Ten@10: Finding the next A.J. Green difficult for Georgia


Finding the next A.J. Green has been difficult for Georgia. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Finding 6-foot-5 receivers with the speed and hands of A.J. Green has been a challenge for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

1. Georgia’s A.J. Green will miss the first third of this season due to an NCAA suspension then, in all likelihood, leave for NFL riches at the end of the year. So one would think elite receivers would be beating down the door to succeed Green in Athens. But, to date, that hasn’t been the case. The Bulldogs currently have three wideouts committed in the Class of 2011, but none of the ilk of Green, who was the top receiver prospect in the South when he left Summerville, S.C. Green’s absence brings to the forefront the relative dearth of wide receiver talent lining up to succeed him.

Georgia thought it addressed Green’s successor last year with the recruitment of Da’Rick Rogers, a five-star wide receiver from Calhoun and the state’s top overall prospect. But after being committed to the Bulldogs for eight months, Rogers pulled an 11th-hour reversal and signed with Tennessee. That put Georgia in a bind. It came up short on five-star targets Christian Green of Tampa and Chris Dunkley of Pahokee and signed only two wideouts in the class: three-star prospect Michael Bennett of Alpharetta and two-star prospect Lonnie Outlaw, who had to start in junior college.

This season, Georgia has landed a commitment from North Paulding’s Chris Conley (6-3, 185), an AJC Super 11 selection and the top player in the state at the position. He’s joined by three-star prospects Justin Scott-Wesley (6-1, 210) of Mitchell County and Zach Witchett (6-0, 185) of Booker T. Washington. But so far, the Dogs haven’t been able to convince any blue-chippers to come their way. Five-star recruit Charone Peake of Spartanburg, S.C., committed to Clemson this summer, they’ve fallen far behind Miami and Clemson for five-star target Sammy Watkins of Fort Myers, and four-star target Rashad Greene of Ft. Lauderdale committed to FSU.

It would appear the Dogs remain in the market for at least two more wideouts in this class. A couple they have their sights on are Tobias Singleton (6-2, 200) of Madison, Miss., and Ty Montgomery (6-1, 202), a Stanford commitment from Dallas, Texas, who plans to visit UGA sometime this season. The top uncommitted wideouts in the state include Cedar Grove’s Vincent Dallas (5-11, 185) and Johnson County’s Zack Walker (6-1, 185). Georgia could also try to sway away Sandy Creek’s Alex Chisum (6-2, 185) from his Cincinnati commitment. They might also consider Valdosta defensive back prospect Malcolm Mitchell for offense. Mitchell has stood out for the Wildcats as a receiver.

2. Meanwhile, the cupboard is not completely bare of wide receiver talent in Athens. Marlon Brown, a five-star recruit out of Memphis, has been coming on in his sophomore season, according to coach Mark Richt. And Kris Durham, Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten and Israel Troupe offer the Bulldogs viable alternatives. But considering Durham (24-334) is the second-most productive receiver behind Green (109-1,772), it’s evident the position needs to be addressed in both quality and quantity through recruiting.

3. A couple of major talents are expected to be in Columbia, S.C., for the Georgia-South Carolina game. Five-star offensive line prospect Brandon Shell (6-7, 310) of Goose Creek, S.C., plans to be in attendance but has to take the ACT Saturday morning, according to PalmettoSports. Shell, the nephew of former NFL head coach Art Shell, is trying to decide between Georgia and the Gamecocks. Meanwhile, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney – considered the No. 1 overall prospect in America by Rivals.com — will also be at the game. Clowney (6-6, 240) once considered Georgia but now is thought to be leaning toward South Carolina and Alabama.

4. Norcross DT Ben Bradley (6-2, 270) committed to West Virginia on Wednesday, according to 247Sports.com. Bradley, who gets two stars from Scout but is not rated by Rivals, is the Mountaineers’ 13th commitment. He chose them over N.C. State and UCF.

5. Geno Smith of St. Pius, considered one of the top junior defensive backs in the state, told me Wednesday he received a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt. That’s No. 6 for Smith (5-11, 170), who also has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech.

6. I’ve been studying up for Friday night’s Channel 2 Sports Zone Game of the Week between McEachern and Marietta and I was taken aback by the number of legitimate college prospects the Indians have. Tight end Rory Anderson (6-5, 212) is probably the best known prospect for McEachern, but there are several others, including LB Jefferson Ashiru (6-2, 215), WR Chris Davis (5-10, 170), WR Amba Etta-Tawo (6-2, 173), OT Xavier Hemingway (6-4, 258), RB Chris Nwagbara (5-10, 177), DE Chris Okpala (6-1, 225), QB/ATH Dondre Purnell (5-10, 178), LB Marquis Roberts (6-0, 205) and RB Zarold Wilder (5-7, 188). It’s no wonder they’re ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAA.

7. In the end, Florida did not end up playing 16 true freshmen in its opener against Miami-Ohio last weekend as was predicted. One of the newbies expected to get playing time was Lithonia running back Mack Brown. But Brown, an AJC Super 11 selection from M.L. King High, ended up staying on the bench as the Gators’ offense struggled like it hasn’t in years against a team that went 1-11 a year ago. True freshmen that were impressive included S Matt Elam, DT Sharrif Floyd,and DE Ronald Powell, according to this update at GatorSports.com.

8. Speaking of the Gators, early video highlights of Florida commitment Jeff Driskel, a quarterback from Oviedo, Fla., have UF fans already drawing comparisons to Tim Tebow, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Driskel (6-4, 225) is also a big quarterback and doesn’t mind lowering his head for yardage. Pretty good arm, too, from what I can tell. See for yourself.

9. There’s a really good story out of Knoxville on how new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley requires assistants to put down in writing their thoughts and observations on a recruit before deciding to offer them a scholarship. He said he believes they need accountability when they miss on their evaluations and try to figure out where they went wrong.

10. THIS & THAT: The obscene gesture and helmet toss by Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., tight end Nick O’LearyJack Nicklaus’ grandson — resulted in a two-game suspension from Dwyer High School. . . . Three freshmen stood out for Georgia Tech in its opener against South Carolina State last Saturday: RB B.J. Bostic (5 carries, 30 yards), S Isaiah Johnson (4 tackles, 1 for loss) and LB Jeremian Attaochu (one tackle). . . . OL Trenton Brown (6-7, 310) of Albany-Westover added a scholarship offer from Western Kentucky to one he already had from East Carolina, according to Scout.com’s Chad Simmons. . . . ESPN’s Jamie Newberg reports that North Carolina commitments are beginning to get anxious about the Tar Heels’ dealings with the NCAA.

139 comments Add your comment


September 9th, 2010
10:06 am

Dawg House

September 9th, 2010
10:11 am

First not to say “First”….. wait…… NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg House

September 9th, 2010
10:13 am

Look, it’s never a bad thing to have a receiver like A.J. Green on ANY team. But UGA needs to get back to a Run First team. We have Caleb and Washaun for this season and next, and from the looks of it, Isiah Crowell coming in after that.

We do not NEED a 5 star receiver, more like receivers who are good enoughto establish them as a threat, but not the go-to guy.


September 9th, 2010
10:14 am

Any chance Peake is reconsidering his commitment?

Sanford Drive

September 9th, 2010
10:21 am

A.J. Green WILL be in a UGA uniform this time next year, as the NFL will go into a player lockout.

Glory Glory

September 9th, 2010
10:28 am

Georgia does not need AJ Green to win……..

just ask Georgia Tech……. 30……….. to………..24

NCAA violations

September 9th, 2010
10:36 am

How many secondary violations did Chip commit this week?

Damon likes Red

September 9th, 2010
10:38 am

ITS OK…..Dawgs have Da’Rick! OOOPS


September 9th, 2010
10:40 am

The almighty NCAA has spoken,so let it be written, so let be said,there is nothing fair about any of this bullcrap! A.J. gave the money to charity,he was suspended for one game,that should be more than enough punishment! It’s enough to make you sich.

Barack Dawg

September 9th, 2010
10:41 am

Dawg House – you are very wrong. Georgia does need good receivers like AJ and other 5 star receivers to come to UGA. If you don’t have them then you don’t get the great QBs either. Then you don’t get the great Tide Ends. They work in tandem and you need to have a the best quality players in every position that you can get. Period.

Your thoughts would work in the Big Ten and not the SEC.

Dawg Man

September 9th, 2010
10:45 am



September 9th, 2010
10:46 am

No interest at all in Phillip Daniels’ son out of Illinois? He’s an elite WR prospect, isn’t he?


September 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Here is the deal… Having an A.J. Green on the team is a great asset and can create an uneven matchup for a DB or 2. But wouldn’t you take 2 or 3 above average wide receivers over 1 superstar, for the simple reason that you can’t double team 2 or 3 WR’s. Another reason is the instance going on in Athens right now, people rely on that one game changer to show up and when he isn’t healthy or is ineligible the fans begin doubting the TEAM. Does anybody remember UGA having a superstar wide receiver when they won either SEC championship this decade? Neither Do I…they were a TEAM.

UGA 24
USC 21

Tide Roll

September 9th, 2010
10:53 am

Mark Richt’s flotation device for Lake Whatever- $25.00, Bobo’s six pack of Bud- $8.50, Auburn signing Cam Newton- Priceless


September 9th, 2010
10:54 am

Justin Scott-Wesley (6-1, 210) – I wonder if this speedster has a career at RB in the future?

WR’s are a little overrated. There are a lot of them out there, UGA will be fine. We actually have a lot of really good WR’s after the NFL preped AJ.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

September 9th, 2010
11:03 am

it’s hard to recruit some HS receiver like AJ- big shoes to fill. IMO, Brown/Gray/King/Durham will have a great season. Conley should be a great addition next year but still need a few more WRs.


September 9th, 2010
11:07 am

I saw Singleton at UGA last week..Thought it interesting that he visited from Miss. for such a “small” game.

Long Gator

September 9th, 2010
11:09 am

To Glory Glory:

You can beat GT all you want because you will be #2 or #3 in
SEC East.

Get ready for your annual beatdown in Jax FL

We own you


September 9th, 2010
11:12 am

TIde Roll, I don’t know why you want to keep harping on Cam Newton. He transferred to Auburn in Jan. UGA didn’t need another QB at that time…we had 3.

Also, everyone is killing UGA for player discipline issues yet you think we should’ve gotten another guy with past problems… yeah, that’s exactly what we need.

Chip Towers

September 9th, 2010
11:16 am

GeoffDawg: The recruitment — or lack thereof — of DaVaris Daniels continues to be a curious one. Last time I checked still no offer from UGA. Looks like Notre Dame, Miami or Oklahoma for him. . . .

RxDawg: JSW is certainly built like a RB but I don’t believe there are any plans for him to play there. He does get some carries and also plays DB at Mitchell County. . . .

Dr. Noisewater: I’d say the opportunity is ripe for one or two of these former blue-chippers to step up. . . .

NCAA violations: I’ve never committed an NCAA violation. Not a member.


September 9th, 2010
11:19 am

buds 30 for $18, here…LG’s point may be about playing in conference REALLY is more pertinent…for instance, over the last 10 years GT has done quite well against CU, UNC, UM, BC…


September 9th, 2010
11:21 am

C.King is a BUST. Give little C.Thomas a shot. He runs hard with heart. Let W.Ealey & C.Thomas run the rock, and let King be the 3rd down back.


September 9th, 2010
11:23 am

Why is it that everybody is acting like we haven’t played without A.J. before? As for Driskell he has the talent and the arm but he is like Garcia and will just throw the ball up for grabs if you get him in trouble.


September 9th, 2010
11:24 am

Zach Walker from Johnson County has the best hands that I have ever seen at any level. He also has the ability to go get the ball better than any defender.

He is amazing.

Bama Fan #2

September 9th, 2010
11:29 am

Chip any word on how good recruits will be in 2012 class? RTR


September 9th, 2010
11:38 am

UGA 30 UGA 10. You guys love to beat yourselves! Its actually quite funny to sit back and watch. What a train wreck your program has become. Sad, but I love it.


September 9th, 2010
11:41 am

Is it me or are all the WR prospects 6-2 or shorter?
i guess there just isnt a lot of 6-5 AJ Green types out there….

nesbitt for heisman

September 9th, 2010
11:44 am

1 for 6 8yds and an int!

Chip Towers

September 9th, 2010
11:46 am

Dawg_Mike: That was my point of including the size of these prospects. Not many like A.J.

Bama Fan #2: 2012 looks typically strong in Georgia.


September 9th, 2010
11:53 am

What about Marshall, they recuited who is a HS QB, he can play receiver, also the WR you named that committed to UGA are pretty good, I thought Chris Conley was a big time commit.
Tech commit Jeff Greene fits the mold but he hurt his hand and is out for awhile.

[...] Ten@10: Georgia not finding many new A.J. Greens | AJC College … [...]


September 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

what does this have to do with the nerds?


September 9th, 2010
12:12 pm

@Long Gator

Have you guys found a center that can snap the ball yet?

Buzzz Killer

September 9th, 2010
12:23 pm

NerdCentral@NorthAve if you mean “train wreck” as in whipping GT year end and year out, then yes GA is a “train wreck”!!!!

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

You should get the NCAA to suit up for you guys , they have knock out power

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

Richt is coaching for free this year , next year will write a book about it , gonna be a best seller


September 9th, 2010
12:35 pm


Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

Les Miles looking for a good shoe shine boy , heard Richt will be unemployed soon , just sayin

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:38 pm

Georgia should look for its next great wide out in Helen Georgia , they have plenty of street peddlers.

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:41 pm

what do you get when you put the whole Georgia Bulldogs team on the football field , I dunno cant seem to get them on the field

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

If your looking for the next great wide receiver , here is an assortment of recruits for you. As you can see they are well motivated young men , tried and true , and never give up easily.
ill be here all week

Let us be real

September 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

Who is the ALL TIME receiver at UGA? It ain’t AJ Green, gang. It is Terrence Edwards gang. He was probaly a 3 star QB in HS and his Bro Robert Edwards was probably a 3 star Line backer too. He was a great running back AFTER Goff moved him out of desperation.

Terrence Edwards was a fabulous receiver except for that drop in the Florida game where he was in full stride, on the 35 or 40, heading toward the corner goal and he muffed it. Easy catch it was.

My point? He was great ………… and I am sure that to compete at a high level in SEC we can get about 2 or three good uns per year ……like the now QB at Wilcox County ………coming to UGA. We also have Wooten and King and Marvelous Marlon Brown, Israel Troupe and Kris Durden and Mike Bennett. UGA is set ………..so coach em up Bobo and Ball.

All this 5 star crap is so over rated.

Go Dogs.

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

Since your team is all 5 star players , you get my point

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
12:51 pm

This just in , Georgia is a Joke …. we now return to you to your regular blogging pleasure

Tokyo jacket

September 9th, 2010
12:56 pm

Doug, do you think playing true freshmen that have talent helps recruiting? Or do you think it’s hard for the parents of the upper classmen to stomach seeing “kids” start over their seasoned veterans?

Also, no Tech recruiting news? Seriously???


September 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

Gamecock here: And what is South Carolinas record vs UGA. Tell us about that rich gamecock football tradition, and all of your 4 bowl victories, How about the 1 (acc 1969)conference championships? BCS bowls? zero
Spurriers wins vs. UGA since hes been at South Carolina? 1

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
1:04 pm

hey kb , thats hitting below the belt, not fair , talking about the past ….. oh wait , doesn’t matter you guys still suck


September 9th, 2010
1:04 pm

UGA has for some reason played better with out AJ when was hurt for those final 3 games UGA beat Vandy , Auburn, and , Tech and Cox was the QB and now with Murray and all those weapons the Dawgs should be OK .

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

Game winning drive , 4th down ,45 sec left on the clock…. Aaron Murry hits AJ Green on the UGA sideline , turn over on downs

Game Cock Here

September 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

Tokyo , does Tech recruit , must be one hell of an elementary school close by