THE TEN AT 10:
NOTE: The Ten at 10 appears on the AJC College Recruiting Blog every Tuesday and Thursday. It is an “aggregation blog,” 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. You have to be impressed with the linebacker talent that has been parading through The Flats of late. Last week, St. Augustine’s Tony Steward — the No. 1-rated outside linebacker in the nation per Rivals.com – came to Georgia Tech for a brief visit. That was followed this Wednesday by a visit from Curtis Grant of Richmond, Va., — the No. 1-rated inside linebacker in the country, according to Rivals. Both prospects came away from their tours very impressed with the Yellow Jackets and say the locals are seriously in the mix for their services. “It was a really nice visit and I feel like Georgia Tech is one of the schools that is going to be in the mix for me,” Grant told JacketsOnline.com. Grant happens to be the cousin of recent Tech commitment Darren Waller, who accompanied him on the visit. “I met with Coach [Al] Groh for around an hour and he showed me where I fit into the defense at inside linebacker,” Grant said. “I liked what he had to say and I was really interested in how he plans to use me in different spots on certain downs. I really like what Tech has to offer.” Grant planned to visit Alabama and Georgia before returning to Richmond this weekend.
2. Based on its commitments so far, Tech’s 2011 class would appear to be par with its recruiting of previous years. So far all the Jackets’ commitments are all three-star-rated recruits or less. But all that could change very quickly if the Jackets land some of the targets they’re in on. In addition to five-stars Steward and Grant, Tech already knows it will get a visit this summer from 5-star running back James Wilder Jr. of Tampa. Five-star cornerback Doran Grant of Akron, Ohio, list the Yellow jackets among his favorite. They also lead for four-star DE Stephon Tuitt of Monroe and are in on several other highly-touted prospects. Before it’s over this could be a very non-traditional class for the defending ACC champs.
3. Speaking of Wilder, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound mega-athlete is now up to more than 90 scholarship offers, according to an update this week in the Orlando Sentinel. That may or may not be some kind of record. But both Tech and Georgia are on his list of nine finalists, along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Southern Cal and Tennessee. Most recently, Wilder attended an FSU camp this past weekend. That came a week after checking out Florida, which reportedly leads the pack.
4. With Hunter Long’s commitment this week — No. 13 for Georgia’s Class of 2011 – the Bulldogs are more than likely done recruiting interior offensive linemen. Georgia now has pledges from three offensive linemen and two of those (Long and Wesleyan C David Andrews) will play inside. Dalton’s Watts Dantzler (6-7, 330), who committed on Sunday, is the only tackle so far. But the Bulldogs will likely look to sign two more outside guys. They currently have offers out to Zach DeBell of Tarpon Springs, Fla.; Antonio Richardson of Nashville, Tenn.; Brandon Shell of Goose Creek, S.C. and Xzavier Ward of Colquitt County.
5. More than a few times I’ve written about Avery Walls, the Union Grove defensive back with more than 30 offers. But I have yet to do anything as extensive as the story done by Sam Webb this week for the Detroit News. Webb gets in depth with Walls about his Midwest roots (he was born in Columbus, Ohio) and the likelihood he’ll attend a school far away from his McDonough home.
6. Still no word on Christian LeMay. The UGA quarterback pledge was supposed to get a ruling from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on his undisclosed code-of-conduct violation within seven to 10 days of the June 14th hearing. Indications are that deliberation period has been extended.
7. Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew — the No. 1 prospect in Georgia according to the ESPNU 150 rankings — confirmed that he took unofficial visits to Florida State and Florida last weekend. He still has not decided when he’ll next check out Tech or UGA, who are among the 27 colleges that have offered scholarships. He said he is not planning any trips this weekend.
8. Valdosta TE Jay Rome is attending a camp at Alabama this week and plans to visit UGA next week. Ranked the No. 1 tight end in the nation by Scout.com, the Clemson legacy (dad Stan Rome played football and basketball for the Tigers) spoke glowingly of the Bulldogs in a recent interview with Scout’s Allen Wallace.
9. Two more Stephenson High players have secured scholarships for 2011. Linebacker Regis Ball (5-10, 205) committed to Memphis on Wednesday and cornerback David Stevenson (5-9, 160) committed to UConn. That’s four commitments so far for the Jaguars, who traditionally send dozens of football players to colleges annually. C Tarik Cook committed to UCF last week and RB Willie Davis has pledged South Florida.
10. Georgia is still in the market for wide receivers and there is one in South Carolina who would like to hear from them. Shamier Jeffrey (6-2, 190) plays quarterback at Calhoun County High in St. Matthews, S.C., but is projected by most as a wideout on the next level. He already has offers from Georgia Tech, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, but told PalmettoSports.com he’d like to get a look from UGA. “I went to a junior day with [Eric] Mack and it was real nice there,” he told the website. “I like the stadium, the facilities, everything. I want them to contact me.”