A fine Choice: NCAA allows former Lovejoy standout to join Tech in fall

By Anthony Rhoads

Tashard Choice will play for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team this fall.

Georgia Tech announced Friday that the former Lovejoy High School standout has been granted a waiver to become eligible to compete for the Yellow Jackets in 2005.

Choice, a rising red-shirt sophomore, enrolled at Georgia Tech in January after transferring from Oklahoma.

He appealed to the NCAA and was granted a waiver because of family circumstances that necessitated his move closer to home.

"It was very important to me to be able to attend college close to home to be able to help my family," he said. "I'm very happy to be at Georgia Tech and now I'm very happy that I will have a chance to compete on the field this season with my new teammates."

Choice spent two seasons at Oklahoma including a red-shirt year in 2003. In 2004, he played in eight games and gained 100 yards on 22 carries.

"We've very happy for Tashard," Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey said. "This was the right thing to do and it is an opportunity for a deserving young man."

In 2002 at Lovejoy, Choice set school records for rushing yards in a season (1,091) and career (2,251).

His 17 touchdowns tied Jason McNeill's school record and gave him a Lovejoy career record of 38. He's also tied for third on the Clayton County list for most career touchdowns.

Choice helped lead the Wildcats to two straight playoff appearances in 2001-02.

"I couldn't be happier for him," said Lovejoy head football coach Al Hughes.

"It couldn't happen to a nicer kid. I'm glad that he's getting the opportunity."

Choice joins two other former area players at Georgia Tech including Jonesboro's Jamal Lewis and Darryl Robertson.

Lewis, a defensive back, and Darrell Robertson, a defensive end, both played in all 12 games for Georgia Tech in 2005 and were primarily used on special teams.

Both Lewis and Robertson are sophomores.