Posted: 1:40 am Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Ex-Tennessee signee eliminates Georgia Tech, per report (UPDATED) 

By Michael Carvell

UPDATE: Cofer’s father told GoVolsExtra.com’s Ben Frederickson on Wednesday afternoon that Georgia Tech has been eliminated and his son’s three finalists are FSU, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Phil Cofer, the state’s No. 8 overall college basketball prospect, will take official visits to Florida State and Georgia Tech after getting a release from Tennessee.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Whitewater High School signed with Tennessee in last November’s early period, but was granted a release from his letter of intent after the Volunteers recently changed coaches.

Phil Cofer (247sports)

Phil Cofer (247sports)

“It seems like a lot of people want him, and he hasn’t made up his mind yet,” Whitewater coach Mark Fisher told the AJC.

“I think Florida State and Georgia Tech are the top two. I believe he’s going to Florida State on Thursday for a visit, and then Georgia Tech after that.”

Rivals.com’s Dan McDonald reported that Virginia Tech and Tennessee are also among the 3-star’s finalists. Both of Cofer’s parents were athletes at Tennessee, with his father (Michael Cofer) later playing 10 years in the NFL.

“He got his release after the coach (Cuonzo Martin) left Tennessee,” Fisher said. “The coach left, and other recruits left. I think that’s what got him.”

Is Tennessee still in the race? “I really think it’s down to the ACC is what he’s looking at. I really think Florida State and Georgia Tech are the top ones.”

Cofer has also generated interest from other SEC schools, but he would have to sit out two seasons due to conference rules.

“Schools from everywhere have called,” Fisher said. “This has opened up a whole new can of beans for him. Everybody has been in contact since he’s rescinded. We’re just leaving it in God’s hands and we’ll see what happens.

“He’s something else. He’s a heck of a player. He’s a great kid and he’s a humble kid. Somebody is going to get really lucky.

What does Cofer like about FSU? “I think he sees a situation where he can actually play early. He can step in there and play. And I think that’s what Tech has, too. Tech seems to think he can come in and play – make a difference right off the bat.”

What is appealing about Georgia Tech? “I think he likes that he would be able to stay close to his family. He’s at home, but he’s not at home, you know? His dad is ill, and that’s got something to do with it. Plus he’s got friends at Georgia Tech.”

“I’d love to see him go to Georgia Tech,” Fisher said. “I’m just a local guy. But whatever he feels like is good for him is good for everybody. He’s just a great kid, and we’re all so proud of him.

“He’s old school. He’s humble. He doesn’t come to practice to showboat. He’s just a good kid. The other kids love being around him. He’s very humble. To me that’s the greatest characteristic you can have. He’s just a great kid.”

RELATED: Another ex-Tennessee signee from Georgia, Morgan County High School’s CJ Turman, is going elsewhere. The 6-9, 235-pound forward appears to be part of a package deal at Florida Atlantic. Morgan County coach Charlemagne Gibbons was hired as an assistant at Florida Atlantic last Friday, and Turman committed there the next day. Turman is the state’s No. 9 overall prospect. (Note: Even though FAU issued a press release about the “signing” of Turman, he won’t be an official signee at FAU until he attends the first day of classes on campus. You can’t sign two letters of intent in the same calendar year, per NCAA rules. He’s committed and still can take official visits to other colleges).

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18 comments
HoopStar
HoopStar

Where did you get your info on Turman/Gibbons being a package deal? Curry took the job in early April & I'm pretty sure he had his staff in mind when he took the job. Cuonzo left Tennessee in mid April. All of Tennessee's '14 recruiting class ask for releases with Turman (being the last of the 4) asking for his release late April. No way this is a package deal. I say it was perfect timing. Good things happen to good people!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Michael....can you explain the theory behind a 2 year suspension within a conference for a player after a coach leaves a university?  I just can't make sense of the philosophy tied to this.

Jim70
Jim70

Dumb to eliminate ga tech if you want your family and friends to go to our games.  have your mom and dad pretend there is a 7 pm week night game and drive to va tech and then come back three or four hours later.  same for FSU.   Tennessee is easier, but not like playing in Atlanta.

Pereira
Pereira

Michael, any news of UGA's effort to fill their third open spot?  I can't find anything, anywhere that lists BB prospects still considering UGA at this point.

POAD2014
POAD2014

Jut make the right choice now and play ball the Sitting for years is crap. Sitting 1 season is OK but not 2.

inoto20
inoto20

Huh? Proofread much? 


Rivals.com’s Dan McDonald reported that Virginia Tech and Tennessee are also among the 3-star’s finalists. Both of Cofer’s parents were athletes at Tennessee, with his father (Michael Cofer) later playing 10 years in the NFL.

“He got his release after the coach (Cuonzo Martin) left Tennessee,” Fisher said. “The coach left, and other recruits left. I think that’s what go him.”

Caius
Caius

Every year there are several players who transfer to be closer to home due to family illness.  GT had one this past season in Trae Golden. Young Cofer has a chance to get it right.  If not GT, then GSU right down the street.  Both are 45 minutes from his parent's home.


In the end family is more important.


thebucket
thebucket

I understand there is not an easy solution to what I am about to say, but there is something shady about holding 18 year olds accountable for their commitment and forcing them to sit out 1 or 2 years if they transfer due to a coaching change, yet you allow adult coaches to rip their contract and coach immediately at another college.

juvenal
juvenal

this could herald the return of the Thrillerdome! let none forget Bobby's strength was recruiting, not game tactics......

Jim70
Jim70

Good that coach saved a scholarship. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Man the size of these kids nowadays is unreal, when i was in High school the only person who was 6-8 was the janitor on a ladder.

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator

@HoopStar  I got it from simple logic. Tiny FAU could've hired an assistant from tens of thousands of high schools or colleges, and they just happened to settle on the high school coach of an uncommitted top 10 prospect in Georgia? What a coincidence! Yeah, right.

Caius
Caius

@thebucket I completely agree.  Give the kids the same rights as the coaches.

HoopStar
HoopStar

@MichaelCarvell @HoopStar That's not logic, that's assumption. Curry had the coach pegged as one of his targets & the kid was sign back in November to attend Rocky Top. That kills your package deal theory. Cuonzo leaves & the kid gets a release. Now, if I was the kid's parent, that's a no brainer!  You're familiar with the coach & you're going to play for a coach who has NBA coaching experience. I don't think they'll be TINY FAU for long! Thanks for the reply though Michael!

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator

@HoopStar I respectfully disagree, and say there's a 0% chance CJ Turman goes to FAU if his HS coach hadn't been hired there.