One of Georgia Tech’s top football recruits said he got a call on Monday evening from Paul Johnson, explaining the team’s coaching changes.
Darius Commissiong, a three-star defensive tackle from Forestville, Md., was told that Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh had been relieved of his duties, while a few other assistants had been moved around on defense.
“I was shocked at first because Coach Groh was my recruiting coach, and we talked on a nightly basis,” Commissiong said. “I was disappointed because he was like a father figure to me. We used to talk about a lot of things outside of football. He would give me life advice, and things like that.
“But that’s the business aspect of college football, especially when things aren’t going as well as you would like. I think a big part of it was Clemson putting up 600 yards against them last week. I thought the defense was doing pretty well at the beginning of the season, then they got to the Miami game and lost to Middle Tennessee State. Those things piled up. You’ve got to make changes when they are necessary, and I understand that.”
Commissiong said he talked to Johnson for around 20 minutes over the phone.
On what Paul Johnson said: “He said basically that they switched defensive coordinators. They are not going to go away from what they’re doing, other than some little tweaks with the defensive line. Coach Johnson wanted me to know that they’re still excited about me, and he’s still depending on me to come in and play next season. He’s ready to move forward, and that was about it.”
On why the change was made: “I asked Coach Johnson about that. He felt like they were trying to make some changes to see what happens over the last half of the season. They want to see if there’s any improvement. I don’t blame them, with the way the season is going right now. You’ve got to try something, and I guess Coach Johnson felt like defense was the first thing that needed to be changed.
On his commitment to Georgia Tech: Commissiong is still being actively recruited by Penn State, Maryland, Clemson and Ohio State. “I’m still committed to Georgia Tech. I love the school. I love Atlanta. I could see myself playing in that scheme. I feel like I have a good opportunity. They say if I go in there and do everything that I’m supposed to do, I’m going to be playing. I’m excited about that. I have a dream of going to the NFL, and I feel like I can do that from there. Coach Johnson is a great coach, and he feels like that this is the best move for them right now. I’m pretty solid on my commitment. I just want to see how the rest of the season goes, to see if there actually is a change. Right now, I don’t think I will visit other schools. I don’t plan on it.”
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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