Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Category

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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Strained friendship between Urban Meyer and Florida high school coach


Urban Meyer (AP)

Urban Meyer has won two BCS titles at Florida (AP photo)

A Florida high school football coach says his friendship is a little strained with Urban Meyer these days. It has everything to do with recruiting.

Robert Weiner directs Tampa’s Plant High, the Florida powerhouse which has won two out of the last three state championships. Plant High also boasts two prospects ranked among the nation’s top 100, quarterback Aaron Murray and tight end Orson Charles. Both are headed across the state line for college ball, which isn’t sitting too well with fans of the reigning BCS champions. Weiner counts Urban Meyer as a friend.

“I’m sure, at least for a short period of time, there will be strained relations with Urban and the Florida coaches,” Weiner told the AJC on Wednesday. “But eventually we’ll be back to business. I’ll have other players that the University of Florida will want in future years, and I’d love to get players to the University of Florida. Anytime you have two …

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Georgia’s Sophomores Gone Wild


Tucker sophomore James Vaughters

Tucker sophomore James Vaughters

Why waste any time talking about the state’s top juniors? That group, those 15 and 16-year olds, they are old news. The sophomores are stealing the spotlight. And that’s correct for all of you keeping score at home: These kids will graduate in 2011. They won’t take the field in college (best-case scenario) for three more years. Maybe the economy will be back by then.

Tucker’s James Vaughters is the latest member of the 2011 club, joining others such as Gainesville linebacker A.J. Johnson (Tennessee offer) and Valdosta tight end Jay Rome (UGA, Alabama). Vaughters is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, sports a 4.0 GPA, and boasts extra early offers from N.C. State and Central Florida.


Since when did Central Florida start offering 2011 kids in Georgia? That’s a good question. I had to ask that to Tucker coach Franklin Stephens. “As you know, [Tucker senior] Jonathan Davis signed with Central Florida. The Central Florida assistant is David Kelley, who …

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What commitment means: Georgia coach Mark Richt gives his opinion

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson hit on a hot-button issue when he made it a point to talk about what “commitment means” on signing day.

UGA coach Mark Richt was recently asked what “commitment means.” 

“When we offer a kid, we don’t ever want to renege that offer,” Richt said. “If we offer a QB, and we’ve assigned one scholarship to that position, and we offer five or six, we tell each one of them that ‘We’re looking to sign one.’ When one gets committed, and we trust that he’s solid, then we let everybody know we’re full. I don’t really look at that as reneging an offer. I think everybody offered has the chance to take that one. It one of those ‘whomever takes it first, gets it’ type of things.”

“That’s why I tell our coaches ‘Don’t be quick to offer. If you offer him, and he commits, he’s ours. We’re not backing off that. So, at times, we probably offer a little bit slower, in some cases, than other schools.”

“You hope that a young man is going to stand firm with his …

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UGA coach forced to change plans with Troup County valedictorian candidate


Chris Burnette

Chris Burnette

Georgia coach Mark Richt made a promise last month to Troup County offensive lineman Chris Burnette: If you’re the valedictorian, then I’ll be at your graduation to hear your speech.

However, as it turns out, NCAA rules will prevent Richt from attending the high school graduation. But he still plans on hearing Burnette’s speech.

“If Chris is the man and he gives the speech, hopefully they will tape it … I would absolutely watch it, I’d be excited to watch it,” Richt said. “I’ll make sure to check with compliance, but I can’t imagine that being [an NCAA] violation.”

Burnette, who signed with Georgia, said he is fine with the altered plans. “Everybody around here was excited about Coach Richt showing up at graduation. But he can’t do anything about the rules … I understand, it’s no big deal.”

“It really means a lot to me that [Richt] wanted to be there to support me. I knew there a chance he couldn’t make because of [NCAA rules], football practices, or the …

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Lane Kiffin may get the last laugh

We all know the Hollywood saying “Any publicity is good publicity.”

Could this apply to Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin? Is this his “secret” recruiting strategy? In the end, will Kiffin get the last laugh on his detractors?  It sounds ridiculous, until you look at everything strictly from the standpoint of recruiting.

Brief recap: Kiffin has appeared to set a Guinness world record for “ticking off the most SEC coaches in the shortest span.” Barely two months on the job at Rocky Top, Kiffin has taken shots at Florida, Alabama and Georgia. He made the biggest news with “cheating accusations” toward Florida’s Urban Meyer, coach of the reigning BCS champions.

One could say (and many are outside of the Orange Nation) that “never before has a coach been this brash, this bold, this quickly … without coaching his first college game.” And that was the PG-13 version of summing up public opinion. Kiffin’s moves appear to be reckless and out of control.

However, from a recruiting …

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