Archive for December, 2009

MLK’s Mack Brown still a Gator ‘at this moment’

AJC Super 11 tailback Mack Brown said he’s sticking with Florida “at this moment” but also said that he’s surprised and hurt by the unexpected news that coach Urban Meyer is stepping down.

“Everybody’s shocked right now,” Brown said shortly after hearing the news Saturday night. “I know I’m in shock.”

Brown, a senior at Martin Luther King High School, chose the Gators over Georgia before the season started. I asked him shortly after the news broke if it affected his decision.

“Not at this moment,” he said in a text message. “It just hurts right now ’cause I have a strong relationship with Coach Meyer. He recruited me. But at this moment I’m still a Gator.”

A little later I spoke to Brown by phone and he told me how he heard about it.

“Me and a friend were fixing to come in and watch some bowl games when my coach (Corey Jarvis) called,” Brown said. “He said the were saying on ESPN that Coach Meyer was resigning. We went in and turned on the TV and, sure enough, that’s what it …

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Hutson Mason’s big reveal: ‘I’m a Dog, baby’

Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason on Tuesday night finally told the world what he’d told Georgia coaches six days ago.

“I’m going to be spending the next four years of my life in Athens,” the record-setting signal caller said. “I’m a Dog, baby!”

Mason finally shared the news of his commitment to the Bulldogs — he chose them over Clemson and Mississippi State — Tuesday night on the cable television show “In the Huddle,” which aired on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS). The show was actually videotaped at the CSS studios in Norcross last Thursday afternoon. Mason informed the Bulldogs’ coaches the night before that.

He unveiled the news to me last Thursday night, but under the agreement that I not report it until the show aired. And that’s what we did.

“I even told some family members they’d have to watch the show,” Mason said with a laugh.

All the planning and secrecy was old hat for Mason. He was one of the quarterbacks selected to participate in the newfangled sports TV reality …

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Hutson Mason will reveal college choice tonight at 9

Hutson Mason will let the world know tonight what team he committed to six days ago. His prerecorded announcement airs on the show “In the Huddle” at 9 p.m. on Comcast Sports Southeast.

The record-setting quarterback from Lassiter High actually informed his future coaches last Wednesday night and told “In the Huddle” host and Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg when they taped the show this past Thursday afternoon.

“No one else knows,” Mason said. “Actually I’ve got a lot of family members that have been asking me and I just tell them to watch Tuesday night. I’ve had a lot of players ask me but I haven’t told them either. I’m keeping it quiet.”

Mason said will utilize the tried-and-true method of picking up the cap of the school he chooses and placing it on his head during the show. He will choose between Georgia, Clemson and Mississippi State.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for me and it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Mason said. “It’s a special …

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It will be after New Year’s for 5-star Christian Green

RECRUITING ROUNDUP

Christian Green of Tampa won’t be making his decision until sometime after the New Year, according to his father.

Rumors have swirled that a decision was imminent from the Tampa Catholic High star. Not so.

“Nothing is about to happen,” said Hiram Green, the players’ father and a former basketball star at the University of South Florida. “Everything is pretty much the same. He’s got to take two more visits (to FSU and Florida), which he’ll do in January. Georgia’s certainly at the top of his list.”

Green made an official visit to Georgia on Sept. 26. But he put the recruiting process on hold while he concentrated on leading Tampa Catholic in the playoffs. The Crusaders lost in the state championship game this past weekend.

“He doesn’t like to lose so that was pretty tough on him,” the elder Green said. “He hasn’t lost much in high school.”

Green’s uncle is former Florida State and NFL wide receiver E.G. Green, who played for the Seminoles under then-offensive …

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How’d Georgia’s 10 graduating seniors rate as recruits?

Scout.com rated Georgia quarterback Joe Cox a 4-star recruit coming out of Charlotte-Independence High. He and nine other recruited seniors accepted college degrees on Friday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Scout.com rated Georgia quarterback Joe Cox a 4-star recruit coming out of Charlotte-Independence High. He and nine other recruited seniors accepted college degrees on Friday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Fifteen seniors on Georgia’s football team walked in graduation ceremonies Friday, including 10 that were of the recruited-scholarship variety. They all deserve congratulations for earning their college degrees.

But how did they turn out as football players?

Different people evaluate such things different ways. A 3-star prospect that eventually becomes a starter is generally considered a success from a recruiting standpoint. Conversely, a 5-star that does not earn at least all-conference honors is deemed a disappointment. Four stars are basically expected to be major contributors throughout their careers.

So how do you think the Georgia guys did? Let’s hear who you would say was the most successful, biggest surprise, biggest disappointment, etc., of these graduates. And did …

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Georgia has as many rules violations (6) as Tennessee

Permissible contact: This is a photo of North Gwinnett lineman JaWuan James posing with Orange Pride hostesses, including the controversial Lacey Earls (R), before the Vols game against Georgia on Oct. 10. James committed to Tennessee a short time later.

Permissible contact: This is a photo of North Gwinnett lineman JaWuan James posing with Orange Pride hostesses, including the controversial Lacey Earps (R), before the Vols game against Georgia on Oct. 10. James committed to Tennessee a short time later.

As it turns out, Georgia has committed just as many NCAA secondary violations as Tennessee in the past year.

Volunteers’ coach Lane Kiffin, once referred to in a Florida Times-Union headline as “Lane Violation,” has been hammered by the national media — and more than once in this space — for his penchant for breaking NCAA rules. Tennessee has been cited for six in the year since he was tabbed their new coach on Dec. 1, 2008. Now they face at least two more violations as the NCAA continues an ongoing inquiry into the possible misuse of recruiting hostesses, impermissible visits and other infractions.

Impermissible contact: This is the infamous photo of Byrnes players Brandon Willis and Corey Miller with UT hostesses Dahra Johnson (L) and Lacey Earls in September in Duncan, S.C. (SI.com photo by Andy Staples)

Impermissible contact: This is the infamous photo of Byrnes players Brandon Willis and Corey Miller with UT hostesses Dahra …

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QB Hutson Mason commits but won’t say to whom

Lassiter's Hutson Mason rolls out to pass during his record-setting playoff game against South Gwinnett. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Lassiter's Hutson Mason rolls out to pass during his record-setting playoff game against South Gwinnett. He threw for 545 yards and 8 TDs that night. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason has made up his mind on his college choice and he’ll make an announcement tomorrow.

But the world won’t know what he decided until Tuesday night.

Mason told me he is informing the coaches of the lucky team tonight (Wednesday). He’ll reveal that choice to Rivals.com’s Jamie Newberg tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon while taping the show “In the Huddle” for CSS-TV. But Mason has made an agreement with Newberg and CSS not to go public with the decision until the show airs Tuesday night. So you can expect to hear the news from me right around the same time. It’s between Georgia, Clemson and Mississippi State.

This announcement thing has kind of taken on a life of its own for Mason, who set the single-season state passing record this year with 4,522 yards and 54 touchdowns.

At …

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Willis may flip on Vols but Miller 100 percent committed

Time to catch up on what’s going on here, there and everywhere. Some afternoon links and notes . . .

It looks like defensive end Brandon Willis of Duncan, S.C.  — one of the subjects in the Tennessee hostess flap — is considering backing out on the Vols to commit to Miami, according to PalmettoSports.com’s Phil Kornblut. Willis and his teammate Corey Miller were the players the members of the Orange Pride hostess outfit were visiting at a Byrnes game back in September. Meanwhile, teammate and fellow defensive end Corey Miller says he’s still 100 percent committed to the Vols. Miller also told ESPN.com the whole “hostess-gate” thing is overblown.

“All they did was come down for a football game. They got them a little place or whatever and went back to Tennessee the next morning. People are trying to say people can’t come to a football game. It’s the same situation like saying a guy from Byrnes like (Florida State safety) Justin Bright can’t come back. That is the situation. …

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Georgia offers Wilcox County junior QB Nick Marshall

UPDATED 3 P.M. WEDNESDAY . . .

Here’s your first sign of what life has been like for Nick Marshall since his MVP performance in the Class A state championship game — the Wilcox County star ran out of minutes on his cell phone he has taken so many calls.

Wilcox County's Nick Marshall in action against Greenville in the playoffs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Wilcox County's Nick Marshall in action against Greenville in the playoffs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Yeah, life has pretty much been a blur for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior quarterback since that 30-21 victory over Savannah Christian in the Georgia Dome. That and the fact that he’s taking final exams, playing a starring role on the basketball team and receiving visitors such as Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who offered him a scholarship last night.

“Yeah he did,” said Marshall, who talked to Bobo after his basketball game Tuesday night. “It was unexpected. I didn’t know he was coming.”

Asked what Bobo said, Marshall laughed. “He just asked me how many points and dunks I had.”

For the record, Marshall said it …

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Latest: UGA commit Stripling says he ‘may’ visit GT, UT

OK, I finally got T.J. Stripling cornered long enough to talk to him about all this chatter going on about him.

Southwest DeKalb's T.J. Stripling insists he's still very much committed to Georgia even though he may take some official visits.

Southwest DeKalb's T.J. Stripling insists he's still very much committed to Georgia even though he may take some official visits.

T.J.’s a busy man these days. I caught him toward the end of football practice Tuesday with other DeKalb County all-stars who will play in an all-star game Saturday at Hallford Stadium. He is also playing basketball for the Panthers and, as we can all surely attest this week, he is still actively being recruited by several schools.

Which brings us back to the point me needing to track down Stripling. Rumors have run rampant for weeks now that this longtime Georgia commitment has been considering a switch to Georgia Tech, which is the ultimate about-face in these parts. The latest rumor surfaced Monday in the form of a report on JacketsOnline.com saying that Stripling — and Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton – were going to be on The …

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