Archive for June, 2010

Recruitment of WR DaVaris Daniels takes dramatic turn

DaVaris Daniels’ recruitment is turning into quite a drama.

As I reported in this morning’s “Ten at 10,” the highly-touted wide receiver out of Vernon Hills, Ill., abruptly canceled a press conference he had scheduled for noon Tuesday. According to a Chicago Sun Times report, Daniels was expected to commit to Miami over Notre Dame at that time.

As you may also know, Daniels’ father is none other than UGA letterman and Georgia native Phillip Daniels, a longtime NFL player most recently with the Washington Redskins. Well, somebody claiming to be Daniels absolutely lambasted the author of the Sun Times article, calling it “a fabrication” and “a bunch of lies.” In particular, Daniels took exception to the story’s assertion that Daniels could not academically qualify for admission to Notre Dame, his first choice, which is why he was going to commit to Miami, his second choice.

Click on THIS LINK and you can see Daniels’ (alleged) comment in the comments section below the …

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Ten at 10: There are reasons everybody wanted UGA commit Watts Dantzler

THE TEN AT 10:

As evidenced here as he is being interviewed after his UGA announcement Sunday, Watts Dantzler is a huge fellow. (Photo by Chip Towers)

As evidenced here as he is being interviewed after his UGA announcement Sunday, Watts Dantzler is a huge fellow. (Photo by Chip Towers)

1. I’ve been somewhat surprised to see some of the negative reaction to Georgia’s latest commitment, OT Watts Dantzler of Dalton. While a lot of the negativity is coming from rival fans of the Bulldogs, it seems to be based mostly upon 30 seconds of video somebody posted on here showing Dantzler getting beat a couple of times in pass-protection drills during Georgia’s recent elite-prospect camp in Athens. Here’s the reality: Dantzler is 6-foot-7 (or 6-8, depending on whom you believe) and weighs 330 pounds. That’s breathing some rare air, size wise, for a 17-year-0ld. He had more than 30 scholarship offers from nearly every major program in the South and beyond, including Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Miami, among others. And while pass protection is the one area Dantzler needs to improve on most, he’s still a …

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USF willing to take a chance on Stephenson’s Willie Davis

Willie Davis will get to show his wares as the featured back at Stephenson this year. (AJC photo by Collin C. Chappelle)

Willie Davis will get to show his wares as the featured back at Stephenson this year. (AJC photo by Collin C. Chappelle)

How good is Willie Davis?

The truth is, nobody really knows — including Davis. But everybody is eager to find out. And so is South Florida, which recently received a verbal commitment from the Stephenson running back.

There is, after all, a limited body of work off which to judge Davis. As a junior last season he played in the shadows of tailback Raymond Sanders, a Kentucky signee and one of the top backs in the state.

“I wouldn’t say shadows,” Davis injects. “I’d just say I’ve just been waiting for my opportunity. But I’m as eager as anybody else to see what’s going to happen.”

What people have seen, they like. And what’s not to like?

Davis (5-11, 195) rushed for nearly 700 yards while playing in only six games as a backup/backfield mate for Sanders. And he has raised his stature while camping and visiting all over the South this spring and summer with many …

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Dalton OT Watts Dantzler picks Georgia Bulldogs (UPDATED)

Dalton's Watts Dantzler answers questions shortly after announcing he had committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Dalton's Watts Dantzler answers questions shortly after announcing he had committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

DALTON — Dalton’s Watts Dantzler had fun with the recruiting process to the very end.

He showed up at Dalton High School on Sunday wearing a green tie with a black shirt, intent on not giving up the the secret he’d known since Monday. At the time of the big reveal, Dantzler stepped away from the lectern from which he spoke and struggled mightily to remove the shirt over his head. The crowd began to chant, “take it off, take it off” as a necklace became entangled in the fabric.

Finally a glimpse of red was revealed, then the whole of a Georgia Bulldogs’ shirt. Then he doffed a UGA cap, officially making the 6-foot-7, 330-pound offensive tackle a Bulldogs’ commitment.

It was a humorous end to an emotional day for Dantzler, who had narrowed down a list of about 30 offers to finalists Auburn and Georgia. He originally was going to wait …

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Watts Dantzler plans to honor his late dad with Fathers Day announcement

Dalton tackle Watts Dantzler will choose between Georgia and Auburn on Sunday. (Photo by Doug Smith/Onfirephoto.com)

Dalton tackle Watts Dantzler will choose between Georgia and Auburn on Sunday. (Photo by Doug Smith/Onfirephoto.com)

As much as any recruit you’ll find, Watts Dantzler thoroughly enjoyed the recruiting process. The 6-foot-7, 330-pound offensive tackle from Dalton has taken every trip he could and listened with an open mind to every pitch from the 30 or so schools that have come calling.

But all good things must come to an end, as they say. And as the recruiting picture became ever more clear in his mind, Dantzler began to realize to continue prolonging the inevitable would be wasting everybody’s time.

That Nov. 16th date — his birthday — that Dantzler had long ago circled as a decision date suddenly looked very far away. Then he noticed June 20th — Fathers Day 2010 — fast approaching. He knew immediately what he needed to do.

“I was kind of of getting tired of the recruiting stuff so I started thinking about moving it up a little bit,” explained Dantzler, who said he will …

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James Vaughters picks Stanford over UGA, Tech, others (UPDATED)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters shows his colors after commiting to Stanford on Thursday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters shows his colors after commiting to Stanford on Thursday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters, the No. 1 linebacker in the state and most sought-after recruit in Atlanta, committed to Stanford on Thursday.

He chose the Cardinal over four other finalists: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Ohio State. In total. he had compiled scholarship offers from more than 35 schools nationwide.

Vaughters, a 4.0 student at Tucker, said he chose Stanford because of its combination of great academics and great football under coach Jim Harbaugh.

“I honestly believe we can do something at Stanford that has never been done and that is win a championship,” said Vaughters, who is considering majoring in architectural engineering.

In his prepared statement, Vaughters said of Stanford:

“Stanford University is a long distance from home but they have a beautiful campus, perfect climate, and I feel that they have great opportunities that I can …

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Ten at 10: James Vaughters to reveal his choice at 11 a.m.

THE TEN AT 10:

Tucker LB with his stack of offer letters and recruiting correspondences. (AJC photo)

Tucker LB James Vaughters with his stack of offer letters and recruiting correspondences. (AJC photo by Phil Skinner)

1. A lot of times recruits of the ilk of James Vaughters will talk about how grueling the recruiting process has been and how happy they are to get it over with. Vaughters, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker from Tucker, is the most highly recruited college football prospect in Metro Atlanta with more than 35 scholarship offers. He will put to rest months of speculation today when he announces his college choice from a list of five finalists that includes Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Stanford. But Jonathan Vaughters, James father who has walked hand-in-hand with his son throughout the recruiting process these last two years, says it hasn’t been that bad for them. “Actually,” he said, “we’ve kind of enjoyed it, to tell you the truth.” Vaughters will make the announcement at 11 a.m. this morning at a news conference at Rock Hard …

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Kell safety Brian Randolph chooses Tennessee over Georgia Tech

Kell star Brian Randolph will wear a different shade of orange while playing safety for Tennessee in 2011. (Photo provided by Brian Randolph)

Kell star Brian Randolph will wear a different shade of orange while playing safety for Tennessee in 2011. (Photo by Leigh Auerbach/Marietta Daily Journal))

Going all the way back to his junior season at Kell High School, most folks have had Brian Randolph penciled in as a Georgia Tech commitment.

Those folks were wrong.

The star safety — whose brother Justin Randolph attends Tech and played for the Yellow Jackets as a walk-on last season — committed to Tennessee this week.

“I went up there two weeks ago and I really liked coaching staff and the facilities and everything they’ve got going on there,” Randolph said Wednesday. “It seems like a place where they take good care of their players. I came back feeling like that’s where I wanted to go. So yesterday I just called from my coach’s office.”

Randolph becomes the Vols’ fifth commitment for the Class of 2011 and third from the state of Georgia. Woodstock linebacker Christian Harris (6-2, 230) and Athens-Clarke Central …

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Elite WR Charone Peake chooses Clemson over Georgia

The one that got away: WR Charone Peake picked Clemson over UGA.

The one that got away: Charone Peake, the No. 1 receiver in America according to the ESPNU 150 rankings, picked Clemson over UGA on Wednesday.

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 …

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Georgia Tech nabs big-time safety in N. Cobb’s Darren Waller

Darren Waller is all smiles after an interception against Harrison last season (Photo provided by Darren Waller)

Darren Waller is all smiles after an interception against Harrison last season (Photo by Todd R. McQueen/Marietta Daily Jounral)

Darren Waller knew as soon as he received a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech this past weekend that he wanted to commit. But there was one problem.

His parents were nowhere to be found.

“They had plans for the day so I came to the [Junior-Senior] camp with one of my teammates,” said Waller, a 6-foot-5, 204-pound safety who became commitment No. 8 for the Yellow Jackets as of Tuesday night. “I wanted to talk to my parents about it. But I knew Tech is where I wanted to go.”

According to North Cobb football coach Shane Queen, Tech got itself a jewel of a football prospect.

“He’s 6-5, pushing 210 pounds, ran a 4.36 electronic time, power cleans 280, has a 3.8 GPA. I don’t know what else you could ask for,” Queen said.

Still, Waller’s door wasn’t getting beaten down by recruiters. His other official offers to date have come from Kentucky, Illinois, …

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