After all, the call from Georgia was a surprise to Atkinson, too.
During a visit with Atkinson on Monday, he said he didn't get his offer from Georgia until the night before National Signing Day. Had it not been for that phone call, the three-star prospect from West Hall High School would be a Cincinnati Bearcat today.
Decked out in all Georgia attire as he walked around the football facilities at West Hall High School, it's clear where Atkinson's heart is now, and possibly was the whole time.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end announced he would sign with the Dawgs early on the morning of Signing Day. Prior to that announcement, Atkinson had been verbally committed to Cincinnati. Instead, Atkinson decided he would compete with fellow Georgia signee and tight end Jeb Blazevich for a future starting role in the Bulldogs' offense.
Thinking back on it, a sense of relief could be detected in Atkinson's voice as he briefly reminisced on getting that phone call from Georgia.
"The night before," he said with a smile when asked about the moment he received his offer.
Much like 2014 signee Isaiah McKenzie from American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., Atkinson's name hadn't been highly involved with Georgia's 2014 class prior to National Signing Day.
However, one call changed everything for the future West Hall graduate.
Now Georgia, and its tight end corps coached by John Lilly, will look to make the most of its surprise pickup.