Georgia’s prospects are leading characters in ‘Wacky World of Recruiting’

There’s nothing quite like the wacky world of recruiting.

And few other states are affected like Georgia, which has more than 200 high school seniors sign with major colleges every year. If there is a soap opera playing out somewhere across the landscape of college football, chances are good that there is a Georgia connection involved in some way.

Take, for instance, M.L. King’s Mack Brown, one of the nation’s top-rated running backs. He woke up the morning after Christmas as a Florida Gator. Later that night, while saying all the right things publicly (more details in this blog by the AJC’s Chip Towers), Brown’s future is not as clear after the stunning resignation of Urban Meyer.

Urban Meyer (left) shook up Georgia by beating out UGA for the commitment of M.L. King RB Mack Brown. Now that Meyer is gone, will Brown stick with the Gators? (AJC Photo)

Urban Meyer (left) shook up Georgia by beating out UGA for the commitment of M.L. King RB Mack Brown. Now that Meyer is gone, will Brown stick with the Gators? (AJC Photo)

Brown and Meyer were more than just a coach and a prospect. They had developed and nutured a friendship during the recruiting process. It was Meyer, not the Florida’s running backs coach or territorial assistant, who personally handled Brown’s courtship. They talked on the phone 2-3 times per week, according to Brown.

“We talked last Monday, and (Meyer) told me to ‘get my hamstring ready because we want you to carry the ball 20-25 times next year,’” Brown said, almost in a voice of disbelief.

Brown said he was hanging out with friends on Saturday evening when he got a call from his high school coach. Brown was caught so off guard that he had to turn on the TV to see the news for himself. He immediately called Florida running backs coach Kevin Carter.

“Coach Carter said it was true, that (Meyer) brought all the assistants together and told them that the Sugar Bowl would be his last game because of health reasons. (Carter) assured me that Florida still wanted to me, and that we would talk more very soon.”

“I don’t know what to think now. I’m still a Gator, but Coach Meyer was one of the main reasons that I picked Florida.”

Brown narrowly selected the Gators over Georgia, and is still being heavily recruited by LSU, Tennessee, Florida State and the Bulldogs. He and Jackson High defensive end Neiron Ball are the only two Georgia players committed to Florida.

“It’s a big deal, because (Meyer) was a big factor in Mack choosing Florida,” M.L. King coach Corey Jarvis said. “Mack is really torn up right now. My advice was for him to go ahead and take some other visits, and let’s see how everything unfolds.”

It is setting up to be a whirlwind finish for Brown in the recruiting process. Not unlike last year, when late coaching changes at Auburn and Tennessee had a rippling effect among Georgia’s top prospects.

We’re five weeks away from national signing day. And the fun is just beginning.

Where will MB sign on Feb. 3? Will it be Florida? Make your prediction below.

9 comments Add your comment

DP

December 26th, 2009
10:08 pm

Come to UGA Mack. We run the ball and you can be a star! Stay at the instate school close to family and friends!! Welcome back home.

satchmo

December 27th, 2009
7:24 am

Wait, and see if the coaching change will suit, your game and skills, if in your heart you are a Gator. If not, you know, UGA is at its best when they have someone who can run the ball, and move “the sticks.”

Voice of Reason

December 27th, 2009
12:31 pm

Mack, at your age these kind of decisions aren’t supposed to be so hard. Perhaps it is another way of preparing you for the future, and certainly you will be more mature for making this decision. I think you know that Coach Mark Richt is a person that playing for has numerous advantages in that “life preparation”. Of course, you or anyone would be hard pressed to find a finer person to play for. You could be a big help to the DAWGS in striving for a national championship. You will also grow as a man on the field of life with him. He will care about you more than he will care about football.
Tough decisions will be in front of you all your life. Face them head on, use good judgement, rely on advice from those you respect, and know that looking back will not give you any relief. Trust yourself, follow your heart, and know that playing in Georgia, you will always have a “name” among your fellow Georgians.
Best of luck on making this decision. Put forth the effort and you will most likely be playing on Sunday some day. Everything involves effort. You have had great success so far, so keep putting the effort out there and success will come as you get older.

Volhala

December 27th, 2009
12:49 pm

Attention Florida recruits! Caution — it appears from the fourth paragraph of this story that
“nutur[ing]” could be in your future if you continue in the recruiting process with Florida.

lanier

December 27th, 2009
7:06 pm

sounds like a jacket fot sure

Clete

December 27th, 2009
9:27 pm

Yeah, I’d love to play football for Fla. but I’m not sure being “nutured” is worth it.

Big G

December 28th, 2009
9:11 am

Voice of Reason,

Don’t make me puke.

Cuz

December 28th, 2009
10:19 am

He needs to go where he feels he fits the best. I would love to see him in Red and Black but it is his decison not mine.

HardRock

January 2nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Follow your heart but where could a running back find a better fit than the Yellow Jackets, Bulldogs or even the Eagles.