Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit agrees to meet new coach before considering alternatives (UPDATED)

Your advice for Julian Royal?

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Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit has agreed to meet with the soon-to-be-named coach of the Yellow Jackets before giving any further consideration to requesting a scholarship release.

Give all the credit for recruiting to Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich, who has maintained an open line of communications with Milton High’s Julian Royal. The 6-foot-8 forward signed with Tech over UGA last November after an intense recruiting battle between the two archrivals.

“We’re just kind of waiting; we’re on hold,” said Royal’s father, Charles Royal. “I have to admit that Dan Radakovich has been good about calling us regularly to say things are progressing. He hasn’t shared who the frontrunner is.

“We did talk about the possibility of getting a release. But [Radakovich] said the policy of the school is not to do that until a new guy is chosen and we get to sit down and talk. It’s a little more ‘hardball’ than I would like, but I understand it, too. We anxiously want to sit down with the new coach, first and foremost.

“For right now, we’re better off with waiting. At the end of the day, my son really wants to attend Georgia Tech.”

When Georgia Tech fired Paul Hewitt on March 12, Radakovich called Royal within a few hours to explain the decision and ask for 10-12 days of patience before discussing a possible release. That deadline has passed but Royal’s family is content with waiting due to Radakovich’s constant communication.

Milton's Julian Royal (AJC)

Milton's Julian Royal (AJC)

“Julian is very high on Georgia Tech,” the elder Royal said. “It’s just a matter of if the new coach is high on Julian with fitting into his system or style or play. There’s no doubt my son wants to go to Georgia Tech. In fact, he doesn’t even want to think about having to go through the recruiting process of going somewhere else, unless some coach sits down in front of him and says ‘We’re not sure you will fit in with what we do.’ Other than that, he still wants to go to the school. If it’s the only thing that’s clear out of this situation, it’s that.”

My opinion? Despite Royal’s close friendship with Hewitt, it would be surprising to see Royal not stick with Tech, no matter who the new coach is. Playing close to home while competing in one of the nation’s top basketball conferences were two main reasons why Royal’s finalists were Tech and UGA, among 30+ scholarship offers. From the perspective of Tech’s new coach, look for him to make a strong recruiting pitch to Royal, regardless of what type of system he brings with him to the ACC school. It wouldn’t look good for any new coach to lose one of the hometown heroes who obviously wants to play for Tech. Not a good way to start the new job.

Note: This story is in the process of being updated after Georgia Tech’s selection of a new coach on Monday.

45 comments Add your comment

Michael Carvell

March 25th, 2011
8:53 am

On an unrelated note, still don’t understand why Mark Price isn’t Georgia Tech’s No. 1 target for head coach? He’s probably the school’s all-time best player, would generate a ton of excitement about the program, and is well-connected to the Atlanta area’s high school coaches i.e. recruits. He has experience as an NBA All-Star player and NBA assistant which would appeal to any recruit. Tech could get Price at a di$count because he already got paid in the NBA. What am I missing here?


March 25th, 2011
8:55 am

TC, on what basis do you qualify to refer to his father as an idiot. You do not know the man and this is not your kid. If you want clear the was out of your ears and comprehend what is written, his father is doing what any good father would do. That is, guide and protect his child. His father is not encouraging him to leave Tech but rather ensuring his son has options so things go south. That possibility does seem remote given how both parties are being respectful and patient with one another which is more than I can say for your immature and cowardly posting. You only have the courage to say what you said becaue you can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. You would not have the courage or intergity to call the man an idiot to his face. Learn to state your opinions without resorting to name calling!


March 25th, 2011
9:04 am

I hope Richmond loses tonight so we can be done with the coaching search.

G'Vegas Dawg

March 25th, 2011
9:06 am

Overrated or not, I’d love to see him in red and black. I know it doesn’t sound possible, but, UGA actually has a more stable program than Tech does. Come on down to Athens and play for a winner!!

Buzz Me

March 25th, 2011
9:18 am

Royal is a legend in his own mind. He didn’t show up for the State Championship game, and he’s soft. I hope he goes somewhere else. I’ve seen him play a number of times at Milton, Daddy’s involvement sounds a little Cam-Newton-ish


March 25th, 2011
9:22 am

We don’t want Julian in Athens…the kid can’t play.


March 25th, 2011
9:26 am

Who in their right mind would turn down a Julian Royal?! My guess – he stays a Jacket!


March 25th, 2011
9:29 am

Well, I guess the fact that UGA took the high road when Felton was fired and let all out of their scholarships that so requested is another obvious diference in UGA and Ga Tech ….. and TN.


March 25th, 2011
9:32 am

Royal is the real deal and a great recruit. The Dawg fans on here, even those pretending to be Tech fans, are just trying to stir the pot. The truth is UGA recruited hard for this kid and there are a lot of bitter UGA fans that want to insult this kid and his family on an anonymous blog. Why? So that he might be motivated to attend Athens instead.

Julian, you can see the true colors of the Red and Black contingent on this blog. Welcome to the flats and a great career in the ACC. Go Jackets!


March 25th, 2011
9:33 am

Why does the AJC keep referring to him as Tech’s #1 recruit? At this point Tech only has one recruit coming in for next year.


March 25th, 2011
9:45 am

UGA has no room for another recruit on full scholarship, they are at the NCAA limit. For Royal to go to UGA he would need to be a walk-on using the HOPE, if he qualifies for HOPE.

But whoever Tech hires as a coach will make a major pitch for Royal. Any new coach will need to size he brings to the team. Tech is short on tall people.


March 25th, 2011
9:51 am

Similar scenario to fox arriving at UGA.

1st “recruits” were Thompkins and Leslie.

New coach at Tech will most likely keep Royal.


March 25th, 2011
10:00 am

Still probably better than playing for fans that still fly the Confederate/Racist flag at most every event and tell racial jokes like they are news.


March 25th, 2011
10:01 am

Mr. Royal, We want you to stay and we will get a winning Coach that you will like. Have Faith!


March 25th, 2011
10:09 am

The Royals are doing and will do what is best for their son. It is a little disheartening to see all the negativity about someone elses kid coming from the goobers here. Probably jealous they have no kids with that kind of talent with the many opportunities Royal has. Even this kid’s last name sounds like a winner.


March 25th, 2011
10:15 am

Fellow Dawg fans, leave this alone. We don’t need him because we are full. I have never seen the kid play but if CMF recruited him, it had to be for some good reason.

I am sure he will stick with Tech, it is where he wants to go (according to his dad) and if he were to get extremely lucky, maybe once in his four years the Jackets could muster enough talent to beat the Dawgs!

AJC Sports

March 25th, 2011
10:21 am

Another reminder: Inappropriate remarks will NOT be tolerated.


March 25th, 2011
10:25 am

My insiders tell me that Tech is having a hard time getting quality coaches to show interest in thier program…can’t blame them with the history Tech has with coaches. Best coach they ever had now works in Charleston S.C..Tech wants to be big time but will NEVER gain national respect because they can’t consistantly compete with the BB powers in the ACC…….big hat….no cattle!


March 25th, 2011
10:35 am

1st The AJC calls he royals house and asks questions its not as if the father is scheduling press conferences, of course the father is going to be the one talking to the AD and not Julian, which is why profesional athletes have agents because youth doesnt always know best.

2nd its not similar to Thompkins and leslie because they were already there for a year, im willing to bet if they were in their sr year when felton got fired they wouldn’t have stayed with UGA.

3rd, Whether he is over rated or not is meerely based off of perspective and opinion, so say what you want. Personally he has a great skilled said but like ive said on these things before he is very inconsistent which is more frustrating then having some one not good. But regardless he is better than all other post players coming to UGA. Im willing to bet those who say royal is overrated have never seen any of their recruits besides caldwell play,

Bill Stanfill

March 25th, 2011
10:42 am

GT is going to get a good coach–and one of his priorities will be keeping Royal.

Yes, Royal is rawer than some people know, but he’s Tech’s best recruit this year and he has tremendous upside.


March 25th, 2011
11:20 am

Saw Royal throughout this year’s tourney. Anyone care to tell me why he is rated as high as he is?

coach mooney

March 25th, 2011
11:27 am

I too have seen Julian Royal play. He is softer than Charmin and believe the new coach will release him so that he can recruit real B- BALL players


March 25th, 2011
11:56 am

Kids who “can’t play” don’t get scholarships to major colleges. They obviously see something.


March 25th, 2011
12:56 pm

LOL at UGA fans. Royal would be UGA’s best post player from Day 1. There post game will be absolutely horrible next year. I’ll be suprised if they make the NIT next year.


March 25th, 2011
1:07 pm

Funny how some folk think that anonymity gives them the right to be insulting. Do you wanna make these articles about Royal really hot? Select 1 comment at random for every 10 made. Publish that persons contact information or, REAL name assosiated with the account. This would make for a great reality TV show. Imagine Mr. Royal showing up at Buzz Me’s job with a format like “Cheaters”. What fun would that be….LOL


March 25th, 2011
1:14 pm

Way over-rated, don’t think he will last in ACC. When your family constantly tells you that you are the greatest you actually start believing it until reality sets in then you get embarrased. He should go to juco for 1 year to brush up on his skills and beef up then maybe he will be ready for big-time college basketball,ut until then he just did not show me enough to convince me that he is ready.


March 25th, 2011
1:42 pm

He really never seemed like Tech material to me.


March 25th, 2011
3:41 pm

Adman: Tech has had two coaches in the last 30 years, which is far better than most schools in the country. Can you explain how coaches haven’t been treated well? Because it seems to me that Cremins was a hero who was honored by fans even after he was fired, and Hewitt was given many chances and is leaving with tons of money. I’m not sure how that equates to treating coaches badly.

I dunno much about this Royal kid, but to the UGA moron who said UGA took the high road and let kids out of their commitments when they fired Felton… Radakovich simply asked the kid to wait a bit before he made a decision, I’m not sure how you classify that as bad.

old school

March 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

If GT is banking on Julian Royal to turn around their program, they will be sadly disappointed. He is another soft player from the suburbs who does not have the fundamentals, strength or ability to play in the ACC. He and Glenn Rice Jr. play the same type of game. No defense, plenty of turnovers, horrible shot selection and no inside game. Unlike Rice, Royal has a good attitude. At best he will be a roll player who may play in his sophomore or junior year if he can get stronger and develop some footwork and inside game. He disappeared and was a non factor in the state HS tournament..

Drive By Dawg

March 25th, 2011
7:19 pm

Georgia Basketball is on the way up, Tech Basketball is in the gutter and just offered a very average coach their head job. Why on earth would Julian Royal want to go to Tech? An also-ran ACC program on the downswing. I hope the young man and his family come to their senses. Tech is going nowhere fast.


March 25th, 2011
10:56 pm

Ah yes, good ole Bulldog Carvell still trying to make news out of nothing. What is this your third attempt on this topic? Get over it.

Michael Carvell

March 25th, 2011
11:56 pm

@Hoopster, thanks for your comment. We will continue to follow this story until Georgia Tech’s new coach and Julian Royal are satisfied with each other, which I fully expect to happen.


March 26th, 2011
12:09 am

Oh yeah amazing? You give me his # I will tell him to let his son make his own decisions…Dont act like you are some gifted know all of the phycosis of a father…I just made own opinion. And I am not cowardly….do yo have a son like I do??????????? I will let my child will make his own decisons when it comes to JR’s point. JR wants to go to GT, but it sounds like his dad, emotional because his dads choice, was not GT, but rather hewitt. Dont you dare call someone a coward on a freakin blog. And wow…yeah your name must me amazing right?? since you dont hide behind anonimty right?? Unbelievable. My name is Turner Collins….look my up my friend


March 26th, 2011
12:22 am

I do too Michael, this is truly about about comitting to a school not a coach type of thing…even though it sounds like his father grew on Hewitt

NOT a Hewitt Fan

March 26th, 2011
9:46 am

Ahhh the drama, its been my observance assa life long Tech fan and college hoops fan, that when kids have stage fathers and mothers, it almost ALWAYS ends badly. Thad Young, Cam Newton(big trouble coming for AU), Lindsay Lohan, Todd Marinovich (USC), and Brittany Spears are a few that come to mind. Also, from what my sources tell me, he isnt even the best on this team. Most critics say he is fourth at best. Why the drama? Is his dad gonna take the classes for him for 4 years? Let him go if he wants, we dont need anymore bad blood from the Hewitt fallout.

NOT a Hewitt Fan

March 26th, 2011
9:49 am

Oh, Adman……sir I say this without hesitation or reservation…..YOU ARE an IDIOT! U might wanna check ur sources.


March 26th, 2011
12:30 pm

seriously, he didn’t look good enough to garner all this attention. He’s a good player, division 1, but not a dominant guy who should be getting his bottom kissed to come “save the program.”

Oh well, have fun making him feel super important I guess.


March 26th, 2011
12:36 pm

I would much rather have Kevin Ware in Athens instead of Royal


March 26th, 2011
7:29 pm


Your ignorance knows no bounds! You are still a coward hiding behind the internet.


March 26th, 2011
10:00 pm

Hey DriveBy, you may want to turn your attention to making sure the Athens-Clarke County jail has enough orange jumpsuits to make it through the upcoming football season.


March 27th, 2011
2:41 am

What about Terel Hall, over recent years the single A class as had great players Josh Smith, D. Howard, J.J Hickson ect, but i know he’s a guard but i haven’t really seen a guy his size that plays all-around basketball. Give me some in sight cause these smaller schools are getting over looked. You got to know their a lot more hungry the bigger schools??????!!!!!


March 27th, 2011
8:17 am

Julian, come to Athens! UGA has passed Tech in basketball now, and they cant afford a top notch replacement coach to try and get it back. Come to UGA and you wont get pistol whipped in your dorm room, and there will be beautiful women to date, Plus, where would you rather hang out, Downtown Athens or the ghetto?

Now before all you Tech spankers start whining that his degree would be better at Tech..think about you think this guy really cares about that? Whether it is true or not is irrelevant. In his mind, he is gone after 2 yrs or so anyway..that is a non factor.

old school

March 27th, 2011
1:12 pm

Check out the Sunday AJC All-Sate Team. It is made up of four guards and a forward. Julian Royal while a great kid id not even on the 1st Team.


March 29th, 2011
9:53 am

Brian Gregory can make his mark getting this kid to stay along with Shumpert.


March 29th, 2011
12:24 pm