Tag:Georgia Tech Recruiting
Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:59 pm
 

DE Junior Gnonkonde picks UNC after visit

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Georgia Tech commit Junior Gnonkonde verbally committed to North Carolina on Sunday, and is expected to sign with the Tar Heels on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 225 pound weakside defensive end was committed to the Yellow Jackets before head coach Paul Johnson withdrew the offer for academic reasons. The Lanier County (Ga.) High School standout was one of the earliest commits in Johnson's 2012 class, but the head coach informed the family on Jan. 20 that Gnonkonde's test scores were too low.

Gnonkonde visited North Carolina this past weekend, meeting with North Carolina's athletic director and director of admissions in addition to head coach Larry Fedora. After the visit, Gnonkonde selected the Tar Heels.

“He met with the head coach before the basketball game and said ‘I’m comfortable; I don’t need to look anywhere else,’” said Lanier County athletics director John White, who is also Junior’s legal guardian.

“I tried to get him to wait and Junior said that he didn’t need to wait, so he went ahead and committed.”

White informed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that North Carolina will not require Gnonkonde to retake any tests, but the defensive end will do so anyway.

Gnonkonde picked North Carolina after receiving offers from South Carolina, Wake Forest, Central Florida, Syracuse, and Louisiana Tech.

For more on the Tar Heels' 2012 recruiting class, check out the ACC Signing Day Overview.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:19 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:21 pm
 

Florida DB flips from Georgia Tech to Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

Defensive back Antonio Crawford, from Tampa, Fla., has flipped his commitment from Georgia Tech to Miami.

“It was a pretty hard decision because I’ve been committed to Georgia Tech for a long time.” Crawford told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I got to know the coaches and I got to know some of the other recruits. It was pretty tough to do it, but they respected my decision and I respected them for that.”

Crawford had been committed to the Yellow Jackets since last summer, but received a last-minute offer from the Hurricanes last week and took a recruiting trip over the weekend. After a weekend in Coral Gables, Crawford returned home with a change of heart.

Georgia Tech assistant Charles Kelly hoped that Crawford would remain committed to the Yellow Jackets after the visit, but apparently took the news of the de-commit well on Sunday.

"No, I'm not surprised [by Georgia Tech's reaction]," Crawford said. "The Georgia Tech people are real classy. They are respectable people, and I know they wouldn't do anything like be angry and mad at me."

For Miami head coach Al Golden, Crawford's commitment is another payoff from an aggressive recruiting effort that began in early December. When the school made themselves ineligible for postseason play due to the ongoing NCAA investigation, Golden and his staff hit the recruiting trail hard in an effort to build for the future.

Miami's 2012 class, currently with 31 verbal commitments, is ranked No. 6 nationally by MaxPreps. For more on the Hurricanes, check out the ACC Signing Day Overview.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:50 pm
 

Paul Johnson criticizes oversigning in recruiting

Posted by Chip Patterson

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has never been afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly has plenty to say when it comes to oversigning in recruiting.

Johnson has openly criticized the practice over oversigning in the past, but chose to address the issue directly in a news conference on Friday. The practice has been a local topic of conversation after Alabama pulled their 2012 offer from North Atlanta High running back Justin Taylor. Taylor, one of the top running backs in the state, was offered a grayshirt from the Crimson Tide and promised a spot in the 2013 class.

“That’s like (if) we go out there, we’ve got 15 commitments and we just keep recruiting over the top of them,” Johnson said. “Now, people do that, but not many. And then they just come back and they tell ‘em, ‘Hey, sorry, you’ll have to come next year. You’ll have to come in the spring. We found somebody better than you. We oversigned.’ That’s wrong. And it’s wrong on both sides. It’s just wrong.”

Taylor is reportedly considering his options, and may take head coach Nick Saban's offer to join the program in 2013. The running back missed his senior season with a knee injury, and could benefit from the extended rehab. In addition to criticizing programs, Johnson has publicly expressed discontent with prospects who treat the verbal commitment as a flexible agreement.

Recruiting has always been a hot button topic for Paul Johnson, especially at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets must compete with the top SEC schools in the nation for in-state recruits, while still maintaining the school's academic standards. When other schools like Alabama are using oversigning to lock up the best local recruits, it makes the job for Johnson's staff even more difficult as they fight the uphill battle to assemble the strongest class possible.

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