Georgia Tech and UGA lining up to battle over state’s top prospects

Paul Johnson already has two in-state prospects committed to sign with Georgia Tech next year (AJC)

Paul Johnson already has two in-state prospects committed to sign with Georgia Tech next year (AJC)

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and UGA’s Mark Richt say they expect to battle it out more this year over the state’s top prospects.

Westlake linebacker Michael Taylor is the latest homegrown talent to be recruited by the archrivals. Georgia Tech offered Taylor on Thursday; UGA extended the scholarship papers on his 17th birthday in February.

“It means a lot to get offered by both Georgia and Georgia Tech,” Taylor said. “Both are great schools. Georgia is one of the top teams in the SEC, while Georgia Tech is one of the best in the ACC. It doesn’t seem to happen a lot, when [an in-state] player gets offered by both of them.”

It’s still early in recruiting for the 2010 prospects, but at least a dozen of the state’s top names have dual offers from the rivals. Some of the headliners are M.L. King tailback Mack Brown, Booker T. Washington wide receiver Antonio Goodwin, Gainesville wide receiver Tai-ler Jones, North Gwinnett offensive lineman JaWuan James, Douglass defensive lineman Garrison Smith, South Paulding cornerback Ryan Ayers, Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker and Buford lineman Kolton Houston.

“It’s special to have offers from both because it’s one of the greatest rivalries in college football,” Garrison Smith said. “It is just an honor to have the opportunity to play for both of those great programs. It’s not the type of thing that happens every day.”

Smith has special insight into UGA and Georgia Tech. He has yet to announce his college decision, but appears to be favoring Georgia among his 24 offers. His older brother, Greg Smith, played for Georgia Tech.

Getting an offer from Georgia Tech and UGA is very important for the in-state recruits. It cements the player’s status as being one of the nation’s top college prospects. You can expect a flood of scholarship offers from out-of-state schools to follow. Just look at the elite names above.

The state of Georgia produces around 200 Div. I prospects every year, and only a tiny percentage are offered by either UGA or Georgia Tech. Even a smaller number of recruits are heavily pursued by both. There are exceptions to the rule, but you have to be good. Very good.

“It feels like a privilege,” JaWuan James said. “Georgia Tech is great, while Georgia is a powerhouse. If you decide to stay around home to play college football, you can’t go wrong with either of them.”

Douglass DL Garrison Smith likes UGA among his 24 offers, while his older brother played for archrival Georgia Tech (AJC)

Douglass DL Garrison Smith likes UGA among his 24 offers, while his older brother played for archrival Georgia Tech (AJC)

Back to Michael Taylor: The 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker also has early offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and North Carolina State, and many other schools are interested. He was thrilled to get the news from Georgia Tech.

“They have great academics, and if I was to go there, I could see myself playing very soon,” he said. “It would also be a chance to stay close to home and play in front of my family in Atlanta.”

What about Georgia? “If I had to sign today, then it would be Georgia. The Bulldogs are my No. 1 choice right now. I’m just waiting until the right time to commit to a school because this is one of the biggest decisions in the last 17 years of my life.”

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  • 248 comments Add your comment

    Nathan

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:57 pm

    Jason, they may have finished in the top 10 in 6 of the past 8 years but you have to look at the ranking system and how its set up. This year they were tenth and two teams had better records than them and beat better teams than them weren’t even in the top 10. The probably with the ranking is that the only reason Georgia finished in the top ten was there number 1 mythical ranking at the beginning of the year.

    wiley

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:56 pm

    jason w. – he argues because that’s what techies are trained to do. Focus on one or two myths and hammer the point home with their fingers stuck in their ears, ala a two year old brat. Or better yet, they focus on the one or two games georgia lost, and summarily dismiss georgia as a bunch of wannabes because they lost to the best two teams in the SEC West and SEC East, respectively. Yeah, that about sums it up. Or the fact that Nathan is sexually frustrated seems like it has some merit.

    Nathan

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:53 pm

    Michael its funny that since you have nothing intelligent to say in support of georgia you turn to gay comments. Wow I wish I was 12 again and could come up with these great lines like you do.
    Huh? Your response is laughable considering UGA hasn’t competed for a national title in 29 years to be exact. 29 years!!!! Oh no Alabama only competed this year which if you ask me is more relevant than 1980 but hey I guess for Georgia one good moment is better than 11 National titles. Your response on why you won’t argue Florida and USC is laughable because your trying to save face when honestly you have no argument. USC has more heisman winners in the past 10 years than georgia has in its history. Then again the Florida argument. They have more national titles in 3 years than georgia in its history. If you want to defend UGA please prove me wrong by showing how they are relevant. When was the last time they had a real chance of playing for the national title? Don’t talk about the recent trip to the Sugar Bowl when LSU won the national title since as Georgia fans forget they couldn’t win their own conference and therefore have no right to a national championship. Huh? If you want to criticize my facts thats fine but instead of being a little baby with no support for your argument about how great georgia is why don’t you use real facts and prove how great the little bulldogs who are always irrelevant are.

    Jason W.

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:45 pm

    Nathan, I’m no georgia fan, but hasn’t Georgia finished in the top 10 something like 6 out of the last 8 years? That would lead me to believe that they are…a top 10 program. How can you argue with this?

    Michael

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:42 pm

    Nathan sounds sexually frustrated to me. Sad, so sad. Have fun with Rosie Palms tonight, Nate Dogg!

    Nathan

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:42 pm

    Please tell me how I need a reality check. When you can show me a reason that Georgia deserve the same prestige as the other great programs in this country I will gladly listen. Georgia fans feel like Georgia is a great program and is on par with the best in the country when in fact they can’t come close. When you rank the ten best programs in the nation georgia doesn’t even make the list, unless of course your in Georgia where everyone thinks they are the best team in the country every year.

    Huh?

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:42 pm

    You said Alabama competes for national championships “every year”. That is what you said. This past season was their first appearance in the SECCG is NINE seasons you clueless goob, so how are their competing for national championships “every year”? Riddle me that genius.

    No, I am not responding to the rest of your post because I do not argue with people who don’t know their butt from a whole in the ground when it comes to college football. Its a waste of time. I might as well go talk to a brick wall.

    Reality Check...

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:34 pm

    Nathan is one of those tech fans that need a reality check…

    Nathan

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:33 pm

    Huh? They haven’t won the SEC in 10 years but incase you forgot they did compete for it this year and oh thats right whipped Georgia in Atlanta. Oh and as far as your national title comment they were in contention for the national title until they lost to Florida due to Tebow playing out of his mind. Where was Georgia during the SEC championship? Oh thats right they were sitting at home watching the game wondering what happened to the number 1 ranking they had at the beginning of the year. Oh and when is the last time Georgia won a national title? 1980 I believe so who are you to run your mouth cause thats right Alabama still has a national title more recently than Georgia. Go outside the state of Georgia and you get an almost unanimous result stating that Alabama is a more heralded program than UGA is and can probably ever hope to be. Georgia gets off thinks about how great it was with herschel walker but they forget that he played almost 30 years ago. When Georgia has a national title thats not almost 30 years old then you can talk. Until then take it just like Georgia did this year from Florida, Alabama, and Tech. Oh and I don’t hear you trying to say how Georgia is able to compete with Florida or USC. Please try and prove me wrong.

    KG

    April 3rd, 2009
    3:32 pm

    JB, sounds like Billyjack couldnt get into UGA, and ended up being a trash guy! Im a TECH man all the way, we may not have alot in common but maybe Tech and UGA fans can continue to battle stupidity together! Billyjack is the reason UGA fans get a bad wrap!