Archive for March, 2010

OL Watts Dantzler having fun with recruiting process

Dantzler's Top 40: This is the bulletin board in Watts Dantzler's bedroom that serves as the nerve center of his recruitment. On it are the official team envelopes of 40 different schools. The black check marks signify an official offer. (Mobile photo by Watts Dantzler)

Dantzler's Top 40: This is the bulletin board in Watts Dantzler's bedroom. On it are the official team envelopes of schools from which he has received letters of interest. The black check marks signify an official offer. (Photo by Watts Dantzler)

It’s not long into an interview with Watts Dantzler before you realize you’re dealing with a different sort of college football prospect.

You’re thinking that after you hear how he’s sorting through his snowballing recruiting process. But then you’re sure of it when you get around to asking him if he’s involved in any spring sports such as track or baseball.

Dantzler

Dantzler

“I’m actually playing tennis right now,” said the 6-foot-7, 310-pound offensive lineman from Dalton. “I enjoy it and . . .”

It takes a second for that comment to resonate. So I interrupt him make sure I’ve heard him correctly.

“Tennis?” I ask, incredulous. “Like on the varsity tennis team?”

“Well, I’m on the JV right now,” Dantzler says. “I haven’t qualified for varsity …

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Four Georgians (so far) earn Under Armour All-America distinction

Four Georgians have already been named Under Armour All-Americans for 2011 and plan to participate in the annual high school all-star football game next January in Orlando.

The Georgia players tabbed so far are ATH Quan Bray of Hogansville (Callaway HS), RB Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus, TE Jay Rome of Valdosta and DT Gabriel Wright of Carver-Columbus. Three of the four designees are members of the AJC’s “Tentative Top 10.”

Under Armour has designated only 23 All-Americans so far. There were 87 on last year’s final roster, including 12 from Georgia.

Following is the whole list:

2011 Under Armour All-Americans

Name
Pos.
Ht., Wt.
School
College

Quan Bray
ATH
5-11, 180
Callaway (Ga.)
Undecided

Jadeveon Clowney
DE
6-5, 220
South Pointe (S.C.)
Undecided

La’El Collins
OT
6-5, 285
Redemptorist (La.)
LSU

Isaiah Crowell
RB
5-11, 200
Carver (Ga.)
Undecided

Trey DePriest
OLB
6-2, 220
Springfield South (Ohio)
Undecided

Jeff Driskel
QB
6-4, 224
Paul J. Hagerty …

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DB Damian Swann draws attention on diamond as well as gridiron

VIDEO AT BOTTOM . . .

Grady’s Damian Swann is a great high school football player and a big-time college prospect. Everybody knows that.

What a lot of folks don’t know is that he’s also hot-hitting, slick-fielding, base-stealing baseball player as well. And it’s a sport he’d like to play beyond high school.

“I’ve talked to a couple of schools about it and they’ve said they wouldn’t mind me playing baseball if that’s what I want to do,” said the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete. “I’m not really sure yet if I’m going to pursue it as a walkon in college. But I’m really considering it.”

Swann has even gotten some looks from professional baseball. But it’s his play on the gridiron as a defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner that has brought him national recruiting recognition.

“A couple of scouts got my number at a couple of showcases,” said Swann, who plays shortstop, center field, catcher and some pitching. “But, I mean, it hasn’t really been crazy like football has been. And …

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Ten at 10: Georgia on a lot of RBs other than Isaiah Crowell

THE TEN AT (way past) 10:

1. Isaiah Crowell is Georgia’s number one target at tailback but he’s not the only target. In fact, the Bulldogs are in on a few big-name backs across the South. One prospect in particular to keep an eye on is Mike Bellamy of Punta Gorda, Fla. Bellamy is a lightning-fast, 5-foot-10, 175-pound back who currently has “high interest” in Georgia and Florida. The Bulldogs also have offers to Hogansville’s Quan Bray, James Wilder Jr. of Tampa and Aaron Green of San Antonio, Texas, all four-star prospects and Top 25 national recruits. But Bellamy is the their best shot, by all accounts.

2. Speaking of Bray, he plays quarterback at Callaway High School, but everybody is recruiting the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete as a running back. Everybody, that is, except Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have offered him as a quarterback.

3. Speaking of Wilder, the son of the former NFL star by the same name is not just an elite running back. Bill Buchalter of the Orlando …

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Basketball prevents Nick Marshall from making UGA visit

Nick Marshall is not going to make it to Athens tonight.

The dynamic two-sport star from Wilcox County had to decline Georgia’s invitation to visit the UGA campus and attend the basketball game between the Bulldogs and Kentucky Wednesday night. That’s because he has some basketball business of his own to attend to in down in Rochelle.

“He’s not going to be able to make it,” said Mark Ledford, coach of the reigning Class A state football champions. “It’s not because he didn’t want to. We’re heading to the third round of the basketball playoffs [Friday] and he didn’t want to miss practice today. If he had gone to the basketball game up there he wouldn’t have gotten back until 1 o’clock in the morning and that just would’ve been too much. I talked to the Georgia coaches about it and they understood.”

Marshall, who stars at quarterback on the football team, also stars on the basketball team. As a shooting guard he’s averaging more than 28 points per game for the Patriots and has …

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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 …

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Ten at 10: Bama confident as it hits Peach State hard

THE TEN AT (a little past) 10:

1. It’s quite apparent that Alabama under coach Nick Saban has established Georgia as its primary recruiting territory outside state borders, which is pointed out in a story this morning at TideSports.com. Andrew Bone reports that the Crimson Tide has offered 15 Peach Staters to this point and, according to him, leads for many of them. Of course, the Georgia recruits Bone lists are pretty much a who’s who for best in the state for 2011. The Tide already has a commitment from Cook LB Shannon Brown. The other prospects are: RB Isaiah Crowell and DL Gabe Wright of Carver-Columbus; DE Xzavier Dickson of Griffin; CB Damian Swann of Grady; TE Jay Rome and DB Malcom Mitchell of Valdosta; DL Ray Drew of Thomas County Central; QB C.J. Uzomah of North Gwinnett; LB A.J. Johnson of Gainesville; DE Sterling Bailey of East Hall; RB Quan Bray of Hogansville; and WR Christian Conley of North Paulding.

2. Of course, the Tide is going to go head-to-head with …

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No slowing down for Tech’s new recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum

It’s after 10 on a weekday night and Andy McCollum is just leaving Georgia Tech to make the 15-minute drive to the small apartment he’s renting north of downtown. His day began before the sun came up and tomorrow will begin and end the same way. Nobody will be waiting for him at home.

McCollum

McCollum

This is the part of coaching transitions most of us forget about. In the real working world there is usually a little grace period if not a full-blown orientation to help one get acclimated to his new surroundings and learn his new duties. Not in modern-day college football.

You show up and you’re handed a list of names and phone numbers and told, “call these kids and see about getting them in here for a visit.”

Meanwhile, families remain where you left them. McCollum’s been on the job almost a month now and his wife and children are still living in Raleigh.

“I was in a hotel for the first week or so,” said McCollum, who was hired away from N.C. State on Feb. 9. “Now I’m getting back to …

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Elite QB Christian LeMay finding common ground at Georgia

Christian LeMay put up some mind-boggling stats at Butler High last year, including 44 TD passes with only two interceptions. (Special photo provided by Stacy LeMay)

Christian LeMay put up some mind-boggling stats at Butler High last year, including 3,296 yards passing with 44 TDs and only two interceptions. (Special photo provided by Stacy LeMay)

It’s a long way until national signing day and the competition for quarterback Christian LeMay is going to be fierce. But the early returns are favorable for Georgia in its pursuit of this elite quarterback, who may be ranked No. 1 at his position before it’s all said and done.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound LeMay threw for 3,296 yards with 44 touchdowns and just two interceptions in leading Butler High toan undefeated record and  the North Carolina 4A state championship last season. He projects as one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation for the Class of 2011. Scout.com currently rates him No. 2.

LeMay was at UGA this past Saturday to visit the Bulldogs for their second junior day of the winter. It was the fourth trip to Athens for the Matthews, N.C., resident since first attending an Elite …

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Vols’ Derek Dooley offers lineman Posey from his alma mater

ADDED HIGHLIGHT VIDEO AT BOTTOM . . .

There’s a recruiting battle brewing for an offensive tackle who plays ball about a mile from UGA’s Vince Dooley Athletics Complex in Athens. But the Bulldogs aren’t involved in it.

At least not so far.

Alan Posey, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior at Clarke Central High School, received an official scholarship offer from Tennessee this past weekend after traveling to Knoxville for the Volunteers’ junior day. That was offer No. 6 for Posey, who also has been tendered invitations to play football at Georgia Tech, Clemson, South Carolina, Maryland, Illinois and Cincinnati.

Getting the offer from UT was particularly pleasing for Posey since the Vols’ head coach (Derek Dooley) and the assistant coach recruiting him (Chuck Smith) are both Clarke Central alums.

“I had never met any of the coaches before, but I had read about those two,” Posey said Sunday. “Being from the same high school, I knew about Coach Smith and Coach Dooley. Their pictures are …

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