UPDATED 2:31 p.m. on 12/29/2009 . . .
This just in: Stephenson’s Mike Thornton is not playing in Under Armour Game after all. He just told me he withdrew a week ago due to a lingering high-ankle sprain suffered in the last game of the regular season.
Greetings everybody. I’m back from a brief holiday vacation and excited about cranking up the ol’ recruiting blog again as we enter the stretch run to national signing day (Feb. 3).
We have a lot of great stuff planned over the next several weeks as we monitor and report on the vibrant recruiting scene around Georgia and the Southeast. Our coverage will step up in earnest this week as I head down to Orlando and St. Pete to cover the third annual Under Armour All-America High School Football game. The practices and skills challenges are being conducted at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando this week and the nationally-televised game (ESPN) will be played Saturday at 11 a.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. I’ll get down there Wednesday afternoon.
There are 13 players from the state of Georgia on the 89-player roster. That’s the third highest representation behind Florida (19) and Texas (15). The roster is split into two teams called the Blur (white team) and Nitro (black team). Nine of the Georgians are on the white team. You can see the complete rosters here at ESPN.com.
There are four players in the game committed to the University of Georgia: S Alec Ogletree of Newnan, WR Da’Rick Rogers of Calhoun, OL Kolton Houston of Buford and OL Brent Benedict of Jacksonville-Bolles (Benedict won’t play due to a knee injury).
There is one player committed to Georgia Tech: CB Ryan Ayers of South Paulding.
Probably the most interesting aspect for me is the fact the two running backs from Georgia — M.L. King’s Mack Brown and Loganville’s Storm Johnson — will be in the same backfield for the black team. They will be opposing Michael Dyer of Little Rock, Ark., an Auburn commitment who is rated the No. 1 back in America by ESPNU, and Jordan James of Corona, Calif., a UCLA pledge.
As you might imagine, there is more than a little regional pride at stake for Brown and Johnson, longtime friends who grew up about 10 minutes from each other and cut their teeth on football in the Central DeKalb Youth Association. Also interesting that the state’s two best backs (arguably, of course) are both heading out of state to play college ball. Brown is a Florida commitment. Johnson is going to play for Miami.
Anyway, I’ve spoken to them both and will have a story up about that tomorrow morning here on the blog.
Other Georgians tabbed as Under Armour All-Americans are WR Antonio Goodwin of Atlanta’s Washington High, WR Tai-ler Jones of Gainesville, LB Michael Taylor of Westlake, OT Ju’Wuan James of North Gwinnett, DT Michael Thornton of Stephenson, TE Brian Vogler of Columbus and DE Adrian Hubbard of Norcross.
By my count there are 13 players that are undecided about their college choices. At least a few are expected to announce their decisions before or during the game.
So be sure to check back often throughout the week to see what kind of news and information I gather. And if there are any specific stories written and/or questions asked regarding these prospects please let me know.