Archive for June, 2010

WR Zack Witchett makes it official: He’s a Bulldog

Athens — Zack Witchett made official on Friday what he has been sure of for weeks. The Washington High wide receiver and defensive back committed to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Washington WR Zack Witchett became Georgia's 10 commitment for the Class of 2011 on Friday. (Photo provided by Zack Witchett)

Washington WR Zack Witchett became Georgia's 10 commitment for the Class of 2011 on Friday. (Photo provided by Zack Witchett)

And he did it just the way he wanted, face-to-face with coach Mark Richt right on the UGA campus. Witchett and his Washington High teammates were competing in the Bulldogs 7-on-7 passing camp on Friday.

“At the end [of the competition], I just walked up to Coach Richt and stuck out my hand to shake his,” Witchett recounted. “I said, ‘I want to be a Georgia Bulldog; I’m coming to Georgia.’”

Asked what was Richt’s response, Witchett laughed. “He said, ‘woo-wee! He just let out a big shout.”

With Witchett’s pledge the Bulldogs are now up to double-figures in commitments with 10. They’re also filling up fast on wide receivers.

Witchett makes No. 3, joining Christian Conley and Justin …

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Q&A: FSU commitment Terrance Smith overcomes early tragedy for present glory

A Q & A WITH TERRANCE SMITH:

Terrance Smith was just 4 years old when his father’s life came to a violent end. Terry Smith was shot by Atlanta police officers in 1997 in a domestic dispute with his estranged wife, Angela Smith, Terrance’s mother. Angela Smith was stabbed and critically injured in that altercation and Terrance’s 2-year-old sister was hurt by police gunfire. Terrance escaped unharmed, or so the police report said.

Today, that incident is mostly a blurry memory that Terrance has done his best to forget. Besides, there is much about which to be happy. Terrance, a rising senior at Southwest DeKalb High School, went on to grow up in a joyful, nurturing home. An ‘A’ student, he also has developed into one of the top college prospects in Atlanta. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound outside linebacker already has accepted a scholarship to Florida State. Meanwhile, major college football programs continue to come after him. Leading the way in that pursuit is Clemson, the school of …

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It’s official: QB Star Jackson inks with Georgia State (updated)

Star Jackson, who left a quarterback competition at Alabama, will encounter another one at Georgia State (Photo by Larry Hauck/ESPN.com)

Star Jackson, who left a quarterback competition at Alabama, will encounter another one at Georgia State (Photo by Larry Hauck/ESPN.com)

Georgia State’s fledgling football program now has its first star.

Quarterback Star Jackson, a much-ballyhooed recruit out of Lake Worth, Fla., signed a financial aid agreement with the Panthers on Thursday.  A backup on Alabama’s national championship team, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound signal-caller arrives at the downtown Atlanta university with three years of eligibility remaining. Since Georgia State’s first-year program competes in the Football Championship Subdivision — one level down from the Southeastern Conferences of the world — NCAA transfer rules allow him to be immediately eligible to compete.

“I’m relieved, more relaxed,” Jackson said shortly after Georgia State released the news of transfer late Thursday afternoon. “It’s a great situation.”

Jackson, a four-star prospect who was recruited by virtually every school in the South out …

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Ten at 10: LB Jarvis Jones has left USC, seeks transfer

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.

Carver-Columbus linebacker Jarvis Jones poses for his AJC Super 11 photo in 2008.

Carver-Columbus linebacker Jarvis Jones poses for his AJC Super 11 photo in 2008.

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 …

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Zach DeBell’s reaction to UGA offer — ‘Skadoosh!’

Zach DeBell received an official scholarship offer from the University of Georgia on Tuesday morning, then two more from Virginia and West Virginia that afternoon.

His response? “Skadoosh!”

Seriously, that’s what he said.

DeBell

DeBell

For the non-indoctrinated, that’s something a very pleased Kung Fu Panda says in the animated movie of the same name. I know because I had to ask.

The point is, DeBell is a very happy camper these days and, in terms of recruiting, has come a long way from where he was at the turn of the New Year.

“In January, I had like three [offers],” DeBell said. “They just started pouring in lately.”

For those keeping count — and DeBell is — that’s 23 offers for the 6-foot-7, 265-pound offensive tackle from Tarpon Springs, Fla.

The Bulldogs’ offer is DeBell’s second out of the Peach State. Georgia Tech offered him shortly after he visited the campus during a spring break tour of colleges with his father in late March.

He also hit UGA, Clemson, South Carolina, North …

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Washington wideout Zack Witchett ready to put a rap on recruiting

You can call Zack Witchett a lot of things and he will answer: Zachary, as in his full first name; Demonta, another given name; Zach with an ‘h’ on the end; Zack with a ‘k;’  Yung Zack. Or perhaps Superstarzackthrashin.

The last one is one of the names he uses in his rap group, “Yung Superstars.” Witchett and about a dozen guys from the long-since-demolished Harris Homes area of downtown Atlanta get together four or five at a time pretty much every week and rap about the way things are or shouldn’t be or oughta be.

Or whatever, he says.

“We just do few songs together,” said Witchett, a rising senior at Booker T. Washington High School. “It’s just something to stay out of trouble.  When I don’t have anything to do I’ll call up one of my partners and go rap. We’ve got some good songs, too. ”

Such as “Swagga Back,” one of Witchett’s personal faves.

But that’s just something Witchett and his friends “play around with.” This football thing? He’s pretty serious about that.

In …

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Georgia State gets boost from transfer of Bama QB Star Jackson

Star Jackson began last season as the backup quarterback for Alabama (Mark Almond/Birmingham News)

Star Jackson began last season as the backup quarterback for Alabama (Mark Almond/Birmingham News)

Georgia State’s fledgling football program got an unexpected boost this week with the news that quarterback Star Jackson is transferring from Alabama to play for the Panthers.

It still has to be finalized. Jackson is currently on vacation with his family — possibly in the Atlanta area — and could not be reached for comment. And nothing will be official until Jackson enrolls at GSU around June 14.

But for all practical purposes it is a done deal, according to Errick Lowe, Jackson’s head coach Lake Worth High School and one of his primary confidantes.

“As far as the Georgia State thing goes, as of right now that’s where he’s leaning to,” Lowe said Tuesday. “Classes [at GSU] start on the 14th, so I’m looking for him to be enrolled in school there by the 13th or 14th. I guess he’s going to be playing for Georgia State. That’s where it is right now.”

If you detect a non-commital hint …

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Ten at 10: Da’Rick Rogers is officially a UT Vol (updated)

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.

After graduating this past weekend, the next stop for Calhoun stars Nash Nance (L) and Da'Rick Rogers will be the University of Tennessee on Tuesday. (Photo by Mike Nance)

After graduating this past weekend, the next stop for Calhoun stars Nash Nance (L) and Da'Rick Rogers will be the University of Tennessee on Tuesday. (Photo by Mike Nance)

1. The Tennessee Vols’ angst can finally end. Wide receiver signee Da’Rick Rogers has qualified for freshman eligibility. In fact, Georgia’s No. 1 prospect for 2010 is to report to Rocky Top with the rest of the new Vols today. So what’s the big deal? Well, there had been mass fretting on UT fan forums for weeks now as Rogers struggled through his final semester at Calhoun High School and negotiated several minor disciplinary issues. But part-time guardian Mike Nance, the father of Calhoun quarterback and fellow UT signee Nash Nance, sent out a text to several media outlets …

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