THE TEN AT 10:
1. Georgia and Georgia Tech both made the cut to the final five for James Wilder Jr., according to JacketsOnline.com. The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets will be battling Alabama, Florida and Florida State for this elite athlete from Tampa, who has said he won’t make a decision until national signing day. All but Florida have offered Wilder as a running back, his stated position of preference in college. The Gators want him to play linebacker. The Orlando Sentinel lists him as the top defensive end in the state of Florida. The Yellow Jackets see him in the mold of Jonathan Dwyer and really like the idea of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wilder playing their B-back position. Wilder said he likes the way Tech “runs the ball like crazy.” Check the video below of one run he had at Tampa Plant last season.
2. Speaking of Florida, Jeff Driskell, the No 12 quarterback prospect in the nation per Scout.com, committed to the Gators on Monday. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound athlete from Oviedo, Fla, will be an early enrollee. You can read more about him on the Orlando Sentinel’s recruiting webpage. The local significance of this is it officially closes the door on the Gators’ pursuit of elite prospect Christian LeMay. The Matthews, N.C., quarterback grew up in Gainesville, Fla., where his father once served as football team chaplain for the Gators. So even though LeMay didn’t include Florida in his top five the Gators were always a threat. LeMay’s father this week told me his son really likes the Bulldogs, who appear to be the team to beat at this early juncture.
3. One of the best offensive linemen in the state of Georgia for the Class of 2011 is Xzavier Ward. The quick-footed, 6-foot-7, 260-pound tackle from Colquitt County was in Atlanta this past weekend to participate in Georgia Tech’s junior day. Kelly Quinlan of JacketsOnline.com reports that the Moultrie resident really liked the downtown setting of the Tech campus. Ward will next visit Clemson this Friday. He’s also Georgia target .
4. Tennessee’s continued interest in recruiting the Peach State was evident at its Orange and White spring game this past Saturday. Among the prospects from Georgia in attendance were Valdosta DB Malcolm Mitchell, Dade County OL Randy Holt, Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins, Athens-Clarke Central OL Alan Posey, Creekside DT Corey Redwine, McEachern LB Marquis Roberts and already-committed LB Christian Harris of Etowah. Many of the Vols’ 2010 signees from Georgia were also in attendance, including Calhoun’s Da’Rick Rogers and Nash Nance. Rogers reportedly stayed busy signing autographs. There’s a list of every recruit that was in attendance at GoVolsXtra.com.
5. Mitchell County wide receiver Justin Scott has now elevated Georgia to a clear No. 1, according to a report in the Albany Herald. “Right now, I would say UGA would be at the top, but I’m not going to rush into anything,” said Scott, a one-time commitment to Stanford. Scott is currently tearing up the track at Mitchell as a sprinter.
6. There was a nice big write-up on Gainesville’s Tai-ler Jones on the front of the sports section in the South Bend Tribune this week. The 2009 AJC Super 11 wide receiver and early Notre Dame enrollee has been a standout for the Fighting Irish this spring and may end up starting at slotback.
7. Dwayne Polee Jr., one of Georgia’s two remaining targets in basketball, took a surprise visit to St. John’s this past weekend, according to the Los Angeles Times. St. John’s is now coached by former UCLA coach and ESPN analyst Steve Lavin. Polee’s also considering UNLV and UTEP, which is coached by Tim Floyd, to whom Polee was once committed at USC. The 6-foot-7 wing and City Player of the Year in L.A. visited Georgia last fall.
8. Georgia coaches made had an in-home visit this past weekend with Westlake basketball star Marcus Thornton. According to a report at DawgPost.com, Thornton told the Bulldogs they were in his top three along with Kentucky and Memphis. However, in his last interview with the AJC’s Michael Carvell, the 6-foot-7 power forward said his finalists were Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. Thornton was a one-time Clemson signee but re-opened his recruitment after coach Oliver Purnell left for DePaul.
9. Gabe Wright, a highly-recruited defensive tackle from Carver-Columbus, has narrowed his list of 35 offers down to a Top 11: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Southern Cal and Tennessee. He told Scout.com’s Chad Simmons, “if there is a team to beat, it would be Auburn.”
10. THIS AND THAT: Millcreek FB Tyler Cierski (6-1, 240) committed to Maryland over the weekend. The Terrapins were Cierski’s only major offer but he was getting recruiting interest from Georgia, South Carolina and Stanford, according to TerrapinTimes.com. . . . In basketball recruiting news, Chad Lang, a 6-11 center at Marietta High, signed a letter-of-intent this past week with Belmont University. . . . LeMay recently accepted an invite to play in the Under Armour All-American game.
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