THE TEN AT (11):
1. James Wilder Jr. has eliminated Georgia Tech and Alabama from consideration and is down to Florida, Florida State and Georgia as his finalists, according to a report this morning in the St. Petersburg Times. The five-star prospect from Tampa’s Plant High let reporters know that on Wednesday while attending the announcement news conference of two of his teammates, quarterback Philip Ely and offensive lineman Tony Posada. Wilder, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound two-way player who intends to play running back in college, said he still hasn’t made up his mind.
“I’ve slept on it a lot,” Wilder said. “Today I’ll have FSU in the lead, tomorrow I’ll have UF and in three days I’ll have Georgia. I just have to make sure I think a lot about it. I’ve still got a lot of thinking to do in the last seven days.”
Wilder plans to make his decision known next Wednesday in Tampa. Details of the time and place for that announcement have not been finalized but he said he’s favoring doing it at Plant High. Meanwhile, Wilder said he’d like to make one more visit to each school before making his decision.
“It’s going to be about comfortability,” he said. “That’s going to be the main thing. The football part is going to take care of itself. I think if you’re a good football player no matter where you are you’re going to do your thing regardless. It where I’m most comfortable, because that’s where I’m going to be living, that’s where I’m going to be tutoring, that’s where I’m going to be playing. That’s where I’m going to be doing my schooling, that’s where I’m going to be sleeping at night, eating for the next four year.”
2. If you follow me on Twitter you already know that Plant coach Robert Weiner nixed all that talk about Wilder making his announcement in tandem with Nick Waisome. In the end, Waisome, a four-star cornerback from Groveland, Fla., is going to make his announcement in Orlando and Wilder in Tampa. It just so happens it’ll be on the same day.
3. In the meantime, we now know where Wilder’s teammates are going to play college ball. Ely, a four-star prospect committed to Alabama. Posada, a three-star right tackle, committed to Michigan in a joint press conference Wednesday in Tampa. Ely’s choice of the Crimson Tide over long-time suitors Clemson, LSU, Purdue and Wake Forest was a bit of a shocker considering the defending national champions offered him only three weeks ago. Ely becomes the third consecutive Plant quarterback to land a major college scholarship and the third in a row to go out of state, joining Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Robert Marve (Purdue).
4. Georgia Tech is still in the hunt for another five-star prospect. The Yellow Jackets made the cut to the final 10 for cornerback Doran Grant of Akron, Ohio. Indications are that he’ll stay in Big Ten country, however, at least according to this report by Sam Webb in the Detroit News.
5. The Nashville Tennessean wrote an interesting piece breaking down the demographical problems of football recruiting in the state of Tennessee. Maurice Patton reports that while Tennessee is third in population among the nine states with SEC schools, it is sixth in the number of players on SEC rosters this fall and the numbers dwindle even further when it comes to what could be considered “elite prospects.”
6. Bainbridge High kicker/punter Keenan Adams committed to Colorado State on Monday. Adams was an all-state punter and all-region place-kicker in 2009. He holds the school record for longest field goal (52 yards) and averaged 39.9 yards on 28 punts while allowing a total of only 26 yards for the entire 2009 season.
7. Some great national pub for Georgia State, which landed the cover story in the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine. It features a baby boy on the cover — wearing GSU eye black no less — under the headline “A Program is Born.” The magazine has been writing a continuing series about the Panthers’ foray into football.
8. Right now quarterback Christian LeMay doesn’t even have a team to play for. But that didn’t stop NCPreps.com from naming him the 2010 Preseason 4A Player of the Year. The UGA commitment is currently appealing a 30-day suspension from Butler High by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for an undisclosed violaton of the system’s code of conduct. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, LeMay is considering transferring to a private school in Charlotte. Meanwhile, Butler High principal Theresa Hopkins was recently dismissed by the school board.
9. A couple of 2012 prosects to keep an eye on are twins Daron and Zack Blaylock of Marietta. The Walton High athletes are the sons of former Atlanta Hawks player Mookie Blaylock. And while they have yet to land any major college offers, they are being recruited hard by Clemson and Florida. Last month they attended the Gators’ “Friday Night Lights camp.” Daron is 6-feet, 205-pounds and plays running back and cornerback. Zack is 6-feet, 183-pounds and plays wide receiver and safety.
10. THIS & THAT: UGA commitment Sterling Bailey, a 6-5, 260-pound OLB/DE from Gainesville’s East Hall High, was elevated to four-star status by Scout.com this week. . . . Chase Hounsel, a 6-6, 250-pound offensive tackle from Mentor, Ohio, committed to Florida on Wednesday. He’s 13th pledge of the Gators’ 2011 class. . . . DE Jadeveon Clowney, who is generally considered the No. 1 overall prospect in America, now says Alabama and South Carolina are in virtual deadlock for the top spot on his list. At one time the 6-6, 245-pound athlete from Rock Hill, S.C., was also considering Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and North Carolina.