It is as simple as this: Georgia Tech has to recruit better or CPJ must be fired. Tevin Washington is Tech's leading rusher because IN FOUR SEASONS Paul Johnson has failed to recruit an impact tailback. Don't tell me that it is because the better RBs want to go play for pro-style offenses to have a better shot at the NFL. Do you think that Zac Stacy (1136 yards and 13 TDs behind a terrible line and with no QB until midseason) went to VANDERBILT in order to maximize his NFL visibility?
You don't need to bring in 4 and 5 star recruits like the SEC powers do in order to get playmakers at the critical positions. Oregon, Virginia Tech and Stanford don't reel in top 15 recruiting classes every year. Neither does Michigan State, Wisconsin, Kansas State and Arkansas. Even among SEC schools: when was the last time South Carolina pulled in a top 15 class? Last year was their best class EVER, and it was only #18, and even that was because they had 32 players in it.
It isn't Georgia Tech's conference, location (which should be a plus), size, stadium or curriculum: it is the coaching staff. Andy McCollum being the main recruiter is why Georgia Tech can't even keep a 3 star RB like Shadrach Thornton from North Carolina State, and last year lost Airyn Willis to go be backup slot WR at Wake Forest. Another example: having Al Preston as your WR coach instead of a guy like Trooper Taylor. And what exactly did hiring Al Groh as defensive coordinator accomplish? The defense still stinks (Maryland and Clemson were the only schools GT held below 21, and even they scored 16 and 17) plus Groh hasn't done a thing for recruiting except bring in a 3 star guy or two from Maryland a year. Had CPJ hired Rodney Garner as his defensive coordinator, the defense would be no worse, but recruiting would be MUCH BETTER.
Georgia Tech is going to the Sun Bowl only because the ACC stinks. This isn't the ACC of the 1990s, when not only there was FSU, but also Virginia, North Carolina and North Carolina State were a lot better, plus Clemson was about the same as they are now. Eventually those guys plus Miami are going to get it figured out, Boston College will be back, you know Randy Edsall will get Maryland up and going in a couple of years. What's going to happen to Tech then?
CPJ needs to either make changes in his staff to get the players that Tech needs or go. At most schools, the best recruiters are the WR, RB, DB and LB coach because - let's face it - those position coaches aren't as vital as the OL, DL and QB coaches or the coordinators. Tech needs to get the best recruiters they can find in those spots. Also, Groh needs to "retire." Let Rodney Garner come in and be the defensive coordinator. He should have learned enough from Grantham by now to be able to run a 3-4 defense; if not just go back to the 4-3 so he won't be going head to head against UGA for talent.
The thing is: CPJ isn't going to change without pressure. Everyone will just assume "we're Georgia Tech, we run the triple option, we're never going to recruit any better." But that isn't true. Chan Gailey, Bobby Ross, even Bill Lewis proved that it was possible to recruit very well, to get good players from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Jersey etc. than CPJ. George O'Leary didn't put much effort in recruiting, but even he got good players from Jacksonville and from south Georgia (how come Georgia Tech is no longer recruiting Thomasville, Valdosta and Albany for guys like Daryl Smith and Joe Burns)? But the message has to be sent to CPJ: improve your staff for recruiting purposes, or go back to Navy!