Archive for April, 2010

QB Christian LeMay selects Georgia Bulldogs (updated)

Pineville, N.C. – With Ray Charles‘ famous ballad “Georgia” playing in the background, Christian LeMay announced that he intends to become a Bulldog.

Christian LeMay at Friday night's announcement. (ajc.com photo by Chip Towers)

Christian LeMay at Friday night's announcement. (ajc.com photo by Chip Towers)

The Matthews, N.C., quarterback chose the Georgia Bulldogs over a final three that included Clemson and Texas A&M. Notre Dame and Auburn were among the final five of about 35 major-college offers.

“Every time I went there I just felt good about it,” said Butler, who visited UGA at least five times since last summer. “It was also the fact that every time I went there and left I couldn’t get it off my mind. I was constantly thinking about it and how I fit there, how Coach Richt is. Me and him share the same personal beliefs. But also competing at the top level and trying to be successful in our Christian walk as well as on the football field.”

LeMay pointed out to the standing-room-only crowd that he was wearing an orange shirt andasked how many Clemson …

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Christian LeMay’s church buzzing with excitement

Pineville, N.C. — I’m now here at the Champion Christian Center in Pineville, N.C., where quarterback Christian LeMay is to make his college announcement at 6:30 p.m.

Christian just arrived with his parents, The Rev. Stacy and DeNae LeMay, and his not so little brother Uriah (a rising sophomore and future prospect as a wide recevier). Mr. LeMay, who used to be the team chaplain at Florida, showed up in a Gators’ shirt. But he’s changing before the show.

I beat them here by about an hour or so. A notoriously paranoid traveler, I left early in case I got lost or got caught in the almost-as-bad-as-Atlanta traffic of metro Charlotte. There were no snafus, so I came into the store-front church with friends and family here to set up for the big announcement.

I’m not going to give away any secrets here but based on the signing table set up outside the sanctuary, LeMay’s final three is in fact Georgia, Clemson and Texas A&M. A family member confirmed that observation. So a half-hour …

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Christian LeMay to choose between UGA, four others

Quarterback Christian LeMay will choose the college in which he plans to enroll this evening at 6:30 p.m. at his father's church. (Special photo)

Quarterback Christian LeMay will choose the college in which he plans to enroll this evening at 6:30 p.m. at his father's church. (Special photo)

As you read this I am on my way up I-85 to Pineville, N.C., to attend the news conference of Christian LeMay.

LeMay is an elite quarterback prospect from Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., a suburb of Charlotte. Pineville is where Champion Christian Church is located. LeMay’s father, Dr. Stacy LeMay, is pastor of that church and that’s where LeMay — whose middle name is Champion — will announce his college choice this evening at 6:30 p.m. (It will not be televised live by ESPNU as previously reported so be sure to check back here to get the news as it happens).

And make no mistake about it: The school that LeMay designates as his “leader school” tonight is the one that he intends to enroll in and attend on a football scholarship next January.

LeMay has caught some flak and been the subject of some cynacism because of his refusal …

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New NCAA legislation stops en masse recruiting tactics

Well, that didn’t last long.

The NCAA on Thursday passed legislation to curtail the dog-and-pony show that has become the spring evaluation period. So Auburn must park its Hummer limousine and Georgia coaches will have to go back to evaluating prospects one or two at a time.

The NCAA Division I board of directors approved an amendment to Bylaw 13.5.1 that limits to two the number of assistant coaches that can “evaluate” a prospective student-athlete at any one time, Christopher Radford of the NCAA told the AJC. It also effectively grounds the use of extravagant means — such as shuttling coaches around in limos or helicopters — used to draw attention to coaches’ presence at a school.

Following is the NCAA’s explanation of the new legislation:

Although during an evaluation period no in-person, off-campus recruiting contact may occur with a prospective student-athlete, it has become commonplace for institutions to send numerous coaches to a prospective student-athlete’s …

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Ten at 10: Marcus Thornton to check out Alabama, Texas

THE TEN AT 10:

1. The first stop on the “Marcus Thornton Whirlwind Recruiting Tour” will be in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama today. The Atlanta-Westlake star and reigning Mr. Georgia Basketball will visit with coach Anthony Grant before heading to Austin, Texas, this weekend to get a close-up look at the Texas Longhorns, according to TideSports.com. Citing Westlake coach Darron Rogers, the reports says Thornton also plans trips to Kentucky and Michigan but is still debating whether to visit Georgia and/or Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-7 power forward is also still considering Clemson. Thornton signed with the Tigers last fall but was released from his letter-of-intent after coach Oliver Purnell left for DePaul this year.

2. Speaking of LOIs,  there’s a really interesting story in The Sporting News about how the national letter-of-intent, or LOI, is starting to get some resistance from top basketball recruits. Elite players are starting to see it for what it is, a binding …

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UGA’s more aggressive recruiting reflects changing times

I want you! Georgia coach Mark Richt is taking a much more aggressive approach to in-state recruiting this year. (AP photo)

I want you! Georgia coach Mark Richt is taking a much more aggressive approach to in-state recruiting this year. (AP photo)

Talk about changing times in recruiting.

Georgia, traditionally one of the more conservative programs around when it comes to football recruiting, actually sent out a press release early Wednesday evening to call attention to its in-state recruiting efforts this week. This is unusual on several levels — I guarantee you UGA’s compliance office ran over that release with a fine-tooth comb — but chiefly because you usually can’t get a peep out of the Bulldogs regarding their recruiting.

Yet there it was in my e-mail’s inbox at 5:43 p.m. Wednesday. Subject line: “Georgia Football Coaches Busy Recruiting The State.”

In the release, head coach Mark Richt outlines the Bulldogs’ plans to canvass the state during the next few weeks. “By the end of next week, our assistant coaches will have been to more than 350 schools in the state of Georgia,” Richt said. …

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Brookwood’s Andre Sims accepts scholarship offer from Michigan State

Andre Sims, had 57 catches for 915 yards and 9 TDs as a junior at Brookwood last season, has committed to Michigan State. (Special photo)

Andre Sims, had 57 catches for 915 yards and 9 TDs as a junior at Brookwood last season, has committed to Michigan State. (Special photo)

Andre Sims Jr. could have waited out the recruiting process. He could have attended a bunch of camps this summer and eked out a half-dozen or so offers before preseason practices began.

But the Brookwood athlete chose to bypass all that worry and angst and accept the one major scholarship he had. Sims committed to Michigan State this past week.

“Me and my parents got together and talked about all the variables and we just think Michigan State is the school for me,” said Sims, who attended a Spartans’ game last fall and made an unofficial visit to the East Lansing campus two weeks ago. “I was going to go to some camps. Virginia Tech and LSU invited to theirs this summer. I actually already paid for the one at LSU. They wanted me to come to their camps before they offered. But I really liked Michigan State and I didn’t think there was any …

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Pope’s Thomas O’Reilly gets Under Armour All-American call

Pope offensive lineman Thomas O’Reilly received an invitation this week to become an Under Armour All-American.

If he accepts it he will play in the the Under Armour All-American high school all-star game next January in St. Petersburg, Fla.

But O’Reilly hasn’t accepted the invitation just yet because he said he is also a nominee for U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas, around the same time.

So what’s he plan to do?

“I think I’m definitely leaning toward the Under Armour for a few reasons,” O’Reilly told me. “One of the big ones is two other linemen that are committed to Auburn right now are playing in it.”

That would be center Reese Dismukes of Spanish Fort, Ala., and guard Spencer Region of Cullman, Ala. Along with O’Reilly the three linemen form the nucleus of yet another impressive class for Auburn. Coach Gene Chizik’s Tigers put together a top five class last year.

O’Reilly, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound guard, chose Auburn over Georgia Tech, Florida State and …

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Ten at 10: As Gray mulls future, UGA recruits multiple QBs

THE TEN AT 10:

If Logan Gray chooses to leave Georgia, the Bulldogs second-string quarterback is in high school. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

If Logan Gray chooses to leave Georgia, the Bulldogs second-string quarterback is in high school. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

1. Nobody can be sure at this point what quarterback Logan Gray will decide about his future at the University of Georgia, but the Bulldogs have never take for granted his presence under center. The rising junior, buried on the depth chart since arriving at UGA from Columbia, Mo., met with coach Mark Richt Monday morning reportedly to discuss the possibility of transferring. If he chooses to leave, that would leave the Bulldogs dangerously thin at the most important position in football. And even if he stays, Georgia desperately needs to shore up the position thanks to Zach Mettenberger’s dismissal. That’s why the Bulldogs have been so busy recruiting quarterbacks since last fall.

2. Don’t be surprised if Georgia ends up signing more than one quarterback this year. It already had offered five quarterbacks for the Class of 2011 …

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Recruiting rankings don’t necessarily predict NFL riches

College football prospects are rated on a scale of one to five stars (5 representing the best, 1 the worst) coming out of high school. So how does that quantification translate to the just completed 2010 NFL draft?

As one might expect, the vast majority of the players selected in the first round of this past week’s draft came out of high school with a lot of stars next to their names. But not all of them.

In fact, one of the notable exceptions was the Atlanta Falcons’ draft pick. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who the Falcons selected with the 19th pick, was considered a two-star recruit by both the Rivals and Scout recruiting services when he signed with Missouri out of Jasper High in Texas.

Weatherspoon, Idaho offensive lineman Mike Iupati, Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty and TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes made up a suprisingly large group of consensus two-star college prospects taken in the first round. And Fresno State running back Ryan …

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