Tyler Stargel liked his first visit to Georgia Tech’s campus so much on Saturday that he decided to commit.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker from Gulf Shores, Ala., picked the Yellow Jackets over offers from Memphis, Troy, South Alabama and Arkansas State. Stargel was also being evaluated by Mississippi State and Auburn, among others.
“I’ve always seen Georgia Tech from the highway while passing through Atlanta,” Stargel told the AJC. “I had never been there until today. I’ve been talking to Georgia Tech’s coaches and developed a relationship. They invited me to tour the campus and meet everyone, and I didn’t realize what a great place it was until today. I like the facilities, the people, the area and, most importantly, the academics — because that’s a very important part in my upbringing.
“I’m proud to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.”
Stargel was offered by Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on Saturday afternoon. “[Johnson] said he just finished watching my film and they wanted an inside linebacker. I know a lot of people are recruiting me as a defensive end. When he said ‘inside linebacker,’ my ears perked up. That’s my favorite position.
“When they said that [Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh] would be my coach, it was a no brainer. Coach Groh was in the NFL and has so much knowledge of the game. He is one of the masterminds of the 3-4 defense. I’m excited about playing under him.”
Stargel said that Johnson didn’t try to encourage him to commit on the spot. “Coach Johnson and my family talked a long time about the scholarship offer. He was very upfront about everything. He said ‘We like you, the scholarship is there and you don’t have to worry about us pulling away.’ I liked what he said. I didn’t commit there but after talking with my parents on the drive back home, I decided to call back and commit.”
Stargel is a Georgia native, originally from Jasper, which is located an hour north of Atlanta. He started both ways on the varsity for Pickens High School as a freshman before his family moved to Gulf Shores.
“My roots are in Georgia, and that played a big part in my decision,” Stargel said. “It’s a short trip for my friends and family to see the games, and I know a lot of people will be there to support me and the team.”
Stargel said he attended UGA’s Junior Day and spring football game but hadn’t had much contact with the Bulldogs since. “Growing up, I always liked Georgia Tech’s football team better.”
Georgia Tech now has three commitments for its 2012 recruiting class, including Lanier County DE-OLB Junior Gnonkonde and Greater Atlanta Christian OL Chase Roberts.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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