There will be at least one surprise visitor at Alabama’s football camp on Wednesday.
Central 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 staff. Kallon is a native of London, England, who has only played organized football for two weeks in his life — his high school’s spring practice in May.
Back to Alabama: It’s not what you think, explained Central Gwinett coach Todd Wofford.
“All Francis has wanted to do all summer was to get better in football,” Wofford told the AJC. “You take a kid who has never played before, and he wants to take every opportunity to learn the game. With the stuff that happened at Georgia Tech last week (the NCAA penalties), it did make him think about things for a moment. He did, and he’s really, really sold on Georgia Tech.”
“He’s going to Alabama camp because he wants to learn some good technique from some good coaches. He’s also been to Georgia Tech camp a couple of times. These camps, it’s more for the benefit of our team than it is for him or anything else. I want Francis Kallon to be the best player he can be for Central Gwinnett High School this fall.”
Despite never playing high school football, Kallon was considered a “hidden gem” for college recruiters that stopped by Central Gwinnett’s spring football practices. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Kallon (he’s added 10 pounds of muscle in the last six weeks) quickly stacked up around a dozen offers, committing to Georgia Tech over Arkansas, Vanderbilt, N.C. State, Duke and Syracuse. Kallon and his mother moved to London last year to join his father in the Atlanta area, and the former rugby and soccer player decided to go out for football in the spring.
He’s looking forward to Alabama camp. “I want to learn more. I want to learn something new every day. I can’t get enough of football. I want to get better and better. I want competition. That’s what I really want. I need to go against some good players. It will bring out the best in me.”
Alabama’s coaches did not offer Kallon but have always maintained a curious interest. Several other colleges, including UGA, Florida and South Carolina, have also called about Kallon or invited him to attend summer camps since he committed. Kallon has only been able to attend Georgia Tech camps because of other obligations until now.
What about Alabama? What if they offer? Would Kallon be interested? “I’m going to play football at Georgia Tech. My word is my word.”
Note: After watching Kallon on film from the spring and observing him in person at camp this summer, I was very impressed. If he had any football experience, he would be one of the state’s top 10 college football prospects, in my opinion. College scouts recruit far more on “potential” than “production” and he’s got enormous potential. He passes the eyeball test with his towering size, he’s got a big-time motor, and unusually quick feet from playing soccer. All the attention from college scouts has given Kallon a tremendous boost of confidence to play football and play it well, now to the point where he is obsessed with learning it. I know, it’s hard to believe I’m saying these things about a kid who has only played two weeks of organized football in his life. But seeing is believing. Everybody will get to see if Francis is the “real deal” rather quickly this fall as Central Gwinnett plays in the state’s largest classification and in one of its best regions. I really think he has got a chance to finish the season as one of the state’s top 10 college prospects.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org