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. The likelihood that Georgia will sign another quarterback in its 2011 class decreased with Monday’s news that quarterback Logan Gray has decided to remain with the Bulldogs. Gray, a fourth-year junior, had been contemplating a transfer or full-time position change since redshirt freshman Aaron Murray was tabbed the No. 1 quarterback by the coaching staff after spring practice. On Monday, UGA sent out a news release stating Gray will remain at quarterback while also getting work at wide receiver. However, since Gray will be cross-training this summer, pressure remains on signee Hutson Mason to be ready to play when he reports to campus on May 31. Georgia has already secured a 2011 recruiting pledge from Christian LeMay, a rising senior at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., and the No. 2 quarterback in the nation according to Scout.com. The reality is, the Bulldogs probably have not determined yet if they’ll take another quarterback or not. It might depend on who remains interested.
2. The Bulldogs also have offers extended to two in-state quarterbacks — Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall and North Gwinnett’s C.J. Uzomah – and at least two other national recruits. Georgia is one of multiple schools to offer consensus No. 1 quarterback Braxton Miller of Huber Heights, Ohio. It also offered California’s Max Wittek, who has since committed to USC. Uzomah has said he’s still considering the Bulldogs. Marshall, also an elite basketball recruit, has declined comment.
3. Meanwhile, LeMay is not the only elite athlete coming out of Matthews, N.C., this year. In fact, at least two of his Butler High teammates are national prospects of their own right and both are drawing intense interest from Georgia Tech. Running back Deion Walker (5-11, 195) just landed an offer from the Yellow Jackets over the weekend, according to JacketsOnline.com. And athlete Kris Frost (6-3, 216), who already holds 11 offers — the latest coming from LSU — also has one from Tech. Both prospects are also hearing from Georgia as well. Frost is a versatile athlete who caught a lot of LeMay’s passes as a junior as a flex tight end and wide receiver but also can play linebacker, defensive end and safety. Butler safety Mark Bridges is also being recruited by the Jackets.
4. Speaking of North Carolina athletes, you can definitely see the influence of first-year recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum on Georgia Tech’s recruiting. Between him and new defensive coordinator Al Groh, the Yellow Jackets have distributed offers up and down Tobacco Road. McCollum, of course, came to Tech from N.C. State. Groh was head coach at Virginia. Among the North Carolina residents to land offers from the Yellow Jackets are LB Norkeithus Otis of Gastonia, QB Vad Lee of Durham, ATH Airyn Willis of High Point (committed), DE Joe Gore of Lake Waccamaw, DE Ben Councell of Asheville, LB Tremayne McNair of Jacksonville and Frost and Walker of Matthews.
5. Marcus Thornton, one of the last remaining major college basketball targets in the country, discussed via email with the AJC’s Michael Carvell yesterday his Sunday-Monday visit to UGA. Thornton got the star treatment while in Athens, getting meetings with President Michael Adams, Athletics Director Damon Evans and senior associate AD Carla Green-Williams. He also had dinner at coach Mark Fox’s house. The 6-foot-7 Westlake star, who was named “Mr. Georgia Basketball” by the AJC this past season, now has only Georgia Tech to visit before making his final decision on or before his graduation date of May 21. He has also visited Alabama and Texas. However, according to Carvell, Thornton is getting a late push from North Carolina. Stay tuned.
6. It’s only mid-May but it promises to be an eventful weekend in football recruiting. DE/OLB Sterling Bailey has planned an announcement for Friday evening at East Hall High School. That will be followed on Saturday with an announcement from Mitchell County WR Justin Scott-Wesley during the state track meet in Jefferson. I plan to be on hand for both events. Both players have offers from Georgia and Tech. . . . Meanwhile, Athens-Clarke Central quarterback Martay Mattox will decide on Monday between Maryland and South Carolina.
7. Miami coach Randy Shannon recently signed a four-year contract extenstion with the Hurricanes, which he believes will bolster recruiting. “I’m here, and it’s going to be for the long term,” Shannon said in an interview last week with The Associated Press. “For recruiting purposes, now people will see that instead of us telling them that.” The Hurricanes are recruiting several Georgia prospects, including Monroe Area’s Stephon Tuitt, a Miami native.
8. Gainesville linebacker A.J. Johnson became the latest Georgia all-star to accept an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and, therefore, become an Under Armour High School All-American. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound athlete also was nominated for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was honored last week as one of 23 nominees from Georgia. Johnson becomes the ninth Georgian to commit to the Under Armour event, joining Callaway RB Quan Bray, Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell, Griffin DE Xzavier Dickson, Valdosta ATH Malcolm Mitchell, Pope OL Thomas O’Reilly, Valdosta TE Jay Rome, Tucker LB James Vaughters and Carver-Columbus DT Gabriel Wright. Joining Johnson on the Under Armour roster this week was Greg Townsend Jr., a linebacker from Beverly Hills, Calif.
9. The Georgians that have accepted invitations to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl are Sterling Bailey, Thomasville County Central DT Ray Drew, Griffin DB Corey Moore, Grady ATH Damian Swann, Stephon Tuitt and Union Grove DB Avery Walls.
10. Several Georgians stood out in a recent Football University (FBU) camp held in Atlanta. Among the players to distinguish themselves during the instructional session were ATH Alexander Morgan of Villa Rica, DB Shayne Carpenter of Collins Hill, RB Zarold Wilder of McEachern, QB Carson Barnett of Landmark Christian, QB Taylor Heinicke of Collins Hill. From the Class of 2012, instructors were impressed with LB Dillon Lee of Buford, RB Michael Hilton of Sandy Creek, DL Joseph Rush of Tucker, OL Michael Clifton of Augusta Christian and DB Ryan Dillard of Buford. Peach County OL Dylan Leach was named Top Freshman of the camp.
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