An Early Look at ’21 Georgia Tech

A Way too Early Look at GT’s Roster Changes

Pitt’s 2021 Opponent Series By Rich Hefner (Rich in SC)

I plan on writing a series of articles focusing on the offseason activities of Pitt’s P5 2021 opponents. I will touch on recruiting, transfer portal activity, list of players loss to the pros, list of players to “know” based on returning All-conference or 2021 preseason selections. Lastly, some data based on 2020 NCAA stats (I know you all are waiting breathlessly for that). Of course, I will add my opinion when I feel something needs to be pointed out.

(Editor’s Note: Rich will be doing more of these and if I can remember I’ll also post them in the week before the game against the opponents discussed…)

I will be using Rivals recruiting ranking data but 24/7 TP activity. If you want a quick update on the transfer portal, this is the link to the POV TP article I wrote.

 The Transfer Portal; (Recruiting Part 2) (

Here is my POV article on 2021 recruiting.

College FB 2021 Recruiting – Part 1 (

I am going to start with Georgia Tech’s (GT) and Pitt’s 2021 schedules.

Georgia Tech is in the running for this years ACC most favorite ACC schedule. They get a bye in week seven (the mid-season Saturday). Six games before the bye and six after… winnable games both before and after the bye. They are also the only ACC team that does not play on a non-Saturday. Though they do have a hard finish of the season with Notre Dame and Georgia in the last two weeks. GT fans are hoping they are not stuck at five wins going into the last two games, or they will be relying on APR to receive a bowl bid. Like Pitt, they also will face Clemson.

I do not know if I will show the following chart for every Pitt opponent, but I thought it was interesting. As you know, 2019 was Geoff Collins first year as head coach for GT. He went 3 – 9 (including a loss to The Citadel). Did his offense change in 2020? Defense in 2020? You bet both did. Offense for the better but defense regressed.

There is some interesting data in that mass of numbers. GT passed more in 2020 vs. 2019. But not as much as I thought they did. All around defense regressed from 2019, Mainly in pass defense. Maybe it was just due to a 10 game ACC schedule and UCF as the lone OOC opponent. Maybe it was that GT was one of four ACC that played both ND and Clemson (BC, Pitt and Syracuse were the other three.)

On to recruiting. How is the HC change working out? The last five years of recruiting even though there may be 2016 and 2015 recruits playing this year.

Overall a step-up in recruiting compared to triple option Paul Johnson. He moved the needle from an average 3* 5.5 recruit to a 3* 5.6 recruit per NNR. As we will see later and as I wrote in the TP article, Collins is going for immediate help with some longevity by using the TP as a recruiting tool. One thing in the breakdown of recruits by position, GT is still trying to beef up their offensive line. Sound familiar?

Any true “stars” on their roster last year? They had three named to the 2020 All ACC team. To expand the potential list of “stars”, I added the GT players that were named to the 2020 preseason All ACC teams by either Athlon, PFF or returning 2019 All ACC selections.

Harvin (the punter) is going pro. Gibbs is good. He made the All ACC team as punt/kick returner. I thought he would make it as an all-purpose back, but such is life.  Mason was a 2019 third team all ACC selection as a running back but was injured most of the 2020 season. I do not know much about the rest but the defensive backs’ did not do themselves proud in 2020.

Any transfer portal entries? Yes.

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Eight TP entries. Only one “Grad” transfer. Picked up a placekicker from the fire sale going on at Tennessee as GT kickers stunk. The best pickup may be Keion White from Old Dominion. He was unranked by Rivals in 2017. Old Dominion was one of three FBS teams that opted out of the 2020 season. During the 2019 season, White had 19 tackles for loss.

One of the things that 24/7 does is re-rank players in the transfer portal based on their college careers. Kind of makes sense as players are now competing against peers. In a way, it is unfair if a recent recruit did not play much at his old school due to age (2019, 2020 classes). BTW here is a link to 24/7 on their explanation of ratings. White has pro potential with a 3* 0.8800 rating.

247Sports Rating Explanation

One of the things I learned in digging into the TP was it pays to be in a recruiting hotspot. Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech has a majority of their TP entrees from their home state.

Another new face for GT in 2021 is a transfer offensive lineman from 2020.

He opted out of the 2020 season but is back in the game. He started 32 games for Vanderbilt.

That is all for new faces. Did GT lose anyone? It is hard to tell if anyone is not returning. Outside of the punter, no one was an early entry to the NFL draft. GT did lose some to the TP.

A total of 16 players have entered the portal. That ties GT with North Carolina for most roster turnover in the ACC. The concerning thing to me is the three recruits from 2019 and two from the 2020 class. That does not look good for Collins recruiting prowess. Here is the link to GT’s 24/7 transfer portal page.

2021 Football Transfer Portal (

That ends my review. Any suggestions on what you would like to see on future articles?

Thanks, Richard

Note: Here is the Pitt 2021 schedule – disregard the upper left Austin Peay win of last season (you remember that game – that skewed stats so wildly that some thought our offense looked good last year 😉)

67 thoughts on “An Early Look at ’21 Georgia Tech

  1. Very good synopsis. Tech has done a good job recruiting. Takes time to transition over. Tech will win the division come 2023. They get invited over Pitt in 2026. I didn’t use my Tardis to see that.

    I’m a fan of Tech. Sons a chemical enginerd.


  2. And techs coach will win ten at a measly $3.5 salary while Narduzzi pulls in $6 million at the tail end of his contract for six. You can’t make this stuff up. Hollywood loves a dark comedy.

    Tex – who has rights on the script, chapter and verse


  3. Thanks for the article, Richard. Good info. 👍

    I think teams like GT, UNC, FSU, and Miami should recruit better than Pitt. Location, location, location.
    I know practically nothing about GT’s Coach, except I don’t like him. Glad he makes less than the Duzzer. 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OT — Erie, Good for you on your golfing success.

    The distances that the Pros are hitting the ball these days is ridiculous. I’m talking about guys like DeChambeau, Koepka, and Richman…

    Fun fact that us duffers should keep in mind: On average, the PGA pros make about 40% of their 10-foot putts. A little higher if uphill; a little lower if downhill. From 20 feet, the pro’s make-percentage drops to 15%.

    And these are guys who work on their game everyday…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Golf is a game far too influenced by technology. The clubs, the irons, the balls. I could probably hit the ball 50 yards further if I made the investment in equipment. I like courses that take distance out of the game. Forces you to actually golf and be creative with your shot and placement.

    Tech does benefit from location. So they should in theory always outrecruit Pitt. Just like I would expect Pitt to outrecruit them for hockey players. Pitt has so much hockey talent within a 4 hour drive. That sport is worth the investment.

    And yes Narduzzi doesn’t like the Techs coach. That makes me perversely happy. Didn’t know how to tie that thought into location and investment. 🤠


    1. Whipple as your OC and Borbely as the OL coach.

      Wicked formula for “not many TD’s”.

      History has proven it and probably repeats itself this season.


      1. Those two are the anchor around the offenses neck. You drown every time. Pitt would win ten games this year if Narduzzi fires those two and brought in younger, innovative and creative thinkers. But No.


    1. Ike — Prayers for winning the battle in Cleveland then leading a long, happy rest of your life in Lay-trobe!

      Bless you, ike.

      Liked by 8 people

  6. Does anyone know if there will be a Summer basketball league for these incoming Pitt BB players to participate in? This could be the most important year to have some Summer college competition as these new players get to know each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Pitt needs that league. It folded several years back. Takes many volunteers to pull it off. And takes donations since it’s a non profit enterprise not affiliated with any school or the NCAA. Maybe the compliance aspect became onerous or couldn’t get enough volunteers. Pitt needs a dark knight to step in and save the day. ⚔️


  7. Good long article in the PG by John McGonigal about Kenny Pickett. Says the Pitt media folks had prepared a graphic for KP leaving. KP talked to a lot of people, including Peyton Manning, for advice.

    The article says that KP has 8 wins where Pitt was the underdog.

    We need KP to have a big-time TD-pass-to-INT ratio this season – something he hasn’t done yet.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s a photo of KP in that article from when KP originally signed with Pitt. He looks like he’s maybe 14…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The kid is tough as nails. Rooting for him. Too bad Old Pappy and his 50’s offense is stunting his growth. I really think KP would excel in a RPO.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. I agree MM. It’s hard to not like Pickett. But he does have to step up for PITT to have that 9 win season many of us are waiting for.


  8. Tex, thats the impression I got from a side conversation with Walt Harris at the golf outing.
    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there…
    Special prayers for you Brother Iek as your journey to recovery begins.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Annie — At the golf outing, Coach Fisher said that Pitt Volleyball has the best winning percentage in the country for the last 4 years and the last 3 years. With the talent coming back, plus a couple notable additions, he said Pitt should be pre-season ranked in the top ten.

    He also said that after this coming season, he’s got a lot of work to do… Super nice guy to talk to.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So how do they make traffic and parking work? Or are they 🤔 about moving off campus to play at Mercedes Benz stadium.

      I guess pitt doesn’t have good enough civil engineers to solve those issues that Tech already found the solutions for.


      1. No shock Pitt’s leaders cannot figure out an OCS. These same clowns are allowing FSU to creep up on Pitt in the school rankings. If it ever surpassed by FSU the BoT needs flushed out and a new crew, half who are die hard sports fans, needs implemented.

        FSU is the one football factory Pitt cannot allow to surpass them in academics. If it happens I will laugh hard.


  10. In us news, pitt was 70 when I attended. It’s now 58

    Florida state was around 150
    It’s now 58

    State has won 2? Football championships since

    Pitt hasn’t been ranked in over a decade


  11. Tech’s coach believe it or not is a bigger horses rear end than Narduzzi, I really don’t think he gets the job done in Atlanta and is booted after the 2023 season.

    Brennan Randall Marion will have significant input into this years offense and become OC in 2022, because of this Pitt, will win 9 games this season and the defense looks to be pretty loaded in 2021.

    Also I’m going to leave the great state of Florida and venture up north for a game or two.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the great Panther dads out there.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Florida state attracts a far better student applicant now because in part to the football success and brand. It’s far more selective now and the students are just as smart as Pitts. In my day it was wvcc’s cousin from the swamp.


  13. Well the time has come to give you all a break on my health status and finally see what we can do to get better? It’s taken the upper-hand most recently and I haven’t been feeling every good. So much so standing has become a problem and walking is rarely tried. Start my stumble up to Cleveland tomorrow morning, testing all day Tuesday and Surgery Wednesday. Time to be announced soon.

    I want to thank YOU ALL for the kind words of encouragement, prayers and the reaching out to me. Want to thank Reed for allowing the OT health talk. Procedure could be a little more than routine but the Doc tells me….. we got this and you all know the saying… “We All We Got!” “We All We NEED!”

    To all of you………………………………..THANK YOU!! and go PITT! ike/iek

    Liked by 11 people

  14. It seems yo me that Narduzzi is producing about one win for every million $$$ he makes in salary. I move that Pitt doubles his salary effective immediately! 🤑

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Ike – you’ll be on here talking Pitt football for some time. Just think of your procedure like Pitt is going into a post-season bowl game…guaranteed win!!!

    Wait a second… Maybe more like Pitt playing Austin Peay!!! 55-0 We Win!

    Best as always Ike – Reed

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Supreme Court just voted 9-0 in favor of ex-athletes that the NCAA violates antitrust. That should tell everyone all they need to know about the NCAA and mistreatment of collegiate athletes. I know the nostalgia is strong for the old model but with the amount of money involved, it is just not a sustainable model. Football and basketball are essentially minor leagues, which indicates that the athletes are indeed professionals. I fully the expect the universities that want to be owners will branch off from the NCAA … I can only imagine what the buy-in will be for that.


    1. And Pitt thinks of themselves as Puritan so it will never even attempt to branch off. And I’m fine with that.

      Miami, va Tech, domers and possibly NC would probably get invites. Pitt could replace those schools. I’d really only miss the Domers.

      Army, navy, temple, Rutgers, Maryland, Hoopies wouldn’t get invited. I’m fine playing any of those schools as replacements in a old model scholar athlete league. With some extra player comp just like there is today. Heck give them all wheels. Wouldn’t have to steal them then.


      1. Me too, if I’m being honest. If Pitt wants to play, I think they could. They have the money (I know they won’t) … I’m sure there will be dues and a large entry fee … pay to play. I’m curious who makes the jump. There will be a lot of expected member but I’m sure a few surprise non-entries, which opens the door for some “oh really?”‘s …


    2. Also, the NCAA has the nerve to call itself a (cough) non-profit organization. Who exactly get’s all the TV money? They should have to pay taxes.


  17. fankmd – it allows universities to provide more education related benefits … computers, food, room and board, etc … it does not address salaries … it states the NCAA cannot tell schools what they can provide … it does still allow conferences to make those caps.


  18. This sums it up well … even if conferences put caps, they put themselves at risk of not only collusion with other conferences but putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage with other conferences … safest path forward is no limits …

    “The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the NCAA in a landmark antitrust case that specifically challenged the association’s ability to have national limits on benefits for athletes that are related to education, but more broadly had raised doubts about its ability to limit benefits at all.

    The ruling will end the association’s nationwide limits on education-related benefits athletes can receive for playing college sports.

    Athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football will be able to receive benefits from their schools that include cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation.

    Among the other benefits that schools also can offer are scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school and paid internships after athletes have completed their collegiate sports eligibility.

    Schools will not be required to provide these types of benefits, and conferences can impose prohibitions on certain benefits if their member schools so choose. However, conferences cannot act in concert. So, if a conference chooses to limit or prevent certain benefits, it risks giving a competitive advantage to other conferences.”


    1. Court came down pretty heavy, too … not mincing words at all … Pretty wild with such a partisan country that it was unanimous …

      Kavanaugh: “Everyone agrees the NCAA can require student-athletes to be enrolled students in good standing. But the NCAA’s business model of using unpaid student-athletes to generate billions of dollars in revenue…raises serious questions under the antitrust laws.”

      Kavanaugh: “The bottom line is that the NCAA and its members are suppressing the pay of student-athletes who collectively generate billions of dollars in revenues for colleges every year. Those enormous sums of money flow to seemingly everyone except the student-athletes.”

      Kavanaugh: “Businesses like the NCAA cannot avoid the consequences of price-fixing labor by incorporating price-fixed labor into the definition of the product. Or, in more doctrinal terms, a monopsony cannot launder its price-fixing of labor by calling it product definition.”


    2. Wait a minute…!

      Does this…

      “Athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football will be able to receive benefits from their schools that include cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation.

      Among the other benefits that schools also can offer are scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school and paid internships after athletes have completed their collegiate sports eligibility.”

      … mean that the ‘pay’ to players is based not on their athletic abilities but on “academics or graduation” and is either cash or more scholarship opportunities???

      If so folks, you will see a bunch of D1 athletes working harder in the classrooms to get the pay involved. Or is it that they have to meet a set standard of academic achievement to meet the “pay” criteria?

      Very interesting…


      1. Will this open the door to the IRS taxing both the income and the scholarship of student athletes?


  19. If we’d have had this ruling 50 years ago, I’d have walked on for football at Dave Hart’s invitation and worked a lot harder on my fork ball!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. How about a voice of sanity here.. It appears that there are a number of ways to come into compliance with the Supreme Court ruling. For starters, it does not appear to require paying salaries to players (or forbid it), and the “benefits” seem limited to college related expenses such as computers, and even some post graduate benefits. Conferences can standardize these things, but cannot collude with other conferences.

    This is kind of like the real estate industry where the courts ruled that brokers cannot collude on sales commissions, but they all ended up in the same place anyway. As long as there is transparency with payments, so that no one can invent a $20,000 annual college expense pocket money (or $10,000 for books), things should eventually settle out.

    I think a number of P5 schools may drop down to a lower level, since the courts cannot force them to pay players more than they can afford to pay. And the whole definition of a “scholarship” may change and throw out the 85 scholarship rule, since they could pay any player a certain amount in cash (like Dan says, how about 50 walk ons?). But it would not be a good look for a college such as Alabama to win national championships while paying their players far more than any other school.

    The NCAA should immediately issue a rule requiring transparency, and requiring each conference to prepare a plan and then make it public. The Supreme Court’s link between the revenue that sports generate and the amount players get is that there is a correlation but no dollar for dollar payment, so colleges can still give out pennies on the dollar to players in the interest of keeping the minor sports going. Tossing’s idea of no limits could turn college athletics into a bidding war. Even the NFL has a salary cap.


    1. I didn’t advocate no limits, I said that it’s the “safes”t route … meaning avoiding legal hassle … Your route could be considered collusion to keep benefits down. The NCAA cannot mandate conferences to do anything. The conferences can set rules but they can’t collude with other conferences which is essentially what involving the NCAA would do. This my opinion … I’m not smart enough to be a lawyer 🙂


  21. There won’t be any limits. And any disclosed ones will be easily broken. The rich get richer. But again im glad this day has come. Money corrupts.

    What these players don’t know is that there’s this government entity called the IRS that is licking its chops.

    Players aren’t going to get rich. The universities will use these court decisions to make a clean break from the NCAA. They will become even richer and more arrogant.

    Frankly the nfl should be sued or at the very least the university’s should start dictating things to the nfl. They have the leverage now.

    Hubris will be the downfall of all. They are all soulless. Everyone including the presidents, boards, coaches, directors, players, fans, government and media.

    Tex – who’s washing the Tardis right now.


  22. Tex, after reading the available info on this ruling, there are many loopholes that will keep the NCAA in charge and operating as usual for a long time. They could announce that they will form a committee to study the ruling, and then to develop plans to implement something that meets the requirements. There are no awards granted to players for past indiscretions that I can see, so the NCAA could take years to implement anything.


    1. VoR – You’re wrong though … this opens the NCAA up to even more lawsuits … this was a straw that broke the camels back moment to the NCAA.


  23. You keep forgetting that the NCAA was formed by the universities, so in effect it is the universities speaking. It is doubtful that many colleges would bolt the NCAA and risk not being able to schedule other universities for athletic events.


    1. The risk is an extra $100 million per school. To me the risk is mitigated. Risk is always the unknown. The known is mo money.


    2. No risk. P5 has been talking for years about breaking off. The College Football Playoff is not even NCAA sanctioned.


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