Favors to stay home, play at Ga. Tech

Updated: January 15, 2009, 3:14 AM ET
By Christopher Lawlor | ESPNRISE.com

Derrick Favors figured why wait. Instead of dragging out the recruiting process, ESPNU 100's No. 2 prospect from South Atlanta High in Atlanta chose hometown Georgia Tech.

"I like the style of play that they play and it was close to home," Favors said on Wednesday's "SportsCenter U." "I want my friends and family to see me play. ... I thought about it long and hard and I think I made the right decision."

The 6-foot-9 power forward chose the Yellow Jackets over North Carolina State and Georgia.

"He's great in full-court pressure," South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said.

And that's exactly how he'll help Georgia Tech's up-tempo system, said Paul Biancardi, ESPN's national recruiting director.

"[Coach] Paul Hewitt loves to press and Derrick is quick enough to head the press where he can trap the first pass and pressure the ball," Biancardi said. "You can also have him in the back [of the press] where he can challenge the outside shot or force the offense to pull it out."

Favors' announcement came on the eve of No. 9 South Atlanta's game against No. 7 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) Thursday on ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET).

Favors bolsters the Yellow Jackets' recruiting class, which was ranked No. 21 by ESPNU's Scouts, Inc. He is the fifth player for Hewitt's team, joining 6-7 Kammeon Holsey of Hancock Central (Sparta, Ga.), the No. 43 overall prospect; 6-2 Mfon Udofia of Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), the No. 6 point guard; 6-4 Glen Rice, Jr. of Walton (Marietta, Ga.) and 6-6 Brian Oliver of William Penn (New Castle, Del.).

"When he signs in April [during the late signing period], Georgia Tech's recruiting class will get quite a bump," Biancardi said. "This commitment brings credibility, confidence and intensity to the program."

Tuesday, Favors recorded a triple-double -- 31 points, 17 rebounds and 12 blocks  in an 87-53 victory over Eagles Landing (McDonough). South Atlanta (14-1) is considered the front-runner to capture Georgia's Class 3A championship in March. He averages 30 points and 13 rebounds.

"He dominates both ends of the floor," Biancardi said. "He owns the glass and changes the way teams operate on offense."

Christopher Lawlor has covered high school sports for more than 20 years, most recently with USA TODAY, where he was the head preps writer responsible for national high school rankings in football, baseball, and boys' and girls' basketball.

Christopher Lawlor

High School Basketball
Christopher Lawlor has covered high school sports for more than 20 years, most recently with USA TODAY, where he was the head preps writer responsible for national high school rankings in football, baseball and boys and girls basketball. He also ran the Gatorade national player of the year program for nine years.