Head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets speaks in his radio during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Miami won 35-21. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

5 things Paul Johnson had to say on national signing day

Opening statement:

“I’m really proud of our coaching staff. I thought they did a good job in recruiting. This is probably our largest recruiting class since I’ve been here. (note: the 2015 class was slightly larger with 27 signees) I thought that we were able to address some needs. It’s a little heavier probably on defense than offense, which is where we had a few more openings, but all in all, I think it’s a well-rounded class. We had to replace our punter and kicker, which hopefully we did a good job with that. It’s a big part of the game, and really excited about the athleticism in the class. I think we’ve got a lot of guys with length that can run that can do some things.”

On Tre Swilling and Bruce Jordan-Swilling, the sons of Tech great Pat Swilling, signing:

“It’s exciting. I think it says a lot about what Pat’s experience here at Georgia Tech was as a player. I think he talked a lot about what the education meant for him and how it set him up for after his playing career was over and helped him to get to where he is now. I think it was really neat that he and Robin wanted their two boys to experience that here at Tech.”

On the impact of the eight transfers:

“It gave us more numbers. We went into the class early thinking we were going to sign 17 and we ended up being able to sign 24. Twenty-five was going to be my limit. I wasn’t going to go past 25. I set a goal – 22 was going to be the minimum and 25 was going to be the max and we got up right next to the max.”

On if any of the five offensive lineman signees (Charlie ClarkConnor HansenMikey MinihanZach Quinney and Boe Tufele) could play this fall:

“Possibly. Some of them could play. Who would have thought that three freshmen last year would have played? You don’t know. We’re going to be a couple under there again. I’d like to have 16 offensive linemen; we’re going to have 14. But, again, we’ve only got a couple of seniors, so do you go now and try to take seven in one class and not have three or four in the next? In a perfect world, you have three or four in each class, so that’s where we try to balance it out.”

On the large number of defensive backs (Jaytlin AskewGentry Bonds, Tariq CarpenterKaleb OliverAvery ShowellTre Swilling and Dameon Williams):

“We try to hit that target number. Quite honestly, when it gets to the point where you get close to your target numbers, then it becomes best available. And it just so happened that those guys were the best available. We listed guys like Kaleb Oliver, Tariq Carpenter and the Showell kid from Cartersville (Avery Showell), we listed them as athletes. They’re kind of hybrid defensive back/nickel/outside linebacker. Who knows? Tariq’s 6-3 ½, 204 pounds and he looks skinny. Who knows what he’s going to be? He’s probably going to start at safety, but in a year he could be a linebacker. He’s athletic enough and long enough, he can play anywhere.”

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