Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall shakes hands with Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson after the Yellow Jackets beat the Cavaliers 31-17 Saturday, November 19, 2016. SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado

Paul Johnson pokes fun at talk of Georgia’s talent shortage

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson poked fun at the notion that the Yellow Jackets’ in-state rival is not as talented as it has previously been, which has been cited as a reason for Georgia’s struggles this season with first-year coach Kirby Smart.

“I get a kick out of when people say they don’t have any players,” Johnson said Monday following the Jackets’ first practice in preparation for the Bulldogs. “Compared to maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers or something. I mean, they’ve got a lot of good players. They’re running around everywhere.”

Johnson would know, given that the Jackets face Georgia annually and recruit many of the players who end up in Athens. He has said on various occasions that Georgia is a school that recruits itself.

“When’s the last time the University of Georgia didn’t have a top-10 recruiting class?” he asked on an AJC podcast . “So Coach (Vince) Dooley was a great recruiter, Ray Goff was a great recruiter, Jim Donnan was a great recruiter, Mark Richt’s a great recruiter. Who was a bad one? Because I don’t remember having a coach when they weren’t top 10.”

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