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
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