Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson loses top recruit to MLB’s Texas Rangers, says report

Georgia Tech will lose one of its top football recruits by the weekend, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Skole.Interview

Skole has at least a million reason$ to pick Texas Rangers over Georgia Tech football (AJC)

Blessed Trinity outfielder Jake Skole was drafted No. 15 overall by the Texas Rangers in the major-league draft. He called Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson to say that he won’t be playing football, according to the Texas newspaper’s blog.

“I always felt like I’d end up being a baseball player,” Skole said. “I was about to [play football] and then all this draft stuff started popping up. I figured I might be able to have a future in this.”

The Star-Telegram also reported that a baseball official said Texas was close to agreeing to terms with Skole and expected him to be signed by the end of the week. The team’s pick at No. 22, catcher Kellin Deglan, has already reportedly agreed to a $1 million deal.

Earlier on Monday night, Skole told the AJC that he had “pretty much” decided on baseball after the early selection. “I was on the fence about it. But this pretty much rules it out.”

It was none other than Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan — now team president with the Texas Rangers — who called Skole on behalf of the team. “That was a pretty cool experience,” he said. ” I’m just pumped up about everything, and ready to go to work.”

Georgia Tech’s football coaches conceded last week that they would likely lose to Skole to baseball. He signed with Tech last February and planned to walk on the school’s baseball team to play with his older brother, All-ACC third baseman Matt Skole. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder was recruited in football to play safety.

Skole’s baseball fortunes seemed bleak when he missed most of the regular season with a high-ankle sprain. However, Skole returned to Blessed Trinity’s team in time for the playoffs to put on a show for the MLB scouts.  In 14 playoff games, Skole hit .452 with six home runs and 21 RBIs. In the Class AA semifinals against Georgia’s No. 1 pitching prospect, Cook’s Kaleb Cowart (97 mph, drafted No. 18 by the LA Angels), Skole was retired on a called third strike to lead off the game. He responded with a pair of line-drive hits in his next two plate appearances against Cowart.

Earlier this week, Skole was asked what he would say to Tech football fans worried about the draft. “I’m going to have to do whatever I’m called to do,” he said. “I think it’s a life-changing decision that most people would understand. Georgia Tech is something special, and I will follow their football and baseball teams forever … they have been a big influence on who I am, with just hanging around the campus with my brother the past two years.”

In recent weeks, Skole had intense conversations with baseball scouts about his future. They wanted to know how committed Skole was to baseball before considering investing a high draft pick or a large signing bonus.

“Up until a few months ago, if you had asked Jake which sport he preferred, he’d say football,” said his father, Mike Skole. “But with the draft so close, it came to the point where we had to convince these guys that he was ready to put the football helmet down and get after it on the baseball field.”

Why did the Rangers pick Skole? Texas has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with the team to be sold by the middle of the summer. The cash-strapped Rangers were looking to pick an elite prospect who was willing to agree to quick and fair terms — making the Skole the ideal match. The No. 15 pick was also an “unprotected,” awarded to the team after it failed to sign last year’s first-rounder. The Rangers are under intense pressure to sign Skole because they will not be given another freebie first-round pick for next year. The Rangers have until Aug. 16 to sign Skole.

57 comments Add your comment

Whopper Dawg

June 8th, 2010
2:12 am

First on a tech article no less!!!!

Whopper Dawg

June 8th, 2010
2:12 am

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks!!!!!!

Whopper Dawg

June 8th, 2010
5:50 am

In honor of Urban’s daughter and all other tech “gals”, I leave the following statement from one of my dawgrant brothers, “The odds are good, but the goods are odd”.

gt47

June 8th, 2010
5:55 am

We have to consider the source with the woofs woofs. At least our top recruits are not going to the vols

David

June 8th, 2010
6:22 am

He wasn’t a top recruit he wasn’t going to see the field at safety. How is that being a top recruit?

Ghost of UGA VII

June 8th, 2010
6:56 am

At least he knew the right college to play football. Maybe the jails in Athens will let enough Dogs out to play this year. Woof, Woof!

The view is better here than in Shreveport or Athens. Selah

Old Gold Britches

June 8th, 2010
7:17 am

Congratulations Jake Skole! Wishing you all the best with your baseball future! We will be pulling for you.

Tim

June 8th, 2010
7:18 am

UGAg fans never, ever disappoint. The stereotype LIVES every single day when I see losers who apparently have no life beyond acting like morons in the comments section of a Tech story. Tell your cousin/wife to pop you another PBR and go pee off the top of your stadium on opposing fans….do what you do best.

Tim

June 8th, 2010
7:19 am

to add….my congrats to Skole as well….the kid made a choice that I think any of us would’ve made. The Skole family will always be special to Tech.

collegeballfan

June 8th, 2010
7:33 am

Good for Skole! He will get a nice million $ plus contract, be set for life, and all at the age of 18.

How many of us were able to say that?

GT Fan...

June 8th, 2010
7:37 am

$$$$ at 17-18 years old, how does one really turn it down? I know I wouldn’t have had I found myself in that situation as a teenager.

But I’m with previous poster David … when did this guy suddenly become a top football recruit??

dawgma

June 8th, 2010
7:43 am

BTW Genuis… it’s Gerry Baldwin not Kevin at East Cobb.

Rookie.

Too Easy

June 8th, 2010
8:07 am

Actually, it’s ‘Guerry’.

reebok

June 8th, 2010
8:12 am

good luck, young man. and now the tech recruiting staff has another scholarship to offer…no big deal.

LizDawg

June 8th, 2010
8:19 am

Can’t blame Skole for not wanting to lose every bowl game and 8 out of 9 to UGA.

messin with sasquatch

June 8th, 2010
8:21 am

dogboi’s – you are always without class. read that nice story about your “friends” in calhoun. cmr will be giving a quiz on it.
good luck in baseball, jake!

BigBlueTiger

June 8th, 2010
8:26 am

In the words of Earl Campbell. Skole Brother!

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 8th, 2010
8:27 am

Congratz Jake.

Go Jackets

June 8th, 2010
8:29 am

Can’t blame him one bit for taking the money. With that said, I think it is too bad HS players are MLB draft eligible. It forces these guys to make the choice to miss out on college – an experience worth well more than a million dollars. I think both the NBA and MLB would be well served by following the NFL “three years removed” from HS rule.

If baseball doesn’t work out, come back and knock some heads at Bobby Dodd..

Peter Long

June 8th, 2010
8:30 am

Losing your top recruits to MLB is not quite as gut wrenching as losing them to the Vols, academics, or the Clarke County Correctional Facility.

Big time?? Not

June 8th, 2010
8:40 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

atlvol55

June 8th, 2010
9:11 am

I think both the Tennessee and the Georgia media need to quit with this Rogers stuff…so he switch schools. Its not like this has never happened. Yes, I can understand Georgia fans being disappointed…(TN fans were disappointed when we didn’t get Marlon Brown last year).

However, whether we shall see if Rogers turns out great or not. Either way, one wide receiver doesn’t make or break Georgia or Tennessee. If anything, it is one of the more dispensable positions. I would much rather have a big time qb or defensive tackle anyday than a wide receiver.

Just my two cents…go vols

Pi$$onaDawg

June 8th, 2010
9:25 am

well who will be starting at QB for Clemson? Parker is going to take the money too!

GT Bball Fan

June 8th, 2010
9:28 am

Jake is just another millionaire who prefers Tech to the lowsy Dawgs. And Dawgs fans, if you could read, notice Georgia’s No. 1 pitching prospect, Cook’s Kaleb Cowart (97 mph, drafted No. 18 by the LA Angels) means he is also gone to the pros. So your baseball team losses it’s best recruit. Oh well you will be given up 20 runs a game AGAIN next year.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

June 8th, 2010
9:32 am

Atlvol55 -

You must not be that familiar with UGA sidewalk fans. When Rogers wanted to sign with UGA, he was a world class talent who was as great on and off of the football field. When he decided to change his mind and go to another school, he became scum within a day.

Don’t give it too much thought, most of the fans that post on the AJC blogs never attended UGA. But I’m sure that they have a cousin or a neighbor that went to UGA.

As for the comment that UGA is the reigning 2009 ACC Champs, congrats. At UGA’s players can say that they won a championship while in school. But it’s not the NC or SEC championship.

See you ladies back in Jacksonville… 48-17. And 17 out of 20. More NC’s in the past 15 years than over 100 years of football in Athens.

GetwhatUpayfor

June 8th, 2010
9:53 am

I wouldn’t go to GT as long as Sir Paul Hewitt is there. Fire the DA Coach!!!!!!!!!!!

Burdell

June 8th, 2010
10:19 am

Congrats to Jake…not a hard decision to make…his money is in baseball.

He would have added needed depth to the secondary but I don’t think he is a star safety.

kingster

June 8th, 2010
10:40 am

Congrats Jake, it takes a good student and person to be able to have a good choices in life, do whats best for your family and your future, GT is behind you 100%, please don’t listen to those silly Bulldog fans, thats just how losers sound and tall about…….”other people”

Vick=Dog killing thug

June 8th, 2010
11:11 am

Maybe if Paul Johnson took his shirt off ?

1eyedJack

June 8th, 2010
11:21 am

Congratulations to the kid. I think he is making a wise choice.

KeithB

June 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

Not the first….probably not the last….

Wow, even for a Tech fan, this was...

June 8th, 2010
12:24 pm

…was a dumb arse comment by collegeballfan “Good for Skole! He will get a nice million $ plus contract, be set for life, and all at the age of 18″.

Let’s see – even if he gets $2mil, divide that by the 70+ years he is expected to live and you get a whopping $28.5K per year. I know, I know, compound interest and all will add to that, but really, set for life? And how many draftees actually make it to the “show”, and reap those millions?

Here’s hoping this kid does – but let’s be realistic about the expectations and annointing him “set for life”….

TechGrad

June 8th, 2010
12:25 pm

Jobs for Friends whom have graduated UGA/then GT
Bank Teller BP Engineer
Babysitter Construction Manager
Struggling Musician Project Engineer
Unemployed Cost Estimator/Structural Engineer
Secretary at Land Rover Dealership NASA Engineer

Choose your education and future wisely. I still don’t understand why UGA grads think we live in our parents basements haha

ugadawg

June 8th, 2010
12:27 pm

actually dawgma Kevin is the coach of the 17u EC Braves. Guerry coaches the 16u EC astros so the article is correct so who is the genius???

Congrats to Jake Skole on a tremendous opportunity

KeithB

June 8th, 2010
12:28 pm

And also, congrats.

Hotel Shreveport

June 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

Did you see UGA beat that powerful 6-7 Texas A&M team in the Advocare 100 Bowl ?

Best of Atlanta

June 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

———————————-
…..Nesbitt for Heisman…..
———————————-

Just Curious

June 8th, 2010
12:37 pm

Tech Grad, Which one of those careers did you end up in?

JoeMac

June 8th, 2010
12:54 pm

I guess if you want to call your mutts “the real ACC champ”, it is ok. I mean, it is not like you have anything else you can claim being a champ at… unless it is… no. Nothing really. You cannot claim anything, so if you want to claim that, it is ok. Everyone needs to feel like they are good at something. It certainly is not beating Florida.

Reality

June 8th, 2010
1:09 pm

Good luck Jake. No matter UGA fans, GT still wins big in Athens in November. GO JACKETS!!! 45-42!!! Nesbitt for Heisman!!!

Pago Pago Dawg

June 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

The poor kid didn’t have much of a choice, either play for gt or mlb?

truth

June 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

tenn has better stock options and a higher starting salary than MLB, if tenn had offered he would have turned down baseball and ga tech

30 years and counting.....

June 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

Speaking of student/athletes switching schools, big thanks to UGA for throwing itself on that Quincy Carter grenade . Has South Carolina retired his jersey number yet?

Mr. T

June 8th, 2010
2:09 pm

“Top recruit”. Really?

Michael Carvell

June 8th, 2010
2:55 pm

Yes, top recruit. Georgia Tech thought high enough of Jake Skole’s overall athleticism that it projected him on both offense and defense, as an A-Back or safety, with Skole preferring the latter. His offer sheet included schools such as Georgia Tech, UGA, Florida State, South Carolina, etc. and there were several other top 20 programs that stayed away because they knew the family connection to Georgia Tech. Thanks for posting.

bamaboy

June 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

I guess this shows that people who are going to Ga. don’t have to worry about making a million dollars like Tech students do.

JoeMac

June 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

Well, i guess Michael Carvell told you, didn’t he. Were you listening Mr T and Pago Pago??? It appears that he thought more of GT than UGA. Just because you are delusional puppy dog fans that probably have never attended a game, but think they know it all, it is refreshing to see that you really know very little.

Mr. T

June 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

Never heard of him until now. A nice list of offers. 3* 5.5 rating isn’t bad. Maybe he was a top recruit for tech. All the best to the young man.

Mr. T

June 8th, 2010
4:26 pm

@ Joe Mac- Yes, Micheal Carvell told me there was a guy named Skole who signed with tech, and now he will play baseball. Put down the Zimas, man.

GT Fan

June 8th, 2010
4:35 pm

Good Luck Kid! Hope you have a great Pro-Career. God Bless.