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At least one Georgia Tech football recruit says he may be looking elsewhere after the ACC school was handed NCAA probation on Thursday.
Georgia Tech’s “quarterback of the future” – Dennis Andrews Jr. of Tallahassee, Fla. — told the AJC that the NCAA ruling “will probably open up things a little bit” with his recruiting.
Andrews is the son of former Florida State fullback Dennis Andrews, and said his uncle Carlos Andrews played safety for Alabama when it was under NCAA probation. The younger Andrew committed to Georgia Tech after attending camp last month.
“It may affect my commitment; I’m going to talk to my dad about it and then we’ll see what we want to do,” Andrews told the AJC. “I know my dad isn’t a fan of NCAA probation at all. They had a bad experience with it when my uncle was at Alabama.”
Georgia Tech has seven commitments for its 2012 recruiting class. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contacted six of Georgia Tech’s seven commitments on Thursday night, and five out of six said they remained “100 percent” with the Yellow Jackets.
All of them expressed surprise with Thursday’s news.
“One of my friends texted me about it and I thought they were kidding,” said linebacker Tyler Stargel of Gulf Shores, Ala. “Then I saw it for myself and read about it. I think it’s a major thing for any school when they get NCAA probation. But it’s not like Georgia Tech was paying anybody.
“Everybody knows that kind of stuff goes on at every school. It doesn’t really get caught. But every once in a while, someone does get caught for something.”
Stargel said he remains committed to the Yellow Jackets. “I don’t think the NCAA probation affects me in the four years I’ll be there. It doesn’t make me feel any different about Georgia Tech. I’m still going there.”
However, Stargel said he did plan on attending football camps at Auburn on Saturday and Mississippi State next Friday. Stargel made it clear that his summer itinerary has nothing to do with Georgia Tech’s NCAA problems.
“I just want to be around competition and be around other players,” Stargel said. “I’m a competitive person. I want to compete against other players at these camps. I want to go see other places. This is the one time in your life that you get to do this. I want to get the experience.
“It doesn’t mean I’m going to go anywhere else. I’m a Georgia Tech commitment, for sure.”
Lanier County defensive end Junior Gnonkonde said he felt comfortable about the situation after speaking over the telephone with Georgia Tech assistant Todd Spencer on Thursday.
“Coach Spencer said they were doing good and that everything was going to OK,” Gnonkonde said. “I’m still committed to Georgia Tech. I still want to go there. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
Wide receiver Micheal Summers of Statesboro said he was unaware about Thursday’s developments until told about it by a reporter.
“I am surprised, but it doesn’t change my outlook on anything,” Summers said. “I still have the same respect for the coaching staff as I did before.”
Central Gwinnett defensive end Francis Kallon said he got the news from his high school coaches. Kallon is new to the sport after moving last year from London, England. He said it wouldn’t affect his pledge to Georgia Tech.
“It’s something serious, but it won’t affect me or the other players coming in on scholarship next year,” Kallon said. “I’m still committed to Georgia Tech because I keep my word. I don’t have time to start over with recruiting and look at other colleges. My total focus and commitment is on mastering the game of football.”
Greater Atlanta Christian offensive lineman Chase Roberts, who was Georgia Tech’s first commitment for 2012, said, “I have all the confidence in the world in Georgia Tech. The NCAA stuff doesn’t shake my position at all.”
Back to Dennis Andrews: He committed to Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt among his 14 early scholarship offers, which also included South Carolina, Arkansas and South Florida. Andrews picked Georgia Tech for several reasons, including its engineering program and Tech’s plan to play him at quarterback. He is being recruited by Vanderbilt at the WR position.
Andrews said he hasn’t really had any direct contact with Vanderbilt, but that the Commodores talked with his high school coach. He’s also friends with a couple of Vanderbilt commitments who are trying to convince him to switch. Andrews said he hadn’t even thought about another school until Thursday’s NCAA developments.
“Quarterback is my natural position, and the only position I’ve played forever,” Andrews said. “I have aspirations to be a pro football player, and some people have told me I can move closer to that goal by playing wide receiver or defensive back. I’m not sure … ”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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