Georgia Tech head football coach Chan Gailey and his staff addressed several positions, particularly quarterback and on defense, with the signing of 20 prospective student-athletes to national letters of intent to play for the Rambling Wreck.
Headlining the class is USA Today prep all-America cornerback Kenny Scott of Daytona Beach, Fla., as well as running back Rashaun Grant of Tampa, Fla., quarterbacks Reggie Ball of Stone Mountain, Ga., and Stephenson High, and Patrick Carter from St. Petersburg, Fla., and linebacker Nick Moore of Arlington, Texas.
“We covered a lot of areas, and we were able to get some quality players at a lot of positions, particularly on the defensive side of the ball,” said Gailey.
Tech’s class of signees includes five defensive backs, three linebackers, four defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, one running back, one receiver and one combination fullback-linebacker. Tech signed six players from Georgia, as well as nine from Florida, four from Texas and one from Ohio.
The Yellow Jackets have added three talented quarterbacks to the program. In addition to Ball Carter, who both signed Wednesday, Al Pena of Cedar City, Texas enrolled at Tech this semester.
“None of the quarterbacks that we are recruiting and will continue to recruit are just drop-back passers,” said Gailey. “They all have the ability to move and make some things happen with their feet as well as their arms.”
Ball, 6-0 and 180 pounds, was a first-team all-state selection and a member of the Super Southern 100 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He passed for more than 2,000 yards as a senior with 19 touchdown and just two interceptions. Carter, 6-3, 185, was rated the No. 19 quarterback in the nation by Tom Lemming and the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals. He threw for 2,304 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior. Pena, 6-3, 205, was an honorable mention all-region selection by PrepStar while passing for 1,800 yards and rushing for 1,200 yards as a senior at Leander High.
Scott, 6-1, 180, was a second-team prep all-America by USA Today. He was rated the fifth-best cornerback in the nation by Rivals and the eighth-best by Tom Lemming. He earned first-team all-state honors at Seabreeze High.
Scott is one of five talented defensive backs signed by the Yellow Jackets, who graduated three of four starters in the secondary. Also signing with Tech were cornerbacks Sam Williams of Atlanta’s Mays High and Brian Fleuridor of Boca Raton (Fla.) High, as well as safeties Avery Roberson of Atlanta’s Washington High and Joe Gaston from Marietta’s Wheeler High.
Roberson and Gaston were both named to Top 50 in Georgia and honorable mention all-state by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Roberson, 6-2, 190, was rated the No. 19 safety in the nation by Rivals while accumulating 324 tackles, 14 interceptions and 13 sacks in this career. Gaston made 80 tackles and four interceptions as a senior, when he also scored 13 touchdowns as a running back/kick returner. Williams, 5-11, 170, and Fleuridor, 5-11, 180, bring very good speed to the cornerback position.
Moore is one of four linebacker prospects signed by the Jackets, along with Philip Wheeler of Shaw High in Columbus, Ga., and KaMichael Hall of Houston, Texas, as well as Kyle Pupello of Plant High in Tampa, Fla., who can play linebacker or fullback.
Moore, 6-1, 225, was a second-team all-state selection in Class 5-A at Arlington (Texas) High and was rated among the Top 100 players in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the Dallas Morning News. He recorded 183 tackles as a senior, leading his district in tackles three straight years. Hall, another Texan from Klein Forest High, was rated the No. 67 linebacker in the nation by Rivals and was tabbed to Max Emfinger’s Texas Super All-State team. The 6-1, 205-pounder registered 160 tackles as a senior. Wheeler, 6-2, 215, who had 106 tackles with 34 tackles for loss, was a first-team all-state selection by Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Pupello made over 100 tackles each of the last three years.
On the defensive line, Tech signed two solidly built tackles in Mansfield Wrotto of Snellville, Ga., and LeShawn Newberry of Port Orange, Fla., as well as a pair of Florida defensive ends in Adamm Oliver of New Port Richey Ridgewood and Joe Anoai of Pensacola Escambia.
A first-team all-state selection at Brookwood High, Wrotto, 6-4, 310, was a member of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Top 50 in Georgia and was rated the No. 46 player in the state by BorderWars. Newberry, 6-0, 310, was ranked No. 60 in Florida by BorderWars while earning second-team all-state honors.
Oliver, 6-4, 250, was a first-team all-state selection (Class 4-A) while registering a school-record 151 tackles as a senior. Anoai earned second-team all-state accolades (Class 5-A) and was rated No. 80 in Florida by BorderWars. He collected 119 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior.
Tech also added three offensive linemen in 6-4, 285-pound Kevin Tuminello of Youngstown, Ohio, and Boardman High, and a pair of Texans in 6-5, 280-pound Eddy Parker of Burnet and 6-4, 275-pound Matt Rhodes of Angleton. Parker was a first-team all-state selection and a member of Max Emfinger’s Texas Super Team, while Tuminello and Rhodes were honorable mention all-region selections by PrepStar.
Regarded as one of the nation’s top running backs, Grant rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns in just eight games before his season was ended by a broken ankle. He was rated the nation’s No. 2 all-purpose running back and No. 64 prospect overall by Rivals, as well as the No. 13 running back in the nation by Tom Lemming and No. 16 by TheInsiders.
“He has the kind of breakaway speed that you’re looking for to make big plays,” said Gailey of Grant.
Wide receiver Chris Dunlap of Miramar (Fla.) High School was an honorable mention all-region selection by PrepStar while catching 38 passes for 715 yards and eight touchdowns.
Feb. 5, 2003
2003 GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL SIGNEES
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School)|
|Joe Anoai||DE||6-3||235||Pensacola, Fla. (Escambia)|
|Reggie Ball||QB||6-0||180||Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson)|
|Patrick Carter||QB||6-3||185||St. Petersburg, Fla. (Lakewood)|
|Chris Dunlap||WR||6-0||185||Miramar, Fla (Miramar)|
|Brian Fleuridor||CB||5-11||180||Boca Raton, Fla. (Boca Raton)|
|Joe Gaston||S||6-0||200||Marietta, Ga. (Walton)|
|Rashaun Grant||RB||5-11||190||Tampa, Fla. (Jefferson)|
|KaMichael Hall||LB||6-1||205||Houston, Texas (Klein Forest)|
|Nick Moore||LB||6-1||225||Arlington, Texas (Arlington)|
|LeShawn Newberry||DT||6-0||310||Port Orange, Fla. (Spruce Creek)|
|Adamm Oliver||DE||6-4||250||New Port Richey, Fla. (Ridgewood)|
|Eddy Parker||OL||6-5||280||Burnet, Texas (Burnet)|
|Kyle Pupello||FB/LB||6-1||230||Tampa, Fla. (Plant)|
|Matt Rhodes||OL||6-4||275||Angleton, Texas (Angleton)|
|Avery Roberson||S||6-2||190||Atlanta, Ga. (Washington)|
|Kenny Scott||CB||6-1||175||Daytona Beach, Fla. (Seabreeze)|
|Kevin Tuminello||OL||6-4||285||Youngstown, Ohio (Boardman)|
|Philip Wheeler||LB||6-2||215||Columbus, Ga. (Shaw)|
|Sam Williams||CB||5-11||170||Atlanta, Ga. (Mays)|
|Mansfield Wrotto||DT||6-4||310||Snellville, Ga. (Brookwood)|