THE TEN AT 10:
1. Stephon Tuitt has not yet eliminated the Georgia Bulldogs from consideration, but they’re definitely fading fast. At least that’s my conclusion after a bit of confusion over the weekend. Tuitt made yet another visit to Georgia Tech, which remains atop the wish list for this highly-touted defensive end from Monroe. The Tech fan sites from both Rivals and Scout interviewed Tuitt afterward and, as usual, asked him to reel off his favorites. He didn’t mention the Bulldogs this time, whereas he had them fourth among his top seven in my last update less than a month ago. Reading this, I took it to mean Tuitt had eliminated Georgia, so I called him Monday to verify. “That’s not accurate,” Tuitt told me. “I have seven schools that stand out for me now and they’re one of them.” But since he mentioned only Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Clemson, Auburn and Tennessee and not UGA, we have to assume the Bulldogs are now at No. 7. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-5, 252-pound athlete is not close to pulling the trigger on a decision. “I’ve still got a while to go,” he told me. “I want to take my official visits before I make up my mind. I don’t know if I’ll take five or three but I definitely want to take some.” He said he also hopes to make trips to Tennessee and Auburn this summer.
2. Tech and Georgia will go head-to-head over another elite recruit this week. Running back James Wilder Jr. of Tampa, considered by some to be the top college football prospect in America this year, is expected to be at Georgia on Friday night for the annual Dawg Night elite prospect camp, according to several published reports. Somewhere bordering that trip to Athens (either before it or after it), Wilder reportedly plans to come to Atlanta to check out Tech. GatorBait.net, which interviewed Wilder as he worked out in Tampa on Tuesday, said he’s planning to travel to Georgia on Wednesday. But it’s unclear whether that mean the state or the university. Wilder, who is understandably hard to reach with 80-plus scholarship offers, hasn’t returned phone messages seeking comment. But I’ll keep after him. Regardless, there should be some intense comparing and contrasting going on in Wilder’s head this week.
3. Wilder is just one of numerous top-shelf prospects expected to be at Sanford Stadium on Friday night. Most of the players that have already committed to the Bulldogs — including beleaguered quarterback prospect Christian LeMay — are expected to be on hand. Among the uncommitted recruits that may be attending are DE Xzavier Dickson, RB Matt Jones, ATH Chris Milton, WR Tobias Singleton, CB Damian Swann and LB Lateek Townsend.
4. A trio of Carver-Columbus stars definitely plan on attending. RB Isaiah Crowell, the top prospect in the state, DT Gabriel Wright and 2012 DB Deion Bonner, plan to participate. The Bulldogs can only hope things go better with coach Dell McGee’s players this year. It was the misunderstanding with quarterback Devin Burns at this event last year that resulted in the McGee’s brief recruiting ban of UGA.
5. Another elite recruit definitely planning to attend is offensive tackle Zach DeBell of Tarpon Springs, Fla. DeBell (6-7, 265) has been a busy boy this summer. He visited Tennessee last weekend and will check out South Carolina after Dawg Night.
6. Speaking of UT, the police investigation continues into the bar brawl that resulted in the arrests of two Tennessee football players from Georgia, freshman wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers and sophomore safety Darren Myles. More charges could be forthcoming as they continue to interview witnesses, Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said Monday. An off-duty police officer remains hospitalized with a head injury suffered after he was allegedly attacked by several UT players. Also, Tennessee is investigating whether an arrangement with Bar Knoxville and UT athletes violates NCAA rules.
7. Georgia Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt finally landed the big man his team has been missing. According to both JacketsOnline.com and GoJackets.com, Nate Hicks, a 6-foot-10 center from Panama City, Fla., has decided to sign a financial aid agreement with the Yellow Jackets. Hicks originally signed a letter-of-intent with Tulane but asked for and was granted a release after the Green Wave made a coaching change. Hicks gives Tech some sorely needed size in its frontcourt. Hicks is the second signee for the incoming class of 2010, joining 6-5 wing Jason Morris of Connecticut.
8. Speaking of Tech, Jabari-Hunt Days represented the Jackets and Hillgrove High School well when he went out to Beaverton, Ore., last week to compete in the Nike Combine national championships. Hunt-Days (6-3, 226), who committed to the Yellow Jackets as a linebacker last month, finished No. 2 in the nation with an incredible SPARQ rating of 131.64. You can READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE. Stephenson defensive back Kadetrix Marcus, Hunt-Days’ former teammate at Hillgrove, also competed in the event.
9. Speaking of national competitions, Georgia commitment Justin Scott-Wesley has qualified for the U.S. Junior Track & Field national championships in Sacramento, Calif., in the 100-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay. Scott-Wesley, a wide receiver who set the state record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.35 seconds at the high school state championships earlier this year, finished third in both events at the regional meet in North Carolina this past weekend. “Unfortunately I didn’t make it in the 200,” Scott-Wesley said. “I ran a bad race and didn’t make it past the prelims. I slipped again out of the blocks in the 100. There’s such a small margin for error.” But Scott-Wesley feels like he has a good chance at nationals as the winning time last year was 10.33. “If I can run the race I did at state I think I can win it,” he said.
10. THIS & THAT: Florida self-reported four NCAA secondary violations for its misuse of Facebook in recruiting. . . . DT Thomas Niles of Gainesville has de-committed from N.C. State in order to “explore my options,” according to Rivals.com. . . . Defensive back Cortez Davis (6-3, 200) of Daytona Beach, Fla., has re-committed to Clemson, according to PalmettoSports.com. He de-committed to the Tigers to commit to Florida State earlier this year.