Florida may be next to offer ex-Georgia Tech recruit

DE Junior Gnonkonde has rebounded after having his scholarship withdrawn from Georgia Tech (AJC)

DE Junior Gnonkonde has rebounded after having his scholarship offer withdrawn from Georgia Tech (AJC)

The Florida Gators may be on the brink of offering a football scholarship to ex-Georgia Tech commit Junior Gnonkonde.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive end from Lanier County High School was the first commitment of Georgia Tech’s recruiting class last February. However, Gnonkonde had his scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets withdrawn last week after being told that his test scores were too low.

Gnonkonde has been a hot commodity ever since. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson personally called Central Florida coach George O’Leary to get Gnonkonde a football offer without UCF ever seeing him. Since then, Gnonkonde has added offers from North Carolina, Wake Forest, Syracuse, South Carolina, Marshall, and Louisiana Tech, according to Lanier County athletics director John White, who is also Gnonkonde’s legal guardian.

And then there’s Florida.

Will Muschamp called me twice the other day about Junior,” White said. “They love him, but they’ve got 25 guys they think they’re going to sign next week. However, three of four could fall through on signing day. If so, it could open up a spot for Gnonkonde.”

What could really create a domino effect is LB Josh Harvey-Clemons of Lowndes. He will announce between UGA, Florida and FSU at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“On that second phone call, Coach Muschamp said that they will know about Josh around 9:15 a.m.,” White said. “If Josh does not go to Florida, then Josh’s offer will go to Junior. We might sign that one. We just don’t know yet.”

Gnonkonde left for a midweek visit to Louisiana Tech on Wednesday. While at the airport, he visited with a Syracuse assistant for 45 minutes. This weekend, Gnonkonde has decided to visit North Carolina over Central Florida, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

What about the test score? All of the schools that have offered are willing to sign Gnonkonde on Wednesday and want him to retake the ACT/SAT. “They all think he’s going to make it and be just fine,” White said.



– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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19 comments Add your comment

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
5:58 am

It is nice to see the kid get a second chance after the shabby way he was treated by Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech ;-)

FL Jacket

January 26th, 2012
6:27 am

Shabby? He had conditions on his schollie and didn’t meet them. CPJ actually recognized he had abandoned recruiting and made calls for him.


January 26th, 2012
6:52 am

If you and your HS HC can read this, Junior take a very long look at UNC.

I think that Coaching Staff might be more stable than UF’s Staff and will give him more time to develop maybe even RS him.

Muschamp seems to be on a hot seat and in the pressure-cooker that is the SEC, sometimes the players don’t get treated as well as they should.

Plus it would be good for a Ga. HS recruit to do well away from the SEC, it gets frustrating to see Ga. HS Recruits that don’t go to GT or Muttville for whatever reason end up at schools in the SEC.

Either way, best of luck with your decision Junior.


January 26th, 2012
7:07 am

Since I’m up early I want to add that since the snafu with GT went down he’s getting serious looks from UNC and Florida.

Not a bad set of “Plan-B options” when you consider that the Academics are pretty close for a Business Admin major and the FB is at least equal to GT’s.

Whether or not the Recruit got the necessary test scores is immaterial, what is material to the situation is that GT DROPPED THE BALL.

GT should have told this Recruit last spring to work on your test scores, take test prep courses, use computer software to hone up on your testing skills, INSTEAD GT & Coach “Don’t-Get-On-That-Plane”, were more WORRIED about him shutting down his Recruiting and not talking to other Colleges INSTEAD of making sure he was able to get into to GT in the first place.

The BURDEN is on GT to be the NCAA Clearinghouse Experts and to make things as EASY AS POSSIBLE for Recruits/Parents/Coaches in order for GT to get the best possible FB Players in their Program.

In Fact GT should LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE and should tell all recruits to pursue test prep courses and keep taking their Standardized Test to keep improving their scores, just case the Admissions Office does something crazy, it is better to be safe than sorry in these cases.

After this incident GT should NEVER tell any Recruit “they are OK” and should tell them to keep trying to improve their test scores.

Hopefully this incident will bring about a fundamental change in what GT tells Recruit during their Jr. year’s when they first make contact with them.

Crimson Crush

January 26th, 2012
7:46 am

Look WnE … to be fair … even AFTER all the things are done that you mentioned crazy things can still happen to these kids . Bama had a player last year get slapped down … by the NCAA Clearinghouse … AFTER that same Clearinghouse had already cleared him and AFTER he had already enrolled at Bama and taken classes which he completed during the summer semester !

( of course while the Buckeye homer who conjured up oversigning.com made sure to beg for explanations about the Suckeye numbers when they showed up on his charts … and then add “asterisk” … then updates on the asterisk … he has NEVER amended his numbers in regards to Bama even after having it pointed out to him … not in Hill’s case nor in any of the several other cases where he flat out lies to suit his agenda )

Yeah … it is a BR link but it outlines the Hill case 100 % accurately



January 26th, 2012
8:22 am

Josh is going to fsu

IL Jacket

January 26th, 2012
8:42 am

Congratulations Junior. I wish you the best and hope you land at a place where you will be happy.


January 26th, 2012
9:18 am

Pease explain how the young man is a non qualifier at Tech , yet now has offers from Wake Forest , North Carolina , and Syracuse . Are the standards for athletic admission at these bastions of academia that much inferior to Tech ? If so , it’s a miracle that Tech can compete at all .


January 26th, 2012
9:34 am


“All of the schools that have offered are willing to sign Gnonkonde on Wednesday and want him to retake the ACT/SAT”


January 26th, 2012
11:07 am

Well, if it’s alright for UF, UNC, Wake, and ‘cuse for this kid to retake his ACT/SAT….why in the hell didn’t Tech suggest him to do the same?? This is just a mess…I feel sorry for the kid! But if he ends up at any of those schools, it’ll be better than Tech! And that’s a FACT JACK!


January 26th, 2012
12:49 pm

Junior Gnondonke and Jeremy “Dozer” Daniels are teammates at Lanier County. They would make a great package deal. A great young DE with a lot of upside potential and a dominating 6′6″ 350 lbs roadgrader lineman. Both of these will really develop with coaching and great weight progam in college.


January 26th, 2012
1:10 pm

Tech rarely, if ever, signs a partial qualifier. That’s why Tech’s numbers in August are the same as they were in February, unlike many schools.

Rick James

January 26th, 2012
1:57 pm


January 26th, 2012
2:37 pm

Congrats to Junior! I personally would like to see him go to Florida or North Carolina.

Just a fan

January 26th, 2012
2:38 pm

If he goes to UNC then I hope they stomp a mud hole in GA Tech!!!


January 26th, 2012
2:50 pm

Looks as though Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Syracuse, LA Tech, Central Florida, Marshall don’t see any reason why he can’t play at their respective schools. Georgia Tech has really shot themselves in the foot on this one!

GT Anchorage

January 26th, 2012
3:26 pm

CJ, Tech did ask him to retake it… Whether he did or not is a different story


January 27th, 2012
12:02 am

Can Junior Gnonkonde get his scholarship from Georgia Tech back if he does better on an ACT or SAT test this weekend or some conventient time?


January 27th, 2012
7:10 am

schools like georgia, fla and alabama can take anyone that’s good—tech has strict academic requirements.