Archive for May, 2009

Georgia surprises Newnan safety Ogletree

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Newnan safety Alec Ogletree always has been big on the University of Miami. But when he actually had a chance to visit the school, they weren’t head and shoulders above a more nearby school.

“Georgia and Miami were about the same, to be honest. I was surprised, because when I went down to Miami I thought it was going to be one of the best things ever,” Ogletree told ugasports.com. “It was nice, but Georgia is just as nice too.”

Ogletree will also work at receiver during his senior season.

For more on this story, check out this link.

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Tech’s Hewitt won’t dog Georgia for a month

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Georgia Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt is pleased with his recruiting class, and especially the way the Yellow Jackets landed 6-11 center Daniel Miller, the final addition last month. Because archrival Georgia completely released Miller from the letter of intent he signed with the Bulldogs last November, Miller was able to sign with the Yellow Jackets and doesn’t have to sit out a season.

“The last one we got was honestly a gift,” Hewitt told jacketsonline.com. “I told people I cannot say anything bad about Georgia for a least a month because we got Daniel Miller. To have him at the end has been a very positive thing for us.”

Of course, South Atlanta High star Derrick Favors was the highlight among the six players signed by Tech, which limped to a 12-19 finish last season. But Miller proved to be satisfying because it had seemed the Jackets had pursued him in vain.

Also, the Jackets may have football receiver Stephen Hill available. Tech …

Continue reading Tech’s Hewitt won’t dog Georgia for a month »

Alabama offers Ayers

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Alabama became the latest school to offer South Paulding cornerback Ryan Ayers a scholarship Wednesday. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban confirmed the offer in a conversation with Ayers’ coach, Tim Glanton.

Ayers, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior, continues to rack up the offers. Alabama’s comes two days after South Carolina jumped in during a metro-area sweep in which it has concentrated on bolstering its future secondary.

Georgia Tech and Georgia are still in the mix, but Ayers plans are to visit Florida and Georgia in the not-too-distant future.

Continue reading Alabama offers Ayers »

Too bad Tennessee tweeted Tuesday

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Sometimes tweeting ain’t worth the twouble.

When Troup junior defensive end J.C. Copeland committed to Tennessee Tuesday,  a comment appeared on coach Lane Kiffin’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. It read simply, “I was so excited to hear that J.C. Copeland committed to play for the Vols today!”

Unfortunately, the assistant who posted that to Kiffin’s accounts committed a minor recruiting violation by doing so, and Tennessee is going to report itself to the NCAA.

Athletics director Mike Hamilton told The Knoxville News Sentinel that the unidentified but newly hired assistant posted the comment, failing to consult the athletic department’s compliance officials. It’s the second time the Vols have been in this position this year; in February, they also reported themselves when Kiffin mentioned eventual signee Bryce Brown on a radio program.

“You cannot post that type of stuff, obviously,” Hamilton said. “It was an honest, inadvertent mistake.”

As …

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Kentucky, Calipari bank on Wall street

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Rivals.com calls John Wall the nation’s top prospect, point guard or otherwise. Scout.com calls him the top point guard and the second-best player overall.

And he’s all Kentucky’s.

The Wildcats are expected to get Wall, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., to sign a national letter of intent today, the final day of the basketball signing period for players who plan on enrolling this fall. That’s largely because they lured coach John Calipari away from Memphis just in time for him to have a major impact. Wall says Calipari is the main reason he’s Lexington-bound.

“It came down to where my heart was,” Wall told rivals.com. “Every time I talked about schools, Coach Cal was the first thing that I always talked about.”

Calipari’s coup sends a message, Dave Telep of scout.com told the News and Observer.

“I think right now everybody’s on notice,” Telep said. “This is old-school Kentucky right now, and the …

Continue reading Kentucky, Calipari bank on Wall street »

Kiffin-Pahokee feud ends as cameras record apology

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin and his staff are “welcome any day, any time” in Pahokee, Fla. His latest apology — frankly, we’ve lost count of how many he delivered — apparently did the trick Tuesday afternoon. Either that, or the fact that cameras were on hand to record it this time.

“Everything is a go,” Pahokee vice mayor Henry Crawford Jr. told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “[Kiffin] apologized once again, and they are welcome any day, any time.”

The exact language of the apology wasn’t revealed. But Crawford’s statement — “We got an apology; that’s all we wanted” — sounded strange, considering that Tuesday was hardly the first time Kiffin had made such an overture. In fact, the vice mayor made it clear that Kiffin had apologized “once again.”

The rift began in February, when the Vols persuaded Nu’Keese Richardson to set aside his commitment to Florida and sign with Tennessee instead. The feud reached inferno stage when Kiffin wrongly …

Continue reading Kiffin-Pahokee feud ends as cameras record apology »

Georgia still waiting for good reports

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Even as they’re getting good news about three signees qualifying academically, the Georgia Bulldogs and their fans are still sweating out news about Washaun Ealey and a couple other signees.

Ugasports.com is reporting that Ealey, the ECI record-setting running back, North Cobb defensive end Derrick Lott and Early County safety Shawn Williams are on the list of signees who haven’t made the grade yet. Jordan Love, rivals.com’s No. 1-ranked cornerback in Virginia, defensive end Montez Robinson and wide receiver Marlon Brown have qualified, according to the site.

Continue reading Georgia still waiting for good reports »

Don’t need no stinking limo: Miss. St. coach takes Auburn to task

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Harrumph!

That’s the shorter version of what Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen said Monday when Auburn and flash-the-rented-limousines approach became the topic of discussion.

“We don’t need to make national headlines to recruit,” Mullen said in Kevin Scarbinsky’s blog for the Birmingham News. “Taking our budget, instead of buying fancy limos, we’re gonna maybe get more sneakers for our players.”

Mullen made the comments at the Vestavia Country Club while touring Bulldog clubs.

“I want to get more gear and more good things for our players instead of having coaches drive around in style all the time,” Mullen added. “I’m more into getting stuff for the players than getting stuff for the coaches.”

Mullen, who has otherwise kept relatively quiet, also weighed in on one coach who left Florida talking about another coach possibly leaving Florida. As many of you are aware, Florida’s current man in charge, Urban Meyer, squashed Steve …

Continue reading Don’t need no stinking limo: Miss. St. coach takes Auburn to task »

South Carolina makes another move

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

This much is becoming clear: South Carolina is recruiting the metro area for secondary help.

Not only did Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier make an offer to South Paulding cornerback Ryan Ayers, but he’s also looked to the other side of the metro area and made an offer to Southwest DeKalb’s Jonathan Mincy.

“They came through with an offer last week and I was real excited about that,” Mincy told The State. “I don’t know much about them, so I want to get up there and find out more. I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

He plans to visit South Carolina during the summer, along with Tennessee, Florida and Ohio State.

Georgia and Georgia Tech also are interested in keeping Mincy close to home.

The Gamecocks have also offered Georgia Military College safety Jakar Hamilton, a junior college All-American.

“A visit to South Carolina is a real possibility,” Hamilton told GamecockCentral.com. “Georgia and Alabama are also going to be getting a visit.”

Georgia …

Continue reading South Carolina makes another move »

Guess who wants South Paulding’s Ayers now?

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Speedy cornerbacks with the ability to be surprisingly physical attract scholarship offers. And that, in a nutshell, is why Ryan Ayers is so popular these days.

At least 15 schools have gotten in ahead of the latest coach to authorize an offer to the South Paulding standout, but few carry the name recognition Steve Spurrier does. South Paulding coach Tim Glanton said Spurrier’s staff joined the scholarship-offering crowd last week.

Ayers, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior, has added the Gamecocks’ bid to scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Georgia and several others. Spurrier’s offer likely won’t be Ayers’ last. He has plans to visit Florida and Georgia and already has been to Georgia Tech.

The college recruiters aren’t looking at Ayers only. Spartans linebacker Broderick Sellers received an offer from Savannah State.

Continue reading Guess who wants South Paulding’s Ayers now? »