Archive for March, 2010

DB Avery Walls and his 27 offers head west for weekend

Union Grove DB will head to California on Friday to check out Stanford, Cal, UCLA and USC. (Photo by Jeff Hurndon/jeffhurndonphotography.com)

Union Grove DB will head to California on Friday to check out Stanford, Cal, UCLA and USC. (Photo by Jeff Hurndon/jeffhurndonphotography.com)

Six months ago, Avery Walls couldn’t imagine being in the situation he is now. Back then he was wondering if another offer might ever come. Now he’s wondering if they’ll ever stop.

The Union Grove defensive back received his 27th scholarship offer last week from Kentucky and took a visit to LSU this past weekend. And this coming weekend he and his mother, Yvonne Sebastian, will be making a five-day trek out west to check out the schools that him showing interest out there. They’ll visit Stanford, Cal, UCLA and Southern Cal. Only the Trojans have not extended a firm offer.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Walls, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound safety. “Everything’s coming really fast. I’m just trying to stay humble, talk to the coaches and try to figure out what’s going to be the best fit for me.”

Walls said distance is not a factor in his …

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Miller Grove’s Donte Williams chooses Bulldogs (updated)

Updated 11:58 a.m. . . .

Miller Grove's Donte Williams jams home two points in a win over Tucker during the Class AAAA playoffs. The 6-foot-9 forward committed to UGA Tuesday night. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Miller Grove's Donte Williams jams home two points in a win over Tucker during the Class AAAA playoffs. The 6-foot-9 forward committed to UGA Tuesday night. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

If Donte Williams has half the effect on Georgia’s basketball team he had at Miller Grove High School, the Bulldogs could be in for some good things.

Williams, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward, committed to UGA coach Mark Fox Tuesday night. His decision comes on the heels of the Wolverines winning their second consecutive Class AAAA state championship.

Asked how much Williams’ presence had to do with Miller Grove winning all those games, coach Sharman White said, “Everything, everything to do with it.

“Especially this year. He was our guy on both sides of the ball,” White said. “He plays 94 feet both ways. At first he was kind of a quiet leader, but he became more assertive as the season went on. He’s really developed and matured as a player and we just kind of, you know, …

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DL Lonnie Gosha commits to Florida State

A defensive lineman from Florida that Georgia offered just last week committed to Florida State on Tuesday.

Lonnie Gosha, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive lineman from Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla., informed the Seminoles of his decision Tuesday night. He had several offers but said it came down to FSU, Georgia and Alabama.

“I just love all the coaches,” Gosha told WarChant.com. “At Georgia I just really know Coach [Mark] Richt and I met the other coaches, like Coach [John] Lilly and Coach [Rodney] Garner. At Florida State, they spoke with me every day and checked up on me and I just feel like I know the entire staff there. I also like it because my mom can come and see me play.”

Gosha still plans to attend Alabama’s A-Day spring game in Tuscaloosa on April 17 but was otherwise done with recruiting.

Gosha is the Seminoles’ 12th commitment and follows Southwest DeKalb’s Terrance Smith, who became No. 11 on Sunday. FSU currently has room for only 12 players next …

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Ten at 10: Florida OL hits Tech, UGA on spring recruiting tour

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Zach DeBell, 6-foot-6, 260-pound offensive lineman from Tarpon Springs, Fla., made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech on Monday and was checking Georgia Tuesday morning before heading up I-85 to Clemson. It’s all part of a spring break recruiting tour that began in Miami for the Hurricanes’ spring game and will end Thursday in Chapel Hill, N.C. In between was a Nike Combine in Miami. . . . DeBell and his father Steve have been putting up some serious miles on their white Ford Explorer. After the Miami excursion, they got up before the sun Monday morning in Tarpon Springs to make the 440-mile drive to Atlanta. After attending the Tech practice and touring the campus and facilities, they spent the night with friends in Marietta and rose early again Tuesday to head to Athens and UGA. After Clemson Tuesday afternoon they’ll be off to South Carolina and North Carolina before heading home. . . . “They’re all schools I was interested in and they’re all about two …

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Top LB James Vaughters takes hard look at nine finalists

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters wasn't able to make a scheduled trip to Texas this past weekend. The Longhorns are among nine finalists for Vaughters, the top-rated linebacker in Georgia. (AJC file photo)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters wasn't able to make a scheduled trip to Texas this past weekend. The Longhorns are among nine finalists for Vaughters, the top-rated linebacker in Georgia. (AJC file photo)

Having narrowed his choices from more than 30 scholarship offers down to nine schools that he’ll take under serious consideration has made James Vaughters’ recruiting experience a little more manageable. But it’s still proving to be a difficult process.

“Things are busy right now, but not crazy busy yet,” said Vaughters, a rising senior at Tucker and the No. 1 linebacker in Georgia. “I was supposed to go to Texas [this past] weekend, but it turns out we had a death in the family and instead of going to Austin, we are going to Ohio for the funeral. We’ll reschedule our trip to Texas because I am interested Texas as a school and I would like to see the campus, coaches and facilities.”

Vaughters (6-2, 232) was recently named an Under Armour All-American and will participate in …

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SWD’s Terrance Smith commits to Florida State

Southwest DeKalb’s star outside linebacker Terrance Smith committed to Florida State on Sunday.

Smith said he hadn’t really planned to commit this early. It just kind of happened that way.

Terrance Smith chose Florida State over Alabama and Clemson on Sunday.

Terrance Smith chose Florida State over Alabama and Clemson on Sunday.

“Yeah, it happened pretty quick,” said Smith, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound rising senior who is considered a top 20 prospect in the state. “Me and my mom had been talking about it a lot lately and we just decided to go ahead and do it.

Late March is not generally considered a now-or-never time on the recruiting calendar. But Smith felt strongly enough about the Seminoles that he didn’t want to take a chance on missing an opportunity to play for them.

“I’d been thinking about it a while,” said Smith, who delivered the news to FSU assistant Dameyune Craig about 2 p.m. Sunday. “It was between Alabama and Florida State. Florida State has a limited amount of scholarships. I decided I was going to secure my spot while it was still …

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Storm Johnson stands out in crowded Miami backfield

Loganville's Storm Johnson is rocking the number 24 in Miami's backfield. (University of Miami photo).

Loganville's Storm Johnson is rocking the number 24 in Miami's backfield. (University of Miami photo).

Loganville’s Storm Johnson knew he was stepping into a highly competitive situation when he signed with Miami. He hadn’t really considered what a challenge day-to-day life was going to be.

“Man, it’s been hectic, been busy,” said Johnson, an early enrollee for the Hurricanes. “Always got to be somewhere, either at workouts or at school or at football. You’re always on the move from the time you wake up. So it’s always cooking, something is always going on.”

Johnson is proving he can keep up. In fact, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back has been one of the big surprises of the spring for Miami, which holds its spring game Saturday. Johnson led all running backs in the Hurricanes’ last intrasquad scrimmage of the spring.

Johnson busted loose for 104 yards on 10 carries — including runs of 52 and 29 yards — and had a six-yard touchdown. He also hauled in two passes for another …

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Expert: Paul Hewitt’s flirtations shouldn’t harm Tech recruiting

So how will coach Paul Hewitt’s flirtation with St. Johns affect Georgia Tech’s recruiting?

Positively actually, according to one basketball recruiting expert.

“I think if anything this will probably help,” said Dave Telep, national recruiting director for Scout.com. “It allows him to dispel a rumor that has been out there for a while.”

For the second time since 2004, St. Johns this past week offered its head coaching job to Hewitt, a New York native. But after a brief meeting with school officials on Thursday, Hewitt informed the Yellow Jackets he intends to stay on The Flats.

“In recruiting everything is about what you can tell recruits,” Telep said. “Now they have a little ammunition. Hewitt can say, ‘Georgia Tech is a place I want to be for a long time’ and tell them he’ll be there to coach them their whole career.”

The Yellow Jackets signed one player in the early period: guard Jason Morris of Lakeville, Conn. (by way of Augusta). But they may have room for several other …

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Talent evaluation key to Mark Fox’s future success at Georgia

Georgia could have had this guy, Tanner Smith, who started all 32 games for Clemson this season. Instead the Bulldogs chose Drazen Zlovaric, who left this week having never started a game with a 1.1 career scoring average. (AP photo)

Georgia could have had this guy, Tanner Smith, who started all 32 games for Clemson this season. Instead the Bulldogs chose Drazen Zlovaric, who left this week having never started a game with a 1.1 career scoring average. (AP photo)

Almost lost amid all the talk of coach Paul Hewitt’s adventures at Georgia Tech is the latest round of player departures over at Georgia.

In case you missed it, guard Demario Mayfield and forward Drazen Zlovaric requested and on Thursday were granted releases from their UGA scholarships so that they may seek transfers to other schools. How much of a choice they had in the decision is a matter of debate.

And be warned: The exodus may not be over. It is very likely that sophomore forward Trey Thompkins will enter his name in the NBA draft in the coming days (that doesn’t mean he’ll leave, just they he has until May 8 to decide whether to retain his college eligibility or go pro).

My immediate thought is, “the more things change, the more they stay …

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Quartterrio Morgan kept his Tech commitment under wraps

A few minutes on the phone with Quartterrio Morgan tells you a lot about the attitude and character of Georgia Tech’s latest football commitment.

Morgan, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back from Jonesboro’s Mt. Zion High School, said he actually committed to the Yellow Jackets almost two weeks ago. But he felt no need to call a press conference or summon Rivals or Scout. The news finally just eked out Thursday morning.

“I just didn’t worry about it,” Morgan said. “Everybody knew that was the school I wanted to go to anyway. I was born about five minutes from Georgia Tech, over in East Point, and I’ve lived here all my life. My recruitment has been kind of slow but I haven’t really worried about it.”

In fact, Georgia Tech was the first and only offer Morgan received. Then again, it was the only one he wanted.

“That was the school I was looking forward to going to in the first place,” he said. “I really wanted to go there. I’ve been over there a couple of times. I know a bunch …

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