Thursday, December 23, 2010

Johnson outfoxes Navy, Illinois St., secures commits

It's been a busy time of year for those of us at the Fire Paul Johnson blog. Since we were last with you, Coach Paul Johnson has managed to obtain two big-time commitments from Starr's Mill High School running back Zach Laskey and projected linebacker Tyler Marcordes from Illinois. Both players were hotly pursued, and together represent what surely must be an earth-shattering coup for Georgia Tech's 2011 recruiting class.

Laskey's offers? Well let's just say he's a very "serviceable" young man... Mr. Laskey chose Tech despite fervent overtures from Air Force and the Naval Academy, reaffirming GT's rightful place at the pinnacle of service academy athletics.

Marcordes was an even more impressive get: He was actually pursued by a BCS school! In fact he scored TWO offers from FBS programs-- Illinois and Northern Illinois! Rounding out his impressive recruitment were highly provocative flirtations with Illinois St. and SoCon power Furman. Marcordes had in fact previously committed to Furman, then changed his commitment to Illinois, and now has changed his commitment to Georgia Tech. It goes without saying that this is A-OK with Coach Johnson, as Marcordes "probably" didn't have the same kind of agreement with those schools as he now has with Tech, though Johnson is not going to check.

Of course with these commitments followed the usual assurances from Johnson toadies that Laskey and Marcordes may not have stars or great offers but are "naturals," and that they had seen film on them or had seen them in person and that they were "real football players." Oh, and don't forget about measurables too. It goes without saying Marcordes is a "perfect Al Groh" kind of linebacker who just needs a little seasoning. Further, some have even suggested that Coach Johnson intentionally recruited the obscure Laskey precisely to be a "three carry a game" type of player who as a bonus might be dynamite on special teams. What foresight by the genius of the "Spread Option"!

Do any of the top programs recruit players with plans for them to play special teams or be a 3rd string backup? Does Nick Saban recruit players committed to Middle Tennessee because he thinks they might bring good effort on the punt coverage team? Of course not, because that would be a wasted scholarship. The bottom line is that Tech should NEVER be recruiting against the likes of Navy and Illinois St. And so does Tech find itself today two steps closer to Coach Johnson's guiding vision of bringing Annapolis-style service academy football to the deep south.

Johnsons's latest recruiting masterpieces:

Zach Laskey2 stars2 stars2 starsNavy, Air Force
Tyler Marcordes3 stars2 stars1 starIL, NIU, IL St., Furman

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