PHOTO: USA Today Sports
In a move that nobody saw coming, Georgia Tech's starting QB Vad Lee reportedly will transfer. As a sophomore, Lee struggled to find a rhythm in Paul Johnson's Triple Option offense and had the worst season for a QB running the football under Johnson at Georgia Tech (averaging just 2.82 ypc). ESPN reporter Joe Schad quoted Lee as saying "The Triple Option was never really my thing". Ouch.
Lee, who was highly recruited out of high school by the likes of Auburn, Duke, Maryland, NC State, South Carolina, UNC and Wake Forest now has a decision to make. With two years of eligibility remaining, does he go the FCS route where he can play immediately or does he transfer to an FBS school and sit out a year. And how much will this decision effect futures odds for next year's College Football betting at TopBet.eu Sportsbook? From a development standpoint, the best thing he could do might be to transfer to a smaller FBS school (see: C-USA or Sun Belt). That way he can sit out a year and develop those passing skills that Johnson and the Georgia Tech staff didn't hone because they were busying teaching Lee the option. If he does go the FCS route, he will probably head to somewhere near his hometown of Durham, NC. Personally, I'd like to see him stay in Atlanta and try to help Georgia State progress as a football program (if he stays FBS). The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has speculated that James Madison or Richmond could be landing spots.
For Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson this is not a pretty picture. How many times do you see an incumbent starting QB transfer? Not often. One of the biggest knocks on Johnson's tenure at Georgia Tech has been recruiting. Lee was the top recruit of the 2011 class and one of the top offensive recruits that Johnson has had since he's been at Georgia Tech. For a coach and school that has not recruited well during his tenure, this is just more ammunition for schools to use against Johnson when they are sitting in front of recruits.
The big question for Georgia Tech now is where will they go from here. Lee got most of the snaps at QB this year. When Lee wasn't under center, Tech went with Justin Thomas and he will be on the top of the depth chart heading into spring practice. Thomas is the only offensive skill position recruit that 247 Sports rated higher than Lee during Johnson's tenure. If you follow recruiting, you might recognize the name Justin Thomas. At one time he was a commit to Alabama but in a shocking move he flipped to Georgia Tech after being committed to Alabama for a year because he and his father felt he was a better fit in Tech's offense. 247's Rusty Mansell was quoted as saying that Thomas "is a legit 4.3 in the 40-yard dash and he is a threat to take it to the house on every single play." In 2013, Thomas averaged 7.09 ypc on limit attempts (on 33 rushes) with 2 TDs. Maybe Vad Lee's decision to transfer will be the right decision for everybody involved.