A couple of days ago, the AJC's Michael Carvell suggested one of the state of Georgia's top basketball prospects would come down to Tech vs UGA for his college choice.
Milton High's Julian Royal has narrowed his college choices to 3 schools (Wake Forest also included), but Carvell feels he will ultimately choose between one of the two in state powers.
Seems like Royal's father Charles wants him to stay in state - “As a parent, if Julian chose between Georgia and Georgia Tech, I’d win,”
When asked about each school, Mr. Royal had the following comments:
“What’s not to like about [UGA coach] Mark Fox? I think he has done the program justice since he has been there,” the elder Royal said. “We’ve been fortunate to be there for a few games last year. He’s got those guys thinking about winning. The facilities are impressive.”
“Those guys have been on us for quite a time. We have an old picture of Julian with [Georgia Tech coach] Paul Hewitt when he was 10 or 11 years old. Julian had a pot belly and was significantly shorter, looking nothing like he does now. Georgia Tech has a great reputation and plays in the tough ACC.”
Sounds to me as if Fox has impressed the Royal's more than Hewitt as of late as has the UGA Basketball program in general - attitude, facilities, direction.
But one cannot deny the amount of NBA players that have come from the Georgia Tech program. Say what you want about his development skills, but Hewitt has shown he can get guys to the next level. Everyone from top prospects like Derrick Favors to former walk-ons like Mario West. Kids at this level of high school basketball want to play in the NBA despite what they may say about the importance of education.
Royal could be a swing recruit for each program.
Fox has opened local kids eyes as to what can be done in Athens. If UGA gets him it signals a clear shift in power to Athens for in state kids. The Marcus Thornton signing was nice, but it would have never happened if Oliver Purnell doesn't leave Clemson and who knows about if he wouldn't have had to sit out a year at Tech because of an ACC transfer rule.
If Royal goes to Tech, then Hewitt has not lost his recruiting touch despite rumblings about his recent lack of success. It signals the draw of playing in the ACC against the Carolina's and Duke's still has the twinkle of recruits' eyes.
Royal's decision may have a lot to do with what happens on December 7th.