Won over by Geoff Collins and his staff, Central Gwinnett High outside linebacker Cornelius Evans gave his commitment to join the new Georgia Tech head coach’s first signing class Sunday.
Evans can officially join the 16-member class in the February signing period, which begins Feb. 6. Evans said he informed Collins of his intentions Sunday morning at the end of his official visit.
“The visit was amazing,” Evans told the AJC. “That’s the one reason why I did commit, just seeing the program and seeing how everything’s about to change for the better. It opened up my eyes.”
Evans said he and his family were sitting in Collins’ office Sunday when he told Collins that “Georgia Tech is where I need to be.”
Said Evans, “He was like, I think so, too.”
Evans was taken by the energy and positivity that he felt on the visit with Collins and his staff.
“The way he’s about to bring this program up, you can just feel it,” he said. “It’s nothing you have to actually see. It’s not one specific thing you have to see that makes you want to commit. The coaching staff, the people – all of that – coach (Marco) Coleman, they just did it.”
Evans will be coached by Coleman, the Tech legend who recently was hired as assistant coach for outside linebackers and defensive ends.
“He’s a big part of why I wanted to go to Georgia Tech,” Evans said of Coleman. “He was in the (NFL) 14 years, he knows the game inside out and he’s a good dude. He has a lot to teach me.”
Evans had previously made official visits to Rutgers and Coastal Carolina. He had upcoming official visits scheduled for Louisville and Colorado State. But he said he’s closing down his recruitment, saying he was sure about decision.
Evans, 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, has the body size and attributes that Collins and defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker have made a priority – athletic and long.
Thacker showed his sincere interest in Evans by showing up his house, along with defensive assistant coaches Larry Knight and Jeff Popovich, shortly after midnight on Jan. 11, the first day that NCAA rules permit college coaches to go off campus to meet with prospects. It was then that Tech made its scholarship offer. Evans said he was told that Collins was going to take one more player at outside linebacker, and he was the first choice.
“It showed me that they actually wanted me,” Evans said. “It showed me that they actually cared and were ready to get the ball rolling.”