Georgia, on a roll in recruiting here lately, finally lost one on Wednesday.
Charone Peake, the Bulldogs’ top wide receiver target in the Class of 2011 — pretty much everybody’s top target, for that matter — unexpectedly committed to Clemson during an unofficial visit to the school campus Tuesday morning. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound speedster had more than 50 offers but said he chose the Tigers over UGA.
“Yeah, he called me last night and told me he was going to go up to Clemson and commit,” Dave Gutshall, Peake’s coach at Dorman High School said. “It kind of caught me off guard because he’s got an offer from everybody in the country. Everybody in the SEC, everybody in the ACC, USC came through here twice, Notre Dame, Ohio State. The last time I talked to him he said he was going to narrow it to a top five. So I guess that went by the wayside.”
Peake explained that he had been leaning toward Clemson for a while and simply felt there was no reason to put off the decision any longer.
“I felt like it was the right decision for me so I felt like I didn’t need to wait anymore,” said Peake, reached by phone shortly after returning to his Spartanburg, S.C., home from Clemson Wednesday afternoon. “I made my decision, so I figured why wait?”
Peake is considered the No. 1 receiver in America, by ESPNU’s scouts, who give him a five-star rating and ranked him No. 12 overall. He’s ranked No. 5 and 6 in the nation at his position by Scout and Rivals, respectively. He caught 52 passes for 881 yards (16.9 average) and nine touchdowns as a junior at Dorman last season.
So Peake disappointed a lot of teams with his early decision. But he confirmed that it came down to Clemson and Georgia.
“Yeah, it was between them mainly,” he said. “I mean, I really felt good about [Georgia], too. I’ve just been involved with Clemson longer, since I was a freshman. I was a little bit more comfortable there.”
Asked what was his main attraction to the Tigers’ football program, he said: “Just how much of a family it is up there. I have a really good relationship with all the coaches.”
His main recruiter for Clemson was receivers coach Jeff Scott.
Peake admitted that the recruiting process had started to grate on him lately. So he doesn’t plan to keep entertaining the multitude of overtures he’s likely to continue to receive.
“I’m 100 percent with Clemson,” he said. “I’m pretty solid on it.”
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