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.
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.