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


    April 3rd, 2009
    6:08 pm

    buddy, tip, Geogia Tech was also in ESPN’s top twenty of all time, finishing at number 19. Listen kids, if you want to spend your college life playing under the lights in the SEC and consistently finishing the year with two divisional losses, you can go to Georgia. Or you can come to Tech, where the education is as good as any public college in the nation, where players are not only hard workers on the field, but also volunteers making the inner city better for the homeless. You can go to Georgia and live for the football, or you can go to Georgia tech, where you can play football and make a difference in the community


    April 3rd, 2009
    6:07 pm

    This whole blog boils down to several things.

    1) Yes, Georgia will probably always get the better recruits despite Tech’s success.
    2) Georgia fans hide behind LSU for excuses, Tech uses Florida’s record vs UGA in defense.
    3) Tennessee fans like getting involved.
    4) Georgia fans love using the mighty SEC as a defense tactic.

    I’m going to watch the GT vs NC baseball game, you people keep it up.

    ALL UGAY fans should be cast for JOE DIRT 2

    April 3rd, 2009
    5:59 pm

    Michael, how can you honestly support the dogs? I mean they eat their own sh**????? I think you need to look at yourself in the mirror and take that joke sherrie with you as well! What a great school at ugay, where they offer correctional management and Butt sniffing 101….Can’t believe you talk about rosie PALMS, what do you know about them? Sherrie clue yourself in on the year 1990, a co-championship was given between GT {coaches poll} and the buffs {AP]. You can remember that 1980 year but your brain must have been on drugs in 90. Facts:….
    Who won the most recent national championship?
    Who owns the longest losing streak?
    Who won 45-42?
    Who won more sec titles between the two schools when they both were in the sec?
    Who has more players arrested than fsu?
    Who has 4 coaches in the NCAA hall of fame?
    Which conference between the ACC and SEC had more of its players represented in the pro bowl this year?
    which program has a better bowl winning percentage between the two schools?
    Lastly, Who has 4 national championships compared the other teams pathetic 1?
    Your school has been around since before hoover was president and you could muster but 1? But your soooooo superior? All your 5 star recruits? What happened ugay? You had one coach {dooley} turned your program around, and he won 1 nc and football has been played for a century before you won your first and you got 1????

    ….. And why are Tech fans to believe Ugay is superior or has more history & tradition than Tech? What do they put in your coolaid up there in assthens leghumpers?? This is a crash course in REAL FOOTBALL FACT FINDING. Keep reeling those 5 star players in ugay, our 2 star guys will show you the door out of atlanta in 8 months in STINGING FASHION!
    Do You guys fear the STING more, or the facts?? I think all ugay fans should be cast in JOE DIRT 2, OR DELIVERENCE 2!!! That’s how highly i think of you!!! Keep those rebel flags flying and paying that lot rent on your mobile homes guys, your moving up in society.

    45-42 THWG


    April 3rd, 2009
    5:55 pm

    I love how the nerds talk so much SH*T and they got KILLED in there bowl game and if i recall we spanked LSU at there house….werent you guys at your other house (the dome) – (which is red and black and i love it)

    Big Bee

    April 3rd, 2009
    5:38 pm

    If GT wins again in Nov. 09, expect some UGA fans to ride on of North Korea’s missels down into Grant Field. They will be devistated and CMR’s time will be counted on a stop watch. That said, why don’t you guys just say we got out a## beat and crank ou for next yeaR?


    April 3rd, 2009
    4:53 pm

    So, tradition and winning consistently are all that matters then anyone who has watched college football knows that Georgia is an elite program. It is in the top 20 all time. Go ahead and try to make a list of the top 20 all time programs and not include Georgia. Nathan may feel all pious that he can sit here and say Georgia isn’t elite because of National Titles. Look at win loss statistics over a long period of time and number of players sent to the NFL Or better yet, go look online at the poll that ESPN did earlier in the year. Georgia is in the top 15 of all time programs. Go learn something and stop just trying to rile up people with your inane babble.

    Thurman Merman

    April 3rd, 2009
    4:53 pm

    Hey Nathan, see you at Dragon Con this year? I’m brining the PBJ sandwiches and you bring your Princess Lea blowup doll! Go Jackets!


    April 3rd, 2009
    4:50 pm

    actually if you want to split hairs (and I do), georgia was ranked #1 the entire season and lost to Penn St. in the championship game in 1983. I would consider that competing for a national championship. So, the last 26 years. Thought you pencil-necked nerds could count? Apparently not, reggie ball.

    casey h.

    April 3rd, 2009
    4:48 pm

    sounds like nathan played left out for the middle school team, then was relegated to tuba duties. Poor chap.


    April 3rd, 2009
    4:47 pm