Omahri Jarrett said his mother got his given name out of a book.
“It means the highest,” said Jarrett, a Georgia Tech freshman A-back from New Manchester High in Douglas County.
Jarrett has appropriate aspirations for his freshman year. He wants to make the ACC all-freshman team and earn a 4.0 GPA.
Jarrett will be a part of a deep competition at A-back, where he and fellow incoming freshmen Nathan Cottrell and TaQuon Marshall will compete with redshirt freshmen Qua Searcy and Clinton Lynch for playing time along with returnee Broderick Snoddy. Even before arriving to Tech in June, Jarrett had his mission for playing time laid out to him by A-backs coach Lamar Owens.
“He said basically, ‘Whoever can block the best, that’s going to be who’s going to get the most playing time,” Jarrett said. “Right now, that’s the focus.”
Jarrett, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, is eager to deliver cut blocks, a staple technique of the A-back position. Cut blocking is not permitted in high school football outside of the tackle box, which meant that he was going head on with blitzing linebackers with significant advantages in height and weight.
“This year, I’m going to put it out there,” Jarrett said. “It was kind of tough, now I’m happy I’m able to (cut block). Bring ’em down to my size.”
Not that he couldn’t block at the high school level.
It was “a little bit rough, but I still got the job done,” he said. “We were both on the ground.”
Jarrett does bring some versatility. He played out of the tailback position and also lined up in the slot at New Manchester. He also returned kicks. On his game video, he demonstrates shiftiness and burst that could be of considerable use on the perimeter.
Jarrett comes to Tech having been a focal point of the New Manchester team since his freshman season. The school opened when Jarrett was a freshman and fielded only a JV team that season. The team advanced from 2-8 in Jarrett’s sophomore to 6-4 and then a berth in the Class 5A playoffs in Jarrett’s senior year.
Jarrett and classmates were the first from their school to earn football scholarships.
“It’s something to be proud of,” he said. “Not a lot of people can say they started off at a school like that, developed high expectations. Now, we have college coaches come up there all the time. Before, we could barely get a parent to come.”
Jarrett’s efforts were recognized with the Howard Thompson Trophy, given by the Douglas County school system to the football player representing the best in academics, athletics and character. One challenge met, and on to the next.
1. Prior to reporting in June, Jarrett’s weight (175) was seven pounds heavier than his weight listed at signing day.
2. Jarrett was issued No. 36, which is also worn by walk-on defensive back Tyler Teknipp.
3. What he said he’d make sure to bring to campus: “Probably family photos, make sure I remember where I came from and just to stay focused.”
4. A skill or talent other than football: Jarrett can do backflips.
5. Jarrett was recruited by linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum, who made an impression on Jarrett for his freewheeling style. “He had a funny personality,” Jarrett said. “He’s old, but just seeing him at practice, he didn’t have a censor on anything he said. I was like, How can an old dude like this have such a bad censor?”
6. On his decision to commit to Tech: “Not only was it down the street, but after I found out one out of six graduates become millionaires, I was like, Yeah, that’s the ticket right there.”
New in ’15