Ten@10: Recruiting is officially cranked up with opening of contact period

THE TEN AT 10:

1. AJC Super 11 RB Isaiah Crowell, a 5-star prospect from Carver-Columbus, told Scout.com’s Chad Simmons that Georgia and Alabama are even after his visit to Athens this past weekend. The Crimson Tide held a slight edge previously. He also said he plans to visit on Dec. 11, which is the night of the Bulldogs’ Senior Gala event. He hasn’t decided if that will be an official visit or not, but the timing is certainly interesting either way. I’m supposed to talk to Crowell later this week so I’ll provide a full update once I do. In the meantime, here’s a link to Chad’s story.

2. Speaking of 5-star prospects, AJC Super 11 DE Ray Drew has been a popular man early in the contact period, which began Sunday. He told me Monday he hosted coaches from Clemson and Florida. Today he is scheduled to meet with Georgia and LSU representatives. Interestingly, Drew put out a notice that he would not accept any coaching visits during school hours. How’s that for unusual? So everything is being done before or after school or in his home. . . . Meanwhile, Drew scored 19 points in the Thomas County Central basketball game against Valdosta that kept him from making any visits last weekend. However, the Yellow Jackets lost.

3. As you might’ve seen from my Tweets on Twitter.com, some new offers from UGA went out to a few prospects following the Tech-Georgia game, which was attended by more than 100 recruits. Among them, were offers for class of 2012 prospects Kenyan Drake, a running back from Hillgrove High in Powder Springs, and Greyson Lambert, a quarterback from Wayne County down in Jesup. I interviewed both players Monday and will be posting updates later. In a nutshell, both players loved their visits and were thrilled about getting offers from Georgia. Lambert also has offers from Alabama and Clemson. Drake had been offered only by the Bulldogs and Georgia Tech when I talked to him Monday afternoon but landed an offer from Tennessee last night, according to Scout.com.

Meanwhile, on his weekly radio show Monday night, Georgia coach Mark Richt reiterated that he has no interest in the head coaching opening at Miami, his alma mater, and re-emphasized his “Dream Team” theme for the Bulldogs’ 2011 recruiting class. “We’re trying to recruit guys right now that can make an impact so when we play in that Georgia Dome next year and open against Boise State, we can introduce those kids to the college football world and make a difference at the University of Georgia,” Richt said. See Tim Tucker’s full report over on the UGA Blog.

4. Over at Georgia Tech, four-star DT Darian Cooper of DeMatha, Md., received an in-home visit from defensive coordinator Al Groh on Monday, according to JacketsOnline.com. Cooper, who has around 20 major-college offers, has a long-standing relationship with Groh since he was head coach at Virginia. “Coach Groh talked a little football with me, but he mainly answered all my mom’s questions about Georgia Tech and the academics and everything related to the school,” he told publisher Kelly Quinlan. “Tech has been one of my top schools since the first time I met Coach Groh so I already know how I feel about them. But it was good for him to talk to my mom about it.”

5. Quinlan reports that Starr’s Mill RB/LB Zach Laskey may be the next in-state prospect to land an offer from Jackets. Laskey has more than 1,500 yards rushing for undefeated Panthers (13-0), who take on undefeated Tucker in the Class AAAA semifinals on Friday. . . . Another in-state player on Georgia Tech’s radar is Johnson County wide receiver Zach Walker, whose prolific career came to an end in the second round of the Class A playoffs. Georgia High School Football Daily reports that Walker got an offer from Tulane last week and has offers from Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Georgia State and Illinois State. The Yellow Jackets are actively recruiting him but have not offered. Walker, who is not related to Johnson County native Herschel Walker, had 69 catches for 1,187 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.

6. Miami had only seven commitments when Randy Shannon was fired as head coach after Saturday’s loss to South Florida. But a few of those guys showed in interest in our local teams before choosing the Hurricanes. Four-star DE Anthony Chickillo of Tampa and 3-star WR Phillip Dorsett of Fort Lauderdale were seriously considering Georgia at one time. LB Nick Menocal of Miami was being recruited by Georgia Tech but did not have an offer. Who knows, right? . . . In the meantime, rumors that 5-star QB commit Teddy Bridgewater — who gave the Bulldogs a long, hard look — was “looking around” appear unfounded. He’s “solid,” according to this report by the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays.

7. Speaking of the Hurricanes, one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal day in Miami was the play of 2009 AJC Super 11 running back Storm Johnson. Coming into the game in the fourth quarter as Miami’s No. 4 tailback, the true freshman from Loganville on his first carry busted through the middle and rambled 71 yards for a touchdown, the Miami Herald reported. It was the longest from scrimmage this season for “The U.” Johnson managed only four more yards on four more carries to finish 5-75. But before Saturday, he had carried the ball only twice for 24 yards.

8. A nice piece from regular AJC correspondent Ray Glier takes a look at the impact two 5-star running back recruits — Auburn’s Michael Dyer and South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore — had on their teams as true freshmen. Hint: Both teams are in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.

9. The final installment of the “Channel 2 Sports Zone Friday Game of the Week” has been set. We’re televising the Brookwood-Collins Hill Game Friday night at 7:30 on Comcast channel 248 and Charter 126. As always, the game will be replayed later that night at 1 a.m. on WSB Channel 2. As always, Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein will handle play-by-play and I’ll be providing the color commentary. This should be an awesome matchup pitting a pair of high-octane offenses. We covered Brookwood’s opening-round playoff game against Alpharetta and I was very impressed with several of the Broncos’ prospects in that game, including  LB Cameron Lynch (Syracuse), WR/DB Andre Sims (Michigan State) and RB Nick Tompkins (uncommitted).

This time I’m really looking forward to getting a first-hand look at Collins Hill QB Taylor Heinicke. All he has done is pass for 3,906 yards and 43 touchdowns. As you can see, he’s bearing down on Hutson Mason’s state passing record of 4,560 yards set last year (hey, 655 yards is not out of the question considering he threw for 388 yards and 3 TDs in a win over Lowndes last week). He’s also trying to top Mason’s television career. He, too, is a competitor on the reality series “The Rise,” which pits eight “under-the-radar” quarterbacks in a competition for a spot in the U.S. Army All-American game. The series is being shown on MTV2 this year.

10. THIS & THAT: AJC Super 11 TE Jay Rome plans to take his official visit to UGA the weekend of Dec. 11th, according to several Internet reports. That’s when the Bulldogs host their annual Senior Gala and a number of top recruits are expected to be on hand. . . . Johnson County’s quarterback, D.J. Rozier, has committed to Southeast Louisiana. Rozier threw for 1,819 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 1,235 and 18 touchdowns, GHSF Daily reports. . . . Whitewater RB Josh Clemons is scheduled for an in-home with Maryland coaches on Thursday, per Scout.com. . . .  Sandy Creek RB Mike Hilton “loved” his visit to Tennessee this past weekend, 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell reports. Hilton is a terrific RB/DB I saw against Fayette County earlier this year. . . . Georgia State can only sign about eight players or so in this year’s class. But two prospects the Panthers have their eyes on are Martin Luther King OL Dontre Stephens and Southwest Dekalb QB Andre Wilson. . . .

DE Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 recruit in America, apparently is now seriously considering FSU. According the 247Sports, he has set up an official visit with the Seminoles. It was thought to be a South Carolina-Alabama-Clemson battle for the Spartanburg native. . . . Three-star QB/S Shamier Jeffery of St. Matthews, S.C. has decided to follow his older brother Alshon Jeffrey to South Carolina, according to PalmettoSports.com. Jeffrey is expected to play defensive back in college. Tech was among his many offers. . . .

Four-star DL Jeoffrey Pagan of Asheville, N.C., has de-committed from Florida, according to numerous reports. He’s holding offers from both Georgia and Tech. . . . Former Alabama signee Alfy Hill’s NCAA Clearinghouse complications took him from being an enrolled student-athlete with the Crimson Tide to East Carolina. Now he has enrolled at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College with the apparent intentions of eventually ending up back at Bama.

211 comments Add your comment

ECB

November 30th, 2010
10:02 am

GO DAWGS!

November 30th, 2010
10:06 am

USMCDAWG

November 30th, 2010
10:09 am

Thanks for the info Chip.

GT Sambo

November 30th, 2010
10:09 am

Awesome, good stuff. Thanks Chip.

The Blair Miss Project

November 30th, 2010
10:21 am

<—————- WIDE LEFT <—————

(((((42-34))))) hahahahahahaha!!!!!

Gerald

November 30th, 2010
10:23 am

So, they burned Storm Johnson’s redshirt and totally wasted a year of his time. Stuff like this is why Shannon got fired. Ah well. Good defensive coordinator, but horrible head coach.

Trojan4Life

November 30th, 2010
10:25 am

The best recruiting in this state goes on in Tift County.

jarvis

November 30th, 2010
10:26 am

Sorry…I’m not a recruitnik.

What is the difference between offical and unofficial visit other than the prior is limited to one visit. Are the recruits treated differently etc?

Sanford Drive

November 30th, 2010
10:29 am

I have a problem with something I saw Saturday night Chip……

I was one of several hundred fans gathered in the Tate Center watching the Arky-LSU game instead of hanging out in the cold waiting for game time.

I went to use a restroom up on the 5th floor, to avoid lines at the main restroom on the 3rd floor where all the fans were located.

As soon as I walked into the 5th floor, I realized that I stumbled upon the Grand Ballroom, where all the recruits and families were gathered, sitting at tables, and low and behold I looked up and Mark Richt was on the microphone speaking to everybody.

Now I was just standing by the open door, and was able to peer in to see all this. There were several people just outside the door as well. I look to my left, and Isaiah Crowell is there (which i was able to confirm becauee of his name-tag), outside just like me, cutting up with another recruit, whom I could not identify.

Now, why on earth was Isaiah outside of the ballroom while Coach Richt was making his pitch? Why was he not inside, listening to the important message being given.

Does it seem to you that Isaiah is not taking any of this seriously???

UGA Insider

November 30th, 2010
10:31 am

UGA will probably start as many as 7 or 8 true freshman in the Boise State game. Positions at RB, Fullback, Wide-out, LB, Safety, CB and both offensive and defensive lines are there for the taking. All you need to do is sign and show up to camp in shape. That’s how depleted this team is right now.

Burdell

November 30th, 2010
10:31 am

jarvis–

The main difference is that the school pays for the trip (travel, accommodations, food, etc) for you and your family on an official visit.

jarvis

November 30th, 2010
10:32 am

7 or 8 True Freshan starting? I hope you’re wrong. We’ll finish 3-9 if that’s the case.

jarvis

November 30th, 2010
10:33 am

Thanks Burdell.

goose

November 30th, 2010
10:35 am

Sanford Drive,
The one on one pitches are the key. He’s had plenty of those.

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
10:36 am

Groh has a lot of high-profile defensive prospects interested in the Jackets right now. Hopefully we will land at least a few of them.

GO JACKETS!

AlpharettaDawg

November 30th, 2010
10:37 am

Heard the weekend went pretty well. Feel like if UGA did not offer the OL from East Paulding then that means we feel confident with X. Ward? Chip any info on this?

Also looking good for Crowell and Dickson. Immediate playing time pitch will do that to kids on the fence.

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
10:43 am

If you Techies think or a second that Tevin Washington is HALF as tough as Nesbitt, you are kidding yourselves.

I predict an injury plagued Jackets team next season. Noody can take the hits Nesbitt takes 20-30 times a game and pop back up like he did.

Sorry, not happening. And i don’t think you Nerds are going to win platooning QBs.

(((((42-34)))))

ratherBgambling

November 30th, 2010
10:45 am

“2011 Dream Team”

hahahahhahahahhahahhahahahhahhahahhahahhahahhaha

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
10:47 am

Thanks for the well wishes, “Rumbling Wreckage,” but I’d worry about my own team if I were you. You needed four turnovers (two in the red zone) and a missed extra point to beat an awful ACC team just to get bowl eligible. And your best players on either side of the ball are likely off to the NFL. Rut-roh.

I gotta say, Murray does look like a good one though. But let’s just all worry about our own teams, okay?

collegeballfan

November 30th, 2010
10:48 am

I cannot see anything wrong with UGA recruiting over the last 10 years. UGA recruiting has averaged top 10 for 10 straight years.

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
10:50 am

RambleON….

you said it best, when you quoted ” to beat an awful ACC team”

Congrats on the Moral Victory Saturday Night. I hope you put that trophy right next to your fake 1990 NC trophy.

The Governor’s Cup looks mighty fine in Athens!!!

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
10:51 am

Just for the record, Washington was not thought by many to be the starter after Nesbitt leaves. He got the job this year primarily because he had by far the most experience, but after everyone gets another off-season in the offense, he may well get passed by someone else.

Not to bad-mouth Washington (I thought he played very well for the most part, though that awful pitch he made did end up costing us the UGA game), but just saying none of us knows who will start next year for Tech.

dap01

November 30th, 2010
10:51 am

Chip: Thanks for the update. Is Zack Walker from Johnson County on UGA’s radar at all?

bigtime

November 30th, 2010
10:52 am

@Sanford Drive… He’s already heard every recruiting pitch under the sun so it’s probably getting pretty repetitive at this point. That being said, Roll Tide Isaiah, Roll Tide

Ramble off

November 30th, 2010
10:52 am

Ramble on,
you needed 3 fumbles and a botched snap to hang with a poor UGA team and an offensive line that was terrible.

GATA

November 30th, 2010
10:52 am

I think with or without crowell, we should still be a lot better next year. We definitely need to sign a running back, but I think from what we’ve seen out of Murry, we are looking good. The kid makes plays happen even with out the support of his running game. Side Note. I fully support Coach Richt, but I think this offseason is going to critical for his success at UGA. We can’t have the discipline issues of last year. Our guys need to be focused on getting strong and learning to execute our offense and defensive schemes. BTW I agree that it might be time for either a new Conditioning coach or just something different so our O & D linemen are bigger, faster, stronger.

Chip Towers

November 30th, 2010
10:52 am

dap01: Not that I can tell.

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
10:53 am

I just hope Paul Johnson enjoy’s his fish fry in SHREVEPORT.

Karma really sucks sometimes doesn’t it????

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
10:54 am

Well, “Rumbling Wreckage,”
Maybe if y’all cared about anything more than just the Governor’s Cup, you’d have another trophy to prop it up beside, “fake” or otherwise, although let me assure you the Coaches’ Poll (then referred to as UPI) Trophy is very real. 1980 was a LONG time ago…

Keep focusing on us, though…talk about obsession.

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
10:57 am

“Ramble off,”
I thought UGA’s OL was littered with 4- and 5-star recruits.

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
10:58 am

Either way, Tech fans are going to hear it, BAD from UGA for a while.

1. You go to Shreveport, where you will likely beat Air Force, but do we need to pull up the countless blogs over the last yera where Tech reminded UGA they had to go to Shreveport to play in the Weedeater Bowl?? This would be TRUE poetic Karma.

2. You go to San Francisco, where MAYBE 200-300 of your fans travel, being that it’s Jan 9th, and nobody is stillout of work for the Holidays. As an aded bonus, you play Boise State and get absolutely SHREDDED by their offense. You thought you couldn’t stop the Dawgs….

Either way, UGA wins this battle. Because as much as you Nerds love to hate UGA, we just so happen to HATE you too. And we plan to ridicule you ALL. YEAR. LONG.

(((((42-34)))))

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
11:01 am

RambleOn….

do you want to pretend for a second that if you didn’t win the game Saturday night that you wouldn’t be bragging about the Governor’s Cup???

Downgrade it all you want, on the years (multiple) you do not have it. But it’s the best trphy in the case when you do have it isn’t it??

I could only imagine these blogs if Tech had won……..

But they didn’t….. so (((((42-34))))) ALL. YEAR. LONG.

somebodys nobody

November 30th, 2010
11:06 am

Where is Lowndes.

ryan Red & Black

November 30th, 2010
11:06 am

Sorry bigtime but bama going to have freshman QB and Murray will be more polished Crowell is all dawg and Jay Rome , Mitchell stayed in Athens all weekend as well . This has been this recruiting job Richt has ever done in all long time he is putting the fence back up go dawgs .

Chip Towers

November 30th, 2010
11:07 am

AlpharettaDawg: I’m not sure what Xzavier Ward will do but I can promise you Georgia is not confident about it at this point.

RxDawg

November 30th, 2010
11:08 am

Thanks for the updates Chip.

Uhoh Naga… looks like yall’s class might just get that much better. I know I’ll be glad to see that guy go somewhere other than USC.

Sanford… perhaps Isiah already knows where he’s going and was letting Richt try to sale the program to the other recruits in the room? Either way, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Chip Towers

November 30th, 2010
11:09 am

RambleOn84: Players definitely want to come play for Al Groh, who hasn’t had a chance yet to make his true impact. Can you imagine who lethal Tech would be with a stifling defense?

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
11:09 am

If Tech had won, it would still be a crappy year. I would be happy, sure, but only because I wouldn’t hear quite as much garbage from dopes like you. But I’d still hear plenty…you’d just pretend to be a Tech fan and talk about how Johnson can’t recruit (or do you already do that?) or start making claims that our players weren’t eligible or some other garbage.

I don’t take joy in talking trash. I like when my team wins, I don’t necessarily like when other teams lose.

But to answer your question, I’d take a National Championship over 20 Governor’s Cups.

Sanford Drive

November 30th, 2010
11:11 am

To the Georgia Tech Frat-Boys who sat right behind me at the game Saturday night,

First, you looked kind of cute in your yellow pants, sweater vests and bowties. I guarantee you all the UGA ladies were wishing they could cross over to the dark side just to have a single date with you.

But you showed a lot of class this night. You are VERY lucky you were not punched in the face when you would scream “To Hell with Georgia” and boo each and every player being announced for Senior Night.

Your whiskey laced breathe and non-stop ramblings were exactly what you seem to ridicule UGA fans at Sanford Stadium for doing. So thanks for proving that you are in NO WAY better than any other student/fan/alum who also tailgates all day for a night game against a hated rival. For a second, you and your Tech bretheren had me believing you were sainthood, good christian fans.

You guys disappeared in the 3rd Quarter, after Justin Houston picked up the ball from your battered running back who just got LIT-UP by Akeem Dent. I havent witnessed a vanishing like that since Randy Shannon after an embarrassing loss to Central Florida. I hope you boys made it home safe.

And my final message to you is simple………

(((((42-34)))))
9-1
61-39-5
We STILL Run This State!!!!!

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
11:12 am

Exactly, Chip. Attaochu was a late grab for Groh last season and he had three sacks over the last two games (though for some reason I only see him credited for one against UGA I could have sworn he had two – maybe one was right across the line of scrimmage). That is a pretty big impact for a true freshman.

Chip Towers

November 30th, 2010
11:14 am

Sanford Drive: Isaiah Crowell has been to Athens at least a half-dozen times and he actually arrived on campus Saturday at about 2 p.m. From that time on he was hearing every kind of pitch and message, including a long, individual meeting with Coach Richt. What you heard was Richt’s general pitch to the masses of recruits that were visiting. There were more than 100 there and he couldn’t meet individually with them all. But, of course, Crowell got his undivided attention.

bigtime

November 30th, 2010
11:14 am

ryan….Bama’s going to have a redshirt sophmore QB next year with A.J. McCarron. That’s what Murray is going to be also. Rome is going to be a DAWG , I’ll give you that one. The others, I’m not so sure about. Roll Tide

Rumbling Wreckage

November 30th, 2010
11:15 am

In a few short weeks it will be 2011.

This will make it 21 years since Tech’s “National Championship” (even though we watched Colorado celebrate their 1990 National Championship while in Boulder….weird)

This will make it 31 years since UGA’s NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. (you know, the legit kind)

21 and 31 years, is not so far apart. Spin it all you want, but Tech has NO upper hand in this argument.

(((((42-34)))))

ryan Red & Black

November 30th, 2010
11:16 am

Hey Lowndes25 do you have any new updates .

Sanford Drive

November 30th, 2010
11:16 am

Good to know.

Thanks Chip! Keep up the great work!

AlpharettaDawg

November 30th, 2010
11:17 am

Thanks Chip. Who then are their remaining targets on the OLine? Region and Ward have offers and are not committed? Am I forgetting someone or are they going to pull the trigger on someone sooner rather than later?

t

November 30th, 2010
11:17 am

If they aren’t staying in the state of Georgia we don’t give a damn about reading it.

RambleOn84

November 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Fine, Rumbling Wreckage. Have your fun.

UGA won.

Personally, I think both teams suck and have little to brag about, but the Governor’s Cup resides in Athens, so brag all you want. Knock yourself out.

Just don’t be offended when I don’t really care.

ryan Red & Black

November 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Hey Tech fans i am not going to argue about are programs both are teams had a crappy year i admit are defense did not play well but we needed that win more to go to a bowl game and for recruiting go dawgs .

bigtime

November 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Chip Towers…. I have recently heard that Malcom Mitchell has stated that Bama still has a lead over UGA and he really isn’t focusing on recruiting until after his season was over. Would this be a fair statement (that Bama holds a lead at this point) based on what you know ?