There will be many things the Yellow Jackets need to do to recruit successfully. None will be more important than recruiting a certain county just to the east of Atlanta.
Recruit Gwinnett County, and recruit it hard.
Few counties in America can remotely match the eastern Atlanta suburban area called Gwinnett County. The majority of power five programs across the country recruit Gwinnett, and it’s time Georgia Tech began to protect its own backyard.
Why is Gwinnett County so much different? The people there believe football is important; it’s a culture. It’s a social event. The following photo was taken last fall when I visited Central Gwinnett High School. How many high schools financially invest this much into a football stadium?
Now that’s dedication to football.
Of course the kids growing up in Gwinnett County want to be a part of something like that. It’s iconic for those young people to want to be like the local high school football star. Dixie high school football has long since been a cultural phenomenon, but football in Gwinnett County goes to an extreme level rarely seen anywhere else.
That’s a big reason why Gwinnett County continually sees coaches come in from programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Auburn, Texas, LSU, Miami, Michigan and Stanford sign top-notch Gwinnett County players.
To build winning football teams, moving forward, more Gwinnett County talent needs to be added to the Georgia Tech roster. The Georgia Tech coaching staff needs to help build a pipeline into one of the most concentrated areas of high school football recruiting hotbeds. It needs to start with the class of 2021.
For instance, just luring talented tailback Cody Brown to take an official visit to Georgia Tech would be huge. The 6-0, 215-pound talent from Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview continues to be recruited by elite programs, but he’s also a leader and fantastic student. In short, Brown would be a great fit at Georgia Tech. News of him visiting Georgia Tech would help build the Georgia Tech recruiting brand.
While Brown is a household name, Gwinnett County is also full of players like James Smith, DE, 6-2, 230, Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill. While currently possessing lower-level Division I offers, that will soon change. The film does not lie.
Smith is just one of many Gwinnett prospects that could end up with a plethora of offers that currently reside in anonymity. It’s not just the four and five star players that the ‘Ramblin Wreck need to sign. They need players that will grind to get better, and they use that effort in accordance with their raw athletic talent. Gwinnett is full of prospects with ‘high ceiling’ potential to be great.
It’s up to Georgia Tech to find them, and what better place than Gwinnett County, where football is undoubtedly king. Gwinnett County is full of talent, like Brown, like Smith, and like current Georgia Tech commitment Jamal Haynes, ATH, 5-8, 170, Loganville (Grayson). While diminutive, this Gwinnett County prospect can run!
All of the prospects above, and many more from Gwinnett County, can help the Yellow Jackets win big. Perhaps that begins with a bevvy of three star prospects and works its way forward. Hard to say. Regardless, the Georgia Tech staff must constantly be monitoring all the talented prospects from the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023. It’s a process. A long process.
Programs like Brookwood, North Gwinnett, Grayson, Archer, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Buford, Peachtree Ridge, Lanier, Norcross, and Parkview (see photo below) constantly produce quality college football players, and all call Gwinnett County home.
What can the Yellow Jackets do beyond sheer effort? That’s the biggest question, and one with a clear answer, believe it or not.
Few winning plans begin without enthusiasm. That starts with Coach Collins. He must believe in each coach that he sends to Gwinnett County to recruit, and each of those coaches must also believe they will recruit well.
From there, Georgia Tech will be able to use close distance from home, power five football, early playing time, and a fantastic academic institution as wonderful selling points to each prospective Gwinnett County prospect.
Georgia Tech’s recruiting success begins close to home. It begins in Gwinnett County.
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