When T.D. Roof wanted to finalize his decision about Georgia Tech, the Buford High linebacker and son of Yellow Jackets defensive coordinator Ted Roof went to the person he trusted for his insight about the team and school. Roof went to David Curry, his former Buford teammate and a Tech redshirt freshman linebacker.
“He’s my go-to guy for questions about Tech,” Roof said.
In a conversation at Tech’s prospect camp on Saturday, Curry answered his friend’s questions – “about campus and just kind of how they like it and stuff like that” – to his lasting satisfaction. Monday, Roof called his father with the news. He wanted to accept Tech’s scholarship offer and join the 2017 signing class.
“My dad, he was very happy about it,” Roof said.
Roof, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound linebacker and fullback, became Tech’s third commit for the class, following punter Pressley Harvin III and lineman Connor Hansen . He gave insight into his decision and the unusual circumstances surrounding it.
“I felt like it was the right place for me and I thought it was the right time to do it,” he said. “I’m just very excited.”
Father didn't recruit him
Roof’s principal recruiter was quarterbacks and B-backs coach Bryan Cook, not his father. Roof said his father was “always a dad first” in the process.
“He always wanted me to go to Tech, but he was never pushy, like, This is where you have to go to school,” he said.
Dad did help in one particular way. He gave T.D. questions to ask of other coaches to get a better sense of their level of interest.
“Just like committable offers and things like that,” Roof said. “How some coaches, they offer you, but then they’re like, we need to see you at camp and this and that, stuff like that.”
Reasons for choosing Tech
The obvious motivation aside, Roof’s reasons for selecting Tech sounded a lot like most other metro Atlanta prospects who commit to the school.
“I get to stay close to family and friends and the education, I feel like it has a chance to set me up later in life to do what I want to do and to be successful,” Roof said. “Athletics – ACC – it’s one of the best conferences in the country.”
How he's rated
247 Sports rates Roof as a three-star linebacker and the No. 74 inside linebacker nationally. Roof said his strengths are his nose for the ball, athleticism and physicality. He was a first-team all-state linebacker for Class AAAA as a junior.
T.D.’s twin brother Mic, a quarterback at Buford, committed to East Carolina in late May.
“We didn’t necessarily have to play together or not, but we just kind of said, ‘Well, we’re going to find a school that fits us,” he said. “’If it’s the same school, then great. If not, that’s great, too.”
This will be the first time in a long time that T.D. has been coached by his father.
The last time, T.D. said, was “maybe tee-ball when I was about five or six.” His father has served as a resource to answer questions about football, but as far as serving as his actual coach, “Never to this extent.”
He thinks he’ll call his father “Coach Roof” and “Dad” at home.
Different vantage point
Roof’s first memories of Tech: “To be honest with you, my earliest memories of Georgia Tech was probably when my dad was head coach at Duke and Calvin Johnson was just eating us up.”
Ted Roof was coach at Duke 2003 to 2007. Between 2004 and 2006, Johnson caught 15 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns.
Already in the fold
After he informed his father that he was coming to Tech, the next phone call was to coach Paul Johnson.
“Coach Johnson was also very excited about it and just said that I need to start recruiting some other kids to come to Tech with me,” Roof said.
Two possible targets are also sons of a Tech linebacking great – Bruce Jordan-Swilling and Tre Swilling, standouts in New Orleans. Their father is Pat Swilling. Both have impressive offer lists and include Tech.
“So I’ve got to start getting on them pretty hard,” Roof said.