Archive for the ‘Tennessee’ Category

Saying Yes to Georgia, and No to Tennessee and Southern Cal


Orson Charles (Tampa Tribune)

Orson Charles got on the hotline to speak directly with the head coaches of Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal before making his long-awaited college announcement (Tampa Tribune).

When you’re one of the nation’s top college prospects involved in a high-stakes recruiting sweepstakes, the easy thing to do is picking a winner among several offers. The hard thing is informing the runners-up that you are going elsewhere.

Many elite prospects avoid this gut-wrenching aspect of recruiting altogether. Some will have their high school coaches deliver the bad news to the losing schools. Some will have their parents call. Some will send a quick text or email, or call the college and pray it goes directly to voice mail. Some won’t do anything, letting the runner-up schools find out at the signing ceremony with everyone else.

“That was very hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” said Orson Charles, who signed with Georgia over Southern Cal and Tennessee on …

Continue reading Saying Yes to Georgia, and No to Tennessee and Southern Cal »

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 …

Continue reading Top 10 reasons we thought Orson Charles might pick Georgia »

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 …

Continue reading 15 questions with Orson Charles about Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal »

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 …

Continue reading UGA coach Mark Richt prays for the right recruits »

Kiffin’s Tennessee staff ripping off shirts for recruiting

Lane Kiffin (AP)

Lane Kiffin is first-year coach at Tennessee (AP)

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and his staff made an unforgettable impression on some of the Southeast’s top college prospects on Saturday.

More than 100 high school players, including several of Georgia’s elite prospects, attended Tennessee’s Junior Day. Things started off rather routine. “It was just like your normal Junior Day, with coaches and other people from the college talking,” Brookstone tight end Brian Vogler said. “You could see heads bobbing, with eyes falling a little bit. But the second they split us up from the parents, it got so much more intense.”

The prospects were led to the film room, where Kiffin thanked the recruits for making the trip and considering the Volunteers. “Then this other coach [assistant] got up there and said that Tennessee takes special teams very seriously, that it’s a big key to winning,” recalled Northview defensive lineman Denzel McCoy, who has 31 early scholarship offers.

“That coach …

Continue reading Kiffin’s Tennessee staff ripping off shirts for recruiting »

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 …

Continue reading Georgia’s Sophomores Gone Wild »

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 …

Continue reading Lane Kiffin may get the last laugh »

What will Greg Reid do? The state awaits Tuesday night


Lowndes DB Greg Reid

Lowndes DB Greg Reid

What will Greg Reid do on Tuesday night?

The state and (gulp) nation awaits, as Reid has transformed himself into arguably the county’s “hottest” college football prospect over the last month.

Reid, the AJC’s Player of the Year, will choose between Alabama, Florida State and Georgia between 6-8 p.m. on a local radio station that also broadcasts over the Internet.

Love him or hate him, Reid is nothing short of greatness on the football field. He is considered the rarest of prospects, someone who has the potential to improve a college team’s football fortunes from the very moment he arrives on campus. What will Greg Reid do?

The 5-foot-8 Reid had a dominating senior season at Lowndes High. If that wasn’t convincing enough, he played in Georgia’s North-South all-star classic and scored the game’s only two touchdowns on punt returns of 89 and 77 yards. If more proof was needed, Reid won MVP honors with two interceptions in the ESPN-televised Under Armour

Continue reading What will Greg Reid do? The state awaits Tuesday night »

Step right up and make your National Signing Day predictions

Do you think you know your recruiting? Do you have some inside information that no one else knows? Then let’s have some fun. 

Take your best guess on where five high-profile recruits will sign on Wednesday …

Greg Reid, DB, Lowndes. It’s Florida State, UGA, and Alabama. His Lowndes teammate and cousin, Gerald Demps, is headed to Florida State, and some family members would like him to play a little closer to home (Tallahassee is 85 miles away, while Athens is 240). Reid admits with Georgia being his final official visit, they are in great position to make the biggest influence before signing day. Will it be enough?

Carver LB Jarvis Jones

Carver-Columbus LB Jarvis Jones

Jarvis Jones, LB, Carver-Columbus. The poker-faced Jones lists Florida, Southern Cal, UGA, LSU and Texas. There’s an “80-percent chance” he’ll go out of state. Mark Richt spent six hours with Jones on Wednesday. Was that enough to make Jones think about staying around home to play?

Darren Myles, DB, Carver-Atlanta. He is taking an …

Continue reading Step right up and make your National Signing Day predictions »