Archive for 2010

Ten@10: ‘Dream Team’ prospects making official visits to UGA this weekend

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia’s attempt to assemble its “Dream Team” recruiting class for 2011 begins in earnest this weekend as four of the five uncommitted members of the AJC Super 11 will make their official visits to Athens this weekend.

DE/OLB Xzavier Dickson of Griffin, DE/OLB Ray Drew of Thomas County Central, TE Jay Rome and CB Damian Swann all have confirmed their plans to make their one expenses-paid visit to Georgia this weekend. It just so happens to coincide with the Bulldogs’ annual black-tie Senior Gala postseason banquet on Saturday night.

Five-star RB Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus, the only other uncommitted AJC Super 11 member will not be attendance, according to coach Dell McGee. But Crowell saw seven UGA assistant coaches at his team’s playoff game last Friday in Calhoun and had most of them them back at his school on Monday.

Georgia already has two members of the AJC Super 11 committed in North Paulding WR Chris Conley and QB/DB Nick Marshall. Conley will …

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Former Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger returns to SEC with LSU

Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger shined in his one and only season at Butler Community College in Kansas. (Photo by Marc Browning/Wichita Eagle)

Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger shined in his one and only season at Butler Community College in Kansas. (Photo by Marc Browning/Wichita Eagle)

Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger is on his way back to the Southeastern Conference.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound freshman, who was dismissed by the Bulldogs after an arrest last spring, committed to LSU on Monday following a highly-productive season at Butler County Community College in Kansas. Mettenberger completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,678 yards and 32 touchdowns.

“It’s the best conference in America, and I want to compete against the best,” Mettenberger told TigerSportsDigest.com.

Butler lost to Navarro — led by former Bulldog Toby Jackson — 13-12 in the junior college national championship game in Pittsburg, Kan., on Sunday. According to several published reports, Mettenberger actually committed to the Tigers on his Nov. 20th official visit to Baton Rouge but he wanted to keep it a secret until the …

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UGA coaches undeterred as Calhoun frustrates Isaiah Crowell, Carver

Carver-Columbus star running back Isaiah Crowell walks off the field in Calhoun following a frustrating night that saw him limited to just 94 yards rushing. (Special photo by Chris Bush)

Carver-Columbus star running back Isaiah Crowell walks off the field in Calhoun following a frustrating night that saw him limited to just 94 yards rushing. (Special photo by Chris Bush)

There were a lot of surprising takedowns in the GHSA playoffs this past weekend but none was more stunning than No. 3 Calhoun’s 27-14 upset of No. 1 Carver-Columbus in the Class AA semifinals Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets did something that no other team has been able to do all season and that’s contain Tigers’ tailback Isaiah Crowell. The AJC Super 11 selection and 5-star prospect was held to just 94 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown as Calhoun advanced to the state finals for the third consecutive year.

“We did an unbelievable job on him,” Calhoun coach Hal Lamb told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “We kept hitting him and hitting him. That was our goal, and he got frustrated.”

Very frustrated, in fact. The 6-foot, 210-pound athlete — who finishes the season with 1,721 yards rushing …

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Game of Week: QB Taylor Heineke leads Collins Hill against Brookwood

CHANNEL 2 SPORTS ZONE FRIDAY GAME OF THE WEEK: COLLINS HILL AT BROOKWOOD

Like anyone else, Taylor Heinecke could not have been sure what coach Billy Wells leaving Collins Hill High School after last season would mean for his football future. He, like the entire Eagles program, had enjoyed both personal and team success under the leadership of Wells, who left to coach at Lanier.

Ultimately, here’s what it meant: The Eagles are still playing in the season’s 14th week and Heinieke has established virtually every Gwinnett County passing record.

The switch from Wells to coach Kevin Reach meant a switch from an I-based offense to a pass-happy spread. And for Heinecke, that has meant 3,903 yards passing and 43 touchdown with just nine interceptions.

“Coach told me I’d have big numbers,” said Heinecke, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior. “But if you told me I’d have the numbers I do, there’s no way I would’ve believed it.”

Collins Hill (10-3) takes on No. 3-ranked Brookwood (12-1) in the …

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Carver-Columbus star Isaiah Crowell to wait until national signing day (updated)

Carver-Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell poses for one of his AJC Super 11 portraits this past summer. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Carver-Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell poses for one of his AJC Super 11 portraits this past summer. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell, generally considered the top overall prospect in Georgia this year, has decided to postpone his college decision until the end of the recruiting period, coach Dell McGee said Thursday.

“Isaiah and his family want to make the best decision for his future and they feel that taking his five official visits will give them the best opportunity to evaluate and assess what they are looking for in a school,” McGee told the AJC. “They want to give each school a fair opportunity.”

For several weeks, Crowell (6-0, 210) had said he wanted to make his announcement immediately following the Tigers’ victory in the Class AA state championship in the Georgia Dome next week, should they be so fortunate to get there. Recently, Crowell said he also intended to visit UGA on Dec. 11th — the day after the state title game — which …

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Ten@10: Destination still unknown for former UGA QB Zach Mettenberger

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Still no word from former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger as to where he will end up after this season. A 6-5, 250-pounder freshman at Butler County (Kan.) Community College, the Watkinsville native is focused on preparing for this weekend’’s junior college national championship game against Navarro in the Citizens Bank Bowl in Pittsburg, Kan. LSU is thought to lead for Mettenberger’s services, but he has kept his thoughts to himself since taking an official visit to Baton Rouge on Nov. 20. Mettenberger, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, also has visited Texas A&M and has offers from Alabama, Arizona, Cincinnati, Louisville, Ole Miss and Troy. He’s scheduled to make an official visit with the Rebels on Dec. 10, according to Scout.com.

2. AJC Super 11 DE Ray Drew of Thomas County Central High in Thomasville is one of six finalists for the U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year Award. As such, he’ll be going to …

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Four-star QB Greyson Lambert calls UGA offer ’special’

Before it’s all said and done, Greyson Lambert will likely have dozens of scholarship offers. But this past weekend, he got the one he’d been waiting for.

Lambert was offered by the Georgia Bulldogs.

“It was really special to me,” said Lambert, a junior quarterback from Wayne County High School in Jesup. “It’s something I’ve been waiting on a long time. I actually wrote it down as one of my goals for this year.”

It’s not like Lambert was lacking attention. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound signalcaller was already holding offers from Alabama and Clemson when he traveled to Athens last Saturday for the Georgia-Georgia Tech game. And virtually every school in the South is recruiting him.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for your accomplishments by the state school,” he explained. “It sort of validates everything you work for.”

That doesn’t mean he’s leaning toward the Bulldogs. Lambert said he is intent on keeping his options open.

“I like everybody who is interested in me right now,” he …

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Hillgrove junior RB Kenyan Drake adds offers from UGA, UT

Hillgrove's Kenyan Drake, here battling for yards against Brookwood, gained more than 1,600 yards for the Hawks as a junior this season. (AJC photo by Alexandra Acosta)

Hillgrove's Kenyan Drake, here battling for yards against Brookwood, gained more than 1,600 yards for the Hawks as a junior this season. (AJC photo by Alexandra Acosta)

You have to appreciate the emotions that must have been running through Kenyan Drake’s head during the Georgia-Georgia Tech game this past Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

The Hillgrove High junior running back showed up in Athens fully expecting to receive a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs. But he arrived a little late and did not end up with a recruiting host. As a result, he “kind of got lost” among the 100 or so recruits who flooded the game as visitors. So he never got a one-on-one meeting with any coaches, including head coach Mark Richt, who he was hoping to spend some time with.

Then the game ensued. Drake is close with former and current Hillgrove teammates Synjyn Days, a Georgia Tech freshman quarterback, and linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days, a Tech commitment. And he has long held his only offer from the …

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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 …

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Dressed in UGA gear, 5-star RB Isaiah Crowell headlines visiting recruits

Athens — Went to the Georgia-Georgia Tech game at Sanford Stadium Saturday night. It was a wild one, as usual, but I didn’t go to see the game as much as I did the recruits.

As everybody knows it is a huge recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs. Dozens of prospects were expected and it looked like they all showed up. You’re not permitted to interview or take pictures of prospective student-athletes (that’s what the schools call them) while they are on a recruiting visit, so I can’t provide any keen insights. But I can give you a quick rundown of what I saw.

(1) As I tweeted early this evening, Georgia’s No. 1 recruiting target was in the house. Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell, accompanied by several teammates and family, was decked out head to toe in Bulldogs’ gear. Of course, he famously (or infamously) wore an Alabama cap to the Auburn-Georgia game a couple of weeks ago at Auburn. This time he had on a beige Georgia cap turned backward over his dreads, a red Georgia …

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