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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

Georgia Tech uses same strategy as out-of-state schools to land recruit

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With Trent Sellers, Georgia Tech employed the same effective strategy that out-of-state schools often use to raid Georgia talent.

Sellers is a two-star defensive end from Sandy Creek High School who recently committed to Georgia Tech.

Not many recruiting analysts or college scouts knew about Sellers because he’s raw and undeveloped, he’s still growing into his 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame, he wasn’t on the camp circuit, and he was only a part-time starter at Sandy Creek last year.

Auburn legacy Trent Sellers

Auburn legacy Trent Sellers

Georgia Tech discovered Sellers through some good, old-fashioned hard work: The Yellow Jackets dispatched coaches to observe Sellers this spring at Sandy Creek’s. They fell in love with Sellers and – trusting their own evaluations and not recruiting rankings or offer sheets – quickly made an offer and accepted his commitment.

“Georgia Tech did their homework and found a kid they liked,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker told the AJC. “They weren’t worried about anything else. They liked him, and they wanted him. To me, that’s what good scouting and good recruiting is all about.

“They didn’t need to look at rankings or how other colleges felt about him. In about two years, everybody will be saying ‘Man, that was a great get by Georgia Tech. I honestly feel that way.”

This is the same type of effective recruiting strategy that many out-of-state schools use to raid Georgia talent. Missouri has made it an art form. Last year, Missouri was the only big D1 school to aggressively pursue Bleckley County High School safety Tavon Ross before his senior season. They didn’t care that Ross wasn’t ranked high or didn’t have offers from other big D1 schools. Missouri’s strategy was later rewarded when Ross turned down last-minute offers from UGA, Alabama, Auburn and Miami.

Missouri also went through the same type of situation with North Gwinnett High School wide receiver Nate Brown, who turned down late offers from UGA and South Carolina.

Back to Georgia Tech and Trent Sellers:

“Georgia Tech came by in the spring, and they liked Trent the first time they saw him,” Walker said. “It kind of all worked out. They liked him, and he liked them. They went ahead and got it done, know what I mean?

“Trent is an extremely, extremely physical football player. He’s got huge motor. He had a great spring for us. He has put on 25 or 30 pounds since last football season. He’s up over 230 pounds and 6-foot-4 or close to it. He has a good frame. He has a lot of ability.
“He was very, very impressive during the spring for us. He was probably the most impressive defensive player we had. He has really worked hard to get where he’s at. I think it’s going to be a great ‘get’ for Georgia Tech, I really do.”

Georgia Tech is the first offer and only offer for Sellers. His father (Lee Sellers) played football at Auburn, and the younger Sellers had gotten some curious looks from Auburn, along with Memphis, Clemson, Florida and Kentucky. But they all wanted to see more of Sellers in the fall.

“This is my take on it: When you sit and watch his film from last season, he weighs 200 or 205 pounds,” Walker said. “The boy has put in a lot of hard work in the offseason. If you come watch him in the spring, he’s like a whole different ballplayer, know what I mean?

“You’ve got to do your homework for kids like this if you’re a college coach. You can’t just sit in your office and watch tape. You’ve got to go out and see kids, and that’s what Georgia Tech did. They came and saw him and loved him and came back and saw him. They were sold on him.”

Sellers, who is one of the youngest members of his class, projects to play defensive end at Georgia Tech. “They will start him off at defensive end, and if he grows, there’s no telling where they will put him,” Walker said. “He has got a lot of growth left in him yet.”

TO GET THE BIG PICTURE

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

mcarvell@ajc.com

– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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