Showell says coordinator’s departure influenced Wake Forest decommitment

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Cartersville senior football player Avery Showell committed to Wake Forest exactly one month before his senior season began, and after watching him force two fumbles against reigning 3A champ Westminster in a scrimmage and have four sacks against reigning Class 5A champ Allatoona in the first game, most who saw Showell play said Wake Forest got a steal.

Well, Wake Forest doesn’t have that steal anymore, as Showell decommitted from the Demon Deacons last week.

“It came down to the defensive coordinator [Mike Elko] leaving [for Notre Dame],” Showell said of his decommitment from Wake Forest. “They’re still on my list, but I’m going to take a step back and take my time.”

Showell announced his decision via Twitter on Dec. 16, writing, “Tough decision.”

“I didn’t expect [Elko] to leave so it was kind of heartbreaking when he left,” Showell said. “He was the heaviest one recruiting me at Wake Forest.”

Showell said he has been in contact with Georgia Tech and Kansas State the most since his decommitment.

Showell is a three-star recruit, according to all the major rankings, and is ranked as high as 68 in the 2017 safety class.

Before his commitment, he held offers from Minnesota. Rutgers and West Virginia, among others.

“I feel like some schools are still looking, but right now, I’m just seeing who comes and who doesn’t,” Showell said.

Showell transferred from St. Francis for his senior year at Cartersville and was named all-state by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. Showell, an outside linebacker and receiver for the Canes this year, registered 69 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown on defense. On offense, he had 44 receptions for 789 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Most recruiting outlets project Showell as a safety at the next level.

Showell, like the rest of the two-sport athletes for the Canes that have gone from the gridiron to the hardwood, has helped the basketball team to a 3-0 record since hanging up his cleats for his basketball sneakers. Despite moving on to a different sport, Showell said winning the state championship in football still hasn’t hit him yet. He still needs a daily reminder from the state championship hat hanging on his wall.

“Sometimes, I wake up and I don’t really realize it,” He said. “And then I look up at my hat. It’s exciting.”

The basketball team, now 6-1 overall, will take a break for Christmas before returning to action against Cass at the Chattooga Christmas Tournament on Wednesday.

“We look pretty good,” Showell said of the Cartersville basketball team. “We have some things we have to fix. We have to tweak some things, coming straight off the football field. So I think we’ll be straight.”