So South Atlanta basketball star Nick Jacobs committed to Alabama on Tuesday. That makes Georgia 0-for-2 so far on high-profile Atlanta kids in the Class of 2011.
The Bulldogs also missed out on another four-star power forward they went down to the wire for. Milton High School star Julian Royal (6-foot-9) chose Georgia Tech over UGA on Oct. 14. Two other major prospects snubbed UGA to go out of state: Milton point guard Shannon Scott (to Ohio State) and Great Atlanta Christian wing Malcolm Brogdown (Virginia).
Does this mean the Bulldogs have lost the recruiting momentum they gained last year under coach Mark Fox?
Hard to tell.
Georgia has already done some really good work already. Earlier this year, the Bulldogs landed five-star wing Kentavious Caldwell (6-6, 185) of Greenville, Ga., who is generally considered the top prospect in the state. But after coming up short on Royal, UGA settled for unheralded 7-foot center John Florveus of Tampa’s Hillsborough Community College. Also scheduled to sign with UGA in 2011 is 6-9 forward Tim Dixon of Oldsmar, Fla., who gets two stars from Scout and three from Rivals.
The Bulldogs are also supposed to get some help from the football team. AJC Super 11 prospect Nick Marshall of Wilcox County, who is already committed to UGA in football, is also a 6-foot-2 guard and four-star prospect in basketball.
Last year, the Bulldogs pulled off a late coup by landing “Mr. Georgia Basketball” in Westlake forward Marcus Thornton. But Thornton, a one-time Clemson signee, was only a three-star rated recruited. Georgia also got 6-9 forward Donte Williams of Miller Grove and Sherrard Brantley of Northwest Florida College. But the state’s highest-rated talent went elsewhere.
Five-star point guard Ryan Harrow of Marietta signed with N.C. State and five-star small forward Jelan Kendrick of Wheeler signed with Memphis. And point guard Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State) and Jordan McRae (Tennessee) — both rated among the top 10 nationally at their respective positions — also left the state.
Of course, Georgia Tech missed out on all those guys as well. The Yellow Jackets only signee in 2010, Jason Morris, came from Connecticut (albeit by way of Augusta).
Tech also failed to make the final cut for Jacobs (6-8, 255), who told the AJC’s Michael Carvell that Clemson was actually his No. 2 choice, ahead of Georgia and Florida. Jacobs said, in the end, he actually preferred getting away from home.
“I liked all the schools, but picked Alabama because it was the best fit for me,” said Jacobs, who averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at South Atlanta. “I had built a close relationship with Alabama’s coaches and players. I like Alabama because it’s a winning program and I know we have the talent to win an SEC championship.”
Georgia gets another shot to land a major prospect on Nov. 5 when Milton shooting guard Dai-Jon Parker announces his decision. The Bulldogs are one of five finalists along with Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Rhode Island and Vanderbilt. Tech is on the outside looking in.
I’m not trying to rip on either program here. The bottom line is, there’s plenty of talent to go around in our state. No in-state program is ever going to land them all.
But taking an objective look at how they’re doing in the grand scheme of things, it appears there’s some room for improvement. I can only conclude, they’re doing OK.
What do y’all think?