Saying Yes to Georgia, and No to Tennessee and Southern Cal


Orson Charles (Tampa Tribune)

Orson Charles got on the hotline to speak directly with the head coaches of Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal before making his long-awaited college announcement (Tampa Tribune).

When you’re one of the nation’s top college prospects involved in a high-stakes recruiting sweepstakes, the easy thing to do is picking a winner among several offers. The hard thing is informing the runners-up that you are going elsewhere.

Many elite prospects avoid this gut-wrenching aspect of recruiting altogether. Some will have their high school coaches deliver the bad news to the losing schools. Some will have their parents call. Some will send a quick text or email, or call the college and pray it goes directly to voice mail. Some won’t do anything, letting the runner-up schools find out at the signing ceremony with everyone else.

“That was very hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” said Orson Charles, who signed with Georgia over Southern Cal and Tennessee on Friday. “But I felt like I owed it to the other schools to call and let them know I wasn’t coming. They were good to me. They invested a lot of time and energy in me. I felt like it was the right thing to do.”

“These colleges, they are not recruiting your high school coach. They are not recruiting your parents. They are not recruiting your answering machine. No, they are the ones taking the time out to get to know you and recruit you. So you should be the one calling to them know what’s going on.”

Around 30 minutes before Orson Charles made his long-awaited decision, he began calling all three of the finalists. Charles refused to take the easy way out. Even more difficult, he asked to speak not to any assistants but rather the head coach of each school. There were plenty of uneasy moments.

Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin: “He’s a real nice guy. He took it well. He thanked me for considering Tennessee and wished me the best.”

Southern Cal’s Pete Carroll: “He was mad. He just thought I would have a better chance of playing on a winning team and for a national championship if I signed with USC. He also was upset that he went to a lot of trouble with [heralded quarterback prospect Matt Barkley] to get the No. 7 jersey. [Carroll] kept me on the phone for awhile.”

Georgia’s Mark Richt: “I joked with [Richt] and said I was going to sign with Southern Cal. There was this long pause. Then I said, ‘I’m just joking. I’m signing with Georgia.’ Coach Richt was happy. He was yelling and screaming. You could hear him clapping in the background.”

The tight end from Tampa said that Southern Cal was his runner-up. He met with fellow Georgia recruit Aaron Murray on Sunday to begin studying the UGA playbook.

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77 comments Add your comment


March 16th, 2009
8:22 am

Nick, how stupid are you? You ever seen a wrestling match? Not much of a fight. Oh by the way, nobody is scared of the dogs. You must be mixing some moonshine with all of the kool aid you drink. Man, you are stupid.


March 12th, 2009
9:15 pm

how much did richt pay the guys to come to athens?or did he give tnem carpet?


March 12th, 2009
9:13 pm

the dawgs still suck and will be the most underachieving team agin in the east , just like basketball georgia is one of the most over rated states!!!as for fence building you have to come to knoxville and that will be kiffens first really big win , vols 27 georgia 14 and marlon brown will be blue from the pops he gets from eric berry who is from goerogia valdosta


March 11th, 2009
8:15 am

Mike, Eric Berry was going no where other than UT. But I will make this prediction right now, Marlon Brown’s team will have more wins than Eric Berry’s team does in their respective years. IF either goes in 3 years thats the number of years we go with. The UF fans are on top right now, no argueing that, but you are one injury from 7-5 for 2 out of 3 years. GT, little brother everyone gets a shot in every now and then, you got yours in 08, enjoy it, remember it because it was the 1 out of 8-10 you win.

[...] Saying Yes to Georgia, and No to Tennessee and Southern Cal … [...]

sec fan

March 10th, 2009
11:40 pm

i guess UGA just needs some sort of preseason hype for this year, since they definitly be number 1. Also UT wont be kicking any a@@ this year but they will be in games, they where in the UGA game last year, but this year theres no stafford, and knowshawn is gone so UGA needs to quit trash talking UT cause they beat them this year, maybe they could try florida, o wait florida put 50 on ugas defense.


March 10th, 2009
11:19 pm

And, Nick, I think the Pac-10 has been competitive with the SEC, nothing more. No claims, no stones headed your way.

However, you might want to take another look at the record between the two conferences, before calling anyone “completely” anything.

The Head-to-head record is factual and telling, your comments (like the song) are “feelings”, nothing more.