Georgia Tech coach on Roquan Smith situation

Paul Johnson (AJC)

Paul Johnson (AJC)

Do college coaches think Roquan Smith’s decision to not sign a letter of intent will become a trend for elite college football prospects?

Smith is the 4-star linebacker from Macon County High School who is committed to UGA but decided against signing an NLI after nearly getting burned on signing day by UCLA. Smith will officially become a recruit of the Bulldogs when he attends his first day of classes this summer.

When asked about Smith’s decision, UGA’s Mark Richt was clearly hesitant and careful with his words. He is likely waiting to see how the situation plays out before fully discussing.

What about Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson? What does he think about Smith’s situation? And could it become a trend for the best of the best football prospects?

ILB Roquan Smith (AJC)

ILB Roquan Smith (AJC)

“I don’t see that going anywhere,” Johnson told the AJC. “I don’t think anybody is going to allow that. They (colleges) are going to tell kids that if they don’t want to sign their NLI then I’m going to the next kid. It would be chaos. It would be crazy. There would be no signing thing. It would just be nonstop year-round.

“… Some of the stories that I followed with the financial aid, there’s a lot of misinformation out there anyways. Because once you go to that school, you’re still bound to that school. You get around to the same rules as everybody else. What it does is make the recruiting process go longer, just like the academies (such as Army and Navy). They have that at the academies, and it’s ridiculous. You recruit all summer. The academies are different because they don’t have a set number of scholarships. You’re not trying to hit a target number.

“If you’re trying to hit 85, it would be chaos. Because nobody would have an idea of who is going where until school started. Guys would sign two or three different financial-aid agreements. You wouldn’t know if they were going to enroll here or there. You’d be disingenuous waiting on them. That would be chaos.”

The Tech coach was also asked this question: What would you have done if a players like quarterback Justin Thomas or the Austin twins had told you that they promised they were coming to your school but that they felt uncomfortable with signing an NLI?

“I would’ve went on to the next guy,” Johnson said.

Note: We’ll have opinions and insight on the Roquan Smith situation from more of the nation’s top coaches in Wednesday’s AJC. Please come back and see what they have to say. They surely don’t all see like it Johnson, or even Richt. Lots of interesting perspectives.


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