An offensive line recruit who was a longtime Georgia Tech commitment has announced the re-opening of his commitment following a “bad experience” during the school’s annual rivalry game against cross-state foe Georgia. That’s bad news for Georgia Tech’s football program, but if the nature of that experience is to be believed, it may signify a larger problems.
Jordan Johnson (whose full name is Kelton Jordan Johnson), a 6-foot-3, 260-pound guard at Ed White High in Jacksonville, announced his de-commitment from Georgia Tech on Twitter Sunday, and did so offering the following explanation:
When pushed about what ruined his trip to take in the game, Johnson was forthright.
Johnson provided more detail to Georgia Tech blog From the Rumble Seat on Twitter. According to the site, Johnson said that he and his brother went to the concession stand and returned to find an officer telling his mother that she had to leave where she was sitting because she did not have a ticket. Johnson said he showed the officer the lanyard that recruits and their families are given to attend the game in lieu of tickets.
Johnson said the officer “felt as though we had forged those badges and we didn’t belong in the game.” When Johnson said he would decommit because of the incident, he said the officer responded that he “wouldn’t care because he would still have his job if I went there or not.”
Johnson says he and his family sat in the same seats that they sat in a few weeks ago during the Florida State game. He says campus police thought the tickets his mom and brother had were fake.
“My name was printed on my ticket: ‘Jordan Johnson’ because I am the recruit. But my mom and brother’s name was hand written because they were my guest.”
The family was asked to leave the game following the incident.
Schools are not allowed to comment on potential recruits until they sign their scholarship papers, so fittingly the Georgia Tech athletic department said it had no comment on the alleged incident. Georgia Tech Director of Media Relations and Issues Management Lance Wallace offered the following statement from the university after USA TODAY Sports’ calls to Georgia Tech Campus Police were routed to Wallace.
The Georgia Institute of Technology has asked its chief of police to look into the matter, which appears at this time to involve a miscommunication over credentials and seating.
Johnson has gone out of his way since to say that he still feels strongly about Georgia Tech, and gave the impression he could still end up there, provided Georgia Tech’s police and administration address his concerns. For their part, Georgia Tech fans were quick to put pressure on those leaders to make that happen.
As for Johnson, he just wants this incident to never happen again.
“Show me that you have acknowledged the problem and tried to put in the effort to fix it and I will be satisfied.”
In an unrelated move, Tech also lost another offensive line commit Sunday when Trysten Hill of Suwannee, Ga., also announced on Twitter that he was decommitting.
TEGNA partner First Coast News contributed to this report.