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
6:36 pm

i’ve already said what i think. what will happen, we’ll just have to wait til next year. i said it before this past season when uga’s schedule was being talked up: teams are going to flop, players are going to get hurt, and upsets are going to happen. the unpredictability of college football makes it the greatest sport on earth. who knows? florida could come out and have their defense turn to mush like georgia this year, and just as well, georgia could be mediocre. only 8 more months til kickoff. god i cant wait

ddbigdaddy

January 7th, 2009
6:34 pm

Enter your comments here The best poker player always wins meaning who ever cheats and pays the most gets the player. Why does pete carroll have four or five parade High School AllAmerican on USC? The best cheater always wins.

Alabamadawg

January 7th, 2009
6:30 pm

Whats the lastest on that huge offensive tackle Massey, I believe.

htowngator22

January 7th, 2009
6:29 pm

Not so fast Will, how big of a hole do you think Cox can fill as a first year starter especially when he faces UF who is returning every starter on defence except mybe B.Spikes

Mike

January 7th, 2009
6:23 pm

QUESTION: Can you please tell us how many spots UGA has left now that Stafford and Knowshon are going Pro? Ive heard? There is a lot of speculation but noone seems to know for sure.

Thanks

will

January 7th, 2009
6:14 pm

as for linebacker, im for whoever is willing to come in and match rennie currans intensity and drive

will

January 7th, 2009
6:11 pm

IMHO i think cox will bring offensive leadership to the table, something stafford didnt seem to posses as much as his predecessors like Greene and Shockley, and the fact that he knows the system inside and out has me at ease. I really don’t think that at qb we’ll have nearly as many problems as you’d think at first glance. however rb is going to be interesting. are we going to have another moreno or brown come off the bench, or are we going to revert to the post-musa smith days of lumpkin/cooper/browning? the optimist in me says that we’ll be able to work enough kinks into the offense with athletes such as logan gray, carlton thomas, branden smith, aj green, and co. that a large part of the hole moreno and stafford left can be filled

BleedBlue

January 7th, 2009
6:07 pm

That question got me thinkin. Seen a lot of Georgia HS football. How did Jarvis Jones become the #1 LB in GA. Seen him play and was just bigger than everyone else. No great technique, speed or instinct. Think that being bigger and Carve-Columbus making it to championship his junior year excelled him into that position. But pure ability, I’ll take Jonathan Davis, Chase Vasser and Mitchell-Thornton. What do you think?

htowngator22

January 7th, 2009
6:04 pm

You guys are going to need him on offense after just loosing Stafford and Moreno

Clubhouse

January 7th, 2009
6:00 pm

This year Georgia was a great state for Linebackers. However, looking at the list of the state’s linebackers, many of them don’t seem like they will transfer into great linebackers at the college or pro level. Which ones do you think have the best chance of being legit quality linebackers at the college level?