Poor Georgia. The Bulldogs got jilted again Monday. Twice in the same day.
For the second time Monday Georgia watched as an elite in-state talent went out of state. Telvin Smith, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound all-state linebacker from Lowndes High School, announced that he was going to stick with his commitment and signed with the Florida State Seminoles on national signing day Wednesday.
Earlier Monday Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker committed to Auburn over Georgia and Miami.
“I’m going to be a Florida State Seminole,” Smith told a crowd at Loco’s Grill & Pub in Valdosta. A live radio audience listened in on 99.5-FM “Kix Country” and ceremony was webcasted online at DawgPost.com.
Smith has been committed to FSU since late last summer. But he was continually pursued by the Bulldogs, made an official visit to UGA the weekend before last and then unofficially visited Athens on Saturday. He went back to FSU unofficially on Friday.
Shortly before he made the announcement Smith told the interviewer, “I don’t know why I wouldn’t sign with Georgia.”
“Look at the history. They have national championships,” Smith said of the Bulldogs. “They have Mark Richt, a great guy. In Athens you have a great town that’s nothing but Georgia.”
But of Florida State, he said: “I feel like Florida State is about to take off. The players that are already there from Lowndes County [such as Greg Reid], they’re going to look out for me. We’ve been playing ball together since Boys Club. It felt like home for me.”
Smith said LSU finished third.
Smith and several teammates were making their college announcements live on the radio before national signing day as part of an annual Lowndes tradition. Smith went after seven teammates, including Auburn offensive line commitment Ed Christian.
The Bulldogs are stumbling down the stretch toward with their Class of 2010. Two other players have reneged on commitments to sign elsewhere in the last month — linebackers B.J. Butler of Kissimmee, Fla. — and Deon Rogers of Port St. Lucie, Fla. — and indications on Monday were that Frostproof, Fla., cornerback Nickell Robey may also flip to another school.
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