On the season-opening ACC teleconference, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was asked about recruiting rankings, which is a little bit like asking my six-year-old for her thoughts about bedtime.
“I just think it’s ludicrous to have somebody be the No. 51 offensive guard in the country,” Johnson said. “It’s a joke. I couldn’t tell you who the No. 6 guard in Atlanta is, much less the entire country.”
Johnson made an observation and perhaps a veiled reference to the vaunted recruiting prowess of the Yellow Jackets’ rivals in Athens.
“I can give you a million things on recruiting rankings, but look at all the graduate transfers that are transferring and starting at programs that are consistently ranked in the top 10 in recruiting,” Johnson said.
Who could Johnson possibly have been talking about?
Mind you, Johnson was indicting the concept of recruiting rankings, not Georgia (or other perennial recruiting rankings juggernauts Florida State, Michigan or Alabama). Florida State has named Notre Dame transfer quarterback Everett Golson its starting quarterback. Iowa graduate transfer Jake Rudock could start at quarterback for Michigan. Perhaps more improbably, Alabama wide receiver Richard Mullaney could start for the Tide after graduating and transferring from Oregon State.
It would fit Johnson’s argument better if Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert had been some two-star bumpkin before signing with Virginia. But, Lambert was actually the No. 22 pro-style quarterback in the 2012 class, according to Rivals. (Brice Ramsey was the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the 2013 class and Faton Bauta was the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback in 2012.) Further, Golson and Rudock were both also nationally ranked prospects.
But the player who beat out Lambert at Virginia, prompting the move, was Matt Johns, who was unranked nationally (meaning not in the top 30) and the No. 35 player in Pennsylvania in 2012.
The graduate transfer who may best articulate Johnson’s point is Vernon Adams, who transferred from Eastern Washington to Oregon as a graduate transfer and has been named the Ducks’ starting quarterback. Adams was a no-star prospect in the 2011 class and his Rivals page lists two offers – Eastern Washington and Portland State. But he was a two-time runner-up for the Walter Payton Award (FCS player of the year) and now will replace Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
And Mullaney also makes the case quite convincingly. He was the No. 69 player in the state of California in the 2011 class. The player with whom Mullaney shares the top line of the depth chart, Chris Black, was the No. 8 receiver nationally in 2012.
Said Johnson, “I wouldn’t pay much attention to recruiting rankings.”
If you’re wondering, according to 247 Sports, the No. 51 offensive guard in the country is Logan Blake from Lynchburg, Va. He’s committed to James Madison.
From last December: