Miami OLB Nick Menocal felt wanted at Georgia Tech

Linebacker Nick Menocal decommitted from Miami in order to commit to Georgia Tech over the weekend. (Photo by The Miami Herald.)

Linebacker Nick Menocal decommitted from Miami in order to commit to Georgia Tech over the weekend. (Photo by The Miami Herald.)

Georgia Tech’s latest commitment is a Miami guy. Nick Menocal grew up in the South Florida city, starred in football at nearby Belen Jesuit Prep and was a lifelong fan of  the Miami Hurricanes.  So, naturally, when he developed into a top-notch college football prospect and UM offered a scholarship, he accepted to great fanfare in his hometown.

That was way back in June. Since then, Miami had a dreadful season, head coach Randy Shannon got fired and new coach Al Golden got hired. And suddently Menocal wasn’t so sure about the Hurricanes anymore.

And neither were they about him, all the sudden.

“Two weeks ago I got a call from [a Miami coach] and he told me they had reviewed my film and they felt I wouldn’t be a good fit for them,” said Menocal, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound outside linebacker. “He said they would honor my commitment but I’d probably have to play on the offensive side of the ball, that I couldn’t play in their defense.”

Menocal was momentarily stung. He’d looked around a little during the limbo period between coaches, but he’d basically remained loyal to UM. And this is the way they were going to reward him? By saying they’d honor his commitment but not at the position for which he’d been recruited.

It made him Menocal step back and rethink things. And when he did, he thought of one thing that had not changed during his recruitment — the consistent and unwavering presence of Georgia Tech and assistant coach Buzz Preston.

“Tech has been recruiting me very hard throughout the whole process and that meant a lot to me,” Menocal said Monday, a day after committing to the Yellow Jackets. “After Coach Shannon got fired, Coach Preston got in touch with me right away and Georgia Tech was persistent in recruiting me. He came by the school at least three or four times after that. He let me know that Tech really wanted me to come up there and play them.

“That stayed in my mind. I wanted to go somewhere where I was wanted. So I took an official visit to Tech with my family last weekend.”

Once Menocal got on campus, he was a relatively easy convert.

“We loved it,” he said of his parents’ and siblings’ experience on The Flats. “We really liked the academics and the facilities. I liked the players on the team. I liked Coach [Al] Groh and the way they run their defense. I liked the whole mindset really. So I committed while I was there and I feel really good about it.”

It’s not like Tech was being charitable. Menocal had plenty of other opportunities. He holds double-figure scholarship offers. North Carolina, Stanford and Virginia were among the schools jockeying with Tech to land an official visit (which says as much about Menocal’s academic prowess as it does his ability to play football).

Virginia was supposed to get an official next week. But Menocal says he won’t be traveling anymore now. At least not until June when he moves to Atlanta.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I can’t wait to get there.”

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

Later today:

  • One-on-one with new Tech commitment Kyle Travis of South Forsyth

More recruiting news:

130 comments Add your comment

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Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
6:28 am

Welcome to the Flats, Nick.

Paddy

January 25th, 2011
6:29 am

Good head on his shoulders, wish Dawgs had looked his way. Congrats and good luck Nick.

who cares if I'm

January 25th, 2011
6:29 am

MFM

January 25th, 2011
6:45 am

For the life of me, I don’t know why anyone would turn down an opportunity to go to Stanford and get a free degree from the best college in the country with virtually unlimited powerful connections at the top level of almost every sector of American society today. Tech is no slouch but I would jump at that opportunity in a second. I was sitting next to a recruit at a game at Sanford Stadium that was being recruitted by Georgia and had already been offered by Stanford and I told him the same thing.

Prince of Alabama

January 25th, 2011
6:52 am

Tech will take anybody breathing right now!

WnE

January 25th, 2011
7:04 am

Hey CPJ, I’ve got a message from Tre Jackson:

He said, I’m getting on that getting on that plane and I’m headed to Miami this weekend for an OV.

So CPJ, are you gonna pull his scholly also, OR do you need big DLs so badly that you’ll forget about your own rule about visits after a Recruit Commits.

Let’s see about your “integrity” & character now?

82Dawg

January 25th, 2011
7:09 am

OK Tech fans…serious question. Why is ok for a player that has already committed to another school for Tech to keep recruiting him. But if Tech a commitment takes a visit to another school CPJ pulls his offer? Just wondering.

Luke

January 25th, 2011
7:14 am

MFM,

Not everything is about academics. Some guys just want to be close to home (relatively, that is). Standford is one of the best institutions for higher learning in the nation, we all realize that and no one is doubting it, but you have to remember where Georgia Tech is. Maybe Nick didn’t want to head to the west coast to a suburb of San Fran, and loved the urban atmosphere of Atlanta. It’s also a 1500 mile difference from Miami to Palo Alto then Miami to Atlanta.

The kid seems like he will do great things wherever he lands, be it Georgia Tech, Virginia, Stanford, Vanderbilt, or even Georgia. To be honest, when it comes to schools and finding connections, its all about you at that point, not the school.

Luke

January 25th, 2011
7:18 am

And 82Dawg – if a commit wants to come to Georgia Tech for an OV and already commit, thats the business of him and the coach of the school he’s committed to. If the coach wants to yank his scholarship or doesnt, thats his business. Likewise with the commits of Tech. If he’s going to another school for an OV, he better not have committed to Tech yet, or yoink goes the scholly.

gt45

January 25th, 2011
7:19 am

Glad to have you, Nick. Good to see a guy who loves to hit people! Good luck!

82Dawg

January 25th, 2011
7:27 am

Luke…thanks but you still not answer the question. Why does Tech keep recruiting them and asking them to come visit. When if it was the other way CPJ would pull his offer…just asking…

Destin Dawg

January 25th, 2011
7:31 am

good sized OLBacker… good get for GT…. Man we got a dream team class coming… with Rome, Swann, Mitchell last week…. now Ward….. need Drew, Crowell, and Jenkins for the top class in the Nation….. GO DAWGS !!!

Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
7:35 am

82 Dawg- CPJ is doing things in the best interest of GT, not the other school’s. If the other coach doesn’t want to pull the scholly, that’s his decision. Why are UGA fans so fixated on this idea? I see WnE is back trolling again.

A T

January 25th, 2011
7:48 am

Talk about speed! Menocal was on the FL state champion 4×100 relay team (3rd leg) according to this youtube clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9sJIXIVfEQ
I wouldn’t want to be a ball-carrier with him coming at me full speed. Is the new coaching regime at UM serious!? How could they be silly enough not to find a place for him on D?

TennesseeDawg

January 25th, 2011
7:49 am

Good pick-up for Tech although he looks more like a Jersey Shore castaway.

Rodney Dangerfield

January 25th, 2011
7:51 am

82Dawg, why does Mark Richt recruit kids that keep getting arrested when he says that he is trying to clean up the program, just asking…

You sound like a broken record. You speak about a situation that happened THREE recruiting seasons ago. Let it go already. The kid went to visit Auburn the weekend before signing day. Talk about slapping your “committed” to school in the face. Sad thing is the kid never panned out at Auburn and is no longer there. So much for listening to his brother’s advice.

82Dawg

January 25th, 2011
7:58 am

I was just asking I keep hearing about it…Not sure who WnE is….

82Dawg

January 25th, 2011
8:00 am

@Rodney Dangerfield …guess he should have stayed with Tech maybe he would have been able to hold on there. …Probably would have been their best player last year..

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 25th, 2011
8:06 am

im in south beach and i dont want to leave, —just saying—-

actually kid maybe part of a special team in a couple years, great recruiting class tech has, all are tall and have great speed, like all classes can they be coached up?????

Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
8:08 am

82Dawg- WnE is a UGA fan that only posts on a Tech blog or a recruiting blog focused on a Tech recruit.. However, based on your last comment he is more clever than you.

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 25th, 2011
8:13 am

who are you prince of alabammer—-why do necks from bammer land keep trolling ga&gatech blogs—-!@#$#$%^&^as—–s, go back across the boarder bamma turds

Spike

January 25th, 2011
8:19 am

Tech gets another reject.

Luke

January 25th, 2011
8:31 am

I’m not quite sure what makes him a reject, but he’s got good size and has (6′3″ 235) and great quickness. He was actually on Jesuit’s State Champ 4×100 relay. Will be a solid OLB in Groh’s defense.

IL Jacket

January 25th, 2011
8:32 am

Congratulations on your choice Nick and welcome to the Tech family. It is a pleasure to have you on board and we look forward to seeing you on the field soon. You will have an opportunity to get a wonderful education which will stand you in good stead long after your playing days are over. Again, congratulations and best wishes to you and your family.

nats love Swinging Richards on Northside...

January 25th, 2011
8:51 am

It should be noted that while Johnson is 0 for 28 head-to-head in recruiting versus UGA this season, he has now spirited several promising young men from the clutches of hated Ga. Southern, adroitly tightening Tech’s stranglehold on the #2 position in-state.

Tobin should come right in and assist with longsnapping immediately, much to the relief and cheers of Tech fans across the globe, while Travis will likely redshirt and then fit deftly into the gap created by the heathenish decommits of worthless rabble such as Darrius Caldwell and Stephon Tuitt.

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
8:53 am

Another Tech article, another 6 comments by morons regarding the Dontae Aycock situation.

Here’s the answer: I don’t know. Paul Johnson does. Call into his show with Wes Durham if you want to know the answer so badly.

On a RELEVANT note, this guy seems to be a great athlete and a wonderful fit in our defense.

GO JACKETS!

suwaneedawg

January 25th, 2011
8:57 am

Looks like you got a winner Tech fans, congrats.

nats love Swinging Richards on Northside...

January 25th, 2011
8:57 am

Massive Offensive Line and GT Offerholder Xavier Ward off the board…

GT has been after him for a while now. PJ and co. were in his living room just last week along with Miss. St. coaches last week too.

UGA coaches went to him today with an offer and he committed on the spot.

He is the state’s highest rated offensive lineman.

It’s sad that this kid would have greyshirted at UGA before even considering a school like gt…

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
8:58 am

It should also be noted that “nats love swinging…” is the same person as “FirePaulJohnson,” as yesterday he posted an exact paragraph-long quote from that loser’s blog.

I know it comes as a shock to all Tech fans, but “FirePaulJohnson” and every one of his alter-egos (”Wrex,” “Genius Jacket,” “nats love swinging…,” etc.) is the same person, a pathetic UGA fan who enjoys talking to himself. He also seems to have a few (one or two, tops) UGA friends who like agreeing with him on his blog.

It is really sad that you SPENT MONEY to create a blog pretending to be someone else and, not receiving the attention you crave, have to resort to creating alter egos just to receive some additional feedback and traffic.

Chip, you should really block this weirdo.

layinlow

January 25th, 2011
8:59 am

What peaks my curiousity is why Miami decided to basically tell this kid they didn’t want him anymore. He has great size, speed, and is a good student. What did they see on film that they didn’t like? Interesting.

sandman053

January 25th, 2011
9:00 am

Excellent pickup for the Jackets. I’m not looking forward to my Dawgs running into him after Thanksgiving.

Techfan

January 25th, 2011
9:02 am

82 dawg, it’s easy tounderstand if you try real hard! PJ says, take your visits, be sure, and when you are sure, then commit! If you commit, then you are through loking around. BE SURE when you do commit. Take a OV somewhere else and youre done. Now PJ will still pursue other commits and other schools will still pursue ours. If other coaches dont want to use that method thats fine. there is no double standard!

Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
9:03 am

RambleOn84- Someone also said that this guy was stalking Vad Lee to the point that Lee had to tell him to stop.

nats love Swinging Richards on Northside...

January 25th, 2011
9:04 am

Tre Jackson is leaving too…

He will be a Nole or Cane, book it…

We might be seeing the beginning of the end. If you can’t get talent, you can’t win.

Coach Hewitt...

January 25th, 2011
9:05 am

Ok, the Tre Jackson thing settles it. I officially hate PJ’s policy of pulling schollies if committed players visit other schools. It may have worked at Navy and instilled some sense of “honor” and “commitment” at a service academy. But it is retarded when it comes to recruiting BCS talent where kids are gambling with their professional futures.

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
9:06 am

layinlow,
He must not have celebrated enough after making decent plays. Miami just loves “swagger,” whatever that is.

Additionally, for those who are already saying Tech is just picking up Miami’s leftovers, it should be noted that Miami has to take a small class this year and 9 of the 14 or so available spots were filled with defensive players and 2 more were kickers.

The only 2 offensive players Miami has secured so far are an offensive tackle and a wide receiver. They didn’t necessarily not want this kid, it’s just that they had to free up some space for some more offensive players and he was the odd one out.

With all that said, as a Tech fan I don’t care if we are just taking Miami’s leftovers. Despite meager success in recent years, they always pull in great talent from the “State of Miami.”

Welcome Nick, and GO JACKETS!

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
9:07 am

He did, Down South Jacket. A real Tech fan, huh? Harasses our top QB recruit to not come here…if I were Vad’s daddy, I’d have knocked some sense into this loser. Or at the very least attempted to file a restraining order.

George Stein

January 25th, 2011
9:08 am

82 dawg, I’ve explained this before and I will again. It’s only hypocritical if Johnson says other coaches can’t recruit his committed players (he hasn’t and he could not enforce it anyway) or Johnson himself is being recruited (odd for a guy in his 50’s), commits to a school and then takes visits anyway. Issue solved. Can we move on now?

Don't get it.

January 25th, 2011
9:09 am

I’m curious, why does every UGA fan have the mentality that Tech should always stink? Where does that come from? If you are a Tech fan, (which you are probably out numbered 5-1) in this state, everyone you talk to that is a uga fan, you mention you a re a tech fan, first thing they say is ” Oh, GT sucks.” Oh the ignorance. Most of them never set foot in Athens, never new Tech was once a part of the SEC, and low and behold, Tech has more National Titles than UGA. How about that!

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
9:10 am

Real Tech fans,
Just stop answering the question. These jackasses who keep bringing up Dontae Aycock don’t care about the truth of the situation; they only want to get a rise out of you. Stop giving them what they want.

Explanation Don't get it

January 25th, 2011
9:14 am

Here’s the low down don’t get it. UGA is a bigger school, with more academic programs, hence more graduates. Their graduates make up 70 percent or so of the fan base here. It’s been like this for years. UGA is a fine school, great education. Since they are in the SEC, they play in the best FOOTBALL conference. People are attracted to that, whether they went to uga or not. I’m not sure why, that’s just the way it is. GT is an excellent school. Incredible academics, incredible football program and tradition. The thing is, ever since they left the SEC, they have not been as consistent on the field as uga. I personally believe they should had never left the SEC. They would still have fine academics, look at Vanderbilt! That’s how I feel.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 25th, 2011
9:15 am

Another great pickup for Tech, Big and Fast, and loves to hit. Tech is recruiting some unreal athletes this year.

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
9:15 am

Don’t get it,
Another tidbit: for every era in which UGA and Tech were in the same conference, Tech has more conference titles during that span. Look it up.

UGA definitely has the edge in recent history, but things can change. Regardless, we’re not going to just end our program because our rivals say we suck.

We know we are at a disadvantage in recruiting…so what? Don’t make excuses for our program, just support them. Winning can change a lot of things, and if Johnson can take this team to where we all know it’s capable of going, we can make this a more attractive choice for top recruits.

Just look at the recruiting this year. Tech haters will be quick to point out that we have missed on most of the top recruits, but the difference is this year we were at least on the radar. In years past, most of these top recruits would dismiss us before the season even started.

Whether you see it or not, this is progress. The more recruits see that Tech is a top choice for many top recruits, the more they will wonder what the fuss is about. They will be more willing to listen to the pitches and take visits.

Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Ugahater715

January 25th, 2011
9:15 am

Okay just to clear it up. It is not CPJ’s policy to pull schollies if they visit another school after committing. The kid from Auburn was our last spot for that class and it was only one week before NSD. So CPJ told him that if he went to Auburn that he would let him go and offer to someone else. This situation is different.

Winder

January 25th, 2011
9:15 am

There was a GT commit who wasn’t upfront about where he was visiting. That verbal was told not to visit Auburn or he wouldn’t have a scholarship afterward (worked out pretty well going to Auburn I’d say). I love to pick on GT as much as the next Dawg fan, but this is similar to what we have in place with CMR (you have to be upfront with the coaches if we are holding a scholly for you). I don’t think a blanket rule for all GT commits about no more visits.

GT man

January 25th, 2011
9:17 am

Finall, someone that chose GT over a college other than Troy, Wofford or Ga. Southern!!!!

RambleOn84

January 25th, 2011
9:18 am

Explanation,
I agree that leaving the SEC hurt Tech a lot, but Dodd did this for the best of reasons and I can’t fault him for that. Sometimes doing the right thing hurts, but that’s no reason not to do it.

sandman053

January 25th, 2011
9:21 am

RambleOn84 I agree….sometimes the right thing sure feels wrong. You guys are gonna be ok.

Explanation Don't get it

January 25th, 2011
9:23 am

I guess I was looking at it through the Girdiron view Rambleon84. For most of the 70s and 80s, Tech was awful in Football. The ACC is great, I won’t argue that. Coach Dodd probably did what he felt was right. He was a great man and coach. Coach Johnson is incredible. People make fun of his offense. I think that is funny looking at all the yards his teams put on their opponents. UGA fans will always be Obnoxious, they can’t help it. Even when they suck, they still spew their venom. But I will be a Yellow Jacket til the Lord takes me home. Amen!