8
12. Ga. Tech 56 76 52 44 42 54.0
13. Georgia 8 11 8 6 12 9.0
14. UCLA 19 7 19 45 10 20.0
15. Ariz. State 23 39 35 65 36 39.6

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