Thursday night Julian Royal and his family hosted the Tech coaches for an in-home and dinner. "Coach (Paul) Hewitt and Coach (Darryl) La Barrie arrived at our home about 6:30 pm and they left around 11pm."
The visit was one that the Royals really enjoyed. "In one word, delightful," said Charles Royal. "We don't get the chance to do this kind of entertaining very often." Royal didn't think that it was unusual to have visiting coaches for dinner. "It seemed like a nice thing to do so we invited them for dinner, said Charles. "It was as much a celebration as anything and I guess from what I've heard if there's food associated with the in-home visit, it's usually finger food." The Royals like to eat healthy so fish was on the menu.
One of the highlights of the evening involved Julian and Coach LaBarrie. "Early on Darryl and Julian got into some trash talking and the next thing we knew they were out back shooting hoops." The Tech coaches also brought along a presentation on Georgia Tech basketball to show the Royals. "We're pretty familiar with the school and we have a lot respect for Georgia Tech and their basketball program."
The conversation also revolved around recruiting and players currently playing for Georgia Tech. "There weren't any revelations so much as discussion about how many players there are at Julian's position," said Charles. "We're aware that some kids Tech was recruiting at his spot have already committed elsewhere."
Playing time was not on the agenda for the Royals. "It would be wrong to ask for a guarantee on that and our view is if you support the coach and his program to put the best product on the floor, it's up to you to earn that." The Royals know the program well as Julian has played against Mfon Udofia and Glen Rice Jr.
After the coaches were gone, Charles knew how much the coaches valued Julian. "It is clear to us that they value Julian and he understands the importance of going to a school that not only likes him but wants him and need him." Charles knows that Georgia Tech could use a player like Julian.
The Georgia Tech coaches and the Royals will be getting together again in a few weeks when they make an on-campus visit to Georgia Tech. "I think it will be important to dig a little deeper as there are still things at Tech that we haven't done yet like getting to meet the A.D., the President, and others," said Charles. "It will give us a sense of the direction of the total program."
The Royals were in Athens last week and will host Georgia Coach Mark Fox Friday night. "I don't want this to come out wrong but in the past when we've talked to Coach Fox it's always been on his turf at his gym surrounded by assistants and an admin." Charles thinks having him in the home will allow for a different dynamic of candid questions and answers.
The third school in the quest for Julian's letter of intent is Wake Forest. "We have an in-home next wee and a visit in mid-October."
The Royal family has yet to have any discussions about naming a leader. "That probably wouldn't be productive until we complete the in-homes and on campus visits."
A decision on where Julian will play his college ball will most likely be the end of the third week of October. A press conference is a possibility. "We've talked about it with the school (Milton) and it may be more of a basketball or sports press conference and not just for Julian."
Charles has been intimately involved in guiding Julian through the process. It will be Julian's call to make when all is said and done. "Whatever he decides, regardless of what he does, we view it as a win for our family and Julian," said Charles. "He has to be happy with his decision so it will be his to make."
The final process in choosing a school will be a thorough one. "I bought a dry erase board and when all is completed we'll look at coaching, facilities, current players, conference, playing time, etc." All three schools will be anxiously awaiting their grade from those evaluations.