ATLANTA — This time it was a little more difficult for Paul Johnson to reference his record as evidence the recruiting experts were wrong about his Georgia Tech signing class.
Georgia Tech's 18 signees on Wednesday didn't fare well in the team rankings compiled by recruiting services. The class was ranked No. 69 in the nation by Rivals.com, which listed defensive end Jordan Woods of Citra, Florida as the only four-star recruit. The class was ranked No. 64 by Scout.com and No. 54 by 247Sports.
Johnson's signing classes usually rank outside the top 40, but until this year he could point to winning records and bowl trips as evidence his recruits were the right picks for his system. In 2015, Georgia Tech finished 3-9, Johnson's first losing record in eight years at the school and a sharp fall from an 11-win season and Orange Bowl berth the year before.
"I think the number that matters is at the end of the year what your record is," Johnson said. "Last year our record wasn't good and the year before it was pretty good. We've got to get back to where we were the year before."
Eleven signees in this year's class are from Georgia. Johnson signed three wide receivers, two quarterbacks and two running backs. Both quarterbacks, Lucas Johnson of San Diego and Jay Jones of McCalla, Alabama, are dual threats as runners and passers.
Dedrick Mills of Waycross, Georgia will play B-back, the running back lining up like a fullback. Xavier Gantt (5-9, 165) will line up wide as an A-back in the spread option.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: No
Best in class: Jordan Woods, DE, Citra, Florida. Woods picked Georgia Tech over Florida, Tennessee and Miami.
Best of the rest: Parker Braun, OL, Hallsview, Texas; Jay Jones, QB, McCalla, Alabama; Xavier Gantt, RB, Buford, Georgia; Dedrick Mills, RB, Waycross, Georgia.
Late addition: CB Ajani Kerr of Powder Springs, Georgia, also was considering Central Michigan and Kennesaw State, among other schools.
One that got away: Safety Romeo Finley of Niceville, Florida, listed Georgia Tech as his leader before making a late switch to Miami.
How they'll fit in: Johnson recruited for immediate help at wide receiver. Stephen Dolphus (6-5, 200) of Westside High in Macon, Georgia, was compared to former Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. The other receivers in the class are Jalen Camp of Cumming, Georgia and Jair Hawkins-Anderson of Suwanee, Georgia.
For the full list: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/