2019 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Team Preview

It was a long ride with Paul Johnson, with a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but Johnson retired in the offseason, retiring his option style with him. In comes former Temple HC Geoff Collins, who will institute an entirely different pro-style offense.

Georgia Tech sits in the recruiting hotbed that is Atlanta, Georgia, but the Yellow Jackets have never truly taken advantage of their geographic location because of the offensive style, which scared many recruits off. With that gone and a PJ Fleck-esque “cool dude” at head coach in Geoff Collins, many expected Georgia Tech’s recruiting to skyrocket, and it has, after years of being on the lower end of P5-recruiting, Georgis Tech’s 2020 class ranks 21st. There is a future to be excited about at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Offense

It’ll be interesting to see how Collins handles the transition to the pro-style system. Last year’s backup quarterback, Tobias Oliver, returns, but Oliver is much more of a runner than a passer. Junior Lucas Johnson seems more fitted to the new system,

At tailback, Jordan Mason and Jerry Howard return after combining for 12 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards last year. Freshman Jamious Griffin is a guy that interests me as well. At receiver, the top three are gone, but Georgia Tech rarely threw it anyway, Jalen Camp is the only guy back with more than four catches. Freshman Ahmarean Brown and Miami transfer Marquez Ezzard are two guys that I think could challenge for snaps, as being an option receiver, where blocking and speed are really the only two priorities, is very different than being a well-rounded one.

Georgia Tech didn’t really have tight ends, so UConn transfer Tyler Favis is the starter there by default. The line will obviously undergo a big change from the flexbone style to a more traditional set, but they add a couple of SEC transfers in Jared Southers and Jack Defoor that figure to start instantly. The transition is going to be rough, and I expect a step back for the offense.

Defense

Collins was a DC before he was a head coach, and he’s always had excellent defenses. Just four starters are back, the two that were impressive being CB Tre Swilling (six PBUs) and WLB Charlie Thomas. A few blue-chippers join the D between Michigan transfer CB Myles Sims and Florida transfer DE Antonneous Clayton. Pretty much nobody is a senior, so this year will just be about laying the groundwork for the future and getting the new scheme in place.

2019 Outlook

CSD Prime expects a 15-spot drop for Georgia Tech, but even that seems low given the massive turnover and scheme changes on both sides of the ball. Moving from an option offense to the pro-style one can be like playing an entirely different sport.

Georgia Tech is a touchdown or more underdog in four games and plays an FCS, the other seven games are all projected within four points, so opportunities for wins are there, but I’d say the record doesn’t really matter in year one, just worry about laying the groundwork and keeping up on the early recruiting success.

Schedule

DateOpponentopp. rankProj. Margin
29-Augat Clemson3-28.4
7-SepUSF75-3.6
14-SepThe CitadelNRn/a
28-Sepat Temple70-3.0
5-OctNorth Carolina622.1
12-Octat Duke71-3.0
19-Octat Miami18-11.6
2-NovPittsburgh530.5
9-Novat Virginia45-6.7
16-NovVirginia Tech37-1.7
21-NovNC State35-1.8
30-NovGeorgia2-23.6

Average Projected Record: 4.9 wins, 7.1 losses (2.8 wins, 5.2 losses)