Word had leaked out this past Tuesday that hard hitting linebacker Julian Burnett may have commited to Georgia Tech. Tonight Julian confirmed that he had indeed choosen Tech over Ole Miss and North Carolina State. The Westside Macon recruit talked about the factors led him to his decision.
Julian, the last time we talked you were down to three schools have you made a decision on which one it will be?
"Yes sir I did. I chose Georgia Tech because they have so much to offer, so much more than football than the other two schools. The benefits of Georgia Tech made it very easy to choose them once they offered."
What are those benefits?
First off, I want to major in Business and Georgia Tech has one of the best Business Schools in the country. Not all players go to the NFL, so I want to have a meaningful degree to carry me in life after college and Georgia Tech has one of the best academic reputations and are one of the best academics schools in the country. Secondly, they are a program that goes to bowls and they actually improved during the coaching change. That showed me that the coaches there will make Georgia Tech even better than they have been in the past. Also, I can have my family close by and they can come see me play without big hardships of driving long distances. I mean, a 90 minute drive is so much easier than a 6 hour drive. It just all added up to Georgia Tech, and it is one of the schools I liked all along."
Do you know why it took some time for the offer to come around?
"Yes sir, Georgia Tech and my recruiting coach, Coach Kelly, have been upfront with me from the start. They were recruiting me very hard early on and it cooled down some over the summer. Coach Kelly called me about two months ago and asked if I was still interested in Georgia Tech and he said if I wasn't he understood, but that Georgia Tech really wanted me but was in a numbers problem and it looked like a linebacker scholarship would open up and if it did open up, it was mine for the taking if I wanted it. I told him I was definitely interested in Georgia Tech and to keep me informed. Coach Kelly stayed in constant contact with me and that showed me he was man of his word and he called one day and said the scholarship offer was mine if I wanted it."
Did you commit right then?
"I wanted to, but I had to get my transcripts up to Georgia Tech for clearance and once that was done, I called Coach Kelly and told him I wanted to take the scholarship and I was committing to Georgia Tech. He was very happy and said he was really pulling for me to come to Tech and felt I would be an impact player at the linebacker position. Funny thing happened about an hour later. Coach Wommack called to see how things were going and he was telling me how much he wanted me at Georgia Tech. I told Coach Wommack that I had made a commitment and he thought I was going somewhere else. He asked if I called Coach Kelly to let him know and I said I sure did that I was coming to Georgia Tech. Coach Wommack got real excited and happy to know I wasn't going elsewhere and that Tech was the place for me. We both got a good laugh about that conversation."
What do you think of Coach Johnson?
"I know he has been coaching for a while and he's been very successful at every stop but what he did this year at Georgia Tech was impressive. He took a team that was picked to be at the bottom of the ACC and installed a completely new offense and made some big changes on defense and improved their record from the previous years. Not many coaches or teams can say that. That tells me Coach Johnson knows what he is doing. Plus he is very intense when it comes time to work but he lets you know he cares for you very much, he wants you to succeed on the field and especially in the classroom too. I know I'll love playing for him, Coach Brian Jean-Mary, and Coach Wommack too."
Did Georgia Tech get on your radar just this year or has there been interaction in the past that made you like them?
"Well in the 10th grade I went to a camp at Georgia Tech and got to know both Coach Giff Smith and Coach BJ and I could tell both of them knew defense and how to get the best out of you. Also, I got a good feeling about Coach BJ then and our relationship just developed from there. We kept in contact off and on since then, even during the coaching change and both have been very open and honest with me and told me that they thought I would be a player Georgia Tech would want no matter who the coach was. I was glad that Coach Smith, Coach BJ, and Coach Kelly were kept from the previous staff as I like them very much. It seems we came full circle and it made it an easy choice to go there when you combine all the benefits Georgia Tech can offer plus the coaches I knew the best were kept by Coach Johnson.
How about your Mom, is she happy with your decision?
"Oh yes sir, she is very happy. When I started playing high school football, she got real involved with me playing sports and now she can continue to support me in person at Georgia Tech. I knew she would support me at another school just maybe not in person. This way she can support me in person at the games since it is very close to home."
Have you set up your official visit to Georgia Tech?
"Yes sir, I have. I will be going on December 19th for the weekend. Both my Mom and I are looking forward to going on the official and getting the whole tour of the school, both from the academic side and from the athletic side too."
I think you told me that you could possibly enroll early the last time we spoke, will this happen?
"I do believe so. I am waiting on my grades from this semester and if they are what I think they will be, I can enroll early. I should know something by the end of next week. Even if I can't, I know summer is just around the corner and I will be there ready to compete for playing time."
Do you think you can get some early playing time or will a red-shirt year be in the future for you?
"I know I will have to work very hard to get playing time as a freshman, but I don't shy away from working hard. I am very competitive and will do my very best to show the coaches I can contribute right away. Still, if they think it would be in my best interests to red-shirt, then that's the way I'll go."
Julian Burnett is another recruit that Georgia Tech has received a verbal from that is extremely happy to be going to Georgia Tech. You could tell by the way he answered questions and the tone of his voice that he was always looking for Georgia Tech to offer him a scholarship. He was very upbeat and we had several laughs about how all this went down and how glad he was that it ended up the way he wanted, with him becoming a Yellow Jacket. Judging by what I've seen of Julian on the playing field, Georgia Tech is getting a player with a high running motor that is extremely competitive and has the drive to win.