Sneak a peek at Georgia Tech’s No. 1 football commit

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.”

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)

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.

Will the winner of Saturday's Georgia Tech-UGA game gain any advantage from it with the recruiting of Georgia prospects?

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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.

  • Malachi Jones, the younger brother of Notre Dame WR TJ Jones, has scheduled an official visit to UCLA for Dec. 9. The younger Jones, who plays WR at Central Gwinnett, got his first two offers on Monday from Appalachian State and Louisiana-Monroe.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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81 comments Add your comment

Pat

November 22nd, 2011
8:34 am

juvenal

November 22nd, 2011
8:56 am

good kid…..

goldwhitey

November 22nd, 2011
8:57 am

His ability to fight off blocks is crazy. That’s just what we need. I hope he comes in and wins a starting job.

GT FAN IN PA

November 22nd, 2011
8:59 am

Congrats Kallon looking forward to watching you play at GT. Kid looks very impressive!

Sec 114

November 22nd, 2011
9:05 am

Very strong kid. However I see a lot of arm tackling, which will not cut it in college. Like you said Michael – very raw, but has a tremendous upside.

Joe Schmoe

November 22nd, 2011
9:08 am

That is a lot of potential indeed. The best thing about it is he always seems to know where the ball is at, great pursuit of the ball.

MisterT

November 22nd, 2011
9:14 am

I wonder if Groh will redshirt him just to get another year under his belt. He was definitely relying on his superior size and strength in the video. He definitely has the potential to be a scary player.

With regard to the poll, of course the winner has an advantage with recruits in state. I think the advantage is more with the uncommitted and future prospects rather than this next signing season. I know that uga benefits the most because thei have so many voices i nthe state that can influence these kids.

THWg!

Ramblin Man

November 22nd, 2011
9:15 am

I hope nothing changes this young mans mind before February. With him Pat Gamble, and Roderick Chungong GT has a nice D line class. I hope they can add Tomlinson and/or Ekakitie and that would be a great d-line class that GT really needs. I like McCalister out of NC as well but his size and speed make me think LB not d-line

GTJeff

November 22nd, 2011
9:16 am

Wow! That kid is impressive especially considering he has only been doing this for a short time. Very good instincts & speed. I hope he stays committed to Georgia Tech!

Ramblin Man

November 22nd, 2011
9:23 am

I can’t see him not redshirting unless he is an early enrolee and REALLY picks up on the schemes and techniques needed. That said he seems to be a quick study and doing some real damage for not ever playing before. The best thing about him is the raw athletic ability and determination and the fact that he has not been coached or picked up bad habits.

TECHFAN

November 22nd, 2011
9:30 am

I agree with goldwhitey his ability to shed blocks is impressive. He has good pursuit and ability to recover. I hope we hold onto this guy.

Mike

November 22nd, 2011
9:31 am

Seems to have an enormous wingspan. His tackling technique needs work, but it looks like he already has a few pass rushing moves. Reminds me of Michael Johnson (hopefully with a more consistent motor).

Project

November 22nd, 2011
9:35 am

Good kid , but if this is the crown Jewel of PJs class ,he’s hurting,

Ramblin Man

November 22nd, 2011
9:37 am

I also don’t like the #1 recruit he is always getting labeled as. Last I checked this was a team sport and I like several of GTs recruits. Gamble, Allen, and Andrews to name a few. If GT lands Fuller, Shumate, Tomlinson, or any other top recruit left are they then the #1 recruit?

Sammy Dawg

November 22nd, 2011
9:37 am

He will be at UGA or Auburn next year. Sorry techies, this weekend’s beat down by 40 points will shock this young man into understanding where tech is in the world of competitive college football. Best of luck Saturday.

b

November 22nd, 2011
9:41 am

How much is Coach Wofford of Central Gwinnet paying the AJC to keep
printing stuff about his team and players. He must be secretly employed at ajc.
I’ve never seen so much coverage for such a mediocre program,

GTJason

November 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

He just man-handles everyone. The way he moves how is he not an ILB in college? Especially in the 3-4

Proud-Dawg

November 22nd, 2011
10:04 am

Tech fans, help me out here. Doesn’t Paul Johnson have a rule that if you are committed to Tech and you visit another school, your scholarship is revoked?

The kid is a monster, raw, but has a lot of potential. Reminds me of Michael Johnson from a few years ago, with a little more size. This is a nice pickup.

Teddy Roosevelt

November 22nd, 2011
10:07 am

Who would sign with Richt since he will be gone next year? Only a delusional fan base would be calling for someone with his performance numbers to be ousted.

DesignerJacket

November 22nd, 2011
10:08 am

I hear his parents like Tech’s academics. That’s wise of them. Hopefully that keeps him away from any of the big SEC schools with middling-at-best academics. And yes…I’m counting ANY school in the SEC except Vandy in that category (don’t try to tell me Florida is something to be in awe of.) He can come play D-1 football at Georgia Tech and be getting an education from the #7 public school in the country. Also, Al Groh’s reputation is that of the best teacher of the 3-4. His players like his way of communicating clearly…something a player as green as Sir Francis can truly benefit from. Here’s hoping the young man is more man than young and is as committed to Georgia Tech as he publicly says he is.

CT_Jacket

November 22nd, 2011
10:16 am

Proud-Dawg, Kallon has spoken to Johnson about going to other schools/games. He hasn’t taken an official visit to any other schools. Yes, it sounds a little out of sorts, but considering that this kid is from England and hasn’t been exposed to much, I don’t mind the “exception.”

GTJason

November 22nd, 2011
10:17 am

P-D, Johnson’s rule on visits is always misinterpreted. His rule is that you must inform him of any other official visits you take. It he finds out that you’re taking one without telling him after a commitment then he will take it away. That’s what happened this year with Tre Jackson. He went to FSU after commiting without telling anyone on the GT staff after his visit he opened up his commitment and Johnson pulled the scholarship… I believe at least I have the complete timeline correct. Last year it was no problem for Vad Lee to visit NC State for camps and all because he let the coaching staff know. Now comes the argument that this is because he was our best recruit. My argument is the best recruits are the only ones u hear about

Dulous

November 22nd, 2011
10:23 am

I have to ask…why do the Dawgs even want to get on the Tech blogs? I have never and will never go to the blogs set up for the Bullfrog nation. Oh well, guess while they’re waiting on their unemployment checks, they have nothing better to do.
Also, if you only allow Georgia grads and fans with at least a 40 IQ attend games, how many would attend the games at Stanford Stadium? Just curiuos……

Worm

November 22nd, 2011
10:41 am

Tech found a diamond in the rough..they need to hold serve and hope he’s not swayed by the deluge of admiration by other teams.

1eyedJack

November 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

Great physical speciman. Would be a great pickup for Tech. Better Tech than Awbun.

WnE

November 22nd, 2011
10:59 am

At some point GT needs to start Recruiting “polished” CFB Players coming out of HS.

Don’t play the Academics Card either, guys like Luck and Matt Barkley out west would have no problems with GT’s academics and 35-40% of last yrs. Dream Team also had Offers from GT.

Bama with Saban was able to get College-ready T-fr. like Ingram, Julio Jones and others in the same Recruiting class, not to mention Trent Richardson the next yr.

If OUR GT Program has aspirations of competing for BCS Bowls then we are going to have to get “some” of our Recruits that come “ready out of the box”.

As much up side as Kallon has he’s not going to be ready to go up against 6-4 to 6-6 310 to 330lb. BCS-level OLs until maybe his 3rd year out of HS, probably his RS.soph. yr.

At some point GT will have to get their “share” of AJ Green types, Julio Jones types, Matt Barkley types, Marcus Lattimore types, Sammy Watkins, Alshon Jeffrey type guys that can make an impact by the 3rd game of their T-Fr. seasons.

It might warm the hearts of our Fanbase to give schollies to clean-cut suburban kids from good homes like Zach Laskey, but the fact is, is that Gt won’t win too many BCS Bowls with Recruits like that regardless of what kind of Genius system that Coach Paul Johnson thinks he has.

We already have 3 other DEs on scholly that played LESS THAN 3 yrs. of HS FB with 2 of them only playing 2 yrs. of HS FB.

At some point GT/CPJ will have to Recruit better players.

Rodney Kent

November 22nd, 2011
11:03 am

He makes good decisions, keeps his eyes on the football, can change directions quickly, and he never quits on a play according to the video. It is easy to see why he is recruited highly.

Here is the problem. Tech presently has players on their team who have the same ability, but their talents are not used properly. The best possible defense is the one where you can use each individual talent to its utmost. A good defensive coordinator does not use a system and try to get each player to adopt to the coaches style of play. He must use the individual talents of each player and adjust his defense to their talents.

Groh’s system is a set one which demands that each player adapt to a system in which the defensive player does not use his instincts on a play, but must remain in a given area and wait for the play to come to him. This gives the offense the advantage instead of the defense.

The best defense is an attack defense where each individual player attacks the football (must always have their eyes on the football). The defensive end in the video is an aggressive (attacks) player and must use his instincts to get to the football. He will not do as well if he has to play in a system where he has to be at a certain place on each play. This removes his advantage of using his instincts to get to the football.

It is the same with a defensive back. In high school, he may have broken all the records for pass interceptions because he watches the football and anticipates the throw to a given receiver. He plays the receiver close, so he can step in front of the receiver and make the interception. If the college coach insists that he play off and behind the receiver, he will be innefective as a college defensive back as far as making interceptions. In short, the coach is misusing the players abilities and instincts.

The Old Man

DawgFan81

November 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

Yallr goin down this weeknd! Get ready to feel the dawwwwwg power in bobby ross statium. Jarvis Jones will destroey your week o line. Wer goin to beat yall and beat lsu to take that natioanal championship crown! Josh Nesbitt’s gonna get sacked like 10 times on Saturday. Just you wait you nerds.

DawgFan81

November 22nd, 2011
11:08 am

UGA = 2011 National Champs!

GT Insider

November 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Proud-Dawg,

It’s the “official visits” that Paul Johnson doesn’t allow commits to go on. He doesn’t care if they go on their own dime and watch from the stands.

The official visits are the visits where the school can pay for their entertainment and where opposing coaches can pull out all of the stops to impress. They can’t spend a single dime on a recruit on an unofficial visit.

Plus, Kallon is only going because of his friend Trey. Kallon has no interest in Auburn.

FJ10

November 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

I like the fact that once he even gets one hand on you you are not going where you want to go.

UgaFan

November 22nd, 2011
11:44 am

We ruin this state!

sting'um

November 22nd, 2011
11:51 am

Dawgfan 81: Spell check dumb@@@ and Josh N graduated last year

Tokyo jacket

November 22nd, 2011
11:58 am

I’ve watched a LOT of recruiting video. This kid is special. He definitely fits the “freak” namesake. This kid will definitely change games. Things I saw:

1. I have never seen so many ball carriers move backwards (like 2-5 yards) from arm tackles.
2. Amazingly strong bull rusher, many sacks by the team’s left tackle running into the QB.
3. He’s got Attaouchu’s speed and Reggie White’s strength.

He shows some seriously raw talent that will have to be developed. But, if a kid like that can dominate one of the top 10 HS divisions in the country, he’s already there to a point. If he continues to develop, we could be talking about young Mr. Kallon in 2041 the way our rivals talk about Hershel Walker.

GT Fan

November 22nd, 2011
12:00 pm

I think everyone will agree…. “loafing” is definitely not part of his game.
Raw is an understatement describing his talent. Definitely a tremendous upside with FK. However, I didn’t notice a single college-level OL’man block him. He’s got a lot more football to learn, but I love the potential he shows!

Funny highlight, around the 5:00 mark …. did anyone else notice FK’s complete misunderstanding of being a blocker? On the blocked punt that his teamate scooped up and ran for a TD, FK grabbed the punter from behind and sorta shoved him to the ground?

I’m hope PJ & AG, when going up against “football factories” like Auburn, Tenn, etc., they tell the kid about such NFL Hall of Famers as:
Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State, 1-AA)
Shannon Sharpe (Savana State, D-II)
Lawrence Taylor (UNC, A-She-She)
Howie Long (Villa-FREAKIN-nova, 1-AA)
Mike Singletary (Baylor)
Dick Butkus (Illinois)

I hope they (PJ & AG) let FK know just how many football titles those football powerhouse programs have won.

If you’re good enough, the NFL will find you, no matter where you play. Just ask Jesse Tuggle (D-II Valdosta State).

DawgFan81

November 22nd, 2011
12:16 pm

I dont need to spell check. Its a blog! Who cared?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

November 22nd, 2011
12:18 pm

hope he is as good at fighting off muggers and rapists as he is blockers, because if he goes to Tech, hes gonna need it. Tech has got to have one of the most dangerous campuses in all of the country. Poor weak nerds can’t even walk across their own campus. Maybe Francis’ mommy will make him go somewhere else once she realizes this. What a joke!

DawgFan81

November 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

How yall nerds gonna feel when the dawgs win it all?!?

2011 Natioanal Champs!

Burdell

November 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

Hey Wrex-n-Effx…do you plan on stalking Kallon like you did Vad Lee, you psycho?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

November 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

Heck ya DawgFan! We going to win this whole thing. LSU don’t have a chance in hell. Then it’s on to the National Championship where we destroy Bama. Dawgs run this country!!!

FtWorthDawg

November 22nd, 2011
12:36 pm

I have to admit some of my fellow Dawg fans out there embarass me. This kid really looks like the real deal Techies. I really hope he sticks with you guys and signs with the North Ave. Nerds. I have to say the things I hate most about recruiting are committments that jump ship for other programs (it shows such a lack of character). And I think both our schools can agree there is no place where low character resides on earth more prominent than in Auburn, Alabama. Good luck this weekend.

Shewdawg

November 22nd, 2011
12:41 pm

Beyond his sheer athleticism, he uses his hands very well and separates from blocks nicely. This kid will be very good at the next level. I just wish the Dawgs could steer him to play in Athens.

DawgFan81, you’re an idiot.

JAWJeRDAWG

November 22nd, 2011
12:47 pm

Good luck to you, young man, both in the classroom and on the gridiron. Looks like GT got a recruit with some promise for their D.

bugsquacher

November 22nd, 2011
1:00 pm

Belk Bowl? what? wha…whaha….whahahahahahaha…..way to go Nerds!

DawgFan81

November 22nd, 2011
1:00 pm

Hey Shewdawg…c’mon now. I’m on your side! We gona win it all this year?!?!

JAWJeRDAWG

November 22nd, 2011
1:00 pm

Good luck to you in the classroom and on the gridiron. Looks like GT got a DE with promise. Congrats to you, young Kallon.

bitter what!!!

November 22nd, 2011
1:02 pm

craw-veall————theres a recruiting war going on——-duh!!!!!!—-your no chip towers

————when crowface leaves for columbus—-try going with him

bugsquacher

November 22nd, 2011
1:03 pm

I’m with you DawgFan81! I think UGA can definitely destroy Tech, LSU and whoever we meet in the National Championship this year. No one can stop Dawg nation. We’re definitely gonna win it all!! Tech will be stuck in the stupid Belk bowl like a bunch of idiots. They’ll probably be crying…HAHA!

NATIONAL CHAMPS are beating the NATIONAL CHUMPS this Saturday!!

My prediction 58-7 Dawgs!

bugsquacher

November 22nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Dawgs have never been to a bowl as bad as the freakin Belk Bowl. HAHA!

Ramblin Man

November 22nd, 2011
1:36 pm

bugs in what reality do you live? UGA just might beat GT, but nowhere near the score you predict. UGA has a chance against LSU, but it is very slight and even if UGA did beat LSU how does that then put you in the NC? UGA fans if you ever wonder why other fan bases laugh at you thank the likes of bugs and dawg81