It’s early yet but indications are that Georgia and Georgia Tech could be headed toward some vicious head-to-head recruiting battles on some of the state’s top football prospects.
Initially it appeared that the Bulldogs had established precedence with Wilcox County two-sport star Nick Marshall, a quarterback who already has offers from Georgia in both football and basketball. Signing his wide receiver teammate (and cousin) Lonnie Outlaw to a last-minute scholarship on Feb. 3 could not have hurt.
But then the Yellow Jackets had Marshall in on an unofficial this past Tuesday and he got more than a little air time sitting next to head coach Paul Johnson during the television broadcast of the Tech-North Carolina basketball game.
Marshall is one of several top prospects the Bulldogs covet who were on the Tech campus this week. That same night the Jackets also hosted East Hall defensive lineman Sterling Bailey, Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dixon and Pope offensive lineman Thomas O’Reilly. Later in the week Johnson had Monroe Area defensive end Stephon Tuitt of Monroe Area for a one-on-one unofficial visit. Tech is also has offers out to wide receiver running back Quan Bray, wide receiver Christian Conley, offensive linemen Watts Dantzler and Alan Posey, linebacker James Vaughters and many others that are high on the Dogs’ board.
Clearly Georgia is on the minds of the Jackets.
“Paul Johnson showed that by signing the 14 Georgia kids in the 2010 class,” said Chad Simmons, South recruiting manager for Scout.com. “He’s made the statement that he’s not going to spend a lot of time looking in New York and Louisiana looking for his top guys. He’s going to recruit Georgia first. The top 15 or so players in Georgia all have offers from both Tech and UGA.”
The good news, Simmons said, is there is plenty of talent to go around. The 2011 class is going to be particularly rich.
“There are a lot of what I call no-brainer offers this year,” Simmons said. “You have a lot of good kids that are strong athletes that you know are going to qualify. Guys that have 4.0s and 3.5s and already have their SATs and ACTs. There’s a lot of those kinds of guys in this next class.”