Ten@10: Tuitt-to-Notre Dame hurts but all not lost for Georgia Tech

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Without a doubt, Stephon Tuitt was the top defensive recruit remaining on Georgia Tech’s board for the Class of 2011. The Monroe Area defensive end’s decision to choose Notre Dame on Wednesday after calling the Yellow Jackets his leader for most of the calendar year had to feel like a kick in the gut to Tech’s coaches and fans. But here are some reasons to feel better: (A) The Jackets have had a solid recruiting year already, with 13 commitments, including four from much-needed offensive linemen; (B) they have a pledge from a four-star linebacker already (Hillgrove’s Jabari Hunt-Days) and a quarterback (Vad Lee of Durham, N.C.) that probably ought to have four stars; (C) they are closing in on four-star CB Blake Countess of Owings Mill, N.C., and continue to make headway with RB Romar Morris, whose UNC commitment is wavering; and, finally, (E) it’s not over with Tuitt. Recruiting has been an emotional proposition for this 6-foot-5, 260-pound athlete. Even as he announced his Notre Dame decision he stated how strongly he felt about Tech and bad he felt about saying no to its coaches. You can be sure the Jackets aren’t picking up stakes and heading home. They’ll stay after him.

2. In the meantime, Tuitt’s commitment to Notre Dame is being lauded as a major success for first-year coach Brian Kelly that could have a pied piper effect for the Irish. Here are the news stories from the South Bend Tribune and the Chicago Tribune.

3. Speaking of Hunt-Days, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound combine conqueror has been getting it done on the field for Hillgrove this season. He has had back-to-back 20-tackle games for the Hawks, including 15 solos and 8 assists in a win over North Forsyth this past weekend. In the meantime, he’s still waiting for a crack on offense, where he stood out as a fullback and running back last season. His serviced haven’t been required with the addition of Ike Onyeagba. But he thinks he’ll get a chance to tote the rock before the season is over. “I believe [the coaches] are waiting until critical region play or the playoffs,”Hunt-Days said.

Of course, like any four-star prospect, Hunt-Days said he is still receiving recruiting overtures from a number of schools, including Georgia, LSU and Vanderbilt. “However, Georgia Tech is my commitment,” he said.

4. In the meantime, Georgia Tech made an announcement Wednesday that should help recruiting. The school has received a $3.5 million dollar commitment from Mary R. and John F. Brock to fund a new $7 million indoor practice facility. The 80,000-square-foot building will be erected on the current site of Rose Bowl Field. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year.

“Having a new facility will give us many more options,” coach Paul Johnson said in a release. “Throughout the year, we have thunderstorms that make it unsafe to practice outdoors, and Atlanta summers are well known for their incredible heat. This new facility will prevent any disruption of our practice routine. It will also significantly help with recruiting.”

Brock is chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises. He and his wife are both Tech graduates.

5. Tech’s decision to , Georgia is scheduled move into a new practice and training facility sometime in November. The Bulldogs spent $40 million to expand Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall by 53,000 square feet, which includes an open area that could be utilized for indoor, walk-through practices. But the crown jewel of the new facility is expected to be a mammoth weight room and training facility. The football team has been working out  in the relatively tiny weight room at Stegeman Coliseum since construction began.

6. Georgia coach Mark Richt himself called Saturday’s game against Arkansas “as big as they get” and the Bulldogs don’t play at home for another three weeks. So it’s no wonder they will be packing in the blue-chip recruits for the game. Among the dozens of unofficial visitors planning to be in attendance are three AJC Super 11 prospects: Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell, Griffin DE Xzavier Dickson and Grady ATH Damian Swann. The Bulldogs also will be bringing in two elite out-of-staters for official visits: WR Ty Montgomery of Dallas, Texas (a Stanford commit) and CB Marcus Robertson of St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Other notable unofficial visitors, include five-star OT John Theus of Jacksonville, Fla.; OL Spencer Region, Cullman, Ala.; QB Greyson Lambert, Jesup; DE Junior Gnonkonde, Lakeland; WR Nile Daniel, Griffin; DB Deion Bonner, Carver-Columbus; DB Riyahd Jones, Carver-Columbus; Jacob Southerland, Mableton; OL/DL Tre Jackson, Wayne County; DT Jordan Watkins, College Park;  and DE Carlos Wray, Shelby, N.C. The majority of the visitors are Class of 2012 targets. That does NOT include already-committed prospects, of which there is expected to be at least 10.

7. Tigerbait.com is reporting that LSU has offered a scholarship to former Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger, redshirt freshman from Watkinsville, has been lighting it up as the starting quarterback at Butler County Community College in Kansas. Just this past weekend the 6-foot-5, 240-pound signal caller completed 14-of-20 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-7 win over Highland. For the year, he’s 40-of-63 for 728 yards with 10 TDs and 1 interception for Butler, which is ranked No. 2 among junior colleges. Mettenberger was the nation’s 11th-ranked pro-style quaterback when he signed with Georgia in 2009. He was dismissed from Georgia in May after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery following an incident last spring in Valdosta.

8. Remember B.J. Butler, the linebacker/defensive end from Kissimmee Fla., who was committed to Georgia until they parted ways in January and he eventually signed with Louisville? Well, he started for the Cardinals at defensive this past week. Played pretty good, too, according to this account in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

9. AJC Super 11 linebacker A.J. Johnson of Gainesville told me he plans to take official visits to Clemson, Florida, Miami, Southern Cal and Tennessee this fall. He’ll be heading up to Knoxville for the UT-Florida game this weekend on an unofficial visit.

10. THIS AND THAT: Georgia State landed a basketball commitment for its class of 2011 on Wednesday  in  Jervon Pressley of Charlotte. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound center/power forward is described as a “great athlete” by Scout’s Dave Telep. He’s ranked No. 23 at his position by ESPN. . . . Georgia Miltary DE Leroy Vick (6-6, 275) committed to East Carolina this week.

96 comments Add your comment

Gtloyal

September 16th, 2010
10:11 am

Gtloyal

September 16th, 2010
10:11 am

DAWGPOUND

September 16th, 2010
10:13 am

juvenal

September 16th, 2010
10:14 am

at least recruiting from a much smaller pool saves us a lot of time…..

turkeyneck

September 16th, 2010
10:15 am

always a positive spin for tech no matter what.
maybe he does not want to play for a team that runs a high school offense, can’t beat kansas in football much less basketball, and plays in a conf that flat out stinks.

juvenal

September 16th, 2010
10:18 am

doubt they practice outside in the spring next to lake michigan…

RxDawg

September 16th, 2010
10:19 am

Thanks for the great info as always Chip.

Tough break for the nerds, I hate to see the good ones go out of state.

I wonder why AJ Johnson has zero interest in UGA? ….Or does UGA have zero interest in Mr. Johnson?

I’m not surprised to see Zach Mett.. get quality offers. I would be a little surprised if he attends another SEC school. It seems like he would want to leave all that in the past and move on at another conference and institution.

That’s a nice list of names at the Dawgs game this weekend. I sure hope we can impress them and pull in some future Bulldogs. I also hope the current ones can man up a little bit and take it to Arkansas. Go Dawgs!

Gerald

September 16th, 2010
10:24 am

Well, the Stephon Tuitt thing hurts primarily because Georgia Tech used to do very well in south Georgia, getting guys like Shawn Jones, Joe Burns and Daryl Smith from down there. (Charlie Ward also initially committed to Georgia Tech but couldn’t come because of grades). I don’t blame Tuitt for wanting to go to a national program like Notre Dame, and ND has been working Georgia hard ever since Tyrone Willingham was their coach. GT is going to continue to lose guys to Notre Dame, and if things continue the way that they are, UGA is going to start losing some kids to ND also. ND is already doing rather well with guys that UGA didn’t offer but should have like Tai-ler Jones and The issue is that Georgia Tech has to do a better job of working south Georgia for prospects instead of going after all these kids from outside Georgia and the southeast that have no reason to consider a program that hasn’t won a major bowl game in 50 years (even Tech’s national title came in the Gator Bowl). Bobby Ross won a national title with players mostly from Georgia with a few from Florida and New Jersey (yes, I know that his predecessor recruited a lot of the talent, but he got his players from the same places). Why that recruiting model hasn’t been good enough for any GT coach ever since is a mystery. Those south Georgia players that won a lot of games for GT and UGA from places like Thomasville, Albany, Blakely, Tifton, Americus, Bainbridge and Valdosta are still there. UGA obviously has no interest in them, but why GT won’t go after those players is a mystery.

Chip Towers

September 16th, 2010
10:25 am

Gerald: Monroe Area is in Northeast Georgia, just outside of Athens.

Gerald

September 16th, 2010
10:27 am

RxDawg:
.
You just don’t want Mettenberger to come back and beat UGA. My goodness, why on earth would he want to leave the entire SEC behind? The SEC didn’t kick him off the team when he had won the starting job when other guys who had done far worse kept getting chance after chance, UGA and Richt did. And Mettenberger will get a better shot to succeed in the SEC than he will anywhere else. ACC schools won’t go after a guy who has been kicked out of someplace else, Big 10 schools are leaving the pro-style offense behind, and there are too many good QBs in the Big 12.

Chip Towers

September 16th, 2010
10:28 am

RxDawg: I’ll answer that question and others in an update I’m doing an update on A.J. Johnson that will run tomorrow. Also, I’ll be at Gainesville’s game at North Hall tomorrow night as part of the Channel 2 Sports Zone Game of the Week broadcast team.

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
10:28 am

RxDawg, UGA has zero interest in AJ Johnson for multiple reasons that I will not get into on this board.

Good to see Mett doing well. Like you, RxDawg, I think he needs to move on to another conference and get a fresh start on his career after he is done at Butler.

Gerald

September 16th, 2010
10:28 am

Ooops. My bad. For some reason I was thinking Monroe High School in Albany.

mmgtfan

September 16th, 2010
10:29 am

RX: Thanks for the condolences. Seriously. We need them. And to answer your question about AJ I think it is the ladder of the two. Tech had interest in him but he wants out of here from what i can tell

Chris

September 16th, 2010
10:30 am

Thanks Chip for the great information. Question: Do you think UGA will go after another quarterback in this class? LeMay’s great, but insurance at that position is always important. Thanks again Chip.

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
10:34 am

Gerald, if UGA has no interest in kids from S. GA then why are we recruiting Jay Rome (Valdosta), Malcom Mitchell (Valdosta) and Ray Drew (TCC) and already have an offer out to 2012 LB/TE Josh Clemons from Lowndes?!?! Your posts were not well thought out…

GeoffDawg

September 16th, 2010
10:51 am

Question – are we targeting any DTs that could fill the size requirements for the nose position in the 3-4? I think we saw against USC that you’ve got to have the big body in the middle to free up your Linebackers to make plays. Anderson and Geathers are nice pieces but I’d like to see some more depth there. Tyson isn’t the long term solution and you’ve got to keep those big dudes fresh.

GeoffDawg

September 16th, 2010
10:52 am

Lowndes25 – I believe that Nick Marshall is a South Georgia kid too if I’m not mistaken.

North Ave Killer Beez

September 16th, 2010
10:53 am

TUITT: Why would you not want to represent your state? We need to keep Georgia’s best athlete’s here. I dont even care if they go to UGA over GT as long as they stay in-state. It sucks seeing georgia bread players going to FL,AUB,TN Just imagine if they all stayed in state, how good GT & UGA would be. Just a thought! STAY HOME TUITT

Joshua Barlowe

September 16th, 2010
10:55 am

Tough blow on Tuitt. Hopefully, after Tech turns it around and finishes with a good record and ND finishes 6-6 he’ll change his mind. Or hopefully he takes another official visit to South Bend during the month of January. Notre Dame is a beautiful place in September. Notsomuch in the dead of winter.

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
10:56 am

GeoffDawg, I think you will see DT Tre Jackson get an offer sometime pretty soon…he is supposed to be carrying his highlight video with him when he goes up to Athens this weekend. He would have a ton of offers right now had he not torn his ACL last year. Also, JUCO DT Maurice Couch should get an offer from UGA in the coming weeks.

RxDawg

September 16th, 2010
10:57 am

Gerald, you ASSuME a little too much. I wish Zach well and he is free to attend any school he wishes to and that will accept him. That said, say he does go to LSU next year (I don’t think LSU is on UGA’s schedule for at least a few years by the way). Now, can you imagine what kind of taunting rival fans, that are very familiar with his past, will dish out? I’d be willing to bet it could get downright nasty. If I was in Zach’s shoes, I’d be thinking of heading out of the southeast.

Thanks for the replies Chip and Lowndes25.

Chris, I may be wrong here, but I think that Greyson QB kid is a junior and part of the 2012 class. But I’m shooting from memory here and what I thought I read somewhere…

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
10:58 am

You are correct GeoffDawg, Nick Marshall is from Wilcox County which is not too far from Tifton GA.

Weatherman

September 16th, 2010
11:00 am

Good thing ND gets recruits up there in September, because in a few weeks the sun won’t come out for 6 months and it feels like the North Pole until May.

Chip Towers

September 16th, 2010
11:10 am

GeoffDawg: 2011 commitment Chris Mayes (6-5, 295) of Spalding HS in Griffin is a nice start.

Eh??

September 16th, 2010
11:11 am

Gerald, really, the ACC won’t go after kids who have been kicked out of other schools? Please, they want to win just as much as the others.

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
11:11 am

Chris, I am not Chip, but I can answer your question for you…UGA is not planning on taking another QB in this class.

RxDawg, Greyson Lambert is a class of 2012 QB that I am sure will get an offer from the Dawgs. However, I don’t think we will get him due to the young QBs that we will have on our roster next year. More than likely, we will make a big push for the young QB out of Camden County and Eddie Printz from Lassiter.

Chip Towers

September 16th, 2010
11:12 am

Chris: I do NOT think Georgia will offer another QB in this class. Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay plus two walkons should get them by next season. The Dogs are definitely in the market for 2012, however.

RambleOn84

September 16th, 2010
11:12 am

I don’t like talking negatively about kids, but c’mon…NOTRE DAME???

I wish you the best, but this is not a very good decision football-wise. If you are Catholic or love the academics or campus or something, fine…but Notre Dame has been irrelevant for years and will continue to be for years to come…

ryan

September 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Hey Lowndes 25 do have and idea were Crowell is leaning the most and if there is a lock out in the NFL Ingram will come back and could have an impact on Crowell choice .

GTBob

September 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Of course not all is lost for GT. They already have some great recruits, and will get more before NSD. Tuitt would have been a great pickup but no recruit is really worth worrying about that much. Recruiting still seems to be going well this off season.

Chip Towers

September 16th, 2010
11:15 am

Lowndes25: Eddie Printz Jr. is Class of 2013.

TommyP

September 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Notre Dame is SO irrelevant that they have their own network to show all of their games to the whole country.

That’s just a poor statement calling Notre Dame irrelevant. They’re a sleeping giant that Kelly is about to awaken.

ryan

September 16th, 2010
11:28 am

I hate give GT advice but you do have until signing day to change his mind UGA has not given up on recruits that have committed already we are still after Ty Montgomery .

Glory Glory

September 16th, 2010
11:28 am

It makes me laugh to see Tech lose a prized recruit.

Your “fans” have been nothing less than snobby since you got an arrogant coach to make you socially awkward, low self esteemed, pimply faced maggots feel better about yourself.

Now I want to know how beautiful that Super Bowl ring is that you kept talking about on Al Groh’s finger, and how well has it helped gobble (no pun intended) up top defensive recruits?

Keep being snobby about your trade school acedemics, and remind people how stupid they are for not wanting to be an engineer. Then sit back and wonder why people enjoy watching you fail.

RambleOn84

September 16th, 2010
11:31 am

TommyP,
Replace “Kelly” with “Weis” and you have the popular sentiment 5 years ago…

Are you one of those people who thought Miami and FSU were finally “back” this year?

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Yeah, I know Chip :) …so is the kid out of Camden County, Brice Ramsey….I meant to say that we will not offer another kid in this years class, probably won’t go really hard after anyone in next year’s class but we should be hard after a top signal caller in both 2012 and 2013.

ryan, Crowell is still a UGA lean…he was impressed by his visit to Tuscaloosa but he is not dumb enough to believe the line that he will automatically be playing next to T. Richardson next year if he was to choose Bama. Bama has some really good depth behind Ingram and Richardson (i.e. Lacey) and Crowell knows that. However, at UGA, we don’t have near the RB depth…Ken Malcome is a great back but nowhere near the talent that Crowell is…plus, like I have stated before, he and Jarvis Jones are VERY close. And, to answer your question, if Ingram was to come back that would definitely affect Crowell’s choice…it would make him even more of a Dawg lean :)

RambleOn84

September 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Glory Glory,
Thank you for your comments. Our researchers have been working tirelessly to find out why all Tech fans have low self esteem and pimples. When we need a break, we will be sure to order our coffee loudly and clearly into the speaker so that you won’t screw up our order again.

Glory Glory

September 16th, 2010
11:34 am

I have heard SEVERAL Techies in the past say that Paul Manboobs Johnson has a policy, that when you commit to Tech, you are COMMITED.

So why would he pull a double standard and continue to hound a kid who has already commited elsewhere.

You Tech geeks are a real joke.

Clarification

September 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Huge loss for the yeller skeeters. Has anyone else noticed the utter lack of playmakers on this year’s GT team? PJ has been seriously watering down their talent level, and this was another huge step in that direction.

It’s pretty apparent what direction things are going in for GT, but their fans still have some kind of blind crush on Manboobs. I imagine some of them will wake up by the time GT is 7-5 at the end of the year playing in the GMAC bowl after ANOTHER loss to UGA.

GeoffDawg

September 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Thanks for the input Chip / Lowndes25. I’d agree that going after a JUCO transfer at nose would pay some immediate dividends where it’s sorely needed.

TommyP – Notre Dame isn’t irrelevant but they’ve been enjoying benefits that they don’t deserve for a loooong time now. The sweetheart deals they’ve been getting from the BCS and the other bowls is strictly because they have so many followers. All the Nielsen ratings in the world won’t help them score touchdowns. I think Brian Kelly is a good coach as well but with the profligation of media coverage over the last decade or two, I don’t think you’ll ever see the Golden Domers experience the coverage advantage with recruits that they once did.

ryan

September 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Thanks for info Lowdnes 25 its apparent that Crowell wants to be the instate hero and break Hershel record as a Dawg .

Sanford Drive

September 16th, 2010
11:42 am

I for one cannot wait to see the “Mighty” Triple Option after Nesbit is gone.

RambleOn84

September 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Funny how haters make fun of how Nesbitt can’t throw the ball (which has some validity), but at the same time tell us we’re doomed as soon as he leaves.

Lowndes25

September 16th, 2010
11:48 am

UGA fans, I would watch out for CB Riyadh Jones (a current Kentucky commit) from Carver-Columbus…he is a phenominal athlete that often gets overlooked due to the talent he plays with. He has played a lot on both sides of the ball, but he is a CB on the next level no doubt. If things go south with Malcom Mitchell out of Valdosta, then I think we offer Riyadh and get him. Our coaching staff has put a huge focus on Carver-Columbus and the fruits are beginning to show…we already lead for 2012 CB Deion Bonner and 2012 TE/WR Artimas Samuel from Carver (both of whom will be in the running for the top player in the state next year).

ryan

September 16th, 2010
11:59 am

That would be huge on Jones but i think Mitchell is safe right now .

Big Johnson

September 16th, 2010
12:01 pm

I wish him well with ND. He’ll do great there even if the program is on life support. They cannot beat any quality opponents and their lack of conference affiliation is actually handicapping them in recruiting. I don’t see Kelly being the second coming of Lou Holtz either. He’s a decent enough coach but he’s playing the big boys now in schools like USC and Michigan. This isn’t the Big Least anymore.

GT won the MNC in 1990 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fl. Not the Gator…

Based on what I saw this weekend, GT’s offense was light years ahead of what Bobo and Richt let that Murray kid run. Looked sort of like Pop Warner ball.

Aptd4

September 16th, 2010
12:10 pm

Thoughts on Hunt Days player early next year and Status of his brother? Bostic, Ayers, and the current Freshman LB seems like exciting players to look forward to.

Jason

September 16th, 2010
12:15 pm

@Big Johnson:

“They cannot beat any quality opponents and their lack of conference affiliation is actually handicapping them in recruiting.”

Like pulling a 4-star, high profile recruit out of Georgia?! The affiliation/conference thing makes no sense – why would they restrict themselve with a Big Ten footprint when they have been gettings kids from California, the south (not so much but growing, and evertwhere in between. Look at their class this year and you’ll see 7 or 8 different states from their ~18 commits…

YoungDawg

September 16th, 2010
12:22 pm

Chip,

Is Christian LeMay one of the committed kids that will be at UGA this weekend?

Has he been on campus since committing?

Since he’s not playing this season he should be on campus every weekend UGA is at home. Of course within what the NCAA allows. Also whatever the rules are on workouts & giving him the playbook etc. should be exercised to get him acclimated to the offense. This will also strengthen his commitment. I think we should still recruit other QBs in this class just as insurance in case LeMay doesn’t get admitted or backs out at the last minute. However he wants to be an early enrollee so we’ll know in Dec or Jan if he’s not coming then we’ll need to be ready to offer another QB.