Francis Kallon commits to Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech may have gotten  one of the state’s biggest steals of the year with Monday’s commitment of Francis Kallon, who is a native of London, England.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end from Central Gwinnett is an overnight sensation in recruiting circles after deciding to take up the sport of football two months ago. He picked Georgia Tech among a dozen early scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse and Maryland.

Francis Kallon (Photo by Central Gwinnett HS)

Football Royalty: London native Francis Kallon (Photo by Central Gwinnett HS)

“Francis is a great pickup for Georgia Tech,” Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told the AJC. “They’re getting a kid who No. 1 believes that academics are extremely important and values his education. He has got unlimited athletic potential in football. His parents love Georgia Tech and its academic reputation. His father fell in love with Georgia Tech and the coaching staff when they visited last Friday. His mother is over there with Francis today, and felt the same way.”

Sir Francis is one of the Georgia’s hottest college prospects from the spring. Why are so many colleges interested in a kid who has played football for one month? His high school coach explains:

“In talking with many college coaches, it’s like this — Francis is everything you’re looking for in a defensive end. He’s a little over 6-5, and has arms that go to the ground. He’s 245 pounds and it’s a lean 245. He has the frame to be 270 or 275 very quickly. And he can run. With his rugby and soccer background, he has naturally good feet and an aggressive style of play.

“With not playing football before, several coaches said that it could actually be a big advantage because he hasn’t picked up any bad habits. He hasn’t learned how to loaf and he hasn’t learned how to take plays off. He only knows one speed right now, and that’s full speed. They think they can redshirt him for a year, mold him and teach him the game, and that he could end up being very special.”

How did Kallon get to this side of the pond? His parents split up, with his father relocating to the Atlanta suburbs. His parents got back together, with Francis and his mother moving to the U.S. last fall. Kallon joined Central Gwinnett’s basketball team and was an enforcer in the post area, known for his rebounding and dunking skills. However, Kallon didn’t have much interest in football, initially.

“I heard what he was doing in PE class and people told me ‘Coach, you have to go back after Francis to play football. His feet are phenomenal for his size,’” Wofford said. “He was dribbling a soccer ball in, out and around kids much smaller than him. When I asked him to come out for spring football, I told myself this was the last time I was going to ask because it was like beating my head up against a wall. I told Francis ‘Give me two weeks. If you don’t like, you don’t like it. Please give me two weeks.’ The rest is history.”

Kallon was easy to spot at Central Gwinnett’s spring practices, which were heavily attended by college scouts checking in on linebacker Trey Johnson, who is considered one of the Georgia’s top overall prospects for 2013. After Wofford sent out film of Kallon from the spring, the offers started pouring in. Before Monday’s commitment, Kallon was projected to see his offer count of 12 “double” within a few months. It still might — despite his commitment to Georgia Tech, with how recruiting works nowadays.

Surprisingly, Kallon is learning football much quicker than expected. “He has a 3.8 GPA; he’s very, very smart and he’s picked up things faster than kids who have played football a long time. We switched last year from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, and some of those kids never really figured it out. They have been playing football forever. Then you take a kid who has never played before like Francis; You tell him something once, and that’s what he knows. He has picked up things on defense and his responsibilities faster than other kids that were on the team last year. He’s going to be a good one.”

Georgia Tech now has four commitments for 2012. Georgia native Tyler Stargel visited the ACC campus for the first time over the weekend, and liked it so much that he committed (go here for full story)

RELATED

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

CLICK HERE to catch up on ALL of the LATEST RECRUITING NEWS

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

110 comments Add your comment

YOU'RE FIRED

June 7th, 2011
4:09 pm

Careful what you say UGA fans…. this kid will likely be your boss in the future….. who are we kidding, most of you from UGA are still “hope”ing you can find a job when you graduate….. good luck with that. GOOD LUCK SIR FRANCIS THIS YEAR WHEN GT DOES WHAT UGA COULDN’T DO LAST YEAR AND WILL FAIL TO DO AGAIN THIS YEAR…..HAVE A WINNING SEASON!!!!

Ryan

June 7th, 2011
8:41 pm

Nice to see. A well rounded smart kid who has much potential. Great pick up. Good luck Francis!

Team Dream

June 8th, 2011
1:08 am

@UGAman
June 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

“Great pick up for Tech. I guess he wasn’t SEC level talent or he didn’t want to get a SEC level degree.”

A SEC level degree????? Exactly what ‘level’ would that be????? Please enlighten us …

gt4ever

June 8th, 2011
8:19 am

I guess we can DREAM….

[...] It was hard not to notice Central Gwinnett defensive end Francis Kallon, who has already committed to Georgia Tech. He’s the kid from London, England, who picked up 12 quick D1 offers after participating in only two weeks of spring football. Kallon may actually be a little bigger than his listed size of 6-5, 245. He still has a lot to learn about football, but has enormous potential. He showed up with tennis shoes instead of cleats at Saturday’s camp and still displayed above-average quickness and agility in the drills. There were a lot of people looking forward to see Kallon in the one-on-one drills later on Saturday evening but camp was called early due to rain. Want to read more about Kallon? Go here [...]

[...] Thomas also claimed an early offer from UGA. Defensive end is one of Georgia’s deepest positions for college prospects in 2012. UGA already has commitments from two prospective defensive ends in Georgia Military junior college’s Jalen Fields and Jenkins County’s James DeLoach; Georgia Tech also has a pair with Lanier County’s Junior Gnonkonde and Central Gwinnett’s Francis Kallon (the transfer from London, England). [...]

[...] Gwinnett defensive end Francis Kallon, who committed to Georgia Tech last month, will be working out with other top prospects for Alabama coach Nick Saban and his [...]

[...] DE Francis Kallon, Central Gwinnett HS [...]

[...] prospects in the state of Georgia by season’s end. The AJC has chronicled Kallon’s unique story here and here. The early reviews are excellent for Kallon. GT is looking smart in making him that offer [...]

Nick

September 16th, 2011
8:49 pm

If they want to stay in love with GT, they better not step foot off campus. Makes the area around the Orange Bowl in Miami look like Pleasantville, whole area is one big skid mark in Atlanta’s underwear.