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. It was just a lack of communication and about finding a better way of doing things. And I think we’ve done that. A lot of positives came out of it, for our kids and everybody else’s.”

To rehash, last July, Carver quarterback Devin Burns came to Dawg Night last July intent on committing to the Bulldogs, who had offered him earlier in the year. But when Burns and his family got there, they were shocked to learn from a Georgia assistant coach that the Bulldogs had withdrawn the offer.

The Burns family left upset and embarrassed. McGee publicly chastised UGA’s coaches and instituted the ban. Burns would eventually accept a scholarship offer from Maryland. He signed with the Terrapins in February and enrolled this summer (Burns did not return messages seeking comment).

McGee believes the ban, while shortlived, was very effective.

“The good thing about that, since that did occur, is schools that offer our kids now always say things like, ‘this is a real offer; we’re not going to pull it later,’” McGee said. “And that’s not just Georgia, that’s everybody. So some positives came out of it.”

And the relationship between UGA and Carver seems stronger than ever. Since all that happened, former Carver star linebacker Jarvis Jones transferred to Georgia from Southern Cal, thanks in part to the recommendation of McGee. And the Bulldogs are welcoming several Tigers to Dawg Night 2010. Isaiah Crowell, a five-star running back prospect and the Bulldogs’ No. 1 target at tailback, is in town. Gabriel Wright, one of the top few defensive linemen in the state, has been on campus with his mother for two days.

“Oh, yeah, definitely,” McGee said of the notion that either or both could end up inking with the Dogs. “They wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t a possibility.”

He said Georgia is in the top three for both players.

As for Dawg Night and events like them — Auburn is holding a one-day camp on Saturday; Florida has its annual Friday Night Lights camp next week — they’ve become the norm in modern-day recruiting. Georgia expects somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 prospects to be on hand for the one-day event, which serves more as a on-campus visit for top targets than a teaching camp for college football wannabes.

The Bulldogs have a particularly star-studded list of participants this year. In addition to the aforementioned Carver bunch (including 2012 prospect CB Deion Bonner) the list of visitors includes Tampa-Plant running back James Wilder Jr., who ESPN considered the top prospect in America; top-ranked tight end Jay Rome of Valdosta; his  blue-chip, defensive back teammate Malcolm Mitchell; Mississippi wideout Tobias Singleton; and many, many others.

Highly-sought-after recruits NOT making the scene include Thomas Country Central defensive end Ray Drew, Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dickson, Grady cornerback Damian Swann and South Carolina offensive tackle Brandon Shell.

What all that means, make of it what you will.

In any case, McGee sees these late-summer, show-me camps as a necessary evil for today’s hurry-up-and-commit recruiting regimen.

“The biggest thing is they’re trying to get the top guys on their lists on campus to see how interested they are,” McGee said. “If they don’t show up, that gives them an indication of how they might stand with that player.

“And I think the timing is a big thing. After this month is over, college coaches won’t be able to give recruits that one-on-one attention they’d like to. It’s their last chance to make a personal connection with kids before they all get into the grind of their seasons.”

The downside of that is teams have to offer earlier and prospects need to accept earlier. The predictable consequence is mistakes are going to be made on both ends.

“I wish they’d change whole system,” McGee said. “Something needs to be done. It’s just a lot of pressure and phone calls and problems. I think [prospects] should be able to sign in August. But I’m sure it’s not as simple as that.”

No, nothing about this recruiting game is simple.

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53 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

July 16th, 2010
4:01 pm


July 16th, 2010
4:01 pm

Thanks for the update Chip! In all honesty, what do you think UGAs chances are of getting Crowell?? an has he mentioned when he thinks he might commit to somewhere? have a good weekend all!


July 16th, 2010
4:06 pm

I know that Georgia isn’t likely at this point to comment on the whole Carver saga but it seems to me that they’ve been very consistent in their approach for years now. They’re upfront with regards to how many players at a certain position they’re going to sign and if you don’t take the offer before that number is reached, then unfortunately, you’re out of luck. Seems fair to me but potentially, I can see where miscommunication can occur if a player isn’t aware that the position has been filled. Some due diligence was probably missed on both sides. Live and learn.


July 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

Here is the list of the guys so far at UGA
Here is the list of those who are already in Athens for the ANNUAL DOWG NIGHT.

QB Connor Brewer
QB Christian Lemay
RB Isaiah Crowell
RB Kenyan Drake
RB Matt Jones
RB George Morris
WR C.J. Curry
WR A.J. King
WR Justin Scott-Wesley
TE Artimas Samuel
OT Watts Dantzler
OT Zach Debell
OT John Theus
OG Joe Harris
OG Zach Johnson
OG Hunter Long
OG Chase Roberts
OC David Andrews
OC Bobby Taylor
OC DeAndre Wise
OL Nathan Theus

DT Dakota Ball
DT Pat Gamble
DT Grady Jarrett
DT Chris Mayes
DT LaDarius McNair
DT Jordan Watkins
DT Gabe Wright
DE Sterling Bailey
DE Jordan Jenkins
LB Stephone Anthony
LB Amarlo Herrera
LB Raphael Kirby
CB Deion Bonner
CB Ray Buchanan Jr.
CB Geno Smith
S Matt Dobson
S Quez Mahogeny
S Corey Moore
ATH James Wilder Jr.

Destin Dawg

July 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

Renewed coaching intensity at UGA …. with Grantham, Belin, and Lakatos on defense…allowing more input from Richt on offense…. great recruiting class on in State kids… everybody is fired up… we had a bad year still won a bowl game !! Good things coming next few years… GO DAWGS !!!!!

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
4:18 pm

It seems to me that a hs coach would like if their gem players would commit early before their own season and tell others schools my commitment is solid leave me alone now please. While it seems many of the elite players hold out to me it is a distraction from their hs team and academics which should be their main focus, My question I wish Coach McGee and others in the hs arena is do you try and encourage a kid to commit before your season starts and get the pressure off your player?

Destin Dawg

July 16th, 2010
4:41 pm

Hunker Down.. agree 100 %… most can do better in school… unless they’re rocket scientists.. stay in state .. more real friends & family … support group.. plus Athens = best college town in the S.E. and Richt best head coach except maybe Saban but he’s too intense to be around on a daily basis .. GO DWAGS


July 16th, 2010
4:42 pm

does anyone have any info on why some of the elite georgia targets woll not be attending…don’t want to read too much into it, but maybe a little concern here…would be great if they were silent commit or something like that…well nothing wrong with wishful thinking….but one in particular that i thought was leaning to be a dawg won’t be there and i haven’t seen any info for him not being able to attendd…Chip, do you have any info on any of the ones you mentioned that won’t be there…i’m assuming if you did you would have mentioned it…Thanks


July 16th, 2010
4:46 pm

Thanks for the list, dowg. I’ve been trying to find one without going to a pay site. Keep us updated.


July 16th, 2010
4:51 pm

Ray Buchanan Jr! I hope he doesn’t get burned as often as his dad did, or else I’d rather see him go somewhere else.

As for Damian Swann, he doesn’t need to attend to know what he needs to know about UGA. I wouldn’t read anything into his absence.

booker T

July 16th, 2010
4:55 pm

Chip, that was an excellent read! Hope all goes well and we land some mean ones! Go Dawgs!


July 16th, 2010
5:13 pm

Hunker down…disagree 100%…Recruiting doesn’t affect the playing one bit. Let me ask you this. If you were an elite player and you had the chance to go to any game every week of the season and had people treat you like royalty you would do it too. These kids have alot of fun in recruiting. Why would you want to take it away from them by committing early.

columbus old man

July 16th, 2010
5:15 pm

Yea it’s amazing what happens when you recruit the best talent in Columbus to your school. Columbus is absolutely loaded with football talent, there’s no doubt about that. It’s sad that Carver gets away with recruiting because the Columbus schools are “magnet” schools. Ultimately, the balance of power changes because of this. Look, I’m a 67 year old man who just simply enjoys going to games. My kids and grand kids live in the Birmingham area. I just wish the GHSA or Muscogee County School System would put a stop to this. It was evident with Flowers at Shaw, and now at Carver. Truly sad


July 16th, 2010
5:56 pm

I think Dell pretty much hit it on the head, a lot of confusion and a misunderstanding. All is well go tigers (carver) and GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


July 16th, 2010
6:03 pm

I think it’s alright Swann isn’t there. It worries me about Dickson, something tells me he is a lock for Auburn already. Shell hasn’t shown much interest so far. Drew I think is between us and FSU, unfortunately I think the proximity to Thomasville will be too much to overcome for CMR. As for Wilder I wouldn’t count us out yet, but it’s still a longshot (I’d rather have Crowell and Bray at RB, Wilder’s future is on the defensive side of the ball and they only shot we have is that Richt is a man of his word, thus less likely to switch him to defense).


July 16th, 2010
6:11 pm

Glad all is well again with Coach McGee and Carver-Columbus.

Lots of people agree with him, there should be an early signing period as he suggests. If a prospect and his family are 100% sure of their choice, ink it, and tell every other school to move on. This way, the player can focus on his senior season. In addition, the player is insured of the scholarship, even if he suffers an injury during his senior year.


July 16th, 2010
6:19 pm

is anybody gonna commit over the weekend?

Dawg House

July 16th, 2010
6:29 pm

I hope to see a tweet or headline later tonight or tomorrow in regards to a commit (or dos commits) stemming from tonight’s festivities.

UGA fans sure could use some positive articles.

It’s ALWAYS great to be a Bulldawg!!!!

Glory Glory

July 16th, 2010
6:31 pm

Enter your comments here

Glory Glory

July 16th, 2010
6:35 pm

This has to be eating Tech “fans” up. So much talent getting the star treatment in an awesome college town tonight, while Paul “manboobs” Johnson sits in the ghetto scratching himself, while sitting in his whitey-tighties in a duct taped beanbag, eating cheetos and watching a Three Stooges marathon on ACM.

Techs program simply sucks.


July 16th, 2010
6:46 pm

Why would this eat Tech fans up. UGA has top 10 recuiting classes all the time and it never mattered, 1/2 of those guys have already signed with UGA.
We got one of the coaches like Bum Phillips talked about when he said “He can take your team and beat his, or he can take his team and beat yours”. Tech is doin fine, has a nice class so far.

Glory Glory

July 16th, 2010
6:52 pm

Big Time Tech “Fan”,

how does one avoid being mugged on Tech’s campus on a Thursday night? Attend the football game.


July 16th, 2010
7:00 pm

Debell just committed to the DAWGS


July 16th, 2010
7:04 pm

Yea after all the crap UGA has been through some good news with Zack DeBell are Oline is going to be loaded next year. GO DAWGS!

Look Alive

July 16th, 2010
7:07 pm

gloria gloria let us just talk football and leave the other schools alone for once it is childish


July 16th, 2010
7:18 pm

p-ho, do you have a hidden microphone in the room? That is awesome, let us know if you have any more good news, PLEASE!

Ima Jacket

July 16th, 2010
7:19 pm

Yeah, the pups got DeBell, big time OT from Florida. Kid looks good. Hey Coach Johnson…maybe we should go try to get a commitment or two from some highschool recruits like this one, that someone has actually HEARD of. I know my fellow Tech fans may not agree with me, but coaching ability alone will not keep us on top of the mountain. Sooner or later, PJ is going to have to figure out how to bring some star power to Atlanta. MR just brings in the talent and sits back…shoot, it don’t matter if he has good coaches or not, they just win based on pure athletic ability. If they ever find a dad gum coach or two….we’re in trouble.

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
7:37 pm

Debell is incredible athlete i am telling you this is a great player and he has made my day. He has quick feet and is only going to get better as he fills that lean tall body of his out. One of the best out there in my humble opinion.
To Canton Dawg, while recrtuiting can be fun many players feel pressure in the process and some at this age lose concentration and distracted on what should be their main focus: acadmics and their senior season. Something to be said for remaining humble and focused ie UT situation comes to mind.

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
7:39 pm

Your lb commit is one of the best!


July 16th, 2010
11:14 pm

CROWELL is fast i mean really fast.

UGA owns you tasty bees..

July 17th, 2010
1:53 am


July 16th, 2010
6:46 pm
Why would this eat Tech fans up. UGA has top 10 recuiting classes all the time and it never mattered

Never is a very strong word.. and it seems to me it has “mattered” 8 out of the last 9. If you want your team to ever compete against UGA on an annual basis again, you MUST respect all aspects of the game. This includes passing also.

bitter trailer trash

July 17th, 2010
6:00 am

listen gawg lovers the bottom line is paul jhonson boy’s have won 20 games the last 2 years and so far early in the season’s nobody that they have played has stoped there run and fun offence. i love to sit here in the back woods in my rusty old trailer with tennersa sistar he/she and watch dawg and vol games butt all the excitment happens when them there yellow boy’s run and fun on them there long play for lots of td’s, hell you dont see nicky boy from bamma trying to play them there yellow stingers do u , well give 14th ave there due, right now i hate to say butt there running and funning this here state!!! what say you dog dodo


July 17th, 2010
7:34 am

Georgia needs to make a good showing on the field this year to close the deal on these highly rated prospects. We will land these recruits if we return to quality coaching, and win ten or more games. If we go 8-5 or worse, kiss them all goodbye, and the program will start backsliding into 1990s.


July 17th, 2010
12:13 pm

GLORY GLORY, Glad you keep showing up as you keep showing how classless you are. Class


July 17th, 2010
12:17 pm

GLORY GLORY, Glad you keep showing up to show how classless you are. Classless stupid, silly and one jackass I will not get into a braying contest with.

for real?

July 17th, 2010
1:28 pm

this blog started out classy then a few mindless numbnuts started again

Dawg Tired

July 17th, 2010
1:59 pm

Yellow Fuzz – How about we had a bad year and beat the best team Tech has had in years? At our worst we’re better than Tech at it’s best. Sorry, but it’s true.


July 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

Dawg Tired:

So, being better than the Yellow Jackets is enough for you? You don’t need top 10 recruiting classes to be better than Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech accomplishes that with classes that aren’t ranked nearly as high as UGA’s. With the talent that you guys pull in, you should be a lot better … as good as Saban, Meyer and especially Miles at LSU, Alabama and Florida, and also up there with Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State nationally. Instead, you aren’t. All that talent that Richt has recruited has resulted in Sugar Bowl wins over Hawai’i and a 9-5 FSU team playing without its starting QB.

UGA talks trash about GT because they can’t beat Alabama, LSU, Florida or even Tennessee. That is the saddest part. Georgia Tech has a better shot at winning the ACC this year than UGA does of winning the SEC East the next three years. And that is what eats UGA fans up, and is why UGA fans keep predicting that Paul Johnson is going to leave.


July 17th, 2010
4:25 pm

Wilder – UF, Morris/Drake – UGA, Crowell – UA


July 17th, 2010
4:54 pm

Yellow Fuzz, Don’t know why you thinks it’s so funny that we WON our bowl game when you LOST to the corn-fed gomers from Iowa. Those midwestern boys aren’t exactly known for being fast, yet they made mince-meat out of your buzzy-boys. In UGA’s worst season in a decade we still managed to win the ACC! That made 8 of 9 as I recall you complete goober-head. What a moron!
This year we will actually bring a real defense with us when we meet you girls on the field.
Break out the swatters boys, it’s gnat hunting season again.

BWH Dawg

July 17th, 2010
8:54 pm

Yellow Fuzz,

When you come to Sanford Stadium in November, come find me so I can whip your A$$ just like my Dawgs will do to Manboobs Johnson & Co. later that day.

8 of 9 and 30-24. Eat it loser!!!

8 out of 9

July 17th, 2010
9:23 pm

Hey Yellow Fuzz,

((((((((((((((((((8 out of 9))))))))) soon to be 9 out of 10!

You had your one fluke win every 10 years. It will be a long time before you get another one.

O&W Checkerboards>

July 18th, 2010
12:08 am

Yes, DA’RICK will be seeing you soon for 6s!

And Rocky Top will party! 21


July 18th, 2010
10:16 am

Yellow Fuzz—- you got BANNED onUGA blog, didn’t ya BOY…..
Now you come here and talk STUPID trash, so my guess you are on short time here also.

North Ave. Taliban

July 18th, 2010
3:31 pm

Yeloow Fuzz , tech has beaten UGA 15 times in the past 50 years, you are a fool. Go find a duke board, someone Tech beats with consistency. back to Boise or the Emerald Bowl for the bugs. That unstoppable offense, 10 points in 2 bowl games, PJ can’t recruit and gets out coached by Willie M.

#2 Bama Fan

July 18th, 2010
7:37 pm

M and Yellow Fuzz match made in hell!!!!!!

North Ave. Taliban

July 18th, 2010
7:37 pm

Who cares about the acc champ? Back to the emerald bowl or Boise for Tech this year, Johnson losing gailey recruits and he’s recruited zero talent at skill positions.

North Ave. Taliban

July 18th, 2010
7:39 pm

Paul j, Willie Martinez’s bitch.


July 18th, 2010
8:03 pm


Oh what a happy life it is without him/her…….
”I’m gonna miss her”……………NOT!


Soon, very soon you will be castrated from here, also…

wild one

July 18th, 2010
8:38 pm

Why would any parent or HS coach want their kids to go to UGA where the main degree earned is ” lets see how drunk I can get before the police show up”.