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

will

January 7th, 2009
5:51 pm

because he could play at georgia and make an impact on a defensive backs unit that could use guys like reid and branden smith, or he could go to florida and compete with the 8 other cornerbacks currently on the gator roster. and from the standpoint of him being a two way player, the choice is simple: go to uga and add speed to an offense that just lost moreno, or compete with harvin, assuming he comes back, rainey, and demps

go gators!!

January 7th, 2009
5:29 pm

Why would he want to go to UGA to be coached by Martinez. Come to Florida to play for National Championships, or stay with UGA and be nothing.

will

January 7th, 2009
5:25 pm

funny you should mention reid being a gator. I think if he was in fact going to uf, he wouldnt have decomitted through the phone with georgia commit washaun ealey standing right next to him. word is he’s become good friends with the other georgia commits at the under armour game. Anybody feeling a recruiting struggle a la marcus stroud??

Greg

January 7th, 2009
5:07 pm

UGA loves Reid and Bowman….the only issues are —
1. Will they have the ACT or SAT scores, HS grades, and Graduate HS, or will they transfer to a prep school ?
2. Will UGA actual have enought openings available?
3. Are they serious about UGA or only flirting?

htowngator22

January 7th, 2009
4:54 pm

Enter your comments here Reid is going to UF

tidefan00

January 7th, 2009
4:54 pm

You dawg fans can stop drooling over Bowman. You dropped the ball and he is solid on Alabama. Julio wide right, Bowman left, what a combo. All the attention Julio gets will leave Bowman in man coverage which means big numbers for him. Welcome to the Capstone Mr. Bowman.

Becky

January 7th, 2009
3:21 pm

I thought he looked sad, more than mad..No, I don’t know that much about football..I enjoy watching it, but why would you want the other team to think that you are cute?

Paddy

January 7th, 2009
2:20 pm

If UGA can only get one of the above mentioned players, I hope it is Mr. Reid.

jhenry

January 7th, 2009
2:09 pm

Greg Reid’s picture is not synonomous with his personality. Kay you should never make such harsh statements about someone you don’t even know. I’ve known this young man for about 10 years, and he is a great kid as well as a tremendous athlete. The picture is a “football thing,” which you obviously don’t understand. For future reference: keep your negative comments to yourself, especially when you don’t have a CLUE!

Clint

January 7th, 2009
2:06 pm

You know who looked angry in their picture last year? AJ Green, and he’s one of the most well mannered kids at UGA. I’d take my chances with Reid. One picture doesn’t tell a story.