THE TEN AT 10:
1. At least two of the 10 members of the Georgia contingent here in Orlando practicing for the Under Armour All-American Game plan to make their college announcements during Wednesday night’s contest at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Quan Bray, a running back from Troup High in LaGrange, and Xzavier Dickson, a defensive end/outside linebacker from Griffin, both claim they don’t know who their choice will be on the eve of those announcements.
“I honestly don’t know right now,” said Bray, who claims he’s still considering Alabama, Auburn, Florida Georgia and LSU. “I’m still thinking about it.” Most believe it has come down to Auburn and Georgia for Bray. Those are the only two schools he has visited. Bray (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) said it will come down to “where I see myself getting on the field and playing the fastest.”
Dickson also lists Auburn among his finalists, but it appears to be an Alabama-Georgia battle for the 6-4, 240-pound AJC Super 11 selection. Alternately he hollered “Roll Tide” and “Go Dawgs” during media interviews on Monday, all the while wearing his now-familiar Georgia toboggan cap. “There’s a lot of Georgia guys down here and they’re putting their work in on us. They’re trying to get everybody.”
2. Technically Mitchell County WR Justin Scott-Wesley is the only Under Armour All-American who has committed to Georgia. But Dickson claims several others are silently committed to the Bulldogs, or at least heavy leans. “I think a good bit of them already have their minds made up and are trying to coax other guys in with them,” he said.
Leading that effort, Dickson said, is five-star tight end Jay Rome of Valdosta. Rome admits that Georgia leads and that he’s “really close” to making a decision. In fact, Rome said he considered making an announcement in Orlando. “I thought about it while I have been here and I prayed about it a couple of times,” he said. “I might, but more than likely I won’t.” Rome said he plans to still make an official visit to Clemson and possibly Tennessee.
3. Bray played quarterback at Callaway High before transferring to Troup this past season, where he played running back. But at the Under Armour All-American Game this week he’s playing a lot of wide receiver. In fact, he made one of the best catches of the day with a diving over-the-shoulder grab for a touchdown in one-on-one passing drills. “I can play wide receiver,” Bray said. “But I’m still a running back.”
4. There is a lot of speculation that Isaiah Crowell is a heavy Georgia lean, especially now that four-star RB Dee Hart of Orlando switched his commitment from Michigan to Alabama recently. While that may indeed be true, Crowell made it clear he still intends to make three official visits and won’t make a decision before national signing day. Crowell said he’ll take officials to Alabama on the 14th, Georgia on the 21st and Auburn on the 28th. “I expect them to be crazy,” Crowell said of those visits. “But I’ve just got to be humbled and be focused and stay on the right track.”
5. Georgia Tech commitment Vad Lee continues to be one of the most impressive recruits I’ve followed this season. The Durham, N.C., quarterback, who led his Hillside High team to a 16-0 record and state championship this past season, continued to stand out in the Offense-Defense All-America Bowl last weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Lee (6-2, 200) completed 10-of-14 passes for 213 yards and also rushed six times for 86 yards and two scores, including a 58-yard jaunt. One of his scoring throws went for 51 yards to UGA commitment and AJC Super 11 selection Chris Conley.
“The school I’m going to knows what I can do,” Lee told 247Sports.com. “, I just came out here and played my game. I’m excited. All I have to do is get bigger, stronger and faster for the ACC. I showed my running ability and my passing skills and what we’re going to be doing at Georgia Tech in the future.”
6. A.J. Johnson earned Super 11 recognition at Gainesville as a middle linebacker and the plan if for him play that position at Tennessee. But he’s playing some at defensive end in the Under Armour Game this week and it’s long been speculated that could be an ideal position for this 6-3, 235-pound athlete. “One of the defensive ends here got hurt, so they’ve been playing me out there a little bit,” Johnson said. “I don’t mind helping out but I love playing middle linebacker. You’ve got the two best in Georgia playing on the same team in me and James [Vaughters].”
7. One “sleeper” recruit to keep an eye on might be Camden County lineman D.J. Glover. He has been linked to Georgia Southern and Southern University (visiting Jan. 14) recently and has offers from Southern Louisiana, Missouri State, Valdosta State and Albany State. But one is left to wonder if this 6-foot-4, 340-pound athlete might be able to play at an even higher level. He was named first-team Class AAAAA all-state by both The AJC and The Associated Press and was the best lineman on a team that put up 42 points on both Central Miami and St. Thomas Aquinas this season. Middle Tennessee is reportedly inquiring. Stay tuned.
8. Starr’s Mill offensive lineman Alex Barr committed to N.C. State over the holidays, coach Chad Phillips confirmed. Barr (6-7, 280) at one time was committed to Vanderbilt. “He was,” Phillips said. “But when coach [Robbie] Caldwell wasn’t retained and that staff was fired, they recommended him to N.C. State. They invited him up there for an official visit the weekend before Christmas, offered him right away and he jumped on it.”
9. Georgia State received its fourth commitment of the 2011 class recently from place-kicker Christian Benvenuto of Palm Coast, Fla., the Daytona Beach News Journal reports. Benvenuto (6-2, 190), who also punts, was 5-of-8 on field goals and 25 of 26 on extra points, according to the newspaper. Benvenuto was also getting recruiting interest from Auburn and Georiga Southern. He is the fourth commitment for the Panthers’ class of 2011.
10. THIS & THAT: Mitchell will reveal his choice between Georgia and Alabama on Jan. 13 at Valdosta High. He is making an official visit to Alabama this weekend. . . . Mitchell, who is playing wide receiver at the Under Armour, sat out much of Monday’s practice due to a mild ankle sprain, but says he’s going to be able to play Wednesday. . . . UGA offered Lee County senior WR Sanford Seay over the weekend, according to the Albany Herald. Seay (6-2, 190) was named Class AAAA all-state after logging 68 receptions and 1,105 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season. . . .
The annual Under Armour Skills Challenge was conducted Monday after at the the Wide World of Sports but it won’t be shown on television until tonight at 9 on ESPN2. Spoiler alert — here’s who won, but you’ll have to watch to see what they did: “Pass Attack” — Brett Hundley (Chandler, Ariz./UCLA); “Obstacle Course” — Travis Hughes (Virginia Beach, Va./N. Carolina); “Lineman Strength Challenge” — Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./Undecided); “Hands Competition”– Eli Rogers (Miami, Fla./Louisville). . . . . . . Keyshawn Johnson was scheduled to be an assistant coach for Mike Ditka and the White team at the Under Armour but withdrew late due to a “scheduling conflict,” organizers said. . . .
Practices for Saturday’s first annual Rising Seniors Bowl at Hallford Stadium commence this week. . . . The Metro Atlanta All-Star Game between Fulton County and Atlanta Public Schools will be played Saturday. Among the participants will be Georgia Tech commitment Darrius Caldwell, a defensive end from Mays.
College Recruiting By Chip Towers