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Jeff Schultz

Tech’s talent level? Just the facts (no spin)

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Tech's Paul Johnson doesn't think highly of recruiting rankings. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Tech’s Paul Johnson doesn’t think highly of recruiting rankings. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

If we used recruiting “rankings” as a gauge — and I put rankings in quotes because there’s nothing official or impactful about what Scout, Rivals or Creepy Bob from Cedartown think – Georgia Tech pretty much stinks at this recruiting thing. As of this typing, the Yellow Jackets’ recruiting class Wednesday was ranked only 46th by Rivals, 54th by Scout and 60th by 247 Sports (behind Kansas, Marshall, Iowa State, Rutgers, Duke and apparently most of the free world).

It’s no secret that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is not a fan of these rankings, nor the respective site’s “star” rankings of players, and I can’t really say I blame him. The Jackets appeared to have a solid recruiting class, at least from the standpoint of having filled needs (six offensive linemen and four defensive backs, plus a wide receiver Qua Searcy, who can play multiple positions, including safety).

It’s also safe to assume that Johnson is sensitive to how the program may or may not be perceived, and the potential ripple effect of that in recruiting.

I’ll focus more on that in a column, which will be posted later on MyAJC.com. But here’s a snippet of some comments from Johnson when he was asked about perception of the talent level in his program.

Johnson: “This is my view. If you go back and look for the last six years, there’s four teams in the ACC who’ve won more games than all of the others. Those teams are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. And that’s my view of the star system. So if our recruiting is so bad, and that is so accurate, then we must be great coaches. And from what I read from you guys (media) I don’t believe that. You can’t have it both ways. So that’s the facts.

“That’s not spin. That’s just facts. So you can write whatever you want. But that’s the numbers that I would be concerned about.”

So, OK, you meanies, here are the numbers Johnson was referencing.

• Top four overall records of ACC teams since 2008: Florida State 61-20, Virginia Tech 57-24, Clemson 54-26, Georgia Tech 48-32.

• Top four conference records since 2008: Florida State and Virginia Tech 35-13, Clemson 34-14, Georgia Tech 31-17.

• Best/most rankings finishes: Florida State: two top-10 finishes, 5 top-25s in the last six years; Clemson and Virginia Tech  one top-10 finish and four top-25s; Georgia Tech one top-10 and two top-25s.

Just the facts. No spin.

I’ll be back later with the full column.

• EARLIER: Signing day advice: Proceed with caution

• COMPLETE RECRUITING COVERAGE: Go to AJC.com/s/sports/recruiting

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