Archive for September, 2009

Prospects on Parade: RBs look to prove their worth tonight

It’s Friday afternoon and that means it’s almost time for “Friday Night Lights.”

There are a bunch of good games on the schedule but not necessarily many great clashes of college prospects. But there are some I like from the standpoint that they can be proving-ground contests for some of the state’s standout players.

For instance, I’m eager to see what Westside- Macon running back Robert Brown does against Bainbridge. Brown is one of those intriguing prospects who has compiled some very good numbers (776 yards, 8 TDs) but you’re not so sure about the competition. Well, we should have a better idea after this week as the Class AAAA No. 2-ranked Seminoles (4-0) play host to undefeated and No. 8 ranked Bainbridge.

Likewise, I have some folks telling me that North Clayton’s Clarence Jackson might be the best back in Atlanta, not Mack Brown of M.L. King or Ken Malcome of Southwest DeKalb or Charles Perkins of Collilns Hill. Jackson has 686 yards and 7 TDs on the season and …

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Georgia Tech gets official visit from N.C. DE Kareem Martin

Georgia Tech has already built an impressive recruiting class and has almost completely maxed out with 12 commitments, all of them from the state of Georgia. But the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t mind adding at least one more special player, even if it upsets the all-Georgia theme.

Kareem Martin, one of the top defensive ends in North Carolina, will be on campus this weekend as Tech’s only official visitor. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Martin is described by Roanoke Rapids High School coach Russell Weinstein as “a coach’s dream.” And one can see why, what with the 4.0 grade-point average in AP honors coursework and a 4.65 40-yard dash timed by college scouts.

“He’s an impact player on defense,” said Weinstein,  who said Martin finished third in state in the high jump last year. “He can play standing up on the outside or with a hand on the ground. He’s averaging 12 tackles a game for us and teams are scheming away from him. He’s three-sport all-conference in football, basketball and …

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5-star WR Green to visit UGA and family friend Richt

Christian Green reads the Internet, too. He has seen all the reports that list him as “a Florida lock” or as “Florida State-bound.” He knows most everybody in his hometown of Tampa and the state of Florida and the recruiting “blogosphere” pretty much discount his interest in the Georgia Bulldogs, with whom he’ll be making an official visit this weekend.

But he certainly offers up evidence to the contrary.

Christian Green plays quarterback for Tampa Catholic but he's considered the No. 4 wide receiver prospect in the nation and he's visiting Georgia this weekend. (Photo by BallHype.com).

Christian Green plays quarterback for Tampa Catholic but he's considered the No. 4 wide receiver prospect in the nation and he's visiting Georgia this weekend. (Photo by BallHype.com).

“I grew up a Georgia Bulldog fan,” said Green, who then slightly corrects himself. “Well, I grew up a Mark Richt fan. My cousin played for him at Florida State. So I started following Georgia when he went up there and I’ve liked them ever since. I know he’s a great coach with a great system and has a great staff around him. That’s why they’re in my top three.”

Green’s cousin is E.G. Green. In …

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N. Gwinnett’s Uzomah attracting major recruiting attention

North Gwinnett's 6-foot-5, 225-pound quarterback C.J. Uzomah has proven to be a much better under center than anybody anticipated, hence dozens of offers as a junior. (AJC Photo By Josh Weiss)

North Gwinnett's 6-foot-5, 225-pound quarterback C.J. Uzomah has proven to be a much better under center than anybody anticipated, hence dozens of offers as a junior. (AJC Photo By Josh Weiss)

It has all been kind of overwhelming for C.J. Uzomah, but in a good way. Kind of like a warm wave crashing unexpectedly over his head while wading on a beautiful beach.

This time a year ago, North Gwinnett’s big quarterback was just a long, lanky receiver hauling in passes from all-everything quarterback Mikey Tamburo (now at Boise State). Today he is one of the most sought-after junior prospects in the state. He already has more than a dozen offers and they’re all from major SEC and ACC powers and beyond.

“I’m just kind of taking it in,” the soft-spoken Uzomah said shortly before taking the practice field on Thursday. “The first [offer] from UGA was a surprise, all the way to the very last one from Oklahoma State. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to continue my career after high …

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More than 2,500 Georgians playing college football

Some people play golf.  Some people jog. Some play Halo.

Steve Slay? He counts football players.

Specifically college football players from Georgia.

Slay, a Tucker native and Florida resident,  sells industrial filtration systems by day. In his spare time he surfs the Internet trying to locate former Georgia high school players who are now playing college football across the country.

It’s a hobby, he says straightfaced.

Slay said his pastime started innocently enough. An avid Georgia high school football fan displaced by his job — at different times he has lived in Birmingham, Ala.,  Minneapolis, Minn., and currently Jacksonville, Fla. — Slay said several years ago he was simply curious about where some of Tucker’s players ended up going to college. That curiosity led to other curiosities such as “how many guys from Southwest DeKalb?” and how many guys from Valdosta and how many from Region 7-AAAA and so on.

“I’d always read about how well Georgia does on a national level …

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Lattimore sets four visits, Georgia not among them

Marcus Lattimore, one of the nation’s top running back prospects, has decided on the destinations for four of his official visits and Georgia was not among them.

However, the NCAA allows five paid trips and the Duncan, S.C., resident said the Bulldogs will be in the running for that spot along with South Carolina and North Carolina, according to a report on the WLTX.com website.

“I’m going to Florida State on the 9th (of October), Auburn on Halloween, and Penn State on the 6th (of November),” Lattimore said in the report, generated by GamecockCentral.com. “I’m going to go to Oregon after the season.”

Lattimore attended the Georgia-South Carolina game on an unofficial visit along with his coach, Chris Miller, on Sept. 12.

Don’t take Lattimore’s fickleness about visiting South Carolina as a sign of weakness for the in-state team. He has been to Columbia, S.C., so many times he just doesn’t feel like he necessary needs to visit there officially. He said he plans to attend the …

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Prospects such as Grayson’s Champaign market themselves

Not every aspiring college football player has multiple stars beside his name and recruiters lined up at the front door. But that doesn’t mean they’re not tremendous players and deserving scholarship recipients.

Grayson defensive end Joseph Champaign is such a football player. While he’s a dominating force on the Rams’ vaunted defense, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound senior doesn’t have a firm Division I offer and, at the moment, has no official visits planned.

“I’ve been in contact with a lot of schools and I’ve gotten some phone calls,” Champaign said. “But I haven’t made a decision anywhere. I’m still open. I’m still looking.”

But that doesn’t mean Champaign and his family are resting on their laurels and waiting for something to come their way. They’re tackling the situation proactively.

Champaign’s father, Craig Champaign, with the help of a neighbor produced a video of Joseph’s junior season highlights (see above) and sent it to more than 100 schools from coast-to-coast. He’s …

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Nation’s No. 1 linebacker Luc ’still interested’ in Dogs

Treasure Coast High School coach Brian Kelly makes two things clear regarding his magnificent middle linebacker, Jeff Luc: One, Georgia is definitely still in it for him; and, two, Deon Rogers, isn’t some kind of throw-in recruit the Bulldogs grabbed just to try to lure Luc to Athens.

That said, Kelly added that Luc’s relationship with Rogers — who committed to the Bulldogs back in June — is not something to be discounted.

“As long as Georgia is still in it with Deon they’re still in it with [Luc],” said Kelly, who coaches both players at the four-year-old Port St. Lucie, Fla., school. “Deon is one of his buddies and friends and family are very important to Jeff. He and Deon hang out a lot.”

Of course, it will take more than that to win the sweepstakes for the 6-foot-1, 230- pound Luc (pronounced LUCK). A consensus 5-star prospect and the No. 1-rated linebacker in the nation, Luc commanded more than 50 offers at the outset of his recruitment as a junior last season.

“I’ve …

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Mallett’s torching of Georgia secondary no surprise to Carr

A lot of people were surprised to see what Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett did to Georgia’s secondary this past Saturday night in Fayetteville. Lloyd Carr was not.

The retired Michigan football coach was the one who signed Mallett out of Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas,  and played him as a true freshman in 2007. The Wolverines beat out Texas, LSU and numerous other schools for the 6-foot-7 quarterback, who was ranked the top prospect in his state and No. 4 in the nation in 2006.

“Yeah, I guess I made at least four or five trips down to Texarkana to see him,” said Carr, in Athens on Tuesday to speak to the Touchdown Club of Athens. “And you know, there’s just no way to get to Texarkana. You have to have connections just to get in there.”

Carr said Michigan was able to beat out Texas because they had a quarterback named Colt McCoy in hand. He said Mallett’s parents, Jim and Debbie Mallett, actually were Arkansas fans. But Houston Nutt was the Razorbacks’ coach at the time and, …

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Coach: Bulldogs missing boat on 5-star defensive end

Georgia could be one of the favorites for a 5-star defensive end out of Florida but the Bulldogs need to pick up their recruiting efforts if they hope to make a run.

That’s the word from Marc Berman, who coaches Corey Lemonier at Hialeah High School in Hialeah, Fla. He said the Bulldogs and defensive coordinator Willie Martinez were all over Lemonier back in the spring but that they haven’t heard much from them since and they’re not sure why.

“Right now all he’s done is take a trip to Florida State,” Berman said Tusday. “He’s going to take one to Florida and probably to Auburn and he’s probably going to be open on his last trip. Georgia was recruiting him back in the spring but I haven’t heard from Coach Martinez or any of their coaches lately.”

Berman said he and Lemonier attended a Georgia game as unofficial visitors along with another one of his players, defensive tackle Corey Liuget, who eventually signed with Illinois. “So he’s familiar with the program,” Berman …

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