Georgia Tech addressed its problems on special teams on Sunday by landing the commitment of Ryan Rodwell, a punter from DeLand, Fla.
Rodwell was commitment No. 17 for Georgia Tech, and the third within the last four days – following Australia DT Adam Gotsis and Florida DB Lynn Griffin. On Friday, the Yellow Jackets withdrew the scholarship offer to a longtime commitment, Lanier County DE-LB Junior Gnonkonde, because his coach was told his test scores were too low.
Back to Rodwell: He took an official visit to Georgia Tech this weekend without knowing if the Yellow Jackets would offer. He said he met with coach Paul Johnson on Sunday before leaving campus.
“He sat down with me and my parents, and asked how we liked the campus and visit,” Rodwell told the AJC. “He just came out and said ‘We’re going to do it a little backwards here. Normally, we want a punter or kicker to walk-on and try to earn a scholarship. We’re going to do it a little different because you’re from out of state and we think you can win the punter’s job.’ Coach Johnson offered me and asked ‘Is this what you want to do?’ Yes, I did, and I committed.”
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Rodwell committed to Georgia Tech over The Citadel. He was also invited to walk-on at Miami and Marshall, and had interest from South Florida and Central Florida. Georgia Tech, which had been doing a nationwide search for a punter or kicker, began to show serious interest in Rodwell about two weeks ago.
“It was a quick process but I’m glad it all worked out,” Rodwell said. “When I went on the visit, I wasn’t sure if they were going to offer. But I was hoping for it, and it happened. I’m pretty excited, well shocked.”
Rodwell, who has a 3.5 GPA and will major in Industrial Engineering, averaged 43.6 yards per punt last season in high school.
“As far as expectations, they want me to be more consistent at punter than they had this past season,” Rodwell said. “Consistency is very important to them. They want me to come in, earn the starting position, and perform.”
RELATED: One of Georgia Tech’s remaining targets, DE Alex McCalister of Clemmons, N.C., will announce his college decision at 1 p.m. Monday, according to Rivals. His finalists are Georgia Tech, Florida and North Carolina. McCalister made an official visit to Florida this weekend.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OVER THE WEEKEND
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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