Archive for May, 2009

Dogs may learn cornerback’s decision Monday

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Pahokee High in Florida is in the news again. One of its cornerbacks appears to be on the brink of making a commitment, and Georgia remains in the mix.

The Bulldogs are one of five finalists in the pursuit of Merrill Noel, a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder rated by rivals.com as the 38th-best player at his position. The other schools Noel is considering are Florida State, Tennessee, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

Georgia is a finalist, Noel told Warchant.com, because “I love the way they play defense. They play the type of defense that I like to play and that is bump-and-run.”

On the down side for Georgia is that Noel says that he and teammate Zachary Allen have a “very high” chance of picking the same school. Georgia isn’t on the list of finalists for Allen, a 6-2, 210-pound outside linebacker.

Both are expected to announce their decisions on Monday. The schools that overlap on Noel’s and Allen’s lists are Wake Forest and West Virginia. Allen also is …

Continue reading Dogs may learn cornerback’s decision Monday »

Auburn recruiter: Not padding commitment stats

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Quality, not quantity, seems to be Auburn’s message in light of the fact that four players from the Class of 2010 have committed to the Tigers so far — compared to SEC rivals Alabama and Florida, who each have three times as many.

Auburn recruiting coordinator Curtis Luper says the number reflects the Tigers’ thoroughness, making sure they get the right players — not necessarily the most by some arbitrary deadline. Georgia and Georgia Tech are in the same situation, with the Bulldogs also having four commits and the Yellow Jackets three.

“We’re not in a commitment race,” Luper told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “People in their haste to get early commitments may not evaluate as thoroughly as they should. So we want to thoroughly evaluate every aspect of every potential student athlete. And we’re not going to make any mistakes in character and some of the other intangibles that we can find out.”

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Report: Ealey has qualified to enroll at Georgia

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Washaun Ealey, the record-setting running back from Emanuel County Institute, has earned a qualifying score and will be enrolled at Georgia on time, according to ugasports.com.

Ealey, an AJC Super 11 selection who rushed for 8,100 yards and a state-record 133 touchdowns, could not be reached to confirm. But ugasports.com cited “an official at ECI speaking on condition of anonymity” as its source.

The same report said Early County safety Shawn Williams also made his qualifying score, and that he confirmed as much in a text message.

Continue reading Report: Ealey has qualified to enroll at Georgia »

Ex-Buford QB leaving Oregon

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Former Buford quarterback Justin Roper, who last week announced his decision to transfer from Oregon, says he wants to play closer to home and is willing to play in the Football Championship Subdivision. Of course, anybody who knows a thing about American geography realizes closer to home from Oregon could mean just about anyplace east of the Pacific Time Zone.

Roper said he doesn’t think larger schools will want to give him two years of scholarship for only one year of eligibility, but if he transfers to what used to be known as Division I-AA, he wouldn’t have to sit out one of his last two years of eligibility.

“I’m open to anything,” Roper told the Oregonian.

He doesn’t know where “anything” might lead, but wants it to be someplace where he can start. Once Jeremiah Masoli beat Roper for Oregon’s starting job in the spring, Roper talked with his family and decided the time was right to move on. Even though Oregon has had to dig deep into its …

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Dogs make Tampa QB’s final six

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Georgia is among the six finalists in the running for Tampa Catholic quarterback Christian Green, who likely will convert to receiver in college.

The Dogs are fighting with Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Ohio State and South Florida for the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder. Hiram Green told the St. Petersburg Times that his son had narrowed 30 scholarship-offering schools to six because “he had to narrow it down to something.”

Where the Dogs stand on that list is unspecified, but the quarterback — who is the No. 25 prospect on rivals.com’s overall list — has decided to attend summer camps at Florida State, Florida “and maybe one more,” his father said.

SAVANNAH STATE GOES AFTER ANOTHER SOUTH PAULDING PLAYER

Savannah State has offered South Paulding quarterback/safety Reggie Davis. He’s at least the second South Paulding player the Tigers have targeted, after offering middle linebacker Broderick Sellers this …

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Richt and Meyer unlikely allies, but it’s true

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

This just in: Mark Richt and Urban Meyer agree. No, this isn’t about where to play the Georgia-Florida game.

This is about SEC rules that have no counterpart in the ACC rules. The SEC doesn’t allow assistant football coaches to attend coaching clinics in their home states unless the coach is a speaker. The ACC has no such restriction.

According to Richt and Meyer: Advantage, ACC.

Onlineathens.com and Yahoo Sports both had entries about this, from the SEC spring meeting in Destin, Fla.

“Any time there’s a function, especially a gathering of high school coaches, we want the same access of everybody else in the country and everybody else in our state, especially,” Richt said. “We don’t want to have a function going on in our state and our rivals can go and we can’t. That’s not good at all. That doesn’t help the Southeastern Conference. It doesn’t help Georgia.”

Meyer has the same issue with the ACC’s Florida State.

“You hate to have an ACC school …

Continue reading Richt and Meyer unlikely allies, but it’s true »

Fayette’s Noel Johnson in play again

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

There’s a mess brewing at USC and Fayette County forward Noel Johnson wants no part of it.

The slender 6-foot-7 Fayette County basketball star has been granted a release from his letter of intent while the university braces itself for the fallout from accusations that coach Tim Floyd funneled cash to former star player O.J. Mayo through one of his handlers.

“Any time you have a kid that is starting his freshman year, you want him to go into a calmer setting rather than having a cloud over [his] head,” Noel’s father, Lynbert Johnson, told Scout.com. “[USC] was his No. 1 choice because he liked the school, coach Floyd and [assistant] coach [Bob] Cantu. But the fact remains that you can’t move that cloud.”

Johnson’s about-face is just the latest blow for USC. Its top three scorers left school. Its top three recruits — of which Johnson certainly was one — aren’t coming. Renardo Sidney signed with Mississippi State instead after USC started feeling …

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Sorry, Florida, but Idaho’s got you beat

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Until now, you couldn’t get me to believe that Idaho was a bigger football hotbed than Texas. Or that Florida wouldn’t make the top 10.

But then, as it is doing in many facets of American life in the 21st century, Facebook changed everything. Now according to this map — or at least what it said at 7:30 on Tuesday evening — that’s exactly the case.

Certainly, this takes the phrase “highly unscientific” to new levels. According to the Facebook Lexicon, Oklahoma is where football is discussed — or at least posted about on Facebook — the most. Whoever put the list together went through great pains to make it appear as scientific as possible — stating that football showed up in 0.162%” of the posts. Alabama came in second, followed by Hawaii, South Carolina and finally our own beloved Peach State at No. 5.

Of course, by the time you read this, it may have changed again. The numbers were supposed to reflect posts between May 17 and May 24, but when …

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Carver-Columbus star ready for USC

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Carver-Columbus’ defensive end Jarvis Jones graduated high school over the weekend, but isn’t in as good shape physically as he is academically. As the AJC Super 11 selection prepares to go to USC, his left thumb is still healing from the surgery to repair the fractures suffered in the first round of last fall’s Class AAAA playoffs.

Pins that were inserted in the thumb have been removed, but Jones told USCfootball.com that the injury and the healing left him out of shape for the first time since middle school.

“This is the first time I haven’t been in shape since seventh grade, so I’m working really hard to get back there,” said Jones, who added that he likely will play strongside linebacker for the Trojans. “I ain’t in the best shape, but I’m in some shape. Coach [Ken] Norton has been telling me to come and be in good shape and get ready to fight for playing time and a starting job. I had a setback when I broke my hand, and it kept me from …

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Maryland the latest to offer Peachtree Ridge’s Roby

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Peachtree Ridge receiver Bradley Roby sent us an update on how his recruitment is going.

He is now up to six offers, since Vanderbilt stepped forward to make the first back in February. Maryland is the newest of the offers. Between Vandy and Maryland, South Carolina, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Wake Forest also joined the pursuit for the fleet-footed, 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver.

That he was reported to have run a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at a Nike combine has turned recruiters’ heads. A nearly flawless academic record certainly hasn’t hurt.

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