WR Christian Conley likes Dogs, surprised by recruiting attention

Christian Conley could tell you all the recruiting attention he is getting is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. But then he wouldn’t be telling the truth.

The truth is he didn’t grow up a Bulldog or a Jacket or a Vol or a Gator. He didn’t have posters of football heroes taped to his bedroom walls. He didn’t even play the game for the longest time.

So the fact that he is definitely going to play major college football, that is something Conley is still trying to wrap his mind around.

“It was sort of unforeseen,” North Paulding’s star receiver said of his burgeoning football career. “I didn’t play football until my freshmen year and then I didn’t really know about football. I didn’t know anything about recruiting. I didn’t even watch college football. So I didn’t really expect any of this to happen and when it did it sort of took me by surprise.”

He didn’t expect to be sitting in the office of Georgia coach Mark Richt’s having a one-on-one conversation about life, as he was this past weekend. And he definitely didn’t expected to be in Tuscaloosa hearing Alabama coach Nick Saban tell him all the reasons  he thinks Conley ought to come play for the defending national champion Crimson Tide, as he did two weeks ago.

Those are two of the nine official scholarship offers Conley has hauled in to date. The others are Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. And there are likely many more to come as Conley’s measurables and highlight video get circulated throughout college football.

It’s all happening fast for this 6-foot-3, 185-pound wideout. Recruiting interest picked up throughout last season when Conley hauled in 81 passes for 848 yards and six touchdowns for North Paulding. It increased after the New Year after when he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and had an MVP performance at a Scout.com combine. It doesn’t hurt that he is an “A” student who will graduate early from high school and enroll in college in January.

“Georgia and Vanderbilt were on him last summer, before his junior year, so those guys were on him early,” North Paulding coach Heath Webb said. “A lot of the others have come on him here recently. I think he’s kind of a hidden commodity I guess you could say. Georgia and Vanderbilt got in there and they saw what he had to offer. It just took him getting his name out there a little bit more for everybody else to catch on.”

The Bulldogs were actually first to offer after they got Conley on campus last summer.

“That was the first camp I’d ever been to,” Conley said. “I went to their senior prospect camp last summer. I ran the drills and did the one-on-ones and stuff and that’s where I got my offer.”

For that reason and others, Conley really likes the Bulldogs. He has visited the UGA campus four times, including last two junior days.

“They’re not necessarily a favorite,” Conley said. “I’m still looking at schools. But the values that they have at that school are definitely something to consider and look at. I definitely take those into account, the way they conduct themselves and things.”

But Conley plans to be very deliberate and meticulous about the selection process and vows to keep an open mind to all possibilities.

“I’m trying to get a good feel and sense for these schools and their priorities and seeing if they match up with mine,” Conley said. “I’m trying to get a good sense of that before this summer. I guess my criteria will be a school that puts faith first where I can grow as a person and grow in my faith in Christ. The school I go to will have to have a sense of family along with my family and coaches with character.

“I want to know what programs the school has and whether I would be interested in those. After that I want to see how do they play, what’s their playing style, how do they prepare you for other teams and for the next level.”

Georgia Tech, Conley said, rates very high in all those categories.

“I plan to meet with Georgia Tech’s coaches and see what their plans are for their offense,” he said. “Right now that’s pretty much all I have.”

The hope, Conley said, is that he’ll have it all figured out by the end of summer.

“Hopefully I will commit before the season so I can focus on my school work and being the best player for North Paulding that I can be,” he said. “I don’t want that distraction.”

78 comments Add your comment

Vick=Dog killing thug

March 3rd, 2010
8:12 am

Let’s hope he becomes a dawg!

devildawg

March 3rd, 2010
8:16 am

First is not an achievement.

RomeDawg

March 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Sounds like a great kid! I sure hope he ends up in Athens.

DaveyC

March 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

3rd!!!! Is that an achievement?

Magic Man

March 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

All Dawg here! Which is odd, because Andrew Bone says that Bama leads.

big south mike

March 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

Another guy named ‘christian’? Very cool. His values will authentically connect with Coach Richt and the UGA character program. His academic progress is impressive. Good size, great speed, good production. We need a great WR in the 2011 class. Come on to UGA Christian.

Remarkable

March 3rd, 2010
8:34 am

I love the kind of guys that Mark Richt is trying to bring to UGA! Smart, tallented, leaders with a faith in God. That kind of player will make an impact on the whole program. Not only that, but he is also ahead of all the others by zeroing in on these kids early. I am convinced that the very best part of the UGA football program is its coach.

big fat mike

March 3rd, 2010
8:36 am

Connect with Coach Richt and the character program and get arrested. Or at the very least, become another 5-star prospect that under achieves.

Ponce DeLeon

March 3rd, 2010
8:43 am

Dawg fans say “sounds like a real great kid, should make a great Bulldawg”, unless of course he goes somewhere else, then its “scumbag was too stupid to get into UGA”.

Buzzdon

March 3rd, 2010
8:49 am

Love to have you at Tech! Great school and a football program that’s getting better each year!
Best of luck with your decision.

Guru

March 3rd, 2010
8:53 am

OVERRATED, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP.

He played against JV competition and didn’t stand out. He may have good measureables but he hasn’t proven anything on the field.

JD

March 3rd, 2010
8:53 am

This kid is showing how recruiting should be. Enjoying the moments of high school football, high school in general, his buddies, and continuing to keep his grades in the A range. He is being honest to all that are listening. Doesn’t sound like he has an ego bone in his body. Good job Christian and kudos to your family. Have a great rest of your junior year and stellar senior year in the classroom and on the field. Life has good things for you. Make us proud wherever you decide to learn your craft and play football. I will be watching for you on the field and I will spread the word to all my football buddies that you’re out there.

Taco

March 3rd, 2010
8:55 am

Hello Young Man!

Make the wise choice for your life and come to Georgia Tech. We take care of our own and if you get a degree from here you will have a lifetime of pride and prosperity in front of you. Football or no football, you will always have that. You could also go to UGA and get booed by the home crowd rednecks. But on the flip side, with your grades you could make some quik cash tutoring your teamates in Athens.

ga gator

March 3rd, 2010
9:01 am

Ponce, you’re the reason Gator fans get a bad name.

Too Easy

March 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

6 yards per catch last year? Am I missing something?

South Ga Dawg

March 3rd, 2010
9:04 am

YEA GO TO TECH AND GET A WOUNDED DUCK THROWN TO YOU ONCE A GAME!! GIMME A BREAK!! GO DAWGS!!

TXDawg

March 3rd, 2010
9:16 am

Guru, your comments haven’t proven anything on the blog either but nobody is b!thch!n like you. Cut the kid some slack, he only recently began playing football.

Tim

March 3rd, 2010
9:18 am

Taco – Why do you even have to go there? What’s the point? Does taking shots at UGA make you feel like a bigger person? Do you really think he’s going to read these blog postings, and be swayed in his decision based on what one anonymous poster writes? C’mon.

First of all, nothing in life is guaranteed. No matter where you go to school, what you do, you are not guaranteed “prosperity”. Work hard, and get an education, and put yourself in a position to be successful.

I wish the kid luck with wherever he goes. Whether it be UGA or elsewhere. Seems like a solid kid.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

March 3rd, 2010
9:30 am

ga gator, ALL fans like Ponce have earned their bad name. To me, at least, it doesn’t reflect on other fans of their chosen teams

Chip Towers

March 3rd, 2010
9:35 am

Too Easy: IMHO, the quarterback does not have much of an arm and Conley does not have a real strong cast around him.

Dap01

March 3rd, 2010
9:36 am

Mr. Conley seems like a great young man who will do well no matter where he goes.

Read the lips of Coach Paul Johnson and Coach Saban on the sidelines each game and try to determine if their actions line up with the values that they speak of.

HardTruth Soldier

March 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

Kid Had me until he said he can accomplish all at Geogia Tech, Young man you may get a degree at Tech(not the best), you may play on Saturday’s, but if you wan’t your chance to play on Sundays son you come to UGA…..Taco, can you please add extra chicken to your BS to make your blog feasible!

italian_29

March 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

ga gator, I think don’t think that Ponce reflects negative on Gator Fans, There are DA fan for all teams and REAL fans know that.

SEC Ballfan

March 3rd, 2010
9:49 am

Dap01 – Read the police blotter in Athens and tell me if UGA’s values line up with what the coach speaks of.

SEC Ballfan

March 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

You really need to pay attention to what’s going on in our culture
as well as across college football as a whole.
I suspect you are all too willing to hold Richt accountable and
let other coaches and school pass on how well you like them.

Vick=Dog killing thug

March 3rd, 2010
10:09 am

Yah right Taco…. That really worked out for Jaybo didn’t it ????

memphisdawg

March 3rd, 2010
10:31 am

“Can’t wait to get to tech and find out what kind of offense they have there.”
Bad news for Tech.

bill_in_atl

March 3rd, 2010
10:35 am

Too Easy… you are missing something. The math indicated in the blog was fairly simple. Off the top of your head you should recognize that it’s more than 10 yards per catch.

And Chip, didn’t you post just yesterday that Conley was part of the top 15 in GA that Bama offered and lead for? I know you indicated that was Andrew’s Bone’s statement, but you did nothing to contradict this even though you know it not to be true. I sincerely don’t get what you are trying to do with that type of “journalism”.

KD

March 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

The kid talking to Richt about life and talks to Saban(I’m sorry, listens)to Saban about where you will play for him. Once again as always, Saban telling the kid what he wants to here. When will they all learn. I wonder how many recruits can Bama sign next year under the new 25 rule by the NCAA.

bill_in_atl

March 3rd, 2010
10:43 am

Chip: I actually read the article you linked to by Andrew Bone and frankly you took GREAT liberty to exaggerate even what the Tide homer had to say.

This is what Bone said: “The Crimosn Tide is in the lead for a signature or listed as a favorite with many early in the recruiting process.”

This is what YOU said: “Andrew Bone reports that the Crimson Tide has offered 15 Peach Staters to this point and, according to him at least, leads for pretty much every one.”

Do you not see just a LITTLE discrepancy?

Again I ask, what is your agenda?

Exley DAWG

March 3rd, 2010
10:49 am

Richt is after character driven young men like this fellow. I have total respect and faith in our coach (not the M. Ambles of the world.) Keep it up coach!

Basic Math for TOO EASY

March 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

Too Easy: Yes, you’re missing something – basic math skills. 848yds divided by 81 catches = 10.47 yds per catch. That’s a first down every time he touches the ball.

stirring up trouble

March 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

Exley Dawg……

I appreciate CMR , however he has not been that good at judging many many signees the past three years..DUI, Fighting, Underage Drinking, Driving without a License…

I hope the QUALITY does pick up or many parents and grandparents may steer them elsewhere.

Gerald

March 3rd, 2010
11:10 am

HardTruth Soldier:

Well the hard truth is that a 4 or 5 star prospect has a much higher chance of getting to the NFL from Georgia Tech than from UGA. UGA signs a boatload of 4 and 5 star prospects every year, and most of them never get heard from again. Many of them don’t even turn out to be very good college players like Joe Hamilton or Josh Nesbit. Meanwhile, a lot of the 4 star recruits that Georgia Tech signs do end up in the NFL, and even some of the 3 star recruits do.

Would Darryl Richard have gotten drafted from UGA, especially considering all the time that he lost to injury? Would Jonathan Dwyer have become just another in the long line of UGA 4 star RB recruits to fail to develop, get bashed by UGA fans as “soft” and “overrated” and then vanish into obscurity? You can’t pretend that UGA gets anywhere near as much out of their tailback recruits as Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Arkansas does. Meanwhile, Dwyer will be the second starting Georgia Tech tailback in a row to get a favorable draft position, following Tashard Choice. And since we are talking about WR … name the list of UGA WRs that A) got drafted high and B) actually did anything once they got to the NFL. Georgia’s been allegedly trying to run a pro-style offense ever since Ray Goff, and that list still isn’t a whole lot longer than Hines Ward, Reggie Brown (whom Eagles fans consider to be a bust) and Mohammed Massoquai, whom UGA fans were bashing as a failed recruit until his senior year. Does anyone actually think that Demaryius Thomas, who was only a 3 star recruit by the way, would have developed into a 2nd or 3rd round pick at UGA? The guy would have been turned into a backup linebacker/special teams player.

Look, Georgia Tech signs maybe two 4 star athletes a year and of those will send 1 to the NFL. UGA signs EIGHT four star athletes a year and of those will send 2 to the NFL. I am sorry, but 1 out of 2 beats 2 out of 8. If this Conley kid has real ability, he is much more likely to showcase it at Tech in the ACC than on Mark Richt’s staff.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

March 3rd, 2010
11:21 am

Big Fat Mike – your name suits you … and your attitude stinks. Just guessing here but I would say you have an IQ of around 12?

Flo-Ri-Duh!

March 3rd, 2010
11:26 am

Gerald – when was the last time a 5 star player signed with Tech? The answer is NEVER.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

March 3rd, 2010
11:27 am

Gerald I take that back they got ONE 5 star player – Calvin Johnson.

Chip Towers

March 3rd, 2010
11:36 am

bill_in_atl: You’re right, it was an exaggeration meant to be sarcastic. No agenda. Just for you I’ll change it to “many.” Moving on . . .

Dawg 3/20

March 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

Take him. We are going to get receivers like Sammy Watkins and Andre Davis.

http://orlandosentinel.image2.trb.com/orlnews/media/photo/2009-01/44408843.jpg

AlabamaRamblinwreck

March 3rd, 2010
11:43 am

Chris: We would love to have you play at GT, but most of all, make sure you go where you think Christ is leading you to go. It sounds like you have your priorities in the right place. God Bless.

bill_in_atl

March 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

Fair enough Chip. The sarcasm was missed, but I don’t think I’m the only one who missed it. The reason I was so curious is that it seemed out of place for you. Now I know why. Thanks.

bitter vols fan

March 3rd, 2010
11:48 am

dont wont this hear goega boy, he can speak to well, forget him need more da” trick type

A Fan Favorite

March 3rd, 2010
11:49 am

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com UGA Classic tin lunchbox, your ham and cheese never had it so good.

dhowar@us.ibm.com

March 3rd, 2010
11:49 am

stirring up trouble..your a moron…where in the world of 18-22 year olds does some of this stuff NOT happen?? No where..

bruce mac

March 3rd, 2010
12:17 pm

Gerald, UGA has over 25 players in the NFL. Just last year UGA had three players taken in the first round. Sorry, your ramblings are not supported by the facts.

Mr_Dawg

March 3rd, 2010
12:31 pm

His position coach is Mikey Henderson. You do the math…

DP

March 3rd, 2010
12:49 pm

Chip, I had the same reaction that Bill did on your comment about Bone’s article. He quoted several recruits who indicated Alabama was their current top choice or among their top choices. He only listed the others that Alabama had offered from the state of Georgia with no suggestion as to whether the recruits were seriously considering Alabama or not.

Why the sarcasm?

P. Bull Terrier

March 3rd, 2010
12:52 pm

Gerald –

UGA: 43 players currently on NFL Rosters
Tech: 25 players currently on NFL Rosters

Running Backs on NFL Roster: UGA 5 – Tech 1

UGA: Thomas Brown, Verron Haynes, Kregg Lumpkin, Knowshon Moreno, Danny Ware
Tech: Tashard Choice

Wide Receivers on NFL Roster: UGA 3 – Tech 1

UGA: Reggie Brown, Mohamed Massaquoi, Hines Ward
Tech: Calvin Johnson

I don’t know how many of the players making the NFL from either team were 4 or 5 star recruits, but it looks like your ratios of players from each team making the NFL are fairly accurate. However, with only one highly drafted, highly successful skill position player in the league (Johnson), I don’t think you can accurately say a good player’s NFL chances are better with Tech than UGA.

The numbers say a player from UGA is nearly twice as likely to make it to the NFL as a player from Tech, and if they are a skill position player the ration is 5:1 in favor of UGA (UGA: 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs / Tech: 0 QBs, 1 RB, 1 WR).

If the guy is competitive, I don’t think the “big fish in a small pond” arguement will be convincing.

TXDawg

March 3rd, 2010
1:22 pm

P. Bull Terrier – don’t forget to add the TE’s in with that crop of players!!

JB

March 3rd, 2010
1:34 pm

Want to design a building or set up a mfg plant and learn to block, go to Tech. Want to play on National TV in front of 100,000 people and a chance to play on Sunday’s, go to Georgia