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Posted: 1:18 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson on 'committable' offers and more 

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Sixth season under Paul Johnson
Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson will have his final summer camp for HS prospects at 1 p.m. Sunday. It costs $40. For more info, go to http://www.ramblinwreck.com/camps/football-camps.html

By Michael Carvell

How do you know if you have a “committable offer” from Georgia Tech?

It’s pretty easy, according to Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson:

All Georgia Tech scholarship offers are committable offers.

“I don’t know what a ‘committable’ offer is,” Johnson said. “To me, when you offer a kid a scholarship, you’ve got to let them commit, otherwise you’re not really offering. I just don’t get into playing all the games.”

Some colleges do play the games. They will make a scholarship offer to a kid, only if he’ll come to the college’s camp and perform well enough in front of the coaches. But that’s not a “committable” offer when it’s made. There’s a difference (and this not to be confused with offering several kids at the same position and whomever commits first gets the spot).

Nick Saban recently turned heads when he admitted (perhaps accidentally) that not all Alabama offers are committable.

In Georgia, some out-of-state colleges (not Alabama, but other schools we won’t name) have been known to make scholarship offers just to stay in the hunt for a player. In other words, the college isn’t sure whether or not they will accept a commitment, but the “offer” buys them time while they evaluate.

UGA and Georgia Tech can’t do the same thing, at least in Georgia, because – being the in-state schools -- they are held more accountable by fans, alumni, high school coaches, etc.

“I guess everybody does it different, I don’t know,” Johnson said. “I don’t care if they come from an out-of-state school or wherever. I wouldn’t go to any other state and do that. Know what I’m saying?

“Now, who knows sometimes what assistant coaches say and what they do? They tell people to get in or whatever, and then all of sudden maybe if a kid says ‘Hey, I’m committing.’ They are like “Hey, well wait’ because probably they’ve never gotten it approved or told the head coach.”

So how does a kid officially know that he has a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech? At UGA, the word has to come directly from the man at the top, Mark Richt. With the Yellow Jackets, you can take it as the gospel when you hear it from Johnson or any of his assistants.

  “It’s like I tell our coaches: When we offer them, you better be willing to take them, because if they tell you they are coming, we are taking them,” Johnson said. “Unless they’ve cleared it by me, yes, they’ve got to call me and tell me they’re committing. I think our guys are smart enough, they don’t offer too many people. They’ve got leeway if they see good players. But I’ve got to see the tape, and I’ve got to talk to the kid. I’m not going to take some kid I’ve never met before and I’ve never seen.

  “Yes, I have to sign off on all of them. If the assistant coaches are on the road, go into a school, watch the tape and call the coach to say ‘We’re going to offer (your kid),’ then 99.9% of the time, they’ve cleared it with me already. You wouldn’t be smart as an assistant to offer 50 guys and not clear it with the head coach. Then when they tried to commit, then tell them ‘Just hang on, we’ve got to get you on campus, we want you to meet the head coach.’

  “But that’s the way the game works in college football. Do our guys do that? I don’t know. I would hope not. But who knows.”

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Michael Carvell

About Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell covers College Football Recruiting. He started at the AJC in 1997 and has covered several beats, including NBA/Hawks and NASCAR.

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