Georgia Tech Recruiting Review - QB

Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt

With National Signing Day officially over and Georgia Tech's recruiting class completed, GoJackets.com will take a position-by-position look at the 2007 recruiting class. Today, we will look at the quarterback position.

Quarterback

New Additions (2):
Josh Nesbitt & Steven Threet

Depth Chart:
QB: Taylor Bennett, Steven Threet, Byron Ingram/Calvin Booker, Kyle Manley, Josh Nesbitt

Position Needs:
The big question as Georgia Tech looked past 2006 at the quarterback position was going to be how to replace the enigmatic Reggie Ball. As they got into the recruiting season they knew there would be quarterbacks on the roster already vying for being the future at QB, but this was also an opportunity to sell to top recruits the chance to replace a four year starter who also started as a freshman. It seemed like a good message that would ring true to recruits so there was a big opportunity to make a big splash at this position.

As for who was already on campus, you had Taylor Bennett, Jonathan Garner, Kyle Manley, and Byron Ingram. The numbers were good but there was a lot of unproven talent on the roster. Jonathan Garner has since left and will likely transfer to Memphis as rumor has it. Taylor Bennett has since grabbed everyone's attention with a huge performance in the Gator Bowl following news that Ball was academically ineligible for his final game. In doing that, he made it very difficult for an incoming freshman to be the starter in 2007 but the rest of the depth chart was about to very much open up. Manley and Ingram were the other quarterbacks on the roster competing for a spot on the depth chart. Finally, Calvin Booker was on his way to campus as a QB transfer from Auburn. So it appeared that with another addition or two, it was going to be very crowded, very soon. One talented high school player would have probably satisfied most people's wishes for this position.

Spring Practice Report:
Now that spring is underway, the QB position is much clearer than before. Apparently practice reps were going to be taken away from Garner (who since transferred) and Manley. That has led to some new blood trying to work their way into the depth chart. Steven Threet was one of two from this recruiting class to enroll in school early in order to be able to participate in spring drills. There will be more on Steven below but he has had a huge immediate impact on the depth chart. Though it will take him some time to get acclimated to the college game, he is obviously being groomed to possibly have a big role on the team in the future. He has already been thrown out there at the 2nd string QB on day one. That will also give coaches a good idea on whether they think he'll be able to help this season or need a redshirt season to work through things. As we all know there are others with potential behind Threet who could be the backup in 2007 and another immensely talented freshman on the way to campus this summer.

There is an interesting battle going on for 3rd string now and that could ultimately lead to one player staying at QB versus facing a position change. Byron Ingram versus Calvin Booker is interesting on several levels. First who beats out the other, and then can the winner challenge Threet for 2nd team if Threet doesn't develop fast enough by fall. Finally, I figure the loser in this spring battle will be playing a different position in fall. It was suggested on Signing Day that both are capable of playing somewhere else. Calvin Booker was reportedly, "one biscuit away from being a tight end." And Byron Ingram was a good enough athlete to contribute as a wide receiver if need be. I see at least one of those changes coming to fruition by fall practice.

Finally, it's not clear if Kyle Manley has an active role any longer. His reps in practice have dropped to zero not counting QB drills. But with Kyle's knowledge of the offense, he still is the one who signals in plays. But it does appear that other guys are being given a chance, at least this spring, to see what they can do given a chance.

Who GT signed:

Josh Nesbitt

Height: 6-0
Weight: 205
Home Town (High School): Greensboro, GA (Greene Co HS)
Other offers included: Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Georgia
Lead GT Recruiting Coach: Giff Smith
Scout.com Stars: ****
Scout.com State Ranking: 4
Scout.com Southeastern Ranking: 14
Scout.com National Ranking by Position: 9 (QB)
Scout.com National Ranking (Regardless of Position): 76
Other Honors: AJC Super 11

I'm not sure that all Tech fans realize what a special talent Nesbitt is. So many great names came up on the board for GT this year and were signed, so it's possible that a truly great talent could have been lost in the class that included names like Dwyer, Claytor, Donley, White and Burnett. But for me, Josh may be the best athlete of them all. Since Threet committed first and fans knew they were going to have a talented QB for the next 4-5 years, Nesbitt almost seemed like icing on the cake. I think we'll start to see in fall that we have something very special in Nesbitt and as a QB. Fans of other teams that recruited Nesbitt would always say that he should be a safety or play somewhere else besides QB, but you'll see below that Analyst Scott Kennedy completely disagrees with those assessments. The couple of times I've been up close to Josh he's been a very unassuming kid and doesn't seem to open up to just anyone. Because of that he wasn't always good for a big quote from all who interviewed him during the recruiting season. I think he does all of his talking on the field though.

Recruiting Analyst Scott Kennedy on Josh Nesbitt:
"I saw him as a junior. He's just the ultimate play maker. He can really run but he's a pass first guy that can really run which is what I like about him. He runs to set up the pass. Like if he starts rolling out, he doesn't immediately tuck it; he still has his eyes down field. And he's got the arm to where he can chuck it 60-65 yards down field. He's a bigger version of the mobile quarterbacks that they've had recently with Joe Hamilton and Reggie Ball. He's bigger than both of those guys. I just think he's a terrific play maker. I had a quarterbacks coach ask me one time that had scouting him, because he has a little bit of a hitch in his delivery, he said, ‘with that little hitch, does he get streaky because it might affect his accuracy a little bit?' And I said, ‘yeah coach, he's been hot for 4 straight games.' And he just kind of laughed. And that was at the end of his junior year going into the Georgia Dome where I think he had 400 yards of total offense, 2 interceptions on defense, and, you know, he's just a man. I think he's a quarterback all the way, I always have."

Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg on Josh Nesbitt (from May 23, 2006):
"Josh Nesbitt is an athletic quarterback prospect from Greensboro (Ga.) Greene County High School. Nesbitt, 6-1 and 200 pounds, is a quarterback and running back rolled up into one player. As a signal caller he has a strong arm and is dangerous is the pocket because he has super quickness and footwork so he can avoid the initial rush. And this is when the trouble starts for the defense because once he evades the initial rush he can throw on the run or worse, tuck in and run. And once he takes off he has the ability to run over defenders (he loves to lower the boom), run right by them or has the quickness to shake and bake and make a move. His offense also has designed runs for him at the quarterback position. There are better passers among his peers in the Class of 2007 but he shows the ability to make all the throws. As a pure quarterback he is somewhat raw but Nesbitt has the talent and potential to become a very good signal caller at the college level."

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

#9 QB Josh Nesbitt

Steven Threet

Steven Threet and his family are now part of the Georgia Tech family

Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Home Town (High School): Adrian, MI (Adrian HS)
Other offers included: Illinois, Indiana, Miami (OH), NC State, Stanford, Wisconsin
Lead GT Recruiting Coach: Patrick Nix/Geoff Collins
Scout.com Stars: ****
Scout.com State Ranking: 12
Scout.com Midwestern Ranking: 39
Scout.com National Ranking by Position: 13 (QB)

Steven Threet was a huge pickup for the Yellow Jackets out of the state of Michigan. Tech doesn't spend too much time up in Michigan so it had to be a pretty special player for coaches to venture into that territory. Threet actually came to Atlanta for a camp last summer and made a huge impression on the coaches. They knew then they had to have him. He'll be the tallest QB on the roster. Right now he has a kind of lanky build but will really look the part when he starts to fill out more. Even in the time he's been on campus since January, you can already seeing the eating and workouts are starting to put some more meat on his bones. We're really going to see what kind of coach new Offensive Coordinator John Bond is with Threet. Steven's upside appears to be very high but for now has some learning and adjusting to do. Coach Bond will be able to mold Threet however he sees fit from day one, so it will be interesting to follow his development. He certainly has an NFL frame.

Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels on Steven Threet:
"I saw Keith Nichols, the guy who went to Oklahoma; he had all the publicity, all the press coming into the season but Threet pretty much out-performed him in his camp showings and on tape. He's a leader, a very accurate passer, has an above average strength arm. He's really poised in the pocket. I personally think those two are both very good quarterbacks but I like Threet a little bit more. He's a very good athlete too. He's not an option-type quarterback but he's a guy that can rush a little bit and do some things outside of the pocket."

QB Steven Threet

QB Steven Threet

QB Steven Threet

QB Steven Threet

QB Steven Threet

The one who got away:
Tech got what they needed and more!

John Chiles and Tyrod Taylor were a couple of other quarterbacks who Tech pursued early on but I don't think anyone is looking back in any way lamenting players we didn't sign. Tech essentially got focused on two guys and landed them both.

Final Analysis:
This time, the Yellow Jackets really hit it out of the park. They landed an abundance of talent at quarterback and all looks bright for the foreseeable future at this position. It is a rare feat to land 2 quarterbacks both ranked in the top 13 nationally at their position. Signing Day probably wasn't as cheerful for QBs already on campus because these two additions really shook up the landscape of the QBs on the depth chart. They just have to live up to the expectations that come with this kind of hype. I'm guessing it didn't take long for Coach Chan Gailey to convince John Bond to be the OC here considering the canvas he was about to be given to work with. Great job of recruiting for the future here; nothing but accolades for the job the coaching staff did getting both Threet and Nesbitt to GT.

Thanks to Scott Kennedy, Jamie Newberg, Bob Lichtenfels, Kamden Robb and Rod Mackenzie for contributions to this article!

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