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

Mike

January 8th, 2009
1:14 am

Minter is awesome and just an outstanding young man. Any team should feel lucky to have him. However, he has neither the speed, nor the instincts at LB that Jonathan Davis has.

Mike

January 8th, 2009
1:13 am

Will, Brandon Smith won’t make it at UGA and Jonathan Davis is the best LB in the state, a LB in the mold of Rennie Curran, but better!

Michael Carvell

January 8th, 2009
12:44 am

Jarvis Jones? I don’t think he’s ever entertained the thought of playing in Georgia, but he was kind enough to do the right thing and visit UGA. I would’ve liked to have seen UGA pursue Peachtree Ridge LB Kevin Minter [LSU]. He’s Jonathan Davis with prototype size, and was an absolute wrecking machine in the state championship game (19 tackles). Oh well, I guess you can’t get them all, and there really are so many in this state (200+ to sign D1).

BIGDAWG88

January 7th, 2009
11:32 pm

To answer a previous question, schools hold a certain number of scholarships open hoping to get the players they want. In the meantime, they usually tell the other potential players what’s going on and will offer them if they don’t get the first guy(s). It’s up to the potential prospect to decide if he wants to wait and see what happens or go ahead and sign with another school. I know a guy who waited on UGA until almost May before he signed with another school. He really wanted to come to UGA, but they were waiting on someone else. At least schools are up front about it – usually. But didn’t uf mess up and sign too many players and have to drop one of the guys who waited to sign with them?

DawgFan

January 7th, 2009
10:33 pm

HEY BIG MIKE…..That sounds like in 2004, we sign Demiko Goodman and GT signed Calvin johnson…Both were top 25 wide receivers, had the same physical attributes(at the time) and both had good speed….that’s why I leave it to the coaches, they know what they are doing…..We wanted Calvin bad, but when we missed, we went to Demiko…

T Fountain

January 7th, 2009
9:10 pm

Good job Michael. Keep the info coming…

Michael Carvell

January 7th, 2009
8:26 pm

Until today, I was told that UGA would sign no more than 20 players for 2009. Now I’m hearing the number after the departure of Stafford and K-Mo is 21.

BigMike

January 7th, 2009
7:39 pm

Enter your comments here This kid Jarvis Jones, may be good, but do we really need him? This kid Bowman is real good, why don’t we put more focus on him and tell Marlon that he is out of luck. I WOULD WANT A PLAYER WHO WANTS TO BE A DAWG,rather than someone making you wait. They have the same physical attributes, both are top twenty receivers, and both have good speed.Take this kid, and go hard at Reid, and you will have addressed every position on this recruiting year.P.S. Get Bobby Massie and thats 4.5ypc every touch.

joe

January 7th, 2009
7:33 pm

It’s not about a guy out of Georgia, but i was just wondering how much interest GT has in a guy named Nick Failla. He goes to my high school right now and was an INCREDIBLE player until the state quarterfinals during his junior year he got horse collared and it torn up his knee. He also played with a sports hernia and broken tibia this year. We run the option at Millard North so you can just see the kind of QB he is. Deffinately better than jaybo shaw.

Ryan

January 7th, 2009
7:04 pm

Has anyone heard anything about Bobbie Massie? I was hoping we could beat out Alabama for him and get some more size.