Ask Georgia Tech commitment Barry “B.J.” Bostic to describe the small town of Louisville (pronounced Lewis-vill) from which he hails and you can feel the smile come through the telephone.
“Not too many big places around here,” Bostic said of Jefferson County’s seat, population 2,700. “There aren’t many towns that don’t have a Wal-Mart. Well, we don’t. We have a couple of grocery stores, a couple of dollar stores, that’s it. Lots of trees and woods.”
They also have their football. Thanks in part to Bostic, an AJC Super 11 selection, Louisville has a powerhouse of a program in the Jefferson County Warriors. The four-time Region 3 champions are 11-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class AA this season.
Bostic has had more than a little to do with that. Playing primarily quarterback but also running back and wide receiver, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete has amassed 2,544 total yards and 32 touchdowns, including 1,054 yards rushing and 983 passing. His scores have come on 12 runs, 15 passes, four receptions and one kickoff return.
And Tech wants him to play defense?
“Yeah, but a lot of people say once Paul Johnson sees me move around and sees what I can do with a ball in my hands they’ll eventually find a spot for me somewhere on offense,” Bostic says playfully. “Coach Johnson always jokes around with the defensive coaches about how he’s going to move me to quarterback.”
Perhaps Bostic could eventually become a two-way player. But the immediate plans are to make him a cornerback. He comes to The Flats as one quarter of star-studded, ready-made secondary the Jackets have committed, joining four-star cornerback Ryan Ayers of South Forsyth and safeties Fred Holton of Thomasville and Isaiah Johnson of Sandy Creek.
In fact, Bostic and Holton will face off tonight in Louisville in a Class AA second-round playoff game between Jefferson County and Thomasville.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Bostic, who has become friends with Holton since the two committed to Tech this summer. “He’ll definitely be on defense. He plays all over the field for them, quarterback, running back, cornerback. Sometimes he plays D-line; sometimes he plays safety. He’s all over the field for them. Watch number 15.”
Bostic comes to Tech via a newly-constructed pipeline into Jefferson County. He follows to Atlanta his second cousin Chris Crenshaw, now a freshman defensive end for the Yellow Jackets.
“When he committed to Tech (in July of 2008), that’s when I started hitting the camp circuit,” Bostic said. “The day I went to a Georgia camp he went to the Tech camp the same day. He got an offer from them and he committed on the spot. That’s when he started telling me about Georgia Tech. They came to a Swainsboro game my junior year to see Chris and that’s when I first got to meet Coach [Giff] Smith. He told me right there I was a kid they were going to offer. Later on, as we progressed through the season, they came forth with the offer. They were the first team to offer me and they have kept their promise.”
So has Bostic, though he said it has been at times difficult. Several schools have continued to recruit him hard. Playing offense is the lure that they’re dangling.
Kentucky is telling Bostic he’s perfect for their Wildcat formation. Dan Mullen of Mississippi State says he can be their version of Percy Harvin. West Virginia says he’ll make a perfect slot receiver along the lines of Jock Sanders.
“I’m solid on Tech but sometimes I do think about that,” he said. “You know, basically I’ve played offense my whole high school career. . . . I do think about that but I’m committed to Tech right now.”
Early enrollment should help. Bostic will graduate from high school next month.
“I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me but that’s why I’m coming in early in January, so I can get accustomed to the defense and learn the defensive philosophy,” he said.
Jefferson County, located between Interstates 20 and 16 southwest of Atlanta, has always been known as Bulldog Country. In fact, Bostic said he grew up of playing between the hedges.
“My room was all Bulldogs,” Bostic said. “Now I’ve got my room changed out. It’s all Yellow Jackets now. Got me a new Tech bed spread. So everything in here is Georgia Tech now.”
Bostic’s aim is to convert the masses.
“Down here there was nothing but Bulldog fans,” he said. A lot of people still question me now. ‘Why not Georgia? Why Georgia Tech?’ But I’m starting to turn them around. We have a lot of people at my school that are Georgia Tech fans now. A lot of people are starting to jump on the bandwagon. That’s a good thing.”
Bostic and a couple more ACC championships should help.