Archive for December, 2010

Notre Dame commitment Stephon Tuitt plans official visit to Georgia Tech

Stephon Tuitt said he plans to take an official visit to Georgia Tech shortly after returning home from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 9.

This is big news since the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end from Monroe — who Rivals ranks the No. 1 player in the state — has been committed to Notre Dame since September.

Tuitt

Tuitt

Tuitt tells me he remains committed to the Fighting Irish but wanted to take a couple of visits “just to make sure.” He also took an official to Auburn the weekend before Christmas.

“I know wherever I sign it’s going to be for four years, so I want to be sure about it,” he said Thursday.

Tuitt said he informed Notre Dame’s coaches of his plans.

“I’ve been up front with them,” he said. “Of course, they didn’t want me to take any visits. But I explained it to them and I gave them valid reasons. I told them I intended to stay committed but if they wanted me to stay committed they needed to let me make sure this was where I wanted to be before I sign those …

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Ten@10: Uncertainty of Stanford’s future has James Vaughters weighing options, including Tech

THE TEN AT 10:

1. AJC Super 11 linebacker James Vaughters said he would have to reconsider his options if Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh leaves for another job and one of those options would be Georgia Tech.

Vaughters, a 6-3, 230-pound outside linebacker from Tucker, has been committed to the Cardinal since June. He has remained steadfastly pledged to the program despite rampant rumors attaching Harbaugh’s name to potential head coaching positions in the NFL and at other colleges. But Vaughters is starting to waver ever so slightly as we head into the New Year.

“I’ve talked to a lot of the other commits,” Vaughters said. “Basically, the way we’re looking at it is if he stays we’re good. But a lot of us still like [Stanford] minus Coach Harbaugh, too. We all like the school and they’ve put together a good class. So I’m just not sure right now. It’s hard to ignore that he’s won more games there than any other coach.”

The Cardinal arrived in Miami Wednesday to play Virginia Tech in …

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Ray Drew’s Facebook exchange with Christian LeMay sets fans a-Twitter

This is a picture of Ray Drew and Christian LeMay on Drew's Facebook page.

This is a picture of Ray Drew and Christian LeMay on Drew's Facebook page.

By now, most “recruitniks” have heard about the banter between five-star prospects Ray Drew and Christian LeMay on Facebook. If not, I’ll offer a quick review.

At 10:15 Monday night, Drew posted the following message on his Facebook status: “Love ya Lemay, but I’m like a bull. I hate red and when I see you on the opposing sideline, I’m comin to get ya.”

LeMay, a quarterback from Matthews, N.C., and midyear enrollee at UGA, responded: “hahahah wow bro bro hurtful words :/ go dawgs :>”

Here you should know Drew and LeMay have become close friends during the recruiting process. They talk often and have actually spent time in each others’ homes.

So Drew on Facebook again: “I tried to get you to come with me but noooooo. You just had to go from butler dog to uga dog. It’s all good though, when I see that red and black, my motor will be revved up, and I’m gonna plant my face mask in your numbers. Pick you up, …

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All-Star season starts with today’s GACA North-South Classic game

AJC Super 11 DE Xzavier Dickson of Griffin will be among the many elite recruits participating in the annual GACA North-South All-Star Classic this afternoon in Columbus. (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

AJC Super 11 DE Xzavier Dickson of Griffin will be among the many elite recruits participating in the annual GACA North-South All-Star Classic this afternoon in Columbus. (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

With the increasing number of national high school all-star games in recent years, some of the luster had been lost off the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) North-South Game. But that’s not the case this year. Some of the state’s best players have signed up for Georgia’s annual all-star showcase, which will be played this afternoon at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

AJC Super 11 selections Jay Rome (tight end, Valdosta) and Xzavier Dickson (defensive end, Griffin) highlight rosters that include four-star wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell of Valdosta, four-star offensive tackle Xzavier Ward of Colquitt County, four Georgia Tech commitments and three Georgia commitments.

Part of the reason for the impressive lineup is Georgia players this year are allowed …

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Georgia Tech lands versatile athlete with 17th commitment

Tyler Marcordes will be standing up at Georgia Tech next but it won't be on offense. (Photo reprinted with permission/normalwestfootball.com)

Tyler Marcordes will be standing up at Georgia Tech next but it won't be on offense. (Photo reprinted with permission/normalwestfootball.com)

Tyler Marcordes has no ties to Georgia Tech. He has no ties to Atlanta or the state of Georgia, for that matter. But when football recruiting put The Institute in his path, he fell hard for the Yellow Jackets.

The 6-foot-4, 231-pound athlete from Normal, Ill., committed to Georgia Tech right before Christmas. He’s No. 17 for the Class of 2011.

“I didn’t really know that much about them,” Marcordes said of the Jackets. “I watched them on TV before and I knew a little about the history of the football program. But when I got down there the first time, I just liked it right away. When they offered me, I decided to jump on it.”

In Marcordes, the Jackets got themselves a versatile athlete. He earned all-conference honors as both a quarterback and safety at Normal West High School. But at Tech he’s expected to play outside linebacker.

“They …

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Georgia Tech lands commitment No. 16 in Starr’s Mill RB Zach Laskey

Georgia Tech's latest commitment Zach Laskey starred at running back at Starr's Mill but could play defense for the Yellow Jackets. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Georgia Tech's latest commitment Zach Laskey starred at running back at Starr's Mill but could play defense for the Yellow Jackets. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Commenting will resume on the Recruiting blog next week.

Patience paid off for Zach Laskey.

The big back from Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville landed a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech on Thursday. It was the one he’d been waiting for and he accepted it on the spot. He becomes commitment No. 16 for the Yellow Jackets’ Class of 2011.

“He had his heart set on Tech and they did a great job of recruiting him,” said Starr’s Mill coach Chad Phillips. “They just kept telling him, ‘be patient, be patient,’ and they finally came through for him. In the end they got themselves one heck of a ball player.”

That they did. Laskey (6-2, 210) rushed for 1,5,15 yards and 22 touchdowns and set 11 school records while leading the Panthers to a 14-1 record and runner-up finish in the Class AAAA state playoffs. Laskey also played …

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Auburn, Bama prove JUCO recruiting can pay big dividends

People at Blinn junior college knew what Cam Newton -- here diving Superman-style for a touchdown in the 2009 JUCO national championship game -- was capable of before he arrived on the Plains. (Special photo provided by Jim Quist)

People at Blinn junior college knew what Cam Newton — here diving Superman-style for a touchdown in the 2009 JUCO national championship game — was capable of before he arrived on the Plains. (Special photo provided by Jim Quist)

Commenting will resume on the Recruiting blog next week.

I wrote a story that’s running in print on Sunday about the rejuvenation of  junior college recruiting in the wake of some rather notable recent successes.

Lest we forget, Heisman Trophy winner Cameron Newton was actually honing his considerable skills in junior college (Blinn College, Brenham, TX)  last year before turning major college football upside down this season at Auburn. It was a fellow junior college grad (NG Nick Fairley, Copiah-Lincoln), who helped put some bite back in the Tigers defense. And, of course, the year before it was Terrence Cody (Mississippi Gulf Coast) who was made such a big impact in the SEC.

Now it, seems, talented junior college players are all the rage. Big …

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Ten@10: Bulldogs anxious with no new commitments in 4 months

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia hasn’t had a commitment since Spalding defensive tackle Chris Mayes gave the Bulldogs his pledge on August 16. That was four months ago. And it appears that the Bulldogs may not have another one for the rest of the calendar year.

It looked like AJC Super 11 tight end Jay Rome of Valdosta might pull the trigger after a successful official visit last weekend. But Rome’s father Stan Rome has since said his son will likely take scheduled visits to Clemson and Tennessee in January. The Bulldogs were hoping to land JUCO All-American DE Cornelius Carradine of Butler County Community College on Wednesday, but he chose Florida State.

Georgia coach Mark Richt addressed that lack of recruiting movement at his Liberty Bowl news conference Wednesday in Athens.

“It’s tough. You always hope that when a young man knows for sure where he wants to go he would just say it. I think those days are changing. There are a lot of them who do. There are a lot of early …

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DE Ray Drew talks UGA after whirlwind tour of NYC

U.S. Army All-Americans Ray Drew (R) and Dee Hart pose in Times Square while in New York earlier this week. (Photo provided by U.S. Army All-American Bowl)

U.S. Army All-Americans Ray Drew (R) and Dee Hart pose in Times Square while in New York earlier this week. (Photo provided by U.S. Army All-American Bowl)

Ray Drew could not help but laugh when recounting the last few days he spent in New York City.

“You can’t describe it in words,” said the AJC Super 11 defensive end from Thomas County Central High School in Thomasville. “It was very, very exciting, which is an understatement. Here I am, this big kid from a town with one caution light, catching taxi cabs and running around in New York City. It was the experience of a lifetime!”

Drew was in the Big Apple from Sunday to Tuesday as a player representative for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. As a finalist for the prestigious all-star game’s player of the year honors, he was being whisked around by a PR firm on a media tour.

Drew and running back Demetrius Hart of Orlando went sightseeing at Rockefeller Plaza and Radio City Music Hall. They toured NBC and met Tony Dungy and …

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JUCO star DE ‘Tank’ Carradine picks FSU over Georgia

Cornelius “Tank” Carradine, one of the top junior college players in the country, signed a national letter-of-intent with Florida State this afternoon, his high school coach confirmed.

Carradine (6-5, 265), a sophomore defensive end from Butler County (Kan.) Community College who led the NJCAA with 16 sacks, chose the Seminoles over Georgia and Ohio State, in that order, Cincinnati-Taft coach Mike Martin said. He will transfer to FSU for the beginning of the winter/spring semester in January.

“He said it seemed like they wanted him more than anybody else,” Martin said shortly after faxing the signed LOI about 1:15 Wednesday afternoon. “They really pursued him hard.”

So did the Bulldogs, who had Carradine in for an official visit late last week. They felt like Carradine could help fill the void that could be left with the possible departure of junior Justin Houston to the NFL.

Click THIS LINK to this morning’s blog that will provide more details on Carradine and his …

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