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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Georgia Tech
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  05/14/21 - Malachi CarterSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 200 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  To advance upon their play from 2020, Carter did his part in offseason work and spring practice, making strength and speed gains and developing as a pass catcher. "I definitely think I've stepped up my game, just because I'm focused a lot more on the little things at my position," Carter said in April during spring practice. Coming out of spring practice, the rising senior from Mountain View High was positioned to take a leading role in the offense. With the graduation of wide receiver Jalen Camp, a sixth-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carter is Tech's leading returner among receivers, with 20 catches for 290 yards and three touchdowns.

(Freshman running back Jahmyr Gibbs caught 24 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns.) Wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon said that after last season ended, he and Carter watched every play that he was targeted. (While making 20 catches, Carter was targeted 44 times.) "We just talked about the little things, as far as mechanically what he can do on the outside, just with his body posture and creating separation," Dixon said. "A lot of those things, we've taken head-on this offseason to make sure he can create separation and be that dynamic receiver on the outside." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 WR) Sr/2022 WR Malachi CarterGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  With one final year of eligibility remaining, Bruce Jordan-Swilling faces a tough climb up the Georgia Tech running back depth chart. In the same position group, there's no less than four Yellow Jackets backs who have proven their productivity - Jahmyr Gibbs, Jordan Mason, Jamious Griffin and Dontae Smith. But he's willing to give it a shot. In the Yellow Jackets' spring game last Friday, Jordan-Swilling received the bulk of the chances and showed what he could do. "I think it helped his confidence," Jordan-Swilling's father, Tech great Pat Swilling, told the AJC. "I'll be honest with you, he had a great spring practice. (Running-backs coach Tashard Choice) called us raving about the things he was doing. I'm excited for him, I really am."

Jordan-Swilling's time at Tech has been a challenge. After starring as a running back at Brother Martin High in New Orleans and earning four-star status, Jordan-Swilling chose Tech over offers from Alabama, USC and Georgia, among others. He began his Jackets career at linebacker and played a backup role for his first three seasons. His third season was cut short by a season-ending foot injury. He switched to running back in the spring of 2020, but his development time was limited as the quarantine ended spring practice early. "It just seemed like the timing hasn't been right for him," Swilling said. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#16 FB) rSr/2022 FB Bruce Jordan-SwillingGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/25/21 - Tyson MeiguezSo/2024, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 215 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Speaking Thursday, Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker expressed his disappointment for freshman linebacker Tyson Meiguez, who announced Tuesday that he had torn his ACL in spring practice. "It's a tough break for him," Thacker said. "Tyson was working with the first two groups and was going to have a big role in terms of a linebacker and special teams." Meiguez figured to challenge for a spot in the linebacker rotation. The Creekside High graduate played in seven games last season. "Hurting for him in this moment," Thacker continued. "He put in a lot of work to get to this point, was having a strong spring season, so definitely hurting for him. But I know he's going to attack his recovery like he does everything, and we look forward to having him back when he gets back." Meiguez's absence could open up a larger role for early-enrollee freshman Trenilyas Tatum from Mount Zion High. Thacker said he had been spending extra time with Tatum to speed his learning process. Thacker said that Tatum is "ahead of the curve" in his ability to finish plays and tackle well. - Atlanta Journal Constitution

(DS#999 OLB) So/2024 OLB Tyson MeiguezGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/23/21 - Tyson MeiguezSo/2024, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 215 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Georgia Tech linebacker Tyson Meiguez sustained a torn ACL, making it highly unlikely that he'll be able to play next season. Meiguez was expected to play a backup role at linebacker and contribute on special teams. Meiguez made the announcement Tuesday from his Instagram account, saying that he was informed that day that he had suffered the injury as the Yellow Jackets are in their fourth week of spring practice. Meiguez wrote that, at first, he was upset. A member of the 2020 signing class from Creekside High, Meiguez played in seven games last season, mostly in a special-teams role. Last week, coach Geoff Collins said that Meiguez and fellow linebacker Khatavian Franks were having "really good springs." - Atlanta Journal Constitution

(DS#999 OLB) So/2024 OLB Tyson MeiguezGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/22/21 - Tre SwillingrSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-0, 205 (DS#14 CB) + More +

  What was expected to be a strength for Georgia Tech last season - the veteran-filled secondary - was not. Cornerback Tre Swilling expects that to change. "We have a lot of experience in playing from me, Zamari (Walton), Tariq (Carpenter), Juanyeh (Thomas), specifically," Swilling said Tuesday. "We've all started and played the last two or three years or more. I expect us to look like that. I expect us to look like we've been out there starting and playing, and we understand." Despite the fact that those four defensive backs - Swilling and Walton at cornerback, Carpenter and Thomas at the safety spots - were all returning starters last year, the Yellow Jackets did not always look like it in the secondary last season.

While statistics can be a crude measurement tool - an interception or incomplete pass can be as much the product of an effective pass rush as solid secondary play, and likewise a touchdown pass or completion can be the result of a slow pass rush or an ill-advised play call - the numbers don't paint a rosy picture for Tech's secondary play in 2020. Opponents had a 22/6 touchdown pass/interception ratio, poorest in the ACC. Tech had one pass defended (a breakup or an interception) for every 9.1 passes by the opposition, the second highest rate in the ACC. (Louisville had the lowest rate at 6.1.) - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#14 CB) rSr/2022 CB Tre SwillingGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/22/21 - Peje HarrisrJr/2023, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 220 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  In his media availability last Thursday, Georgia Tech wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon singled out two of his players, one for being the most improved and the other for having a superior attitude and effort in his work. That would be Kalani Norris and PeJe Harris, respectively. Norris played in seven games as a freshman in 2019, but only two last season as a sophomore. He has yet to record a catch in those two seasons. Still, Dixon called him the most improved since his arrival at Tech. He caught the notice of teammates in last year's spring practice, as well. "He's come a long way just from when he got here up till now," Dixon said. "He's a guy that constantly makes plays on the field."

Dixon said that his unselfishness has enabled him to have "a lot of success right now" during the spring. Harris, a sophomore last season, moved into the No. 1 slot receiver position after Ahmarean Brown did not play in the team's final three games before transferring to South Carolina. Harris caught 11 passes for 138 yards with one touchdown pass. Seven of the catches were in the final three games of the season. This spring, with the arrival of grad-transfer receiver Kyric McGowan from Northwestern, Harris moved from slot to an outside receiver spot. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 WR) rJr/2023 WR Peje HarrisGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  Kevin Harris, a defensive end who transferred from Alabama after two years with the Crimson Tide, has been conspicuous in his ability to use his speed and power to create pass-rush pressure around the edge. Harris, from Grayson High, has the potential to be a difference-maker for the Jackets, who need to do better at pressuring quarterbacks with a four-man pass rush. Collins said that Harris has been "just relentlessly working every single day" and shared his excitement about another newcomer at end, early-enrollee freshman Josh Robinson from Douglas County High. Both fit into the physical mold that Collins has established for the position. All of Tech's scholarship defensive ends are between 6-foot-3 and 6-6, starting at 235 pounds and going up to 270. Harris is 6-4 and 240 pounds. Robinson is 6-4 and 235 pounds. "We've talked about ever since we got here - the length and the speed that we want, especially coming off the edge - and really on the whole football team, and you see that in display every single day," Collins said. - Atlanta Journal Constitution

(DS#999 OLB) rSo/2024 OLB Kevin Harris IIGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/15/21 - Zach QuinneyrSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-5, 315 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  It is not every college football player who would voluntarily surrender a starting spot on a power-conference team, and with it any shot at the NFL. But Quinney's decision serves as a reminder that there is far more to each player than what is visible in 12 Saturdays in the fall. Quinney's health was a factor. Last year, he tore the ligament in his thumb against Louisville, the fourth game of the season. He chose to play with the injury for another three games and then had surgery during the team's open week. The back-to-back postponed games gave him extra time to recover, and he played with his thumb in a cast for the rest of the season.

The previous season, he injured his wrist in preseason camp and chose to play through it, starting all 12 games before having surgery at the end of the season. "None of those were career-ending injuries or anything," Quinney said. "I definitely could have kept playing, but my body just wasn't feeling too good." He weighed the toll that football was taking on his body and the fact that, while he had dreamed of playing professionally, "I'm not one of those guys where it's 'NFL or bust,'" Quinney said. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 OT) rSr/2022 OT Zach QuinneyGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/13/21 - Djimon BrooksrSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-0, 305 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  When Georgia Tech defensive tackle Djimon Brooks was given the opportunity to play a second senior season, he apparently didn't need much time to mull it over. "When we found out last year that they could come back, I don't even think I put a period on the end of the sentence, and he was like, Yep, I'm back. I'm coming back," defensive line coach Larry Knight said Thursday. "And that was that." Knight categorized Brooks' return for the year granted to all fall- and winter-sports athletes by the NCAA due to the impact of COVID-19 as "huge." In Brooks, the Yellow Jackets have back the defensive lineman with the most career starts in the group (12) but also someone with an example worth following.

Brooks arrived in 2016 as a walk-on from Washington County High and played in one game in his first three seasons. After the hire of coach Geoff Collins, Brooks earned a spot in the rotation and played in all 12 games (with four starts) in 2019 as a junior, making 27 tackles. In July 2020, he was put on scholarship and awarded the No. 0 jersey, emblematic of his lack of FBS and FCS scholarship offers and status as a "zero-star" recruit. (The NCAA approved the usage of the No. 0 jersey for the 2020 season, making Brooks the first to wear the number in team history.) "That was a big deal for us, who was going to wear that number for us," Knight said. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 DT) rSr/2022 DT Djimon BrooksGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  Five months after stepping away from football to attend to the mounting challenges of his life, Georgia Tech defensive end Antonneous Clayton is back among teammates and coaches. As the Yellow Jackets progress through spring practice, he is trying to become a more consistent player and hone details such as his stance, obstacles far preferable to those that he said overwhelmed him last winter. "I'm not really concerned about anything else," Clayton said Thursday. "I've kind of handled all of my off-field issues at this point. I'm having fun right now. This is the happiest I've been playing football in a very long time, a very long time."

For Clayton, 2020 was a set of unrelenting trials, as it was for so many. Clayton came to Tech as a celebrated transfer in 2019 from Florida and had to sit out that season after his request for an immediate-eligibility waiver was denied. Last year, he was entering his senior season - potentially his final opportunity to prove himself as an NFL prospect after three unremarkable seasons with the Gators - amid uncertainty that the season would even be played. Beyond that, Clayton was caring for his young son Antonneous Jr. Then, he missed the first two games with what he described as a medical condition, which also put him behind in his classes and lowered his conditioning level. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#95 DE) rSr/2022 DE Antonneous Clayton Sr.Georgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/09/21 - Kenneth KirbyrSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-5, 280 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  Kenneth Kirby is coming to Georgia Tech with an NFL body, NFL ambition and a healthy dose of confidence. After the offensive tackle declared his intent in February to leave Norfolk State for Tech as a graduate transfer, he is ready to prove himself on a much bigger stage. "I feel like it's a test that I'm ready for," Kirby said. "To me, I don't think there's a huge gap between guys in FCS and FBS." Kirby has proved himself at the FCS level. At Norfolk State, he was a three-year starter and a two-time All-MEAC selection. But, with a shot at the NFL in mind, he decided to use his last season of eligibility at the highest level of play.

"Really, my goal was to go to a Power 5 school and perform there because for me at my position, it makes a big difference," Kirby told the AJC. "So that's really the main goal in all of this, to get my draft grade as high as possible." Kirby, who is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, shows quick feet and a strong punch in pass protection and power in his run blocking. He describes his style as "aggressive but smart" and said he takes pride in finishing plays through the whistle and "really just making people hate you." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 OT) rSr/2022 OT Kenneth KirbyGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/09/21 - Jahmyr GibbsSo/2024, Georgia Tech, 5-10, 195 (DS#15 RB) + More +

  Following Tuesday's spring-practice workout, Smith reported he was at 202 pounds when he weighed himself Monday, up from his playing weight last season of about 182. Gibbs said he was 203 pounds, up from about 192 during the season. "I'm stronger," Gibbs said. "I'm pretty sure I got faster." Presumably, the race to add muscle mass will stop at some point before offensive tackle Jordan Williams is invited into the Gibbs/Smith weigh-in challenge, but it's nonetheless an illustration of the sort of competition that fuels the running backs overseen by position coach Tashard Choice. Gibbs calls it a "friendly competitive vibe," but it's competition all the same. "That's honestly what it is," Smith said. "I mean, we love each other and everything, but at the end of the day, we're all fighting for reps."

Tech has no position more stocked than running back. As a freshman, Gibbs ranked fourth in the ACC in all-purpose yards per game (138.3). Mason, an All-ACC pick in 2019, has run for 90-plus yards nine times in his career. Of players with double-digit carries, Smith led the team with a 6.9 yards-per-carry average, boosted by six runs of 20 yards or more out of 43 carries. It shouldn't be forgotten that Griffin was the No. 2 running-back prospect in Georgia in the 2019 class (247Sports Composite) and has run for 354 yards in two seasons, hardly a shabby total. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#15 RB) So/2024 RB Jahmyr GibbsGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/08/21 - Quez JacksonSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-0, 225 (DS#57 ILB) + More +

  A year ago, Georgia Tech linebacker Quez Jackson said, he chose to focus on his on-field play. With captain David Curry in the linebacker group, he ceded the leadership role to him. But after leading the Yellow Jackets in tackles for the past two seasons and also being honored as one of the captains for both of those teams, Curry has moved on, and the leadership role naturally falls to Jackson, who finished second in tackles behind Curry last year in his third season at Tech (with 80 to Curry's 84). "I've definitely taken a much different approach than what I did last season, going about every phase of my life completely different than what I did last season," he said. "Just understanding my role and understanding the type of influence that I have within that room and just making sure that all the guys are playing hard."

Jackson, who has started 15 career games (including all 10 last season) and has yet to miss a game in his career, would seem to have plenty of leadership to offer. And he may have been shortchanging himself in his estimation of his leadership last year. Coach Geoff Collins bestowed upon him a single-digit jersey prior to the start of spring practice, recognition of his status as a leader and teammate. Jackson has switched from No. 44 to No. 4, the number he wore with distinction at Peach County High. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#57 ILB) Sr/2022 ILB Quez JacksonGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/08/21 - Ayinde EleyrSr/2022, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 240 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  The phone calls between Ayinde Eley and his father Donald Hill-Eley are different now. Hill-Eley hears excitement in his son's voice when they talk, particularly when the talk turns to football, as it often might. Eley is a linebacker at Georgia Tech, a grad transfer from Maryland, and his father is head coach at Alabama State. "It's just a totally different conversation when I talk to him now," Hill-Eley told the AJC Monday. "He's really enjoying the game of football, and that helps you reach your potential." Hill-Eley is optimistic for his son's playing time at Tech, aspirations shared by Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker, among others. But more than that, Hill-Eley is glad for the happiness that he hears coming through his phone. As early as Maryland's first game last season, which was his son's fourth year at the school, Hill-Eley said that he knew that his son would be transferring.

"I've got some guys here that don't play, or their (playing) time has been cut," Hill-Eley said of players on his own team. "But the key is having some kind of communication with the guys that they don't feel ostracized. That's the feeling that we got when we were up the road (at Maryland). I just wanted him to get around some guys that, it's not so much whether he plays or not - I think he's good enough to play - but that it doesn't feel personal." At Maryland, Eley started nine of the Terrapins' 12 games in 2019, and he finished second in tackles with 79. In 2020, however, he played in three of the Terrapins' five games with one start. He announced his decision to go into the portal on Dec. 25 and then went public with his transfer to Tech on the 28th. - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#999 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Ayinde EleyGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  04/01/21 - Jeff SimsSo/2024, Georgia Tech, 6-3, 215 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  It was just the first day of spring practice, but Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins nevertheless liked what he saw from quarterback Jeff Sims in Tuesday's practice. While players were not in pads, Sims earned Collins' approval in running the Yellow Jackets offense. "All of the things that a true freshman quarterback (Sims) had to do last year, just his comfort level and his confidence in being able to direct the offense - to move it, knowing where to go with the football, knowing where to go with the run game - just tremendous improvements in that area as well," Collins said.

As a freshman who started every game last season, Sims had highs and lows, showing a playmaking flair with both his arm and feet (13 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns, 25 runs of 10-plus yards) but also throwing 13 interceptions in 257 attempts. Sims has shown a commitment to improving with the aid of offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, according to Collins. "One of my favorite things about Jeff is he's so humble," Collins said. "(He) has a tremendous amount of desire to get better in every single phase, and he goes through game after game with coach Patenaude." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


(DS#10 QB) So/2024 QB Jeff SimsGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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