Archive for June, 2009

Top receiver Rogers chooses Dogs

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Calhoun — Wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers moments ago committed to Georgia, giving the Bulldogs perhaps the top prospect in the state at his position.

Rogers, a 6-foot-3, 206-pound rising senior, had 66 catches for 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and chose the Bulldogs over Florida and Mississippi State.

He and best-friend quarterback Nash Nance, who chose Vanderbilt, made their announcements in the Calhoun High media center.

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Robinson bypasses LSU weekend

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Westlake cornerback Darius Robinson was supposed to be at LSU last weekend. He ended up in Stockbridge instead, the chance to get some individual coaching at the Football University invitation-only camp being too much to pass up.

Robinson, a 6-foot, 170-pound rising senior, is the No. 21-rated cornerback in the nation according to rivals.com. He has 21 offers, and one ever-so-slight favorite.

“I really don’t have a top team I’m leaning toward,” he told the AJC, “but maybe Miami because of the depth chart.” Other schools that remain in contention include Stanford, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Kentucky — but they’re not the only ones. A visit to Virginia Tech also appears to be in the offing.

Another factor favoring the Hurricanes is that Robinson’s favorite player, safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens, also played at Miami. Robinson plans to visit Miami this coming weekend.

Asked if he patterned his play after Reed’s, Robinson demurred.

“I …

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Calhoun’s Rogers expected to commit Tuesday

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Calhoun receiver Da’Rick Rogers, perhaps the state’s top prospect, is expected to choose between Georgia and Florida Tuesday at 1 p.m., when he announces his commitment.

Rogers and quarterback Nash Nance, best friends, are expected to announce their commitments in the school’s media center.

Rogers, a  6-foot-3, 206-pound rising senior, is the nation’s No. 4-rated receiver according to rivals.com, which reported last week that he had narrowed his choices to either Georgia or Florida. He wanted to visit Florida before making his choice.

Nance, 6-3, 200, who most recently was offered by West Virginia, also has offers from Central Florida, Chattanooga, Harvard, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Continue reading Calhoun’s Rogers expected to commit Tuesday »

Gainesville’s Carr narrows list to four

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Gainesville safety Daunte Carr went to the Football University invitation-only camp in Stockbridge this past weekend to lead, not follow. “To beat everyone out,” he said. “To be the rabbit, so that everybody can chase me.”

Carr, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound rising senior, was talking about other defensive back prospects chasing him, not the host of schools in hot pursuit. He’s narrowing that list and told the AJC is down to four: UCLA, Stanford, Wake Forest and N.C. State. All things academic being equal, which would he choose?

“For one thing, all education’s not equal,” he said. “Stanford’s on a pedestal because their academics are so high. Each [school] has something special about it that stands out. Athletically, all of them are on the rise.”

Carr plans to attend camps at all four schools “just to get familiar with the coaches,” he said. “I want to see how the coaches coach. That plays a big part in your decision. Wherever I go, I’m going there for …

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Did ‘Outside The Lines’ go outside the lines?

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Tennessee fans feel ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” orchestrated a “gotcha moment” when the show reported that it might have caught coach Lane Kiffin committing an NCAA violation.

A segment shows Kiffin talking briefly to a recruit, addressed the five secondary violations Tennessee has self-reported, then turned the tables with host Bob Ley telling viewers, “It is entirely possible that you just saw another one.”

Ley goes on to explain that “in the infamously thick NCAA rulebook, Rule 13.0.1, [it states] media members cannot observe recruiting contact by coaches.”

If those filming the segment knew they were participating in a secondary violation, they certainly didn’t alert Kiffin at the time. It’s a sticky situation all the way around. It’s entirely predictable that fans responding to a Knoxville News Sentinel poll would overwhelmingly side with Kiffin, which they did.

But it also raises questions about journalistic ethics — at the very least, …

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Cornileus likes Tech, but likes Miami better

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Stephenson linebacker Tyrone Cornileus says he hopes to make a commitment by the end of June. To whom will he commit, however, remains the question.

Georgia Tech is high on his list, though Miami is the leader in a group that includes Alabama, Auburn, Michigan and South Carolina. All told, he has 17 scholarship offers.

Cornileus was vague about what it would take for Tech to overtake the Hurricanes. “Pretty much just make me feel very loved,” the answer he gave CaneSport.com, leaves itself open to many interpretations.

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Spurrier makes impression on Centennial lineman

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Centennial offensive tackle David Yankey kicked off his tour of the Carolinas Thursday, dropping by the office of Steve Spurrier.

The South Carolina coach made an impression on the 6-foot-5, 275-pound rising senior.

“He just seemed like a cool guy and he’s a legendary coach,” Yankey told GamecockCentral.com. “We talked about how he has won at every school he has been at. I can tell he knows how to win along with the staff he has, so I’m not worried about not being able to win.”

Yankey, who recently received an offer from Georgia, is also expected to drop in on Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest before returning home.

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Georgia, Auburn negate Tech’s edge for Ayers

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

The past week has cleared a few things up for South Paulding cornerback Ryan Ayers, and for those who had perceived Georgia Tech is his favorite school.

Visits to Auburn and Georgia have leveled the playing field, which is completely natural for somebody who had only visited one school. Ayers, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound rising senior, told ugasports.com that his mind is “completely open.”

He’s looking for a place where he can fit in. Florida, for instance, might not be that place after Ayers studied their roster.

“I do not know if I want to visit Florida anymore,” he said. “I think they may be full at cornerback.”

Alabama and South Carolina are among the more recent schools to offer Ayers. Georgia and Georgia Tech both have, too. Ayers said he would trim his list once he sees some more schools.

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Alabama gets top cornerback Milliner

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

DeMarcus Milliner, the nation’s top cornerback prospect according to at least two recruiting services, committed to Alabama today.

Georgia had hoped to beat the Crimson Tide in its own state, as did Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Auburn also had hopes of knocking off its archrival for the 6-foot-1, 180-pound speedster. But at his news conference at Stanhope Elmore High in Millbrook, Ala. — just north of Montgomery — Milliner cited a strong relationship with Tide assistant Kirby Smart and said the other schools didn’t have a chance.

“I know where I have wanted to go for a long time,” he said.

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Ex-Gators, Part II

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Another Florida player is headed to Tennessee — but not to the Vols.

That which Florida coach Urban Meyer had said would happen has: Backup linebacker John Jones is transferring to Tennessee State.

“Kids leave for a lot of reasons,” Meyer told tampabay.com. “And if someone is not going to play, it’s probably best to go ahead, if you want to go play somewhere. But we have really good chemistry on our team right now. Guys want to be here.”

Because he’s stepping down from a Football Bowl Subdivision school to a Football Championship Subdivision school, Jones won’t have to sit out a year. He can play in the fall for the Tigers.

As Meyer alluded to in his comments, the 6-foot-2, 219-pound Jones said he was seeking the opportunity for more playing time. He  consulted with a friend, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a former Tennessee State cornerback who also is from Sarasota.

“Dominique’s dad and my dad grew up together and then me and Dominique played …

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