RB Tony Zenon commits to Georgia Tech (updated)

RECAST AND UPDATED WITH COMMENTS AND VIDEO FROM ZENON, 3:30 P.M. SUNDAY . . .

Tony Zenon knows what Georgia Tech’s rivals are saying. He’s been hearing the criticisms for years.

“He plays at a tiny school against weak competition,” they say. “He’s too small to play major college football.”

To them all, the Yellow Jackets’ latest commitment says, “just watch.”

“I played in two all-star games and the guys I was playing with were, like, ‘Wow,’” said Zenon, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back from Deerfield Windsor Academy, a private school in Albany. “I went to camps at Georgia, Florida, Clemson and Tech. I’m not bragging but at Florida, after the workouts, [assistant coach] Brian White was going crazy about me. At the Georgia camp, they worked me out everywhere, at running back, wide receiver, cornerback and I did everything they asked. Ask Coach [Mike] Bobo what he thinks about me.

“I believe in my talent and I believe I can compete with anybody.”

Zenon is no braggart. He was simply asked to answer the criticisms that had already surfaced since he made his commitment to Georgia Tech. Zenon accepted a scholarship offer from head coach Paul Johnson before leaving his official visit with the Yellow Jackets Saturday night. Before that trip he had intended to commit to Marshall, which he had visited the previous week.

“They were both in the mix,” Zenon said. “Since the beginning of the season I was wanting to go to Georgia Tech, but I didn’t know if I’d have the chance to. When Coach Johnson came to the school about two weeks ago, people were saying he wouldn’t do that if they didn’t want. At first he offered me a grayshirt and I just wasn’t feeling that too much. But when I went up to Marshall they offered me a scholarship and asked me to come visit. I took my parents with me and they fell in love with Tech.”

Not only is Tech a perfect fit athletically — Zenon ran wild out of a Wing-T offense at Deerfield Windsor, but he intends to major in architectural engineering on The Flats.

Zenon’s numbers at Deerfield Windsor, a Class AAA school in the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) are fairly mind-numbing. He finished senior season with 244 carries for 2,264 yards — an average of 9.28 yards a carry — and had 27 rushing touchdowns. For his career, he finished with 5,684 rushing yards on 650 carries and 65 TDs. He has reportedly run a sub-4.5 40-yard dash.

With Zenon’s commitment Tech may have wrapped up its 2010 recruiting class. The Jackets may have room for one or two more signees but could elect to carry those scholarships over to 2011, when the state of Georgia is expected to produce a tremendous pool of prospects.

Here’s some video on Zenon:“>

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159 comments Add your comment

Justin

January 31st, 2010
1:25 pm

whats that 17 diamonds in the ruff now?? good luck.

The Grinch

January 31st, 2010
1:27 pm

That’s a great pick up for tech.

juvenal

January 31st, 2010
1:30 pm

go to class…

2 stars beating 5 stars

January 31st, 2010
1:32 pm

brickman

January 31st, 2010
1:32 pm

deerfield windsor is a private school in albany.the competition in these games are a joke!good luck in the acc

SUN TAN

January 31st, 2010
1:38 pm

Hey Brickman, at least he didn’t flip flop to Louisville. Why don’t you start cheering the Cardinals next. Better yet move to Kentucky.

Up with the white and gold

January 31st, 2010
1:38 pm

Welcome to the flats TZ!

GT Fan

January 31st, 2010
1:43 pm

Welcome Tony to GT. Looking forward to watching you play .

brickman…sure you know so damn much more than the Coaches. Bet you were after Coach Richt’s job few weeks back.

GT3O

January 31st, 2010
1:46 pm

brickman,

Yeah and the GISA conference Wayshaun Ealy played in was a joke as well. Ealy grew up playing similar schools such as Savannah Christian Day School, Savannah Christian Prep School, and Wesleyan School.

Wait to see him on the field before judging him.

GT3O

January 31st, 2010
1:47 pm

*Not the GISA, I didn’t mean to put that there* I was going to say Ealy’s conference isn’t much better or any better than the GISA.

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
1:50 pm

A bit of background on Tony. His family is originally from Louisiana, and they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, ending up in Albany, GA. His brother was a starting DB at LSU and currently plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tony is an excellent student and what fans will notice when they see him on the field is that he has excellent vision, he runs low to the ground, Tony has amazing balance, he has a great change of direction, and he has great “football” speed. I think GA Tech fans will really enjoy watching this young man play for the Jackets.

Welcome to the family, Tony, welcome to the family!

GT man

January 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

He ran against private schools–what kind of a diamond is he? Go get the players that Alabama and Florida are after—when do we go after a QB ?

GT man

January 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

Brickman, I agree highly with you.

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

One last comment about Tony. Last year, when Tony was in Atlanta at the Jacket’s Elite Camp, where “Elite” players from around the SE were invited on campus to practice against each other, etc., Tony was one of the most outstanding prospects at the Elite Camp. It didn’t matter that he came from the private school or may have seemed small in stature; Tone outplayed most of the big named prospects on campus. Tony is a good ball player.

mowreck

January 31st, 2010
1:58 pm

So much for Rivals and Scout rating system. Did you see the numbers this kid put up. And he is only rated TWO STARS! Playing in basically the same offense should add at least 2 more stars … lol.

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
1:58 pm

GT man – We have a QB commitment – Synjyn Days. Also, don’t forget we put the red shirt on two highly rated QB prospects from last year; Jordan Luallen and David Sims.

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

mowreck; Tony hadn’t been evaluated yet; they hadn’t gotten Tony’s tapes. They may take a look now, but frankly speaking, Paul Johnson could care less about “stars,” he’s looking for players who fit his system and that are quality people.

Jackets2010

January 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

Sounds like a perfect fit with our offense.
If the star rantings were all that important, then Uga would have NCs like other SEC schools.
3,2,2,1,0
Gators, LSU Tigers, Crimson Tide and Vols.
The numbers reflect the NCs at the other SEC teams while Uga gets the goose egg.

GT man

January 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

GA Tech insider—thank you for the update, I know Shaw is ok, but I ‘d be alot more comfortable to see a passer come in.

BG

January 31st, 2010
2:01 pm

The kid better put on some weight in a hurry.

San Francisco Dawg

January 31st, 2010
2:02 pm

Tech’s recruiting is turning into a train wreck….

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

GT man – I think that you might see some vast improvement in the passing game with the new offensive linemen being brought into the lineup this season. This is really the first year Paul Johnson will have his recruiting class starting to show up and being able to get on the field. Last year’s group (the one’s who took a red shirt) look really special, and I would be surprised to see several of these guys pressing for some serious playing time next fall.

Once the o-line gets in the “style and shape” that Coach Johnson is looking for, they’ll play better as a group, and the passing game will improve just because our QB, no matter who will be under center, will have more time to set up under protection.

BILLY JACK

January 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

I am a georgia guy and saw this kid play and he is fast.GISA and smaller class A schools have great football players.I thought the same way a few years ago.If a football player can play he can play ,the recruiters will find them.They are quite a few of them that have come from GISA and small rural schools-Demarcus Dobbs-Sav Day Micheal Lemon-Stratford Academy Champ and Boss Bailey Charles Grant Hershel Walker.Alabama also has a private school association much like Georgias that send players to div 1 schools.This kid is a good pickup for tech but as far as beating UGA in the future it just wont happen.

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

Jacketets 2010, why don’t you look at the average stars for the 4 teams you listed.

You don’t land any defensive stars either. Are you running a system D as well?

GA Tech Insider

January 31st, 2010
2:08 pm

BG – Tony’s almost 180 and runs a 4.4 forty. I think he’ll be okay for now.

Cleveland, OH jacket

January 31st, 2010
2:08 pm

I would describe losing commits so close to signing day a train wreck….

I like how GT is becoming more desirable and UGA is getting less desirable….trend? Possibly.

Cleveland, OH jacket

January 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

bobintheknow….riiiight, because Ryan Ayers isn’t a stud, right? anthony williams, shawn green, denzel mcoy….none of those guys are good at all. Give me a break!

GssiT

January 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

CPJ is first and foremost a football coach. He knows what he is doing. Some kids just need a chance. Go, Jackets!

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

ACC Champions have a 2-10 record in their BCS bowl games since the inception of the Bowl Coalition.

Sun Tan? What A Joke

January 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

At least our players get recruited by Louisville!

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:13 pm

East Carolina won Conference USA this year. Every conference has to have a champion.

Cleveland, OH jacket

January 31st, 2010
2:14 pm

Congrat sun tan….you can be comforted by that fact while you never win the SEC and never come close to a BCS NCG…….

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

The SEC Champ is 9-3 over the same period of time.

collegeballfan

January 31st, 2010
2:20 pm

Re Zeno – think McCluster at Ole Miss. Same size, same speed, etc, etc, etc.

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:20 pm

CPJ, like June Jones, runs a trick offense that is easily defended with adequate prep time.
SMU, however, is recruiting quite well.

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:25 pm

The Mountain West is 2-1 over the same period of time. Watch out; they’re about to pass you in victories.

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:27 pm

As is the WAC.

Preston

January 31st, 2010
2:28 pm

Me thinks that Ealey is a tad bigger than 5′8″ 170. LOL. Boy, tech must have beaten out every FBS program in the country for this guy. No offense kid, but be glad you didn’t go to an SEC school.

Coach Johnsons Paul

January 31st, 2010
2:28 pm

Insider, is that a pun “runs low to the ground”? 5′8″ and that’s usually being generous(Heck, my 13 yr. old daughter is 5′8″ and that’s legit). GISA vs. Class A? not close and as for Savannah Chrisitan they run the triple option same as Tech(which really should become the double option now that ‘BayBay” is gone)
But hey I am already prepared for the typical AJC headline on Thursday on how Tech kicked A$$ in state and UGA lost everyone and got beat out on several in-state recruits. Predictable!!!
Got any takers on that???
BTW-All you freeloadeing Tech fans Mrs. Claytor is once again picking up the tab at the Sport Zone on Wed. so come on down and dine and dash!!!!
Gotta go hit another UGA fan in the face!!!

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:28 pm

Who won the UGA/Tech football game this year?

Al Beeski

January 31st, 2010
2:30 pm

Hey, I live here in Albany, and Chip there are rumblings that he is really leaning toward Marshall and that he hasn’t committed yet, so hold your horses on that one. And saw the kid play, but have no earthly idea how the kid will fare. Sometimes, I felt it was lack of competition and sometimes it looked like he was the real deal. But please will you guys look at all recruiting classes from 2006, and take a chill pill. NO ONE knows how these kids will turn out, its a crapshoot, there is no way possible to measure a kid’s desire and work ethic when he is the BMOC in hi-school.

I got a star a 2 star rating with no legs

January 31st, 2010
2:32 pm

i’m a real big tech fan….yea I am a nerd….yea i’m a virgin….so!!! At least we are getting a running back rated by rivals with two stars!! Heck yes….it’s on dawgs….utter dominnation is about to end….well probably not, This guy is a two star

BILLY JACK

January 31st, 2010
2:32 pm

One more thing I wanted to say on this matter is UGA coaches will not label a kid more or less until they see him in a combine workout situation.I have been to more than 10 with kids I coached in the early 2000’s.Some 5A kids are just as likely to not pan out as class A or private school kids.The star system also misses on a ton of kids each year in every state.David Pollock Thomas Davis -David Greene would of never made it ,if we went to the recruiting gurus who miss on hundreds of kids each year.If you dont believe me see where Boise State is in the top 50 every year,you would probably have a hard time finding them.The greatest defensive player in UGA history is probably Terry Hoage who would be a one star according to the recruiting gurus of today.The best linebacker that I witnessed to this day was a linebacker from Mt Desales a private school in Macon named Ben Zambiasi who started 4 years at Georgia and is still the leading tackler in the history of the school I believe.My hope is that UGA will start recruiting the kind of kid that is honest-like the Perkins kid at tech.I believe with Todd Granthem and his def staff ,these kids will be coached thru the roof.Great high school football players come from many different places 5a 1a and private schools.We gave Terry Hoage the last scholly we had that year as a favor for a family friend of Terrys dad and we were lucky to have just one left.Terry went on to a 15 year career in the NFL and graduated with a 4.0 avg if I recall correctly.

The U

January 31st, 2010
2:33 pm

Wow, what a steal for Tech. I mean he chose Tech of the likes of Marshall, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern and UAB. Looks like Johnson still thinks he is recruiting for a 1-AA team.

shane#1

January 31st, 2010
2:34 pm

Enter your comments here

Big Dawg

January 31st, 2010
2:34 pm

Yeah I guess Johnson and Groin realize that the ACC should be a 1-AA conference.

bobinknow

January 31st, 2010
2:34 pm

Insider…we’re all excited to hear that Tech will be throwing the ball more.
I personally liked the four pass plays in a row at the end of the Georgia game. I look forward to more of examples of that.

I just can’t understand why Thomas didn’t stick around. I figured he was sick of sealing the corner, but now that I hear that a new vaunted style of passing attack out of Wing-T is coming into play, I just can’t figure it out.

Tech fan with an attitude.

January 31st, 2010
2:35 pm

Xe #54 welcome to the flats.

shane#1

January 31st, 2010
2:35 pm

Congrats to Tony. He seeems like a good kid and I hope he will do well at Tech.

Preston

January 31st, 2010
2:39 pm

Wait a minute. This is a tech blog. Who cares? Leaving fantasy island now. I was just wondering who this kid was because I’ve never heard of him. Now I know why.