Six Soap Operas to Watch in the State

Why does college football recruiting have such a fanatical following? Some have suggested because it is a “male soap opera.” Whatever the case, if you like drama, especially among the state’s top college prospects, there is plenty of it to unravel between now and national signing day on Feb. 4. Here are six recruiting soap operas to watch:

Reid

Greg Reid is considering the Gators, UGA, Florida State, Mississippi State, and Texas and probably six more colleges that called by the time you read this caption.

Greg Reid, Lowndes: He may be the nation’s hottest prospect after his MVP performance in the Under Armour All-America game, intercepting two passes and nearly picking off another. Only a few days earlier, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Reid made the surprising move to back off his longtime commitment to Florida, saying he rushed his initial decision. UGA has reminded Reid it still has a scholarship available for him. He will make recruiting trips to Florida on Jan. 16, Mississippi State on Jan. 23, and Georgia on Jan. 30. He is also considering Florida State and Texas. The defensive back is the AJC’s all-classification Player of the Year.

Jarvis Jones, Carver-Columbus: No one in the state will draw more attention on signing day than the super-sized linebacker. He is ranked as the state’s No. 2 prospect by the AJC and is considered to be the rare type of player who can make an instant impact on a college team’s fortunes. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Jones has narrowed his choices to Florida, LSU, Georgia, USC and Texas. The colleges are planning ahead for the last-second decision by Jones, withholding the majority of their in-home visits until later this month.

“Jarvis is taking everything in stride, and he’s not going to be forced into doing anything until he’s ready, ” Carver coach Dell McGee said. “There will definitely be some drama involved with his decision. The colleges won’t even know where he’s going until signing day.”

Jonathan Atchison, Douglass: Perhaps no player has done a better job at stirring emotion between followers of Alabama and Auburn than the 6-3, 215-pound Atchison. Atchison, a linebacker, committed to Auburn over Alabama in August, but Alabama never gave up on him.

When Auburn made a coaching change, Atchison changed to Alabama. Now it’s Auburn that refuses to surrender. Atchison says he is sticking to Alabama, but he has agreed to take an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 9, then travel to Alabama the next week.

Jamal Patterson, Henry County: Patterson, a wide receiver, leads the state with 50 scholarship offers. That’s why it was such a surprise when he committed early to Stanford, turning down offers from Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee and Georgia Tech.

If Patterson sticks with Stanford, he easily will be the school’s No. 1 prospect. But there is plenty of speculation that Patterson will go elsewhere.

Why the rumors? During the past few months, Patterson has kept a low profile while visiting at least a half-dozen ACC and SEC schools. He has agreed to take an official visit to Clemson in January and is considering others. And he’s a little nervous about hearing Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh mentioned for other college and NFL positions.

Michael Bowman, Ridgeland: Will Bowman’s true love come calling? He has said it’s his dream to play for Georgia. But when the Bulldogs didn’t offer by the start of the summer, he committed to Alabama. Georgia recently stopped by Bowman’s school to see if he was still interested. He said he was willing to listen. If Georgia fails to land its No. 1 target at wide receiver, Marlon Brown of Memphis, the Bulldogs could make a last-minute rush at Bowman. Will Bowman go with his heart? “We’ll just have to see how things play out,” he said.

Philip Lutzenkirchen, Lassiter: Lutzenkirchen, a tight end, was happy with Auburn, and then the Tigers changed coaches. That has left an opening for many schools that thought they were too late. Who are the new contenders? Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee and emerging interest from Georgia and Texas. He also will consider Auburn again.

Got a recruiting item? E-mail Michael here: mcarvell@ajc.com

46 comments Add your comment

LD

January 7th, 2009
1:44 pm

Kay,you look angry yourself! How can you make a comment like that by looking at a kids photo? Look at his football stats for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!

Bud King

January 7th, 2009
1:35 pm

Enter your comments here Do we really need the picture of Carvell?

Bud King

January 7th, 2009
1:34 pm

Enter your comments here

Newt

January 7th, 2009
1:11 pm

Kay, you interpreted the picture just like the athlete wanted you to interpret it. Lots of football players don’t necessarily want to communicate a cuetsie look. They want to look mean or bad, the ‘don’t mess with me’ look. I understand from some of the players at the UnderArmour game that he is great to be around and a real good guy. If he had a bad attitude, the players he will be around wherever he chooses to go would quickly smack him down a notch or two. Good coaches can certainly control that type of situation also. Recruits wouldn’t be talking to him to convince him to come to their schools if he was a problem because as you said, “who would want to be around anyone…” .So, you probably don’t need to worry much about Reid.

KC

January 7th, 2009
12:58 pm

Kay how can you pre judge someone (Reid) that you don’t even know. Do you know anything about the game of football? There aren’t any smiling faces on the players faces when they are on the field. Never give the other team the benefit of showing your emotions or letting them see you sweat. Wow what a stereotypical statement you made (lol)! Stop being so judgemental, maybe the world would be a better place to live!

Kay

January 7th, 2009
12:38 pm

Enter your comments here
This dude from Valdosta/Lowndes County looks like one angry young man.
Who would want to be around anyone with this kind of attitude?
Beware any team that takes him!

Zach

January 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

Hey Chad you don’t know what your talking about, he is done with Auburn face it bud Auburn is done for!!!!! What are you Lutzenkirchen’s agent?? Get a life!!!!!

Chad

January 7th, 2009
11:27 am

Your comments on Lutzenkirchen are not accurate. As of today, he is still committed to Auburn and looking at other schools like Alabama and Tennessee. I fully expect him to sign with Auburn now that Malzahn is on board. Also he is very tight with Raymond Cotton in Maryland and it looks like Auburn will get back in the fold with him now that James Willis has been retained.

Harry Munson

January 7th, 2009
10:57 am

Great work! Keep it coming.

Newt

January 7th, 2009
10:52 am

Michael, how do schools like UGA play it when athletes like Jarvis Jones and Marlon Brown say they won’t commit anywhere until signing day. Seems like that puts the schools in a very awkward position. Also, if we have more offers out there than we have scholarships, do we just take first responders and notify the others that their offer is off the table? Tks for your time.
Newt