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Akelo Stone is the New Georgia Tech

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Under Geoff Collins, there’s a new energy on the flats. None of his early signees exemplifies that better than Akelo Stone.

“We are gonna go in with some confidence and we are gonna make the best of it and try to go get this ACC Championship."
~Akelo Stone

Under Geoff Collins, there’s a new energy on the flats.

None of his early signees exemplifies that better than Akelo Stone. Oftentimes there’s some drama surrounding college decisions -- late flips, decommits, wavering conviction, and plenty of uncertainty. In the case of Stone, there was none.

He committed to Georgia Tech back on April 26th, never looked back, and finally put pen to paper on Wednesday afternoon.

“The energy of the coaching staff, the education, and the opportunities that come with it outside of football,” Stone cited as the top reasons for his decision.

As part of a class that currently ranks in the top 25 of the 24/7 composite, Stone is confident that he and his peers can capitalize on the momentum in the 404.

“We are gonna go in with some confidence and we are gonna make the best of it and try to go get this ACC Championship,” he told the Southern Pigskin Radio Network.

After a season in which he and Jenkins High School’s vaunted defense led the Warriors to the state semifinals, notching 49 tackles, 16 for a loss, three sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles in the process --  and earning ESPN Savannah’s Defensive Player of the Year Award for his efforts -- he’s already eager to get back to work, and plans on enrolling early.

“I'm trying to get started early because I'm one of the smaller defensive linemen,” he said of that decision.

Listed at 6’2”, 252 pounds, though slightly undersized now, his frame grants him unique versatility. According to SP Recruiting Expert Barry Every, “Stone has that rare body type that will enable him to play in a three-man or four-man front as a defensive end or a defensive tackle.”

That ability to effectively deploy him in myriad ways is right up Collins’ alley.

Yet, what perhaps stands out even more than Stone’s physical traits or statististical production, is his magnetic personality.

“This guy just loves to compete not only in games but in practice every day,” his head coach Jason Cameron said. “He has a contagious personality and is very likeable as a person. His enthusiasm carries over to his teammates and those people around him. We simply need more guys like him on our team.”

He leads by his words and by his example, and has left a lasting legacy at Jenkins.

“I’m just trying to show the younger guys that you can’t only play football. You gotta have grades, the attitude, and respect everybody. If you do all that big things are coming,” he explained.

It’s a new era at Georgia Tech, and Akelo Stone isn’t just joining this rejuvenated program, he’s amplifying the energy that’s already starting to grow.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP