Milton High quarterback Jordan Yates committed to Georgia Tech on Thursday (June 21, 2018) before making a public announcement on the following day. (Courtesy Jordan Yates)

Georgia Tech commit Jordan Yates was up against clock

On the way to his commitment to Georgia Tech, Jordan Yates had to endure a little bit of recruiting drama. The Milton High quarterback made it work.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Yates said. “It was worth it.”

Yates, a three-star prospect, committed to Tech on Thursday, the ninth rising senior to join the Yellow Jackets’ 2019 recruiting class and the second quarterback.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Yates said.

Yates said that Tech had been recruiting him for about a year, but had not made a scholarship offer. With a four-week dead period (when coaches cannot meet face-to-face with prospects) starting Monday, Yates was considering making his commitment this week so he could wrap up his recruiting before his senior year began. But with no offer from Tech, it appeared he might have to make that decision without Tech as an option.

However, quarterbacks and B-backs coach Craig Candeto texted him Wednesday, days before his self-imposed deadline. Candeto asked him to call, and then made a scholarship offer to Yates. (As it so happened, Yates was in New Orleans, about to make an unofficial visit to Tulane, one of a number of FBS offers he had.) However, Yates said, the offer came with a caveat: He had to accept it by Friday, or Tech would move on.

Further, Yates said he wasn’t the only one on the clock. Yates said that he had had a conversation with coach Paul Johnson the week before – this was before Yates had his offer – and Johnson told him that Tech had offers out to a couple of other quarterbacks, and they were under the same deadline.

Given the length of time that Tech had been recruiting him, Yates figured an offer would come eventually. But, given the dynamics around him, it was not a sure thing. Tech was planning to take two quarterbacks for the 2019 class to increase the depth chart to five quarterbacks. Demetrius Knight of Strong Rock Christian School in Henry County took one of the spots June 18. Delving into the realm of the hypothetical, had one of the other two quarterbacks accepted the offer for the other spot before Wednesday, Yates likely would never have gotten his offer.

So there was all that. And once Yates actually got his offer, there was the fact that he wasn’t immediately sure he wanted to accept it.

So, after receiving his offer Wednesday morning, he had until Friday to decide if he wanted to attend and play for Tech, and he also had to make it with the possibility that one of the other two quarterbacks could claim the spot before he did.

No pressure, kid.

Yates recognized it as part of what can happen in recruiting.

“You’d be surprised how much it happens, honestly,” Yates said.

As an example, Yates said that another school put him and another prospect in something of a holding pattern, saying that if a particular player in its recruiting class withdrew his commitment, he and another player would be the two candidates to take his spot.

“It’s a very interesting thing,” Yates said.

After the Tulane visit Wednesday, he and his parents talked it over Thursday. He said he was so consumed with the decision that he didn’t have time to consider the possibility that one of the other two quarterbacks might take the spot before him.

Before the end of the day, he decided on Tech. The school is close to home, he finds the offense to be a fit for his skill set and the academics are strong. It didn’t hurt that his parents have always liked Tech and that his mother’s parents work there. He called Candeto on Thursday night.

“He was really excited,” Yates said.

In Yates, Tech will be getting a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and track) who has started at quarterback and shooting guard since his sophomore year. He’s also an honors student with a 3.9 GPA who had offers from Ivy League schools as well as a number of FBS schools (Air Force, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Georgia State, among others).

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Yates is a dual-threat quarterback who threw for 2,011 yards and ran for 1,044. His highlight video shows a running burst through the linebacker level and the ability to throw with accuracy downfield. Yates shared that coaches have told him they like his athletic ability and arm.

Yates isn’t sure if he would have stuck to his plan to commit before the dead period had Tech not offered. He might have waited. All’s well that ends well.

“I just felt like that was best to (commit before the dead period), and Tech offered at the right time,” he said.

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