Georgia Tech flips the commitment of 4-star linebacker

Georgia Tech flipped the commitment of one of the state’s top linebackers, who was previously pledged to Vanderbilt.

Nigel Bowden, a 4-star linebacker from Central Macon High School, changed his mind after meeting on Friday in person with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who promptly offered a football scholarship from the Yellow Jackets. Bowden had been committed to Vanderbilt since March.

LB Nigel Bowden flipped from Vanderbilt to Georgia Tech after meeting with Paul Johnson (AJC)

LB Nigel Bowden flipped from Vanderbilt to Georgia Tech after meeting with Paul Johnson (AJC)

“It worked out real well,” Bowden said. “I came to Georgia Tech and finally had the chance to meet Coach Johnson. I was also here in March but I never got to see Coach Johnson because he had to attend a funeral that day.

The 6-foot, 238-pound Bowden said Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum stopped by his high school this spring and explained that the Yellow Jackets were still very high on him. “He helped me understand that Coach Johnson likes to meet people face to face before he offers. He said it wasn’t the fact that Georgia Tech didn’t want to offer me, but that Coach Johnson wasn’t there that day to see me.”

On Friday, Johnson was there when Bowden made a return trip. “It was a great conversation – he told me the lineup, who they have now, and who they are recruiting,” Bowden said. “He talked about the team and how hard they work, along with Georgia Tech’s academics.

“Coach Johnson said ‘If you want to do this [commit to Georgia Tech], we can go ahead and do it. You’ve got your offer.’ I said I wanted to do it. We shook hands, and we made it final.”

Why Georgia Tech? “I’ve been thinking about Georgia Tech for a while. It was always between those two, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. I switched because I always wanted to  play for my home state school. Plus, my mother always wanted to me to go to Georgia Tech. My family can go to all of the games.”

Bowden said he was trying to get in touch with Vanderbilt’s coaches to give them the news. “I don’t think Vanderbilt is going to take it too well. They are probably going to come after me to get me to commit to them again. Overall, Vanderbilt is a great school, but Georgia Tech is where I want to be.”

Bowden is commitment No. 6 for Georgia Tech’s 2013 recruiting class. He has a 3.55 GPA and will likely major in some type of Science.

GEORGIA TECH’S CLASS OF 2013

  1. RB Travis Custis,6-0, 212 Lovejoy HS
  2. RB Donovan Wilson, 6-0, 215, Dublin, Ohio
  3. OL Shamire Devine, 6-7, 331, Tri-Cities HS
  4. DT Darius Commissiong, 6-2, 295, Forestville, Md.
  5. OG Jeremi Hall, 6-5, 350, Tri-Cities HS
  6. ILB Nigel Bowden, 6-0, 238, Central-Macon HS

399 comments Add your comment

AugustaDawg

June 1st, 2012
2:57 pm

First. Year of the dawg. Tech still is sorry. Fish Friday cpj

sleeze

June 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

Funny how Paul Johnson gets so upset and threatens to pull scholarships when any of his committments vist or talk to other schools, but he seems to have no problem with trying to lure away committments from other schools.

Pswole GT

June 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

GT is putting together a heck of a recruiting class! Mustafaa will be the next 4* and he will pick us over UGA.

Upstate Jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:03 pm

Great news for the Jackets. Great education at both schools. Keep ‘em coming CPJ!

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:05 pm

Lame, AugustaDwag, lame. CPJ is starting to really recruit well…..welcome Mr bowden!

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:06 pm

Just not true, Sleezy!

Georgiadunce

June 1st, 2012
3:06 pm

“I don’t think Vanderbilt is going to take it too well. They are probably going to come after me to get me to commit to them again.”

They probably won’t “take it too well” since you said in this same paper in March that they asked you if you were sure and that you wouldn’t change your mind, when you committed to them. Now you have, about 2 months later.

And I doubt they will try to get you commit again. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, especially faster ones than Mr. Bowden here.

George Stein

June 1st, 2012
3:07 pm

That sound you just heard was WnE’s head exploding.

I hope he uses Georgia Tech to better himself because the Institute is sure as hell use him. I hope we can get a couple more big time d-linemen, too.

Glory Glory

June 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

Who is that??

Pswole GT

June 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

This player always wanted to go to Tech, why not go after a kid who has publicly said he would rather be at your school? Sorry he spurned UGA…but it does happen.

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

Rivals Dwags 3.41 stars………………….GT 3.5 stars.

Ol'JacketFan

June 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

Three 3 stars and three 4 stars, nice start on this class. Keep up the good work Coaches!

Glory Glory

June 1st, 2012
3:11 pm

In all seriousness……

If CPJ is so adamant about his commits “being committed,” then I truly cannot grasp the idea of him inviting young men who are already committed to other schools to come to his.

Congrats on the pickup, but there is NOTHING CPJ nor the Tech fanbase can say to make me understand how that philosophy is honorable.

Happy Thanksgiving!! (for us)

Coach B

June 1st, 2012
3:11 pm

I guess Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. McCollum are pretty HOT!!!!

Jacket Man

June 1st, 2012
3:12 pm

Stay tuned; more to come…

BBQ Pigskin

June 1st, 2012
3:13 pm

I GUARANTEE there will be bigger commitment headlines before the end of the day regarding UGA.

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:16 pm

What, more arrests?

Wilson Pickett

June 1st, 2012
3:17 pm

The real problem is Paul didn’t meet this guy last spring for camps etc. Somebody is behind at GT with evaluations. No way can you expect to get on a kid going into his SR year for the 1st time and expect great results (you will win some). Glad he has the offer he really wanted and will play at GT.

GTMBA

June 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

“I always wanted to play for my home state school”~ That’s what I’m talking about! Great to have you Nigel!!

Jacket Man

June 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Wilson Pickett, Paul Johnson didn’t meet Nigel on his initial visit, and offer him the scholarship right then, because he was out of town at the funeral of the mother of one of his player’s. He thought that was a priority over anything else on his schedule.

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Rivals Dwags 3.41 stars………………….GT 3.5 stars.

sorry, didnt mean to repeat this post……………….ok. I did.

OCDawg

June 1st, 2012
3:23 pm

South Georgia nerd, Chill out tiger. you have 6 commits to UGA 18 and how many 5 stars? I wouldn’t start comparing GT to UGA

Jacket Man

June 1st, 2012
3:23 pm

I promise you, THAT made a HUGE impact on Nigel and his Mother.

Dawg1

June 1st, 2012
3:23 pm

Nice pick up… Agree that this really is shaping up to be perhaps Techs best since CPJ arrived.

WnE

June 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

re:
George Stein

June 1st, 2012
3:07 pm
___________________

My head isn’t exploding!

I’m one of the FEW GT FANS that have said for a very long time that there are plenty enough Ga. HS FB Recruits that can do the Academics at GT and still play FB at a ver high level.

You only need 18-22 per year, and in a Metro Atl. Area of 6 million people plus the rest of the state whose HS FB is ranked in the top 5 in the country, GT should classes like this or BETTER each & every year.

My previous comments are being validated as the days go by, where are all the “Chicken Little GT Fans” that are always claiming that our academics are keeping GT from finding good FB players.

Go and bust their chops Mr. Stein, I have always attacked the Academics excuse that GT fans have excused when it comes to Recruiting, and now my theories are being proven true.

Techster

June 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Why doesn’t the AJC list Jeremi Hall as a Tech commitment after the Bowden article above?

wag

June 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Georgia ranked 4 by rivals in 2012!!! Tech, well, my screen can’t scroll down that far

Techster

June 1st, 2012
3:28 pm

Wow! Someone was putting it up as I wrote in…

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

OCDWAG, we only have 15 or 16 schollies to give, but avg stars speak for themsleves (at least for today). You see, we didnt have all these guys get booted, arrested, transfer out or fail like the Dwags did.

wag

June 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

Just kidding. Congrats Tech. I am a Georgia fan and I will say flipping commits is part of the process. Tony Franklin is a punk anyway.

NiquePhotog

June 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

Much agreed. Things are looking very promising on the Flats. Maybe CPJ should just focus on 15 recruits every year. UGA can take the quantity this year and we’ll take the quality.

There’s also legitimate rumors of at least two other very highly ranked defensive prospects (4, maybe even 5 star) who have committed but are yet to announce. That is really what is much needed and would make for an unusual and extraordinary GT class.

[...] not sure what I enjoy the most about this story – the blatant “good for me, but not for thee” aspect of Johnson’s poaching [...]

Tokyo jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

Unless we fill this class out with all 2-stars, this will be the most talented class since 2007.

Recruiting | MrSEC

June 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

[...] been thinking about Georgia Tech for a while,” Bowden told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was always between those two, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. I switched because I always [...]

George Stein

June 1st, 2012
3:36 pm

Having the requisite academic resume is necessary but not sufficient, WnE. They also must be interested in a narrower curriculum.

Ramblin Man

June 1st, 2012
3:36 pm

Welcome Mr. Bowden. this a great “commit” for GT and this class is really starting to look good. Wish Franklin had been notified first and hope he was before this story came out.
Coach B LOL

Glory Glory I will try and explain this for you. CPJ has said multiple times that he does not consider a kid commited if he is willing to talk and visit other schools. He has only pulled one offer and that was when a kid took a trip the weekend before signing day three classes ago. The problem with that is coaches are unable to communicate with kids starting that friday so CPJ and GT would have been in limbo. There have been several kids who were commited to GT that took visits to other schools that did not have there offer pulled. Just last year Kallon and I believe Gamble took visits with no threat of thier offer being pulled. CPJ also tells recruits to take other visits and make sure GT is really were they want to be before commiting. CPJ does not do like many coaches (cough cough Saban) and keep recruiting a position that has been filled by somebody so if a kid decommits last minute like Roberts did last year GT does not have anybody we have showed a lot of interest in to make a late push for.This is a non-issue except to UGA fans for some reason.

OCDawg

June 1st, 2012
3:37 pm

South Georgia nerd, it’s June first you haven’t even thought of the commits you will lose to getting flipped by other school. Avg stars? Your right you the North ave avg stars record this past decade does speak for it’s self. And way to talk about “avg stars” 3hrs before UGA lands a 4 star receiver

SoCal_GT_Fan

June 1st, 2012
3:40 pm

Awesome commit! Keep it up CPJ!

As for those who question CPJ’s philosophy, It’s pretty simple; if the recruit whether committed to GT or any other school is looking around, then he is not committed. Therefore, if he’s a GT commit, GT can also use a scholly that was slated for that recruit and look around too. Nothing hypocritical about it. Of course, it also helps to communicate your intentions with CPJ and I’m sure he’ll be flexible within reason (i.e. Francis Kallon going on visits after he committed or even Shamire DeVine telling CPJ he’s going on some official visits).

Also, if you are going after another school’s commit the coaching staff is using valuable resources to try and attract this commit. If the guy is really committed to the school he pledged to, its a waste of valuable resources so eventually other schools will stop going after him and will target other players.

OCDawg

June 1st, 2012
3:42 pm

GT is just one 2 star away from being where you always are. Damn right we will take quantity and quality, you would too if you could…..but you can’t.

PR

June 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

Kid looks like a good one. Go Dawgs!

JM

June 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

Bowden looks like an excellent player. GT will be better with him on the team.

nash

June 1st, 2012
3:45 pm

Great pick up for tech this Andy McCollum guy is really doing work this year and, this just goes to show that there is enough top end talent in this state for both schools ( UGA & tech) to build talented teams

dawgs no1

June 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

he get upset when they look at other school but it okey for him to do the same.

Ramblin Man

June 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

WnE most of us don’t say they can’t attend GT we say they don’t want the limited majors. Jordan Watkins would more than likely be at GT right now if GT had a journalism program as opposed to GT only being able to offer internships with CNN. The fact that three of the guys in this class have stated they liked what GT has to offer academics does not validate what you have said. I would also argue that harrasing recruits on twitter and having a web page bashing the coaching does not help with recruiting either. Here is a wild idea maybe recruits are seeing what CPJ and staff can do with a few great players, a few good players, and mostly regular players and are saying to themselves with more good to great guys this team can be really good.

NiquePhotog

June 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

By quality I meant kids with their head on straight….so far CPJ is obviously much better at getting those type than Richt.

AnnapolisDawg

June 1st, 2012
3:47 pm

South GA: Star rating doesn’t equate to wins. For example, you will still lose 9 out of 10 this decade as well.

NiquePhotog

June 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

“Star rating doesn’t equate to wins”

HA! UGA is the epitome of this statement.

Ramblnwrek

June 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

I think this is fruit of the labor when we switched recruiting coordinators a few years ago. Andy McCollum took over, ironically from NC State. I wont claim to know all that much about CFB but I do know it takes time, effort, and persevernce. So good work on the recuiting staff. Now we on to step 2, sign them and turn these good recuits into good players and hopefully wins. Go Jackets!

AnnapolisDawg

June 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

Congrats to this young man and his family; shouldn’t be too hard to find seats for the Bowden family at the home games :) !

south georgia jacket

June 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

Poor Dwags can’t just accept we got another good one. Show some class..I have never said anything about a DWAG recruit and never will. Bark says you will play for the MNC this year!