Archive for May, 2009

Eight Georgians make top 100 list

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Eight Georgians are on The Sporting News’ top 100 recruits from the Class of 2010, and six have yet to make commitments.

The list is led by M.L. King running back Mack Brown, who’s No. 32. It includes Henry County receiver Markeith Ambles (No. 39), Douglass lineman Garrison Smith (No. 53), Heritage defensive back Garry Peters (No. 81), Gainesville receiver Tai-ler Jones (No. 82), Northview lineman Denzel McCoy (No. 89), Newnan defensive back Alec Ogletree (No. 91) and Jefferson County quarterback Barry Bostic (No. 98).

Of TSN’s top 100, only Jones (Stanford) and McCoy (Georgia Tech) have committed. But there are several non-Georgians on the list that Georgia Bulldogs fans would love to see in red and black and a couple that Tech fans would love to see in gold and white.

The entire list is available, starting at the link below:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=546476

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N. Gwinnett lineman ‘fully committed’ to Tide

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

It was the first school he visited. Once Ja’Waun James got a taste of the University of Alabama, he wanted more. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound junior offensive tackle from North Gwinnett High decided Tuscaloosa was the place to be, and on Friday he announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide.

North Gwinnett offensive tackle JaWaun James said Alabama "got better and more comfortable" every time he visited the Tuscaloosa campus.

“It was a great experience for me, and every time I went back it got better and more comfortable,” James said Friday evening. “The people there are great. I was impressed with the people in general and the atmosphere. [Offensive line] Coach [Joe] Pendry has a lot of experience with the NFL and college and I feel he can bring the potential out of me.”

James, ranked the No. 10 offensive line prospect by scout.com, also considered Tennessee and Florida, but those two schools never appealed to him more than Alabama.

“I felt like I was sure, like I was 100 percent with it, and didn’t feel there was any reason to drag it out,” he said. “I’m fully committed to the …

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Georgia State signs two N.C. JUCOs

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Georgia State has picked up a couple of North Carolina junior college players, adding to what it calls “perhaps the most highly-regarded signing class in school history.”

Panthers coach Rod Barnes has signed Jamar Taylor, a 6-foot-8 forward, and Mi’kyel Nero, a 6-4 guard, from Brunswick Community College in Supply, about 25 miles southwest of Wilmington.

“Jamar Taylor and Mi’kyel Nero are excellent additions to our program,” Barnes said in a statement released by the school. “Coach [Walter] Shaw runs a strong program at Brunswick, so these two young men have been well-coached and are ready to contribute at the Division I level.

Nero, who will have three years of eligibility left at GSU, averaged 10.8 points a game at Brunswick last season. Taylor, who will have two years left, averaged 8.1 points and 6.7 rebounds.

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High school sophomore commits to play with Lady Dogs

      Erika Ford still has two years of high school remaining but already, she has committed to play college basketball at Georgia.

Ford, a sophomore at Chattahoochee High in north Fulton County, is believed to be the youngest player ever to commit to UGA’s women’s basketball program.

Erika Ford is a sophomore at Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta. (hoochhoops.com)

Erika Ford, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard, is a sophomore at Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta. (hoochhoops.com)

“I’ve always wanted to be a Bulldog,” Ford, 16, said Monday. “I wanted to go ahead and commit so my teammates and I could focus on having fun and playing basketball. I didn’t want to go through the [recruiting] process for two years.”

She plans to begin her UGA career in the 2011-12 season. Ford, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard, averaged 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game last season.

Chattahoochee coach Eric Herrick said Ford drew “a lot of interest” from ACC and SEC schools before making the non-binding verbal commitment to UGA on Friday.

Ford said Georgia offered …

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Chattahoochee sophomore commits to Lady Dogs

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Chattahoochee sophomore shooting guard Erika Ford knows what she wants in two years, and apparently doesn’t have a procrastinating bone in her 5-foot-9 body. She has committed to play for Georgia, according to her coach, Eric Herrick.

“She always wanted to be a Bulldog, she wanted to stay close to home and so she figured why not get it out of the way now,” Herrick said.

Ford averaged 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Chattahoochee. Her commitment, of course, isn’t binding, but Herrick doesn’t expect anything to change her mind i

Erika Ford, a sophomore, committed to the Lady Dogs after averaging 24 points a game this past season at Chattahoochee.

Erika Ford, a sophomore, committed to the Lady Dogs after averaging 24 points a game this past season at Chattahoochee.

n the next two years.

“They saw her play, although I don’t think they were there to see her,” the coach said. “They started contacting me and she made several unofficial visits and saw several games and they built a relationship.”

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Georgia Southern signs two

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Georgia Southern’s recruiting in the metro area has paid off with two players signing letters of intent to play in Statesboro.

The Eagles have landed Whitefield Academy forward Cameron Baskerville and former Douglass forward Rory Spencer, who spent last season at Johnson County Community College just outside Kansas City.

Baskerville, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward, helped lead Whitefield Academy to the Class A championship this past season, averaging 12.4 points and 7.7 rebounds a game.

Spencer, a 6-8, 210-pound forward, averaged 14.5 points and set a JCCC record with 83 blocked shots this past season. He has always had a knack for defense; in fact, he was Douglass’ defensive player of the year his senior season. That Spencer ended up at Georgia Southern isn’t surprising, given that the JCCC coach, Mike Jeffers, is a 1977 graduate of the Statesboro school.

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Pepperdine signs Stockbridge’s Willis

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Former Stockbridge basketball player Caleb Willis has signed a letter of intent to play at Pepperdine.

“It feels really great and it’s such an honor to become part of the Pepperdine family,” Willis said in a statement released by the Malibu, Calif., school. “It was a long process out of high school to get to where I’m at now. It took a lot of work, but I feel really great about the opportunity.”

Willis, 6 feet 2 and now 215 pounds, graduated from Stockbridge in 2008. In his senior season, he averaged 21 points. He carries the nickname “Tank,” but has lost some 50 pounds since playing for the Tigers. He spent the past year at Ware Prep Academy in Atlanta, saying, “After high school I decided I wouldn’t go to college just yet. I knew I needed to work on my body and my game. I got a membership to a gym and worked out every day and got my body to where it needed to be.”

Said Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury, “Our staff is excited about adding Caleb to …

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