Archive for March, 2009

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s famous rant reaps recruiting rewards

Mike Gundy boosted his Q rating among recruits with his rant (OSU athletics)

Mike Gundy boosted his Q rating among recruits with his rant. Georgia plays at Oklahoma State to open the 2009 football season (OSU athletics)

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who became an instant celebrity with his I’m a Man, I’m 40″ rant on YouTube, said his famous tirade to defend one of his former players is helping the Cowboys with recruiting future players. Even Gundy admits he never anticipated the recruiting benefits from the emotional outburst which got so popular it was the punchline for jokes.

“No, I didn’t expect it, in any way, shape, form or fashion,” Gundy told the AJC. “It’s interesting since that day, which happened on impulse in my opinion, to protect and take care of one of our players, I didn’t have any idea that it would take off like this. From that point on, for good or bad, I’ve become very recognizable across the country.”

“In turn, what has has happened in the last couple of years in recruiting, it has helped us tremendously. I think the parents …

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Who will be Georgia’s first commitment for 2010?

 

Douglass DE Garrison Smith likes Georgia and had brother who played for Georgia Tech (AJC)

Douglass DE Garrison Smith likes Georgia, and his brother played at archrival Georgia Tech (AJC)

Who will be UGA’s first commitment for 2010?

Somebody has got to be first. Who will it be? How much longer will it take before one of the highly-regarded juniors coveted by Georgia finally pledges to sign with the Bulldogs?

Juniors are committing to colleges all over the country. Texas has 20 early commitments, while Florida has seven, according to Rivals. South Carolina has three, as does Alabama, including North Gwinnett’s Austin Shepherd. Georgia Tech has one 2010 commitment, Collins Hill tailback Charles Perkins.

What about Georgia? Last year by signing day, the Bulldogs had five early commitments, all in-state players. UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner was asked why he didn’t think the Bulldogs had any juniors committed this year by signing day.

“That’s not true,” the poker-faced Garner said. 

Garner could’ve been teasing. But more than likely, one of Georgia’s …

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Making the Grade for UGA, Georgia Tech recruits

 

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (AJC)

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson (AJC)

It’s one thing to sign a heralded recruiting class. It’s another to see if they all make it through college admissions to football practice in the summer.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson feels really good about his 21 recruits, led by Flowery Branch’s Izaan Cross. ”As long as everybody finishes with the grades they have now, I think everybody is good,” Johnson said last week. “As long as they maintain in school what they have and get there. It’s a sliding scale with test scores and GPAs, as far as NCAA qualifiers go. If everybody we have stays with what they have, then we should be OK.” 

UGA wrapped up its 2009 class with recruit No. 20, tight end Orson Charles of Tampa. At least six Georgia recruits have told reporters over the last few months that they were “close to meeting college entrance requirements,” with the biggest names being ECI teammates Washaun Ealey and Dexter Moody, along with defensive end Montez Robinson of …

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Florida State’s probation causes concern among football prospects

NEW: Meet some of Georgia’s hottest rising senior prospects in the Class of 2010 and share your thoughts on where they should consider signing, what they should work on and if they’re all that

Storm Johnson is one of Georgia's top 2010 tailbacks (Rich Addicks/AJC)

Storm Johnson is one of Georgia's top 2010 tailbacks (Rich Addicks/AJC)

The P-word is scaring some of Florida State’s top recruiting targets. “FSU is not as high as they were with me because of probation,” said Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, who is considered Georgia’s No. 1 prospect with 33 early offers. “Florida State was my childhood favorite. I’m still open to them. I’m just not sure about getting involved with any program on probation. We’ll just see how it all plays out.”

Gainesville’s Blake Sims has been offered by FSU as a dual-threat quarterback. “That hurt me a lot when they got on probation because I was so high on them. My feelings have jumped back a little bit. I want to go to a school where I can trust everybody on the coaching staff. If I go to a school that has been put …

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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 …

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Georgia Tech carries in-state recruiting momentum after Georgia win

 

Stephen Hill flirted with Georgia, but signed with Georgia Tech

Stephen Hill

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said Tech’s 45-42 win over Georgia, snapping a seven-game losing streak, has had an impact on the recruiting trail.  ”Certainly, it doesn’t hurt when you can beat your in-state rival. It’s got to help. It gives you more credibility within the state. But it can’t be an one-time deal. We’ve got to be able to repeat it.”

“Georgia has a lot of advantages in the state, from perception or whatever. And a lot of it they created themselves. They’ve done a nice job. You try to find guys that fit your system, and there are good enough players in the state of Georgia that both schools can get good players.”

Johnson and Georgia coach Mark Richt have both said they expect to compete against each other more often for the state’s top 2010 prospects. “Have we got to come head-to-head sometimes? Sure we will,” Johnson said. “We did last year. Not a lot, but some.”

Stephen Hill

Stephen Hill was the state's only player deciding between offers from Georgia …

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Top 10 reasons we thought Orson Charles might pick Georgia

This guy rules.

This guy rules.

UPDATE: Click here for AJC Photo Gallery of Charles signing with Georgia at his signing ceremony on March 6, 2009.

Tight end Orson Charles of Tampa, one of the nation’s top unsigned seniors, was scheduled to pick March 6, 2009, between Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal at 4:30 p.m. EST. Here are 10 reasons we here at the AJC thought O.C. just might pick UGA. (And we turned out to be right on.)

10. Be Like Herschel (Just Sign Earlier) — The most famous Georgia Bulldog also waited until after signing day. Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, signed his college papers in April. APRIL.

9. You Can’t Spell “Superior College Football” without “SEC” — The Southeastern Conference is considered by many to be the country’s best for college football, and home to the last three BCS champions. Georgia began last season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

8. TE + UGA = NFL — Georgia has an established reputation for sending tight ends to the NFL (see: former …

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15 questions with Orson Charles about Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal

 

Orson Charles (Tampa Tribune)

Orson Charles (Tampa Tribune)

Georgia will close the books on its 2009 recruiting class after Friday’s announcement by tight end Orson Charles of Tampa. Charles is one of nation’s top unsigned seniors and deciding between Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal. Here are 15 questions with Charles:

Q. Where do you stand at this moment with picking a college on Friday? A. “Really, at this point, I’m not really sure. I’m talking to [members of my church], and they say, ‘Orson, keep praying about it, and keep reading Proverbs. God is going to help you with this.’”

Q. If you had to pick a school [on Wednesday night], could you do it? A. “No sir, I sure couldn’t. I’m still not sure. I’m in the process of praying about it, and I have a few more meetings. I know I want to sit down with [NFL wide receiver] Michael Clayton, and he has me set up to talk to some of his friends. I still have to talk with my high school coach. I’ll probably have one more meeting with my family and take it …

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UGA coach Mark Richt prays for the right recruits

 

Georgia coach Mark Richt revealed his secret on handling the rigors and stresses of recruiting: He prays.

“I put a lot of things to prayer, and this is one thing I put to prayer. I ask the Lord to ‘Give us the guys that belong at Georgia. The ones that don’t belong, work it out.’ I don’t get too bent out of shape with [recruiting], one way or the other. We’re going to get what we need. We’re going to get the right guys here.”

More than a month after signing day, UGA is still trying to put the finishing touches on its 2009 recruiting class. On Friday, tight end Orson Charles of Tampa will decide between the Bulldogs, Tennessee and Southern Cal. On signing day, Richt displayed a calm and cool demeanor in front of Georgia supporters eager for some last-minute drama. The Bulldogs missed on several high-profile prospects, including Carver-Columbus linebacker Jarvis Jones (signed with Southern Cal) and safety Jawanza Starling (Southern Cal) of Tallahassee, Fla., before …

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Building a fence around Georgia

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson hinted that next year’s recruiting class may be entirely comprised of prospects from the state of Georgia. Last month, the Jackets signed 14 in-state players, the largest haul since 1992.

“The state is very important,” Johnson said. “We wanted to try to make an emphasis on that, and we have. There’s a chance we may take everybody in-state this year [with our 2010 scholarships]. We may take them all from Georgia.”

Georgia Tech expects to sign between 12-15 players next year, and already has its first commitment with Collins Hill tailback Charles Perkins. “I think there’s a lot of good players in Georgia, there’s some great high school coaches, and football is important,” Johnson said. “We’re one of the two bigger in-state schools and we need to make sure that we are very thorough here.”

“Now does that mean we won’t go outside? No. But if we are going outside of the state, those guys need to be remarkably better than the guys we can find in the …

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