By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
We all have a bit more free time on our hands with everything going on currently.
It gives us some time to reflect. I’m going to determine who the best Georgia Tech football player of all time is.
Joe Hamilton is often overlooked despite having a great career. He played for the Yellow Jackets from 1996 to 1999. He set ACC career records for total offense (10,640 yards), touchdown passes (65) and total touchdowns (83).
As a senior in 1999, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, won the Davey O’Brien Award and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
He was the runner-up in Heisman voting, finishing behind Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne. In 2002, he was named as one of the fifty members of the ACC 50th Anniversary Football Team. Hamilton was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
George Godsey replaced Hamilton in 2000. He led Tech to a 9 – 2 record that year. Godsey threw for 2,906 yards and 23 touchdowns; he also had the sixth best passing efficiency in the country.
In 2001 as a senior, he completed 241 passes for 3,085 yards, both of which are school records.
Godsey finished his college career as the most accurate passer in Georgia Tech history, with a career completion percentage of 63.3. He also has the fourth most passing touchdowns in school history with 41.
He has the school record for most passing yards in a game with 486 yards against Virginia in 2001. He broke the previous record, also held by him that was 454 yards versus Clemson in 2000.
Calvin Johnson is probably the name most people would expect in this conversation. Johnson played at GT from 2004 to 2006. Johnson had 178 receptions in his career, good for 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns.
He ranks first in school history in career receiving yards, second in receptions, first in touchdown receptions, and first in career 100-yard receiving games with 13.
As a junior in 2006 he had his best season. He was honored as the ACC Player of the Year, was a first-team All-ACC selection for the third consecutive year, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.
Johnson tallied 1,202 yards on 76 catches. He also scored 15 touchdowns, which is the single season record for receiving touchdowns at Tech.
Robert Lavette played from 1981 to 1984. As a freshman, he was ACC third leading rusher (866 yards), third in receiving (45 receptions), first in all-purpose yards and first in kickoff returns.
As a sophomore, he led the ACC in rushing (1,208 yards), touchdowns (19) also a school and conference record, all-purpose yards (1,570 yards) and scoring average (10.4) points.
Lavette is the schools rushing leader with 4,066 yards and holds the record for rushing touchdowns with 45.
Keith Brooking played from 1994 to 1997. He’s the leading tackler in Georgia Tech history (467). He had two of the best tackle seasons in school history with 147 and 146, respectively, as a junior and sophomore.
Kelly Campbell was a great wide receiver and he held all of the records before Calvin Johnson.
Campbell is second in career receiving yards (2,907) and receiving touchdowns (24). He played from 1998 to 2001 so he was one of the favorite targets for Hamilton and Godsey.
This is a tough decision but I rank Joe Hamilton as the best Yellow Jacket.