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

    GA Tech Insider

    April 4th, 2009
    4:51 pm

    I should have said that Denzel (sorry for the typo) is a 4-Star on Rivals:


    April 4th, 2009
    4:07 pm

    GT lost in space, … the “LAST GAME” of THIS rivalry, Tech was good enough!!!! ;0)

    GT fans lost in space

    April 4th, 2009
    10:57 am

    Holy dog sh**!! Looks like PJ is trying to pass gas in that picture. It’s looking like another bid to the Toilet Bowl for him. RUN PJ RUN!!

    38-3, LOL. You’re only as good as your last game.

    Nov. 28, 2009……….Have a nice day :)


    April 4th, 2009
    10:52 am


    see that definition of class up there is in reference to the grouping/echelon a team might be considered among.

    your humor was trying to incorrectly read him saying something in regards to being classy.

    georgia is considered to be among the class of the upper echelon of ncaa d1 football teams. for the past decade, they have regularly competed to win the sec and nationally for the highest spots including bcs bowls. albeit we are below the very top of the echelon since we have not actually won a national championship.

    georgia tech is not in this same class of football teams. ga tech is a very good team, but it cannot be said of them over the past decade that they have regularly competed to win the acc or nationally gotten into any bcs bowl games.


    April 4th, 2009
    9:46 am

    I think it’s humorous that people are using “class” and UGA in the same sentence. I also think it’s humorous when people want to be a reality check and can’t spell “reality.” The only reason that it’s rare for a recruit to get a scholarship from both schools is that Tech’s admit process has more restrictions.

    Realty Check

    April 4th, 2009
    9:17 am

    BUZZSAW – Please dont use another teams stats to talk about your lack of a football team. I dont really like overrated dawgs myself but Tech is not even close to being in their class.


    April 4th, 2009
    8:41 am

    Hey, LBS……Check this out, who would you rather play for, and they call this a rivalry??? Here you go leghumper, and you guys got taken to the woodshed on many occasions. When you want to boast, nothing like some karma back in your face!!!!! Keep living through lsu and remember when you boast about history, I SEEM TO REMEMBER THAT GEORGIA TECH HAS 4 NATIONAL TITLES TO YOUR LITTLE 1 AND A BETTER BOWL WINNING PERCENTAGE!!….Is that not what all teams lineup for on saturday’s??? NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS?? Tech has as many sec titles as you have and we have been out of the sec for over 40 years! YOU GUYS ARE A DISGRACE TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Heck you even eat your own sh**, thats what dogs do!!!!!!….YOU SHOULD BE CRIMINAL U…….

    1990 Florida 38 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–23–2
    1991 Florida 45 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–24–2
    1992 Florida 26 Georgia 24 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–25–2
    1993 Florida 33 Georgia 26 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–26–2
    1994 Florida 52 Georgia 14 Gainesville, Florida UGA 43–27–2
    1995 Florida 52 Georgia 17 Athens, Georgia UGA 43–28–2
    1996 Florida 47 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 43–29–2
    1997 Florida 17 Georgia 37 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–29–2
    1998 Florida 38 Georgia 7 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–30–2
    1999 Florida 30 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–31–2
    2000 Florida 34 Georgia 23 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–32–2
    2001 Florida 24 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–33–2
    2002 Florida 20 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–34–2
    2003 Florida 16 Georgia 13 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 44–35–2
    2004 Florida 24 Georgia 31 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–36–2
    2005 Florida 14 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–36–2
    2006 Florida 21 Georgia 14 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 45–37–2
    2007 Florida 30 Georgia 42 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 46–37–2
    2008 Florida 49 Georgia 10 Jacksonville, Florida UGA 46–38–2

    How do you say woodshed in athens? Is this the domination you guys were talking about. Talk about the cat calling the kettle black! MORONS


    Tokyo jacket

    April 4th, 2009
    6:54 am

    Maddog, I haven’t seen an answer to your question, so here goes. Over the past three or four years there have been more GA highschools offering calculus and more students expected to take it. We don’t always get smart players (see Reggie Ball and a lot of the other guys under Gailey/O’Leary watches); though we do have our Daryl Richard, George Godsey, Dan Dyke types too. We get guys who are able to at least get their foot in the door. And, based on increased offerings in GA schools, there is beginning to be some competition. It really started in 2007. I think the basis of the question is good football player =? smart guy, and the answer is yes.


    April 4th, 2009
    3:00 am

    The last 10 years (i didn’t want to be biased and say the last 8)
    2008 GT wins 45-42 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2007 UGA wins 31-17 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2006 UGA wins 15-12 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2005 UGA wins 14-7 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2004 UGA wins 19-13 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2003 UGA wins 34-17 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2002 UGA wins 51-7 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2001 UGA wins 31-17 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    2000 GT wins 27-15 (GT finished with a higher ranking)
    1999 GT wins 51-48 (UGA finished with a higher ranking)
    Which team would you rather be on?


    April 4th, 2009
    1:04 am


    April 3rd, 2009
    11:06 am
    A: Ga Tech has a chance at maybe 1 or 2 of the players listed of the 12. (Ayers and Smith)

    B: They are NOT the leader of any of them right now!

    C: Several of them have already crossed Tech off of their list of consideration.

    C1: All of them still have UGA on their list of consideration.

    B1: Many of them have UGA leading.

    A1: UGA has a chance of landing 9-10 of those players.

    Mark Richt has never said he’s competing with Ga Tech for those players – its much more like he’s competing with UF, USC, and Bama for those players.

    There is no recruiting battle with Tech.


    April 3rd, 2009
    11:11 am
    “Jesus JM, are you dyslexic or just retarded? Why on earth would you number/letter it like that?”

    DDT – Its numbered/lettered like that because its called a chiasm. Its a tool one can use in logic to add emphasis to one’s point. A corresponds to A1, B corresponds to B1, C corresponds to C1. Now you might want to reread the post and realize what it was actually saying since you obviously didn’t have a clue the first time.

    Thanks for showing off your Ga Tech education to the rest of us… moron.