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. Former Carver-Columbus star Jarvis Jones has come home. Where he’ll continue his football career is now the big question. The 2008 AJC Super 11 linebacker has secured a scholarship release from Southern Cal and intends to transfer, Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee confirmed Thursdsay morning. Where that will be and when is unclear at this point. . . . Jones was having a banner freshman season for the Trojans before neck injury against Oregon in the eighth game sidelined him for the rest of the year. There apparently is some debate about whether Jones should continue his career. Speaking to reporters in late March, new USC coach Lane Kiffin said of Jones: “I’m not very positive about the possibilities of him playing here. I don’t know how to describe it from a medical perspective. There’s a serious concern that hits or a number of hits could lead to permanent damage.” But McGee made it clear that Jones does indeed intend to continue playing football. “I can’t really talk about anything until everything’s official,” McGee said Thursday morning. “He’s still got to get paperwork to his schools of interest.” And what are those schools of interest? “I can’t say that right now,” McGee said. Jones will have three years of eligibility remaining.
2. To refresh your memory, Jones (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) was a very highly-regarded prospect who starred for Carver and helped it win a state championship in 2007. A two-time Class AAA defensive player of the year — he had 157 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior — he chose the Trojans over Georgia, Florida, LSU and Texas in a long and intense recruitment. In fact, Georgia coach Mark Richt spent six hours with Jones a week before national signing day in 2009. McGee would not say if those four finalists now move to the forefront for Jones. But whoever gets him, there is a possibility Jones could be immediately eligible, McGee said. Asked if Jones would be sitting out a year, as NCAA rules stipulate in a standard Division 1 transfer, McGee said: “Not necessarily. He could possibly play this year. We don’t know what the stipulations will be.” . . . Jones, by the way, is at least the second former Carver-Columbus player off the 2007 state championship team to change colleges. Former Carver quarterback DeRon DeFurr – who was Class offensive player of the year in 2007 — left Auburn, where he had been moved to safety, for Memphis, where he is now a 6-3, 225-pound linebacker.
3. UGA-bound quarterback Christian LeMay of Matthews, N.C., is gearing up for a very busy summer. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound athlete will attend the Bulldogs’ first major camp on June 12 in Athens (along with younger brother, WR Uriah LeMay), compete in the Nike 7-on-7 national championships in Oregon, then head out to West again in late July to participate in the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Mission Viejo, Calif. LeMay’s team, the defending Class 4A champion Butler Bulldogs, were recently ranked the No. 2 team in the country for the 2010 season.
4. Speaking of LeMay, one of his buddies, WR Charone Peake (6-4 194) of Dorman High in Spartanburg, S.C., is expected to cut down his extensive list of offers to five by the end of next week. “That’s what I’m guessing,” coach Dave Gutshall told PalmettoSports.com. “His top three in no order are Clemson, Georgia and Florida. I think those are the three that are the top runners. And I think he’ll consider a couple away from here like Notre Dame and Southern Cal. They have recruited him hard.” Peake is one of the Bulldogs’ — and LeMay’s — main targets for 2011.
5. Another primary target for the Bulldogs is OT Xzavier Ward (6-7, 260) of Colquitt County. He dropped in on the Bulldogs Tuesday and spent a lot of time with offensive line coach Stacy Searels (Richt was in Destin for the SEC spring meetings). “He said they have a need for left tackle and that I could fill that need,” Ward said of Searels. “I like it up there.” Ward said he’s not in a hurry to make a decision. He hopes to whittle down his dozen-plus offers to five by the beginning of the football season, take official visits, then make a move sometime after that. In addition to the Bulldogs, he said he likes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Tennessee.
6. Tackles are a big priority for Georgia in 2011. The Bulldogs have also offered Dalton’s Watts Dantzler; Brandon Shell of Goose Creek, S.C.; Antonio Richardson of Nashville, Tenn.; and, earlier this week, Zach DeBell of Tarpon Springs, Fla. A couple of leftovers from the story I did on DeBell, who received an offer from UGA this week. One, he said he plans to make a decision sometime before the end of the senior season. Two, he would like for recruiters to be aware of his teammate, running back Darius Daniels. “I’m telling people, he’s a fantastic player. He runs 4.3 40, has great moves, is strong.” He’s also small (5-8, 160). But he ran for 1,050 yards and 11 TDs behind the DeBell-led line.
7. Brandon Reed, 6-3, 180-pound point guard seeking to transfer from Arkansas State, visited Georgia Tech overnight Tuesday, according to GoJackets.com. The Atlanta native (Whitefield Academy) visited Clemson on Wednesday and is scheduled to take a trip to Tennessee over the weekend. Word is Reed plans to make a decision between those three by Tuesday. Reed lit it up at as freshman at Arkansas State, averaging 15.1 ppg. It’s no wonder coach John Brady doesn’t want to release him from his scholarship. However, Reed said he’s prepared to sit out a year if he needs to. So it may be a moot point.
8. You probably saw where Georgia defensive end signee Jalen Fields of Dalton did not meet NCAA freshman eligibility requirements. Well, Marty Kirkland of the Dalton Citizen wrote a nice piece on Fields that illustrates the anguish these kids feel as they try to meet expectations. Said Fields to Kirkland: “As a person, it hurt me because I was the first to commit and I’ll be the last one to be there. I know a whole bunch of other kids across the country are going to junior colleges and going the same route as I did, but I felt kind of embarrassed about myself and ashamed. But I know I’ll get an education and still have an opportunity.” Fields plans to attend Georgia Military College.
9. One question regarding Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class is if the Bulldogs will sign a kicker. A prospect to keep an eye on Matt Ehasz of Camden County High. The 5-11 155-pound rising senior reportedly was very impressive at a recent UGA kicking camp. He’s scheduled camp at South Carolina on June 12 and is expected to make a decision soon after that. He currently does not have any firm offers but also is considering North Carolina and Wake Forest. So whomever offers first could be the winner in this battle.
10. THIS & THAT: Georgia Tech offered DE Roderick Byers (6-3, 262) of Rock Hill, S.C., during the recently-completed evaluation period, according to PalmettoSports.com. He’s also holding offers from Maryland, South Carolina, Texas Tech and Wake Forest. . . . Ohio’s Braxton Miller, one of the top-ranked quarterback prospects in the country and one who holds an offer from UGA, will announce his college choice at a noon press conference today. M0st expect it will be Ohio State. . . .
The Ogletree twins — Alec and Zander — got a lot of credit for Newnan’s good fortunes the last couple of seasons. But anyone who saw the Cougars play knew that linebacker Adam Strakose was another big reason Newnan had such a ferocious defense. After recently graduating with honors, Strakose this week accepted a scholarship offer from West Georgia College. . . . Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew got offer number 26 from University of Miami. Drew is now the top prospect in Georgia per new the Rivals.com and ESPNU 150 rankings. . . . New Under Armour All-America additions this week are Ryan Kelly, an offensive lineman from West Chester, Ohio; and Denzel Williams, an defensive back from Arlington, Texas. . . .
Georgia may have another resident participating on “The Ride” after all. Landmark Christian’s Carson Barnett turned down the opportunity to be on the televised reality series/quarterback competition. But Collins Hill’s Taylor Heinicke, who went toe-to-toe with Barnett at the Atlanta FBU camp back in April, may end up filling the spot. He’s being considered, according to FBU’s Erik Richards. Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason competed on the show for under-the-radar quarterback prospects last year. He’s now on scholarship at UGA.