Archive for July, 2009

No offer from Florida for Centennial CB Jenkins

I talked to Centennial cornerback Martin Jenkins this afternoon and he updated me on his trip to Florida this past weekend for the Friday Night Lights camp.

Jenkins, you’ll recall, is a lightning fast prospect whose recruiting star has been on the rise ever since he received a scholarship offer from Clemson last week.

Jenkins said he thoroughly enjoyed the camp and getting a brief tour of Florida’s campus and facilities.

“It went great,” he said. “There was a lot of competition down there and that’s the way I like it. I talked to one of their defensive backs coaches (Vance Bedford) afterwards and he said I did a good job. We exchanged some information and then we left.”

Alas, Jenkins didn’t get what he really wanted. “I didn’t get an offer out of it, at least not yet,” he said with a laugh.

Even if Jenkins doesn’t hear back from the Gators, he’s getting more and more notice from major D-I programs. Ole Miss and North Carolina are just the latest to contact him. The majority of …

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UGA in ‘constant contact’ with Carver-Columbus coach

Georgia still is not in the good graces of Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee but it’s working on it.

McGee banned the Bulldogs from recruiting his players after a communication breakdown led to Georgia withdrawing a scholarship offer from Carver quarterback Devin Burns the very day he intended to commit to them. That was a week ago this past Saturday and McGee said he has heard from the Bulldogs often since then.

“They’ve been in contact with me on a constant basis since the incident occurred,” said McGee, who led Carver to the Class AAA state championship in 2007. “I’ve talked to Mark Richt a few times and a few other coaches as well.”

Make no mistake about it, while Georgia is prevented by NCAA rule from commenting on the situation directly, its coaching staff is contrite and is doing everything in its power to make good with the school. And it goes beyond the fact that the school produces good football players. Teams are always going to offer more scholarships than they can …

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Mack Brown: Florida commitment ‘came out of nowhere’

Good Monday morning to everybody. Hope you all had a great weekend. I certainly did, even if I did have to eat some crow early on.

You may have noticed that about 10 hours after MLK running back Mack Brown told me he had no plans to commit to Florida while attending their elite “Friday Night Lights” camp this past Friday, I had to write that he had indeed committed to the Gators. I found out about the time I was going to bed Friday when I decided to take one last gander at the Internet and see if there was any news. Sure enough, there it was on gatorsports.com. A couple of text messages later I had the news confirmed myself and got something online about midnight.

“Welcome to the world of recruiting, Chip,” you might say. “Having fun yet?”

Actually I am. I’ve been doing this gig one week as of today and so far I’ve seen Rivals.com accidently release a video of Garrison Smith committing to Georgia two days before his official announcement; talked to a coach that banned the …

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Mack Brown confirms commitment to Florida while on visit

The answer came in two tiny words on a text message.

“Yes sir,” Mack Brown wrote.

His response was to the question, “Did you commit to Florida tonight?”

And indeed he did. That was the word from Brown, generally considered the top running back in the state, just a few minutes before midnight Friday. I got the exact same reply a few minutes earlier from his coach at Martin Luther King High, Corey Jarvis.

The amazing part is I had gotten a totally different indication about 10 hours earlier. Speaking by cell phone just a short while before going onto Florida’s campus to take part in the Gators’ “Friday Night Lights” camp and recruiting activities, I asked Brown if he planned to commit that night or was he going to come back to Atlanta and mull the decision between them and Georgia. As at least a few of you read here, he plainly stated, “Nah, I’m just going to take everything in.”

So whether that was Brown’s plan all along or he was simply overwhelmed by what was surely an …

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Mack Brown says he won’t commit while at Florida

The Georgia Bulldogs will no doubt be a little nervous this weekend as one of their top remaining targets gets the red-carpet treatment in Gainesville, Fla.

Mack Brown, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound running back from Lithonia’s Martin Luther King High School, is among 200 elite prospects attending the Florida Gators’ “Friday Night Lights” camp this weekend. There he will be subjected to speeches from head coach Urban Meyer and other assistant coaches, will be wooed by fellow recruits who already plan on signing with the Gators and will get an up-close-and-personal look at Florida’s national championship trophy, which reportedly will be spotlighted on the middle of Florida Field during the camp Friday night.

Georgia fans can take comfort in this one bit of news from Brown, who spoke to the AJC shortly before arriving on the Florida campus Friday afternoon — he will not commit to the Gators while on his visit.

“Nah, I’m just going to take everything in,” said Brown, reached by …

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Florida, Clemson eyeing Centennial CB Jenkins

Martin Jenkins of Centennial High is proof that you don’t have to be five-star rated blue-chipper to get noticed by major colleges.

Jenkins, a 5-foot-9, 168-pound cornerback, received a scholarship from Clemson on Thursday. Friday night he will perform for the Florida Gators at their Friday Night Lights elite camp in Gainesville, Fla. Previously Jenkins’ only firm offers had come from Syracuse, Toledo, Middle Tennessee and Western Carolina.

“We’re excited,” said Martin’s father, Lee Jenkins, a former Tennessee cornerback who also coaches defensive backs for Centenniel. “He’s popping on the radar all of the sudden. It’s starting to pick up.”

What recruiters like is Jenkins’ speed. He has been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash and finished fourth in Class AAAAA in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the state track and field finals this past spring. That drew the attention of such schools as Georgia and Ole Miss, who invited Jenkins to their summer camps. But a groin …

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Early signing period for football makes sense

The more I think about it the more I believe there should be an early signing period for college football.

This is not a new concept. It has been heavily debated and largely favored by coaches for some time. In fact, there were some relatively serious discussions initiated by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) earlier this year to install a short, early signing period in mid-December, much like the November period there is in college basketball. They claimed 77 percent of college coaches favored such a signing period. Alas, nothing has come of it so far.

But I still think they’re missing the point here. Forget mid-December. I say an early signing period for late July makes a lot more sense.

No doubt you noticed that Georgia got three commitments this week alone. Georgia Tech and Alabama also got major commitments this week. In each case the players that made their decisions public talked about the desire to get the recruiting process over with so they could …

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Auburn Tigers continue to raid Atlanta

The Auburn Tigers continue their long-standing tradition of stocking up on players from Atlanta as they received a commitment on Thursday from one of the best wide receivers in the South.

Antonio Goodwin, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound rising senior at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School, has decided to sign with the Tigers, according to report Rivals.com. Rivals ranks Goodwin as a four-star recruit and the 37th ranked wideout in the country.

Goodwin did not immediately return messages seeking comment. But he reportedly visited Auburn this past weekend and that “sealed it with me,” he told auburn.rivals.com.

With Goodwin’s commitment, the Tigers actually have more recruits coming from Metro Atlanta (5) than they do the entire state of Alabama (4). He joins LB Jessell Curry (Buford), ATH Shaun Kitchens (College Park), DB Demetrice McNeal (College Park) and DB Jonathan Mincy (Decatur).

Auburn now has 12 commitments overall for its 2010 class.

I’ll update this report as soon as I …

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Commitments pouring in like it’s almost February

The next national signing day for football is not for another seven months but you’d think it was already February the way commitments have been pouring in this week.

Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech each collected commitments on Wednesday alone. The Bulldogs landed four-star defensive end T.J. Stripling of Southwest DeKalb; Georgia Tech got a pledge from Grayson, defensive tackle Shawn Green; and Brian Vogler, the state’s top-rated tight end out of Columbus (Brookstone), announced that he’d be signing with Alabama.

Stripling was the third commitment in the four days for Georgia. He joined Douglass defensive lineman Garrison Smith, who had a commitment announcement party Sunday night at a Midtown restaurant, and speedster Nickell (pronounced Nuh-KELL) Robey of Frostproof, Fla., who made his decision public on Tuesday.

Yet another commitment came down late Wednesday when Alpharetta quarterback Justin Burns went public with his decision to attend Delaware. The …

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Dogs land SWD defensive end Stripling

The juggernaut that is Georgia’s 2010 recruiting class continued Wednesday morning as Southwest DeKalb defensive end T.J. Stripling committed to the Bulldogs.

In fact, Stripling told the AJC of his decision Wednesday morning 10 minutes before he was supposed to meet with head coach Mark Richt to make it official.

“I’m about to commit to the University of Georgia right now,” said Stripling, who answered the phone as he sat in the office of a UGA assistant coach in Athens with SWD coach Buck Godfrey. “It was just time to do it. I felt this was the best thing for me. We left about 7 this morning so I could do it in person.”

Stripling, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound rising senior, gives the Bulldogs 18 commitments for the 2010 class, including four from defensive ends. They only have slots for about 21 players.

It also keeps intact a pipeline of talent flowing to Athens from the metro Atlanta area. Stripling is good friends with previous UGA commitments, RB Ken Malcome, a SWD teammate, and …

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