Archive for February, 2010

Recruiting rankings: Florida consensus No. 1, but USC close

Recruiting experts apparently don’t believe Urban Meyer’s leave of absence (when does that begin again?) is hurting Florida’s recruiting.

The Gators topped nearly every Signing Day rankings.

But as Georgia Tech Paul Johnson said, “How many five-star recruits are on the Colts’ roster?”

Regardless, here are the national recruiting rankings from some of most popular Web sites:

Rivals.com

  1. USC
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Auburn
  5. Alabama

12. Georgia

43. Georgia Tech

ESPN

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Alabama
  4. Auburn
  5. Oklahoma

12. Georgia

Tech not ranked in top 25

Scout.com

  1. Florida
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. Auburn

21. Georgia

41. Georgia Tech

Continue reading Recruiting rankings: Florida consensus No. 1, but USC close »

Paul Johnson Signing Day news conference transcript

Paul Johnson transcript from Wednesday news conference.

On the recruiting class:
“I’m excited about the class. I felt like we addressed a lot of needs .Not only good football players but good people. We tried to ID guys who fit our program and fit Georgia Tech.”

On instate signees:
“We wanted to make in-state a huge priority when we came here. We’ve had this class put together a long time. The majority committed before the season was over and didn’t lose anybody. We identified the kids we wanted early and were able to get the kids committed. Fourteen out of 18 in-state (signees) shows that we are committed.”

On which signees will play early:
“You don’t ever know who is going to play and help early. That’s part of the beauty of it. But everyone will contribute before they leave Georgia Tech. The new defense might help (young players) some. But maturity and strength factor more than that.

On how class fits new defense:
“We just tried to balance the numbers. …

Continue reading Paul Johnson Signing Day news conference transcript »

UGA recruiting class grade, overview

The bottom line

Instead of a pretty blue ribbon, the 2010 class was wrapped tightly Wednesday evening with adhesive bandages. The last month of recruiting was brutal to Georgia, and the spoils show it. While many schools would love to have a recruiting class like Georgia’s, it was not a great class, particularly by Georgia standards. In fact, this is not a consensus top-10 or even top-15 class.

“Recruiting is about relationships built, and we knew when we went through a process like we did with our coaching changes, that some relationships were broken,” coach Mark Richt said. “It put a strain on some young men, and we know that some of them changed their minds and didn’t stick with their commitment.”

Still, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham got some nice pieces to play with as he revamps the defense. Freakish athletes such as Jakar Hamilton and Alec Ogletree could contribute quickly and several defensive linemen were added. On offense, the list is short on …

Continue reading UGA recruiting class grade, overview »

Georgia Tech recruiting class grade, overview

The bottom line

By mid-morning, the grade was in on Paul Johnson’s recruiting class, and it was … different depending on who assigned it. In terms of throwing bodies at perceived positions of need: B.

With at least nine defenders in the 18-man class (more offensive players may convert), a nod was made to the area that most frustrated the Yellow Jackets last fall. They added a scholarship kicker for the first time in years, and tried to grow some positions new defensive coordinator Al Groh considers critical: outside linebacker and safety.

But should the Jackets have added even more heft in the lines?

Bottom line grade, again: NRK — nobody really knows. “I think we’ve increased our athleticism,” Johnson said. “We’ll know in about three years,”

A-plus for that assessment.

What grade would you give Georgia Tech for its 2010 recuit class?

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Among friends

Scout.com ranked Tech’s recruiting …

Continue reading Georgia Tech recruiting class grade, overview »

Georgia State 2010 Recruiting Class

2010 Georgia State signees
(The quote about each player is from George Pugh, assistant head coach, recruiting and special projects/receivers at Georgia State)

Pat Baker, K, 6-0, 170, Vero Beach (Fla.)

“Baker gives you that added dimension that once you cross the 35-yard line you’re going to score points.”

Christo Bilukidi, DE, 6-4, 295, Eastern Arizona College

“He is extremely fast and quick.

Evan Bostic, LB, 6-3, 230, Jones Co. JC (Miss.)

“He one of those guys that you don’t have to coach them very much, and he makes a lot of plays.”

Jocquez Fears, DB, 5-9, 208, Northeastern University

“He was a starter at Northeastern University, which just dropped their program, and we were very lucky to get him.”

Alex Findura, DE, 6-5, 235, Woodland

“He is a long string-bean guy who is very versatile and gives us a lot of depth.”

Aaron Gambrah, LB, 6-2, 200, Riverside Military

“He can go from sideline to sideline and knock your head off.”

Jeff Holmes, DT, 6-3, …

Continue reading Georgia State 2010 Recruiting Class »

National Signing Day photos: Metro Atlanta and beyond

AJC photographers were all capturing the best shots from National Signing Days.

National Signing Day in Metro Atlanta

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/national-signing-day/

Georgia Tech National Signing Day

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/tech/tech-signing-day-2010/

UGA National Signing Day

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/uga/uga-signing-day-2010/

Fox Sports National Day Party

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/fox-signing-day-2010/

Alec and Alexander Ogletree

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/ogletree-twins-sign/

Northview High School

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/northview-signing-day/

South Paulding High School

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/paulding-signing-day/

Calhoun High School

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/recruiting/calhoun-signing-day/

Sandy Creek High School

Continue reading National Signing Day photos: Metro Atlanta and beyond »

Jordan Akins one of five Georgians heading to UCF

Union Grove’s Jordan Akins, who Georgia targeted as a possible two-sport athlete late in the recruiting process, signed with Central Florida on Wednesday.

Akins, who is also a pro baseball prospect, is expected to play wide receiver for the Knights. He is one of five Georgians to sign with UCF. The others were Tucker defensive end Quenton Brown, Westlake offensive lineman Tony Jacob, Calhoun linebacker Cody Ralston and Worth County tight end Justin Tukes.

“We’re very happy about the success that we’ve had in the state of Georgia,” coach George O’Leary said. “There is great football in Georgia and some great programs. We were fortunate enough to be involved with five great athletes that could come in here and help us and wanted the opportunity to graduate.”

Continue reading Jordan Akins one of five Georgians heading to UCF »

Grantham sees DT Mike Thornton as ‘1-gap guy’

Mark Bradley filed this on new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s impressions of defensive tackle signee Mike Thornton . . .

The biggest positive news for Georgia on Signing Day was the addition of Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton, rated the No. 3 player in Georgia by the AJC.

And yes, since you’re wondering, new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham sees Thornton — who’s 6-foot-2, 280 pounds — as a tackle in his 3-4 defense. “He’s a 1-gap guy,” Grantham said Wednesday. “What we’re looking for with our defensive tackles is quickness and suddenness and the ability to get off the ball and deliver a blow.”

Continue reading Grantham sees DT Mike Thornton as ‘1-gap guy’ »

Richt on UT’s grab of Da’Rick: ‘Part of the game’

I’ve been getting feeds from all our correspondents out in the field today, including esteemed columnist Mark Bradley.

Here was one exchange he had with Georgia coach Mark Richt:

Asked if the Bulldogs have a policy of not recruiting a player once he has committed to another school, Richt’s said: “Oh, no. We’ll talk to him. We’ll ask if he’s certain. If he’s not 100 percent certain, we’ll continue to recruit him.”

So Richt wasn’t irate over Tennessee’s late takeaway of Da’Rick Rogers, who’d committed to Georgia last summer? “That’s part of the game.”

As for Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, whose famous father Vince hired Richt to coach Georgia: “I’m a big fan of his [meaning D. Dooley's].”

You can sense that unique Bradley tone, can’t you?

Good stuff.

Continue reading Richt on UT’s grab of Da’Rick: ‘Part of the game’ »

Five-star WR Christian Green chooses FSU over UGA

Georgia finished second in recruiting yet again.

Five-star wide receiver Christian Green of Tampa Catholic High School in Florida chose the Florida State Seminoles over the Bulldogs. He told an ESPNU television audience that he toiled over the decision.

Green had connections to both schools, but they all led through FSU. His uncle, E.G. Green, was a star wide receiver for the Seminoles in the 1990s but his offensive coordinator in those days was Mark Richt. The Greens have maintained a relationship with the Richts ever since.

But the power of playing for the fast-building Seimnoles of new head coach Jimbo Fisher just a couple of hours up the road in Tallahassee was too great.

It was the second close, head-to-head battle the Bulldogs lost to FSU on Wednesday. The Seminoles also held on to linebacker Telvin Smith, who wavered significantly before finally signing with FSU late Wednesday morning.

Green played quarterback at Tampa Catholic and led them to the state finals. He will …

Continue reading Five-star WR Christian Green chooses FSU over UGA »