Georgia Tech started off their 2009 recruiting season by getting a verbal commitment from probably the state's most talented defensive lineman in J.C. Lanier. J.C. wanted to get his recruitment over with and let every one know where he is going to college to play football.
J.C., when did you know for sure that Georgia Tech was the place for you?
"Last Saturday when we went up to Georgia Tech for Junior Day, I got the chance to talk to Coach (Paul) Johnson. After talking with him, I knew for a fact that Georgia Tech was the place I really needed to be. It has everything I want and will give me a chance to do a lot of things in addition to playing football. It is a great school and they have a great coach too."
How firm is this decision as we have a year until the next signing day?
"I am set, no chance of me going anywhere else. I knew before Saturday that Georgia Tech was a place I wanted to go to college, but Saturday cemented that."
What did you like about Coach Johnson?
"Everything. He's real cool. He is very straight forward and you have no doubt where you stand with him on your place on the team. He knows what it takes to win and he knows how to win as well. He will win. He will put everything he has into making not only the football team better, but he will make you better as a player and a person too.'
Coach Giff Smith will be your position coach, what did you think of him?
"I like him a lot. He knows how a defensive lineman should perform. He told me that a defensive lineman should be making plays and not worrying about if a linebacker can make the play. We should be beating our man straight up and making the plays our self. The linebacker coach will have the linebackers doing their job."
What did Coach Johnson and Coach Smith say about you in terms of what they liked about you talent-wise?
"They said that I had great hands and great footwork and that is very important for a defensive lineman. Beating the other guy off the ball is important and they say I am very good at that."
What do you feel are your strongest points in your play?
"I feel my strength and quickness off the ball are my best traits. I can beat my man either by my strength or quickness. Plus my footwork too, I use that for good balance."
What about the academics at Georgia Tech, is that something that appealed to you?
"Yes sir, I know that you need to be successful in academics as well. I plan on using my academics to get me where I want to be after football."
I know you play both ways in high school but which side of the ball do you prefer?
"I love defense, I prefer playing defense over offense very much."
"I want to work on staying in shape and getting even stronger so I can be ready to play as soon as I can. I know if I work really hard and focus on everything to improve my game, I can come in get playing time as a freshman."
In looking at your high school photos, I notice your team is called the Bulldogs, what will it feel like to be a Yellow Jacket?
"It will feel great. This is the last year I will be a Bulldog."
I got the chance to speak with J.C.'s mom and was very impressed with her. She said that she was very happy that J.C was going to Georgia Tech. They have family in Atlanta and now they will all be able to see J.C. play college ball. I asked her about his decision to go to Georgia Tech and she replied that she told J.C. to pray to the Lord and he would guide him to the place he needed to be. Also, like J.C., she was very impressed with Coach Johnson. She said that he was a no nonsense guy that will make sure his players will be on top of their academics in addition to their football activities and that was the most important thing to her (she has one daughter to graduate cum laude from college. She also told me that J.C told her in the 9th grade he was going to go to college at Georgia Tech and over the years he might speak of other colleges but he would always come back to Georgia Tech as his favorite.
You can tell J.C. was very firm in his decision and there will be no coach that can turn him away from Georgia Tech. He's a very well spoken young man and he knows what it will take to succeed both on the playing field and in the class room.