Paul Johnson spends a full day observing Georgia Tech’s No. 1 recruit

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (AJC)

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (AJC)

How do you know which prospects are a top recruiting priority? By where a college head coach appears during his team’s off week.

Georgia Tech was off last weekend, and Paul Johnson spent a day at Central Gwinnett High School. He was there to see the No. 1 commitment of Georgia Tech’s 2012 recruiting class, defensive end Francis Kallon.

Johnson and recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum stopped by the high school early in the day to talk with Kallon’s coaches, then returned later in the evening to closely observe Kallon in Central Gwinnett’s loss to Grayson.

“Coach Johnson was really impressed with Francis, with how hard he has worked to learn football and get better,” Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told the AJC. “He wanted to let Francis know that he was really proud of his season.”

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Kallon played only his senior season of high school football after moving to the Atlanta area from England. Last May, due to his enormous athletic potential, Kallon had nearly a dozen early scholarship offers after only two weeks of spring football practice, committing to Georgia Tech in June.

As word about Kallon has spread this season, other suitors such as Auburn and Tennessee offered scholarships and have tried to change his mind. Kallon attended a game at Auburn last month and might go to a couple of more elsewhere, but remains committed to Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech DE commit Francis Kallon of Central Gwinnett High School (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Georgia Tech DE commit Francis Kallon of Central Gwinnett High School (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

“Francis has said that the biggest competition to Georgia Tech is Auburn; that’s the only other place he visited and saw a game,” Wofford said. “He is very impressed with Auburn. We have a special connection with Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof being a graduate of Central Gwinnett. Francis has met the Auburn defensive line coach, and he has talked to Gene Chizik on the phone a few times. And it doesn’t hurt that Trey Johnson is going there.” [Note: Johnson is the junior linebacker at Central Gwinnett committed to Auburn]

How serious is the competition from Auburn or anyone else? Will Francis really consider other schools or is he a “lock” to sign with Georgia Tech? “I think it’s pretty much over; I do, that’s my personal opinion,” Wofford said. “You never know with recruiting, how these colleges keep going after people until the day they sign. But I would probably say it’s over.”

  • When Johnson was at Central Gwinnett last Friday, Georgia Tech also expressed interest in wide receiver Malachi Jones, whose older brother TJ Jones plays at Notre Dame. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Jones had a breakout senior season and is waiting for his first D1 offer. He is scheduled to take an official visit to UCLA next week, and also has serious inquiries from Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. “Georgia Tech said they know who he is, they are looking at their scholarship numbers and will let him know if something opens up,” Wofford said.
  • Central Gwinnett tailback George Morris will take official visits to East Carolina, Syracuse and Florida International.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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89 comments Add your comment

Bean Counter

November 8th, 2011
5:44 am

Did Francis take an “Official Trip” to Auburn after he committed to Ga Tech? If so why didn’t Tech pull his offer like thay did last year? Is Johnson two-faced and changes is mind to fit the situation?

Teddy Roosevelt

November 8th, 2011
5:53 am

Did Isiah Crowell smoke real stuff, or was it just some of that “Spice”?

Teddy Roosevelt

November 8th, 2011
5:55 am

^Do you think your children love you?

NewnanRxDawg

November 8th, 2011
5:55 am

Coach Johnson probably observed Mr. nkemdiche and the other prospects on the other side of the field opposite Central. 22-0. Go Rams!

Wrecker

November 8th, 2011
6:48 am

Not an official trip to Auburn.

Destin Dawg

November 8th, 2011
6:55 am

Go Dawgs… Beat Auburn !!!

bitter thug--nif--icent

November 8th, 2011
7:45 am

glad im not part of the penn st naton—–just saying——–joe pa

freaks

SmyrnaGuy

November 8th, 2011
7:49 am

I wish the best to Francis Kallon, but why roll the dice on a kid who hasn’t hardly played football before he’s college aged? Plus his name is Francis…. that’s worse than Pat!!

mp

November 8th, 2011
7:50 am

@bean counter: little late to the party there, bro. there was a whole blog by michael a month ago about kallon’s visit to auburn where your question was asked, answered, batted around, and beaten to death. kallon rode along with a teammate who’s interested in auburn to see the game. no big deal. he’s firmly committed to tech. this is not an instance where a top-flight recruit is taking an official the weekend before NSD. you’d expect a coach to sit back and let a recruit do that and leave you NO time to replace him? i wouldn’t as coach. hope you’d be a better coach than to let that happen to your program, too.

JE

November 8th, 2011
8:00 am

MP, Because it is easier to coach a kid that has not gotten bad habits from being coached previously by poor rec coaches and possibly different coaching staffs. If he is the athlete he seems to be he learns it right the first time and improves greatly….Basically he does not have to “Unlearn” or “Untrain” from poor mental and physical experiences that become habit.

JE

November 8th, 2011
8:02 am

Oops! Smyrna Guy,,,,I wish I had not learned poor computer skills.

Jacket Man

November 8th, 2011
8:10 am

“Bean Counter,” Paul Johnson’s visit rules have been discussed ad nauseam as have Francis Kallon’s visits to Auburn. Either:

1) you haven’t been reading the blogs and decided to add a snide comment;
2) you have been reading the blogs, forgot what had been said, and decided to add a snide comment;
3) you have been reading the comments, didn’t understand what was being said, and decided to add a snide comment;
4) you have been reading the comments, didn’t care what was being said, and decided to add a snide comment.

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt an go with number 1, from above, and tell you that Paul Johnson’s rule applies to official visits and when players go on any visits behind his backs (like when they go to camps, or even accompanying teammates on THEIR trips, like Francis has done).

Since Francis hasn’t taken any official trips to any other schools, or made any visits to any other schools without discussing it with the GA Tech coaching staff in advance, there is no issue with the policies.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Honest and Frank Discussion

November 8th, 2011
8:13 am

“We have a special connection with Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof being a graduate of Central Gwinnett.”

Why don’t you ask Mr. Roof about his special connection to Georgia Tech.

JAWJeRDAWG

November 8th, 2011
9:06 am

To the Georgia Tech faithful:

As Coach Wofford said, “You never know with recruiting until the day they sign.”

As with all recruiting, it’s not over until their signature is on the dotted line on NSD.

Good luck GT; looks like you will really have to stay on Kallon if you’re gonna get him.

And, good luck to you, Francis, wherever you decide to go, both on the gridiron and in the classroom. …

And, Go Dawgs! Beat those Auburn Tigers!

GT_Blume

November 8th, 2011
9:07 am

Don’t be too hard on Bean Counter, I have been wondering the same thing. Thanks for explaining the rational. BTW, I did not see the earlier blog post on the matter and my curiosity is genuine, not “snide”.

gt4ever

November 8th, 2011
9:07 am

The odds are that this young man will get a good education and not really amount to much in college football… I could be 100 percent wrong, and he may be a first rounder one day, in any case good luck to him where ever he goes….

JB

November 8th, 2011
9:09 am

Watch out for Trooper Taylor showing up at that school with a brown paper bag if the kid is that good. It’s the Auburn way.

Ed Pilcher

November 8th, 2011
9:17 am

It’s gonna be funny if this kid pulls the ‘ol switcharoo’ like that last big-time DE commit GT got that decided to go on up to Notre Dame. That one still makes me chuckle……especially when I read all the hate-filled comments on here from the GT faithful we saw. And you folks say UGA people are vicious.

masivatack

November 8th, 2011
9:17 am

Jacket Man –

Please do not mention PJ’s “Backs” anymore… I almost vomited at the thought.

Vermont Yellow Jacket

November 8th, 2011
9:18 am

If I recall an earlier article about this young man, his parents are really concerned about getting him the best education possible. So that should mean that there are 2 more people pointing him to Tech over Auburn!

RambleOn84

November 8th, 2011
9:24 am

Hey Pilcher,
Stick it in your ear.

History lesson ...............class sit up

November 8th, 2011
9:27 am

Mid to late 1950s- GT did see a major bowl, possibly the Sugar Bowl in 1955 or 56
1967- Orange Bowl and GT lost to run of the mill Florida
2009- Orange Bowl and GT lost to run of the mill Iowa and all of those slow, German American farm boys in front of 32,000 snow bird Iowans. GT Triple O had 54 yds in first half. Dwyer had – yds. Nesbitt had 12 yds.

No, their major ( BCS type ) bowls fnumber or GT since Elvis was buying Cadillacs is 3. Sad.

This is GT’s old, old, old, ancient history. Citrus Bowl in 90? No, because then, that was mid to low level bowl and yes, GT did win a fraction of the 90 MNC there in the old Tangerine Bowl. Congrats.

GT counting the mid 1950s, has been to three majors …………..3. Sad.

Now you know.

1eyedJack

November 8th, 2011
9:44 am

It ain’t over until the fax is in.

Glenn

November 8th, 2011
9:58 am

smyrna guy is obv a uga fan.

GTville

November 8th, 2011
10:00 am

@history: thats 3 bowls in 55 years or so…that is 5% which is actually pretty good given each team is less than 1% of the overall FBS schools.

Thanks for the stats.

South Eastern Criminals

November 8th, 2011
10:03 am

g d ted roof and auburn cheaters

Ramblin Man

November 8th, 2011
10:08 am

I agree anything will happen and February is a long way away. Not sure if I would say Kallon is the #1 recruit but definitely an important one.
Ed pitcher the Tuitt situation is different and if you are not aware a parent/gaurdian has to sign the LOI and Tuitt’s mom was dead set on ND. By the way I have heard that he along with several others are not to happy in south bend, though that’s a rumor and he could be just as unhappy anywhere else.

Tokyo jacket

November 8th, 2011
10:17 am

4ever, you don’t get interest from Bama, UGA, Auburn, Tennessee, et al if You won’t “really amount to much in college football.” The dude is 6′5″ 260 lbs and has the quickness of a free safety. He’s a game changer. This guys is in the same physical freak of nature category as Michael Johnson, Calvin Johnson or Bebe.

He’s already been getting personal coaching from Al Groh this year. His smarts and his athletic ability will take care of the lack of experience. Add to that that we’re pretty well stocked along the d-line guarantees Sir Francis a redshirt. After that, he’ll probably be a specimen at 6′6″ 280 lbs, the prototype defensive end but w/ at least outside linebacker speed.

tp jones

November 8th, 2011
10:28 am

If I were that person I’d be very careful given the recent goings-on at Penn State. The person who created that site is AS sick an individual as Mr Sanduskey

collegeballfan

November 8th, 2011
10:28 am

Ramblin Man is correct on the Tuitt signing with ND. His Mom apparently was under the impression that ND was a better academic school than GT. She was unaware that GT is a member the AAU and ND has never been and will never qualify for admission.

If Tuitt was not going to sign with GT he would have been better off academically at UGA than ND.
While UGA is not a member of AAU they will qualify in the next few years. The UGA president, Adams, has UGA going in the right direction.

tp jones

November 8th, 2011
10:30 am

@collegeballfan, now if they could just do something about the 3000+ fake ids on campus (felonies galore there) and the rampant drug problem within the sports programs at UGA….

spider

November 8th, 2011
10:30 am

well im sure auburn will be able to afford the $2000.00 that the ncaa is now allowing but GT im pretty sure cannot afford to pay the $2000.00 too their athletes.

St Richt

November 8th, 2011
10:31 am

With all due respect to Auburn, the Kallons have to know that a GT education tops one from Auburn any day of the week.

Gorilla Biscuit

November 8th, 2011
10:34 am

I think Jason Mucus and Osmosis Jones are the same doofey.

tp jones

November 8th, 2011
10:38 am

That (@ bucket) is why we hate UGA fans ;) What kind of pathetic individuals (I know of at least 3 that ran that site) take the time to do something like that? Twisted, sociopaths. That’s who. The sad part? At least one of them graduated from UGA with an advanced degree. Sad. Pathetic.

tampajack

November 8th, 2011
10:41 am

yeah…hating on rival teams is alright…but contacting recruits / commitments of your rival school crosses the line, def putting you in stalker territory. lucky those people haven’t been sued by the school.

Carolina Dawg

November 8th, 2011
10:51 am

If it really is a UGA grad running that site I am embarrassed for my university. That is very twisted and I can’t believe someone took the time, not only to create the site itself, but to dig up all of those (meaningless) statistics and contact the recruits & commitments to your school.

Here’s to hoping you guys win out until we meet in 3 weeks.

bucket

November 8th, 2011
10:53 am

Just one more before I go – Guys I get it! If a UGA fan did something that atrocious I don’t condone it and I actually condemn it!!! But you can’t claim some superior moral high ground lke Mr. Marcus when you: a) pretend to be a fan of another team yourself, and b) claiming to know about de-commitments from UGA when you can’t actually name them. I am not saying it is outside the realm of possibilities that kids may de-commit from UGA, but if that had happened officially in the last week after the drug suspensions you know that the AJC writers would be tripping over eachother to report it. GT fans should be proud of their team because after 2 bad losses (just like UGA) they have a chance to get back in the driver’s seat with a win over VTech. Hating all UGA fans because of the actions of a few does not excuse bad behavior on either side.

ignition

November 8th, 2011
10:59 am

GT needs a NT badly !!!

Hayseed Dixie

November 8th, 2011
11:04 am

You could do worse than have your first real coach be Al Groh. This kid might play on Sunday.

Yeller and Gold Buzzzzzz

November 8th, 2011
11:06 am

It will be a sweet sweet Saturday in November when we spank that Dawgie A$$. Can’t wait to hear all the excuses coming out of Athens.

49-25-2 glad I ain't a redneck from athens

November 8th, 2011
11:07 am

Let’s get it straight …. If your up front & honest with coach Johnson, he has no problem with you checking out other schools. If yOur not up front, then that’s where there becomes a problem. Stop trying to add to the story and make it out to be much worst then it really is morons.

annapolisdawg

November 8th, 2011
11:10 am

Yeller and Gold: Better worry about VA Tech before looking ahead to the rulers of the state.

@annapolisdawg

November 8th, 2011
11:20 am

Want to see class from a bulldawg fan? check out http://www.firepauljohnson.blogspot.com Because nothing says class like harassing 18 year old athletes until they tell you to stop (hilarious when Vad Lee told him to F off). Bulldog nation should be proud of your fans on that site LOL.

@annapolisdawg

November 8th, 2011
11:21 am

did you donate money to help build the 10 win season trophy cabinets at UGA? Because besides doing drugs, that’s about the only thing UGA has accomplished in the last 10 years.

tp jones

November 8th, 2011
11:28 am

The good news for Dawg fans is that all of their running backs will be well rested for Auburn…and relaxed.

KB

November 8th, 2011
12:09 pm

@annapolisdawg, 6 seasons in final top ten tow of those top 2(exceeds the entire acc since 2001), 3 sec east titles 2 sec championships, 3 bcs bowl appearances 2 bcs bowl wins(Matches the total of entire ACC).

@KB

November 8th, 2011
12:13 pm

Glad to see they give away trophies for 10 win seasons and finishing in the top 10. Now if you could just get your program featured on “Intervention” you guys would be rockstars. HAHAHAHAHA

KB

November 8th, 2011
12:18 pm

No but they do give Trophies for winning BCS bowl games and SEC titles,it taken the entire ACC to achieve that. Has PJ picked up his victory over Kansas rings yet?

@KB

November 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

oooo…Do you know who won the 1985 sugar bowl? Me either! HAHAHAHA That’s how much any BCS bowl win you have matters. I can tell you the last 15 or so national champions though. Your argument is invalid. It doesn’t matter whether you go 6-7 (UGA AND Tech last year) or go 12-2. People will only remember you for winning the whole enchilada.