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 Nashville, transferred to UGA last year from Tennessee State where he averaged 16.6 points over two seasons. Teammates and coaches often said he proved in daily practices to be among the Bulldogs’ top three players right away. . . . In case you missed it, AJC columnist Mark Bradley weighed in last night on Georgia’s acquisition of Thornton.
2. While Georgia was wrapping up its work with Thornton on Wednesday, Georgia Tech was waving goodbye to Justin Knox after a two-day official visit. Knox is a 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward who has graduated from Alabama with a year of eligibility remaining. The Yellow Jackets are going to be in for a fight for Knox, too. He has been offered by North Carolina, which he visited right before coming to Atlanta. . . . And speaking of fighting, Knox has been battling Crimson Tide officials to not put restrictions on his transfer request. Don’t worry, Tech is OK on this one. But an internal University of Alabama panel — surprise — upheld a ruling preventing Knox from transferring to UAB or any SEC school without having to sit out one year. Word is he wanted originally wanted to play for Mike Davis and the Blazers. Knox averaged 6.6 points for the Crimson Tide last season.
3. Here’s one way to get around those pesky transfer rules: After having his transfer requests to South Carolina and Clemson denied by Ole Miss, Murphy Holloway has decided to pay his own tuition and sit out a year with a Gamecocks.
4. In case you missed it, the AJC’s Michael Carvell reports that Georgia Tech could end up missing out on one of its football signees for 2010. Jake Skole is absolutely tearing it up at the plate for Blessed Trinity High in the state baseball playoffs and dozens of pro scouts have been showing up to see it. Carvell writes that Skole, a defensive back and receiver in football, could go high in the June baseball draft.
5. Those of us from “around here” already knew it, but the Wall Street Journal recently wrote a story on the notion that New York Mets outfielder Jeff Franceour might have been an even better prospect in football. Franceour, despite a recent solo home run against the Atlanta Braves, has been in a wicked hitting slump. WSJ reporter Mike Sielski visited Parkview High School and visited with longtime coach Cecil Flowe, who was more than happy to reminisce about Franceour’s prowess on the gridiron, which led to football scholarship from Clemson.
6. Georgia’s football recruiting focus remains on the home state, but it still looks for elite talent outside those borders. The Bulldogs were among three schools to recently offer defensive end Deion Barnes of Philadelphia, Penn, according to Mike Farrell of Rivals.com. Eight of UGA’s nine commitments so far are from Georgia but they continue to work on big-time out-of-state targets, such as quarterback pledge Christian LeMay of Matthews, N.C.
7. Tech is also making some hay outside of the state. According to JacketsOnline.com, the Yellow Jackets lead for defensive back Dominique Noble of Mount Ulla, N.C. Noble (6-2, 187), who list his favorites (in order) as Tech, N.C. State, Penn State, West Virginia and Virginia, was being recruited for UVA by Al Groh before he came to Tech as defensive coordinator.
8. Melvin Robinson, who was director of basketball operations under Dennis Felton at Georgia, has applied for the head basketball coaching job at Athens’ Clarke Central High School. Billy Wade recently resigned as basketball coach after a couple of decades of service. UGA thought enough of Robinson to retain him as facilities operations manager after Felton and the rest of his staff were dismissed in 2009.
9. You knew this couldn’t be long in coming, right? The University of Minnesota has reported a “possible NCAA violation” in its recruitment of all-world offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, according to ESPN.com. A school spokesman said it’s believed to be “secondary” violation. The worst part for the Gophers? Henderson signed with USC.
10: THIS AND THAT: Hope you saw my report on Tucker’s James Vaughters cutting his extensive list of offers down to a final five. The 6-2, 235-pound linebacker favors Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Stanford. . . . Valdosta tight end Jay Rome has narrowed his choices to a top three (or four), according to PalmettoSports.com, which quotes Rome’s father. “It’s Clemson, Georgia, and Alabama . . . maybe Florida,” Stan Rome says. . . . Westlake DB Ronnie Harris just landed two new offers from Wake Forest and West Virginia.