football Edit

Distance, relationships lead Warner Robins WR Isiah Canion to GT

Several months ago, two in-state recruits visited Georgia Tech for a spring practice: Prince Avenue Christian QB Aaron Philo and Warner Robins WR Isiah Canion were both being heavily pursued by the new offensive staff on The Flats.

The two connected on the visit, but both appeared headed in separate directions; Philo was committed to Minnesota at the time, and Canion would soon receive an offer from Notre Dame and commit to the Fighting Irish.

Fast forward to Monday.

Following thousands of miles in the car, numerous discussions with family, and prayers to God for guidance, Canion joined Philo in committing his future to Atlanta with the announcement of his decision.

Canion chose Georgia Tech over numerous other offers, including one from Auburn and a renewed level of interest from UGA.


Several schools reached out to Canion over the weekend, following his public announcement that he was stepping back from his commitment to Notre Dame. He wasn't interested.

"I wasn't entertaining them all that much, I know where I want to be," said Canion. "The combination of the distance, relationships, the idea of my family having the chance to come to all the games, and just the overall opportunities that Georgia Tech has both academically and athletically have all led me to this point where I am today. Everything I need is right up the street, not even two hours from home."

The distance from Warner Robins to Atlanta is much shorter than the distance from Warner Robins to South Bend, especially for a family that prefers to travel by car. Canion's family supported him in his original decision to commit to Notre Dame, but were fired up when he told them the news of his decision.

"My family was always going to support me in whatever I wanted to do. It is great to feel that support system, and to have them behind me as I make this decision. They're on my side, and are really excited. My family isn't really big on flying, so when I told them that I was staying (much) closer to home, they were really excited. The 90 minute drive, if that, to Atlanta is much better for everyone than the 13 hour drive."

In the world of NIL and the 24/7 news cycle, many believe that the importance of relationships in recruiting is a dwindling factor in terms of helping kids determine where to call home. Canion's relationship with a member of Georgia Tech's staff, and their consistent message, played a big role in Monday's flip from Notre Dame.

"Coach (Josh) Crawford seems like a real developmental coach, and I trust and believe in him and what he can do for me on the field and off," said Canion. "He's going to make sure I am successful, and our relationship was another big factor for me in making this decision. Our relationship made this decision so easy. He was one of the first schools to offer me, and despite my commitment to Notre Dame, Coach Crawford never let up."

The direction of the program is something that nearly every recruit that commits to head coach Brent Key mentions, and while for some that may seem like an easy answer, Canion was open and detailed about what that vision and direction looks like.

"They've got a good thing going on up there," he said. "Coach Key was jumping around it sounded like when I gave him the news. I like him a lot, he seems like a smart, intelligent man, and a great coach. The new coaching staff, they have a lot of chemistry already there. The overall investment being put into the football program too. Offensively, they threw the ball like 60 times (58 to be exact) and that's an ideal situation for a receiver too."

Similar to Aaron Philo, Canion originally committed to a school in Notre Dame that is in another part of the country far far away from the state of Georgia. The recent official visit to Notre Dame was eye-opening for the 6-foot-4, 190 pound offensive weapon.

"It was nothing like the state of Georgia up there," said Canion about South Bend. "The people, the things they do, how they act and carry themselves, everything was so much different there than what I'm accustomed to. They didn't even have sweet tea up there."

As he begins to transition into more of a recruiter than recruit, Canion is looking forward to talking more with his future teammates, and growing those relationships prior to their arrival in Atlanta for the next 4-5 years.

"I don't really have any strong connections with the other commits yet, but when we were both at UGA earlier this summer for a 7v7, Trajen Greco and I played each other. He was pretty good, and we have kept in touch since. Him, and the QB commit, Aaron Philo. He and I spoke when we were on a visit together back in the Spring. He was committed to Minnesota at the time, but mentioned that might be changing before too long."

Canion is excited to officially put his recruitment in the rear view, preparing for a big senior season at Warner Robins, and a new role as a recruiter trying to open the eyes of many to what Georgia Tech is building.

He plans to take the short ride up to Atlanta for as many games as he can, and has officially shut down his recruitment.