Tyler Marcordes has no ties to Georgia Tech. He has no ties to Atlanta or the state of Georgia, for that matter. But when football recruiting put The Institute in his path, he fell hard for the Yellow Jackets.
The 6-foot-4, 231-pound athlete from Normal, Ill., committed to Georgia Tech right before Christmas. He’s No. 17 for the Class of 2011.
“I didn’t really know that much about them,” Marcordes said of the Jackets. “I watched them on TV before and I knew a little about the history of the football program. But when I got down there the first time, I just liked it right away. When they offered me, I decided to jump on it.”
In Marcordes, the Jackets got themselves a versatile athlete. He earned all-conference honors as both a quarterback and safety at Normal West High School. But at Tech he’s expected to play outside linebacker.
“They like my size and my speed on defense,” Marcordes said.
Marcordes (pronounced mar-COR-dez) got his first look at The Flats last spring when he and his family made a short recruiting tour down South. They were actually on their way to Furman in Greenville, S.C., a school to which Marcordes was once committed.
After backing off the Paladins following the dismissal of coach Bobby Lamb, Marcordes was close to committing to Illinois, which had offered along with Illinois State, Northern Illinois and a few others. But he could never get that first glimpse of Tech off his mind.
Marcordes returned to the campus twice. Late last month he came for an official visit and finally received a scholarship offer from the Jackets a short time later. He gave coach Paul Johnson an early Christmas present when he accepted about a week later.
“It’s nothing against Illinois; they’re heading in the right direction. I just liked Georgia Tech more,” Marcordes said. “I really like the facilites and the campus. They have good academics, so I’m excited about that. But I’m really excited about the football. When I went on my official visit, I just felt comfortable around the coaches and players. It felt like a good fit.”
Marcordes said he watched the Yellow Jackets in the Independence Bowl on Monday night but was unconcerned by 14-7 loss to Air Force.
“They had a lot of guys out for the bowl game and I think that hurt them,” he said. “But they’re heading in the right direction. They have great coaches and they’ve won big before.”
Marcordes led the Normal West Wildcats (7-3) to the playoffs a year after winning only four games. He was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year after logging 1,240 yards and 20 TDs rushing and 629 yards and another six TDs passing. But he also earned all-conference defensive honors for his play at linebacker and safety.
By Chip Towers
GEORGIA TECH 2011 COMMITMENTS
College Recruiting By Chip Towers
NOTE TO READERS: Sorry for the long absence, folks. I had some time off accrued for Christmas vacation and, when you do what I do for a living, it’s important that you “unplug” when you have the opportunity. But I’m plugged back in as of today! I’ll try to catch you up on what we missed and give you a heads up on what’s coming down the line (which is a lot). As always, let me know what you want to know and I’ll try to track it down for you.