Comparing Georgia Tech’s transfer numbers with the ACC

Georgia Tech running back Marcus Marshall (34) runs away from Vanderbilt linebacker Nigel Bowden (52) to score a touch down on a pass from quarterback Justin Thomas in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia Tech running back Marcus Marshall (34) runs away from Vanderbilt linebacker Nigel Bowden (52) to score a touch down on a pass from quarterback Justin Thomas in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia Tech’s four transfers since the end of the regular season are a lot. In a wider context, though, it’s not so unusual. Going back to last December, five team members have voluntarily transferred out to play elsewhere, not counting graduate transfer Trevor Stroebel – cornerback Dante Wigley after the 2015 season, and then linebacker Emanuel Bridges, B-back Marcus Marshall, wide receiver Christian Philpott and cornerback Dorian Walker.

Over that time, that is tied for fourth most in the ACC and .7 above the mean. It’s easy to note that four of the top six schools – Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami and Syracuse – have coaches who just completed their first season, a transition period when transfers are more likely, and the fifth has a second-year coach.

Consider this, though. If this survey were taken a year ago, Tech’s number would have been one, not five. From the start of the 2014 season, no players voluntarily left (not counting grad transfers) until Wigley transferred in Dec. 2015. Tech would have been the picture of stability.

What might be more concerning is if the decisions didn’t appear, at least to some extent, related to playing time. Marshall’s departure was unusual, in that he leads the team in rushing yards, although he likely faced two more years of splitting time with Dedrick Mills. Of the other four, none had started a game before making their decisions to transfer.

My perception is that it’s a high number, but one that is a spike on the graph and not necessarily part of a trend.

“It’s pretty normal if you look,” coach Paul Johnson said two weeks ago. “Kids leave for a myriad of reasons.”

 

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