Georgia well-represented in Under Armour All-America Game

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.

79 comments Add your comment

theTruth

December 28th, 2009
3:31 pm

CHIP, welcome back. Any word on if James is still waivering on his commitment to UT? Sounds like we might be back in it for Elam (of course depending on the new DC)? And finally, looks like Butler might be going to Louisville.

GHS

December 28th, 2009
3:32 pm

Clint

December 28th, 2009
3:36 pm

How is Benedict coming with his rehab? I heard it was a pretty serious injury. Will he be able to play again?

Cuttysark

December 28th, 2009
3:40 pm

Happy Holidays Chip and have a nice trip to the game. Any word on where DT Michael Thornton is going to land? Last I read was Penn State was in the mix. Hopefully he will take a look at Georgia Tech.

Also good luck to UGA this afternoon in their game against Texas A & M. Time for everyone to bag the hate until next year’s game between the dawgs and Yellow Jackets. It is better if both programs are good and hopefully the fans on both sides will start to understand the bigger picture.

Go http://isportsweb.com for more articles on Georgia Tech as they get ready to meet the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Orange Bowl Game.

need more detail

December 28th, 2009
3:45 pm

Chip, could you give us a list of the players who plan to announce where they are going to school before/during the game?

HardTruth Soldier

December 28th, 2009
3:50 pm

Truthfully, Nack Brown saw the “truth” in Washaun Ealey, and knows for a fact that Ken Malcolm from SW Dekalb is a 4 star coming to UGA. Mack knows it isn’t room for him.. Mack, I hear they are looking for players in Louisville. You might want to follow Charlie Strong!

collegeballfan

December 28th, 2009
4:01 pm

I agree with Cuttysark on pulling for the dawgs. When they are not playing GT I am a big UGA fan. And I believe they will prevail today.
The UGA defense will play a smart, inspired game.

I always hope that both GT & UGA are undefeated when they play their Saturday after turkey day game. Half the time the game is meaningless for one of the teams.

Frank

December 28th, 2009
4:03 pm

Thanks for the update, and as always…

THWGT!!!

UGA 2010

December 28th, 2009
4:05 pm

Butler can go ahead and go to gay Louisville. Anyone committed to UGA but then decommits isn’t UGA material anyway, who does he think he is? ive seen some of his plays….. not like we will be missing anything special.

Dawg Man

December 28th, 2009
4:06 pm

WE’RE JUST FINE AT THE RUNNING BACK POSTION BOYZZZZZZZ

truegold92

December 28th, 2009
4:08 pm

When are you going to realize all this is just hype! Five star, two star, who cares! There are many walk-ons starting in major college football while your five stars ride the bench! Big time college football is a lot different than high school ball. Look at FSU, Miami or even UGA! Top classes every year and underachievment every year! It takes more than ability. It takes heart, drive, discipline and being coached up so the kid can compete at the next level. Just because you sign a five or four star doesn’t gurantee success! Just ask CMR! I get so tired of fat old men who never stepped foot on a football field putting all their eggs in a basket created by the media. Get a freakin life! Play it on the field and not on rivals!

Chip Towers

December 28th, 2009
4:30 pm

need more detail: I’m still working on that list myself. At one point WR Chris Dunkley was expected to but word is he’s not sure now because of uncertainty surrounding Florida’s situation. . . .

Cuttysark: No word on Mike Thornton but he’s supposed to be calling me today and I’ll see him this week in Orlando. And Penn State is definitely in the mix, as are Auburn, Georgia and Miami. Last time I talked to him he said it may be national signing day before he decides/announces. He’s taking his time now that he put off early enrollment. . . .

Clint: Brent Benedict did suffer a very serious knee injury but it turns out it’s not as bad as originally thought. Last thing I read was he could finish rehab in as few as 9 months. But I’d expect him to be redshirted next year and that knee babied a while longer. . . .

theTruth: No word on Ja’Wuan James or any alleged wavering. He pretty much shut down after NCAA investigators came to his school to talk to him, so I have nothing to go on. But I’m sure we’ll talk in Orlando and see how he’s feeling about things.

DamntheButcher

December 28th, 2009
4:37 pm

Chip:

I heard you say your dad lived in Calhoun. Did you go to school there?

Chip Towers

December 28th, 2009
4:39 pm

DamntheButcher: No, sir. I grew up in Stone Mountain. I’m a Redan Raider.

DamntheButcher

December 28th, 2009
4:40 pm

Chip the reason I asked is because that is where my dad is from and I was just curious. I actually work in Cowhoun now. lol

RomeDawg

December 28th, 2009
4:45 pm

I am sure Butler is a heckuva player but he seems to be filled with drama. If hedoesn’t dream of being a dawg, that’s fine, but please just make a decision.

GT Fan...

December 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong fellow GT fans, but didn’t I read on one of these blogs after Ayers committed to GT where many dog fans were saying it was b/c GA didn’t want him? If that’s the case then how in the h#LL did he get selected for the UA game??

UGA Fan

December 28th, 2009
6:19 pm

Is the national signing day for 2009 Feb.3 or Feb 4.?

Check out these underated prospects from GA:

Fullback: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBptDBrFS28

WR/ATH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6Z3QhI_fTU

Linebacker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrpEQoB64AA

Cuttysark

December 28th, 2009
6:28 pm

Thank you Chip and keep up the good work.

Ramblin Rick

December 28th, 2009
6:57 pm

Storm Johnson will be a bust at Miami and go 0-4 against my Jackets during his time there.

TampaGator

December 28th, 2009
7:43 pm

Butler was recruited by Strong at Florida, but there was no room for him there. There is room for him at Louisville (more than at Georgia), and the kid really admires Charlie Strong. You can’t blame him for wanting to look at Louisville and play for Strong. Strong will quickly bring Louisville back into the top 10 and will draw some really good players out of Florida to play for him. Strong is not going after any of the Florida commits thank goodness. He is a hell of a recruiter, and an even better coach. The Gators will miss his talents, but nothing could be better than for Charlie Strong to finally get a well-earned head coaching job. Congrats, Charlie, and good luck…unless you play the Gators, of course.

TampaGator

December 28th, 2009
7:47 pm

Chip….really looking forward to getting updates about Dunkley. He was a slam dunk Gator before all this happened. I hope Meyer coming back will keep him a Gator. They need his talents at WR. Tell him he will still be catching passes from John Brantley next year and the year after that. He will be a star catching ‘em from Brantley. Also, is Ronald Powell in Orlando? I heard that he was really shaken by what happened with Meyer and has reopened his recruitment. He and Meyer were really close and he was a Gator, too, before this happened. I am looking for updates if he is. Thanks.

tiger7_88

December 28th, 2009
7:50 pm

Chip, wouldn’t it be more accurate to rename your blog “UGa Recruiting (with a tiny bit of GT thrown in)”?

It's Really Dumb

December 28th, 2009
8:03 pm

tiger7_88…didn’t you know that the AJC sports writers are just an extention of the Georgia sports information department. Georgia Tech and its fans might as well read the Boston Globe. You would most likely find more information about Tech on it’s website that on a AJCSports website.

High school fan

December 28th, 2009
9:01 pm

I would still like to see Mack come to Georgia and play .Georgia needs a break away back that can scare you . There is always room for talent and believe me this kid has it .

dap01

December 28th, 2009
9:17 pm

I am hoping Urban Meyer regains his health. In that press conference, he was not strong mentally or physically. He needs a break or a change of profession. He is a wreck.

Apparently Florida’s PR department would rather cover the illness up. They reported that he was merely dehydrated after the Alabama game. He was in the hospital with chest pains. Wow!

Pi$$onaJacket

December 28th, 2009
9:18 pm

30-24 still makes me smile. GO IOWA!

Dawggie

December 28th, 2009
9:20 pm

Nice showing in Shreveport. Stats were way off base until stats matter more than the final score…

Look for Reshrd Jones to declare early. His last two games were off the charts. (should return IMHO)

What a great way to end the football season. I’m already salavating about watching our O-line CRUSH the entire SEC next year.

Tough season in 2010 with our SEC West rotation to include Alabama.

Matt Elam and Alec Ogletree at safety, Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin at CB. Take that to the bank!

Dawg26

December 28th, 2009
9:26 pm

To GT FAN….

Ayers is a thug and is not a very good ball player. I went to school with him in middle school, and played against him in high school. He did not even play in the majority of South Paulding’s football games this season due to academic problems and being in trouble at school. When he was in 7th grade he was kicked off the team for fighting and bullying another kid. He is not a football player you want to have on your team, so no UGA did not want him and as to how he got in the UA game, he had some decent showings at a few combines, nothing he did on the field.

D.Ellis

December 28th, 2009
9:26 pm

Dawgie-Matt Elam won’t be wearing the G…..he’ll be wearing the Blue and Orange.

However take a look at Jakar Hamilton……..and get back to us. Dude is a beast.

He will Replace R. Jones….with A. O. at the other safety

D.Ellis

December 28th, 2009
9:28 pm

Actually UGA did want Ayers……he has an offer on the table but turned it down. He has family connections to GT….either school wise…..or employment wise…..one of the 2.

Dawg26

December 28th, 2009
9:29 pm

to Dawggie….

We do not play Alabama in 2010. We play Miss. St., Auburn, and Arkansas. With Miss. st and Auburn Away from Athens.

Ray Barboni

December 28th, 2009
9:33 pm

We just kicked the dingleberries out of Texas A&M 44020. We’ve just stopped two of the most potent offenses in college football. 2010 should be better for UGA. I don’t expect to play for the SEC Championship, but 9 wins seems doable if Aaron Murray is the real deal and we can get a DC who can whip this D into a Top 15 defense.

PS – (((30-24))) Oh yeah it feels so right….

Dawg26

December 28th, 2009
9:34 pm

Ayers, “had” and offer on the table. Not has, don’t believe everything you see on recruiting websites. The recruits update them as they see fit.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

December 28th, 2009
9:41 pm

UGA’s schedule is favorable in ‘10 and most of their starters will return. It all depends on the 0-line playing up to it’s “potential” and the QB being less error prone than Joe Cox. If these two things happen UGA will be in the SEC champ game next year.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

December 28th, 2009
9:44 pm

Why shouldn’t UGA be in the SEC champ game in ‘10 ……… Florida will be “rebuilding” on offense and defense and also will have a bunch of new coaches. South Carolina should be better but will lose some key players on defense and Tennessee will be in turmoil if not the SEC doghouse.

Ray Barboni

December 28th, 2009
9:53 pm

I think Urban Meyer taught us all a lesson…. expectations about college football programs should be tempered and based on reality.. IMO UGA has far too many unknowns to expect a trip to Atlanta in Dec. We will be breaking in a redshirt Freshman QB, with ZERO SEC game experience. We have an inconsistent offensive line and will be losing all our starting defensive tackles. Not to mention possibly losing Rennie Curran and Reshad Jones. Our entire defensive personnel will be introduced to a new scheme and new coaches. Let’s try and be realistic, please!!!

This is still a dawg blog, right??

December 28th, 2009
9:54 pm

Everybody hates the dawgs who are not fan’s. Just like everybody hates the gators who are not gators. But not everybody who is not a yellow jacket hates them, why. Because on average they are just average, unless they get something special, i.e. Paul Johnson. Who plays on scheme and wins. Before I blunder, keep reading.

I don’t take much from this win tonight. I would have rather seen no turnovers on both sides, or a special teams play that won the game and see if the dawgs offense can bring us to a win. That tells more more about next year, because the same offense personal will be running the show. By the way, didn’t our special teams keep us in half our wins this year. If we solve the UGA riddle on defense next year, I do believe we will still have one on offense. The excuse may be a new quarterback etc etc. The real reason, is that you turn on tape of UGA over the past 8 to 10 years and they are all carbon copies. You could stick David Green in today and it would be the same plays and schemes. If UGA did not catch some breaks, then the offense would still be sputtering. Very, very predictable and personal like Monte Kiffen love defending against a traditional throw back offense like UGA, who thinks their O-line can out manhandle everyone. The problem is what happens when you can’t. Then you become UGA this year.

Also on recruiting. I have heard UGA is pretty much done this year. No more 4 or 5 star kids are a lean this year. UGA needs another good receiver to compliment the incoming Da’Rick, but no big names are biting. Also the two best backs in the state are leaving. We lost a monster O-lineman to Tennessee after he had been in Athens numerous times. Not sure why UGA is either not closing or can’t close on more in-state kids. I believe is it because, UGA is an idle team and recruits want to see if UGA can step-up to the next level. UGA is notorious for coaching players down over the past 2 years on all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams. Until the coaches and their schemes can match their SEC rivals and put kids in position where they can play at their rivals level and above, then recruits are going where coaches can do just that. By the way kids are flocking to programs on the incline or have had recent success, i.e. Florida State, Florida, Alabama etc. UGA has not been relevant consistently for the past few years. So they are idle at best.

I love UGA, but next year would have to be a 9 win season, plus a bowl win to reach 10 wins to be a success.

dawg26 is wrong

December 28th, 2009
10:09 pm

Dawg26: I don’t know what Ayers was like in middle school (maybe he has pulled a 180), but I met this young man recently and he was a yes sir/no sir kid. He was polite and clean cut. In no way did he act like a thug. Be careful what you post. And for the record, I am a Dawg fan. GT is getting a good one.

BIG BEE

December 28th, 2009
10:35 pm

DAWG26, and he is not going to UGA.

Jonathon

December 28th, 2009
11:14 pm

LOL at a bulldawg fan (Dawg26), talking about thugs at other schools. You guys should know what a thug looks & acts like. Richt’s program is tied with UF for violations with players over the last year. Richt has built that fine out-a-conference record with a woeful line-up of weak schools. But keep patting yourselves on the back while Kentucky and others leap over your dog pound.

This is still a dawg blog, right??

December 28th, 2009
11:33 pm

Everyone loves to pound on the dogs. Such thoughts of simple minds

Red Dog 77

December 28th, 2009
11:50 pm

Hey Bees, Now lets see how you do with those Iowa Hawkeyes……….GO YOU HAIRY HAWKEYES, KNOCK THAT STINGER SLAP OFF THE LITTLE bees butts.

Red Dog 77

December 28th, 2009
11:54 pm

Oh ,and yes ,this is still a GEORGIA BULLDOG blog….YER DERN TOOTIN !! GO DOGS !!

hunkerdown

December 29th, 2009
12:32 am

Any feeling that someone will annouce at game to want to play for the Dawgs? If so who might be possible canidates?

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2009
12:36 am

To all: No, this is not a Georgia Bulldog blog. The “Georgia” in the headline means the state of Georgia, as in 13 players from our state playing in this national all-star game. Specifically this is the “College Recruiting Blog,” like it says up top. But we do talk Dogs here . . . and Jackets and Vols and hostesses and Gators and whatever is the latest buzz.

Dawg26

December 29th, 2009
4:12 am

To Dawg26 is wrong,

I grew up with Ryan, so if you think you “know” him because he was yes sir/no sir to you, you are seriously kidding yourself. No, they are not “getting a good one” Why should I be careful what I post? It doesn’t matter what kind of “fan” you are, you did not go to school with this guy nor did you know him before his recruitment started. Are you even from the Paulding area? Probably not. Ayers is a trouble-making kid, wait and see. Every kid is going to be yes sir/no sir when his recruitment is on the line. How many kids do you think would say, ” Nah mane uh ain’t no foo! I curry mi stash everywere uh go ! ” No, the kids are not going to act like they would at school around older more important people. However, when they get to school, they will start acting a fool again real quick. Also, I was simply informing the readers of the comments that Ayers is a kid UGA can do without, I wish him all the luck at Tech and sincerely hope he succeeds in life and does well.

to Jonathan-
Yes, lets bad mouth a coach who is known for his Christian morals, that’s the spirit! Take a look at those ” Violations ” The majority were out of Richt’s control and the other violations were complete accidents such as two assistant coaches calling a kid on the same day. All were reported by UGA and they did what they were supposed to do about them.

Barry G.

December 29th, 2009
6:46 am

UGA has a “tough” schedule next year. I seriously did not even know Idaho State had a team.

lagadawg

December 29th, 2009
7:29 am

Hey tiger7_88,about this blog being mostly about Ga. and Tech,do you not know what state you’re in.

theTruth

December 29th, 2009
7:58 am

TampaGator, FLA offered Butler so how did they not have room for him?

DawgBlog, do you just try to make stuff up? Ga isn’t done in recruiting (see Christian Green to be opposite Da’rick) plus more in the mix including possibly Elam now. UGA has not been relevant consistent the past few years. They have been as consistent as ANY team in the country. Please tell me the other coaches in the HISTORY of cfb that has won 90 games in their first 9 years. BTW, that same coach is 4TH in winning percentage of active coaches RIGHT NOW even after this bad year.

Heck, I can only think of four coaches active today that have had undefeated seasons, PC, MB, BS, and CP.