When asked about how the visit went with the Yellow Jackets, Mr. Everson started with a laugh and said, "He loves Georgia Tech. We've been to almost every one of the top schools in the country. We went to Miami, Gainesville and Tallahassee and he wasn't real big on them. But, he's liked Georgia Tech ever since they offered him. Today we met Coach Gailey in person for the first time… man, he's awesome. We've got a couple of schools we want to check out before we actually commit but he's looking at committing to Georgia Tech by the end of next month or the beginning of June. I'm serious, he loves it and they love him."
The schools lining up for Cedric's services make up a long list, so it was time to try and connect with some of the coaches who have been calling and writing.
"He's been offered a ton of scholarships," Everson said. "Back home in Detroit I've got 48 offer letters on my desk, just trying to sift through them. Georgia Tech was a surprise because initially he wasn't thinking Georgia Tech. That's why we got on the road because he needs to actually match faces between the offer letters and the coaches' voices."
Mr. Everson gave a quick background on his son's athletic accomplishments which makes up an impressive list and he's still just a junior in high school.
"He's 16 years old," Everson said. "He's a junior, coming out in 2007. He runs track as well. This season and last season in football he went first team all-city, first team all-metro and up in Michigan all-metro is the same thing as all-area. And he went first team all-state. That's two years in a row: as a sophomore and as a junior. In track he's the city and state champ and an all-American. So, he's quite an athlete."
With so many offers to go through, I asked Mr. Everson to rattle off some names of programs that make up that list.
"USC, UCLA, all three of the Florida teams, Georgia Tech, of course, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota and I'm just going off the top of my head," Everson said. "This kid has 48 offers. Not verbal or ‘we like you' I'm talking about offer letters."
With so many offers from highly thought of programs across the country it has to be flattering. What has separated Georgia Tech from the pack at this point?
"The thing that differentiates Georgia Tech for us from the other schools is first of all Coach Gailey is personable," Everson said. "And that's important because once you go to a top program, if you're a great athlete; you're pretty much assured that as long as you go with the form you have a great shot of going to the next level. Tech also has a great academic reputation and that's very important. And they want him as bad as he wants them. And that's the most important thing for him; to be someplace that wants him as he wants them. When we talk and go to some of the other places, you know, they offered him a scholarship, we got the letter and everything but it's almost like it's a chore for them. Every time we talk to Coach Gailey and some of the other guys over at Tech, I feel like my boy's been playing over there for two years already."
Cedric's spring break road trip moves on to the next stop now but, according to his father, Cedric wouldn't have minded another day in Atlanta.
"Usually when we go visiting colleges he's always nudging on my shoulder or pulling on my sleeve saying, ‘Dad, you ready?'" Everson said. "Today I had to go nudge on his shoulder and pull his sleeve and ask if he's ready. I mean, he was with the players and you would have thought he's been playing at Tech for two years. If it was up to him we would have got a hotel room in Atlanta tonight and we would have got up and gone back to practice tomorrow."