Georgia’s Sophomores Gone Wild


Tucker sophomore James Vaughters

Tucker sophomore James Vaughters

Why waste any time talking about the state’s top juniors? That group, those 15 and 16-year olds, they are old news. The sophomores are stealing the spotlight. And that’s correct for all of you keeping score at home: These kids will graduate in 2011. They won’t take the field in college (best-case scenario) for three more years. Maybe the economy will be back by then.

Tucker’s James Vaughters is the latest member of the 2011 club, joining others such as Gainesville linebacker A.J. Johnson (Tennessee offer) and Valdosta tight end Jay Rome (UGA, Alabama). Vaughters is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, sports a 4.0 GPA, and boasts extra early offers from N.C. State and Central Florida.


Since when did Central Florida start offering 2011 kids in Georgia? That’s a good question. I had to ask that to Tucker coach Franklin Stephens. “As you know, [Tucker senior] Jonathan Davis signed with Central Florida. The Central Florida assistant is David Kelley, who used to coach at Dunwoody. He knows all about the quality of football in DeKalb County, and Vaughters just jumped off the film to him.” 

There are two common threads with the three super sophs: All play for very successful high school programs and, perhaps more importantly, all three are on teams which had a ton of college scouts looking at film over the last few months. In other words, there were many opportunities for these 2011 clubbies to be noticed. And noticed they were.

Tucker had five seniors sign Div. I scholarships, including defensive tackle Deion Roberson (N.C. State, another Vaughters offer), while Valdosta had offensive lineman Antonio Foster (Georgia Tech) and linebacker Mike Gilliard (UGA). Gainesville has a pair of juniors, wide receiver Tai-Ler Jones and quarterback Blake Sims, with around 40 offers between them.

Surely more sophomores will be offered in the next few months, if not already. Which players are your nominations for the state’s top prospects for 2011?

23 comments Add your comment

edward cantrell

February 24th, 2009
5:07 am

i would have to say aj johnson. i mean he’s only a sophmore and he’s already like 6′2 220 4.65 forty time. the only thing i hear he needs to work on is he seems to be a little stiff in the hips(comparison: jarvis jones) which he has plenty of time to work on and improve and make a strength since he’s only a sophmore. imagine wat he’d be when he’s a senior! speed and strength will be improved and he’s still growing! wouldnt doubt if he is 6′4 235 by the time his senior year comes around. this past year he had 160 tackles and was named a second team all-american by maxpreps. i know his brother but i dont really know him since he’s like 3 or 4 years younger. but i think my case has been made here. lol. oh and here’s a pic

edward cantrell

February 24th, 2009
5:10 am

guess u cant upload pics on here but oh well i tried


February 24th, 2009
7:40 am

IT IS ARTICLES LIKE THIS THAT IS ESCALATING THIS DISTURBING TREND. We should not give these kids any press at all. Wher do you think all this sense of entitlement is coming from? Stop covering these stories. I also think we will see a trend of school’s pulling their offers when someone better developes in their senior season. It all so sad!!


February 24th, 2009
8:06 am

No response Carvell???? Hmmm…interesting !!! Oh and for you mr. cantrell, you are either this guys long lost stepdad or you are working as his secret agent!! Just shut up you fool!!!


February 24th, 2009
8:19 am

Oh and you forgot to mention that the real reason UCF is trying to move into Ga. is because of George O’Lie…rie!!

SEC fan

February 24th, 2009
9:25 am

Again, what is the status of Orson Charles? Is USC in the picture for real now? Tks.


February 24th, 2009
9:31 am

There is a 3 yr old in my childs daycare class that can catch a football aready. So, should I tell his parents to start sending tape to colleges?

GA Tech Insider

February 24th, 2009
10:40 am

griffdawg1, I would agree with you on your assessment of escalating these offers. I realize tracking these kids is important, but this is getting ridiculous. The next thing they’ll want is for an early signing period for incoming players for the coming season, and then to move that early signing period up to cover the rising Juniors as well.

Between than and the time these kids get ready to head off to School, several of the programs may have changed Head Coaches, styles of Offense or Defense, signed other players that would impact their playing time, etc. It’s getting crazy.


February 24th, 2009
11:09 am

I would guess that Paul Johnson will start to hurt Richt’s “dominance” of the State of Georgia. More importantly, however, is that Nick Saban is moving into Georgia faster than General Sherman. Alabama is a legitimate threat, especially since it will take at least four years to erase the butt-beating they humiliated us with on the largest viewed television audience in Atlanta history. Richt should really consider NEVER talking about what uniforms we’re going to wear EVER AGAIN. The talk of the “red out” for the Florida game turned out about as well as the “black out” for Bama. The other team worries about kicking our tails and we’re worried about how we look in our jerseys. Pathetic. Richt better get focused on recruiting and wining and nothing else. Just my opinion.


February 24th, 2009
11:50 am

The ones that sign with the DAWGS are the best ones. The others are losers.

LSU fan

February 24th, 2009
11:56 am

Dutch, You know what opinions are like. You Techies are still afraid to identify yourselves on the blogs. You beat UGA last year so some of you actually state your allegiance to GT. Others of you still hide after the 3-38 humiliation you provided the country with in the Chicken Bowl. Bama didn’t do any better in their bowl game either. If you think UGA and Richt are pathetic, don’t watch. I am sure they will all get over losing your attention some day. Saban can recruit anywhere he wants, TIgers gonna kick his tail this year and for the next several years.


February 24th, 2009
12:05 pm

GA TECH Insider, all this is true which is why in cases of changing coaching staffs, NCAA is leaning more towards allowing kids out of their signed LOI. I don’t disagree with an early signing period for kids graduating early as for Juniors, I don’t see the point!

Michael Carvell

February 24th, 2009
12:21 pm

GA Tech Insider: I agree with a lot of things you’re saying. Something doesn’t feel right about kids getting offered earlier and earlier. As we all know, these 2011 kids are no trendsetters. Chris Leak was offered by Wake Forest in the eighth grade. Click on the below link to read about a 12-year old QB (2015 prospect) who is already being “monitored” by colleges …


February 24th, 2009
7:04 pm

Coaches offering sophs might not even be at the school in 3 years, especially assistant coaches. CRAZY

edward cantrell

February 24th, 2009
9:34 pm

griffdawg wat i wrote had nothing to do with you and i can write watever i want. you are totally irrelevant! i was responding to the story so if u dont like it oh well. and im neither his long lost stepdad or his agent. how the hell can he have an agent at 16? get a life u dork!

Michael Carvell

February 25th, 2009
2:35 am

The one thing that speaks to me, no SCREAMS at me, is that “4.0 GPA.” I never thought I would say this … but if you’re a kid (yikes, even a freshman) who is one of the best players (five teammates signed D1 on Feb. 4) on one of the best teams (Tucker won the Class AAAA championship) in one of the USA’s best states for high school football … and he has a 4.0, that’s pretty much an automatic scholarship offer.

GEORGIA TECH and Stanford offered on Tuesday …. Who will be next? Alabama? Clemson?


February 25th, 2009
9:24 am

Have you not heard of Isaiah Crowell soph running back for carver-columbus. he already has offers from Lsu, Fla, and others. He is the #1 rated soph running back in country.

elmo lewis

February 25th, 2009
9:49 am

Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall will be highly recruited in both football and basketball.

[...] Re: 2011 Alabama Commitments and Prospects List (Updated 2/28) TE Jay Rome from Valdosta, GA. reportedly has an Alabama offer. Georgia

Chuck Uga

March 3rd, 2009
11:52 pm

Any kid atthat age that commits to a school is a fool. Immature fool would be the correct description.


March 7th, 2009
10:54 pm

i would have to say omari foreman,damian swann,marcus caffey, or rashad renolds from grady high school they all were starters sense there freshman year

Xavier McGilberry

March 14th, 2009
6:43 pm

I notice yall were one of the first people to see that Greg Reid of Lowdnes High was a special player, well I want to give you the heads up on a special player that might be better performer than Reid. Tyler Hunter of Lowdnes High. Everyone talking of Jay Rome but Hunter had 7TD played QB,DB,and Kick off Returns. He is 6 feet 195 and 4.41 speed. Max Prep has his numbers. Shuman Top 100 #1 DB. Greg Reid can tell you this kid is special. You will hear this name over and over again. Lets not forget this kid is one of the best baseball players in the state. BEWARE>


July 13th, 2009
1:46 pm

Another LB for the class of 2011 to check out is Jordan Pierce 6′1 205 for Clarke Central in Athens. Went to Ohio State prospect camp and ran a 4.7 forty. Also was top Jr. punter at GT kicking camp. Made All NE GA as a punter also. Moved to LB from DE. Top student also.