THE TEN AT 10:
1. AJC Super 11 defensive end Ray Drew of Thomas County Central is “shutting it down.” The 6-foot-5, 250-pound prospect — who gets a five-star rating from ESPNU/Scouts Inc. — told me this week he is not going to grant any more media interviews, at least not for a short while. Drew said he simply has too much on his plate at the moment, what with playing football, attending high school, taking college courses at night and preaching on Sunday mornings. He said he simply needs to cut down the number of calls coming to his phone.
Of course, the recruiting process will continue. And, to date, that’s something Drew also has let get a little out of hand. Drew, who has fielded upward of 40 offers, still listed as many as 10 possible finalists as late as last week. He hopes to narrow his scope over the next few weeks as well.
Meanwhile, Drew told me he plans to attend the Georgia-Florida game on Saturday in Jacksonville and the Florida-FSU game on Nov. 27. “I’m going with some friends that go every year,” he said. “I’m excited. They say there’s nothing like it.”
It looks like Drew is not going to make it back up to Athens this season, however. At one time he thought he might go there for the Idaho State game on Nov. 6 or the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 27.
“I’m not sure if I will make it to a UGA game,” said Drew, who took an official visit to LSU on Oct. 2. “I hope I can but I’m not sure. I don’t have any other officials set up yet but do plan to take some more. As far as everything else goes, nothing is set in stone.”
Drew said he won’t take any more official visits until after the season. His final decision won’t likely come until after the New Year.
2. Another major college basketball prospect from Atlanta will make his decision public today. Nick Jacobs, a 6-foot-9 power forward and four-star prospect from South Atlanta High, will choose a school from among his four finalists — Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia — this afternoon around lunchtime at the high school. Jacobs has taken official visits to all four schools over the last few weeks. AJC high schools reporter and resident basketball recruiting expert Michael Carvell will bring you the news here and over at the Prep Zone Blog as soon as it happens.
Georgia has been among the finalists ofthe last two major prospects to come out of Atlanta. The Bulldogs lost out to Georgia Tech on Milton forward Julian Royal on Oct. 14. They edged out the Yellow Jackets for Westlake forward and 2010 Mr. Georgia Basketball designee Marcus Thornton last May.
3. AJC Super 11 linebacker James Vaughters of Tucker was recently named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award for high school athletes. Vaughters, who committed to Stanford, was one of two Georgians to make that list. He joins Cook’s Shannon Brown, an Alabama commitment.
4. Vaughters’ teammate and friend at Tucker High, Bashr Coles, visited Central Florida last weekend and apparently has the Knights high on his list, according to a story in the Orlando Sentinel. It’s one of the most attractive offers for Coles, who also has invitations from Maryland, Middle Tennessee State and Illinois State and has talked to Georgia Southern and Chattanooga. Coles is averaging 9.8 yards per carry for the Tigers (8-0), who are ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA.
5. Buford running back Seon Jones, who established a school record when he rushed for 319 yards in a game against Lovett that I covered earlier this season, finally landed his first offer this week. It came from Georgia Southern and head coach Jeff Monken. Jones is closing in on 1,000 yards this season for the Wolves (8-1), who are ranked No. 2 in Class AA.
6. AJC Super 11 wide receiver Chris Conley of North Paulding High School recently accepted an invitation to the Offense-Defense All-American Game in Charlotte. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior has managed to overcome a mid-season knee injury — which never managed to sideline him — to record 52 catches for 814 yds and 13 TDs so far. The Wolfpack (5-4) had a huge offensive game this past Friday despite losing to Kell 55-30. North Paulding quarterback Cain Campbell passed for 523 yards and three touchdowns. Catching those passes were wide receivers Joel Brooks (11 for 225, 1 TD), Joey Eliezer (6-106) and Conley (8-83-2).
7. I’ve had a lot of people asking me about Grady running back Marcus Caffey since he has emerged as a major college prospect this fall. The 6-foot, 190-pound athlete now has offers from more than a dozen FBS schools, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Ole Miss, Purdue and South Carolina. Meanhile, Georgia and Georgia Tech are both hovering close by. Caffey’s star has risen as teams of swooped in to get a look at AJC Super 11 selection Damian Swann, then noticed Caffey running the ball all over the place. After eight games he leads the Grey Knights (7-1) with 911 yards on 78 carries.
I interviewed Caffey on Monday and will post a recruiting profile on him later this week. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, our friend over at Dawgs247.com, Rusty Mansell, has uploaded Caffey’s 2010 highlight video to YouTube.com. You can also check out some cut-ups of Friday’s game between Grady and St. Pius, in which Caffey went off for a 153 yards and a 70-yard touchdown and Swann went toe-to-toe with 2012 star defensive back Geno Smith of St. Pius.
8. Georgia has extended a new offer to a 2011 prospect to a junior college wide receiver from California. Rahsaan Vaughn attends the College of San Mateo, allegedly runs a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and is either 6-foot or 6-foot-2, depending on what recruiting service to which one subscribes. Neither Vaughn nor coach Bret Pollack returned phone messages from me yesterday but Chad Simmons of Scout.com and Dawgpost.com was able to catch up with Vaughn.
“I first heard from Georgia last week,” Vaughn told Simmons. “I had only talked to them one time before they offered me. Coach [Tony] Ball is the coach that offered. He told me that he watched my highlight tape and that he enjoyed it. He said watching my film led to them offering me. . . . I don’t really know much about Georgia yet. I have heard about them and I have heard about A.J. Green, but I have not had the opportunity to really watch them or anything.”
Vaughn has an official visit set to Oregon in November and has offers from the Ducks, Arizona, Utah and several other West Coast schools. However, he said distance is not a factor for him and that he’ll take a serious look at the Bulldogs if he feels they will “make me the most successful and get me to where I want to be.”
9. Norcross basketball star Alonzo Nelson-Ododa picked loyalty over prestige when he chose Richmond over N.C. State and Wake Forest on Monday. . . . Also on Monday, Nelson-Odoba’s junior teammate, shooting guard Chris Bolden – a Top 100 prospect in 2012 — chose Miami over Clemson, Marquette, Nebraska and Louisville.
10. THIS & THAT: Georgia Tech is showing increased interest in Stephen Williams, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete at Savannah Country Day School. Williams already has offers from Auburn, North Carolina State and Middle Tennessee State, according to Scout. . . . Clay Burton, the brother of Florida freshman Trey Burton, committed to the Gators on Monday. The Venice, Fla., linebacker was previously committed to Notre Dame but changed his mind this fall and decided to follow his brother to UF. “It’s easier on my family and [I wanted] the experience to play with my brother,” Burton told the Gainesville Sun. Burton, who also considered Georgia Tech, is the 17th commitment of the 2011 class. . . . Florida also got a second commitment from Venice on Monday. Junior offensive lineman Omari Phillips (6-6, 270) also pledged the Gators. . . .
Washington High WR Zack Witchett was reinstated to the team last week, coach Stanley Pritchett confirmed. The UGA commitment was indefinitely suspended two weeks ago due to attitude issues. . . . Pepperell OL Kyle Harris, a former Georgia Tech commitment, will make his second unofficial visit to South Carolina on Nov. 6th for the Arkansas game, according to PalmettoSports.com. Savannah Country Day quarterback Tate O’Connor continues his impressive work down on the Georgia coast. This past Friday, O’Connor was 13-of-19 passing for 302 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Metter. Three of those TDs and eight receptions overall went to teammate Kevin Blackburne, who also is gaining recruiting interest. For the season, Tate has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,868 yds and 21 TDs. He also has four rushing TDs.