Archive for June, 2009

‘Undecided’ Brown ‘ready to compete’ as Malcome commits

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

M.L. King running back Mack Brown could be the perfect next piece to be added to the puzzle that is Georgia’s 2010 football recruiting class.

Three weeks in a row, the Bulldogs have landed prize recruit after prize recruit. Newnan safety Alec Ogletree last week followed offensive tackle Brent Benedict of Jacksonville the week before. The week before that, Calhoun receiver Da’Rick Rogers joined the committed club.

On Tuesday, Southwest DeKalb running back Kendrun Malcome — a friend of Brown’s since the fifth grade — committed to the Bulldogs. He’s the 27th-best running back in the Class of 2010, according to Scout.com and the 31st-best according to Rivals.com.

Malcome is the Bulldogs’ first running back commitment. At 6 feet, 213 pounds, he could add a power element to the Dogs’ backfield that would complement the speedy Brown, the sixth-best running back according to Rivals and seventh-best according to Scout.

Brown, who told …

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Eric Berry’s brother, 13, ‘commits’ to Tennessee

Monte Kiffin may not be at Tennessee if the younger Evan Berry ever attends. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel)

Monte Kiffin may not be at Tennessee if the younger Evan Berry ever attends. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel)

By LARRY HARTSTEIN

James Berry’s kids always have been precocious. But committing to a college football program in middle school?

Evan Berry, the 13-year-old brother of Tennessee All-American safety Eric Berry, caused an Internet stir when he told Rivals.com he was committing to play for the Vols.

In fact, Tennessee cannot offer a scholarship until a prospect’s junior year of high school. So there’s no offer for Evan — a rising 8th-grader at Bear Creek Middle School in Fairburn — to accept.

That didn’t stop him, however. “‘I’m committing’ — those were his words,” James Berry said Tuesday. “He loves being at Tennessee (for practices and games), but the way I look at it is he’s 13 years old and he’s got I don’t know how many more years to decide. It’s not the first time I’ve heard him say he’s going to Tennessee.”

Tennessee and other bigtime programs likely …

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‘Trust’ was key for SWD’s Malcome

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Maybe other coaches should do a little more praying. That’s the way Georgia coach Mark Richt says he ultimately gets the right players to become Bulldogs, and judging from some of the commitments he and his staff have recently secured, it’s working.

Southwest DeKalb running back Kendrun Malcome is the latest to join the fold, telling the AJC today that the relationships he’s forged with Richt and assistant coaches Rodney Garner and Bryan McClendon ultimately bred the winning trust.

“My trust in the coaches and that I was comfortable with the atmosphere and comfortable with the other players [were the deciding factors],” Malcome told the AJC. “They run my type of offense, pro-style. The coaches told me what life would be like outside of football. They cared about how my family was doing, how my schoolwork was going.”

Malcolm, a 6-foot, 213-pound rising senior, is rated by scout.com as the nation’s 27th-best running back and the 31st-best by …

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Gainesville’s Carr commits to Stanford

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Go west, young man. Apparently, Gainesville defensive back Daunte Carr is heeding that advice.

Carr, a 6-foot-2, 196-pound rising senior, has committed to Stanford. He is the second Gainesville player to commit to the Cardinal, joining Tai-ler Jones, who committed back in April.

Carr made the announcement in a text message to the AJC today: “Just keeping the line of communication open and letting you know that I have committed to Stanford University.”

More to come on Carr later. Chad Simmons at scout.com and Max Mandel at CardinalReport.com, which is a part of the rivals network, also have details of Carr’s commitment. (Those are pay sites; subscriptions are required.)

In previous conversations with the AJC, Carr cited UCLA, Wake Forest and N.C. State as his favorites, along with Stanford. Miami also made a late push, but Stanford’s academics weighed on his mind.

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Malcome commits to Georgia

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Both rivals.com and scout.com are reporting that Southwest DeKalb running back Kendrun Malcome committed to Georgia today, choosing the Bulldogs over his other finalist — Florida.

Early attempts to contact Malcome were unsuccessful. (Update: A later attempt has succeeded.) You can read what he had to tell rivals and scout (both are pay sites; subscriptions are required).

The last time Malcome spoke to the AJC, he said one of the reasons Georgia made his favorites was because it was a good school with a history of good running backs and that he “met Mark Richt and he’s real nice.”

Continue reading Malcome commits to Georgia »

Items of interest

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

A few articles of housecleaning as we return to our regularly scheduled programming:

– Anthony Dasher, in an exclusive interview on ugasports.com, got Southwest DeKalb’s Kendrun Malcome to explain to his narrowing of his list of schools to two. (It’s a pay site and a subscription is required).

– A big thanks to Michael Carvell for his work on Georgia getting the commitment from Newnan’s Alec Ogletree while I was away. From Da’Rick Rogers to Brent Benedict to Ogletree, the Bulldogs are putting together as solid a class as you can prematurely evaluate before they’ve ever practiced a down in red and black. We’ll see what they look like in a few years.

– Speaking of possible additions to that solid class, the Plain Dealer in Cleveland is calling Jordan Hicks the best linebacker prospect in Ohio. And Georgia is in on him. Hicks, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound rising senior, has narrowed his choices to the Bulldogs, Ohio State, Florida, USC, Texas and …

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Alec Ogletree, Georgia’s No. 1 prospect, picks UGA with brother’s blessing

Alec Ogletree, the state's No. 1 prospect, picked UGA over Miami, among 50 scholarship offers (AJC)

Alec Ogletree, the state's No. 1 prospect, picked UGA over Miami, among 50+ scholarship offers (AJC)

Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, who is ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect by Scout, hopes to play college football with his brother.  

However, that remains to be seen, as Alec made a surprising commitment to Georgia over more than 50 scholarship offers this weekend. His twin, Zander Ogletree, has an offer from Florida State and is under consideration from Georgia.

“We want to play together,” Alec told the AJC. “Georgia said they are serious about [Zander] and they might offer after they get to evaluate him later this summer at camp.

“If it doesn’t work out, that’s OK. He’s got other options, too. I just felt Georgia was the right place for me, and I didn’t see any reason to wait any longer.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Ogletree is ranked as the nation’s second-best safety by Scout. He is the most celebrated commitment of Georgia’s 2010 recruiting class, which already has 11 early …

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Georgia lands ‘other’ Treasure Coast LB

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Georgia has landed a linebacker from Treasure Coast High in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but not the one everybody talks about.

Jeff Luc is the linebacker who shows up on all the recruiters’ radars, but Deon Rogers is the guy who shows up on Georgia’s commitment list today after the Bulldogs conducted another successful foray into Sunshine State territory.

“Every recruiter that has talked to Luc ended up talking to Deon on their way out,” Treasure Coast coach Bill Kelley told the Palm Beach Post.

Georgia, however, is the one that actually got Rogers, whose height and weight vary markedly depending on which source you choose to believe. He is anywhere from 6 feet 1 to 6-3, anywhere from 179 pounds to 205.

In any case, he marks the 10th member of the Class of 2010 to commit to the Bulldogs, easily the most prominent football on the list of schools who had offered him (Buffalo, Duke, Florida International, Western Michigan).

He’s the second D. Rogers …

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Mincy says early commitment OK with SWD coach Godfrey

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

A few weeks ago, at a camp down in Stockbridge, Southwest DeKalb running back Kendrun Malcome said his high school coach, Buck Godfrey, discourages players from committing early. One of his highly recruited teammates, defensive end T.J. Stripling, said the same thing.

That didn’t keep cornerback Jonathan Mincy from committing to Auburn this week, choosing the Tigers over Georgia Tech, Tennessee, LSU and several other scholarship-offering schools. Mincy, however, had a different take on why Godfrey has discouraged players from committing early in the past.

“No, it’s not that [Godfrey didn't want players to commit],” Mincy told the AJC. “There were a lot of players who committed early and then they got the big head and didn’t play hard. He was OK with me committing early because I don’t have that type of mentality where I’ll let down my teammates.”

Mincy said he chose Auburn because “I felt like it was a good fit for …

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Stephenson DB headed for East Carolina

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

While his more well known teammates are still sorting out their scholarship offers, Stephenson defensive back Chris Sharpe has committed to East Carolina. The 5-foot-10, 158-pound rising senior also played receiver for coach Ron Gartrell’s Jaguars.

Linebacker Tyrone Cornileus and defensive tackle Mike Thornton still have yet to decide. Miami has been looking like a strong possibility for Cornileus, and a decision could be close. Thornton, on the other hand, seems to be the prize in a battle between in-state rivals Georgia and Georgia Tech.

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