ATLANTA — Francis Kallon says Georgia Tech was the 12th school to offer him a scholarship.
Even so, the offer came before Kallon even played in a game.
Kallon (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) showed great potential as a pass-rushing defensive end in his only season of football at Central Gwinnett High School after moving from England. He flashed so much promise in his first spring practice he says he received 12 offers, including the one from Georgia Tech, before even playing a game.
“It’s still overwhelming,” Kallon said Wednesday following his signing day ceremony with seven other Central Gwinnett players.
“It was like a dream, just the fact I was going to college for free without actually even stepping on a high school playing field. It was overwhelming in itself.”
Discovering Kallon was also like a dream for Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and his staff. Johnson said it was an easy decision to make the quick offer to the unpolished defensive end. Johnson knew he couldn’t wait.
“Our coaches knew about him,” Johnson said. “We saw him in school. From watching him run around in spring practice, we knew he was going to blow up.”
Johnson was correct. Kallon “blew up” with such schools as Notre Dame, Auburn and Southern California trying to coax the big end into making visits. But after making his early commitment to sign with Georgia Tech, Kallon wouldn’t budge. He made an official visit to only one other school, Auburn.
But after his big senior season, he was perhaps Georgia Tech’s most illustrious signee on Wednesday. He had 18 tackles for losses, including eight sacks, as a senior.
Johnson signed 17 players, including Adam Gotsis (6-5, 300), a defensive lineman from Australia.
Georgia Tech also signed another four-star recruit, receiver Justin Thomas, of Prattville, Ala.