Sunday, October 17, 2010

How Georgia Tech Beat Out UGA For Basketball Recruit Julian Royal

Milton High star Julian Royal announced this past week he plans to sign with Georgia Tech. The senior, who is rated the 90th best prospect in the nation for 2011, came down to Tech and UGA after eliminating Wake Forest last week.

Royal had visited all three schools recently, but was very coy on what he thought about each. What we did know was that Royal had known Paul Hewitt and the Georgia Tech staff a long time while UGA's Mark Fox was a relative newcomer to the state.

However, the Georgia Bulldogs have been making great strides in recruiting especially in state signing Marcus Thornton this past year and gaining a commitment from Kentavious Caldwell, the top prospect in the state according to Rivals, for next year.

The basketball program in Athens looks to be on the rise, while the one in Atlanta seems to stuck in mediocrity with the run to the national championship game in 2004 seeming like a distant memory.

If Royal had pledged to UGA it would have signaled a clear shift in power towards Athens.

But Hewitt made sure Royal knew he was Tech's top target for this recruiting class and rightly so. The Yellow Jackets are very thin in the post this season and will need big bodies next year too.

Hewitt's critics are numerous for his results on the court, especially in ACC play but you cannot deny the man's ability to recruit.

Royal had been on Tech's radar for a long time. Julian has been attending basketball camps in Atlanta for years and had developed a strong relationship with Hewitt in that span.

After his announcement, Royal said he thought he would have felt very comfortable at both schools showing the ground Fox and the UGA program had made up in a short amount of time.

But Hewitt's long standing relationship with Royal and his family proved to be the difference in the end.

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