Georgia Tech landed on Sunday what can only be described as the prototypical outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense. And for that the Yellow Jackets have new defensive coordinator Al Groh to thank.
Jeremiah Attaochu is a 6-foot-3, 223-pound linebacker that played with his hand on the ground at Archbishop Carroll High in Washington D.C. But he’ll be asked to do much more besides stand up in Groh’s defense, which he committed to being a part of the next four years.
“I got to know him while Coach Groh he was at Virginia,” said Attaochu, reached by phone in D.C. Sunday not long after returning from his official visit with the Yellow Jackets. “He’s known for his defense and coaching outside linebackers all over the league. I was a defensive end in high school but he felt like I was the right guy to be an outside linebacker. He has three things in his criteria for an outside linebacker: It’s being able to beat a tight end, being able to rush the passer and being functional in space. That’s how he puts it.
“So he basically told me what my role was and that’s the kind of relationship I have with Coach Groh. He’s a smart coach and he knows how to put his players in good positions. I feel good about him and I feel good about the school.”
And Georgia Tech feels good about Attaochu. The three-star prospect, who also considered Illinois, Maryland and Kansas State, was one of two prospects who committed to the Yellow Jackets on official visits this weekend. Phenix City, Ala., running back Deon Hill also committed to Tech Sunday morning. That gives them 16 commitments.
Attaochu said Tech earned his commitment during the visit.
“It was my last visit,” he said. “It wasn’t based on emotion. I tried to make it as much of a business decision as possible. It felt like the right fit for me as far as what I was looking for in a school, that balance of a good academic reputation and a good football program and a good coaching staff. That basically did it for me. And the environment was good, too.
“It was the only school I felt good about the whole combination of things. I mean, I prayed for it and I think God answered my prayers as far as going to a school that has everything I was looking for. Not perfect, just where everything was equally balanced.”
Despite the business nature of the trip, Attaochu said he did enjoy himself in Atlanta. He was hosted by junior Osahon Tongo.
“He told me all the practical things but he was also very frank with me,” Attaochu said. “Basically he told me it was hard work. He told me everything. I was very impressed with some of the dudes on the team and the school. Atlanta’s kind of different than D.C., in just a few small aspects, but I liked that. I liked the differences. Everything just kind of clicked basically.”
There was only one small uncertainty.
“The one thing I have to figure out is a major,” said Attaochu, who originally hoped to work in the media. “I know what I want as far as where I want to go. But there are some things I can do at Georgia Tech that might change my mind.”
<a href=”http://projects.ajc.com/playertracker/list/ajc-top-50/”>AJC Top 50</a> | <a href=”http://projects.ajc.com/playertracker/list/2010-georgia-commitments/”>Georgia commitments</a> | <a href=”http://projects.ajc.com/playertracker/list/2010-georgia-tech-commitments/”>Tech commitments</a>
Please follow me on <a href=”http://twitter.com/RecruitingAJC”>Twitter</a>.