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 to play in more than one all-star game. Dickson, Mitchell and Rome are also playing in the Under Armour All-America game next week in Florida. Several players played the week before Christmas in county all-star games in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett.

But as I’ve noted since national signing day last February, Georgia’s class of 2011 is loaded and that’s indicative in the GACA game. Other notables in playing this afternoon include record-setting quarterback Taylor Heineke of Collins Hill, record-setting wide receiver Demarco Robinson of M.L. King, Georgia Tech-bound running backs Zach Laskey of Starr’s Mill and Broderick Snoddy of Carrollton, Georgia-bound safeties Corey Moore and Chris Sanders, AJC Class AAAA Offensive Player of the Year Josh Clemons and Auburn commitment C.J. Uzomah.

Here’s a link to the full roster. Stay tuned for details from the game.

Of course, the North-South Game is just one of many all-star games being conducted all over the South during this holiday season. On Dec. 17, there was the Shrine Bowl between star players from North Carolina and South Carolina in Spartanburg, S.C. (South Carolina won 42-10, for what it’s worth). This Friday there is the fifth annual Offense-Defense Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C., (4 p.m.) and the inaugural NUC “All-World Gridiron Classic” in Charleston, S.C. (6 p.m.).

Georgians playing in the O-D Bowl include AJC Super 11 WR Chris Conley of North Paulding (UGA commit), LB Amarlo Herrera of North Clayton (UGA), LB Justin Garrett of Tucker (Auburn) and OL Kyle Harris of Pepperell (South Carolina).

The NUC roster includes 11 Georgians: TE Christian Reeves of McDonough (Virginia Tech), LB Jabari Hunt-Days of Powder Springs (Georgia Tech), DB Ra’Chard Pippens of McDonough (Stanford), DE Barron Dixon of Alpharetta (undecided), OL Alan Posey of Athens (Tennessee), DB David Stevenson of Stone Mountain (UConn), RB Zarold Wilder of Powder Springs (undecided), DB Kadetrix Marcus of Stone Mountain (South Carolina), DB Jared Boyd of Stone Mountain (Duke), OL David Andrews of Alpharetta (Georgia) and OL Watts Dantzler of Dalton (Georgia).

Speaking of the O-D Bowl, Georgia-bound quarterback Christian LeMay of Matthews, N.C., was orginally slated to play for the East team. But the midyear enrollee, who completed his high school education via home schooling, was ruled ineligible because he practiced with the Bulldogs during bowl preparations on campus before Christmas. LeMay was replaced on the East roster by quarterback Vad Lee of Durham, N.C., a Georgia Tech commitment. Lee said in a Rivals.com report he and LeMay are actually pretty good friends.

Next week comes the truly national all-star games. I’ll be at the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday (Jan. 5, ESPN). Three days later the “granddaddy” of high school all-star games — the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — will be played in San Antonio, Tex. (Jan. 8, NBC). The best of the best from Georgia will be represented in both games.

Ten Georgians will participate in the Under Armour, which begins practices this weekend in Orlando.  They are Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell (undecided), Pope OL Thomas O’Reilly (Auburn), Carver-Columbus DT Gabe Wright (undecided), Troup RB Quan Bray (undecided), Tucker LB James Vaughters (Stanford), Mitchell County WR Justin Scott-Wesley (Georgia), Dickson, Mitchell and Rome (all undecided). Several of those guys are considering making their college announcements during the game, so be sure to tune in.

Six “Peach-staters” will be in San Antonio: East Hall DE Sterling Bailey (Georgia), Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew (undecided) Griffin DB Corey Moore (Georgia), Grady DB Damian Swann (undecided), Monroe Area DE Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame) and Eagles Landing Christian DB Avery Walls (California). Georgia commitment Zach DeBell, an offensive tackle from Tarpon Springs, Fla., will also play in that game.

So as you can see, there is a lot of postseason football activity going on the next couple of weeks. I’ll be following it all very closely so check back here often for updates.

College Recruiting By Chip Towers

74 comments Add your comment

Good golly

December 29th, 2010
11:27 am

north ga dawg

December 29th, 2010
11:36 am

Glad to see you back chip. Was it a long holiday?

godawgs678

December 29th, 2010
11:51 am

Is it televized?

Huddy

December 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

Is it televised?

The Sham

December 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

Is it devilized?

the truth

December 29th, 2010
12:34 pm

Chip is the game going to be televised or streamed on the internet?????

The Sham

December 29th, 2010
12:35 pm

Is it just me or does anyone else have a subtle sense of self-destruction when it comes to Lemay? I may be making a mountain out of a mole hill, but this is just another example of Lemay’s aloofness regarding the rules.

Did he not know he couldn’t practice with UGA and still play in the HS competition?

Did he not know he could sell his SEC Championship Ring, Jersey or get a free tatoo? Obviously not his mistakes yet, but examples of past stupidity or I think I should say ignorance…

These are the things that make it hard for me to take stock in his future as a succesful DAWG…

I hope Murray sticks around for 3 more years so maybe this kid can finish growing up before we depend on him…

dawgster

December 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

@Chip…glad to have you back, hope you and family had a Merry Christmas…any additional info on Ray Drew…Is this just a young man having some fun at the expense of many or is there more to it…Hard to believe he would post about hating “Red” even if it were true, sounds to me he may be throwing everyone a curve, but who knows with these guys, its starting to get old with some of the attention they bring on themselves, but we do encourageit i guess…go dawgs

The Sham

December 29th, 2010
12:38 pm

JK about the devilized bit – I do think these kids get a bit too much of the glamorous life at too young of an age. But if it helps to get them grown up, maybe it’s a good thing. In any case, I hope the dream team comes more clearly into focus with the conclusion of these spectacles…

The Sham

December 29th, 2010
12:47 pm

I’d like to echo Dawgster’s comments. Glad to have you back Chip… It’s been a tough sentence for those of us who got stuck working this holiday season…

Also – what’s with the Drew comments? I hadn’t seent he comments in question… any links?

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

the truth: I haven’t been able to find anything about TV or webcast. I’ll keep looking and let you know. . . .

The Sham: It’s just you. Sometimes guys like Christian LeMay make a conscious decision to skip these all-star games and sometimes they just weren’t aware of the rules. Vincent Dallas just did the same thing with the North-South Game. He practiced with Tennessee before the holidays and now can’t be an all-star. He was replaced by Calhoun WR J.T. Palmer, by the way.

layinlow

December 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

Yea I thought Drew was supposed to be some mature young man, already a minister. Even if he doesn’t plan on attending Georgia why would he make such a remark? I thought he had a good relationship with Richt. If this is not the case and he is just trying to throw everyone off then that would be very immature as well. If he is the man he supposed to be just announce your decision when your ready and don’t play the silly games that others do. Thats what a true mature christian would do. Go where you want to go Ray Drew but don’t be a follower like the other hat trick prima donna’s.

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

north ga dawg: Thanks. It was a nice holiday.

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
12:57 pm

The Sham: I’ll write an update on the Drew comments this afternoon. Check back 3 or 4ish.

the truth

December 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

come on guys he is still just a 17 or 18 year old having some fun with lemay… I maybe wrong but doesn’t UGA quarterbacks where RED jersey during practice with a green one on top. this is a tough decision on this young mans life and when he shows that he is having a little fun yall pounce on him… Give him a break!!!!

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
1:05 pm

Chip—Any word on Dickson?? I was a catcher in Babe Ruth and his dad was our #1 pitcher…my hand still hurts from catching him–he was a great guy–good family…I would love to see him in the Black G….Hope Moore can bring him along.

True DAWG 93

December 29th, 2010
1:06 pm

Chip any news on the Drew comment? also anybody know how UGA is looking with that 4 star reciever- Malcom Mitchel or with that JUCO Jenkins DT?

RxDawg

December 29th, 2010
1:08 pm

Woh, your back Chip! Good to have ya back.

The Sham

December 29th, 2010
1:13 pm

@Chip- I hope you are right and I hope all the connotations with his past transgretions are just a blip on the radar. I’m sometimes quick to criticize, but I’m also quick to defend the kids for “being kids”.

RxDawg

December 29th, 2010
1:14 pm

I too have heard rumors about Drew and Auburn. Looks like Auburn is trying to put him on the payroll with Scam…

I’m really not going to worry too much about it. If it’s true then we’ll still be a great football program with or without him.

RRTDawgs

December 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

I saw on Chad Simmons blog that X. Dickson was buying UGA gear so it sounds good that he will be a dawg .

chez

December 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

what were the comments he made and where did yall find this???

RRTDawgs

December 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

I think Drew’s comments could have meant spring practice red shirt freshman LeMay will be a red shirt

Murray4Heisman

December 29th, 2010
1:31 pm

I think that everyone is reading in way too much to the Drew/LeMay FB conversation. I think that its pretty funny myself that everyone is getting bent way out of shape over this. Honestly they said what they said just to see how much of a rise they could get out of you FB stalkers. Leave the kid alone cause at the end of the day he is going to go where his heart leads him and that will be ATHENS. Garrison Smith had the same playful banter last year as well.

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

RRTDawgs—thanks GA needs help on D

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

quick ??? with GA sitting at only 16 commitments and so many that we have been chasing not commited—think it might be the case that they are all going to announce at the all-star games?? Think it may be planned that way?

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
1:50 pm

Brooksdawg: We’ll know much more about Georgia’s recruiting class nine days into January.

autrydawg

December 29th, 2010
1:51 pm

RRTDawgs

December 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

Everyone should not read to much with kids on there face book page LeMay and Drew are very tight friends and its good to hear from everyone hope you had a nice Christmas and hope the dawgs end the year with a bang .

autrydawg

December 29th, 2010
1:57 pm

Is the game televised????????

dawgster

December 29th, 2010
2:00 pm

Well, don’t know what is going to happen with these D-Recruits, but if we don’t get our share, one is going to have to look at Coach Grantham’s ability to recruit and sell his defense to these guys..I don’t doubt his ability to Coach, but there are some issues that appeared this season that bothers me somewhat, but i’ll reserve judgement until after NSD..Anyone else feeling nervous about the same thing…go dawgs

atl gator

December 29th, 2010
2:01 pm

the uga UcF game will be on the Ocho.

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

Thanks Chip….Hope everyone has a great 2011!

rincon dog

December 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

I feel u on that dawgster. We have all our eggs in one basket.

dawgster

December 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

Chip, i think you are right about the Jan comment…The dawgs are either going to be extremely happy or we will fall falt on our face, don’t think that will happen, but i’m getting some concerns and hearing some different things….If these end on the recruiting trail as they did last year, the fallout from the fans and like will be scary…Man, i don’t where my negative thoughts are coming from but i don’t like it, going to think more positive about the next few weeks..go dawgs

dawgster

December 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

should read “flat on our face”…sorry…

shankit

December 29th, 2010
2:16 pm

Drew is a minister.
The devil is always portrayed in red.
Nothing to do with football.

And tech signed who?

December 29th, 2010
2:16 pm

PJ can’t recruit , he offers the 4 and 5 star players , but they sign with UGA. To date of UGA verbal commits PJ has offered 7 of them . UGa has offered 1 Tech recruit.

dawgster

December 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

@rincon dog…i’m hoping that the dawg coaches know something we don’t…i do hear there is at least one silent that the coaches know about, but thats all i hear…I will say this however, there are still plenty of kids out there that would love to wear the “G” if offered, they may not be 4 or 5 star recruits, but they will bust their rear ends off to play for the dawgs…Theres two up here in my area that would have worn the “G” if offered but were not, but other SEC schools thought they were good enough…and while i understand we are concentrating on some others, it we don’t secure them, then we let some good ones get away…Of course this is just my opinion, i’m not doing the evaluating so i have to trust the Coaches on the recruiting….go dawgs

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
2:32 pm

To whomever asked, yes, the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl will be TVed Friday at 4 p.m. on CSS.

RichmondDawg

December 29th, 2010
2:33 pm

Good to have you back, Chip. The next few weeks will definitely tell how this class will shape up. Hope to hear some good news, but with 18 year old kids, you never know until they sign.

Chip Towers

December 29th, 2010
2:34 pm

autrydawg: No.

rincon dog

December 29th, 2010
2:37 pm

Well I’m just like you. Fingers crossed.

GATADawg

December 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

Maybe Drew comes to UGA or maybe he doesn’t, but do we really need to freak out about a FB post? Same thing with Crowell’s hat at the Auburn game. Nothing is certain until they sign and you know the coaches are relentless at getting these targets and even if they don’t I’m sure they have great back-up plans. Go Dawgs

thetruth!!!

December 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

lets see UGAG gets top 10 recruting classes every year, full of 4 and 5 star kids and you go 7-5 and 6-6 the last 2 reg seasons, wow! talk about a waste of tallent. Either the recruting services are wrong or UGAG’s coaching staff suck’s? Georgia, Notre Dame and Michagan, have all 3 been a black hole of tallent, 4 and 5 star players go in………..Just think, South Carolina, Auburn, Arkansas and even Miss St has now passed the mighty dawgs in the SEC. It takes COACHING to be a top program, Georgia has the top tallent, great fac., a Large stadium full of fans, and all you have to show for it is hopeing you can sign a bunch of 4 and 5 star players to save the program? seem like we have seen this before and tell me? what has changed to make you think anything will be any better with this group of kids comming in?

DawgLink

December 29th, 2010
2:53 pm

Blow one truth!

Overrated

December 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

And what exactly has Richt done with those 4-5 star recruits? chirp chirp chirp

RRTDawgs

December 29th, 2010
3:24 pm

I hope we get Crowell because Josh Clemons RB committed to UK on Christmas Eve so he is of the board

Just saying

December 29th, 2010
3:26 pm

Other than Tebow, Corch Meyer won with Zooks players.

Saban won at Bama with Shulas Players, and Chizik is winning with money and Tubervilles talent.

RRTDawgs

December 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

Hey Chip also heard over the weekend that Ramik Wilson has UGA as his leader LB out of Florida do you have any info .