Georgia Tech’s new basketball coach made quite the first impression on the Yellow Jackets’ No. 1 recruit.
Brian Gregory called Milton High’s Julian Royal within an hour after being introduced as Tech’s new coach on Monday, and then rushed over for an in-home visit with the 6-foot-8 forward for more than two hours on Tuesday night.
“I think that’s big time,” said Royal’s father, Charles Royal, told the AJC. “Actions speak louder than words, and Coach Gregory’s actions have really spoken loudly to us. We couldn’t stop thanking the man enough for coming over because we know he has been extremely busy over the last couple of days.”
During Tuesday night’s conversation, Gregory made it clear several times that he wished for Royal to remain with Tech under the new coaching staff. Ex-coach Paul Hewitt convinced Royal to sign with Tech over archrival UGA in the early period last November.
“Coach Gregory seemed very genuine with his interest in Julian and with all of his answers to our questions,” the elder Royal said. “We aren’t looking for any special treatment or special favors. All along, we’ve just wanted to make sure that Julian fits in with the new coach and his system. After tonight, it appears like it would be a good match to me.”
The money question: Will Royal remain with Georgia Tech under Gregory?
“Right now, I don’t see any reason for Julian to change his mind about the school; I think Julian wants to kind of sleep on everything and talk to Coach Gregory some more over the phone this week,” the elder Royal said.
“Both sides agreed that it’s tough to ‘microwave’ four years worth of recruiting by Coach Hewitt. You can’t make up for that in a couple of hours. However, with that said, it’s still Georgia Tech, it’s still a great education, and it’s still ACC basketball.
“They are going to continue to talk, and I would think Julian will make a decision within the next couple of days or something like that.”
The elder Royal also revealed that family has not discussed any alternatives. “We’ve haven’t talked about or contacted any other schools since Hewitt was released [on March 12]. Julian has always wanted it to work out for him at Georgia Tech, as have we.”
Royal was the leading scorer for Milton High, which played for the state championship three years in a row in Georgia’s largest classification, winning in 2010. This year’s squad had six players who have been offered or signed major-college scholarships, including point guard Shannon Scott (signed with Ohio State), who will play in the McDonald’s All-America Game on Wednesday night on ESPN.