Posted: 1:04 pm Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Georgia Tech honors football scholarship to badly-injured QB (UPDATED) 

By Michael Carvell

Georgia Tech will honor the football scholarship offer made to Jaylend Ratliffe, the high school quarterback from North Carolina who is recovering from a brain injury.

Ratliffe suffered a fractured skull in an ATV accident last Wednesday. He has undergone several operations and remains in intensive care at a Charlotte hospital.

The 3-star quarterback was one of the first commitments for Georgia Tech’s 2015 recruiting class, pledging the Yellow Jackets last March.

Jaylend Ratliffe (Fayetteville Observer)

Jaylend Ratliffe (Fayetteville Observer)

“Georgia Tech has said that they will follow through and support his scholarship, regardless of his condition,” Scotland High School coach Richard Bailey told the AJC on Thursday.

“Their words were ‘Jaylend is ours, and we are going to take him any way we can” – that they would honor his scholarship whether he could play or not. That was very comforting to the family.

Ratliffe’s return to health – and not football – in the main focus right now. After some scary moments last weekend, including a medically-induced coma to reduce swelling on the brain, Ratliffe’s condition appears to be improving.

His coach described it as “a bunch of small steps in a journey of 100 miles.”

“The doctors really seem positive about his progress,” Bailey said. “I tell people he’s doing better, and I think they envision that he’s getting ready to come home from the hospital. That’s the furthest thing from the truth.

“But I told somebody the other day that I’ve gone from praying every minute that he would just survive the day … to now praying about how well he’s going to come back. ‘How is his long-term prognosis going to be?’

“I feel like we’re past the point where he could die any minute … to now it’s just praying about his progress. I believed all along he was going to pull through. But it was very much touch-and-go there for awhile.”

Ratliffe was taken off his ventilator on Wednesday, so he could breath on his own and strengthen his lungs. He can’t talk yet but is trying. He has been responsive to commands and is starting to recognize people in the room.

“The doctors said that with Jaylend being so young and a great athlete, it is working in his favor,” Bailey said.

“The doctors haven’t said that he won’t be able to make a full comeback. But you just never know with brain injuries. That’s the one thing they’ve repeated consistently to his mother and me: ‘Every brain injury is different. Some people make full recoveries, while others do not.’”

Georgia Tech assistant Bryan Cook, who has recruited Ratliffe for the Yellow Jackets, has communicated with Bailey nearly every day, while coach Paul Johnson has also called.

“Coach Johnson told us that on his recruiting visit that when Jaylend committed – and before this (ATV accident happened) — that if he got injured or blew out a knee, that they would honor his scholarship,” Bailey said.

“We were holding them to that, but they already came forward this week and said that they were going to do that. And they made very sure that I knew that. Georgia Tech has been really good to us.”

As a junior, Ratliffe led Scotland to an appearance in the Class AAAA state championship game.

Note: Several fundraisers have been set up to help Ratliffe and his family with medical expenses:

  • A fund at State Employees Credit Union (SECU) by Laurinburg Police and Scotland County Rescue Squad. This account is only accessible to Ratliffe’s mother, Sharon, and anyone can donate through any SECU branch.
  • The website GoFundMe.com has raised more than $8,000

We’ll provide more information when it becomes available

58 comments
Adamsran
Adamsran

Class move by Georgia Tech...



Good luck with the season, see you in Athens.

ready0422
ready0422

Much respect to GA Tech for this move.

SmyrnaGuy
SmyrnaGuy

I think this is a great move, both ethically and strategically, by the Tech staff.  Should pay dividends down the road

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Jaylend be still, there is a Healer nearby... His love for you is deeper than the sea... His mercy is unfailing and His arms are a fortress for the weak. look-up with faith, open your eyes and reach out your hands to Him... let your faith arise above this issue....

The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. ~ Psalm 41:2-3

"BELIEVE" in the G

ScoutDawg1
ScoutDawg1

Good for Yech, actually a class move. Prayers for Jaylend.

SteveMarbury
SteveMarbury

Guys this thread should be about Jaylend, not anything else.

Teaching350
Teaching350

I hope he has no serious brain damage. Prayers are still going out from the pray list warriors. 

BulldawgRuss
BulldawgRuss

Wish this young man the best. Good move by GT and CPJ to honor the scholly.


Prayers for the young man going up right now.

DawginLex
DawginLex

All I can do is continue to pray for this young man and at the same time stand and applaud GT for doing this

Well done

JimAB
JimAB

Classy move!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Heal fast and get to the Flats Jaylend!!

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

Proud to be a Jacket today.  Well, always proud, but today? it's special.

Get the education, earn the degree, do well in the job.  Life's wonders are ahead of this young man.  Football is nice, but an education and career are way more important.

nevrenuftime
nevrenuftime

MC

Do you know of other schools that have had a player hurt in a similar fashion, ie motor vehicle accident and they were denied a scholly? I know some have gotten hurt while playing but I've never heard of a situation where a schooly was pulled from an incident like this, much less one where the player was severely hurt. 

1942MNC
1942MNC

Well done Tech, well done indeed.  Best wishes to a speedy and full recovery Jaylend.

GT1971
GT1971

Well done Tech and Coach Johnson.


I wish you the best, Jaylend, for a full recovery.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Maybe when he does attend GT, the staff will also find him a spot as a student assit. or something.  Keep in the game and make him part of the team..  Well done GT, well done.

DougKinney
DougKinney

First, all thoughts  prayers go out to this young man.  He is a Tech man...and Georgia Tech takes care of its' student-athletes.  DAMN proud to be a Ramblin' Wreck From Georgia Tech!

Pistol66
Pistol66

Why wouldn't we!  Tech has always honored any commitment that they have made to their student athletes!  This was the primary reason Tech left the SEC, because some schools were pulling scholarships from injured athletes and Tech would not!  Coach Dodd said it was a matter of honor and if the conference didn't ban the schools from doing it Tech would leave!  Most of the schools agreed, but Mississippi State, Mississippi, and LSU refused to go along so Tech left.  When Tech was considering rejoining the conference before they went with the ACC, those three schools made it clear they would not vote for Tech to rejoin, so they didn't!  This information came from Coach Whack Hyder, my favorite all-time Tech coach!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Thanks to these "Class Act Dawgs" on here regardless of good old fashioned hate. Good Form CPJ !! And get well soon young man.

tripleoption3
tripleoption3

so glad AJC posted this story even though it came out a few days ago, not everything at GT is bad news

Techmate
Techmate

Classy move, CPJ and Ga. Tech Athletic Dept. Best wishes to Jaylend and his family and friends. Stay strong.

forexbomb
forexbomb

Class ACT!  That is the RIGHT thing to do...  We are praying for the young man!  

DIT
DIT

Class act Tech!

UGAMadDawg
UGAMadDawg

Very nice GT and Paul Johnson.   Well done.  I hope Jaylend heals 100%.

Bulldawg95
Bulldawg95

This Bulldawg says well done Georgia Tech, well done.

ScoreCheck
ScoreCheck

I'm also proud of GT for doing the right thing.

Best of luck to this young man.  I'm praying for a full recovery.

BKBroila42
BKBroila42

Except any offer to a kid who wants to take a visit to another campus....this is a PR move...nothing more...only Alabama pulls offers when kids get hurt...prayers going up for the young man

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@Pistol66 you make it sound complex but it's simple...Tech left the SEC after Tech fb player Chick Granning was assaulted on the field by Bama's Darwin Holt when the Bama player broke Chick's jaw with a swing of his fist at him; some folks at Tech want to steer clear of the Infirmary at Tech where Chick was resting with his jaw in a cast; they don't get their flu shots there for free, such as when CPJ did not 3 years ago and caught the flu; some Tech folks want to embrace Bama instead of Tech, therefore, why don't they transfer to Bama, get a job there like Curry did or move to Birmingham? why do they want to apply their Bama infatuation to Ga Tech? why do they want "Buzz" instead of the BD years yj on the T-club jacket sleeves that Chick wore, the yj that lasted until '82 when big nosed, tiny-winged "Buzz'" turned new Tech folks on; new Tech folks don't want Tech tradition; coach Hyder was my basketball coach at Tech for the class I took in Winter Quarter of '71 and I got an "A", and he could not possibly have said what you claim he said

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

@ScoreCheck Good on you!


Tech is first class. 

Paul Johnson is first class.

May God touch this youngster and heal him completely.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ScoreCheck Wouldn't that be great ScoreCheck, see this young man walking on the flats in full gear. Ditto on the class act.

bobbyross1990
bobbyross1990

@ScoreCheck Thanks ScoreCheck for class remark. Not all Dogs are jerks. Good luck against the Tigers.

nevrenuftime
nevrenuftime

@BleedingGold @nevrenuftime 

Everyone is applauding gt but I can't recall or imagine any school would ever rescind a scholarship in this kind of tragic event.  I mean it's obvious they wouldn't pull it. Surprised it's even a topic for discussion. Should go without saying.

Gandolph
Gandolph

@drydirtroad @Pistol66 What you are saying is totally devoid of facts.  It happened exactly as Pistol66 stated.  Coach Hyder's statement is also true.  And, while we all whine about how Aubie or Bama "cheats" today, they don't hold a candle to Bryant, who annually would offer as much as 120 scholarships and then "cut" to get down to 90, throwing the rest out to fend for themselves.  Dodd didn't think that was right and the proper way to treat players and "that" is why he left the SEC, who at that time refused to rein in guys like Bryant.


I am a Dawg fan and now I am bracing myself for the predictable blow-back from the histerical Bama crowd. Tech did the right thing and has a history of doing the right thing. Kudos.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad @Pistol66 

The Darwin Holt incident had absolutely nothing to do with Dodd pulling Tech out of the SEC.  Once again, you prove that you are the dumbest Tech "fan" out there.  After that totally tasteless post you made yesterday was removed, I would have hoped you would have just crawled back into your cave and spared us all.  But no, here you are back again, still at it.

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

@drydirtroad @Pistol66 Darwin Holt used his forearm, not his fist for the cheap shot on Chick Granning that destroyed his helmet and his face. This had nothing to do with Tech leaving the SEC, but everything to do with not playing Alabama.

I don't know whether or not Coach Hyder said what Pistol alleged but neither do you. Tech left because SEC schools could give 40 scholarships per year but the total number of kids on scholarship had to be less than 160. I think it was 120, so those 40 scholarships had to be revoked or the kids had to quit (be run off). Dodd did not like this. Men who went to Tech on scholarship could stay as long as they needed to get their degree. Bobby Dodd did not graduate from Tennessee and he wanted his athletes to graduate from Tech.

ScoutDawg1
ScoutDawg1

@nevrenuftime @BleedingGold Don't be a dumba$$. Maybe not an atv situation but plenty of players blow out a knee, for instance, after signing a LOI. Lots of them are then cut by their schools. Apparently not in the state of Georgia however. Nerds Representing.  Nice to give you props on something like this, even though I hate insects.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@nevrenuftime @BleedingGold I know what you getting at and your right.

Mike needs something to write about.

He really wants to write how Brother did this and how every school wouldn't do it. 

Sometimes I wonder if Ga people worship Jesus or Brother.

Uh oh, I think they worship the latter.  

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@Gandolph @drydirtroad @Pistol66 You dumb ugly fool.

There was no scholly limits back then you idiot.

Bryant wanted to run everybody off , because he wanted to find 

out who he could count on in the 4th quarter.

Dodd left the SEC because he rarely could beat Bear.

So basically  he couldn't win the SEC , just like GA. 

Thus,  running the program into the ACC dirt.

With Bryant you had to earn a scholly.

Can't wait to kick your Ga butt again. 

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

@FreddieBlassie @drydirtroad @Pistol66  Having been there (was at the game, from ATL, graduated in 1971), I remember it the way Freddie says.  Whack may have said those things, don't know.  What I do know is Tech was special then, special now.  Not surprising at all.  And the Darwin Holt thing was - if memory serves - a very personal thing between Coach Dodd and The Hat.  And the Hat's refusal to punish Holt in any way.

Still don't like Bama and hope Holt had a wonderful life.  And could sleep at night.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith @FreddieBlassie @drydirtroad @Pistol66 Look Cindy, you have your version of what 

happened with Holt and we Bama people have ours.

You just happened to have the AJC - Tech version . 

I can assure you of this. Everybody whoever played for Bear was punished severly for just playing for Bear.

But the truth is, the AJC went after Bear and Bama and 

almost killed him. Bear sure as hell wasn't going to turn 

Holt over to the AJC judge and jury.

Tell you what, go research "The Last Coach".

A best seller years ago.

You will find out our explanation. If after you review it and still

agree with your explanation, then I will apoligize.  

Hell of a long time to keep a grudge.

But then again, I feel the same about Ga.