Archive for February, 2010

Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell bails on Georgia’s Junior Day

Isaiah Crowell is not going to make it to Athens after all.

The Carver-Columbus running back, the No. 1 prospect in the AJC’s “Tentative Top 10,” abruptly canceled his plans to join three teammates at Georgia’s Junior Day on Saturday. Carver coach Dell McGee confirmed the news via text message Friday evening.

“Something came up,” McGee said. “But Gabe Wright, Quincy McKinney and Deion Bonner will be there.”

Asked if anything could read into Crowell’s cancellation, McGee replied, “No, sir, not at all. Something with a family member.”

Georgia’s status with Crowell seems to have changed dramatically over the last few weeks. Early in the year he indicated the Bulldogs were his favorite and said he would be comparing everybody else to them. But ever since visiting Alabama and getting an official offer from coach Nick Saban he has said the Crimson Tide is the team to beat. He reaffirmed them as leader to a national recruiting analyst on Friday.

“I like Alabama because I’m real …

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LeMay, Conley among main targets at UGA Junior Day

I’ve been working the phones and scouring the Internet all day to come up with as good a list as I can for UGA’s Junior Day this weekend.

Keep in mind, you’re never going to get a comprehensive list for something like this. Only Georgia knows who is supposed to come — even they can never be sure who will actually show up — and they couldn’t release names if they wanted to as it is a recruiting event. But best I can tell there will be about 30 or so rising high school seniors in Athens for the one-day football clinic.

And, again, it’s an impressive group.

I posted a preliminary list yesterday but there were several notable names I didn’t know about. Among the most glaring omissions were: QB Christian LeMay of Matthews, N.C.; WR Chris Conley of North Paulding; WR Charone Peak of Roebuck, S.C.; and OL Watts Dantzler of Dalton.

First, a little about some prospects that won’t be there:

  • Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall won’t be there because he’s leading his basketball team in the …

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Tech, Georgia make James Vaughters’ cut down to final nine

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters hopes to narrow his list down to five schools by the beginning of the summer. (AJC photo by John Spink)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters hopes to narrow his list down to five schools by the beginning of the summer. (AJC photo by John Spink)

Tucker’s James Vaughters is one of the top linebackers in the country and may be the top college prospect in the state of Georgia. So while he still has almost a year before he has to make a final decision on what school to attend, he felt compelled this week to cut down a list of offers that had already swelled beyond 30 colleges.

The good news for Georgia and Georgia Tech is the two in-state schools made the first cut down to nine schools. The bad news is they will be up against some very tough competition to attain the services of this 6-foot-2, 232-pound athlete.

“Every one of the colleges I am considering are strong academically, have a strong track record of developing players for the NFL and have an enthusiastic fan base,” Vaughters told me in an e-mail this morning. “I have appreciated all of the schools that have shown interest …

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QB Hutson Mason uses boxing to get ready for UGA

For a while there you couldn’t be sure if Hutson Mason was planning to play quarterback for Georgia or trying to become this country’s next great cruiserweight.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. But up until a couple of weeks ago the record-breaking quarterback from Lassiter High School was using boxing as a training method to prepare for his fast-approaching college football career with the Bulldogs.

Hutson Mason while competing on the TV series "The Ride."

Hutson Mason while competing on the TV series "The Ride."

Mason said he read a story a while back about a Division I quarterback who used boxing as a way to get ready for the football season.

“They said the arm strength that he gained and how much stronger he got in his shoulders and triceps and pecs and biceps was amazing,” he said.

So Mason decided to give it a shot. Back in early January he began working out three days a week at Triple Boxing up in Woodstock. The benefits, he said, were obvious.

“You’re always up on the balls of your feet bouncing around, jumping and moving,” said …

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Impressive list of prospects expected at UGA Junior Day

A lot of people have asked who all is going to attend Georgia’s Junior Day this weekend. I don’t have a comprehensive list (only UGA does) but I can tell you some that I’ve run across just through the course of interviews and conversations I’ve had with coaches and recruits this weekend.

I also know of at least one elite prospect who won’t be in Athens this weekend. Top 5 linebacker James Vaughters of Tucker is making a trip to Stanford, according to coach Franklin Stephens.

But as far as who is going to UGA, it’s a pretty impressive list. I haven’t been scouring recruiting sites for names 0r anything so I’m sure there are others. Let me know if you’ve heard of somebody not represented). Here’s the ones I know:

  1. Sterling Bailey, DE/OLB, East Hall
  2. Devin Bowman, RB/DB, Ridgeland
  3. Chaz Cheeks, OL, East Hall
  4. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Carver-Columbus
  5. Nile Daniel, WR, Griffin
  6. Xzavier Dickson, DE, Griffin
  7. Amarlo Herrera, LB, North Clayton
  8. Quincy McKinney, OL, Carver-Columbus
  9. Corey Moore, …

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Ten at 10: Carver’s Crowell & Wright not necessarily a package deal

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Carver-Columbus football stars Isaiah Crowell and Gabriel Wright tend to be talked about as a pair. As a result, they are often thought of as a package deal in recruiting. But that’s not necessarily the case. “They’re separate individuals,” Carver coach Dell McGee said Thursday morning. “I’m not saying they wouldn’t [consider signing with the same school]. But I think they both have different things they’re looking for and they both have different personality types.” Of course, every school would like to sign both of these elite prospects. Both are consensus top 10 prospects in the state of Georgia for the Class of 2011. I have Crowell (6-foot, 204 pounds) No. 1 in my “Tentative Top 10″ and Wright (6-3, 273) No. 5.

2. One of the schools that would like to land both of these players is Georgia. The Bulldogs will get a firsthand opportunity to sell the duo on that notion this weekend. McGee confirmed that both plan to attend UGA’s Junior Day Saturday in Athens. …

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Good will helps McEachern cope with Rajaan Bennett tragedy

Rajaan Bennett’s life was snuffed out just as he was about soar by a sick man in a jealous rage. It’s hard to imagine any good coming from that.

Yet some has.

McEachern High School athletics director Jimmy Dorsey is dealing with the irony of that every day.

Rajaan Bennett

Rajaan Bennett

“The outpouring of response from people has been unbelievable,” Dorsey said Wednesday morning as he tended to the final details of tonight’s 7 p.m. memorial service at the McEachern Gymnasium. “Whether it’s what happened in Haiti, which was just devastating, or something like this, there’s just a lot instances where people really do step up to the plate. We’re getting a real dose of that here and it’s just been uplifting. It’s been phenomenal, more than we could have expected.”

Bennett, 18, was shot and killed while being held hostage with other family members by his mother’s ex-boyfriend in their Powder Springs home in the wee hours of the morning last Thursday (Feb. 18). An uncle was injured in the shooting …

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Prospect profile: Griffin’s Corey Moore happy to be a Bulldog

Good thing Corey Moore isn’t into football for fame and glory. The junior safety from Griffin committed to Georgia on Jan. 30, a full year and three days before he’ll have a chance to sign a letter-of-intent. But he wasn’t even the Bulldogs’ first pledge. That honor went to Tucker safety Chris Sanders, who happened to go into coach Mark Richt’s office before him that day at UGA’s first Junior Day.  So all he got was a few lines in the paper. Yet Moore said he feels anything but overshadowed. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound multi-sport athlete wasn’t looking for attention when he made his early choice. After getting an offer from his “dream school,” Moore simply didn’t see any reason to put off the inevitable. And by all accounts this is no marginal prospect pouncing on the first good offer to come his way. The ball-hawking safety snagged six interceptions and manned the back line of suffocating Griffin defense that has terrorized Class AAAA the past couple of seasons. He’s currently …

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Ten at 10: Walls adds 6 offers, but still not the one he covets

THE TEN AT 10:

1. In the last week Avery Walls has added six new offers to his fast-growing list of scholarship opportunities — Ole Miss, Virginia, Cal, Maryland, LSU and Michigan State. But he still hasn’t gotten one from the school atop his wish list. The Union Grove defensive back took a trip to Austin last week to check out the University of Texas, and that validated the Longhorns as his dream team. “They really rolled out the red carpet for me out there,” Walls said. “They gave me a quick little tour of the school, I met a distinguished professor, I talked to some of their academic staff. I had the pleasure of meeting the president of the university, President William Powers, in his office. He was really passionate about the school and about athletics and was just a really great guy. They showed me the dorm rooms and they were bigger than my room at home. And they have a mini-mall at the bottom of the dorm, on the first floor. . . . It was great.” While Walls came away …

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Cook LB Shannon Brown commits to Alabama

Alabama continued its assault on the state of Georgia this weekend when it landed a commitment from Shannon Brown of Cook High School in Adel.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker committed to the Crimson Tide while attending their junior camp this past weekend. He chose Bama over North Carolina.

“He was sort of committed to them already,” Cook coach Ken Cofer said. “He was at their junior camp over the weekend and he made it official while he was over there. I’m an Auburn fan myself. But I just want him to be happy and it’ll be good for him to get away from here.”

The defending national champs are in on several of Georgia’s top prospects, including running back Isaiah Crowell and defensive tackle Gabriel Wright of Carver-Columbus, defensive end Xzavier Dickson of Griffin amd linebacker A.J. Johnson of Gainesville. The Tide signed five Georgia kids in February, including Class AAA player of the year Blake Sims of Gainesville.

Brown is a tremendous football talent — he led Cook …

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