Archive for January, 2010

Ten at 10: Nances deny report that Vanderbilt rescinds scholarship offer

THE TEN AT 10:

1. It looks like the recruiting saga of Calhoun quarterback Nash Nance is about to come to a head. The big news all over the fan recruiting sites overnight was that Vanderbilt has pulled its offer for the big quarterback. Apparently the news was broken on the Rivals’ fan site VandySports.com. I can’t access the story because it’s premium content but Nance is no longer listed on the Commodores’ commitment list. Anyway, Nance’s father, Mike Nance, said in a text this morning, “no, that’s a lie” in regards to Vandy pulling the offer for his son. In any case, it would appear that means Nance will accept Tennessee’s scholarship offer, unless he wants to continue talks with Arkansas and/or Louisville, which have expressed some late interest. How that affects the situation with best buddy Da’Rick Rogers is unknown at this point. Mr. Nance said he’ll have Nash call me when he has a break at school so hopefully I’ll have more on this later today. Stay tuned . . .

2. As …

Continue reading Ten at 10: Nances deny report that Vanderbilt rescinds scholarship offer »

Mike Thornton ‘narrows’ choices down to 10 schools

I got to hang out for a good while with defensive tackle Mike Thornton Wednesday afternoon over at Stephenson High School. Well, we weren’t just hanging out. AJC photographer Jason Getz was putting “Big Mike” through the paces of one of his always-thorough photo shoots and I took advantage of the time we had for what turned out to be a revealing one-on-one interview for this Sunday’s recruiting package.

Anyway, it was fairly widely reported on Wednesday that Thornton had narrowed his many choices down to three schools, Georgia, Kentucky and Penn State. In fact, I mentioned it myself in Item No. 10 of the Ten at 10 Wednesday morning.

Well, it’s not true. Thornton has not narrowed it down to three schools, though those three are among his finalists. In fact, after being able able to sit down with Thornton and go over each school one-by-one, I determined — more accurately, we determined together — that a week before signing day he has “narrowed” his choices down to 10.

That’s …

Continue reading Mike Thornton ‘narrows’ choices down to 10 schools »

Ten at 10: School makes unexpected play for UGA’s Hutson Mason

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Hutson Mason got an unexpected  sales pitch from East Carolina coaches Tuesday at Lassiter High School. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Lincoln Riley came to the school to recruit slotback Griffin Rolle, Mason’s go-to guy in the Trojans’ high-powered spread offense. But while they were there Riley asked Mason if he wanted to come and possibly start as a freshman as the triggerman for the offense he and new head coach Ruffin McNeill were bringing over from Texas Tech. “We ran the same offense at Lassiter and they just wanted to see if I had any interest, but I told him right away I was looking forward to being a Dog,” said Mason, who committed to Georgia right before Christmas. “I didn’t even need a second breath.” Mason and Riley also met former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, who came along for the ride.

This is me (not pictured) shooting AJC photographer Jason Getz shooting Georgia Tech freshman running back Charles Perkins on the Tech campus early Tuesday afternoon

This is me (not pictured) shooting AJC photographer Jason Getz shooting Georgia Tech freshman running back Charles Perkins on the Tech …

Continue reading Ten at 10: School makes unexpected play for UGA’s Hutson Mason »

With Smith gone, Tech has to recalibrate recruiting logistics

The timing left a little to be desired, but otherwise it appears the sudden departure of Giff Smith is not going to undo any of Georgia Tech’s good recruiting work.

Smith, the Yellow Jackets’ defensive line coach and well-respected recruiting coordinator, resigned Tuesday in order to accept a position as outside linebackers coach for Chan Gailey’s Buffalo Bills. Smith was actually in Buffalo, N.Y., late Tuesday afternoon as he called the many Tech recruits and players with whom he had a relationship.

“I had actually heard it before I talked to him,” said Denzel McCoy, a committed defensive tackle from Duluth’s Northview High School. “But I wasn’t going to believe it until I heard it from him. Coach Smith is a very goal-oriented person and one of his goals was to coach on the next level. So I told him congratulations. He just said thank you and that he hated that he wasn’t going to get to coach me.”

Defensive tackle Shawn Green of Grayson is the only other current commitment …

Continue reading With Smith gone, Tech has to recalibrate recruiting logistics »

Ten at 10: Georgia State nabs one of its best recruits

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia State got probably its most significant commitment since quarterback Drew Little agreed to sign on when Cole Moon pledged Sunday night to sign with the Panthers. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound fullback from St. Pius is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.  In the end it came down to State and Georgia Southern for Moon, who wanted to play close to home. “I’m really excited about playing there,” Moon said Monday afternoon. “They have a great coaching staff and I know a lot of kids on the team. I had a couple of other offers but this is just a great situation.” Moon garnered recruiting interest from Purdue, Western Kentucky and Southern Miss and had offers from the service academies and Georgia Southern.

2. Four-star defensive end Kareem Martin of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., a longtime main target for Georgia Tech, committed to North Carolina on Monday. In the end, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound athletes chose the Tar Heels over Virginia Tech and Duke in “a real close …

Continue reading Ten at 10: Georgia State nabs one of its best recruits »

Da’Rick Rogers ’still committed’ to UGA but serious about Vols

Will longtime Georgia commitment Da'Rick Rogers (21) of Calhoun make the leap to rival Tennessee on national signing day? It could happen. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

Will longtime Georgia commitment Da'Rick Rogers (21) of Calhoun make the leap to rival Tennessee on national signing day? It could happen. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

CALHOUN — When Da’Rick Rogers sits down to make public his college decision on national signing day — if he in fact does it on that day — there will be at least two caps on the table in front of him. One from Georgia and one from Tennessee.

And there is a pretty good chance there will be a third one, too.

“Maybe Ohio State or something, just to throw everybody off,” he said with a laugh.

Rogers is a funny guy. He tries hard to keep things as light as he can these days. But the reality is Bulldogs’ fans probably don’t see much humor in the high-flying receiver’s recent decision to open up his recruitment to include the Vols.

Rogers, the No. 1-rated player in the AJC Top 50 state rankings and a UGA commitment since early June, decided last week to accompany Calhoun quarterback and best friend Nash Nance on an …

Continue reading Da’Rick Rogers ’still committed’ to UGA but serious about Vols »

AD: Nickell Robey ‘probably not going to sign with Georgia’

UPDATE: 2:30 P.M. TUESDAY: Nickell Robey is on a hastily-arranged official visit to South Florida today. Skip Holtz and his staff were at the school Monday. CT. . . .

Nickell Robey is probably not going to sign with Georgia.

That was the assessment of Frostproof High School athletics director Chuck Loveless, who spoke to the AJC on Robey’s behalf Monday afternoon.

Robey, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound cornerback, is still listed as a Georgia commitment. But he has been looking around at other schools for weeks now. He visited West Virginia this past weekend, will travel to Southern Cal next weekend and has somebody in his ear from South Florida nearly every day.

From where Loveless is sitting, it appears imminent that the dynamic two-way athlete will probably end up elsewhere.

“Georgia’s listing him as a soft commit but I don’t think he’s going to Georgia,” said Loveless, who has helped marshal Robey’s recruitment since coach Brad Metheny resigned at the end of the season. “I’m a …

Continue reading AD: Nickell Robey ‘probably not going to sign with Georgia’ »

The Ten at 10: Tech, Georgia look to close strong

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson offered Roswell wide receiver Chris Boyd a scholarship over the telephone on Sunday night, and Boyd has agreed to take an official visit with the Yellow Jackets next weekend. “I’ve always had interest in Georgia Tech, with them being right down the street,” Boyd told the AJC’s Michael Carvell. “They had told me that they didn’t plan on signing any wide receivers in this class. Then everything changed when Demaryius Thomas turned pro early. Coach Johnson told me he wants to sign a wide receiver, and that I was the guy he wanted. . . . Right now, I’m still committed to Vanderbilt. I’ll have to wait until I visit Georgia Tech.”

2. Tech got two more commitments on Sunday: Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu of Washington, D.C., and running back Deon Hill of Phenix City, Ala. That gives the Yellow Jackets 16 commitments so far. But they may be far from done. According to the AJC beat writer Doug Roberson, Tech could have as many three or …

Continue reading The Ten at 10: Tech, Georgia look to close strong »

UGA’s Da’Rick Rogers, Vandy’s Nash Nance still committed — for now

High-flying Calhoun receiver Da'Rick Rogers (21), here outleaping a defender during the playoffs, apparently did not commit to Tennessee while on a visit there this past weekend. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

High-flying Calhoun receiver Da'Rick Rogers (21), here outleaping a defender during the playoffs, apparently did not commit to Tennessee while on a visit there this past weekend. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

Two recruits committed to the University of Tennessee while in Knoxville on official visits this past weekend — and neither one was named Da’Rick Rogers or Nash Nance.

That was the biggest news coming off of Rocky Top for citizens of the state just to the south. For now at least the two Calhoun residents remain true to their original commitments, the five-star wide receiver Rogers to Georgia and the three-star quarterback Nance to Vanderbilt.

What is not known for certain is if any kind of private vows were given or what kind of impressions were made. Both prospects declined comment Sunday.

“The boys haven’t had any time to reflect on their visit this weekend,” said Mike Nance, Nash’s father and Rogers’ part-time guardian. Mr. Nance made the trip to Knoxville with the …

Continue reading UGA’s Da’Rick Rogers, Vandy’s Nash Nance still committed — for now »

In Jeremiah Attaochu, Groh brings classic OLB to Tech

Georgia Tech landed on Sunday what can only be described as the prototypical outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense. And for that the Yellow Jackets have new defensive coordinator Al Groh to thank.

Jeremiah Attaochu is a 6-foot-3, 223-pound linebacker that played with his hand on the ground at Archbishop Carroll High in Washington D.C. But he’ll be asked to do much more besides stand up in Groh’s defense, which he committed to being a part of the next four years.

“I got to know him while Coach Groh he was at Virginia,” said Attaochu, reached by phone in D.C. Sunday not long after returning from his official visit with the Yellow Jackets. “He’s known for his defense and coaching outside linebackers all over the league. I was a defensive end in high school but he felt like I was the right guy to be an outside linebacker. He has three things in his criteria for an outside linebacker: It’s being able to beat a tight end, being able to rush the passer and being functional in space. …

Continue reading In Jeremiah Attaochu, Groh brings classic OLB to Tech »