Archive for May, 2010

Tech, Georgia on verge of landing commitments

In the past years we would be entering relative wilderness on the recruiting calendar. There was a time when most college coaches would slip off about now and find a nice quiet place, preferably near some water.

And while a few will get a brief respite this Memorial Day weekend, there is still a lot going on and a lot about to happen.

Auburn is hosting its annual “Big Cat Weekend” this weekend and a lot of the state of Georgia’s biggest prospects will be in attendance. Kentucky has a one-day camp on Saturday. Georgia Tech coaches were still on the road Friday and Saturday, the last two days of the NCAA’s evaluation period. The Bulldogs have wrapped up their road work but will host a 7-on-7 camp later this next week. The Yellow Jackets’ first summer camp is the next week.

What’s all that mean? It means that you can expect at least a few more commitments in the next few weeks.

The Dogs and Jackets have been working the road very hard the last several weeks. Now they are entering …

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Ten at 10: DE Ray Drew ‘not close’ to committing anywhere

THE TEN AT 10:

NOTE: Following is an “aggregation blog.” It’s a roundup of news and information from a variety of sources that is believed to be of interest to AJC readers. Material from sources other than the AJC is attributed.

Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew is largely unconcerned with recruiting right now. (Photo provided by Ray Drew)

Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew is largely unconcerned with recruiting right now. (Photo provided by Ray Drew)

1. Ray Drew had a pretty good laugh when informed of the latest rumor circulating through recruiting circles over the weekend. No, he said, he’s not committed to Georgia, silently or otherwise. In fact, he said he’s not close to committing to anybody anywhere anytime soon. “I’m going to be a late commit,” said the big defensive end from Thomas County Central. “It may be signing day or even after for me.” As for being secretly betrothed to the Bulldogs, Drew said, “That’s not the first time. I’ve been committed to Georgia. Earlier I had committed to Florida State. They’ve had me committed to Alabama.” Drew said he has too much else going on …

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UGA signee Hutson Mason crams for crash course in QB 101

UGA quarterback signee Hutson Mason celebrated his recent graduation from Lassiter with another cram session with the Bulldogs' playbook. (AJC photo by Jason Getz).

UGA quarterback signee Hutson Mason celebrated his recent graduation from Lassiter with another cram session with the Bulldogs' playbook. (AJC photo by Jason Getz).

Hutson Mason had a great weekend.

On Saturday, he graduated from Lassiter High School. On Sunday, he and a buddy were the honored guests at a pool party. On Sunday night, he studied his UGA playbook.

Well, there was nothing special about that last one.

The Georgia quarterback signee has been studying the Bulldogs’ playbook five days a week since national signing day. And he plans a continuous cram session until he reports to the UGA campus a week from today.

“Just like anything else, I’ve found the more I put my nose in it, the more I take time to study it, the more sense it makes to me,” said Mason, speaking from his Marietta home Sunday night. “A lot of people are asking me, ‘can you learn the playbook?’ I think I’m going to have a pretty good grasp going in about what’s going on. I’m very pleased with my …

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Is LB James Vaughters really the top prospect in Atlanta?

I’ve written a couple of things this week about Tucker linebacker James Vaughters, who pared down to five on Wednesday a list of college scholarship choices that started at 35.

I’ve often referred to Vaughters as “the top prospect in Atlanta” and I wouldn’t have written that if I didn’t believe it. His combination of athletic and academic prowess make him tough to beat for that distinction.

But, lest we forget, such things are highly subjective and that’s just my opinion. And there are tons of excellent college football recruitings coming out of Atlanta in the Class of 2011. I can think of five off the top of my head that could be considered “the best in Atlanta.”

Who is the top college football prospect in Metro Atlanta?

  • Tucker LB James Vaughters
  • N. Paulding WR Chris Conley
  • Griffin DE Xzavier Dickson
  • Gainesville LB A.J. Johnson
  • N. Gwinnett QB C.J. Uzomah
  • Grady CB Damian Swann
  • Other

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  • WR Christian Conley, North …

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Ten at 10: Georgia’s best hoops addition had no signing ceremony

THE TEN AT 10:

NOTE: Following is an “aggregation blog.” It’s a roundup of news and information from a variety of sources that is believed to be of interest to AJC readers. Material from sources other than the AJC is attributed.

1. By securing on Wednesday the signing of “Mr. Georgia Basketball,” Marcus Thornton,  Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox locked down a pretty good incoming class for his first full year of recruiting. In addition to the 6-foot-8 forward (that’s the height at which the Bulldogs now list him), they signed 6-8 forward Cady Lalanne of Orlando; 6-9 forward Donte Williams of Atlanta; and 6-2 guard Sharrard Brantley of Dublin (via Northwest Florida College). But the biggest addition for Fox’s 2010-11 squad has been on campus for the past year. While Georgia’s rivals might say they didn’t land any four- or five-star talent, the Bulldogs could counter that their most impactful addition didn’t have a signing ceremony. Gerald Robinson Jr., a 6-1 guard from …

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Tech, UGA make James Vaughters’ cut to final five

Tucker’s James Vaughters has narrowed his list of college choices — which peaked at 35 — down to a final five.

Vaughters

Vaughters

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker told me during a visit to his Stone Mountain home Wednesday afternoon that it’s down to (alphabetically) Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Stanford. That means Florida, North Carolina and Southern Cal, who made Vaughters’ last cut down to eight, are now eliminated from contention for the top college football prospect in Atlanta.

Vaughters called coaches from the three cut schools Wednesday night. He will now focus all his energy and attention on his five finalists and hopes to have a decision “by the end of summer, if not sooner.”

“All of them have what I’m looking for in terms of football and academics,” said Vaughters, a 4.0 student.

With which finalist do you expect Tucker LB James Vaughters to eventually sign?

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Georgia Tech
  • Ohio State
  • Stanford

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Marcus Thornton, aka ‘Mr. Georgia Basketball,’ picks UGA (updated)

Marcus Thornton plans to study business -- and basketball of course -- at the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Marcus Thornton plans to study business — and basketball, of course — at the University of Georgia. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Marcus Thornton is a Bulldog.

Thornton, aka Mr. Georgia Basketball, picked the University of Georgia out of a final four that included Alabama, Georgia Tech and Texas. He made the announcement at a news conference before a modest gathering in the Westlake High gymnasium.

“They were all great schools, great situations, the coaching staffs were all great. It was hard for me to pick one over another,” Thornton told the AJC afterward. “But, in the end, I liked the opportunity I could have at Georgia. I wanted to be a big piece of something. I felt in my heart that’s what I really wanted to do.”

Thornton (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) said he will be a “combo forward” for the Bulldogs, playing mostly small forward in the Bulldogs’ triangle offer but also spelling Trey Thompkins at power forward. Thornton earned the distinction as the state’s top player …

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Ten at 10: ACC rule complicates Tech’s pursuit of Marcus Thornton

THE TEN AT 10:

NOTE: Following is an “aggregation blog.” It’s a roundup of news and information from a variety of sources that is believed to be of interest to AJC readers. Material from sources other than the AJC is attributed.

Westlake's Marcus Thornton loved his visit to The Flats last Thursday. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Westlake's Marcus Thornton loved his visit to The Flats last Thursday. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

1. Marcus Thornton told the AJC he was extremely impressed with Georgia Tech after his visit this past week. But the Westlake basketball star might have to be willing to sit out a year if he wants to go there. Shane Lyons, associate commissioner for compliance for the Atlantic Coast Conference, confirmed to the AJC Monday afternoon that the league’s stringent intraconference transfer policy would apply in a case such as Thornton’s. That is, he would have to sit out his first season and have only three years of eligibility remaining if he opted to sign with Tech or another ACC school. That’s “even if you are released from the letter-of intent,” as …

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Justin Scott-Wesley wins state in 100, 200, chooses Bulldogs

Mitchell County's Justin Scott-Wesley dons a red Georgia cap -- denoting his choice of the Bulldogs in football -- after winning the Class AA championship in the 200-meter dash. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Mitchell County's Justin Scott-Wesley dons a red Georgia cap — denoting his choice of the Bulldogs in football — after winning the Class AA championship in the 200-meter dash. (Photo by Chip Towers)

JEFFERSON – The fastest football player in Georgia is going to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Mitchell County’s Justin Scott-Wesley made that declaration from the victory stand after defending his Class AA 200-meter championship here at the state track meet. He did it by donning a UGA cap and holding up a black Georgia sweatshirt as his win was announced to the Jefferson Stadium crowd. His winning time was 21.575.

Scott-Wesley also won the 100-meter dash earlier in the day in a state-record time of 10.35 seconds.

Scott-Wesley was asked what he was happier about Saturday, his state track titles or locking up a football scholarship to UGA.

“I’ve got to say both,” he said. “Last year was my first year running track . . . so I’m pretty proud of both. Anything I get involved in, I’m …

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OLB Sterling Bailey becomes 8th UGA commitment (updated)

Sterling Bailey is flanked by (L) Pastor Veola Thomas of the Church of Life Deliverance Tabernacle and (R) his parents Laura and Kevin Bailey. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Sterling Bailey is flanked by (L) Pastor Veola Thomas of the Church of Life Deliverance Tabernacle and (R) his parents Laura and Kevin Bailey. (Photo by Chip Towers)

GAINESVILLE – Georgia landed its eighth commitment of the 2011 recruiting class on Friday. And he’s a good one.

Sterling Bailey, a 6 foot-5, 268-pound defensive end/outside linebacker from East Hall High School, chose the Bulldogs from an offer list of 25 colleges. Bailey said his finalists were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee.

As seems to be a recurring theme in Georgia’s 2011 class, Bailey said family and Christianity played a big part in his decision.

“The reason I chose Georgia is I like being close to my home and family,” he said. “It’s far enough away to be on my own but close enough to come home and see my family. And I also like it because Coach [Mark] Richt, when I talk to him it’s not all about football. He talks to me about spiritual things in life. I like that he’s …

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