Ten@10: Struggles aside, Stephon Tuitt plans to stick with Notre Dame

THE TEN AT 10:

1. In the past couple of weeks, as Notre Dame struggled on the football field it has also struggled to hold onto recruits. It has lost three four-star commitments so far in defensive ends Clay Burton and Aaron Lynch and offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood. But they’re not going to lose their four-star defensive end from Georgia.

At least that’s what Stephon Tuitt told me this week. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Monroe Area star told me he’s sticking with the Fighting Irish regardless of how this season shakes out.

“It just makes me more determined,” Tuitt said. “I’m going to Notre Dame for football, but that’s not the only thing I’m going there for. I’m also going for the school and the academics and the history and the tradition. None of that has changed.”

Tuitt said as he watches the Irish play it becomes more evident how he can help then on defense.

“It’s kind of like our school,” he said. “We had a couple of bad seasons. But we worked really hard and fought our way through it and got better and now we’re winning.”

Monroe Area was 0-20 the previous two seasons. The Purple Hurricanes (8-1) face Lumpkin County in a Region 8AAA play-in game Friday.

Brandon Shell commits to South Carolina. (Photo by Charleston Post&Courier)

Brandon Shell commits to South Carolina. (Photo by Charleston Post&Courier)

2. Brandon Shell, who gets a five-star rating from Scout.com, committed to South Carolina on Monday. The 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive tackle chose the Gamecocks over Georgia, Clemson and Alabama, in that order. Shell is the nephew of former NFL coach and player Art Shell. “I was ready to make a decision, and once I was ready, I didn’t want to put it off any longer,” Shell told the Charleston Post and Courier on Monday. “South Carolina is a place I fit in. It’s like family. I get along with all the players and coaches.” At one time he had said the Bulldogs were tied with South Carolina as his to team.

3. With Shell out of the picture, look for Georgia to step up its efforts elsewhere for offensive linemen. The Bulldogs currently have commitments from four: C David Andrews, T Watts Dantzler, T Zach DeBell and G Hunter Long. The Bulldogs have been actively recruiting T Xzavier Ward of Colquitt County, T Antonio Richardson of Nashville and G Spencer Region of Cullman, Ala., among others. They’ve also recently made contact with T Taylor Gadbois (6-7, 285) of East Paulding, who most recently received an offer from Georgia Tech.

4. Georgia quarterback commitment Christian LeMay attended the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville and hung out with his new-found friend, AJC Super 11 defensive end Ray Drew of Thomas County Central. “[They] really enjoyed the game,” said Christian’s father Stacy Lemay, who at one time was the team chaplain for the Gators. “It was a tough loss in a well-coached game.” Drew was accompanied by Randy Young, a teacher at Thomas County Central.

Stacy LeMay said his son remains loyal to the Bulldogs, to whom he committed last April. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback plans to enroll at UGA in January. “All things remain the same as Christian prepares to be an official Bulldog,” Mr. LeMay said. Uriah, a sophomore wide receiver at Butler High in Matthews, N.C., also has a UGA offer.

5. Speaking of Georgia commitments, AJC Super 11 quarterback Nick Marshall is having an incredible season for Wilcox County. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound mega athlete threw six touchdown passes in a 47-16 victory over Bacon County this past Friday. That ties Marshall for the state record of 92 career TD passes held by Charlton County’s Jeremy Privett and Americus’ Cedric Johnson. There’s a good chance he’ll  break the record this week at home against Irwin County (2-7).

Despite his accomplishments as a quarterback at Class A powerhouse Wilcox County, Marshall is expected to play defensive back at Georgia. He’ll also play basketball for the Bulldogs.

6. Georgia Tech’s main offensive target in the Class of 2011 is also having an incredible senior season. Quarterback Vad Lee of Hillside High in Durham, N.C., has led his team to a 10-0 record as they play for the PAC 6 championship and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs this Friday. Lee has passed and thrown for 32 touchdowns this season and has more than 1,900 yards passing and 700 yards rushing. He told me he plans to stick with his commitment to the Yellow Jackets.

7. More standout performances: Southwest DeKalb outside linebacker Terrance Smith, a  Florida State commitment, had six quarterback sacks in the Panthers’ 7-0 win over Miller Grove last Friday. . . . Tucker RB Bashr Coles celebrated a recent offer from Central Florida by rushing for 224 yards and three touchdowns in a 58-6 victory over Lithonia. He scored a fourth touchdown on a pass reception, according to GHSF Daily. Here are SOME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS of Coles.. . . Collins Hill QB Taylor Heinicke threw four TD passes to give him 32 this season, a Gwinnett County record. He was 19-of-27 passing for 318 yards in a 42-0 victory over Norcross.

8. Former Georgia Tech commitment Kyle Harris appears to be moving closer to a commitment to South Carolina. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman from Pepperell High in Lindale plans to be in attendance for the Gamecocks’ game against Arkansas this weekend.

“It’s clearly them right now,” Harris told PalmettoSports.com. “If I’m really excited about the game and I can see myself playing there, there’s a good chance” he’ll commit.

9. Milton High four-star shooting guard Dai-Jon Parker will announce his choice Friday night at 9:30 p.m live on something called CourtCred.com. The 6-foot-3 athlete, who once was a college football prospect as a wide receiver, could end up anywhere in the continental United States. He will choose between Georgia, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Rhode Island and Vanderbilt.

10. FSU commit Karlos Williams of Davenport, Fla., was suspended for his final two high school games by the FHSAA for throwing a punch. . . . Georgia is now No. 8 in the 2011 ESPNU/Scouts Inc. national recruiting rankings. The Bulldogs were ninth. With the recent loss of commitments, Notre Dame dropped from No. 8 to No. 11.  The top five is Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, FSU and Florida. . . . North Cobb linebacker Troy Gray took an official visit to Virginia this past weekend. . . . Westlake junior wide receiver Carnell Boyd received his first offer from Central Florida, according to Rusty Mansell of 247Sports.com. . . . Florida dismissed freshman safety Jonathan Dowling for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Dowling was rated the No. 5 safety in the nation by Scout.com. He’s the third member of the 2010 Class to leave school.

124 comments Add your comment

Mightydawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:07 am

Thanks, Chip. Dawgs need to close strong. Like that Drew was hanging out with the Lemay family. Can only help the Dawgs.

JaxDawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

Drew could see early playing time with Houston most likely leaving after this year. Hey Chip, who all besides Crowell is UGA targeting at tailback for 2011?

CrackDaddy

November 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Neither LeMay nor Lee is the top QB in the South. By far it is Mallard Creek’s Marquise Williams, UNC commit. Anybody agree, disagree?

Victorious Sakrete

November 2nd, 2010
10:37 am

Florida is crashing and burning–it is four, 4!, not 3 recruits who have left Gainesviile in flames. Meyer is a spent coach. His health is shot. He will be gone soon.

The Jax Jinx is over.

Mightydawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:39 am

I thought Drew was more of a DE at 6-5, 250 as opposed to OLB. Figured one he was put on strength and conditioning program he would end up at about 275.

ryan

November 2nd, 2010
10:41 am

Florida seems to be having more problems with players getting in trouble and UGA should have a strong finish with all are games being home we should get Crowell and Drew at the Tech or Aurburn game .

South GA

November 2nd, 2010
10:43 am

The Lemays were also at Thomas County Central’s game Friday night to watch Ray Drew play.

Sven Ottke

November 2nd, 2010
10:43 am

Victorious, that’s funny……..we heard that same line this time……last week.

shannon1776

November 2nd, 2010
10:44 am

Not only was Drew sitting with the family, Drew was so hoarse after the game he could barely talk. he was pulling for UGA. urban walked up to him , looked into the stands and gave him a gator Chop. Drew gave a tiny one back and then laughed at urban after he left. Drew is coming to UGA.

The other one who is coming to UGA is Crowell. He has been playing the media game. His coach spoke to some people who were at the game saturday-he is coming here.

59bulldawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:49 am

@shannon1776. Man o man I hope you’re right!

ryan

November 2nd, 2010
10:52 am

If Richt stays then we finish with a strong class if he is fired kiss this class goodbye . But if UGA has a decent game against Auburn his job is safe .

UGA Insider

November 2nd, 2010
10:53 am

shannon1776,

You have made my day a little brighter and I pray you are right. I am now starting to come out of my UGA/UF hangover because of this blog.

Humper Hater

November 2nd, 2010
10:53 am

shannon1776, who really cares; as Spurrier said a long time ago, something happens to great recruits when they play for jawja.

lawdawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:53 am

Chip,is any school recruiting Jr. RB Davarus Porter from LaFayette High School,Friday he rushed for 301 yards and 4 Td’s in 19 attempts in a playin game against Ringgold and has rushed for over 200 yds. in several games.

Chip Towers

November 2nd, 2010
10:57 am

lawdawg: I don’t know anything about RB Davarus Porter. I check on it. Thanks.

Mightydawg

November 2nd, 2010
10:58 am

Richt is not going to be fired this year. My guess is that he adjusts the strength and conditioning staff.

Lowndes25

November 2nd, 2010
11:02 am

@shannon1776, you are correct on both counts sir :)

RxDawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:03 am

Good, because UGA needs some help on the field and fast.

I was thinking about something… totaly brainstorming but here me out. The theory, the recruitment of Matt Staford set UGA back years. The reasoning, Staford was a great QB. I’m not dismissing what he did for UGA. He helped us win a lot of games. But he was such a big name recruit, it really kind of took us out of the hunt in future QB recruits. We got Barnes, Cox, and Grey, but none of those guys were really elite QB’s. You maybe could argue about Cox. But still. Then, on top of that, Staford left early for the NFL. Granted he had to, I would if I was #1 pick. But now here we are 5 years later and trying to work out the kinks with a freshman QB, who looks like will be a fantastic player before it’s all over and done. The cascade of events since he joined cannot be dismissed.

Granted there other things involved, such as our defensive issues. I also have always thought we got in a bad crop of players and it’s taken time to weed them out. Bryan Evans starting 4 years. Really? Anyways, no one could of forseen the events the way they panned out but it is fun to think about. Well… maybe not fun but interesting.

Sorry for the complete tangent off topic. Thanks for the 10 at 10 Chip!

richard in austin

November 2nd, 2010
11:03 am

Really refreshing to hear a young man talk about education and not just football, Notre Dame kids get there degrees and become productive adults, I wish the NCAA would make every school have at least 50% grad rate. Very excited about Mr. Tuitt!

RxDawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:04 am

Actually, I just remembered that Cox was recruited the year before Stafford. So remove him from the list above.

Animal Control Officer

November 2nd, 2010
11:06 am

bark bark bark, I do not bite

RxDawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:06 am

richard, for what it’s worth, UGA’s graduation rate in football alone is WAY over 50%

SideWalk_Fan

November 2nd, 2010
11:08 am

Strength and conditioning will soon get better because the bulldogs are getting a new gym.

Humper Hater

November 2nd, 2010
11:11 am

Vick=Dog killing thug

November 2nd, 2010
11:17 am

Crackdaddy, Everyone either disagrees or agrees with any statement. Unless of course your not sure, then you become a GT fan. hahaha

schmeckdawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:17 am

What’s happened to the recruting of the “Dream Team?” Also, S&C is not going to get better because of a new gym. It will get better if we get some new S&C coaches with more up to date training ideas. Van Halanger is a very physically sick man and the game has passed him by. No offense but he, Grey, Walker (all S&C) along with demoting Bobo back to QB coach needs to happen. UGA has become irrelevant and it is sickening!

THWGT

November 2nd, 2010
11:21 am

Richard, I believe they get “their” not “there”. Where did you matriculate?

nd fan

November 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

stephon tuitt……..the traditions at nd are amazing, however, the education at nd will open so many doors long after football and traditions. there is much more to the IRISH than football. Stick with it, you are among a select group of young men who have a wonderful opportunity to get a quality education at a quality school. Good Luck and GO! IRISH!!!!!!

Mightydawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:31 am

RxDawg–Barnes was also before Stafford. Gray was one of the top QB recruits and was Elite Eleven. He just never panned out.

One thing that changed with UGA recruiting was more of an out of state focus. When Richt first arrived, he talked about putting a fence around UGA and getting the best kids to stay in State, which he did. Those teams turned out to be championship teams. As the profile of the program increased, UGA went after the big time national targets and started to neglect some of the in-State talent. While we got our share of national guys (Stafford, Moreno, Green) we also missed on many of those guys. However, since we had neglected the in-State guys, we missed out on them too. Richt realized the error of his ways and has returned the focus to getting the Georgia boys to stay out home. I think that will be the turning point back to the championship level.

b

November 2nd, 2010
11:32 am

IMO, Tuitt is not that good. The other DE at Monroe, jr., K. Whitehead is a much better player. Some of these high ranking DL in Ga. are simply not that good, like Tuitt and Bailey from East Hall. It makes you wonder about these rankings. It seems like they go more by combine numbers than actual football players.

SideWalk_Fan

November 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Georgia should hire me for their strength and conditioning coach i would have them boys drinking whey protein and taking BCAA’s and squating 600 lbs in no time.

RxDawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Good point Mighty, and thanks for the correction about Barnes. Even more supports my point that once Stafford was aboard our QB recruiting went kaput for a few years. So we had to live through his 06 learning year, 07 was a good year but not great, and 08 was a disaster when it came to winning our big games. Then he’s gone and we have the past two years.

ryan

November 2nd, 2010
11:36 am

We need Richt stay this class may best class we have had in a long time and if can that gem recruit like SC got in Lattamore that Marshall kid is going to be a special player . Your thoughts Lowdnes25 .

rhall55

November 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

schmeckdawg,

Dream Team: Still can come to fruition: Drew, Crowell, Dickson, Bray, Swann, etc
S&C: I agree on this point; we must replace VH as the S&C Coach!!!
Bobo: Back to QB Coach; need more agressive, progressive OC; look at Auburn and how they adjust!!!

Mightydawg

November 2nd, 2010
11:39 am

The biggest problem with QB recruiting was that no one was ready last year when Cox struggled. They tried Gray a few times but he looked lost. Murray had a bad shoulder or he would have played last year and Mettenberger was not mentally ready to play. The injury slowed the development of Murrary slightly but all in all, he has had a pretty good year. QB play has not been the problem this year.

Lowndes25

November 2nd, 2010
11:44 am

@ryan, yes, Coach Richt is the key to whether this class is great or not…

Dawg Fan

November 2nd, 2010
11:54 am

Mr. Drew and Mr. Crowell, I hope you indeed become a Georgia Bulldog. You can really help us at both positions.

Sanford Drive

November 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

I’m extremely skeptical of the future of LeMay (and his father) at UGA.

Something reeks with the 2 of them. I truly feel like Christian will not get the desired playing time, especially now that Murray has shown everybody it will be HIS show the next 3 seasons, and Lemay and his father are going to stage some sort of scandel at the University.

Christian brings with him some sort of sense of entitlement, and seemingly an attitude like UGA NEEDS him, while in reality, he NEEDS UGA.

I wish he would change his mind and go elsewhere. With Hutson Mason looking like a descent backup in case of injury, we can throw more focus on recruiting a QB in the next 2 classes.

I hope I am dead wrong, but it’s just the feeling I am getting from the LeMays at this point.

True DAWG fan

November 2nd, 2010
12:34 pm

Lowndes25…what you saying??? you holding out on me???

Big Nick

November 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

Today is going to be a HUGE day for all us who have been faslely labeled “racists, bigots, sexists, homophobes, etc.” by the Pro-Amnesty, Pro-Entitlement & Pro-Union Democrats…Get out and VOTE for the Pro-American, Pro-Business & Pro-Defense Republicans!!!

We hit and run this state, with red underwear in our pocket

November 2nd, 2010
12:44 pm

This class will be the best in a long time, lol. How many will not be able to qualify? How many will miss games due to suspensions/arrest? How many will be me first trash talkers and quit when the season goes south? Only Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU are ahead of you in this years recruiting rankings, lol. After they’re coached down you’ll keep having 6-6 years, if you count the wins against Idaho State and Louisiana Lafayette.
Go Gamecocks!

MikeP

November 2nd, 2010
12:45 pm

Why do Georgia fans care about recruiting? According to Rivals, Georgia’s classes for the last four years average #6 in the nation. You aren’t going to do any better than that. They get to Athens and fall apart!

Why aren’t the Dawgs #6 in the polls, instead of being 4-5 and unranked?

Until you answer that question and correct what’s causing UGA to be a black hole where 5* players go to disappear, you will continue to lose no matter what kids are recruited to UGA.

To save yourselves a bunch of heart attacks you better wait until signing day before calling Crowell and Drew future Dawgs. There are other, better programs with better coaches out there talking to them daily.

True DAWG fan

November 2nd, 2010
12:45 pm

Crowell and Jones are the thunder and lighting of future for Georgia!!!!!

ryan

November 2nd, 2010
12:54 pm

It looks real good for UGA to get Matt Jones with Florida has Brown and Blakley and FSU with JWJ and 2012 RB all ready committed Jones is UGA’s to loose .

RambleOn84

November 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

Nice to hear good news about Vad Lee…

I wish Tuitt would reconsider, but it’s his future and thus his decision.

Still, Notre Dame looks like a rapidly sinking ship.

GT Sambo

November 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

RxDawg, no offense, but I’m not sure your premise makes much sense. You recruited the top QB in the country, he performed very well at UGA, so that set you back because no other top QBs wanted to come to UGA? So what is the alternative? Not to recruit a top QB?

JJ

November 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Thunder and Lightning? So now the best UGA can aspire for is to be like CLEMSON?

Dream Team??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

GATA

November 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

I heard from a friend that Ray Drew signaled a call me later hand motion to Meyer after the game. Can anyone confirm this? Man I hope we win out to save this recruiting class….GO DAWGS

True DAWG fan

November 2nd, 2010
1:13 pm

Hey mickey mouseP here’s a question,why don’t you worry about your team and stop talking about stuff you know nothing about!! There are a couple band wagons that are’t full yet if you hurry!!! Last I checked kids perform with 3 stars like they are five,they are who they are and don’t need a star system to inflate there ego’s.How many 5 stars at other schools under perform?????? Oh that’s right you want to try and bash Georgia with one of the best coaches in the SEC, who teaches these kids more about God and being a man outside of football! You are a factless joke,go play with your game boy and ley grown men talk…go on now…..go on….

True DAWG fan

November 2nd, 2010
1:17 pm

JJ your momma is calling you in for viddles!!!!! Georgia has no desire to be like Clemson boy,so mind your business and most something crediable….if you can….or do have to read it or copy it first???