THE TEN AT 10:
1. Lane Kiffin has been pointing fingers again, and the Florida Gators got another apology out of it as a result. It seems that Dillon Baxter, a 2010 USC signee from San Diego, named Florida among five teams he claimed illegally contacted him after the NCAA hammer came down on the Trojans this summer. But according to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, the Gators did nothing of the sort and USC AD Mike Garrett ended up sending a letter of apology to Florida’s Jeremy Foley this past week. Alabama also received an identical letter of apology from USC due to Baxter’s claims, along with Washington, Oregon and Fresno State. According to several published reports, USC filed a complaint with the Pac-10 in June that those schools were tampering with Baxter, a five-star prospect who signed with the Trojans in February. An investigation proved the accusations unfounded. The Pac-10 and USC have declined comment. You’ll recall that Kiffin, when he was at Tennessee last year, was reprimanded by the SEC after unjustly accusing Florida coach Urban Meyer of breaking NCAA recruiting rules. Kiffin ended up apologizing to Meyer and the Gators.
2. Speaking of USC, the Trojans have encountered a lot of comings and goings of late. On Monday, they got a commitment from 2011 linebacker recruit Kent Turene of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. On Tuesday, they released Seantrel Henderson from the national letter-of-intent he signed in March. Many felt Henderson, a 6-foot-8, 330-pound offensive lineman from Minnesota, was the top overall prospect in the Class of 2010. Henderson reportedly will end up at Miami or Ohio State, but nobody knows for sure because he’s not talking.
3. Maybe Tennessee will come into play for Henderson. It certainly seems like Knoxville has become popular destination for USC refugees of late. The Vols have landed two players with Trojans ties in the last week. Junior defensive end Malik Jackson starts classes at UT today after filing transfer paperwork earlier this week. Last week, Matt Darr, the nation’s top-ranked prep punter and a one-time USC commitment, signed with the Vols. GoVolsXtra.com reports that the Vols sent a fax to USC with a list of names of current junior and senior Trojans they intend to recruit off their team. Jackson was one of the names on that list. He says he had no intention of leaving until he heard from UT coach Derek Dooley. Now Jackson says he hopes to help get more of his former teammates to follow him to Rocky Top.
4. Here’s a name I haven’t heard until now in regards to Georgia’s search for offensive linemen: Keith Lumpkin, 6-foot-8, 295-pound tackle from Jersey City, N.J. He included the Bulldogs in a top 10 he released just this week. Lumpkin attends St. Peters Prep, the same school as Savon Huggins, a four-star running back who also has Georgia high on his list. Florida is the only team among Lumpkin’s top 10 from which he doesn’t have an offer. His other finalists are Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida and Wisconsin.
5. Speaking of O-line targets for the Bulldogs, Tarpon Springs, Fla., tackle Zach DeBell told me this morning he’s definitely coming to “Dawg Night” at Georgia later this month. DeBell (6-7, 265) is quickly emerging as one of the top line talents in the South. It will be DeBell’s third trip to Athens in the last three months. He lists the Bulldogs among his favorites, along with Clemson, Notre Dame, Tennessee and UCLA.
6. Texas running back Malcolm Brown has long listed Georgia among his favorites, but he didn’t mention the Bulldogs in his top three in a recent update by ESPN.com. Brown, who is ahead of Carver-Columbus’ Isaiah Crowell in both the Rivals and Scout rankings, said Alabama and Texas are his top two, with Florida State running a distant third.
7. D.J. Hill, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker from Newton County High, told GoJackets.com this week his current top three is Ole Miss, Virginia and Vanderbilt. However, he said Georgia Tech would probably jump to the top of that list should he land an offer. The Yellow Jackets have been actively recruiting Hill but have not yet offered.
8. The summer evaluation period for basketball began this week. According to AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell, Greater Atlanta Christian’s Malcolm Brogdon may well be the most popular player for college coaches to scout. Carvell believes Brogdon, a 6-foot-5 wing, is the early favorite for Mr. Georgia Basketball in 2011. Milton High will be another popular spot for coaches. All five starters for coach David Boyd’s defending state champion Eagles have scholarship offers.
9. Offers are slowly starting to come in for Landmark Christian quarterback Carson Barnett. Furman has identified him as its top quarterback prospect, according to Carson’s father Douglas Barnett, and he’s working out at Samford this weekend.
10. Talked to M.L. King grad Mack Brown this week. The state’s top-ranked running back last year has been at the University of Florida for going on three weeks now. He reports that his troublesome hamstring is holding up and he has been doing well in summer workouts. It would appear redshirting is likely for Brown, with Jeff Demps, Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody currently ahead of him on the depth chart. But reports out of Gainesville are that a recent ankle injury for Moody could open the door for Brown.