Archive for February, 2010

OL David Andrews becomes commitment No. 4 for Georgia

Wesleyan's David Andrews (70) has the ideal size, quickness and intelligence to play center for Georgia. (Special photo by Brian L. Morgan)

Wesleyan's David Andrews (70), here leading running back Kyle Karempelis, has the ideal size, quickness and intelligence to play center for Georgia. (Special photo by Brian L. Morgan)

David Andrews grew up a Georgia Bulldogs fan. As a standout offensive lineman at the Wesleyan School in Norcross, he dreamed of one day attending the school on a football scholarship.

But Andrews was caught off guard when the offer to fulfill that dream finally came. He was actually on his way to a visit to Duke when he got the phone call from Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels late Thursday afternoon.

“Me and Coach Searels have been in contact. He came to my school a few times and I camped there,” Andrews said Monday morning. “But I just didn’t know they were close to making an offer. Coach Searels had been telling me to just be patient. I thought I was going to have to go to their senior camp and have a good showing there to get an offer.”

It seems the Bulldogs had seen all they …

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Tech and Georgia battle over state’s bluechippers

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 …

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I give you the ‘Tentative Top 10′ for Georgia’s Class of 2011

I’m in the process of formulating my “Very Early Top 50″ for the state of Georgia’s Class of 2011.

I’ve still got a long way to go for the whole list but I think I’m about ready with the Top 10. I’ll reveal it here and let y’all take some cracks at it and take your criticisms and suggestions under consideration before unveiling the whole 50 within the next couple of weeks.

Let me know what you think and I’ll answer your questions throughout the day:

  1. RB Isaiah Crowell, Carver-Columbus
  2. LB James Vaughters, Tucker
  3. QB Nick Marshall, Wilcox County
  4. TE Jay Rome, Valdosta
  5. DT Gabriel Wright, Carver-Columbus
  6. DE Xzavier Dickson, Griffin
  7. WR Chris Conley, North Paulding
  8. LB A.J. Johnson, Gainesville
  9. OT Watts Dantzler, Dalton
  10. DE Ray Drew, Thomas County Central

Here’s some video from YouTube on Crowell, our No. 1 guy (for now):

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Rajaan Bennett’s death hard to come to grips with

To express sympathies to the family of Rajaan Bennett, follow this link to Legacy.com.
Rajaan Bennett was a leader on and off the field for McEachern High School. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Rajaan Bennett was a leader on and off the field for McEachern High School. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

I got the call early Thursday morning from our breaking news desk.

There had been a shooting death. It involved a high school football player, I was told. A “big-time player,” one that had been recruited and signed a college scholarship. At that point we had no IDs.

A little while later I was informed this player went to McEachern High School and had signed a scholarship to Vanderbilt. I knew immediately it was Rajaan Bennett.

In that instant it was like somebody just punched me in the gut and all the air left my body.

My first thought was, “Rajaan Bennett? Really? How could that be? Such a good kid. Who’d shoot him?”

Then details slowly began to pour in. A domestic dispute. A murder-suicide. The mother’s ex-boyfriend. Bennett, 18, had been “the man of the house.”

Bennett (ESPN photo)

Bennett (ESPN photo)

I …

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Tucker’s Chris Sanders now one of Georgia’s hardest recruiters

When 2011 prospect Chris Sanders committed to play football for the University of Georgia, it was actually four days before national signing day for the Class of 2010. It also came on the same day that Deon Rogers de-committed to the Bulldogs and Da’Rick Rogers’ started kissing crystal balls in Knoxville. So Sanders’ news kind of got lost in the shuffle. We sat down with the 6-foot-1, 185-pound safety from Tucker this week to give the young man his due and learn a little more about him. It’s the first in a continuing series of 2011 prospect profiles for the AJC Recruiting Blog.

Q: So you were, of course, the first commitment for Georgia’s class of 2011. I believe you actually committed on Saturday, Jan. 30. That means it will be over a year before you actually sign a letter-of-intent. Why so early?

A: “I just wanted to get everything off my chest. It’s really where I wanted to go. I’ve been a Bulldog since I was younger. Everything about being a Bulldog is good to me. I looked …

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Ten at 10: On second thought, Tech’s 2007 class ranked No. 3 nationally

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Tech’s recruiting class of 2007 was originally ranked No. 18 in the country. But now it has been re-ranked and moved all the way up to No. 3. The 15-place jump was courtesy of SI.com’s Andy Staples, who has made it an annual tradition to re-rate recruiting classes after players have had a chance to show their stuff on the field (novel idea). He re-rates the classes three years later and he really likes what the Yellow Jackets did with that 2007 class. It was of course led by Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan and Josh Nesbitt and won the 2009 ACC Championship. To quote the former AJC intern Staples:

Chan Gailey signed a great class in 2007, only neither he nor anyone else realized just how good it could be. The Yellow Jackets brass fired Gailey after the 2007 season and brought in Paul Johnson, a coach who knew how to unlock the potential in Nesbitt, Dwyer and Jones. It didn’t hurt that this class also included Burnett and Morgan, two …

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Georgia State beats out ACC, SEC, Big 12 for recruit

It’s not often that Georgia State beats out ACC, SEC and Big 12 schools for a recruit but that appears to be the case in regards to Eric Buckner.

Eric Buckner

Eric Buckner

Buckner, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound sophomore at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, is considered one of the top big men in junior college basketball. He decided this week to commit to the coach Rod Barnes‘ Panthers over Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Missouri, according to a report by Rivals.com.

Buckner took official visits to LSU and Georgia State last fall. He said Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri were the other finalists. He’ll sign during the spring period, which begins April 15.

The difference, it seems, is State’s willingness to let Buckner play power forward rather than center.

“They were recruiting me to play the four while other schools all told me they were going to be play me at the five,” Buckner told Ryan Bartow of Rivals.com. “It’s closer to home and I like the way they play. They are …

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Vintage footage: Bill Hartman’s report on Herschel Walker’s recruitment

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM BILL HARTMAN. . . .

Some of you die-hard Georgia fans may have seen it before but I had never seen this vintage footage about Herschel Walker’s recruitment put together in February of 1980 by a young TV reporter named Bill Hartman, then with Atlanta’s Channel 5. Some of you will also recognize “Five News Scene” sports anchor (and Florida Gator/Atlanta Falcon) Harmon Wages.

In the two-part series, Hartman is in Wrightsville on National Signing Day to talk to Walker and his coaches about his recruitment when he stumbles upon Walker driving a shiny new black Pontiac Trans Am. Ever the inquiring journalist, Hartman immediately gets to the bottom of who bought the Trans Am. (Walker’s parents, Hartman determines). At that point, the Goal-line Stalker had not signed with Georgia and it was still a pretty intense recruiting battle between the Bulldogs and Clemson and others. Georgia Tech’s also involved, we learn.

A couple of really cool things caught my …

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Georgia gets commit No. 3 from N. Clayton’s Amarlo Herrera

UPDATED 4:19 P.M. . . .

Georgia added it’s third commitment of the 2011 recruiting class Monday afternoon.

Amarlo Herrera, a linebacker at North Clayton High School, accepted the Bulldogs’ scholarship offer while meeting with coach Mark Richt on the UGA campus. He had the day off from school and traveled to Athens with his coach, Rodney Hackney.

“He already knew I was going to do it so it wasn’t much of a surprise,” Herrera said of his 3:30 p.m. visit with Georgia’s head man. “I had made my decision a while ago because I always wanted to go to Georgia. I said if they offered me I was going to go with them. This just made it official.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker got that official offer on Jan. 27, just before he attended the Bulldogs’ Junior Day in Athens.

Herrera said one of his main attractions to UGA was defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his 3-4 defense.

“I like the 3-4,” Herrera said. “We already run it in high school, so it should be an easy transition for …

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Ten at 10: UGA’s QB recruiting going to be fun to follow

North Gwinnett C.J. Uzomah has a scholarship offer from Georgia, but will he accept it before the other quarterbacks the Bulldogs have offered. (AJC photo by Josh Weiss)

North Gwinnett's C.J. Uzomah has a scholarship offer from Georgia, but will he accept it before the other quarterbacks the Bulldogs have offered. (AJC photo by Josh Weiss)

1. Georgia’s recruitment of quarterbacks for 2011 is going to be very interesting to follow. The Bulldogs, who have four QBs scheduled to return after this season, will sign only one. Currently they have offers extended to four QB prospects — Christian LeMay of Matthews, N.C.; Braxton Miller of Huber Heights, Ohio; Nick Marshall of Wilcox County; and C.J. Uzomah of North Gwinnett — and are actively recruiting several other highly-rated targets, including Miami’s Teddy Bridgewater. Any one of those players accepting Georgia’s offer could set off some dominoes throughout the recruiting landscape.

2. Speaking of Uzomah, recruiting is really cranking up for  the 6-foot-5, 225-pound signal-caller. Recently profiled by Allen Wallace of Scout.com, Uzomah has already attended junior days at Auburn and Georgia and …

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