Defensive end Trey Flowers, who committed to Georgia Tech less than a week ago, flipped to Arkansas on Sunday.
It marked the fourth time in the past 12 days that Georgia Tech and one of its commitments have parted ways for various reasons.
“I changed my mind and committed to Arkansas … mainly because I wanted play in the SEC,” Flowers told the AJC. “To be the best, you have to play with the best. The SEC is the best.”
Flowers, who is from Huntsville, Ala., took a huge risk by making a last-minute visit to Arkansas this weekend. Historically, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson had has this recruiting policy — if a player commits to Georgia Tech and visits other schools after pledging to the Yellow Jackets, he is no longer “considered” committed to Georgia Tech.
What’s most surprising is that Flowers agreed to visit Arkansas even though the Razorbacks did not guarantee an offer in advance of this weekend’s recruiting trip. However, the big gamble paid off for Flowers as he was offered by Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino on Saturday. Flowers committed to the Razorbacks before leaving campus on Sunday. Here’s a link to some video of him and his father explaining that decision.
Flowers said he and his father called Georgia Tech’s football offices later on Sunday to let them know about the change of heart. “I just told [Georgia Tech graduate assistant Chris Hampton] that I was going to sign with Arkansas instead.” What was Georgia Tech’s reaction? “I don’t think they were too happy about it.” By late Sunday night, Flowers said he hadn’t talked directly to Johnson because “I don’t have his cell number.”
Here’s where it gets complicated: Flowers said he had actually agreed last Monday to visit Arkansas on the final recruiting weekend. The next day (Tuesday), Georgia Tech called to offer a scholarship, and Flowers quickly accepted. He picked the Yellow Jackets over South Alabama and UAB, while also attracting attention from Air Force and Arkansas State.
While talking with Georgia Tech’s coaches that Tuesday, Flowers said he did not mention that he had agreed to visit Arkansas later in the week. He also says — being from Alabama — he didn’t know that he was jeopardizing his Georgia Tech scholarship by taking the additional recruiting trip.
“I didn’t know that at all,” Flowers said. “When I took my official visit to Georgia Tech, there was another recruit there who was committed to another school and said he was continuing taking official visits. So I thought it would be OK with Georgia Tech. I didn’t think it was a big deal.” (Note: Flowers said he couldn’t remember the name of the other recruit)
Now seeing how everything has unfolded, does Flowers feel bad about de-committing from Georgia Tech so quickly after committing? “Yes, I’m excited about Arkansas, but I do feel kind of bad how it ended with Georgia Tech. I probably rushed with my decision to commit [to Georgia Tech] last week. But I did it because I wanted to protect myself with a big-time scholarship. Then a better situation came along for me with Arkansas and I had to take it.”
It has been a roller coaster, in some respects, for Georgia Tech over the last 12 days. Monroe Area 5-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt broke his longtime commitment to Notre Dame for Georgia Tech on Jan. 18, and then switched back to the Irish one day later after Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly hopped on plane to meet in person with Tuitt.
Mays defensive end Darrius Caldwell, who has yet to meet college entrance requirements, made an official visit to Illinois last weekend and committed.
Also last Thursday, Georgia Tech and Wayne County lineman Tre Jackson decided to in different directions after it was revealed that Jackson agreed to take an official visit to Florida State. Jackson had pledged to Georgia Tech last October.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC College Recruiting