Football Signing Day

Feb. 7, 2007

Quotes

REMINDER: SIGNING DAY CELEBRATION 5:30 – 7 p.m. tonight at the Hilton Atlanta (255 Courtland Street, Atlanta, GA 30303). Tickets available at the door.

ATLANTA–Georgia Tech head football coach Chan Gailey and his staff announce the signing of the Yellow Jackets’ most highly-regarded football class in recent memory, including 12 of the top prospects from the state of Georgia.

Georgia Tech’s Class of 2007, includes 18 prospective student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, as well as two who are already enrolled at Tech this semester. The Yellow Jackets’ class was rated No. 14 in the nation by Scout.com and ESPN.com.

In addition to the in-state players, Tech also landed top prospects from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Texas. The class includes two quarterbacks, two running backs, three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, three linebackers, and four defensive backs.

Tech’s in-state haul–the Jackets’ largest group of Georgia signees since 1999, is highlighted by four of the Top 10 players in the state and 12 of the Top 50, according to Scout.com, including No. 4 Josh Nesbitt (quarterback, Greensboro), No. 5 Jonathan Dwyer (running back, Marietta), No. 6 Nick Claytor (offensive tackle, Gainesville) and No. 7 D.J. Donley (safety, Folkston).

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all 12 of the Jackets’ signees from Georgia appear on either the Super Southern 100 or Top 50 in Georgia. All 12 are among the Scout.com Top 50 in Georgia, while 11 appear on Rivals’ Top 50 in the state.

The class also boasts the No. 1 prospect in Pennsylvania in defensive end Derrick Morgan, as well as Top 15 players from Michigan (quarterback Steven Threet), Louisiana (defensive end Jason Peters) and Alabama (linebacker Albert Rocker).

Nationally, seven Tech signees appear among the Rivals 250, including Top 100 prospects Morgan Burnett (safety, College Park, Ga.) and Derrick Morgan (defensive end, Coatesville, Pa.), as well as tackle Nick Claytor (Gainesville, Ga.), running back Jonathan Dwyer (Marietta, Ga.), quarterback Josh Nesbitt (Greensboro, Ga.), defensive end Jason Peters (Baton Rouge, La.), and quarterback Steven Threet (Adrian, Mich.). Burnett, Dwyer and Morgan also appear on the ESPN 150, while Burnett, Claytor, Dwyer, Morgan, Nesbitt and safety D.J. Donley (Folkston, Ga.) are on the SuperPrep All-America 273.

At quarterback, Tech brings in both a pro-style quarterback in 6-5, 230-pound Steven Threet (Adrian, Mich.), and a very athletic signal caller in Josh Nesbitt (Greensboro, Ga.). Rivals rates Threet as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback and Nesbitt the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. That pair gives Tech the No. 2 rated quarterback class in the nation, according to Scout.com, behind only national champion Florida.

The Jackets have also added a pair of top running backs to the offensive backfield in Jonathan Dwyer (Marietta, Ga.), rated the No. 10 running back in the nation by Rivals, and Roddy Jones (Chamblee, Ga.), rated among the nation’s Top 40 backs by Rivals and Scout.com. Last fall, Dwyer and Jones were the top two rushers in Metro Atlanta.

Three offensive linemen join the fold in Nick Claytor (Gainesville, Ga.), a Top 10 prospect in Georgia and a Top 20 offensive lineman nationally, as well as Clyde Yandell (St. Augustine, Fla.), a Top 50 prospect in Florida, and Joseph Gilbert (Cartersville, Ga.), another Top 50 player in Georgia.

At wide receiver, the Jackets added highly-regarded in-state prospects D.J. Donley (Folkston, Ga.) and Willie White (Kingsland, Ga.), both outstanding two-way players, as well as Texan Tyler Melton (Houston, Texas).

Tech welcomes two of the nation’s top defensive ends in Derrick Morgan (Coatesville, Pa.) and Jason Peters (Baton Rouge, La.), as well as highly-regarded defensive tackle prospect Logan Walls (Dawsonville, Ga.). A trio of linebackers will also bolster the Tech defense in Brad Jefferson (Wrightsville, Ga.), Kyle Jackson (McDonough, Ga.) and Albert Rocker (New Market, Ala.).

In the secondary, Tech has inked four-star safety prospect Morgan Burnett (College Park, Ga.) as well as safety Jerrard Tarrant (Carrollton, Ga.), a Top 50 player in Georgia, and a pair of Florida cornerbacks rated among the state’s Top 100 prospects – Mario Butler (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Michael Peterson (Tampa, Fla.).

GEORGIA TECH’S CLASS OF 2007

NamePosHt, WtHometownHigh School Morgan BurnettS6-1, 182College Park, Ga.North Clayton Mario ButlerCB6-2, 180Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.Nease Nick ClaytorOT6-6, 312Gainesville, Ga.Gainesville D.J. DonleyWR6-4, 218Folkston, Ga.Charlton County Jonathan DwyerRB6-0, 197Marietta, Ga.Kell Joseph GilbertOL6-4, 280Cartersville, Ga.Cartersville Kyle JacksonLB6-0, 225McDonough, Ga.Union Grove Brad JeffersonLB6-2, 215Wrightsville, Ga.Johnson CountyRoddy JonesRB5-9, 184 Chamblee, Ga.Chamblee Tyler MeltonWR6-0, 182Houston, TexasLangham Creek Derrick Morgan *DE6-4, 275Coatesville, Pa.Coatesville Josh NesbittQB6-1, 204Greensboro, Ga.Greene County Jason PetersDE6-4, 270Baton Rouge, La.Catholic Michael PetersonCB5-11, 190Tampa,Fla.Jesuit Albert RockerLB6-1, 205New Market, Ala.Sparkman Jerrard TarrantS6-0, 187Carrollton, Ga.Carrollton Steven Threet *QB6-5, 230Adrian, Mich.Adrian Logan WallsDL6-2, 280Dawsonville, Ga.Dawson County Willie WhiteWR6-3, 183Kingsland, Ga.Camden County Clyde YandellOL6-5, 304St. Augustine, Fla.Nease

*Enrolled at Georgia Tech for Spring, 2007

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