In tweet, Kyle Cerge-Henderson makes bold cash offer on Georgia Tech



Former Georgia Tech defensive lineman Kyle Cerge-Henderson was on his way home from a wedding Friday morning when he noticed on his Twitter feed (his wife was driving) that his beloved Yellow Jackets were picked to finish last in the ACC in a preseason media poll.

“I saw the prediction from the ACC page, and I was just like, What the hell?” Cerge-Henderson said. “Are you serious?”

Cerge-Henderson isn’t merely a zealous alumnus. Having completed his playing career in 2018, he still knows plenty of players on the team. He watched the Jackets last season. And, having been around the Tech facility in the winter and spring of 2019 as he prepared for the draft, he has a better idea than most of what coach Geoff Collins was instilling.

Cerge-Henderson thus became inspired to pen a tweet that put his money where his mouth was.

“If Georgia Tech finishes last in the ACC I’ll cash app everybody who retweets this $100,” Cerge-Henderson wrote at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

As of 8:30 p.m. that night, Cerge-Henderson’s offer had been retweeted 750 times.

“I thought I was going to get like, 50, maybe 65 RT’s, but it’s going to be a lot more than I thought,” Cerge-Henderson said. “I’m like, Damn, people think like that? Or, anybody can take a free $100. It is what it is. It is a little funny. I think it’s probably the most retweets I’ve ever gotten.”

Cerge-Henderson said he was inspired by other tweets that had made similar boasts. He said he’d heard from a couple of former teammates, Freddie Burden and J.J. Green, wondering about the wisdom of his tweet.

“I guess you could call me an optimist and they’re kind of like realists, but they were like, Damn – $100?” said Cerge-Henderson, who started 21 games for the Jackets 2015-18. “I was just like, Bro, for one, I’m banking on the fact that it won’t happen. And for two, if it does, which, obviously, I don’t foresee at all, not even close, I’d pay anybody who wanted to come fight me for it.”

Cerge-Henderson is even more optimistic than merely predicting the Jackets for not 15th. He said there will be a “night and day” difference between 2019 and 2020.

“Honestly, knowing at least a gist of how those guys are working and the talent that they have, honestly, I see them top five,” he said. “I don’t want to go over the top and say top three, but top five. Maybe six if one or two games don’t go our way.”

Two years out of Tech, Cerge-Henderson has his own team to coach. He is a defensive-line coach at Plant High in Tampa, Fla., his alma mater. He took the job this summer and is planning to substitute teach, too.

“I love it,” he said. “I really do. Thus far, I feel like it’s really what I was meant to do.”

Last year, Cerge-Henderson was an intern with a paving and construction company in Atlanta, then was offered a full-time job with the same company in Tampa. He took it, moving back home with his wife, Julissa, and young daughter Ava, but then was laid off after the quarantine slowed down work. At that point, he re-evaluated, considering where his passions and talents might intersect. Coaching was one of the first professions that popped into his head, he said, and he was able to secure a position at Plant, a state powerhouse that has produced, among others, Tech freshman quarterback Tucker Gleason.

Cerge-Henderson is in charge of about 10 defensive linemen on the varsity. He said he sometimes uses drills that he once practiced under the eye of his position coaches, Mike Pelton and Jerome Riase.

“They were two great coaches,” Cerge-Henderson said. “I really combine both their personalities on and off the field and the drills and techniques I learned from them both.”

Cerge-Henderson’s ultimate goal is to coach in the NFL. His plan is to learn at the high-school level and then try to get a college job, perhaps a quality-control or graduate-assistant job.

He’ll be keeping his eye on the Jackets in the meantime.

“I think if we come out strong at Florida State and whup up on Florida State and carry the momentum into the (Central Florida) game at home, it’ll be pretty hard to stop a rolling Tech team,” he said.