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  The phone calls between Ayinde Eley and his father Donald Hill-Eley are different now. Hill-Eley hears excitement in his son's voice when they talk, particularly when the talk turns to football, as it often might. Eley is a linebacker at Georgia Tech, a grad transfer from Maryland, and his father is head coach at Alabama State. "It's just a totally different conversation when I talk to him now," Hill-Eley told the AJC Monday. "He's really enjoying the game of football, and that helps you reach your potential." Hill-Eley is optimistic for his son's playing time at Tech, aspirations shared by Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker, among others. But more than that, Hill-Eley is glad for the happiness that he hears coming through his phone. As early as Maryland's first game last season, which was his son's fourth year at the school, Hill-Eley said that he knew that his son would be transferring.

"I've got some guys here that don't play, or their (playing) time has been cut," Hill-Eley said of players on his own team. "But the key is having some kind of communication with the guys that they don't feel ostracized. That's the feeling that we got when we were up the road (at Maryland). I just wanted him to get around some guys that, it's not so much whether he plays or not - I think he's good enough to play - but that it doesn't feel personal." At Maryland, Eley started nine of the Terrapins' 12 games in 2019, and he finished second in tackles with 79. In 2020, however, he played in three of the Terrapins' five games with one start. He announced his decision to go into the portal on Dec. 25 and then went public with his transfer to Tech on the 28th. - Atlanta Journal Constitution

rSr/2023 ILB Ayinde EleyGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

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