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 impressed, he did not come away with a UT offer. Coach Mack Brown was out of town tending to his sick mother and he is the only one who can extend offers at Texas.
2. So far, South Carolina is the only school to offer a package deal to Gerald Dixon and his brother Gerald Dixon. That’s not a typo. The two defensive tackles, half-brothers who attend different schools in the Charlotte area, share the name of their father, Gerald Dixon, Sr. The eldest Gerald Dixon played for the Gamecocks and hopes is sons follow in his footsteps. Naturally. Confused? For details follow the link to the very interesting story by esteemed colleague Joseph Person of The State newspaper on GoGamecocks.com.
3. Speaking of the Gamecocks, three Georgians came away from offers from coach Steve Spurrier’s team after attending their junior camp in Columbia this past weekend. Defensive back Kadetrix Marcus of Hillgrove High, offensive lineman Quincy McKinney of Carver-Columbus and defensive back Ra’Chard Pippens of Ola were each tendered scholarships.
4. Another Georgian who attended South Carolina’s junior day was Athens-Clarke Central quarterback Martay Mattox, who was already holding a scholarship offer from the Gamecocks. Before going to Columbia, Mattox spent last Friday on an unofficial at Georgia Tech and made some interesting comments to JacketsOnline.com regarding Georgia. “I went to Athens instead of Tech for their Junior Day and it was a mistake,” Mattox told the Rivals website. “I wasn’t feeling Georgia and I didn’t stay for very long, maybe an hour at most. I don’t think Georgia is very interested in me or Alan Posey, my teammate.” Posey is a 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle who is considered among the top offensive line prospects in the state. Despite attending high school less than a mile from the UGA campus, Tech apparently is a strong consideration for both recruits. “I know we both like Georgia Tech a lot, so if they offer me, too, that could be really great if we got a chance to play together,” Mattox said.
5. Georgia Tech tendered an offer to athlete Airyn Willis of High Point, N.C., according to a report at JacketsOnline.com. Willis was committed to East Carolina before Skip Holtz left for South Florida. “Georgia Tech offered like a week ago. It was kind of out of the blue. I have not really had a chance to speak with the coaches or anything yet. I know they have talked to my high school coach, but it was very exciting to get an offer from such a great school,” Willis said. The Yellow Jackets also offered a scholarship to North Carolina quarterback Vad Lee, JacketsOnline reported.
6. North Paulding wide receiver Chris Conley attended junior day at Alabama this past weekend and came away with a personal offer from coach Nick Saban. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after recruits in the state. The Tide was his ninth major offer, including Tech and Georgia. Conley, who has studied guitar the last four years, told BamaOnline.com he plans to major in music, business or engineering and will be an early enrollee in college.
7. Alabama continues to hit the Peach State hard for talent and it’s becomingly increasingly clear that is a recruiting strategy for Saban and his staff. Cook linebacker Shannon Brown, who committed to the Tide while attending their junior camp this past weekend, was the first to sign up with Bama for 2011. Brown, a top 20 prospect in the state, said his pledge to the Tide is solid. “I might go to a couple of Nike combines on some campuses. But as far as visiting other schools, I’m not going to do it.”
8. Excitement among Georgia fans was tempered over the recent commitment of Wesleyan center David Andrews, whose only other offers came last week from Duke and Michigan. But Chad Simmons, South recruiting manager for Scout.com, thinks the Bulldogs snagged a jewel. Simmons calls Andrews a “workout warrior” with near-perfect technique. “He is very explosive off the ball and gets his hands set on the opponent very quickly,” Simmons writes. “He explodes through the defensive lineman and then works his hips and squares his shoulders to drive him away from his running back opening up a hole for him to run through. He holds his blocks well and has the ability to drive them down field totally out of the play. His leverage is another strength.”
9. Speaking of Simmons, he reports this morning that the Bulldogs just offered wide receiver Rashad Greene of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Greene also has offers from Florida, Auburn and Notre Dame. That’s four offers now for wideouts and still none for Davaris Daniels, the son of UGA letterman Phillip Daniels from Vernon Hills, Ill.
10. Make of it what you will, but Georgia’s basketball recruiting class as it stands so far is ranked 11th in the 12-team SEC, according to Rivals.com college hoops analyst Jerry Meyer. Of course, Georgia signed only one player in the early period — 6-foot-8 forward Cady Lalanne of Orlando — and there is the late signing period still to go (begins April 15). Tennessee, which inked two Georgia kids in the early period and beat out GeorgiaTech for another prospect, is said to have done the best job in the league.