Valdosta 5-star TE Jay Rome visits ATL this week, UGA next

Valdosta tight end Jay Rome, here posing for his AJC Super 11 portrait, plans to visit Georgia for the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 27. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Valdosta tight end Jay Rome, here posing for his AJC Super 11 portrait, plans to visit Georgia for the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 27. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Too bad Georgia is not playing Georgia Tech this Saturday. Might save Jay Rome some travel hassles.

The big five-star tight end from Valdosta will be in Powder Springs on Friday night along with the No. 5-ranked Wildcats (10-1) as they take on McEachern (10-1) in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. A week later, Rome plans on being in Athens for Georgia’s final regular-season game against Georgia Tech.

“Yeah, I’m going to try to come,” the 6-foot-6, 240-pound athlete said Tuesday evening. “That’s the plan.”

That would be a significant development for the Bulldogs, who are focused on Rome as their one-and-only tight end target in the class of 2011 at this point. They have offered other prospects, such as five-star recruit Nick O’Leary of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. But as the recruiting process has developed, Rome is their undisputed No.  1 and sole focus at that position.

Meanwhile, Rome has been scarce on the recruiting trail this season. He has chosen instead to focus on his team and his senior football season. He said Georgia will be the only recruiting trip he’s made during the season.

“I’m going to take all the rest after the season,” Rome said.

Rome said his favorites remain Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Clemson. His father, Valdosta sports legend Stan Rome, played football and basketball at Clemson. A decision, however, does not appear imminent.

“I’m going to try to do it by the Under Armour [All-America] Game,” he said, “but I’m not sure if I’ll have a decision by then.

Rome is at least the second five-star recruit planning to attend the Bulldogs’ game against Georgia Tech. AJC Super 11 running back Isaiah Crowell of Columbus also plans to be there.

Georgia is also hoping Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew, another five-star prospect, makes it to the game. Drew has not yet decided.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also are focusing hard on Rome’s teammate, Malcolm Mitchell. The dynamic two-way athlete — he’s burning it up as a wide receiver — is also expected to come to Athens for the Tech game, though Rome said he’s “not sure” if his friend is coming with him.

Together, Mitchell and Rome have become an almost unstoppable offensive force for the Wildcats. Along with quarterback Ryan Whilden — who has thrown for 2,560 yards and a school record 28 touchdowns this season — they’ve been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 34.7 points per game.

Mitchell leads the team with 69 catches for 1,291 yards and 14 touchdowns. Rome has caught 37 balls for 494 yards and 6 TDs. They combined for three TD catches in Valdosta’s 34-13 win over Windsor Forest last week. That has been about par for the course this season.

“They’re two of our best play-makers, obviously, so we’re trying to get the ball in their hands,” Valdosta coach Rance Gillespie said. “Both of them are very talented. They do a great job.”

Meanwhile, Rome said neither he nor Mitchell are thinking about recruiting this week. All their attention has been on Friday night’s game at McEachern.

“I think we’ll have a good game,” he said. “We’ve had a good week of practice and I think we’re going to come up there and play well and win. We’re playing really good right now. We’re throwing the ball around a lot, spreading it around and running the ball, too. We’re moving the football.”

And Rome is one big reason why.

224 comments Add your comment

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
10:32 am

GT Sambo

November 17th, 2010
10:38 am

Come to Tech and we will turn you into an undersized OL!

Hyder Boyz'

November 17th, 2010
10:44 am

Wildcats!!!! All for one, One for all, All for the Wildcats!!!

Gerald

November 17th, 2010
10:45 am

Jay Rome should look at how Orson Charles – and a bunch of other very talented TEs at UGA – is woefully underutilized. My hope is that one day UGA will get an offensive coordinator that will actually incorporate the slew of extremely talented TEs and FBs that throw themselves at UGA year after year into their offense.

A candidate? Craig Johnson, longtime offensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans. They do an excellent job of utilizing their TEs and FBs, and have for years. UGA’s current AD is determined to hold onto Richt, so the AD should force Richt to fire Bobo, hire Johnson, and turn the offense over to him.

Unlike Todd Grantham, who didn’t even have experience coaching college athletes (and it shows), Johnson was an OC at the University of Maryland. And as Johnson has worked with QBs like Steve McNair and Vince Young in Nashville, Johnson would actually be able to recruit the next Cameron Newton or Tim Tebow as a QB, instead of as a TE like Richt’s been doing. It’s amazing … instead of following Matt Stafford with Newton and letting Murray sit until he was ready, UGA had to go through the Joe Cox disaster for a season and then play Murray as a redshirt freshman.

Please, UGA, hire a real OC, let Richt concentrate on recruiting (which he is actually good at) and discipline (where he is terrible!), and that way maybe you will actually beat Florida every now and then.

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
10:48 am

@ Chip … Good job, as usual, on the recruiting trail. Thanks for the updates on the Valdosta Duo.

Saint Simons

November 17th, 2010
10:52 am

(((( 49 – 31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Captain

November 17th, 2010
10:59 am

Gerald, it’s nice when you guys like uou post on sites like this trying to dupe readers into believing you are a Dawg fan. You’re not. We have an Offensive Coordinator, he’s done a very nice job this season. He’s brought a Fr QB along, his Offense is avg more than 30 pts per game, all of this without a top flight RB and at times a banged up OL. The problem this season rests with the Def, a Def which lacks talent and has no difference makers or playmakers. This is the most talent poor DL Georgia has put on the field in 12 yrs.

As for Newton, no one foresaw him as the QB he is today, he was never interested in The University of Georgia, we had a young Matt Stafford at the time Newton came out of HS. You do realize Newton is 4 years removed from HS.

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
11:08 am

Gerald

Do you know how terrible you sound. Yes SCam is a good player. He is the best in college football right now. However, he doesn’t fit our scheme. Neither would tebow. Both are an exception.

Really not sure what you are talking about but our offense has put up over 30 points a game for the past 5 games. We are a very young football team and are improving every week. Just went wire to wire with the number 2 team in the nation and you are complaining.

And spare me the talk about newton being a TE. That is our scheme and it works. Were you complaining in 07′ when we finished #2, or what about 02′,03′,05′ when we played for the SEC Championship.

Dude do us all a favor and just shut up or root for someone else.

Well said

November 17th, 2010
11:08 am

@Gerald:

Grantham spend 6 seasons at Va. Tech and 3 seasons at Mich. State under Nick Saban. He DOES have college experience, my friend. Give it time.

Herschel Talker

November 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Gerald – you are intelligent

Captain – you are a fool

FIRE MARK RICHT

HT

Worm

November 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Captain, You NAILED Gerald!

Cobb Dawg

November 17th, 2010
11:10 am

Chip, any update on where O’Leary might be headed? Last I heard Florida was in the lead. Does UGA still have any shot?

OldFan

November 17th, 2010
11:12 am

Captain, I agree with you. We’ll still need some marquee talent on offense, but I’m anxiously awaiting word on how our recruiting will fix the obvious talent deficiencies on defense. A great offense consistently outscored makes for long term mediocrity in the SEC.

ryan Red & Black

November 17th, 2010
11:13 am

Jay Rome will be a Dawg the one team i am worried about is Clemson because his dad has a legacy there .

Gerald

November 17th, 2010
11:15 am

Go TECH!!!!!!!!

CDAWG

November 17th, 2010
11:18 am

Captain, great post!

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
11:20 am

@ryan Red & Black…. I think that you’re right about Rome being a DAWG. Bama’s going to put up a fight for him and I think that Mitchell is Bama so that will help us some, but it appears at this time that UGA is winning that tug of war

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
11:22 am

@Roaddawg80…. If that’s true then expect him to change his commitment to Auburn at anytime…

npgator

November 17th, 2010
11:24 am

Go to UF – we could use another great TE now that Hernandez is tearing it up with the Patriots.

ryan Red & Black

November 17th, 2010
11:27 am

Thanks bigtime for that info yea Lowndes25 has been consistent on Rome and Mitchell has be tough fight

GT Sambo

November 17th, 2010
11:32 am

Come to Tech and we will turn you into an undersized OL!

Or, you can become an oversized reciever with speed who is a playmaker and skills that makes him a #1 pick at the next level.

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
11:33 am

@ ryan Red & Black…. your welcome and I’m sorry that you had to change your handle because of that tool that was harrassing you. That idiot was not a Bama fan and we all knew his posts with your name was a bunch of BS

Boulder Bulldog

November 17th, 2010
11:34 am

Hey, Gerald look at all of the great TE’s UGA has in pro football. Rome could be next. When you have AJ Green, others arejust not going to be the primary target very often.

Matthews Dawg

November 17th, 2010
11:35 am

Captain….well said!! Gerald’s is a tired story! Go Dawgs!!

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
11:36 am

Is that the real Ryan or the imposter! Man I am confused! WIll the real Ryan STAND UP

ryan Red & Black

November 17th, 2010
11:42 am

Roaddawg80 its the real ryan and i am all Dawg .

Lowndes25

November 17th, 2010
11:42 am

@bigtime, Mtichell is going to look really good in Red & Black alongside his teammate Rome ;)

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
11:44 am

I see you have characterized your name a little>

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
11:46 am

Lowndes25- you think Mitchell and Rome are all dawgs!

Sanford Drive

November 17th, 2010
11:46 am

Enjoy your night in Athens Jay.

It is going to be ELECTRIC in Sanford Stadium for the first Athens night game against the bees. You can bet he will see what SEC football is all about. Tech could NEVER match what he is about to experience.

Or you can go to Tech, and experience tricycle races ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYwm7XQQq9k ) and “whiteouts” when the opposition is wearing white…..

ryan Red & Black

November 17th, 2010
11:46 am

There was some poser using my name i just changed it little .

jawga boy

November 17th, 2010
11:46 am

I played against Rome’s dad…..Stanford in 71′. I played strong side linebacker at 155lbs with equipment….and they threw the ball to him all night to the sidelines and I’d have to hump it out there and “jump on”. Rode him all night long…..to the end zone. This kid has the right genes. Go Bulldawg son…. your ticket to the NFL. Ask Watson, Pope, and all the other TE’s from UGA where they got their ticket punched. With the QB we have, and those in the line up….you are a top first rounder.

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
11:47 am

@ Lowndes25….. Perhaps these recruits are going to the UGA/GT game because BAMA/pAyU is on a Friday and that could possibly conflict with their high school playoff games… just a thought

Chip Towers

November 17th, 2010
11:50 am

Cobb Dawg: No, I think Georgia has moved on with regard to Nick O’Leary. They’re not going to sign but one TE in this class and they’ve put all their eggs in Jay Rome’s basket. I hear something different with O’Leary every couple of weeks. Miami, FSU, Florida, Alabama. He’s a good one but Dogs simply rate Rome higher and have needed to give him their full attention.

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
11:56 am

Chip,

Do you know of any JUCO guys UGA is going after. Seems they need to pull a ALA w/ Cody Terrance and go get a NT. That might solve some of there problems. Whats your thoughts?

Lowndes25

November 17th, 2010
12:01 pm

@bigtime, that is definitely one reason why, but both Rome and Mitchell want to go to Athens for a game (even if they are still in the playoffs).

@Roaddawg80, yes to your question…

ryan Red & Black

November 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

Hey Lowndes25 Josh Clemons 011 would be a good plan b if we do miss out on Crowell but i hope we get both .

Les W. Moore

November 17th, 2010
12:07 pm

Who has the SEC’s top rated TE and what class is he?

For those of you who answered Tennessee and Senior, you’re right. Mackey Award finalist Luke Stocker is a senior bound for NFL fame. So Rome should looking closer at Tennessee where they use the TE and he can play early and often.

ryan

November 17th, 2010
12:10 pm

Jay Rome will be in Crimson and White next year. Nick Saban is moving fast for him.

Roll Tide

Bill O'Reilly

November 17th, 2010
12:12 pm

Rome will be in Tuscaloosa, rumors are swirling about this guy.

NavyDawg

November 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

Has anyone heard of if AJ might stay his senior season

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
12:15 pm

NavyDawg

Do we even have to answer that question?

He is already gone!

Lowndes25

November 17th, 2010
12:15 pm

Let the rumors swirl…it is only the Bama guys that believe it b/c it was started by your guys. Trust me when I tell you that Rome is not going to Bama, sorry to burst your bubbles…

Chip Towers

November 17th, 2010
12:17 pm

NavyDawg: Heard it. Don’t believe it.

ryan

November 17th, 2010
12:17 pm

@Lowndes25

Why would Rome go to UGA to be behind Aron White, Orson Charles and Bruce Figgins. Richt will so something stupid like redshirt him. He will commit to Bama.

Roll Tide

Bill O'Reilly

November 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Rome and Crowell will be the icing on the cake for Bama’s recruiting class

True DAWG fan

November 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Georgia on my mind!!!!! I think when we get our next commit i’m gonna have a cold beer too celebrate!!!!! GO DAWGS!!

bigtime

November 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Any new information on LaMichael Fanning? I heard he had a REALLY good time at the Bama/MSU game Saturday night.

Lowndes25

November 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

@ryan, two reasons why: (1) Loves our coaching staff and players (2) Loves how we showcase our TE’s and put them in the NFL.

Roaddawg80

November 17th, 2010
12:21 pm

Ryan(the other Ryan)

Look at the tradition of TE’s UGA has had. Look at how we use them. Now compare that to UA. Get it!