Here are five things to know about Georgia Tech’s new quarterback commitment, Jaylend Ratliffe.
The 3-star from Scotland County, N.C., pledged to the Yellow Jackets over North Carolina on Saturday, while also considering N.C. State. He’s left-handed.
- It was all about the opportunity: “I just felt like Georgia Tech was the best for me,” Ratliffe said. “I told my coach I want to make money when I grow up. I want to make money and win championships; Georgia Tech wins a lot of championships, and wins a lot of bowl games. And if I get a degree from Georgia Tech, I can work anywhere in the world. So that’s what is the best for me, and what I want to do.” What does Ratliffe want to get his degree in? “Whatever. I just want to make money. As long I’m going to make a lot of money, I could get a degree in anything. I don’t know yet. If I get a degree from Georgia Tech, I could be making over $100,000 a year my first year out of college.”
- Love at first sight. Ratliffe’s heart was stolen when he attended his first Georgia Tech game, last November’s thriller against archrival UGA. “When I went to the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, I just fell in love that night. To me, the atmosphere was like an SEC game. I fell in love with it. They took it to double overtime. If you can go double overtime with Georgia, you can win against anybody. They were up 20-0 at the end of the third quarter. I fell in love with Georgia Tech that night, and wanted to come back and see the campus this spring.”
- Born to play QB. Georgia Tech beat out North Carolina because of the promise to play QB. Ratliffe is listed as a dual-threat quarterback by Rivals, but as an “athlete” by 247sports. “I don’t really know (what position) with Carolina and that’s why I didn’t commit to Carolina — because I couldn’t trust them. Georgia Tech wanted me as a quarterback. Georgia Tech loved me for who I was. They offered me as a quarterback. I was the only quarterback out of my class that they offered. I was the No. 1 recruit on their recruiting board. So why not go to a school that loves you the most, you know? I think N.C. State wanted me as quarterback but I didn’t think they were as serious. I don’t know. But I do know Georgia Tech wants me to play quarterback. And if you pay attention to Paul Johnson’s record against North Carolina teams, it’s like 17-2. Why not go to a school that wins ballgames? I’m not trying to talk down North Carolina teams or anything, though. I have respect for everybody.”
- A similar N.C. upbringing as Paul Johnson. “My biggest (concern about) Georgia Tech was coming from a small town in North Carolina around cotton fields and corn fields to go to the big city of Atlanta. I don’t want to get caught up in the big city and not go there and not do what is my job. And I talked to Coach Johnson about it because he’s from a small town in the North Carolina mountains. I asked him how it was. And I prayed about it, and I talked to God about it. He answered me, and told me to go to Georgia Tech. That’s what God told me to do.”
- Loves Georgia Tech’s “Ramblin Wreck,” the antique car that serves as a team mascot. “I took a picture with the Ramblin Wreck. It was at a hotel in downtown Atlanta next to the Georgia Tech bookstore. I told Coach Johnson if I commit to Georgia Tech, I want to get in that car for a ride. I want them to drive me around the city in that car.”
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