Posted: 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
One of Georgia’s top offensive linemen committed to Clemson on Wednesday.
Zach Giella, a 6-foot-6, 300-pounder from Augusta Christian high school, picked Clemson over LSU and Ole Miss.
“I’ve been talking to my family about this for weeks, and praying about it,” Giella told the AJC. “And I feel like Clemson is the place for me. And I wanted to go ahead and pull the trigger. They only had one spot left for offensive tackles in this class, and I didn’t want to let this pass me by.
“I love everything about Clemson. I love the staff. They all seem like some great Christian guys. The offensive coordinator (Chad Morris) has been my personal recruiter. Ever since they offered, he has been in nonstop contact with me on Twitter, and he has come to my school twice. He’s a heck of a recruiter.
“The whole staff is like that. They all seem like great Christian men at Clemson, and that’s important to me. It’s close to home, only an hour or so from my house. They will be able to see me play, and that’s a huge part, too. And it was really a great feeling when I committed.”
Giella delivered the news during a phone call with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who is famous in recruiting circles for getting emotional about a prospect’s decision.
“I talked to coach Swinney, and he gave his ‘A’ game speech about the school and the football program,” Giella said.
“I told him ‘Coach, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that. I want to let you know that I’ve been talking to my family and praying about it, and I feel like Clemson is the place for me. And I want to play for Clemson University.’
“He flipped out on the phone. He started yelling and stuff. He was super excited. He said he was going to recruit me really hard. He was so excited, and I can’t wait to play for him.”
Giella, who is rated as a 3-star and as the state’s No. 66 overall prospect (but will likely bump up in the next rankings), isn’t sure where he will play at Clemson. But he doesn’t care.
“They are recruiting me as a tackle but coach Swinney said he loves my versatility,” Giella said. “He said I could play center or any of the guard and tackle positions on the right or left side. Whatever they need, I could do it.”
What about UGA and Georgia Tech? Giella attended UGA’s spring game to speak to the coaches but hasn’t heard back from the Bulldogs since. Giella made an unofficial visit last week to Georgia Tech. Yellow Jackets offensive line coach Mike Sewak coached Giella’s older brother at Georgia Southern.
“It really was a great visit, and coach Sewak was a great guy,” Giella said. “We really enjoyed doing everything with him. It was a really great visit. He has done a great job of recruiting me. Georgia Tech is a great school. It’s just that Clemson is where my heart is. I think God was speaking to me though prayer.”
As expected with all top recruits, other schools aren’t giving up on Giella just yet. He informed LSU that he committed to Clemson on Wednesday, but the Tigers are still sending a coach to the private Christian school on Friday. Michigan State will be there on Thursday, and FSU and East Carolina stopped by earlier in the week.
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