Francis Kallon, transfer from England, makes Georgia Tech look smart with dominating start

Francis Kallon is making Georgia Tech look smart with its decision to both offer a football scholarship and accept a commitment before the transfer from London, England, had ever played in organized game of football.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Kallon has dominated in his first two games with Central Gwinnett High School, which plays in Georgia’s largest classification. Kallon has 19 total tackles, 6 tackles for losses, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.

So much, so fast. After moving from England, Francis Kallon has learned the sport of football at a rapid pace. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound DE is committed to Georgia Tech (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

So much, so fast. After moving from England, Francis Kallon has learned the sport of football at a rapid pace. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound DE is committed to Georgia Tech (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

“I couldn’t be happier about how quickly Francis has adapted,” Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told the AJC. “If you watch his film or watch him play on Friday night, you could never tell that he has never played football before prior to this season. I mean, he’s dominating.”

Sir Francis has a rags-to-riches recruiting story. He moved with his mother from England to the Atlanta area last year. Kallon had never played football in his life but went out for Central Gwinnett’s team last May. College scouts couldn’t believe the new kid’s rare combination of size and athleticism, stacking up nearly a dozen offers for Kallon after only two weeks of spring practice. He committed to Georgia Tech last June.

“Georgia Tech couldn’t be happier about the situation; I think they want him to be a little more low key because he’s out there dominating,” Wofford said with a laugh. “I don’t think they knew exactly what they were getting out of him, and I don’t think they expected him to be as good so fast.”

Why has Sir Francis improved sooner than later? “He’s a real intelligent kid, very coachable, he does exactly what you ask him to do, and he does it as good as he can,” Wofford said. “He’s gained 20 pounds of muscle since the spring. He’s playing at 260 right now and pushed 6-6. You take a kid with that size and that athletic, then you add his motor and his desire to be dominant, that’s how he got where he’s at right now.”

Kallon is still learning the game. In the season-opener, Kallon blocked a punt. When his teammate picked up the loose ball and ran toward the end zone, Kallon wanted to do something to help. He chased down one of the defenders trying to tackle his teammate, grabbed him by the shoulder pads, and threw him to the ground. Fortunately for Francis, the referees missed it, or it would’ve been a 15-yard penalty and nullified the touchdown. But his coach wasn’t mad. “It’s hard to be upset when a kid is playing aggressively and getting after it,” Wofford said.

The coach has taken a new approach to teaching the sport to the wonderkid who has never played football before. “I told him to play with more aggression and more anger, and Francis asked ‘what does that mean? What does it look like,’” Wofford said. “So I showed him examples on film. Francis is like, ‘OK coach, I can do that. You will see that on Friday.’

He’s a visual learner. He doesn’t know much about the X’s and O’s. But if you show him something on film and explain it to him, he will go out there and do that. That’s what happened after the first game. Now he had a great first game, but he was even better in the next one. That’s because he watched film of the first one and corrected his mistakes.”

It has been a dizzying series of football firsts for Kallon over the past five months. Last Thursday, Kallon attended his first college game, watching Georgia Tech thump Western Carolina. “It was good, it was a blowout game so it wasn’t nerve-wracking,” Kallon said. “I was like ‘wow, my team is really doing good.’

Francis Kallon has impressed college scouts and opposing players with his hustle and determination. He's the first-year football player at Central Gwinnett HS from England (AJC photo)

Francis Kallon has impressed college scouts and opposing players with his hustle and determination. He's the first-year football player at Central Gwinnett HS from England (AJC photo)

Kallon was in awe of the atmosphere. “It was fantastic. There were cheerleaders doing back flips. The crowd was full of people in gold and white, and some of them were wearing suits and fancy dresses. They had a mascot who had to do pushups every time after Georgia Tech scored, which was really frequent. It was really funny.

“They had sign posts that whenever Georgia Tech would score a touchdown, it told everyone to yell louder. And the whole stadium would scream and scream and scream. Then the band played this great music that really got you excited about the game.”

His coach is considering encouraging Sir Francis to see more college games. “He’s still committed to Georgia Tech, but I don’t think it would be a problem to him to go watch another team’s game. The kid comes from another country, and I would love for him to experience that. That’s part of being a high school football player, going to watch Georgia Tech somewhere on the road or whatever. That would be a good experience for Francis.”

What about other colleges? Like with any top recruit, other colleges are flirting with Sir Francis despite his commitment to Georgia Tech. “Alabama, FSU, Arkansas and Vanderbilt are all trying to get him to visit for game,” Wofford said. “They haven’t given up on him.”

How does Francis feel about the attention from other schools? “It’s nice of them I guess, but I’m committed to Georgia Tech; that’s my school,” he said.

What do we think? We think Francis has an excellent chance of finishing his one and only year of high school football as one of the state’s top 5 college prospects. He’s a 5-star recruit in every area but experience. I think Georgia Tech ought to put a babysitter at Central Gwinnett because recruiters from other schools will be trying to change his mind. I’d say the same if Francis was committed to Alabama, UGA or FSU. He’s something special. Georgia Tech deserves a lot of credit for taking a chance early on Francis and maintaining an excellent relationship. Francis will be fun to watch over the next few months.

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54 comments Add your comment

patience

September 7th, 2011
2:34 am

Truth

September 7th, 2011
4:04 am

He’s good!

Golden White

September 7th, 2011
6:42 am

I’m glad that CPJ can recognize talent and heart when he see’s it and not have to wait around for rating services to assign stars . This is looking like a huge catch !

Go Tech !

RomeDawg

September 7th, 2011
6:52 am

What a great story!

Paddy

September 7th, 2011
7:02 am

Very interesting story and kid.

Ramblin Man

September 7th, 2011
7:44 am

Hopefully this ends with him signing in February. The kid looks great on the field and I would love to see him and Tomlinson playing side by side.

rduck

September 7th, 2011
8:32 am

Great story. Francis, welcome to the Flats at BDS. I can’t wait to see you tearing the field up on Saturdays. Great job by the Tech staff of finding this jewel in the rough. Stay close to him and keep an eye on the factories coming in to promise the world to the kid.

GT45

September 7th, 2011
8:44 am

Keep working hard, Francis. I can’t wait to see you in old gold and white!

BigTimeTechFan

September 7th, 2011
9:05 am

Nice, He’s sounds like good kid, love the comments on seeing his 1st collage came, all the little detail that long time fans forget about.

6-6 260 and can fly to the ball, not sure how it will result because he has a lot to learn but I think he is the best raw talent to come to Tech sense Calvin Johnson.

GT

September 7th, 2011
9:31 am

Happy to have you Francis! Looking forward to seeing you in GT colors!

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 7th, 2011
9:36 am

I love the wide-eyed wonderment at the CFB atmosphere! Sounds like what I felt like at my first Tech game all those years ago. I hope it really gets under his skin and carries him all the way to signing day and beyond!

Go Jackets! Francis, let your love for the White and Gold flourish and grow!

Rodney Dangerfield

September 7th, 2011
9:53 am

It is great to hear a story like this. The details of attending his first game are what it is all about. Sir Francis is still innocent. Wait until the snake oil salesmen of the SEC (Saban & Miles) get ahold of him. I hope he can resist.

Worm

September 7th, 2011
10:00 am

Better not go see another game-Johnson will PULL your scholly-LOL..Interesting kid-Good luck..Welcome aboard the M-TRAIN.

Rocket City Jacket

September 7th, 2011
10:07 am

Nice! Great job Francis! We can’t wait to see you on the Flats (unofficial name of our field)!

5150 UOAD

September 7th, 2011
10:22 am

Funny story. I can’t believe the dawgs are not on this blog yet. I guess they don’t have much to say until they get a win this year. I think the young man will stick to his commitment. He put on a lot of weight can’t wait to see him at a college training table and weight program.

JM

September 7th, 2011
10:22 am

Congratulations Ga Tech for seeing this young man’s potential. I know his parents really love the GT education and the support he’ll get in the classroom.

Chokin' Grantham

September 7th, 2011
10:34 am

We didn’t want him, we don’t need him. We almost sacked Kellen Moore once Saturday night, those 270 lb 2 star OL are monsters.
Show me you can dance and celebrate after every play kid, then I’ll consider you a DAWG.

Not Disappointed!

September 7th, 2011
10:44 am

The kid isreally good! I’ve seen him play once! Ramblin Wreck!

BuzzMan

September 7th, 2011
10:45 am

There are Dawgs on this blog already, They are just the good respectable ones.

CarolinaJacket

September 7th, 2011
11:24 am

Looks like a great prospect. Hope to see some more commits in the near future, its been a while.

i think that there is one thing he

September 7th, 2011
11:25 am

needs to learn…. how to hate the dawgs and anything in red n black

Saban

September 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

The Dawgs will be in Conference USA soon enough anyway. Great Catch.

Anyone know how many krispy kreme`s choakdawg ate in the 3rd quarter of the Boise State beatdown? A friend at Grady said that pumped at least 60 out of his stomach saturday night. Guess Boise State beatdown was too much.

Most of the Georgia linemen were passing out in the third quarter.

1eyedJack

September 7th, 2011
1:14 pm

Kind of like Richard Tardits. Did someone have to tell him what to do with his jockstrap?

Rosy Glasses

September 7th, 2011
1:40 pm

“We almost sacked Kellen Moore once Saturday night, those 270 lb 2 star OL are monsters.”

Yeah…and I almost won the lottery last weekend. But I didn’t want it. I didn’t need it.

Is this the kid that is only 16 years old that I read about last week?

Dewayne

September 7th, 2011
2:01 pm

Good luck to the kid!! But some of you Techies seem like you want negative feedback from UGA fans with some of those comments. WOW a win over Western Carolina watch out that was a big win!!!

Recruiting

September 7th, 2011
2:16 pm

As a UGA fan I would love for him to attend a game in Athens. As a parent – I would be horrified by the coaches comments. He is a high school coach not his parents and should not be trying to steer kids to any specific school. He should also know what the word commitment means and be instilling ethical values into his charges.

Joshua Barlowe

September 7th, 2011
2:36 pm

I really don’t understand why the NCAA doesn’t allow kids to sign on the dotted line when they make their commitment. It would eliminate a lot of the ugliness of the recruiting process of college football. I mean, let the kid commit and be done with it so he can focus on enjoying his senior year of school and not having to worry about taking calls from everybody in the country.

The NCAA is stupid.

CarolinaJacket

September 7th, 2011
3:27 pm

I agree with Joshua 100%.

Troof

September 7th, 2011
3:45 pm

“Show me you can dance and celebrate after every play kid, then I’ll consider you a DAWG”

Ahhh, the essence of Dawg Football! LOL!

GT Insider

September 7th, 2011
3:47 pm

Boo to the head coach. You are NOT the kids parent.

Sounds to me like his coach just wants to use Francis to get this name tied to the SEC.

Boo, boo, boo coach. Bad idea.

Francis you just do what you want to do. Don’t listen to the coach about your recruiting, it’s YOUR decision, not his.

JM

September 7th, 2011
4:02 pm

There is no doubt what so ever that other coaches will continue to recruit this young man. GT better stay on its toes.

5150 UOAD

September 7th, 2011
4:22 pm

Funny thing the REDNECKS her don’t understand the kid was raised in a different culture. He isn’t pimping his name to every school that comes along. His family values EDUCATION a lot more than some damn sport. Also unlike southern redneck football fans he & his family UNDERSTAND his chances of going PRO are slim to none at best. He is not African American. I guess he is African British and that is a different animal all together than our kids here thinking they all will be in the NFL.

GTJason

September 7th, 2011
5:11 pm

Does anyone else think it’s funny that he’s wearing a black knights football shirt and is from the UK. Sir Francis indeed! This is the biggest recruit this coach has had in a while and he wants to be able to tell parents he sends kids to SEC schools. Hands off! He will be a first year starter. Sounds like a Groh “prototypical” linebacker actually more than an end…

misterwax

September 7th, 2011
7:09 pm

he needs to review some video highlights from Michael Johnson against Maryland about 4 years ago…. very similar in size and could develop like MJ in skills and speed.

alex

September 7th, 2011
8:12 pm

I live up in gwinnett and I was a student at tech when johnson was there misterwax. I went out to the central game just to take a look at this kid. He doesn’t know how to play the game and they can’t even stop him, and FYI man he is in johnsons class physically already.

AnnapolisDawg

September 7th, 2011
9:21 pm

@ 5150 UOAD: First and foremost, great insight by the Tech staff on this kid; he looks like he is going to be a monster! Second, why go with the REDNECK theme? As I read your comments I am proud you root for the other side (non DAWG). Your comments are flat out racist and degrading to an entire race; some of which suit up for your beloved Jackets every Saturday. Third, my advice for the future would be to think before you speak.

Rodney Dangerfield

September 7th, 2011
11:12 pm

Like my daddy use to tell me, there are dumbarse white people and dumbarse black people, I guess there are dumbarse dawg fans and dumbarse tech fans too. Best to avoid the dumbarses!

mrtelcom

September 7th, 2011
11:29 pm

He will get as good of a coaching and exposure experience at Tech as anywhere else, and if he is serious about an education, it is the right choice. This is a life decision about education, not a life decision about football future.You can go to the NFL from GT just as easy as from UGA. If he thinks he can be a Tech Man, than, we welcome him, and respect his decision. He will never regret his decision.
I’ve never heard anyone who was serious about education who did. Not one.

[...] Francis Kallon, transfer from England, makes Georgia Tech look smart with dominating start (click on story link) [...]

hey annapolisdawg

September 8th, 2011
11:32 am

hate to break it to you but uoad’s comments are true. one only read some of the columns that the ajc’s prize winning african american writer cynthia tucker has written on this same subject. sad but true.

the current urban black youth is encouraged to ‘dumb’ down by his peers. dumb is in.
this is not coming from me as i have not been in that environment but rather cynthia.

so your saying if a black person says it than its true? but if a white says it than its a racist comment?

i think your post to uoad was selfserving eh? i would bet you season tickets that we could cruise the blogs and find way more racist material off the dawgs blog from dawgs than vice versa. especially when the dawgs lose.

look no further than some of your black players giving up twitter accounts due to uncalled for twitters and facebook posts from dawg nation fans.

Boddy Dodd for life

September 9th, 2011
9:01 am

Boise has been doing this for years. It is amazing that someone can step into such an organized and precise game like football after never playing it before and pick it right up at one of the highest levels.

Boddy Dodd for life

September 9th, 2011
9:03 am

hey annapolisdawg,

Please save your racist, bigoted filth for another time. You are no Tech fan.

Don’t you have some white pillow cases to wear and some crosses to burn?

DrJLD

September 9th, 2011
4:03 pm

This sounds like a great kid and a real ‘find’. But, please, he does not have a knighthood and is not addressed as ’sir’.

Patrick Austin

September 9th, 2011
4:28 pm

He will be Bama bound in the end.

Rocket City jacket

September 11th, 2011
7:16 pm

No Patrick, he’s all Jacket! You will probably get Dalvin Tomlinson instead of us though :(

[...] Francis Kallon, transfer from England, makes Georgia Tech look smart with dominating start (click on story link) [...]

footballfan

September 12th, 2011
6:07 pm

i’ve seen this kid and he’s good, but he has a lot to learn; fundamentally. his region is strong and filled with talent. i find it eery that his stats are identical (with the exception of the offenesive stats) to those of another highly recruited Gwinnett DE; Stephen Weatherly. He is 6′-5″ 210lb and plays DE. OLB and WR. his defensive stats are the same. but his combine numbers blow Kallon out the water. 4.47 forty, 4.3 shuttle and 31″ vertical. Oddly enough, GA Tech offered Kallon after Weatherly turned them down by committing to Vanderbilt. If you trust ESPN and their recruiting analyst more than rivals [and I do; doesnt cost you anything to be analyzed by ESPN], Weatherly is the #22 DE in the country (#2 in GA) and Kallon is….not ranked amongst his peers. There are 6 or 7 other DEs in his immediate area that are highly regarded. It should be interesting to see these two on the same field when Shiloh plays Central Gwinnett.

[...] Francis Kallon, transfer from England, makes Georgia Tech look smart with dominating start (click on story link) [...]

[...] Francis Kallon, transfer from England, makes Georgia Tech look smart with dominating start (click on story link) [...]

[...] only hold his own against teammates? Well…yes, no, and no. The games started, and Kallon kept brushing off competition like a fly on his shoulder. “He’s dominating,” Wofford says. The Touchdown Club of Atlanta gave Kallon its [...]