Archive for August, 2009

Union Grove’s Akins making a name for himself in football

Union Grove wide receiver Jordan Akins played quarterback in the absence of starter Ty Moore and responded with 216 total yards and three touchdowns in the Wolverine's 35-6 win over Ola. (Photo by Jeff Hurndon/www.jhurndon.com)

Union Grove wide receiver Jordan Akins played quarterback in the absence of starter Ty Moore and accounted for 216 total yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Jeff Hurndon/www.jhurndon.com)

Jordan Akins is at it again.

Union Grove’s two-sport star and Class of 2010 recruit managed to sneak into the season under college football radar. But his early-season performances aren’t going to allow him remain long in obscurity.

With regular quarterback Ty Moore out this week, the 6-foot-4, 192-pound wide receiver started under center against Ola this past Friday. All Akins did was in his debut was rush for 142 yards on nine carries, run for two touchdowns, complete 5-of-8 passes for 74 yards and throw for another score in the Wolverines’ 35-6 victory.

Moore returns to action this week against Stockbridge. So does coach Steven Collins have a quarterback controversy brewing?

“Put it this way: There will be a package for Jordan under center and there will be a package for him at wide …

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Perkins’ 300-yard rushing night pushes him into the limelight

UPDATED WITH PHOTO, QUOTES FROM PERKINS, 1 P.M. . . .

Charles Perkins didn't bust a long one against Parkview but he did a lot of busting on the way to 302 yards rushing in the 10-7 win. (AJC photo by Josh D. Weiss)

Charles Perkins didn't bust a long run against Parkview but he did a lot of busting on the way to 302 yards rushing in Collins Hill's 10-7 win Friday night. (AJC photo by Josh D. Weiss)

For a Division I recruit, Charles Perkins had managed to remain relatively below-the-radar even after his commitment to Georgia Tech last February.

That won’t be the case much longer.

After his 300-plus-yard rushing effort in Collins Hill’s season-opening win over Parkview this past Friday, you can bet a lot of major colleges are wishing they’d made more of a play for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back.

“Tipping the scale over 300 yards, that doesn’t come around too often, especially against a perennial power like Parkview,” Collins Hill coach Billy Wells said Monday. “Charles was on a lot of people’s lists as far as being one of the top guys but when he committed to Tech so early it kind of cooled the jets on the interest level in him. …

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Other prospects steal the show from DeKalb running backs

As I reported from Hallford Stadium Friday night, the Mack Brown-versus-Kendrun Malcome matchup in the M.L. King-Southwest DeKalb game did not live up to its billing. Neither player managed even 100 yards rushing in the defense-dominated contest, won by the Lions 13-9.

Thanks to M.L. King quarterback Cameron Myers, Southwest DeKalb defensive end T.J. Stripling was having to take in a lot of water Friday night. (Photo by C. Towers)

Thanks to M.L. King quarterback Cameron Myers, Southwest DeKalb defensive end T.J. Stripling had to take in a lot of water Friday night. (Photo by C. Towers)

This is not to demean either players’ abilities or reputations. In fact, you could see flashes that justified the fuss even as Brown struggled for 66 yards on 20 carries and Malcome 75 on 17. Brown had a spectacular 26-yard run for a touchdown that was called back for an illegal shift. And the majority of Malcome’s yards came after being hit at the line of scrimmage or behind. And you had to like the Knowshon Moreno-like, pop-up-and-walk Malcome threw in after a good gain.

Actually, the matchup that ended up holding the most intrigue for me was the battle …

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Brown vs. Malcome matchup a draw in MLK-SWD game

Never mind that Friday night’s Southwest DeKalb-M.L. King High matchup was an intense neighborhood rivalry between proud schools located four miles apart, each ranked in their classification’s respective Top 10s. Recruitniks were interested in seeing how the Georgia Bulldogs’ guy looked like up next to the Florida Gators’ guy.

Kendrun Malcome, Southwest DeKalb’s star running back, has committed to Georgia. MLK’s Brown, generally considered the state’s top back, committed to Florida over Georgia.

The reality was Friday night’s game didn’t do much to draw a distinction between the two backs. Their head-to-head performance was a draw.

Malcome had 75 yards on 17 carries but was hamstrung after his team’s only offensive threat after starting quarterback Stephen Coates went down with an ankle injury on the game’s first play. Brown had 66 yards on 20 carries and his team won the game but he struggled running between the tackles.

“Sometimes it’s like that; you’ve got to run hard and …

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Gundy: Series with UGA helped Oklahoma State in Georgia

When he’s not ranting about being a 40-year-old man and the mean, old press picking on his players, Mike Gundy is actually a pretty nice and accommodating guy.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. He's not as goofy as you might think. (NBC Sports)

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. He's not as goofy as you might think. (Photo from NBC Sports)

I spoke with the Oklahoma State head coach Friday as he entertained questions on a teleconference with reporters a little after lunch. Of course, my queries were all about recruiting while colleague Tim Tucker grilled him on the Cowboys’ high-octane offense and low-octane defense and other such things.

In case you haven’t noticed, Oklahoma State has started to draw some interest from Georgia players, as it is with other prospects out of other regions. Despite being located way off in Stillwater, Okla., where they’ll open the season against the Bulldogs next Saturday, the Cowboys feature seven players on their roster from our fair state.

Two other them — senior defensive back Maurice Gray of Warner Robins and running back Beau …

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Synjyn Days chooses Georgia Tech over Oklahoma State

UPDATED AT 12:57 P.M. WITH NEW INFORMATION THROUGHOUT . . .

Synjyn Days of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs committed on Friday to Georgia Tech over Oklahoma State. And make no mistake about it: He’ll play quarterback for the Yellow Jackets.

Synjyn Days, who runs the triple option at Hillgrove High, will play quarterback for Georgia Tech next season.

Synjyn Days, who runs the triple option at Hillgrove High, will play quarterback for Georgia Tech next season.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound high school senior is generally listed as “athlete” by the recruiting services. But Tech coach Paul Johnson and quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon assured Days they wanted him under center. That was a big factor in Days heading to The Flats.

“Yes, sir, I’m playing quarterback,” Days said shortly after making his decision public during an announcement Friday afternoon at Hillgrove. “Oklahoma State was recruiting me as a “Wolf,” which is kind of a linebacker/defensive position. But I wanted to play quarterback in college. I feel like I can contribute with my passing and running abilities and being able …

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Dogs’ Malcome vs. Gators’ Brown heats up SWD-MLK game

Martin Luther King High coach Corey Jarvis has heard all the chatter about tonight’s game against Southwest DeKalb. Never mind that it’s an intense neighborhood rivalry between proud schools located four miles apart.

“Basically everybody has been saying it’s the Georgia commit against the Florida commit,” Jarvis said with a chuckle. “It’s Georgia-Florida.”

At least to recruitniks it is.

Mack Brown

The game, which will be played tonight at 8 at Clarkston’s Hallford Stadium, will feature two of the state’s top-rated running backs. MLK’s Mack Brown is considered the No. 1 tailback in the state. He committed to the Florida Gators last month. Southwest DeKalb’s Kendrun Malcome is also rated among the state’s best backs. The fact that they’ve committed to bitter SEC rivals makes the matchup that much more enticing.

So interest in tonight’s contest spreads out well beyond the Lithonia-Decatur line.

“Like I kept telling Mack, he’s not playing for Urban Meyer yet,” Jarvis said.

Of …

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Commitments continue as Tucker’s Brown pledges to UCF

Recruiting action has picked up a little this week as prospects hurry to lock down offers before their senior high school seasons commence.

Tucker’s Quenton Brown is the latest to pull the trigger. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound defensive end committed to UCF (University of Central Florida) Wednesday night, according to Tucker coach Franklin Stephens.

Tucker DE Quenton Brown

Tucker DE Quenton Brown

Brown chose the Golden Knights over Michigan State, Miami, Ole Miss and Western Kentucky, Stephens said.

“It kind of came down to UCF and Michigan State,” Stephens said. “He’s from Michigan originally. He has family up there and in Orlando. The deciding factor for him is he felt it’d be easier for his mother and brother to come see him play in Orlando than East Lansing.”

It should be a tad bit warmer, too.

Quarterback Synjyn Days of Hillgrove High in Powder Springs is expected to make an announcement on Friday. He’ll choose between Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. …

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Don’t underestimate Penn State in race to land Thornton

Georgia and Auburn are generally considered the leaders in the recruitment of Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton. But don’t underestimate Penn State in the sweepstakes to land the state’s top uncommitted prospect.

Stephenson's Mike Thornton is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state for the Class of 2010. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton is considered one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state for the Class of 2010. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Thornton, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior from Stone Mountain, said the only recruiting trip he is absolutely certain he and his father will make this fall is to State College, Penn., to check out the Nittany Lions.

“I’ve been watching them for a while,” Thornton said earlier this week. “I feel like they’ve got a real good program. And I love their defensive line coach, Larry Johnson. He’s a great guy and a great coach who has put a lot of players in the league. They have a good business school, too. I’m definitely going up there to check it out.”

Thornton said he visited Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Miami and …

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Tennessee’s Brown cleared by NCAA, avoids suspension

The NCAA on Wednesday ruled that Tennessee’s heralded running back signee Bryce Brown will not face any punishment for his involvement in funded trips to college campuses while he was a high school sophomore.

Freshman tailback Bryce Brown has been impressive in Tennessee's preseason practices. (Photo by Adam Brimer/govolsextra.com)

Freshman tailback Bryce Brown has been impressive in Tennessee's preseason practices. (Photo by Adam Brimer/GoVolsXtra.com)

“The best news of the day is Bryce Brown has been cleared,” coach Lane Kiffin told reporters after Tennessee’s practice Wednesday. Kiffin got the news from athletics director Mike Hamilton during the middle of practice, then informed Brown and the rest of the team a short time later. The team let out a mighty cheer at the news, according to the Knoxville News Sentinal.

“I think that that’s a heck of a deal by the NCAA to get it done right and get it done with a sense of urgency, so we’re very grateful for that,” Kiffin said.

Brown, considered the No. 1 recruit in the country in the Class of 2009, drew the attention of NCAA investigators because …

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