Archive for January, 2009

Step right up and make your National Signing Day predictions

Do you think you know your recruiting? Do you have some inside information that no one else knows? Then let’s have some fun. 

Take your best guess on where five high-profile recruits will sign on Wednesday …

Greg Reid, DB, Lowndes. It’s Florida State, UGA, and Alabama. His Lowndes teammate and cousin, Gerald Demps, is headed to Florida State, and some family members would like him to play a little closer to home (Tallahassee is 85 miles away, while Athens is 240). Reid admits with Georgia being his final official visit, they are in great position to make the biggest influence before signing day. Will it be enough?

Carver LB Jarvis Jones

Carver-Columbus LB Jarvis Jones

Jarvis Jones, LB, Carver-Columbus. The poker-faced Jones lists Florida, Southern Cal, UGA, LSU and Texas. There’s an “80-percent chance” he’ll go out of state. Mark Richt spent six hours with Jones on Wednesday. Was that enough to make Jones think about staying around home to play?

Darren Myles, DB, Carver-Atlanta. He is taking an …

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Derrick Favors and the high stakes of recruiting

If Derrick Favors had picked Georgia rather than Georgia Tech, then UGA would have not fired its basketball coach on Thursday.

I’m not saying that Favors would’ve “saved” Dennis Felton’s job in the long run. But he would’ve bought Felton at least one more year. College ADs don’t tend to pull the trigger on the “fire button” as quickly when you have the nation’s No. 1 recruit arriving the following season. There are countless examples of basketball coaches on the “hotseat” who were able to buy a little more time by landing a big-timer.

Anyways, this is a moot point because Favors picked Tech, not UGA. But it does remind you the high stakes of recruiting, and its rippling effects.

One last thing: South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said on Thursday that Favors will sign with Georgia Tech on April 15, the first day of the “late” signing period. However, Favors hasn’t signed any paperwork yet, only given a verbal commitment. I expect him to sign with Georgia Tech. But what if UGA …

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We have been waiting for Georgia Tech and UGA to slug it out over prospects

 

Miller Grove WR Stephen Hill

Miller Grove WR Stephen Hill

We all know who won the football game. Someone posts “45-42″ at the bottom of nearly every recruiting article, even if it has nothing to do with Georgia Tech or Georgia.  

But who will win the head-to-head recruiting battle between the two archrivals? That has been really hard to say so far because Georgia Tech and Georgia haven’t really fought it out with recruits this year. Now both have offered the same player, i.e. Alabama lineman William Ming (committed to Alabama), Norcross defensive back Prince Kent (Miami), Buford lineman Dallas Lee (UGA), etc. But Georgia and Georgia Tech have yet to be the two finalists for any in-state prospect, which is bizarre when you look around and see classic recruiting wars between Auburn and Alabama, South Carolina and Clemson, and all the Florida schools. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.

However, we may finally have some “apples to apples” after Georgia offered Miller Grove wide receiver Stephen Hill …

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Recruiting 101: Bobby Massie got some good advice

If you’re a player headed to a prep school or junior college, you may want to study the situation of offensive tackle Bobby Massie, who is scheduled to make a recruiting trip to UGA on Jan. 30.

Massie is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 prospect out of prep schools, according to Rivals. He plays at Virginia’s Hargrave Military and is also considering Alabama, North Carolina, Ole Miss, and Miami.

Last year, he did something very interesting as a high school senior. He turned heads when he didn’t commit or pick a college by signing day. He had plenty of major-college offers, and had backed off a commitment to Virginia Tech only a month before signing day.

Why did Massie do it? He got some good advice from a family friend, Hargrave coach Robert Prunty. “If a player knows he is going to a prep school or junior college, and commits to a college as a [high school senior], then he is pretty much tied to that particular college,” Prunty said.

In other words, if you commit to a school as a …

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UGA coach Mark Richt makes deal with Troup valedictorian candidate

 

Chris Burnette

Chris Burnette

Georgia coach Mark Richt made a promise to Troup offensive lineman Chris Burnette: If you’re the valedictorian, then I’ll be at your graduation to hear your speech.

“[Richt] said he was proud of me, and if it happens, he’ll be there,” Burnette said. “I was honored he said that to me, especially with all the [coaching responsibilities] he has.”

“That would cool to have [Richt] at graduation. He is like a celebrity, and it would be a wild atmosphere with him there.”

Burnette decided against enrolling early at Georgia so he could stay at Troup to compete for the No. 1 academic honor. Burnette has a 5.012 GPA and slight lead over two others in the valedictorian race. He has made straight A’s since kindergarten.

“I was already very motivated, but [Richt saying that] gives me even more,” Burnette said.

Richt told Burnette he has never recruited a valedictorian during his coaching career.

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Orson Charles is ordered to stay away from 2008 BCS National Championship trophy during Florida visit

Tim Tebow hoists 2008 BCS trophy

Orson Charles is one of the “legends of recruiting.” He’s the football prospect who accidentally bumped into and shattered Florida’s 2006 BCS National Championship trophy while touring campus last April.

The tight end from Tampa returned to Florida for an official visit last weekend, and he just knew that topic was going to come up. And it did, when he was in the plush office of Urban Meyer, coach of the Gators.

Meyer just couldn’t resist bringing it up when talking to Charles with the 2008 BCS trophy nearby. “We got a new one … so stay far away from that one.”

Meyer laughed, and so did Charles. He has accepted that the “incident” will follow him around for the rest of his life. Said Charles, “But hopefully I can do something in college that people will remember more.”

Maybe so, but probably not. That was a recruiting classic.

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Tucker football coach did the right thing by banning South Carolina

Tucker coach Franklin Stephens did the right thing when he said South Carolina was “no longer welcome” on campus after its treatment of Jonathan Davis. Of course, he is going to defend his player. What else would you expect?

You know the story: Davis committed to South Carolina last month, and then had his scholarship yanked away last week. What happened? South Carolina is not allowed to comment because of NCAA rules. But  the Charleston Post and Courier reported that ex-Gamecocks assistant Ron Cooper offered Davis and accepted his commitment against the wishes of the South Carolina staff. Then when Cooper took a job with LSU, he wasn’t around to fight to keep Davis on the recruiting board.

Steve Spurrier accepted blame and said it was confusion among his assistants, according to Stephens. And Cooper is the easy scapegoat. He’s gone. But the responsibility is with Spurrier, who is in charge of the program. All things South Carolina fall under his domain.

Spurrier is one of …

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Imagine UGA defensive secondary with Branden Smith and Greg Reid

UGA fans get excited about the possibility of a defensive secondary featuring Branden Smith and Greg Reid.

Smith likes the idea, too.

 

“I don’t know Greg very well, but his performance (two interceptions) in the all-star game speaks for itself,” Smith said. “All he does is make plays.”

“I’d love for Greg to come to Georgia with me. It would great to have two Georgia boys back there locking down wide receivers and helping the Bulldogs win championships.”

Smith, from Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High, is the state’s top prospect and has committed to Georgia.

Reid played at Lowndes and is arguably the state’s hottest prospect after winning MVP honors at the Under Armour All-America game. Reid backed off his longtime commitment to Florida and is now considering the Gators, Georgia, Florida State and Alabama.

Smith denied rumors that he would consider other schools if Reid, who plays the same position, committed to Georgia. “Not true, at all. When I picked Georgia, I picked …

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UGA football coaches setting up for a fast and furious finish

Tight end Orson Charles of Tampa

Georgia’s recruiting strategy for the rest of the year looked so simple back in August. That’s when the Bulldogs had 15 early commitments, and when UGA coach Mark Richt admitted “We probably could have a few more than that [15] right now if we really wanted.” At the time, Georgia expected to sign no more than 20 players in February. The five remaining scholarships? The Bulldogs, riding a wave of momentum with the No. 1 ranking and more importantly already securing commitments at key positions, decided to go all-out for some of the nation’s top prospects, mostly from out of state.

It was a great decision then and a good decision now, as the Bulldogs are finalists for around a half-dozen of the nation’s elite players at their positions, including wide receiver Marlon Brown of Memphis, offensive tackle Bobby Massie of Hargrave, Va., and tight end Orson Charles of Tampa.

However, Georgia’s recruiting strategy has been altered by the NFL draft. The …

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More insight to the recruiting saga between South Carolina and Tucker LB Jonathan Davis

A quick recap of the recruiting soap opera between Tucker’s Jonathan Davis, one of the state’s best football players, and South Carolina, which is coached by Steve Spurrier: Davis committed to the Gamecocks last month, then Davis said he was told by South Carolina last Friday that his scholarship offer had been withdrawn. Tucker’s coach, after hearing Spurrier’s version of events on Sunday night, says that the Gamecocks are “no longer welcome” to recruit his players.

Tucker's Jonathan Davis

Tucker's Jonathan Davis

 

 

New information: According to the Charleston Post and Courier on Sunday night, Davis was offered by South Carolina assistant Ron Cooper against the wishes of the staff. Travis Haney reports that “I’d been told in the past that Cooper was told, rather pointedly, not to take Davis. The decision had been made not to take him. Then, one day, at a recruiting meeting in which the main board is assessed, Cooper pipes up and says Davis is a commitment. Those in the room were said to be …

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