Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he felt like he could recruit against any school in the nation for the state’s top prospects.
Northview defensive tackle Denzel McCoy committed to Georgia Tech over 34 offers on Saturday. McCoy picked the Yellow Jackets because “they felt like home and they were close to home, along with great academics.”
“Georgia Tech really cares about you as a football player and a person, they want to get you suited up for life,” McCoy said. “A lot of colleges talk about only ‘football, football and football.’ Georgia Tech talks about academics first, and then football.”
McCoy attended Georgia Tech’s spring practice on Saturday. He had been thinking about holding off with his college decision, but changed his mind after meeting with school officials about academics. “I have good grades, and they showed me that I could be admitted with the grades and test scores that I currently have. They showed me all the paperwork for admissions. That was great, I’d never seen anybody do that.” McCoy will major in computer science.
Northview coach Jim Showfety gave rave reviews to his prized prospect. “Denzel is a young man filled with character. He has been a leader for us. He is going to make Georgia Tech very proud with the way he handles himself. Now he can relax and focus on his senior season of football.”
McCoy also said that Georgia Tech indicated they were planning to sign only one defensive tackle this year, and he wanted to fill the spot. Some of McCoy’s other offers were Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Oklahoma State, Miami, LSU, Stanford, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida State, Central Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Maryland, Notre Dame, Memphis, Louisville, and West Virginia. McCoy said he was also hearing from Southern Cal, Oklahoma and UGA.
“I think recruiting is recruiting, no matter where you’re at,” Johnson said. “You’re recruiting against different people, but it doesn’t change the way you recruit. It’s all about building relationships, and being honest and trustworthy, guys knowing where you are coming from. They can see the plan you have for them.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Army or Navy recruiting against Air Force, or Georgia Tech recruiting against anybody. It’s still the same, it’s just a different type of kid. We’re recruiting different people, but the actual recruiting part is still the same.”
Northview’s Showfety has been impressed by Johnson, who was previously at Navy. “I think he is great at recruiting. It goes without saying, after what he was able to do in his first year at Georgia Tech …. He realizes that the state of Georgia is very important to his recruiting, and it appears he’s making every effort to make as many [of the state's prospects] as possible go to Georgia Tech.”
McCoy is Georgia Tech’s third commitment for next year, following Collins Hill tailback Charles Perkins and Thomasville defensive back Fred Holton. All three are from Georgia. Johnson hinted to the AJC that Georgia Tech’s recruiting class for next year may be entirely comprised of in-state prospects.
“Georgia Tech may have a little bit more a challenge than other schools recruiting players because of academics,” Showfety said. “But I think they have made it very clear that they plan to get a lot of guys from this state, and be very successful at doing it.”