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

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

Harry Munson

January 7th, 2009
10:57 am

Great work! Keep it coming.

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.

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!!!!!

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!

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!

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.

Bud King

January 7th, 2009
1:34 pm

Enter your comments here

Bud King

January 7th, 2009
1:35 pm

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

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!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

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!

Paddy

January 7th, 2009
2:20 pm

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

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?

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.

htowngator22

January 7th, 2009
4:54 pm

Enter your comments here Reid is going to UF

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?

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??

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
5:51 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

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?

htowngator22

January 7th, 2009
6:04 pm

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

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?

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

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

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

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

Alabamadawg

January 7th, 2009
6:30 pm

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

T Fountain

January 7th, 2009
9:10 pm

Good job Michael. Keep the info coming…

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…

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?

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).

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!

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.

Football Fan

January 8th, 2009
10:56 am

Kay the young man is taking a photo on the football field, football is a contact sport that often times requires aggression , especially on defense.

tim

January 8th, 2009
1:37 pm

Hey I am from the Valdosta area , Mr. Reid is a very talented man on the football. UGA will be home for Mr. Reid.

Tlaw

January 8th, 2009
1:38 pm

Stated above by “KAY”
“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!”

Kay please go play in traffic..You are judging Ried by a football picture. If you haven’t seen most team football pictures, everyone looks angry, it’s FOOTBALL!!!Why are you even writing in this blog. Ried doesn’t have any kind of record or pattern of getting into trouble so LAY OFF!!!!!

Butch

January 8th, 2009
3:06 pm

I miss Jeff Hood’s recruiting coverage. Bring back Hood! Bring back Hood!

lotterman

January 8th, 2009
3:51 pm

2 things I’d like to say.

1. Concerning the comment Kay made, that’s why women have no place or buisness in football, THEY DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!

2. Auburn will wind up violating NCAA recruiting rules in the future and will have sanctions placed against them within the next 2 or 3 years. They have become SO intimidated by what Nick Saban is doing over at U of A all the talk about now is “we gotta get better at recruiting, we gotta get better at recruiting” I’;ve never seen such a since of urgency over recruiting over there. The whole thing is, is that Chizik and his assistants will never be able to recruit better than Nick and co., they’ll get desperate over at Auburn and start doing any and everything to lure recruits in and that’s gonna bring on what will be some of the darkest days in Auburn football history. The 08 season will just be a preview of what’s to come.

Trey

January 8th, 2009
4:52 pm

Michael,

Really enjoyed your recently article on the kid out of Troup High School – an amazing story.

I think the interest in recruiting is an interest for die hard fans. I, for one, think the ’soap opera’ aspect to recruiting is that these kids are making one of the toughest decisions they will ever have to make. Playing for the right program, the right coach, and in the right location will make the difference if great players make it to the next level. The drama is just an aspect of the human story which makes it so compelling.