How a few Jackets stars ended up at Tech

Others broke family ties. Some wanted a family feel.

Oh, and there's the education.

Recruiting classes and football teams come together in odd ways, and Georgia Tech is no exception.

Starting safety Morgan Burnett's older brother, Cap, was a starter at Georgia, but Burnett liked Tech's coaches and players. Offensive tackle Nick Claytor grew up in Bulldogs country but, like B-back Jonathan Dwyer and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, he knew his class could be special. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt knew freshmen weren't taboo.

With less than a week before No. 7 Georgia Tech hosts rival Georgia at 8 p.m. Saturday in their 105th meeting, a few of the Yellow Jackets players who were offered scholarships by both schools revisited the reasons behind their decisions.

While they say they are happy with how things have turned out, as Dwyer said, things will be a lot better if they can win the next few games and complete their goals. The Yellow Jackets will play for the ACC championship in Tampa on Dec. 5. Should they win that, they most likely will play in the Orange Bowl.

The players:

Morgan Burnett, 6-1, 210 pounds, junior safety, College Park

"Main thing was the coaches, coach BJ [Brian Jean-Mary], coach [Giff] Smith played a major role. I already knew Tashard Choice and Jamal Lewis, so that played a role. But the biggest role was when I met Joshua Nesbitt and Brad Jefferson. Back then I called them my friends, but right now I call them my brothers. When I met my brothers back then, that made my decision.

"I met them on our visit, kept in contact and ever since then we've been close."

Nick Claytor, 6-6, 286 pounds, sophomore offensive tackle, Gainesville

"Basically off the ‘07 recruiting class, I don't know if people remember how big a deal it was. That's kind of like my family basically. And it's close to my family. My brother goes to school at North Atlanta. He's a Fightin' Warrior, so I chose Tech for that. And the education, the degree. You can't pass up an opportunity like that."

Jonathan Dwyer, 6-0, 235 pounds, junior B-back, Marietta

"Honestly I saw the future of what this team could be like with the guys that came here. To have the opportunity to play with guys like Nesbitt, Burnett, Roddy Jones. Pretty much our whole recruiting class, we just came together as a unit. You always see us together. We always talk trash, how we're the best class. Just the camaraderie I felt with the guys, and the guys before us who came here. It's just a family atmosphere that I couldn't pass up."

Josh Nesbitt, 6-1, 214 pounds, junior quarterback, Greensboro

"One of the important factors for me was that coach [Chan] Gailey wasn't afraid to play a freshman and give him a chance to show his talent. I saw that he played Reggie Ball for four years. I was like, I can go there and he'll give me a chance to play."

Demaryius Thomas, 6-3, 229 pounds, junior wide receiver, Montrose

"My first offer was from Georgia Tech, and then I got an offer from Georgia during a visit up there for a Georgia game. I had got all the information about where they wanted me to play, and I didn't want to play that position. I also had gotten in good with coach Smith. I talked to him like, once a month, and I knew that Tech was very interested in me.

"My daddy was staying in Atlanta, and then I wanted to come play receiver behind Calvin [Johnson] because he was a good receiver."

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