Georgia Tech has made two serious runs at Delando Crooks since the summer. But the 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman from Carver-Atlanta High School hasn’t been ready to make his college decision, according to his coach.
Crooks is one of the state’s top uncommitted prospects on the offensive line. At one time or another, he held offers from both Georgia Tech and UGA. He is still being heavily recruited by Stanford, Vanderbilt, Purdue and North Carolina, among others.
“Delando is not like some of these other kids who get carried away with recruiting and want to hold a special press conference to tell everybody where he’s going to college,” Carver-Atlanta coach Darren Myles told the AJC. “He just wants to take his visits so he can evaluate the schools evenly. He loves football but he’s serious about finding the right academic school as well.”
Georgia Tech has 13 commits for 2013, including three offensive linemen. The Yellow Jackets made their first run at Crooks after a pair of offensive linemen from Tri-Cities, Shamire DeVine and Jeremi Hall, pledged to the ACC school last June.
“Georgia Tech got the two big boys from Tri-Cities, said they only had one spot available, and said they needed to know from Delando if he was interested in that spot,” Myles said. “He wasn’t ready to commit, and Georgia Tech decided to move forward with somebody else.”
Flash forward to about three weeks ago: Out of the blue, the Carver coach said he was approached again by Georgia Tech: “(Assistant Buzz Preston) called and said they had another scholarship that came available. They wanted to know again if Delando was interested. At that point, Delando elected to decline.”
Why not commit to Georgia Tech? “Well I guess the main reason is that he wasn’t ready to make a decision. It wasn’t so much not liking Georgia Tech because Georgia Tech is a great institution. He loves the coaching staff and they’ve been real cordial. I guess Delando kind of felt pressured by Georgia Tech to make a decision, and he’s just not ready.”
Myles isn’t sure if Geogria Tech will keep recruiting Crooks, or if UGA will make another run. There were rumors that last spring that Crooks was on the verge of committing to the Bulldogs before they got other commitments along the offensive line.
“I don’t know what happened with Georgia,” Myles said. “I haven’t heard from (recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner) in a while. He stopped calling and stopped coming around. My guess is it may be the same situation as Georgia Tech – they got the people they wanted and didn’t have anything else to offer Delando.
“I’m only presuming this because I haven’t heard from Rodney or anybody else at UGA to tell me otherwise. I know Georgia had a bye week last week and no one came by our school. That’s a sign they’ve decided to move on.”
Crooks, who has a 3.5 GPA and 18 hours of college credit, has only taken one official visit, touring Purdue during his team’s bye week. He will wait until after the season before setting up other recruiting trips.
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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