Should UGA football recruit Jay Rome play basketball in college, too? Rome is considering it (UPDATED)

UGA football recruit Jay Rome finished with 33 points after a scoreless first quarter in the Class AAAAA semifinals (AJC photo)

UGA football recruit Jay Rome finished with 33 points after a scoreless first quarter in the Class AAAAA semifinals (AJC photo)

Valdosta High’s Jay Rome, ranked as the nation’s No. 1 tight end by several recruiting services, signed a football scholarship with Georgia.

After Rome’s performance on the grand stage of the Class AAAAA semifinals at Gwinnett Arena on Thursday, one person suggested that Rome consider playing basketball at UGA, too.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Rome had 33 points in a 70-61 loss to Norcross after going scoreless in the first quarter.

Norcross coach Jesse McMillan told the AJC’s Todd Holcomb: “He’s one of the top five post players in the state, and not a lot of people know him except for football. He’s a rare big guy with size and ability. Mark Fox [Georgia’s basketball coach] should take a look at him.”

What about Rome? Is he interested in playing basketball at UGA? Maybe.

“Jay has given it some serious thought, but he has not made a concrete decision on that yet,” his mother, LaVerne Rome, told the AJC on Friday afternoon. She is the District Parent Involvement Coordinator for Lowndes County Schools.

Playing two sports in college did not factor into Rome’s decision to sign a football scholarship with UGA, according to his mother. However, he did float the idea with UGA tight ends coach John Lilly during the recruiting process.

“I know he mentioned it to Coach Lilly,” she said. “They didn’t talk about much in detail, other than Jay saying that he may like to try it. I’m not sure Jay ever mentioned it to [Mark Richt] or the rest of the Georgia coaches.”

What about now? After turning in a senior season of basketball worthy of All-State consideration, will Rome approach Georgia’s coaches now? “I have concerns about Jay playing both sports; I don’t want him to overdo it,” his mother said. “I know he has a love for football, and I know he has a love for basketball as well. It’s just that as a mother, I think that’s taking on a lot as a freshman in college.

“The first year of college can be a challenging transition for anyone. We don’t want to compromise his academics by overdoing it in athletics. What we will do is talk about it and pray about it as a family. Then if Jay wants to give basketball a try, we’d speak with Georgia’s football coaches to see how they feel about it and go from there.”

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55 comments Add your comment

Chris

March 11th, 2011
3:44 am

South Ga Dawg

March 11th, 2011
3:49 am

yo jay rome is da best high school basketball player in georgia. period. better than any of the overhyped atlanta crew — julian royal, shannon scott, tony parker etc.

he da truth. thanks for telling truth norcross coach

TampaDAWG

March 11th, 2011
4:49 am

He would def be strong enough. If Trey does leave we will need more post players. Give him a shot, just like Nick Marshall

Palm City Dawg

March 11th, 2011
5:49 am

Yes he should play on Fox’s team next year. Why not?!! Enter your comments here

German Shepherd Dawg

March 11th, 2011
6:29 am

Basketball conflicts with spring practice. It’s tough to play two sports in college.

dawgfan

March 11th, 2011
6:47 am

Yeah, why not? We’ve got a former running back at linebacker. A former tight end at fullback. And a guy who went from the O-line to the D-line and then back to the O-line again. At the rate that Richt & Co are going, Rome probably will have played 4 or 5 different positions by the time he graduates. That’s if they don’t blow a year redshirting him because he can’t pass block on 3rd and forever plays, only to see him bolt early for the NFL. Why not let him play another sport as well? I’m sure Richt will do whatever is best.

Thanks.

RomeDawg

March 11th, 2011
6:49 am

6′ 6″ makes for a small post player in college. Does he have the range to play the 3?

From Where I Sit

March 11th, 2011
7:07 am

If he can do both, why not? He is that good!

Enough Said!

Norcross Blue Devil

March 11th, 2011
7:13 am

Surprised Fox hasn’t already been talking to him.

Thomas

March 11th, 2011
7:45 am

He has already said he is going to play basketball at UGA. Buck Lanford reported it yesterday on Fox 5.

Hurely

March 11th, 2011
7:46 am

Unitl Coach Richt starts using his tight ends more, you’re going to see this sort of thing. You can’t blame rome, this is his only chance to go to the Pros, you can’t impress the scouts getting 2-3 passes a game under Richt.

poohla

March 11th, 2011
7:48 am

i posted this fact weeks ago he has excellent mid range game and can hit from behind the arc if he wants to play basketball at UGA he will if he push the issue.

Vick=Dog killing thug

March 11th, 2011
7:50 am

Two sports at a major college is one to many. Jay needs to work on his studies and round out his life.

Dawg Consultant

March 11th, 2011
8:01 am

This is just further evidence of the tremendous athlete UGA was able to sign. I don’t think basketball will be in his future though. He has the opportunity not only to get a free education, but to change the financial fortunes of his family for a few generations to come if he continues to develop as a TE over the next few years at Georgia. I would not risk that for the opportunity to continue playing basketball (where his future is limited due to size).

Besides, while its fun to think about, I have heard NOTHING to suggest this Jay wants to play in college. Nice article though.

Troll Alert

March 11th, 2011
8:16 am

“Sybil” is in the house = Hurely

GoDawgs

March 11th, 2011
8:16 am

Saw them talking about this on FOX 5 yesterday. Great news for Georgia!

Al Beeski

March 11th, 2011
8:17 am

The headline should be “Should you still be writing for the AJC”, you really put a lot of hard work for this article. Oh I forgot your job isn’t to offer insight its to get people to reply via blogs.

Bleu_Bayou42

March 11th, 2011
8:26 am

Larry Brown. Great dog, terrible pro.

dr don

March 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Hurley

I don’t think UGA has many problems with their tight ends getting a chance in the pros. Come on, man.

dawgfan

March 11th, 2011
9:00 am

dr don, we have recently. When was the last time we had a tight end make any noise catching passes? Leonard Pope? Orson Charles is a great talent and they are wasting him. It all seems to coincide with Bobo taking over playcalling duties. I’m no expert but I know what I see. Maybe I’m wrong though.

bucket

March 11th, 2011
9:10 am

Why do I have a feeling that “dawgfan” isn’t really a dawg fan? If you are, jump off the bandwagon brother because we don’t need you! Rome looks like a beast down low @ 6′ 6″. At that size he will have to be special to play major college bball. Of course, at that size he has an inch or two on Charles Barkley and Larry Brown wasn’t halfbad @ 6′ 5″. BTW, Larry Brown played in a Super Bowl and I am confident that’s more of an athletic accomplishment than anyone else on this blog has!

dawgfan

March 11th, 2011
9:43 am

Oh yes, I’m not a real fan because I don’t think things are just peachy after a 6-7 season. How dare I criticize Richt and his staff!!! They know what they are doing. Maybe Central Florida is just THAT good.

Good grief bucket. You sound like a Techie. Next thing you know you’ll be talking about fish fries and claiming moral victories. Get help man.

theprincipal

March 11th, 2011
10:09 am

Tapes of Rome taking money to surface soon. Stay tuned…….Oregon and Uga to be blasted by the NCAA.

You're No Expert

March 11th, 2011
10:13 am

dawgfan: “I’m no expert but I know what I see. Maybe I’m wrong though.”

Correct on both counts.

UGA has highly paid coaches that played football, too. When they need a new coach the state requires the job opening be posted. Keep an eye out.

theprincipal

March 11th, 2011
10:13 am

It is too bad that BOOBOO doesn’t realize that Orson Charles is the star of the offense. The guy is a walking, talking mismatch for any defense. Let’s just give it to Carlton Thomas some more.

Maryall_31602

March 11th, 2011
10:17 am

Jay needs to focus on studies and football only….basketball will take away his Jay TIme where he spends time with friends and things he enjoys doing away from studies/football

Stinger

March 11th, 2011
10:20 am

I am a big Tech fan. Julian Royal looked lost last night, I hope he looks lost tonight as well. jay Rome was a monster. go Blue Devils!

dawgfan

March 11th, 2011
10:40 am

Again, we are 14-12 over the past two seasons. I also do not know much about flying a plane. But if the pilot is making a nosedive to the ground at 500 mph hour I’m probably going to bring it to someone’s attention. That’s just me though. I guess I should leave that to the professionals as well.

Thanks.

woebegong

March 11th, 2011
10:51 am

I am sure this young man is an outstanding athelete, but I am not sure this idea would be a wise choice. With the demands of playing football, taking a full load of courses and his own personal life needs, that made be a little too much on his plate. It is much easier at the high school level.
I know some atheletes has succeeded at this, but just as many have given up one sport or another as they had trouble accomplishing everything.
Either way, I wish this young man all the success in world.
I also beleive we will see the TE position incorporated more into the offense this year in the passing game. I think the offensive coach and head coach realize it was a mistake to under utilize our TE’s the last few years as we have some good talent already here and recruited, for sure, some top talent. I could be wrong though, but I remain an eternal optimist.

GOOOOOOO DAWGSSSSSSSSSS

CU1966

March 11th, 2011
11:17 am

Jay’s father, Stan, played football and basketball at Clemson.

woebegong

March 11th, 2011
11:30 am

CU1966,
Not sure that is a fair comparison, since things have changed quite a bit since his fathers time. A noble idea by the young man though.
I beleive he might be more under the microscope than when his father played.

GOOOOOOO DAWGSSSSSSSSSSS

salinsa

March 11th, 2011
11:48 am

dawgfan: “When was the last time we had a tight end make any noise catching passes? Leonard Pope?”

Did you not watch the Florida game? Orson had 6 catches for 108 yd and a TD. And most of those clutch catches in the 4th qtr. Even against Tech and Auburn he made big plays Before Charles, we had Matrez Milner making plays for us (leading pass catcher in ‘06 and had the game winning catch against CU). So I don’t know what UGA team you have been watching but you certainly do not have to go all the way back to Pope to find a UGA TE who has made “noise making” catches.

BigCaliDawg

March 11th, 2011
11:58 am

Tony Gonzales did just fine

Julius Peppers

March 11th, 2011
12:05 pm

Remember me?

Murray

March 11th, 2011
12:06 pm

Jay Rome, while in attendance with his dad Stan and uncle Roger at the state junior college tournament last week in Brunswick, told me he planned to play BOTH football and basketball at Georgia, at least in his freshman season. But I understand Mark Richt said yesterday Jay has not mentioned basketball to him.

YoungDawg

March 11th, 2011
12:31 pm

Only if Football comes first!!!

Orson Charles at running back

March 11th, 2011
3:39 pm

Am I nuts but I think Charles could be a great tailback. Why not? He has size, quick feet, strong hands and is very strong. Why not?

JDawg1785

March 11th, 2011
3:39 pm

Sounds like the bball team could use him.

So and so is "no good in the pros" like that is important

March 11th, 2011
3:45 pm

I will say it one more time for all of you non college grad morons talking about the NFL …………….AU GRADS, Alabama GRADS, LSU or UT or Ohio State or the real USC or Georgia do not care how a kid performs in the NFL. We only care about how well he does for the U of So and So.

There really is no linkage to the NFL. Yes, it is a big deal to lots of folks and maybe some grads of the U of So and So do follow a certain kid, but I could have cared less whether Buck Walker or David Stincomb or Matt Pollack did well in the NFL. Could care less and so do about 85% of most school’s alumni …………..once they leave school.
This is not saying you wish them ill will, once they graduate or leave. This IS saying who cares about the NFL??

phil

March 11th, 2011
5:23 pm

Does anyone really think it will matter? He’ll just fumble and stumble around on the court like TT and the boys, while Fox (the new Ray Goof) just stands there haplessly watching…and possibly calling timeout at exactly the wrong moments while not doing so when it makes obvious sense…..

the poor guy should just stick to losing to florida all 4 years as we normally do and will continue to do….

Valdosta Cat

March 11th, 2011
6:36 pm

I’ve been posting quite a bit on here about how good Jay is as an athlete in football as well as basketball. It’s great that he had the opportunity to display his skills at a major venue. It has been an awesome privilege to see such a gifted athlete as Jay Rome over the years at Valdosta High. Thanks Jay! Go Cats…..Go Dawgs!!!!!!

at dome today

March 11th, 2011
7:59 pm

fox is going to overcoach him as he does our basketball team …. he can’t let them just run the offense …… too much time out and always at wrong time ….. OVERCOACHING ……. OVERCOACHING…

5150 UOAD

March 12th, 2011
12:05 am

YES. It will be his best chance at scoring in Athens; unless you count his shots at DWFCs.

hammerhead

March 12th, 2011
1:41 am

Didn’t read anything other than the headline – please consider playing roundball – good Lord we need some leadership on the floor.

taco

March 12th, 2011
7:23 am

Seriously, some UGA punk is critical of the coaching? Seriously? Just shut up, smile and thank God Coach Fox even came to this waste project. UGA is a great tennis, womens gymnastics and softball school with dreams of being a factor in Football. Love on Fox for the short time he is there. He is much better than UGA ever deserved.

woebegong

March 12th, 2011
9:17 am

Taco,

Uga’s basketball coach is in a symbiotic relationship with the school. We need him, because he is a good coach, and he needs UGA because he gets paid well, and like it or not, UGA is a bigtime school, with national exposure. They will right the ship in basketball and football.
By the way, weren’t you Nacho’s something or another, on these blogs previously. Changed the menu at the local job site I see. Still open all night?

GOOOOOO DAWGSSSSSSSSS

The Truth

March 12th, 2011
5:09 pm

Who was the last WR/TE to play football and basketball at UGA? Yeah, I can’t remember his name either. That’s because he lost his focus for both teams and disappeared. I know JR’s dad would rather him play basketball to limit potential injuries. The multi-million dollar question is does he want a professional sports career? Football is the way to go. There aren’t too many 6′6″ power forwards in the NBA these days.

RaleighDawg

March 12th, 2011
10:05 pm

Truth – I believe Fred Gibson was the last WR to play both sports at UGA…and I believe Larry Brown was the last TE to play both.

For what it’s worth, Stan Rome only played one season (his sophmore year) of football at Clemson.

woebegong

March 13th, 2011
3:44 am

Thanks for the info. RaleighDawg. I would almost think with the load on these kids shoulders, they would have to choose one sport or another, when they realize what they have on their plate. Sure hope, in his case, that his choice is football.

GOOOOOOO DAWGSSSSSSSSSS

the dawgs are gonna be fine . . .

March 13th, 2011
6:16 pm

10-3 , were going to be fine, 8-5, well be fine next year, 6-7, looking good for next year . . . . . . .