Three More Yellow Jacket Juniors Commit To NFL
Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer and Derrick Morgan all give up senior year for NFL
Jan. 11, 2010
The Yellow Jacket trio joins junior wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who made a similar announcement on Friday.
With Monday's announcements, Georgia Tech loses the 2008 ACC Player of the Year (Dwyer), the 2009 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-American (Morgan), and an All-ACC defender (Burnett).
Burnett will leave Georgia Tech with 14 career interceptions, tying for the second-most in school history and just two shy of tying the Tech record of 16 held by Willie Clay (1988-91). His 235 career tackles are the eighth-most by a defensive back in Yellow Jacket history.
Dwyer will leave his name etched throughout the Georgia Tech record books. He concludes his three-year career with 3,226 rushing yards (6th in Tech history), 517 rushing attempts (8th), 17 100-yard rushing games (3rd), 3,966 all-purpose yards (5th), 35 rushing touchdowns (2nd) and 36 touchdowns overall (2nd). Dwyer rushed for an identical 1,395 yards in 2008 and 2009.
Morgan emerged as one of the nation's top defensive ends in 2009, producing 18.5 tackles-for-loss and 12.5 sacks. His career totals include 29.5 tackles-for-loss, 19.5 sacks, six fumbles recovered and five pass break-ups.
Burnett, Dwyer, Morgan, Thomas and senior guard Cord Howard are all expected to be selected in the NFL draft. Linebacker Sedric Griffin could give Georgia Tech six players taken in one draft. The last time Tech had five players taken in one draft came in 2004 (Daryl Smith, Tony Hargrove, Keyaron Fox, Nat Dorsey and Jonathan Smith). Five Yellow Jackets were also taken in the 1992 draft. Seven Tech players were taken in the 1979 draft, but that included three players who were drafted in rounds 11 or 12.
The 2010 NFL draft could possibly mark the first time since 1979 that two Yellow Jackets are taken in the first round. In '79, Eddie Lee Ivery went 15th overall to Green Bay and Kent Hill was the 26th overall selection by the Los Angeles Rams.
In addition to the early departures of Burnett, Dwyer, Morgan and Thomas, the Yellow Jackets will lose three senior starters - Howard, Griffin and offensive tackle Brad Sellers. There were six scholarship seniors and four non-scholarship seniors on the 2009 Yellow Jacket roster.
Despite the losses, Tech will return a strong nucleus in 2010. Seven starters on offense and eight starters on defense will be back. In addition, the Yellow Jackets hope to return three defenders who were injured most of the 2009 season - safety Cooper Taylor, end Robert Hall and linebacker Kyle Jackson.