Georgia Tech lands No. 11 with commitment of Mays OLB Darius Caldwell

Darius Caldwell said locking down a college scholarship to Georgia Tech this week was “half of a dream come true.”

“I’ve always wanted to play big-time football,” said the the 6-foot-5, 210-pound athlete said.

The other half?

“Well, I want to play pro ball one day,” he said. “But it all starts here.”

Caldwell, who plays defensive end and outside linebacker at Atlanta’s Mays High School, became the 11th verbal commitment of Georgia Tech’s 2011 class and the second in as many days. He joins quarterback Vad Lee of Durham, N.C., who committed to the Yellow Jackets during a news conference at Hillside High Thursday afternoon.

Caldwell’s pledge came with considerably less pomp and circumstance. He actually committed to Tech with a quiet phone call assistant coach Buzz Preston Wednesday night. He didn’t actually receive an official offer from the Yellow Jackets until this past Saturday when he attended the Jackets’ scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“It wasn’t that I always wanted to go to Tech. I had plenty of other options,” said Caldwell, who figures he has “13 or 14″ offers. “But when I sat down with my mom and my coaches, it just seemed like the place I needed to be.”

Caldwell said he also seriously considered offers from South Carolina, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Virginia and Central Florida.

Particularly attractive to Caldwell is the new 3-4 defense of Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh. The Jackets believe he’s the perfect fit and body type for the outside linebacker position. It’s one of the defenses that Mays runs and one that Caldwell has thrived in. A self-described pass-rushing specialists, Caldwell logged eight quarterbacks as a junior last season.

“They started recruiting me in April of last year and I’ve been coming over to see their team a lot since then,” Caldwell said. “It’s just a place I felt comfortable at and a place where I would fit in.”

And that’s worth at least a half-dream.

GEORGIA TECH 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. OL Trey Braun, (6-5, 275), Tallahassee, Fla.
  2. DE/OLB Darius Caldwell (6-5, 210), Mays HS
  3. OL Bryan Chamberlain (6-4, 280), Albany-Monroe HS
  4. LB Chaz Cheeks (6-3, 220), East Hall HS
  5. WR Jeff Greene (6-6, 200), Starr’s Mill HS
  6. OL Kyle Harris (6-3, 260), Pepperell HS
  7. LB Jabari Hunt-Days, (6-3, 226), Hillgrove HS
  8. QB Vad Lee (6-2, 200), Durham, N.C.
  9. OL Shaquille Mason (6-2, 305), Columbia, Tenn.
  10. S Darren Waller (6-5, 204), North Cobb HS
  11. ATH Airyn Willis (6-2, 180), High Point, N.C.
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118 comments Add your comment

The bridesmaid

August 19th, 2010
9:42 pm

whoa, a good day for Tech!

Stiff competition

August 19th, 2010
9:54 pm

Once again, the 13 or 14 offers he had was from schools with little football tradition…..He’ll fit in perfectly with the other recruits that noone has ever heard of….but then again, it does’nt take much to make a Tech fan giddy. Turn him into a reciever. Maybe he can make a clutch catch!

GT_Fever

August 19th, 2010
9:56 pm

FWIW, he’s rated a 3* from most recruiting services….except ESPN where he is rated a 4*. GT is recruiting very favorably for the future. Go Jackets!

Tech

August 19th, 2010
9:58 pm

Well “Stiff competition”, he’s a 4-star recruit, just like Lee according to ESPN, but what do they know? Stay classy loser.

Georgia Tech and Zombies!!!!!

August 19th, 2010
9:59 pm

Yellow Maggot

August 19th, 2010
10:01 pm

11-0-1 1990 National Champs

August 19th, 2010
10:01 pm

Another big body to play OLB in the Jackets 3-4. Keep the quality people joining our program and GT football will be fine.

Outside Observer

August 19th, 2010
10:01 pm

Congratulations young man. Happy to have you on the flats. And now let the UGA fans begin their onslaught of “what a pathetic pickup, nothing to brag about, waste of space, etc, etc.” Of course, i still wonder what happens to all of those highly-rated recruits that disappear at UGA….

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 19th, 2010
10:02 pm

thUGA people don’t know him because he hasn’t been arrested or suspended by his high school.

SILLY UGA FANS

August 19th, 2010
10:05 pm

The kid sounds good on paper. Welcome to the flats.

hello

August 19th, 2010
10:10 pm

Well he was good enough to have an offer from WVU…who embarrassed you guys in front of 70 thousand of your own fans in the Georgia Dome during the 2006 sugar bowl….SEC champions that year huh? Good pick up for Tech…thats two 4 star recruits in one day…not bad at all. Lets get the ball really rolling.

hello

August 19th, 2010
10:12 pm

USCw,Ole Miss, Miss State wanted him too…good pick up all around. He will probably land some more offers during the season…many prospects dont start getting most of their offers until midway through their senior year.

Yellow Maggot

August 19th, 2010
10:17 pm

hello…..

you do realize, sir, that Tech was the ACC champs last year and were demolished in their BCS bowl right?

Referencing a team’s quality fromm 2006 is a bit different now, in 2010. You’re really trying to dig deep there, Scout.

Dan

August 19th, 2010
10:17 pm

So does the fact that he plays this defense in high school mean that we – and UGA – run a high school defense? Because that’d be pretty rich to hear them try to explain their way out of that.

Excited to have him. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy and productive this year and do well in class. Seems like a good, humble hard-working kid.

Yellow Maggot

August 19th, 2010
10:18 pm

ACC champs = the skinniest kid at fat-camp

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

He may get more offers, but CPJ’s policy is if you talk, you walk. Well, visit, anyway. A commitment is real to that man.

GT Zombies

August 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

Zombie = Paul Johnson sleepwalking to a fish fry.

C.

August 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

Welcome to the Flats big man. You’re in good hands here.

hello

August 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

Not bringing up your teams quality…just replying to someone who said he had offers from only no name programs….WVU is not a no name program. And we were demolished by 10 points?…had a chance to take the lead with less than 4 minutes until we ran backwards. Now Cincinatti…that was a team that got demolished…or what happened to UGA in Jacksonville the last two years..that’s getting demolished. Does it really get on your nerves?

White&Gold

August 19th, 2010
10:22 pm

Welcome to the flats Darius!
Once again, nice trolling by the red panties crowd.

rxdawg79

August 19th, 2010
10:22 pm

Good for the young man. Gets a chance to get a first-rate education AND play ball. Even though my allegiance lies with another school I envy anyone who has the talent to play for their favourite school. Most of us can only fantasize about running out onto the field of play.

GT Sambo

August 19th, 2010
10:23 pm

From what I’ve read on this kid, he is a little bit raw football wise but is really athletic. He will be playing the premier position in Al Groh’s defense so hopefully Groh can coach him up. In any event, getting another athletic OLB is a good thing from a numbers standpoint. Hopefully he gains 30 lbs, becomes football smart with Al Groh coaching, and is the next Lawrence Taylor (and if not him, one of our other OLB recruits).

Turkey neck Johnson

August 19th, 2010
10:25 pm

Welcome to the fats!!

Dan

August 19th, 2010
10:26 pm

rxdawg79 – are you British? Favourite? Made me chuckle.

GoJackets

August 19th, 2010
10:26 pm

Welcome to the flats Darius, happy to have you!
With Jabari Hunt-Days on one side and Caldwell on the other we are going to have some fine outside linbackers, both prototypical 3-4 guys.

Steiny3

August 19th, 2010
10:26 pm

I think this is a quality pickup for GT. He is fast and has nice size
for an athlete.

Jacket Backer

August 19th, 2010
10:27 pm

Welcome aboard Darius! Looking forward to big things from you on the Flats!

Go Jackets!!

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:27 pm

Dan – pretty much high school and pros. The dumb college kids don’t want to put in the time necessary to learn the 3-4. Party! Party! We’ll see how our 2 local teams do with the scheme. Ol’ man Groh sees coverages and blitzes in his sleep. Not sure young Grantham has it burned in as much yet.

GT Sambo

August 19th, 2010
10:29 pm

Yellow Maggot,
If going to the Orange Bowl as ACC champs is so bad, then what is the Independence Bowl? Was that bowl even on TV?

Rising Seniors

August 19th, 2010
10:30 pm

Top HS Juniors to play allstar game @ Bobby Dodd

http://www.risingseniors.com

Someone call the police!!!!!!

August 19th, 2010
10:30 pm

ATTENTION, the following recruits were rated as a five star recruit by scout and have disappeared since going to UGA. Has anyone seen or heard from them?… Brandon Wood or Akeem Hebron…. Also, Richard Samuel was seen on the offense, but he has since been buried on the depth chart on defense. Any info about these players and their whereabouts would be greatly appreciated…..

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:31 pm

rxdawg79 – Oxford or Cambridge? London School of Economics? Me, I lived in Ashby Parva…near Lutterworth, which is near Rugby…ah, bollix! Never mind, old fellow.

Outside Observer

August 19th, 2010
10:31 pm

Let’s face it. Recruiting is a crapshoot. Just because a guy is rated as a four or five star prospect by the “experts” doesn’t mean he will always become a superstar. Instead of writing a kid off just because ESPN calls him a two star, or praising him as the next Herschel Walker because he is the top rated running back by rivals, wait until the kid gets gets on the pads in college and proves what he can do. In the end, I hope all of the kids find success in either the classroom, on the field, or both. Good luck to this young man and to all of the other recruits headed to college in the future. To be successful, you must work hard. None of these rankings will matter once you step onto the field. It will then be all about work ethic and perseverance. Go Jackets!

Cuttysark

August 19th, 2010
10:33 pm

So while everyone is spending all of their time chasing down the “5″ stars prima donnas, Paul Johnson and his staff are out recruiting and getting the type of players who will fit into what Georgia Tech does both offensively and defensively. Another quality pick up for the Yellow Jackets. For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

Recruiting for GT

August 19th, 2010
10:34 pm

PJ knows his system, and he knows what type of players fit well. Same for Groh. These guys have won a few football games before. They recruit to fit their needs, and these are usually pretty unique. So the recruit rating system does not necessarily hold for GT. As with any team, it remains to be seen what these recruits can deliver!

THWG

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:34 pm

Richard Samuel is reported to be on the red shirt list for the season. That’s right, his junior year.

SILLY UGA FANS

August 19th, 2010
10:34 pm

rxdawg79,
Nice post.

Stiff Competition

August 19th, 2010
10:36 pm

We have plenty of recruits that have a good deal of SEC offers..Nice try though…But still a FAIL

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:43 pm

Playing off Chip’s post, are South Carolina and Ole Miss not considered bona fide SEC offers? When people in other countries like The Netherlands, Portugal and Detroit think of “SEC,” I’m guessing Vanderbilt, Kentucky and those 2 schools don’t pop into their heads.

GT Sambo

August 19th, 2010
10:48 pm

Outside Observer,
I agree with you, to a point. There are plenty of no name recruits that turn into stars and plenty of 5-stars that do nothing. That said, you can look back and see many more highly rated recruits that panned out exactly like expected and very few low rated recruits that came out of no where and surprised to become NFL draft picks. The analysis pans out more often than not, so instead of calling recruiting a crapshoot, I would call it more of a numbers game. Today we came out even on the QB numbers game for the yellow jackets, losing Luallen but gaining Vad Lee and we are plus 1 on OLBs with Caldwell.

BUZZ ME

August 19th, 2010
10:49 pm

Welcome to the flats Darius. You will get a great education, have a great degree to fall back on and have every opportunity to play in the NFL. Let’s see on defense…
Guyton starts at MLb for New England, Wheeler at OLB for Indy, Michael Johnson moves to OLB for Cincy, and Morgan Burnett is probably going to start for the Pack. Derrick Morgan will be a stud Keep your ead on straight. We all know you are a smart kid or you wouldn’t have been offered.

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
10:53 pm

Keyaron Fox is still with the Steelers, I think. Got a long pick-6 on Favre last year.

Reality

August 19th, 2010
10:56 pm

UGAg haters on here. Let’em hate. They cannot even win their own little division while we win the conference and go to a BCS bowl. Sounds like jealously.

Go Jackets! THWG!!!

Tokyo jacket

August 19th, 2010
11:00 pm

RX – THX for staying classy!

I don’t care who he had offers from. He’s going to be a good fit for CAG. Remember, unlike most in the SEC, CPJ doesn’t allow offers to go to kids just to have a “full class.” He’ll reserve spots for next year if the targets aren’t there. This kid’s a jacket and earned the right to be so. He’ll do just fine.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to see some analysis on how many NFL players per recruiting “star” our two schools have? My gut tells me that UGA flops more talent than any school I know. Our only 4- and 5-star recruits that have matriculated already over the past 10 years are in the NFL. UGA definitely can’t say the same!

Question

August 19th, 2010
11:04 pm

Does anyone know or have a good estimate as to how many players will be signed by tech for the class of 2011?

TechGrad

August 19th, 2010
11:04 pm

Look at this guy’s film. He’s a player!! Sheds blocks and really gets after it.

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

August 19th, 2010
11:08 pm

Dear Reality,

30-24 over the best the ACC had to offer.

‘Nuff said.

See ya in Athens in November as Dawgs will make it 9 out 10!

Delbert D.

August 19th, 2010
11:16 pm

Tokyo – The Falcons have 2 guys from Villanova and 2 from Montana. I wonder if they had stars. Very good FCS schools, those are.

GT Zombie

August 19th, 2010
11:17 pm

I love watching guys on film!!!

Grammar Police

August 19th, 2010
11:20 pm

Chip: did you really write this?

“Caldwell logged eight quarterbacks as a junior last season”

Unbelievable!!