Archive for January, 2010

Georgia ‘a real possibility’ for 5-star WR Christian Green

I spoke to the father of one of Georgia’s main remaining targets, five-star wide receiver Christian Green, as he and his son drove back to Tampa from Tallahassee where they were visiting Florida State this weekend.

A little background on that first. I usually talk to Hiram Green, Christian’s father, because early on in the recruiting process he said he preferred if reporters wouldn’t bombard his son with phone calls and messages because he’s trying to balance this difficult decision with schoolwork and, at the time, trying to help his Tampa Catholic team win a state championship. So I started then talking to Mr. Green pretty regularly and we’ve actually built a pretty good relationship.

With Christian sitting there in the car with him, Mr. Green said they had a very good time on their official visit to FSU and his son was able to get a lot of questions answered. However, Mr. Green said, anyone reporting it as a foregone conclusion that Christian is going to sign with the …

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The Sleeper: Hutson Mason goes from almost no offers to ‘dream school’

PART III IN A SERIES . . .

Lassiter's Hutson Mason went into the 2009 football season with but a single scholarship offer from Georgia Southern. He went out of it with the state passing record and a full ride to the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Lassiter's Hutson Mason went into the 2009 football season with but a single scholarship offer from Georgia Southern. He went out of it with the state passing record and a full ride to the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Asked to describe his recruitment, Hutson Mason chose the words “long” and “confusing.”

Long because his journey began late in his junior season and confusing because he had no idea what to make of it.

Coming off a junior season in which he passed for more than 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, Mason attended every camp he could sign up and pay for. Yet as he entered his senior year at Lassiter High School, he had only a single offer from I-AA Georgia Southern to show for it.

“That’s why it was so confusing because I was coming off a pretty successful year,” Mason said. ” Me and my family were just stunned the way my recruiting process was going. We thought that’d speak for itself, but it didn’t. I went to as many …

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RB Tony Zenon commits to Georgia Tech (updated)

RECAST AND UPDATED WITH COMMENTS AND VIDEO FROM ZENON, 3:30 P.M. SUNDAY . . .

Tony Zenon knows what Georgia Tech’s rivals are saying. He’s been hearing the criticisms for years.

“He plays at a tiny school against weak competition,” they say. “He’s too small to play major college football.”

To them all, the Yellow Jackets’ latest commitment says, “just watch.”

“I played in two all-star games and the guys I was playing with were, like, ‘Wow,’” said Zenon, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back from Deerfield Windsor Academy, a private school in Albany. “I went to camps at Georgia, Florida, Clemson and Tech. I’m not bragging but at Florida, after the workouts, [assistant coach] Brian White was going crazy about me. At the Georgia camp, they worked me out everywhere, at running back, wide receiver, cornerback and I did everything they asked. Ask Coach [Mike] Bobo what he thinks about me.

“I believe in my talent and I believe I can compete with anybody.”

Zenon is no braggart. He was …

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The Loyalist: Charles Perkins never wandered from path to Georgia Tech

Despite making up his mind in January of 2009, Collins Hill's star running back Charles Perkins never wavered on his commitment to Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Despite making up his mind in January of 2009, Collins Hill's star running back Charles Perkins never wavered on his commitment to Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

How sure was Charles Perkins that he wanted to play for Georgia Tech? So sure that he actually committed to Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson on Feb. 1, 2009, three days before last year’s national signing day.

“I was actually going to do it before then,” said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back, who is already enrolled and attending classes at Georgia Tech. “They were my first offer. It came mid-junior year. I went to a couple of games and a couple of visits. My mom loved it. My dad came up to a bowl practice with me and I pretty much told Coach Johnson then I was going to commit. But I didn’t do it right there. I waited until February.”

In the year since Perkins resisted countless temptations by dozens of recruiters to get him to waver on that commitment. And he gave Tech’s rivals plenty of reasons to …

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Georgia loses commitment Deon Rogers to Louisville

It took a while, but Georgia’s coaching change cost it another commitment.

Deon Rogers, a linebacker from Port St. Lucie, Fla., decommitted to the Bulldogs on Friday in order to commit to Louisville last night. He’s the second UGA commitment to make such a move, joining Kissimmee, Fla., linebacker B.J. Butler, who did it earlier this month.

“I just felt like Louisville was a better fit,” Rogers said Saturday. “Georgia fired the coach that was recruiting me [John Jancek] and I just never felt as comfortable after that. I still like Georgia as a school and as a football program. But I’d built a bond and a relationship with Coach Jancek and I never really got that back. ”

Rogers also said he had some reservations about the 3-4 defense that new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was installing.

“I was kind of iffy about the 3-4,” Rogers said. “It looks like the linebackers he uses for that are a lot bigger and I’m not really that big yet. Overall Louisville was just a better …

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The Bluechip: Da’Rick Rogers’ recruitment goes from calm to chaotic

PART I OF A SERIES:

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AJC All-Classification Player of the Year and 5-star recruit Da'Rick Rogers poses for a picture at Calhoun High School this past week. A longtime commitment to Georgia, he is now considering following his best friend Nash Nance to Tennessee. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

CALHOUN – When he committed to Georgia way back in June, Da’Rick Rogers thought he was headed toward a nice, calm recruiting experience. Then, soon after the calendar flipped to 2010, Rogers made what may turn out to be a fateful decision.

“It was getting close to crunch time so I just started thinking I needed to check out some other places,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver from Calhoun said. “And that’s what I did.”

What Rogers did was unleash a weeks-long storm of controversy that, days before national signing day, rages on in the small northwest Georgia town in which he resides.

Rogers, along with Calhoun quarterback and best buddy Nash Nance, decided to crack the door open just a …

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Tech, Georgia look for finishing touches on Class of 2010

Over the weekend I will be posting here one-by-one the four recruiting profiles that are going to run as part of our big recruiting package in Sunday’s print section.

In the meantime, here’s an early-version of recruiting notes slated to be in the Sunday paper. A lot of it you loyal readers of the recruiting blog have probably already seen. . . .

RECRUITING NOTES

As of Sunday, the NCAA calendar switches from an open contact period to a quiet period. That means in-person recruiting activity is limited to contact on campus, as part of an official or unofficial recruiting visit. After today it goes into a dead period, which means no contact whatsoever between recruiters and prospects.

With that as our backdrop, we’ll quickly review who Georgia and Georgia Tech have remaining on their respective boards.

The Yellow Jackets: There is a chance Tech may have already wrapped up their recruiting for 2010.

The Jackets were heading into the weekend with 16 commitments with only one …

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Ten at 10: Tech falls short in attempt to sway Chris Boyd

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Tech’s 11th-hour attempt to sway Roswell’s Chris Boyd has come up short. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound wide receiver decided to cancel his official visit with the Yellow Jackets for this weekend. “I’ve just been thinking about it a lot,” Boyd told the AJC’s Michael Carvell. “I gave Vanderbilt my word. I had fun on my official visit there, and I really liked the players and coaches. I knew if I went [Tech] this weekend, it would only confuse me. I’m happy with Vanderbilt, and that’s where I want my home to be.”

2. Georgia fans may find a bit unsettling a statement Mike Nance, the father of recent Tennessee commitment Nash Nance,  made to GoVolsXtra.com regarding his son’s relationship with Georgia commitment Da’Rick Rogers: “Surely Nash is going to try to recruit [Rogers]. He’d rather be playing with him than against him,” he said of the five-star wide receiver. Nance, a quarterback, is Rogers’ best friend.

3. Union Grove defensive end Anthony Williams, a …

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Vols get Sandy Creek’s Rajion Neal away from MSU

Rajion Neal piled up more than 2,500 all-purpose yards and 35 TDs for Sandy Creek as a senior this past season. (AJC photo)

Rajion Neal piled up more than 2,500 all-purpose yards and 35 TDs for Sandy Creek as a senior this past season. (AJC photo)

College football fans who thought the threat of Tennessee raiding Georgia for talent left when Lane Kiffin and his traveling circus pulled up stakes for California are finding out differently.

New coach Derek Dooley struck again on Thursday as Rajion Neal, a tremendously productive running back from Sandy Creek High School, committed to the Vols. That came a day after Neal had decommitted to Mississippi State, to which he had been committed all last season. He made an official visit to Rocky Top last weekend.

Neal confirmed his Tennessee commitment via text message but declined further comment. But Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker was happy to talk on Neal’s behalf.

“I think Rajion is going to be a great back in the SEC. I really do,” Walker said. “The offense they’re going to run is very similar to what we do. He had a good feel for Coach Dooley and just …

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Nash Nance commits to Tennessee; will Da’Rick Rogers follow?

Nash Nance has committed to Tennessee.

Nance, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback from Calhoun, had been committed to Vanderbilt since last June. But he received a scholarship offer from Tennessee last week and took an official visit to Tennessee along with teammate Da’Rick Rogers this past weekend. He told Commodores coach Bobby Johnson during an in-home visit Wednesday night he was going to de-commit and go with the Vols.

“After visiting Tennessee on Jan. 22-23 and hours of prayer I feel that Tennessee is the better fit for me,” Nance said in a statement released to the AJC and other media outlets Thursday afternoon. “Coach [Derek] Dooley has all the confidence in me and my abilities. [He] had already broken down my junior and senior film and really likes my abilities and future as a Vol.”

No word yet on how this may or may not affect Rogers’ decision.

Rogers, a five-star wide receiver and the No. 1 player in the state according to the AJC, has been committed to Georgia since …

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