What do you think about the No. 1 recruit of Georgia Tech’s 2012 class?
Now you can get a good look at English transplant who is causing such a stir in college football’s recruiting circles. We’re talking about Francis Kallon, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive end from Central Gwinnett High School. He’s committed to Georgia Tech.
Kallon, who is ranked as a 4-star recruit by both Scout and ESPN, recently had a highlight video of his senior year – his only year of playing organized football – put on YouTube (see video at bottom).
Up until now, only college scouts and high school coaches had seen the video. What did they think? Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford paused before answering. “You wouldn’t believe it if I said it. I … don’t want to put that kind of pressure on him.”
You can take a look at the video yourself below. One important thing to keep in mind when watching it: Remember Kallon’s size at 6-6 and 250 pounds, and that just about everybody he goes against is smaller (and supposedly faster), but Francis always keeps up with the pace. Also remember that Francis is playing in Region 8-AAAAA, arguably the toughest in the state.
What’s the latest with Francis? He made an unofficial visit to Auburn last weekend with his Central Gwinnett teammate, junior linebacker Trey Johnson, who is committed to Auburn. It was his second trip to Auburn, which has offered Kallon a scholarship. He remains firmly committed to Georgia Tech.
“This trip to Auburn was more low key than when he went over there for the Florida game,” Wofford said. “I haven’t had the chance to talk to him about it s since we’re on break, but I understand he had a good time and got to talk with [Gene Chizik]. He’s still committed to Georgia Tech. I’m pretty sure he told me that he will be going to Georgia Tech this weekend for his official visit. I know he’s excited about that.”
You might’ve heard Kallon’s story: He and his mother moved all the way from England to live with his father, who resides in the Atlanta area. Kallon was recruited in the hallways to come out for the school football team, and landed a dozen scholarship offers after only two weeks of spring practice. Scouts quickly noticed Kallon while stopping by Central Gwinnett to look at other prospects.
Georgia Tech aggressively pursued Kallon, who committed to the Yellow Jackets last summer. After seeing him play as a senior, both Auburn and Tennessee have offered, while many other schools, including UGA and Alabama, have openly flirted. Kallon went to the two games at Auburn mainly because he wanted to have something to compare to Georgia Tech and his friendship with Johnson. Kallon has been at nearly every Georgia Tech home game.
How was Kallon’s senior year at Central Gwinnett? He finished with 71 tackles, 21.5 tackles for losses, 8 sacks, 5 blocked kicks and 4 forced fumbles.
“It went far beyond what I thought initially, just because I didn’t really know what to expect; he actually went out there and played — and most of the time he dominated,” Wofford said. “That’s something you don’t expect out of a first-year player … well a first-year ever player.
“A lot of times, Francis dictated what the other team’s offense was trying to do to us, by either running away from him or trying to double-team him. He impacted the game every Friday night.”
What do we think of the video? From watching it, I think it’s really hard to get a feel on how big Kallon is in person. I wish there were some closeups long in there with wide-angle version. He’s gigantic at 6-6 and 250 pounds, and once you accept that, then you’ll look at the video in a different way. He’s definitely very raw but also very athletic. The highlight tape doesn’t have all of his best plays at beginning; they are scattered throughout the nine minutes. There’s no doubt that Kallon has a big-time motor and plays with aggression. Every few plays during the video, you’ll see Francis do something like a “swim move” or jarring tackle that makes you think “Wow, when he really learns this game in college, he’s going to be really good.” I like the tape. I like the kid. He and Cedar Grove offensive tackle Brandon Greene (committed to Alabama) probably have the best body frames out of any senior football prospects in Georgia. They are two grown men. From an emotional standpoint, Francis has made a stunning transformation over the last six months – from someone who probably wasn’t sure if he should be playing the sport … to someone who is both playing and learning football with a lot of new-found confidence. He has seen the light at the end of the tunnel and now he is determined to get there. Back to the video: If Francis had played as a junior and had a tape like this out, I think you’re looking at prospect – especially when you throw in his outstanding grades – that would be one of the most-heavily offered kids in the state. It will be exciting to follow Francis in college.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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