Archive for July, 2010

Justin Garrett, Tucker’s ‘other linebacker,’ commits to Auburn

As several college football programs have learned, James Vaughters is not the only big-time linebacker at Tucker High. And while Justin Garrett may not have 40 offers like his ballyhooed teammate, he’s good enough to have attracted the attention of almost every ACC and SEC school.

Auburn was among those sold on Garrett. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound linebacker accepted a scholarship offer from the Tigers on Tuesday.

“Yep, Auburn got him,” Tucker coach Franklin Stephens said Wednesday. “He committed yesterday.”

So what did the Tigers get in Garrett?

“Him and Vaughters are different players,” Stephens said. “Both play linebacker, but they’re different kinds of linebackers. James is a little bigger (6-3, 230). Justin started out for us playing in the secondary for two years. We needed to move him up to linebacker last year and he just flourished.

“We had all these people coming in to see James and I’d tell them, we’ve got another good linebacker you need to look at, too. He’s 6-2, 195 …

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Where is James Wilder Jr. and why no Ten@10?

Sorry there was no Ten@10 or any other posts today. Unfortunately my wife had to be hospitalized yesterday and I’m having to tend to her needs right now. The AJC Recruiting Blog will resume asap.

In the meantime, just to keep the conversation going, what do you think it means that James Wilder Jr. did not show up at Florida’s “Friday Night Lights” camps this past Friday? Word is Jimbo Fisher kept Wilder and his family held up in Tallahassee at Florida State. Think it means nothing or shows a crack that FSU or Georgia could exploit?

And speaking of Wilder, one commenter asked, if you’re Georgia would you want Wilder at the expense of Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus? They’re two different kinds of backs.

Like I said, we’ll try to get things up and running full steam as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.

Chip

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Stephenson’s Jared Boyd finds everything he wants at Duke

Jared Boyd goes against Stephenson teammate Kadetrix Marcus in a recent 7-on-7 practice. (Photo provided by jared Boyd)

Jared Boyd goes against Stephenson teammate Kadetrix Marcus in a recent 7-on-7 practice. (Photo by Rusty Mansell/247Sports.com)

Look out for the football-playing Duke Blue Devils.

That’s a word of warning from Stephenson cornerback Jared Boyd, who became commitment number 19 for the Blue Devils this past weekend. Coach David Cutcliffe has since picked up a 20th verbal for the Class of 2011 – from another cornerback named Tin Burton from Florida — and that’s one of the reasons Boyd says Duke will soon be a team to contend with in the ACC.

“I think they’re starting a new era at Duke. I really do,” said Boyd, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound defensive back who counts Georgia Tech among his multiple scholarship offers. “I think Coach Cutcliffe is turning it around at Duke they’re getting ready to make a move in the ACC. They’re going to be contending for championships soon. I honestly believe that.”

So sincere is Boyd that he committed to the Blue Devils while on a visit this weekend. He …

Continue reading Stephenson’s Jared Boyd finds everything he wants at Duke »

Mailbag: Crowell vs. Wilder, recruiting hostesses and what it takes to get noticed

THE MAILBAG:

mailbag(1)Peter of Charleston, S.C., asks: Has UGA said how many running backs they will take in 2011? Which back do you think fits better, James Wilder Jr. or Isaiah Crowell?

Chip: Georgia has not said how many backs it will take but I’m still waiting for their call. In the meantime, I believed they’d sign at least two even before Dontavius Jackson’s DUI and subsequent decision to leave. The Bulldogs made it clear from the beginning that Crowell was their A-number-one target in this class, but that was before they knew they’d get this far with Wilder. So I’d call them 1A and 1B at this point.

James Wilder Jr.: Hard to top this guy. (Photo by Tim Casey/GatorCountry.com)

James Wilder Jr.: Hard to top this guy. (Photo by Tim Casey/GatorCountry.com)

Regardless, the Bulldogs have never banked on one back under coach Mark Richt. If you look at his years at Georgia, they average right at 2,000 yards rushing every season no matter who’s the primary ballcarrier. And the majority of the time those carries are spread somewhat evenly between two or three …

Continue reading Mailbag: Crowell vs. Wilder, recruiting hostesses and what it takes to get noticed »

Ten@10: SEC coaches like idea of withholding offers for young prospects

THE TEN AT 10:

Alabama coach Nick Saban claims the Tide already holds off on offering prospects until the summer before their senior seasons. (AP Photo)

Alabama coach Nick Saban says he favors not offering prospects until the summer before their senior seasons. (AP Photo)

1. SEC coaches appear to be in favor of an NCAA proposal to prevent prospects from receiving scholarship offers until the summer before their senior years. But they’re also skeptical about the ability to enforce such a rule. Alabama coach Nick Saban, speaking to reporters at SEC Media Days, said the Crimson Tide already holds off on offering prospects until they are juniors in High School. But he said dozens of 2012 prospects that attended their camp this past weekend were already holding offers. “These guys haven’t even taken an ACT test yet,” Saban said. “How can you evaluate? Are they even going to qualify? So we’ve tried to slow that process down ourselves by waiting until we have an opportunity to talk to high school coaches, talk to guidance counselors, get an evaluation of the kind of character, attitude, intelligence that these …

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Georgia’s stock up with Jay Rome, down with Gabe Wright

Georgia’s stock is up with one of the state’s top recruits and down with another.

Valdosta’s Jay Rome (6-6, 240), the No. 1 tight end in the country according to Scout.com, said he loved his visit to Athens last week  and spoke glowingly of the Bulldogs afterward.

But defensive lineman Gabriel Wright of Columbus came away with a different feeling. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound rising senior from Carver indicated the Bulldogs may have slipped a little in his eyes, especially after a contrasting visit to Alabama a couple of days later.

“I had a great time,” said Rome, who made the trip with teammate Malcolm Mitchell and coach Rance Gillespie last Thursday and Friday. “We came up Thursday night. I hung out with Mike G [Gilliard] and Orson Charles and a few of the other players. The next day we did a few tours. We met with [tight ends] coach [John] Lilly. I got sit in meetings with Coach [Mark] Richt and Coach [Mike] Bobo and they showed me how I’d be utilized in the offense.”

Rome …

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Ten@10: UGA’s pipeline to Carver-Columbus runs through Jarvis Jones

THE TEN AT 10:

The “Ten at 10″ is an aggregation blog that appears here each Tuesday and Thursday. Material from sources other than the AJC is attributed.

Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell (l) watches Dawg Night workouts this past Friday with teammates past and present, CB Deion Bonner and LB Jarvis Jones. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell (L) watches Dawg Night workouts this past Friday with current teammate Deion Bonner (2012 CB) and former teammate Jarvis Jones (R). (Photo by Chip Towers)

1. By all accounts, Carver-Columbus stars Isaiah Crowell and Gabriel Wright had a great time visiting UGA and watching Georgia’s Dawg Night camp last week. But they spent only a short time with the Bulldogs’ coaches on their separate visits. The majority of their time was spent with former teammate Jarvis Jones, and the big linebacker appears to be the key to getting the elite prospects to Athens. Jones  has been living in Athens since transferring to UGA from Southern Cal on June 30.  “I’m glad I’m here,” the sophomore said Friday. “The people here are great.” As for his former teammates, Jones said he didn’t spend much time trying …

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Did UGA commit NCAA violations at ‘Dawg Night’?

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and assistant Warren Belin talk to linebacker prospect Stephone Anthony (white shirt) of North Carolina "Dawg Night" on Friday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and assistant Warren Belin talk to linebacker prospect Stephone Anthony (white shirt) of North Carolina during "Dawg Night" on Friday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

The Georgia Bulldogs may have inadvertently committed NCAA rules violations at “Dawg Night” this past Friday and I might have had a hand in it.

If so, it may change the way Southeastern Conference teams conduct their recruiting business.

As reported here Friday, the Bulldogs landed a couple of verbal commitments at their annual “Dawg Night” prospect camp. Offensive tackle Zach DeBell of Tarpon Springs, Fla., and long snapper Nathan Theus of Jacksonville each told Georgia coaches during the couple-hours-long workout that they intend to sign with UGA on national signing day next February. I covered the event and reported the news of the commitments on the AJC Recruiting Blog, as did numerous other media outlets on various Web sites.

After the camp, coaches, players and parents mixed and mingled …

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DeBell, Theus become UGA commitments 14 & 15 at ‘Dawg Night’ (UPDATED)

OT Zach DeBell poses with Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels after committing to the Bulldogs at 'Dawg Night' Friday night in Athens. (Photo by Chip Towers)

OT Zach DeBell poses with Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels after committing to the Bulldogs at 'Dawg Night' Friday night in Athens. (Photo by Chip Towers)

ATHENS – Zach DeBell said he did not plan to commit to Georgia when he drove to Athens with his family for the Dawg Night camp on Friday. But he should have seen the signs.

The first one came when he stopped at a Wal-Mart just outside of town with his Mom, Dad and younger sister Samantha. He decided, for no particular reason, to buy a bathing suit. And the one he grabbed was red and black and emblazoned with a Georgia G.

“I actually bought a pair of Georgia swim trunks,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t think about it at the time. I was like, you know what, I need a bathing suit; I’m going to buy a bathing suit.”

A couple of hours later DeBell committed Georgia head coach Mark Richt on the spot. He did it even before he and 100 or so college prospects took the field at the Woodruff Practice facility.

Swim trunks …

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A year later, all’s peachy between UGA, Carver-Columbus

Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee says school's relationship with Georgia is as good as ever a year after recruiting ban. (Photo from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee says his school's relationship with Georgia is as good as ever a year after recruiting ban. (Photo by Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

It was a year ago today that Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee was left fuming because of what happened to one of his players at “Dawg Night” in Athens. So mad was McGee that he actually instituted a ban of Georgia’s coaches from recruiting his school’s campus.

A year later, relations could not be better between the two parties. One Carver player has already transferred to UGA and at least four others – including two of the state’s top prospects in 2011 – were back for this year’s Dawg Night elite prospect camp on Friday.

And the ban? As it turned out, it lasted only a few weeks early last fall. The Bulldogs’ coaches have been back inside Carver every time the doors were open and NCAA recruiting calendar allowed.

“Everything’s fine,” McGee told me this morning. “That whole incident that occurred, it wasn’t about me. …

Continue reading A year later, all’s peachy between UGA, Carver-Columbus »