Ten@10: Moore, Walls, Swann all get their Army All-America invites

THE TEN AT 10:

Avery Walls delivers his carefull-scripted and well-rehearsed speech at Eagles Landing Christian Academy after accepting his U.S. Army All-America invitation on Monday. (Photo provided by ECLA)

Avery Walls delivers his carefully-scripted and well-rehearsed speech at Eagles Landing Christian Academy after accepting his U.S. Army All-America invitation on Monday. (Photo provided by ECLA)

1. Avery Walls received his official U.S. Army All-American Bowl invitation on Monday when U.S. Army officers and members of the game’s selection committee came to Eagles Landing Christian Academy in McDonough for a formal presentation. It’s a tradition for the nation’s oldest national high school all-star game, which will be played on Jan. 8 in San Antonio (1 p.m., NBC). For Walls, the hardest part was standing up in front of the whole school — complete with marching band and cheerleaders — and delivering a speech. “I was kind of nervous, but I have a speech class at school and they got me prepared for it,” said Walls, a defensive back who holds 33 scholarship offers. “I practiced it on my girlfriend’s family the day before.”

2. Walls is one of at least six Georgians who are invited to participate in the prestigious game. Griffin safety Corey Moore, a UGA commitment, was the first to be recognized when the Army game entourage came to his school Friday. WR/DB Damian Swann welcomed the group to Grady High this morning. Others who have accepted invitations include East Hall DE/OLB Sterling Bailey (Georgia), Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew (uncommitted) and Monroe Area DE Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame).

3. As for Walls, indications continue to be that he will attend college far away from home. He is traveling to Oregon this weekend for an official visit built around the Ducks’ big game against Stanford. The following weekend he’ll take an official visit to California. His first official visit was to Michigan the first weekend of September for the UConn game. He’ll decide between Michigan State, UCLA, UConn and Virginia for his final two trips. He is also planning an unofficial visit to South Carolina.

4. As for Drew, the AJC Super 11 selection and top-ranked prospect in Georgia (according to ESPNU) recently hurt his back. But Drew downplayed the injury. “It’s just a strained back muscle,” he said. Asked if it might force him to miss some playing time in Friday’s game against Northside-Columbus, Drew shot back. “Never!”

5. I’ll have more from Drew later this week. However, I’ll tell you he said “it’s hard to say” how Georgia’s poor start affects his perception of the football program. The Bulldogs were thought to be among the leaders for the 6-foot-5, 253-pound defensive end, but they may have lost some ground during their 0-3 SEC start. Nevertheless, it was already expected to be a long and intense recruiting battle for the five-star prospect, who doesn’t plan to decide until national signing day.

6. Drew is one of the many “Dream Team” in-state recruits that Georgia has been holding out for, including running back Isaiah Crowell, tight end Jay Rome, defensive end Xzavier Dickson and Swann. Most of those guys aren’t going to make a move until after the season anyway. But what about the 16 players players Georgia already has committed? Chad Simmons of Scout.com talked to 13 of them on Sunday and the consensus then was that most plan to stick with the Bulldogs. ATH Devin Bowman of Ridgeland and Justin Scott-Wesley of Mitchell County were the only ones that indicated they may look around “just in case” UGA was to make a coaching change. The majority, however, echoed the sentiments of offensive line commitment Zach DeBell of Tarpon Springs, Fla.: “My commitment to coach Mark Richt and his staff is not based on Georgia’s win-loss record. I believe they will turn this around,” he said.

7. Speaking of Jay Rome, he and his equally-talented and highly-sought-after teammate Malcolm Mitchell will be in town this Friday as Valdosta takes on M.L. King at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston. Rome is generally considered the top tight end in the South this year. Mitchell is being recruited primarily as a defensive back but has emerged as one of the top receiving threats in the state. Meanwhile, one of the top wideouts in Atlanta will be suiting up for the Lions in senior Damarco Robinson.

8. There are strong indications coming out of Knoxville that true freshman running back Rajion Neal of Atlanta could get more carries when Tennessee visits LSU on Saturday. Neal, who had 20 yards on four carries this past Saturday, currently leads the Vols backs with a 6.7 yards per carry average. Meanwhile, starter Tauren Poole of Toccoa is questionable for Saturday’s game with a bruised thigh. Asked Monday what the Vols needed to do to get Neal more involved in the offense, coach Derek Dooley told reporters: “Just throw him in. That’s the only way they’re going to learn. We got no choice.”

9. It’s going to be a very difficult decision for Milton High basketball star Julian Royal, who made an official visit to Georgia Tech this past weekend after taking a trip to Georgia the previous week. Next the 6-foot-9 power forward is off to Wake Forest for an official visit on Oct. 8 and he’s expected to make a final decision shortly thereafter. AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell details the latest from the Royal camp RIGHT HERE.

10. THIS & THAT: Junior defensive lineman Jordan Watkins of Woodward Academy received scholarship offers from N.C. State and Tennessee this past weekend. Watkins (6-4, 255) already held offers from Arkansas, Duke, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. . . . Four-star DE Giorgio Newberry of Fort Pierce, Fla., committed to Florida State late Monday. He’s No. 16 for the Seminoles. . . . Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Troy have joined LSU in extending scholarship offers to former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The ousted Bulldog is excelling at Butler (Kan.) Community College (4-0), where he has passed for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’ll visit A&M on Oct. 29 and LSU on Nov. 30, according to ESPN.com. . . . Montana quarterback Justin Roper, a senior from Atlanta, was named the Big Sky offensive player of the week.

131 comments Add your comment

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:05 am

Chip Towers

September 28th, 2010
10:10 am

Indeed you are, RambleOn84!

Sports Fan

September 28th, 2010
10:13 am

That was a waste.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:14 am

Haha! I hate it when people do that, but I’ve never had the opportunity, so I took it.

First and last time I will do that, promise!

Chip, has there been any more talk out of Romar Morris? With the way Tech is playing and with UNC’s NCAA status, he may choose to go somewhere entirely different!

joe

September 28th, 2010
10:16 am

DeBell thinks they’ll “turn this around.” Not likely. Ship has about sunk.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:18 am

I know this is a pipe dream, but I’d like to see UGA and Tech fans refrain from talking trash for a while…both our teams look awful right now.

Chip Towers

September 28th, 2010
10:19 am

RambleOn84: Have not heard anything out of Romar for a little while. I’ll do some checking.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:20 am

Cool, thanks Chip.

JB

September 28th, 2010
10:22 am

If Richt survives….If this class holds and the balance of this so called dream team comes, will Richt throw them out there to play…..Holding for a rainy day used to work. If he’s getting talent, he better play them………………..One little prediction….. I think Grantham resigns after this year.
Back to the NFL………………you heard it here first……

Gerald

September 28th, 2010
10:29 am

Enter your comments here

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:30 am

JB,
I know you’re a big UGA fan…if you had the call on what to do with Richt, what would you do?

For argument’s sake, let’s assume UGA plays a little bit better and ends up barely making a bowl game (but loses to Florida and Auburn in the process).

Gerald

September 28th, 2010
10:33 am

Sorry bout that. Ramble On: Georgia Tech needs to win more football games in order to get Romar Morris. Otherwise, Morris will decide that 6 of one, half a dozen of the other, so might as well stay at the home state school where I can take liberal arts if I so decide.

I still say that Tech needs to focus on DLs and LBs instead of more RBs, WRs, QBs and DBs anyway. I really am wondering if both UGA and GT shot themselves in the foot by going with the 3-4 fad when both schools already had good players for the 4-3 and simply needed better schemes and execution. It is also possible that GT simply needed another year for their prior DC’s read-and-react scheme to take hold. A lot of folks forget that GT had to replace nearly their entire defensive line between 2008 – when the defense was pretty good – and 2009 when it wasn’t. And those 3 guys that GT lost from 2008 all wound up in the NFL. How often does that happen at GT?

Ah well, GT has the 3-4 now, and they really need to make finding the big bodies at DL and LB for it their biggest priority, not more A-backs and B-backs.

Gerald

September 28th, 2010
10:38 am

Ramble:
.
And regarding Richt, simple.
A) Hire Al Borges, who led Auburn to that 2004 undefeated season as an offensive coordinator, as UGA’s new offensive coordinator.
B) Hire someone to fill the role that Chuck Amato did for FSU all those years: to be the tough guy disciplinarian who is the “bad cop” to the nice guy head coach “good cop.”

Richt needs a real offensive coordinator, and he also needs a hard-charging no-nonsense guy who will rip into players for getting into trouble off the field and doing dumb, selfish, undisciplined and lazy quitting type stuff on it. Borges is a no-brainer for the OC job, because he only needed one season to turn Jason Campbell and Ronnie Brown from huge wastes of talent to first round NFL draft picks. As for the disciplinarian position coach thing … well that would be a great opportunity to finally get either a real OL coach or a real RB coach.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:39 am

You have a point Gerald. We definitely need more guys in the front seven, but if you look at the guys Johnson (and recently with Groh’s help) has brought in, we’ve done better than we usually do in that regard. Tech doesn’t have a history of bringing in highly-recruited athletes in general (as I’m sure you know), but particularly so on D-line. So the recent guys we have brought in (like JC Lanier and Shawn Green) are definite upgrades over what we are used to. But you’re right; that definitely needs to remain a priority.

However, with all that said, we DO need big-time running backs…particularly A-backs. Our offense has struggled this year largely because we miss Allen on the outside. I think Orwin Smith should start opposite Roddy Jones, and Bostic should get more playing time as well…he is the future at A-back. But a guy like Morris would be a huge “get” for us.

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
10:39 am

I’d think our win-loss record would show these recruits just how bad we need them and how the opportunity for some real early playing time is. That said, listening to the media and fans discussing Richt’s employment has to make them wonder “what if..” .

I think it would take a complete meltdown for Richt to be replaced. I’m sure some of you think that’s what has already happend. However, at least the Dawgs are in most of their games. Arkansas almost beat the #1 team in the land Bama. We almost beat Arkansas. Missy St has a fantastic head coach and these are not the Sylvester Croom days anymore. And USC…well they just kicked our buts and wanted it more. But in all of these games we weren’t blown out. Yeh we got some wrongs to right and hopefully some of these fine home grown Georgia football players will come in help us do just that.

Go Dawgs

JB

September 28th, 2010
10:43 am

Ramble, thanks for asking……………If he doesn’t “lose’ this team and can rebound to say 6-6,
I think he’ll be allowed to come back. If the wheels continue to come off, say finish 3-9, 4-8 with a blow out or two in there ( Fla-Auburn), I say he works out a financial settlement and resigns.
The heat will be so hot, that he won’t put the University or his family through that. Next year will be a challenge for him or the new guy. losing a lot of folks( some say that might be good) and a lot of unproven players in the program. Last years class was weak for him and this one might implode. The pressure to win is just to great. The SEC has 4 or 5 really good teams and UGA has slipped near the bottom. I hare it for us, Mark and his family. On a happier note, he’s set for life financially.

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
10:44 am

I actually have a recruiting question… I’ll post it here but I think I’ll email Chip also for mailbag topics.

With the dismisall of Demetre Baker from the team, does this open up and LB recruits for us?

GoldenDawg

September 28th, 2010
10:44 am

UGA will be just fine if you guys can keep your hands out of it and let Richt take of his team. You guys act like we have always had winning season’s. This is real life guys not NCAA 2011.

82Dawg

September 28th, 2010
10:47 am

Word in Athens is Bobo has already resigned, but it will not be announced/accepted until after season.May come back as position coach.Watch how he is always talking to RIcht during the game. Grantham will be back next year.

DawginLex

September 28th, 2010
10:47 am

Richt will be the coach at UGA in 2011.
Grantham will be back as well.
Bobo will not be on the UGA staff in 2011.

McGarrity will force Richt to either go back to calling plays himself or bring in a highly respected OC.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:49 am

Agreed, JB…you can’t feel too sorry for Richt no matter what happens. He is set for life, and more importantly, he has a good family life.

I have met Richt personally, and he seems to be a very good man who has his priorities straight. Sadly, I think this is a rarity among college football coaches.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

September 28th, 2010
10:49 am

GO DAWGS!!!!!!

JB

September 28th, 2010
10:52 am

RxDawg………….the fact that we are supposed to be in the top 4 or 5 SEC teams and in 4 games haven’t been able to score or show any improvement as an offense gives me reason for pause. We call the same handful of plays on the same down and distance every week.
Pitiful…….. We didn’t try to go wide and use the edge at all last Saturday when they were stacking the box. The trends they scouted were dead on.

Ramblin Man

September 28th, 2010
10:55 am

I would say Morris MAY be a big boost if he were to switch to GT. Yes we know he is fast, but can he block. Roddy is the only guy I see blocking on the outside right now. I would like to see Allen back at a-back but only to clear the way for Bostic or Smith. Let Lyons and Cox share the load at b-back. Just my two cents.

USMCDAWG

September 28th, 2010
10:55 am

9:59 Good to go Chip! Thanks for the Info. Some say one person can’t change a teams direction. I say if that persons name is AJ he can! I might be on a sinking ship but Siemper Fi til I die!!!
GO DAWGS!!

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:55 am

As an outsider looking in, I have to say:

There was no shame in losing to Carolina or Arkansas, but losing to Miss State is not something a good team does.

I realize they are better with Mullen, but they are still not a good team.

The season is definitely still salvageable, but don’t toss off that loss like it wasn’t so bad.

Gerald

September 28th, 2010
10:56 am

The offense has struggled? I don’t follow. The offense was going to take a step back because of losing Demaryius Thomas and Jonathan Dwyer. It also hurts that Josh Nesbitt, warrior and playmaker that he is, is not REALLY an option QB. (Remember, the guy came to GT hoping to be the next Rich Gannon.) But Tech has scored 41, 25, 30, and 28 points. The offense is not the problem. Letting NC State get 527 total yards, and giving up 28 points to a Kansas team that was shut down by Southern Miss the next week: that is the problem.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Green may have been the difference against Arkansas, and that would have been a very good win.

GStateBen

September 28th, 2010
10:57 am

Chip,

Coach Curry mentioned yesterday that 2011 will be a light class due to 0 scholarship seniors leaving. He said 7 or 8 unless they have more leave through attrition.

I’ll keep you updated as he said yesterday that he expects a 50/50 mix on JUCO and HS prospects. Any more that you are hearing from your circles?

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
10:59 am

Both are problems, Gerald. The defense is definitely the bigger problem, but the defense was just as bad last year (if not worse).

Now the Tech offense picked up as the season went on in Johnson’s first two years, and hopefully that will happen again. But losing D. Thomas was way bigger than any of us admitted.

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
11:03 am

JB, I couldn’t agree more when it comes to our offense. It’s troubled and is our #1 problem right now on the team. It’s offensive…har har :D

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
11:03 am

USMCDAWG
September 28th, 2010
10:55 am

I e-salute thee

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 28th, 2010
11:04 am

JB – your predictions are just wishful thinking on your part. Are you hoping UGA will fail? You are on the wrong vent my friend.

Gerald

September 28th, 2010
11:05 am

RxDawg and Ramble:

In all sincerity, you guys are nuts. What do you mean that there is no shame in losing to South Carolina and Arkansas? We are talking about two programs that haven’t won an SEC title in their history, and do not recruit anywhere near the talent level that UGA has. How many 5 star recruits play for South Carolina or Arkansas? UGA has more 5 star recruits than the Gamecocks, Razorbacks, and Mississippi State combined, and this includes a ton of upperclassmen on the OL, WR, TE and RB.

And you weren’t blown out? Excuse me, but did you actually WATCH the South Carolina game, where they left a lot of points on the board? Or the Mississippi State game, where UGA scored meaningless points at the end to make a route look close?

And Arkansas almost beat Alabama? Yeah right. Tennessee almost beat Alabama too. Close only counts in horseshoes. Arkansas was able to exploit Alabama’s weakness, their inexperienced secondary, in the first half with their first round draft pick QB. But were UGA to play Alabama, the Tide would just dominate them up front on both sides of the ball like they did in 2008, and that was back when UGA had a running game and could throw downfield.

Now keep in mind: my position is that Richt should get another year or two. But don’t soft-pedal UGA’s season. UGA still has yet to play a single team that was ranked last season.

The amazing thing is that this was supposed to be a relatively easy schedule for UGA this year because of no LSU, no Alabama plus you had Arkansas and Tennessee at home, Tech and Tennessee are rebuilding, and your OOC schedule other than Tech is creampuffs like Colorado, ULL and Idaho State. Imagine if you guys had a schedule like you did in 2007 or 2008: you wouldn’t even have a shot at a winning season.

USMCDAWG

September 28th, 2010
11:09 am

RxDawg Semper Fi Always faithful win lose or draw! I could use some more winning!!

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
11:10 am

Gerald,
I never said the UGA/Miss St game was close. That’s why the game was so bad. It wasn’t a fluke; it was an easy win by a supposedly inferior team.

Ideally, you’d like to beat SC and Ark for the reasons you stated. But those teams look pretty darn good this year and sometimes you lose to good teams.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 28th, 2010
11:11 am

I suggested UGA bring in Will Muschamp for DC and make him the head coach in waiting but I don’t think he would go for it because Richt is still young and won’t retire for many years. That happened with Vince Dooley and Erk Russell the DC at the time. Erk was loyal to Dooley and UGA but after waiting for Dooley to retire for about a hundred years he finally left to start the football program at Georgia Southern where he had several national titles. I always felt that Dooley kind of promised him that he would eventually be head coach but Dooley, like Bowden, never wanted to retire – even past his prime. Dooley never called Erk to offer him the job even though Dooley was retiring….. Dooley’s ego wouldn’t allow him to make the phone call.

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
11:15 am

Not bashing here, but why would Muschamp leave a head-coach-in-waiting job at Texas for one at UGA?

Texas gets their pick of guys from the state, which generally has better talent than the state of Georgia anyway.

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
11:19 am

Gerald, you misunderstand me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be ashamed of losing to those teams. I’m just saying we aren’t in a complete meltdown and getting whipped by 40+ points every week. Georgia had a chance to win every one of those games until late in the 4th quater. If UGA’s players just quit on the field and we lose the rest of the schedule, that would qualify as a complete meltdown.

RxDawg

September 28th, 2010
11:25 am

Bashing here, why would anyone want Muschamp to come be their DC? Texas has a monopoly on talent, plays a fairy soft schedule, and still their defense isn’t all that great. Muschamp and Kirby have proven nothing. They are riding the coattails of very good head coaches and superior talent.

People calling for them to replace Richt (I know no one on here has said that yet) absolutely kill me. Now they might make a good head coach somewhere someday. But it’s far from certain.

#1 BAMA FAN

September 28th, 2010
11:27 am

I still think BAMA will get at least two of the best players out of Georgia. How about BAMA being nine point favorites against the Gators….who would have thunk it? RTR

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
11:30 am

Agreed, RxDawg…

For all the advantages Texas has, they continually underwhelm me in their performance. It took Vince Young having one of the greatest single performances ever to finally get them over the hump.

Lowndes25

September 28th, 2010
11:32 am

#1 BAMA FAN, and who would those two recruits be that you are expecting to pull from GA?

robodawg

September 28th, 2010
11:42 am

Gerald, I don’t know if Georgia would be faring much better in a 4-3. Our LBs would be playing more confident, but I think we’re thin on DL anyways, so having to field just three down linemen may be a help. But we’re undersized up front either way.

I like the idea of a “bad cop” coach. I wonder if Richt would let Grantham play that role?

Matthews Dawg

September 28th, 2010
11:44 am

The sky is not falling!! I’m not as confident as I was in the beginning of the year, but let’s see how the season plays out. I believe in CMR and if he can’t do it, the Athletic Dept will know how to handle it. No one has to slam CMR or the program to know we are not doing well. Stand behind the team and coaches and lets see what happens. I’m pretty sure all of the complaining is not being read by McGarrity, Adams, Richt, football staff or even recruits, they have other things to deal with and none of them are blind, they can see we aren’t winning. Let’s get this game in Colorado and then get after UT. Why don’t most of you complain to your wife, husband, dog or someone else. I’m sick and tired of the same old song and dance. You are beating a “dead horse” and it’s miserable! Misery loves company and a lot of you are spreading nothing but MISERY! I’m sure some of this (blogs)is done by UGA haters too! I’m sticking with the Dawgs and the coaches win, lose or draw! Quit complaining and support ALL at UGA! Go Dawgs!

robodawg

September 28th, 2010
11:44 am

Ray Drew, one thing UGA’s start should tell you is that you’ll have immediate playing opportunity! We need dominant players up front.

Army Strong

September 28th, 2010
11:46 am

Congrats!!!
Avery Walls, Corey Moore, Damian Swann, Ray Drew, Sterling Bailey, and Stephon Tuitt

On being selected to the US Army All-American Bowl game. This is a very distinguised honor. They choose only 90 Athlethes in entire country. Go represent Georgia well. The entire State of Georgia is supporting you guys. Good Luck.

jack e. row

September 28th, 2010
12:05 pm

Gerald,look ahead to 2012 and see the schedule for UGA.

dawgster

September 28th, 2010
12:21 pm

Matthews Dawg…you said it pretty well..alot of the folks are not true dawg fans or just fair weather fans…i have a dawg since i was 10 years old and have seen the ups and downs…I don’t expect anyone to be happy, none of us are, but you still support your team and coaches…at the end of the season i’m sure everything will be evaluated..if any of these people on here actually knew Coach Richt, then they would know that he is one the most competitive people you will see, but because he doesn’t show that kind of emotion on the sidelines like some coaches, then that automatically makes him a bad coach…I believe his record speaks for itself…the problem is that alot of people see that Bama, Gators, LSU have won NC’s but the dawgs haven’t…but there are alot of very good college football teams around the country that are not winning them either…Look how long it took Mack Brown of Texas to do it…The problem is everyone wants Coach Richt to be Saban or Meyer, and they happen to be in the SEC…i wish some of these so called experts would tell us who out there is going to come in here and be our savior and hand it to Saban and Meyer…I’m not saying there shouldn’t be so changes, perhaps on the offensive side, but if we lose Coach Richt it will set the program back several years…I remember the Nineties and before Coach Richt got here…i’ll take my chances with him, thank you…go dawgs…

RambleOn84

September 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

Tech and UGA both have what SHOULD be easy games this weekend: hopefully we can both right our respective ships!