Georgia Tech received some welcomed news here in the last month of recruiting season. They have added a potential star running back but it didn’t happen from getting a high school senior to commit. Tech welcomes Tashard Choice back to the state of Georgia, where he played his high school ball at Lovejoy. Tashard spent his first two years in college at Oklahoma but is moving back to Georgia to be closer to home. I had the opportunity to interview Tashard and get the lowdown on his decision to change schools. Here are portions of that interview.
How are you getting adjusted to Georgia Tech now? There must be a lot of things to think about and take care of when going to a new school.
I’m trying to make sure I get everything done with school as far as academically and on the field as far as lifting weights and running. Just trying to get everything situated but everything besides that is pretty cool.
Tell me about your experience through this last season. It had to be kind of bitter sweet for you with Oklahoma doing so well but also losing out playing time to Adrian Peterson.
I was cool with this season. I loved my teammates, so to come up short hurt us bad. But, you know, we worked hard to go through what we had to go through to have a chance for the National Championship which meant we had to go undefeated through the season. As for playing time, everyone fought for their position but we care about each other so I never looked at it that way. They were my teammates so I treated them all the best I could.
Did you get to play in the Orange Bowl against Southern Cal?
If something happened I was going to get to play but they played AP (Adrian Peterson) and Kejuan (Kejuan Jones) most of the game.
Were you disappointed that you didn’t play in the Bowl game?
It was cool, but yeah I was disappointed because I wanted to be in there and run the ball to have a chance to help my teammates out. I wanted to do the things to help them win or try to win.
What are the biggest factors behind you transferring out of Oklahoma?
Things with my family and the situation I was in. For my situation, how I lived over there, made it the best decision for me. I felt like I needed to get back closer to the house. (Tashard did not wish to elaborate on his personal situation that made him feel like he needed to be closer to home.)
How was your relationship with the coaching staff at Oklahoma and did they try to get you to stay after you told them you were leaving? And was telling them hard to do?
It was real hard because I respect all of the coaches to the highest. They made me a good football player; they pushed me to my best ability. I wouldn’t be half of the football player I am now if it weren’t for them so it was hard. They talked to me but I talked to my mom and I felt it was the best situation for me.
What did you like about Georgia Tech?
I knew the players on the team and the fact that I’d be close to the house. I’d get a chance to play here around people who know me and my family; so I can be closer to my mom. It’s also a good education so that’s part of it too.
Who were some of the Tech players you kept in contact with?
Jamal Lewis… Reuben Houston. Those were some of the players I knew straight from high school. A lot of them I knew or sort of knew, but those are the two that I really knew who were my friends... my homeboys.
How do you feel about having to sit out an entire year again before being able to get on the field in a game?
I don’t know; it just depends on my hardship. I may be able to play this upcoming fall, so it just depends on how that situation goes. So I don’t know yet. If I have to sit out then I’ll just have to get myself ready to learn the system and do good in school so I can be ready to go.
What part of your game do you want to work on over the next year if you have to sit out?
Everything… just anything to make me better.
What is your current height and weight?
5’11”, 210 (pounds).
How do you envision your role on the team when you play your first game for Tech?
I just want to have the chance to help the team out and just fight for a position.
How would you feel if Tech landed another prized running back recruit in the next couple of years? Would it feel like déjà vu all over again like with Peterson or would you welcome the challenge?
Oh no, I’d welcome that because me and AP (Adrian Peterson) are best of friends. We helped each other out on the field because you have to have a good running back with you to willing to help you out. To tell you the truth that wasn’t even in the decision to leave. That’s all just part of it. If somebody comes in, you’ve got to give them a chance and help them out so they can compete and they’ll help you out in the long run.
Since you’ve been in Oklahoma you had a chance to get to know their football rivals, but Tech fans want to be sure though that you haven’t forgotten who the important opponents are in this state and this conference.
(Choice laughed) I already know…. Georgia, Florida State and all those schools I know are big games for us.