An already-strong Gwinnett County influence on Georgia Tech’s incoming basketball signing class got even stronger with the verbal commitment of Peachtree Ridge grad Corey Heyward over the weekend.
The 6-foot, 205-pound point guard initially signed with Morehead (Ky.) State last spring, but instead attended Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., this past school year after being released from his National Letter of Intent.
“I went (to Hargrave) for exposure and to give me a year to keep everything going,” said Heyward, the son of late former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward and the brother of current Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward. “It’s like my mom tells me, everything happens for a reason. There’s always a plan for somebody.”
The plan for Heyward, who earned first-team All-County honors from the Daily Post as a senior at Peachtree Ridge after averting 16.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 2010-11, apparently worked to perfection.
He received scholarship offers rom Robert Morris, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Tennessee Tech and Hampton University, and was beginning to receive interest from bigger schools like Ole Miss, Nebraska and Connecticut after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists at Hargrave this season.
But he chose to accept an offer from Tech, joining two current Gwinnett seniors — Daily Post Player of the Year Chris Bolden of North Gwinnett and Shiloh’s Robert Carter — and North Clayton’s Marcus Hunt as part of the Yellow Jackets incoming freshman class.
“(Tech) Coach (Brian) Gregory is changing the program and trhing to get it back to where it belongs,” Heyward said. “I want to be part of that. It’s close to home, and the university has so much tradition and plays in an elite conference.
“I’ve seen Marcus and Robert play before, and Chris and I have played against each other a lot. I guess you can say we’ve been rivals, but we relate to each other’s games with me guarding him and him guarding me.”
Heyward has completed his work at Hargrave and is expected to enroll at Tech in May. He will have all four years of eligibility.