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
Georgia coach Mark Richt granted ex-UGA LB recruit Dexter Moody an “unconditional” release, meaning he could play for any school. Moody told the AJC he could end up playing for Lane Kiffin at Tennessee.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Moody said he was invited to Tennessee’s Orange and White game on Saturday by the Volunteers. ”Me and my dad are planning on going up there,” Moody said. “They talked liked they were going to offer me a scholarship. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. They just want to meet me in person and everything.”
Moody, who earned All-America honors last year at Emanuel County Institute, said he has had contact with several schools, including Florida, Memphis, Central Michigan and Troy, since breaking ties with Georgia last month. Moody said he has been offered by Marshall, and that he is very encouraged by Tennessee’s Lance Thompson, who coaches linebackers
North Gwinnett’s Jawuan James, one of the nation’s top offensive lineman, is finished with his world tour. Well, almost. James, who has nearly 30 scholarship offers, plans to attend Alabama’s spring game on Saturday.
Over the few weeks, James has traveled from coast to coast. On the west side, he went as far as Nike Country, i.e. the University of Oregon. Somewhere along the way, James also stopped by UGA, Tennessee and Florida.
The 6-foot-7, 305-pound James has a stack of scholarship letters and says his top five are Alabama, UGA, Florida, Tennessee and Oklahoma. And he’s really liking the Gators after spending five days in Florida last week over spring break.
“I got to see [Urban Meyer] every day,” James said. “He said they really like me, and need athletic offensive tackles. He said that don’t have a true tackle-sized person … they didn’t have another lineman on their team that was both as big as me and as athletic as me. They said I was on the top on Florida’s list for
Gainesville wide receiver Tai-ler Jones, who will announce his college decision on Thursday, has Notre Dame among his finalists.
There’s a good reason. His father, Andre Jones, played linebacker and defensive end for Notre Dame. The younger Jones has narrowed down to UGA, North Carolina, Stanford, California, UCLA, Ohio State and the Fighting Irish. He is one of the nation’s leaders in early scholarships offers with 32.
“Notre Dame is a great school … and I know that because my dad says that about every day,” Jones said with a laugh.
“He tells me all the time about his experiences, and how the college life and connections you make at Notre Dame are different than any other school in the country,” Jones said. “It’s like one big brotherhood, and they all help each other out.”
Jones said he feels like
Big brother played a big factor in one of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks committing to Steve Spurrier and South Carolina over Georgia Tech.
Flowery Branch’s Connor Shaw is the younger brother of Georgia Tech quarterback Jaybo Shaw. Big brother’s presence had its advantages and disadvantages for the Jackets in recruiting.
“Jaybo and I are real close,” Connor told the AJC. “We always talked about how cool it would be to play with each other again after high school. He’s the main reason I wanted to go to Georgia Tech. However, ultimately it came down to us competing for the same job … My parents are excited for me. They are just trying to figure out which games to go to in a couple of years, the games at South Carolina or Georgia Tech.”
Buford offensive lineman Kolton Houston committed to Georgia before Saturday’s G-Day, following in the footsteps of his father, former UGA football player Shane Houston. “Yes, I did,” Houston told the AJC. “Georgia is the right fit for me and I can’t wait to get here.”
“It’s a great honor to be a Bulldog and I can’t wait to play in front of 92,000 people ‘Between the Hedges.’”
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Houston selected Georgia over around 15 offers, including Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Auburn, Florida State, and Michigan State.
Houston has a lot of red and black in his blood. His father was a backup linebacker at Georgia in the late 1980s. Both of Kolton’s parents attended UGA.
Despite the family connections, Houston was a good catch for the Bulldogs. Kolton had started looking seriously at other schools because Georgia was taking longer than competing colleges with his evaluation. However, everything changed when Georgia’s Mark Richt finally
Florida coach Urban Meyer jumped into the sweepstakes for Georgia’s No. 1 sophomore.
Tucker LB James Vaughters made an unofficial visit to Florida, and sat down with Meyer for about 45 minutes. Florida is offer No. 8 for Vaughters, who also has scholarships promised from UGA, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Clemson, Stanford, N.C. State and Central Florida.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Vaughters claims no early favorites. His eyes got big when he was shown around the campus of the reigning BCS champions. “They definitely put a lot into weightlifting. Florida’s weight room is bigger than gyms I’ve seen. [Meyer] seems very interested in character, which is something else that is very good.”
“[Meyer] was also talking about how the team goes to
Alabama’s Nick Saban dampened UGA’s national championship hopes last year. Now Saban is returning to the state to inflict more damage.
Gainesville QB Blake Sims is the latest 2010 prospect to pledge to Alabama. Sims picked the Crimson Tide over UGA, Michigan, Tennessee and West Virginia, among others.
Alabama has as many commitments from the state as Georgia Tech (3), and more than UGA (1). The other Tuscaloosa-bound prospects are North Gwinnett OL Austin Shephard and Westside-Macon WR Ronald Carswell.
The big questions are these: Now that Saban is scoring big early in Georgia, will he be able to finish as strong as he started with recruiting? And will he be able to hold on to the commitments he has? So far, so good.
UGA touched base with Sims this week, asking if he wanted to take another look at the Bulldogs. “[Assistant John Jancek] wanted me to come down there, so they could roll out the red carpet like Alabama
Derrick Favors, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 basketball prospect by several recruiting services, said there’s no reason for Georgia Tech fans to worry over the next 10 days. Favors has been committed to the Yellow Jackets since January, and will officially sign the scholarship papers on April 15.
“There’s always rumors going around, but I’m 100-percent committed to Georgia Tech,” Favors told the AJC on Sunday night. “When I made my commitment, that was it. There haven’t been any reasons to change things. Georgia Tech hasn’t had a coaching change, and I’m real cool with the team, so I’m staying with them.”
The rumor mill for college basketball recruiting is at its peak. John Calipari was named Kentucky’s coach, and high-profile prospects committed or signed elswhere may follow him. If you recall, Calipari’s former school, Memphis, was a