Archive for July, 2009

Grayson DT becomes Tech’s ninth commitment

UPDATED WITH QUOTES AND NEW INFO . . .

Grayson defensive tackle Shawn Green became the ninth commitment of Georgia Tech’s 2010 class when he gave the Yellow Jackets his pledge early Wednesday morning.

Green, a 6-foot-1, 280-pound rising senior, had at least 17 scholarship offers, including opportunities at Auburn, BYU, Florida State, Louisville, Maryland, Ole Miss and South Carolina. But he’ll get the opportunity to compete for playing time early on The Flats. The Jackets lost three starters off their defensive line off last year’s 9-4 team.

“[Tech] has been recruiting me since the spring and they’ve been recruiting me pretty hard,” said Green, who had 69 tackles — including 22 for losses — and seven sacks as a junior last season. “I didn’t feel like I got the same treatment from other schools. I went to Florida State and I didn’t feel the same love. I just liked the way they made me feel and I liked all the coaches so I decided to just go ahead and make it official.”

Green …

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Bama gets state’s No. 1 tight end in Vogler

As expected, Brian Vogler, considered the No. 1 tight end in the state of Georgia, announced his official commitment to the University of Alabama on Wednesday.

Vogler, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound rising senior at the Brookstone School in Columbus, chose the Crimson Tide over Oklahoma. He made the announcement at a modest ceremony at the school just after lunchtime on Wednesday. His father said about 40 people were in attendance, including two local television stations, a local newspaper reporter, representatives from three recruiting websites and teammates, classmates and friends.

“It went well,” Vogler said of the official announcement. “The main reason I went with Alabama is it just felt like the best fit for me. When I went on campus it felt like I was at home. When I left it felt like I was already missing it.”

How did Vogler celebrate? He had an appointment to have his braces removed immediately after the ceremony.

Vogler was Oklahoma’s No. 1 target at the position but it moved …

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Dogs get 17th commitment, 7th from Florida

UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION . . .

Nickell Robey, a speedy defensive back from Frostproof, Fla., became Georgia’s 17th commitment for the 2010 signing class on Tuesday.

Robey, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound cornerback, is considered a four-star recruit (out of five stars) by Rivals.com. He chose the Bulldogs over South Florida, according to Frostproof coach Brad Metheny. He also held scholarship offers from Florida, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Tennessee, among others.

Robey is the cousin of Georgia rising sophomore Carlton Thomas, a running back who also starred at Frostproof.

“He didn’t try to sway me or anything like that but it does make me feel more comfortable knowing he’s going to be there,” Robey said of his first cousin from his father’s side. “We always hung out together and did everything together so that’ll be good.

Asked to compare the two, Metheny said: “Nickell is probably a step faster. Carlton is probably a little thicker. They’re both tremendous athletes.”

Robey was …

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Carver-Columbus football coach bans UGA recruiters

The coach of Columbus’ Carver High has “banned” Georgia’s coaches from recruiting players at the school.

As first reported by former AJC staffers Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye in the e-mail newsletter Georgia High School Football Daily, Carver coach Dell McGee is upset because he says the Bulldogs withdrew a scholarship offer to quarterback Devin Burns while Burns was on the UGA campus this past Saturday night. What made it worse was, according to McGee, Burns had come with his entire family with the plan of committing that very day to Georgia coach Mark Richt.

“To protect our kids and my program, Georgia won’t be welcome on my campus,” McGee, a former Auburn player, told the GHSFD. “They’re not going to recruit anybody.”

McGee reaffirmed that stance to the AJC at lunchtime Tuesday and said he stands by his decision.

“Rescinding a scholarship is not uncommon; that’s not my problem,” said McGee, who said his school’s principal is in agreement. “It’s really about how the situation …

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Georgia Tech making its living in state

Georgia Tech is relying on more in-state players now, such as Jonathan Dwyer (21, right). (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Georgia Tech is relying on more in-state players now, such as Jonathan Dwyer (21, right). (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Perusing Georgia Tech’s list of commitments for the 2010 signing class, it doesn’t take long for a trend to jump out at you. The Yellow Jackets have eight pledges so far. Every single one is from the state of Georgia.

In fact, coach Paul Johnson has said more than once he wouldn’t be surprised their entire allotment of scholarships — the Jackets currently have only 12 available this year– goes to Georgia residents. He’d just as soon they would.

Tech added yet another player from Georgia on Monday. Former Henry County star Chris Jackson announced his plans to transfer from Alabama, where he played mostly special teams as a freshman last season, to The Flats.

That’s somewhat of a break with tradition. In the past it was believed that Georgia Tech, due to its unique academic environment and urban setting, needed to search far and wide for players to fit its criteria. …

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Garrison Smith undeterred by ‘accidental’ video release

Clearly Garrison Smith had planned for this moment for a long time and he was going to stick to that plan no matter what.

One of the nation’s best defensive linemen according to all the recruiting sites, Smith sat at the front of a crowded back room at Shout restaurant at Colony Square Sunday night. He methodically went through a rehearsed routine of removing t-shirts from Georgia Tech and Florida before revealing his ultimate choice with a red shirt underneath it all, the University of Georgia.

Trouble is, everybody in the room — and apparently everybody in cyberspace — already knew what the Douglass High football star was going to say. And that was well before Douglass coach Kenny Barrow let it slip during his introductory remarks (”The University of Georgia is getting a good one . . .”).

Garrison Smith and me after the not-so-surprising announcement Sunday night at Shout restaurant in Midtown. He's a big dude (6-foot-3, 255-pounds).

Garrison Smith and me after the not-so-surprising announcement Sunday night at Shout restaurant in Midtown. (From my I-phone)

That’s because Rivals.com on Friday “accidentally” released a …

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Nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle picks UGA over Florida

Garrison Smith (left) is UGA-bound and will be competing against brother Greg Smith's former team, archrival Georgia Tech (AJC file)

Garrison Smith said his family will have to get some new colors to wear after he committed to Georgia on Sunday night.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Smith is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle by Scout and picked the Bulldogs over more than 50 early offers. His older brother, Greg Smith, played for Georgia’s archrival, Georgia Tech.

“My family is going to have to buy some Georgia clothes, they are all Georgia fans now,” Smith told the AJC.

The Smiths are not the only family to have a son play for each in-state college. Some examples are Morgan Burnett, Tech’s All-America candidate at safety, who opted not to follow in the footsteps of Cap Burnett to Georgia. Shawn Jones was quarterback for Tech’s 1990 national championship team, and competed directly against Georgia defender Mike Jones.

The elder Smith played A-back for Tech from 2006-08, …

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Garrison Smith set to pick between Dogs and Gators

 Garrison Smith, a heralded football recruit from Douglass High School, will announce his college choice at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Shout restaurant inside Colony Square in Midtown.

Smith, a 6-4, 250-pound defensive tackle who holds more than 50 scholarship offers, said that all schools on his list are under consideration.

UGASports.com, a Web site affiliated with the Rivals network, is reporting that Smith told them he has narrowed his college choice to Georgia or Florida.

Smith, who dabbles in more than football, is ranked No. 2 in the nation at his position, 44th overall by Rivals.

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South Carolina DE commits to Dogs

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

We will see if Johnavon Fulton was just speaking out of youthful exuberance, or if he meant what he said.

Only days ago, Fulton — one of the top defensive backs in the country — told Eric Guimaraes of Palmetto Sports that he wanted to go to the same school as defensive end teammate Dexter Morant. If Morant maintains the commitment he just made to Georgia this week, becoming the 15th member of the Class of 2010 to pledge allegiance, things could get interesting in the Bulldogs’ secondary.

“Me and Dexter are really focused on going to the same school,” he told Guimaraes. “We’re trying to make that happen.”

He qualified the comment, however.

“If it doesn’t,” he said, “we understand that we have to do what is best.”

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Alpharetta WR Brandon Terry commits to ACC school

Alpharetta High School is loaded with big-time wide receivers this year. Brandon Terry committed to Wake Forest on Monday, joining his teammate and fellow wide receiver Michael Bennett (committed to UGA) as major-college prospects.

“Brandon visited Wake on Sunday, and did really well at their camp,” Alpharetta coach Jason Dukes told the AJC. “He really likes Wake. That’s the place he wants to be.”

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Terry was also considering offers from Iowa, Wisconsin, Central Florida, Tulane, Mississippi State, Purdue and Connecticut, and had generated serious interest from Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Last year as a junior, Terry had around 22 receptions for 500 yards and four touchdowns.

“Brandon is a very long and lean kid, who is good at getting separation [from the defensive backs] while running down the field,” Dukes said. “He has really sure hands, and is can take a lick and keep going.”

“With both he and Michael Bennett, it gives us a lot of options with what …

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