Crooks Visits Jackets, Dawgs

ATHENS – Michael Thornton and Garrison Smith wanted to make sure they got their invite out for an important prospect.

After all, four-star Carver offensive lineman Delando Crooks is an important recruit for Georgia this coming year.

"It was an interesting visit for us," Crooks' uncle Toby said of the duo's visit to Athens. "They hung out a lot and watched practice and sat in the meetings. He also got to meet John Jenkins – he's pretty big."

The trip to Georgia was a rarity of sorts for Crooks, who has other responsibilities after school beyond football.

"He's throwing discuss right now, but he doesn't have much in the way of technique," Toby said. "He's second in the region with a 138.7 discuss throw."

Track and field, however, is only taking up so much of Crooks' time – it's his college classes at nearby Georgia State that keep him busy Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights after school.

"He's just finished math and English 1101 at Georgia State," Toby Crooks said. "He's taking world history right now. I think everyone uses their academics as a recruiting tool to let us know where they stand academically."

That's likely the reason why the four schools he's looking at have national academic reputations – Georgia Tech, Georgia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

"He has an open mind right now with all of the schools," Toby Crooks said. "We are definitely looking at academics. The schools have to satisfy him mentally and physically."

Crooks visited Georgia Tech this spring and was greeted by the Institution's Dean of Engineering.

"He's trying to be the best that he can be, because he's always been taught to be that way," Toby said of his nephew. "Growing up we were always taught about how important school is. So for us, we know that education leads to self reliance."

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