The feel-good story of UGA’s 2009 recruiting class is Chris Burnette.
Not only is he one of the nation’s top-rated offensive linemen, he is also a valedictorian candidate at Troup High School. UGA coach Mark Richt told Burnette he was the first valedictorian he had ever recruited. He also said that if Burnette got to speak at graduation, that he would do his best to be there in person to hear it.
Richt’s vow earned Georgia, and college football in general, a wave of good publicity. Then the big and bad NCAA got in the way.
As it turned out, it would be against the rules for Richt to attend the celebration of his recruit’s academic achievements. Richt, being the nice guy he is, felt bad about not being permitted to go but said he would still listen to the speech via a videotaped copy.
That’s where things stand right now. And now is where I think Richt should consider taking a stand … in
Douglass defensive end Garrison Smith, one of the nation’s leaders in early scholarships with around 30, had been offered by all of his dream schools except for one. That was Southern Cal, and Pete Carroll called with the news on Wednesday night.
“[Carroll] said he thinks I’m a good player, that I’d be a good fit, and I ought to come out to the West coast,” Smith said. “I was real excited about talking to him. USC is a legendary team with a legendary coach, and always winning championships. It’s just another blessing.”
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Smith was offered by Oklahoma last week, and also holds scholarships from Georgia and Georgia Tech. His older brother, Greg Smith, played for Georgia Tech.
He was rumored to be considering making an early decision, but says he is unsure about when he will commit. “I just want to check out all of my options,”
Although new Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin has gotten the most press from his coaches’ shirt-ripping stunt during an early March Junior Day visit from recruits, in truth it was men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl who really started the whole Tennessee Topless phenomenon when he showed up shirtless and painted in orange to show support for the Lady Vols in a 2007 game against rival Duke.
Pearl went shirtless again Monday night when he and three Vols athletes performed a rap song during Tennessee’s athletics awards ceremony. The hoops coach sported one of his trademark orange-and-white checkered sport coat, orange tie and… a lot of skin.
For his part, Lane Kiffin remained clothed, performing in a skit with father / defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
VIDEO: Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl’s topless rap
Coffee defensive back Pernell Williams said he committed to the Florida Gators, but it appears that the reigning BCS champions have not yet accepted his commitment.
Here’s a quick recap: Williams said he got on the phone on Thursday morning with Florida assistants Vance Bedford and Brian White, and told them he was committing to the Gators. Then Williams texted reporters, saying he was excited about picking the Gators.
However, word later got back to Williams and his family that maybe the Gators hadn’t accepted the commitment just yet. Apparently, there was some miscommunication. Former UGA player Reggie Weeks, who is the brother-in-law of Williams, said he called Bedford late Thursday to clarify the matter.
“[Bedford] said ‘We definitely want Pernell and he has an offer from Florida,’” Weeks said. “He said they (Florida) didn’t want Pernell to rush into it so soon with committing where he might change his mind later on. So Florida is coming to
Washaun Ealey, who some say is the state’s most accomplished tailback since Herschel Walker, has to clear one final hurdle before making it to Georgia.
The record-breaking senior from Emanuel County Institute told the AJC that he is close to meeting college entrance requirements.
“I’m almost there. By the time graduation comes around, I should be fine,” Ealey said Tuesday night. “I’m doing good in all my classes. I’ve got the test scores. If I keep my grades where they are now, then my test scores are good enough for me [to be academically qualified]. It’s really looking good now.”
Ealey’s sprint toward graduation is a major storyline over the next two months for UGA. The Bulldogs lost Knowshon Moreno to the NFL, and only signed one running back in this year’s recruiting class, Ealey. Georgia coach Mark Richt, who