UGA basketball coach Mark Fox may have to wait until the November signing period to celebrate winning the services of 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell of Greenville High.
The 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard told the AJC that he is sticking by last week’s commitment to UGA but also wants to take official visits to Tennessee and Florida State. Caldwell is considered to be the state’s top prospect entering his senior year, ranked in the nation’s top 15 by multiple recruiting services.
“I’m 100-percent going to Georgia … that’s my school, and that’s where I’m going to sign — It’s just that my family wants me to visit a couple of other schools to have something to compare to Georgia” Caldwell told the AJC. “I understand where they are coming from. They just want me to know for sure that Georgia is the No. 1 place for me, and I know it will be.”
Caldwell, who averaged 29.7 points at Greenville last season, was expected to wait closer to the November signing period to announce his college decision but picked UGA last week. He was also considering Alabama and Florida, among many others.
“When I talked with Georgia’s coaches after [Caldwell's commitment], I told them that I am going to encourage him to visit other schools, too,” Greenville coach Richard Carter said. “My No. 1 concern is for my kids. I think they need to take every opportunity to make their official visits to be able to compare the schools.”
What was the reaction by Georgia’s coaches? “They said ‘Ah, coach, kids these days don’t want to take these official visits,’” Carter said. “I said ‘Yeah, most of them may not. But that’s the not the best thing for Kentavious. He needs to take a few of his.’ Georgia has its opinion, and I have mine. They probably didn’t like hearing what I had to say, but my No. 1 interest in my kids. I want the best for my kids.”
Caldwell has said one of Georgia’s main attractions is that two of his closest friends will be playing football for the Bulldogs — former Greenville teammate Kenarious Gates signed with Georgia last year, while Wilcox quarterback Nick Marshall is an early 2011 commitment.
“What is good for [Gates and Caldwell] may not necessarily be good for Kentavious,” Carter said. “You don’t make the biggest decisions of your life just because your friends did this or that. A young man has to do what is in the best interests for his future.”
Carter wanted to make sure to point out that he is not anti-Georgia. “If Kentavious takes his visits and still wants to go to Georgia, then I will be very happy for him. Georgia is a great school and a great opportunity, and they really take care of their athletes. You can’t go wrong with Georgia … I just want him to have some other schools to compare it with, that’s all.”