Football recruiting: UGA, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Auburn make late push for Colquitt County OT Xzavier Ward

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The best recruiting soap opera to watch in the state of Georgia over the next two weeks may be Colquitt County’s Xzavier Ward.

Georgia Tech, UGA, Alabama are among the schools making a late push for the 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle.

Ward was originally scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama, along with Florida, earlier this month but the recruiting trips were canceled because both schools said they had too many commitments at the tackle positions.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen made an in-home visit on Monday, along with a couple of Georgia Tech assistants. Ward agreed to take an official visit to Mississippi State this weekend, while Georgia Tech called on late Tuesday, trying to convince Ward to travel to its campus instead.

“Mississippi State and Coach Mullen have been to his house, and Xzavier is going to honor his commitment to visit that school,” Colquitt County coach Rush Propst said. “He looked Coach Mullen in the eye and said he was coming. When I talked to Georgia Tech a coupe of hours ago, I told them that Xzavier had already committed to visit Mississippi State. And it’s not that Georgia Tech is out of it, not at all. We just have to work it all out with scheduling.”

Do you need more turns and twists? BCS champion Auburn will meet in person with Ward on Wednesday.

“I think Xzavier was a heavy lean to Auburn probably a couple of weeks ago,” Propst said. “And I think if it boiled down to it, and it goes well with Auburn [on Wednesday], then he might bubble up to them again. They’ve told him all along that his offer is good until signing day, and he appreciates that kind of loyalty.”

There’s more. UGA, which had shown limited interest in recent months, entered the sweepstakes again — but with a catch. They offered Ward a “grayshirt scholarship,” meaning he would delay enrollment until January 2012 in order to count toward next year’s scholarship total.

No. 63 is rapidly becoming a No. 1 target in the final two weeks (CCHS)

No. 63 is rapidly becoming a No. 1 target in the final two weeks (CCHS)

“I’ve had several of my former players, including [Atlanta Falcons backup QB] John Parker Wilson at Alabama, do the grayshirt thing, and it has always worked out well,” Propst said. “I’ve told Xzavier exactly what it means, and he’s OK with it.”

But would Ward really consider UGA’s grayshirt offer? “If he decides that Georgia is the place that he wants to go, he would have no problems with that scenario,” Propst said.

And there’s more. Alabama, which dismissed itself from contention earlier this month, apparently wants back in. They contacted Propst this week to investigate the situation.

“They want to try to make something happen, but they haven’t told me specifics — they are keeping it close to the vest,” Propst said, referring to the possibility of Alabama making a grayshirt offer.

Also, Louisville, Memphis, and Louisiana Tech are among other schools hoping that Ward somehow falls to them.

Ward is scheduled to go to Mississippi State this weekend, and could taken “shortened” official visits to as many as three schools next week.

If you wanted some fun recruiting drama to follow, you may get your wish.

“I really don’t think Xzavier will start the process on making his college decision until the day before signing day,” Propst predicted. “He’ll look back and think about everything, and sometime make a decision during that 24-hour period.”

Now it’s YOUR turn. What’s your prediction and why? Please post below.

63 comments Add your comment

dirty

January 19th, 2011
1:05 am

dawgfan0711

January 19th, 2011
2:02 am

UGA must have some silent commetments or they would offer more than a greyshirt, don’t you agree Mr. Carvell?

so is PJ a bad recruiter still?

January 19th, 2011
2:08 am

Things look to be gaining some momentum over at North Ave.

jono the great

January 19th, 2011
2:12 am

It looks like he would have to RS with all the other teams due to him being so undersized anyway. Why not take a Grayshirt and stay in-state. I like the sound of Theus and Ward in 2012!!

HUNKER DOWN

January 19th, 2011
2:16 am

Sounds like he is headed to Auburn

BBBieUgaVIII

January 19th, 2011
2:39 am

Grayshirt is a JOKE. That is like giving the girl you got Preggers a friendship ring.

what?

January 19th, 2011
3:24 am

jono the great…why would he go to UGA if he wants to stay in state? He could see the field very quickly for GT…their offer will only make the grayshirt look less attractive. UGA has become irrelevant…its sad to say.

nash

January 19th, 2011
3:33 am

I was wondering what happened with this guy and UGA. Any infor on Dion Barnes or the Story guy out of Fl.

The Book of Paul

January 19th, 2011
5:54 am

PJ is NOT a bad recruiter… he’s real stand up guy. I especially like the integrity of telling his recruits that a commitment is a commitment, and once you give your word you don’t visit other schools or you get dropped. Thats not the kind of kid he wants in his program.

Of course, it probably would have been more effective had he not interrupted that speech to wrench Stephon Tuitt away from his Notre Dame commitment, but I digress…

Cmon man

January 19th, 2011
6:01 am

I think someone gave this kid some bad advice on how to handle his recruitment at one point he was one of the hottest prospects in the state now he has two major programs looking to grayshirt him!

Cmon man

January 19th, 2011
6:07 am

How is pj a standup guy when he will pull a kids scholarship if he takes a visit while committed to tech but he continues to pursue kids committed to other schools sounds lile a hypocrite to me far from a stand up guy

Destin Dawg

January 19th, 2011
6:24 am

You snooze you lose… Alabama is full and Hey we got a couple great OT’s in this class already, which is looking very good ( could be Dream by the end of the week ) … Parade mag “” #3 large state university education.. plus big time sports “” .. in beautiful Athens, Ga…. Go Dawgs !!!!!!

Herschel Talker

January 19th, 2011
6:59 am

Fire Paul Johnson!!

Palm City Dawg

January 19th, 2011
7:06 am

We need Drew, Rome and Crowell and to coach up the offensive lineman we have on board. This would be icing on the projected cake, but not a big deal is PJ or Tide gets him.

Johnny Too Good

January 19th, 2011
7:29 am

I’ve never really understood the whole grayshirt thing. Why would anybody decide to gray shirt? Isnt that like goin to a prep school? And why would this kid turn down the chance to play or possibly be a reserve?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

woebegong

January 19th, 2011
7:38 am

I am not exactly sure why Ward is considered such a hot commodity. He is rated the 42nd best OT by scouts and superprep, rating services. We already have two OT’2 that will sign on Feb. 2nd that are rated higher than Ward and are bigger than he is also. I don’ t think CMR will recruit him all that hard and a greyshirt might be a good bet for an offer. Now, if he were a linebacker, it might be a different story.

dap01

January 19th, 2011
7:54 am

How much has Auburn offered?

I would rather be a gray shirt than on probation in a year.

UGASlobberknocker

January 19th, 2011
8:09 am

I will happily take the #42 OT in the country vs. not. If our new strength program is all it is supposed to be, he could end up in the 300-310 range. Nebraska signed players like this for yrs and turned them into All Americans with their strength program and by coaching them up. Hopefully we can do the same.

Bremen Dawg

January 19th, 2011
8:12 am

For UGA to offer a gray shirt, then we must have the dream team coming to Athens.

UGASlobberknocker

January 19th, 2011
8:15 am

Im only one fan, but this one fan is sick of comments like the one above alluding to Auburn’s NCAA problems this past yr. Harping on violations that may never be found or never proven is just jealous sour grapes. They won the NC and the NCAA says for now all is good. Until proven otherwise, I am one Dawg fan that will just say “Congratulations” to the Auburn people . Once. I did that..Now Im moving on to next year without stooping to petty jealousy and snide comments borne out of my own considerable frustration that UGA hasnt won one yet..

Personally, Fairley’s dirty play bothered me way more than the Cam Newton stuff did.

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 19th, 2011
8:16 am

when you snooze you loose, waiting to the last minute you pay a price

all this i need to be sure stuff is like at my age me saying mybe i should wait to have sex after getting a ——- get it!!!

you already no before senior year, did momma and daddy not give enough love, stop looking for attention and go with your gut, big dummy!!

gray shirt back him up 3 years with a blue shirt, JUST SAYING

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 19th, 2011
8:17 am

JUST SEEN AL DAVIS on sports center, be glad where not oakland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!JUST SAYING

Bremen Dreamin

January 19th, 2011
8:19 am

Wake up. its time for work.

Raider Fan

January 19th, 2011
8:20 am

Al Davis looked like they dug him up from the grave, put a band aid on his head and sent him to the press conference. How old is he anyway.. about 102? Once he meets his maker, maybe the Raiders will regain their past glory. Or move to LA.

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 19th, 2011
8:22 am

if you get excited about anything auburn tells you then by all means go there, —you have to be big and d—- to wont to go to a school that is surely faceing years of probation. keep eye on head coach jumping ship if he gets a chance!!!

rduck

January 19th, 2011
8:23 am

UGASlobberknocker: Way to be stand up dude. I applaud your sentiments and I too am tired of the whole trash talk on these blogs. Whether it be from UGA, GT, AU or whatever team’s fan, it has become boresome. If you have nothing to bring to the topic of dicussion, STFU!

rduck

January 19th, 2011
8:27 am

Having said that, I am impressed with the momentum of CPJ and co. as of late. They have been coming on strong as of late. Hopefully Ward will take a hard look at GT and the opportunity to play and represent his home state. Hopefully Mr. Tuitt is on the phone with Cooper, Vaughters, Ward and Byers trying to put an exclamation point on this class… Great job so far by the GT recruiters. keep it up!

THE MAJOR

January 19th, 2011
8:27 am

Auburn wins the National Championship, UGA wins the Fulmer Cup and has losing season. LOSERS COMPLAIN THAT WINNERS CHEAT

Ted Striker

January 19th, 2011
8:28 am

Antonio Gates wasn’t a highly ranked NFL prospect at tight end coming out of college. But he’s one of the best, if not the best in the NFL.

Likewise, recruiting service ratings are misleading when it comes to Ward. He has a ton of potential and is a freakish athlete. He could be much better at the college level than he was in high school…just needs more time in a uniform & football program.

Would LOVE to see him at UGA.

Glenn

January 19th, 2011
8:31 am

Looks like Lakip (kicker), is Clemson bound, Techies…He’s headed for his official there this weekend. That is, of course, unless Dabo’s hometown kicker swipes their offer first.

Glenn

January 19th, 2011
8:33 am

rduck, FORGET Vaughters and Byers for GA Tech, and their chances on Ward are VERY slim.

Glenn

January 19th, 2011
8:34 am

By the way, Cooper and his teammate are headed to Iowa this weekend for his official. We may know something next week on him.

JAXNOLE

January 19th, 2011
8:36 am

Where is Florida State in all this excitement??? I’m sure that at some point they have at least contacted him.

tiger7_88

January 19th, 2011
8:42 am

What’s really funny is a school that has Don “Hey Mr. Blue-Chip? Want an easy HIGH-PAYING “summer job”? How about a nice new car?” Leebern on its Board of Regents pointing fingers at other schools for so-called cheating. Hilarious!

Bitter "ROUGE BOOSTER"

January 19th, 2011
8:47 am

#1 AUBURN—-just saying—-its all about the $$$$$$$$—

————-PAY FOR PLAY—–======WARHOGGS

GT51

January 19th, 2011
8:53 am

asking a kid to greyshirt is a slap in the face. alabama is already over their limit for scholarships and uga is “HOPING AND PRAYING” some of their targets come through.

JB

January 19th, 2011
8:55 am

My Dawgs can forget it….By the way, there are 6or 7 All SEC type Offensive lineman FROM THIS STATE playing at other SEC schools. Coach Garner needs to go……But I think they are all leaving after this year. You could go around the SEC and pick 22 starters from this state who , if were at UGA, we would have won 10-12 games last year, even with this staff.

MagicMan

January 19th, 2011
9:14 am

UGA offering a greyshirt has nothing to do with silent commitments. They are full at the available OT spots available for 2011. A greyshirt would mean that he counts towards 2012. That’s all.

Worm

January 19th, 2011
10:13 am

Sure, Bama is back in it..They heard the word grayshirt and were immediately intrigued..Ga. has about 7 “verbals” to fill its class.

emmysmoom

January 19th, 2011
10:13 am

Bitter vince dooley in south beach, speaking of “big and d____,” you need to get a proof-reader.

#1BamaFan

January 19th, 2011
10:27 am

BAMA recruited the X-man early but Saban does go by the rule if you shop , we shop. Xavier seems like a nice young man has has a world of upside, but if you filled the tackle spot, it’s full. This would be big pick up for the DAWGS. BAMA has a few spoits left, hopefully we can land a couple of the targeted recruits. Good luck to all of the SEC teams.RTR

JM

January 19th, 2011
10:27 am

Ward has alot to do in just 2 weeks. Its a tough decision he has to make. Best of luck to him.

go Jackets

January 19th, 2011
10:29 am

I hope he visits GT. If he does, he’ll like what he’ll see. I’d love to see him play on The Flats.

NoGaGator

January 19th, 2011
10:31 am

There may be something more between the lines here (academics?) because with the coaching staff turnover, UF currently has only 15 commits with only 2 OL. If UF is full, there must be silent commits that aren’t known to all the blogs.

DawginLex

January 19th, 2011
10:44 am

The major,

Reality: Alabama state pen filled with former Auburn football players.
Same over in Louisiana regarding LSU

Really made good use of those championship rings???????????????????

yellow britches

January 19th, 2011
10:47 am

Man, this guy would fit perfectly in CPJ system. Talk about the perfect place to develop and hone his skills. Go to Tech! Please!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 19th, 2011
10:53 am

If I were a prosect and I knew the school asking me to “Greyshirt” had spots open at the moment of this offer, no way would I really consider the school. I would only consider going to a school that wanted me to enroll when I am able to, which is this year.

Somehting has to be addressed with this grey shirt deal. CMR and staff are now feeling the pressure of offering “Greyshirts” to kids and I for one do not like this at all. Take the kids now, or allow the kids to pursue other options.

Paul N Destin

January 19th, 2011
11:15 am

The greyshirt option is no worse than signing and redshirting the kid. With limits the coaches have to sign their needs 1st.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 19th, 2011
11:19 am

The greyshirt option is alot worse than redshirting a kid candidly.

finish

January 19th, 2011
11:25 am

I hate all the rivals, scout, etc. rankings.. How you do in one on one drills at a combine with no pads can be so misleading. I’ve seen these combine drills get out of hand where kids get busted noses, knocked out teath and for what? To get more stars????? Please. The eye in the sky don’t lie and if the coach likes what he sees then he’ll get invited to the school’s camp so they can see first hand. If you have a son who is a recruit go to the College’s one day camps and take your game tapes. Stay away from the recruiting site’s combines.. IMHO.