Acadiana defensive end Malik George may have momentarily put Stephen F. Austin defensive line coach Chris Van Horn on hold during a phone conversation Monday evening but it wasn’t without good reason.
George resumed the discussion with good news for Van Horn.
“I asked him how we felt about me being a Lumberjack,” George said. “He said he caught the chills. He called to see if I wanted to come to the (McNeese State) game this weekend. I’ve been planning on committing, and I wanted to surprise him.”
George, a 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, committed to Stephen F. Austin over offers from McNeese, Nicholls State and Alcorn State. He’s the second member of the Wrecking Rams to issue a college pledge, joining tight end prospect Javonis Isaac, who selected Arkansas State.
“It felt good. It was a relief,” George said. “The time was winding down, so I wanted to pick my school and that was the best school where I would fit in.”
George was already familiar with the recruiting process, having followed the developments of his older brother Claude, who signed with Texas A&M, where he’s a starting linebacker.
McNeese was the first school to offer George, a starter on Acadiana’s Class 5A state championship team last season, before SFA took an interest. The Lumberjacks eventually made a strong impression with its coaching staff and vision for utilizing his talents.
“At the end of last year they started recruiting me, sending letters almost every day,” George said. “They showed the most love. I went to their (summer) camp and got attached to them.”
George said he liked the way SFA allowed him to play a version of his high school position during last summer’s camp — a variety of defensive end and outside linebacker.
“They loved my technique and thought I’d fit in good with the defense,” he said. “It’s a hybrid defensive end where I could rush the passer and also drop back into coverage. I always wanted to play linebacker, and that’s the only time I get to play that position.”
During the time Monday he placed Van Horn on hold, George explained his impending decision to his family, who were supportive but wanted him to make certain before offering his commitment.
“Everybody thought since my brother was going to a big-time school I would also,” George said. “Everybody has different dreams, a different route. I guess I’m going to take a different route, and we’ll meet up one day in life again.”