OT Xzavier Ward all over map 2 weeks before signing day

THIS IS FROM AJC PREP WRITER MICHAEL CARVELL:

The best recruiting soap opera to watch in the state of Georgia over the next two weeks may be Colquitt County’s Xzavier Ward.

Georgia Tech, UGA, Alabama are among the schools making a late push for the 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle.

Ward was originally scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama, along with Florida, earlier this month but the recruiting trips were canceled because both schools said they had too many commitments at the tackle positions.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen made an in-home visit on Monday, along with a couple of Georgia Tech assistants. Ward agreed to take an official visit to Mississippi State this weekend, while Georgia Tech called on late Tuesday, trying to convince Ward to travel to its campus instead.

“Mississippi State and Coach Mullen have been to his house, and Xzavier is going to honor his commitment to visit that school,” Colquitt County coach Rush Propst said. “He looked Coach Mullen in the eye and said he was coming. When I talked to Georgia Tech a coupe of hours ago, I told them that Xzavier had already committed to visit Mississippi State. And it’s not that Georgia Tech is out of it, not at all. We just have to work it all out with scheduling.”

Do you need more turns and twists? BCS champion Auburn will meet in person with Ward on Wednesday.

“I think Xzavier was a heavy lean to Auburn probably a couple of weeks ago,” Propst said. “And I think if it boiled down to it, and it goes well with Auburn [on Wednesday], then he might bubble up to them again. They’ve told him all along that his offer is good until signing day, and he appreciates that kind of loyalty.”

There’s more. UGA, which had shown limited interest in recent months, entered the sweepstakes again — but with a catch. They offered Ward a “grayshirt scholarship,” meaning he would delay enrollment until January 2012 in order to count toward next year’s scholarship total.

No. 63 is rapidly becoming a No. 1 target in the final two weeks (CCHS)

“I’ve had several of my former players, including [Atlanta Falcons backup QB] John Parker Wilson at Alabama, do the grayshirt thing, and it has always worked out well,” Propst said. “I’ve told Xzavier exactly what it means, and he’s OK with it.”

But would Ward really consider UGA’s grayshirt offer? “If he decides that Georgia is the place that he wants to go, he would have no problems with that scenario,” Propst said.

And there’s more. Alabama, which dismissed itself from contention earlier this month, apparently wants back in. They contacted Propst this week to investigate the situation.

“They want to try to make something happen, but they haven’t told me specifics — they are keeping it close to the vest,” Propst said, referring to the possibility of Alabama making a grayshirt offer.

Also, Louisville, Memphis, and Louisiana Tech are among other schools hoping that Ward somehow falls to them.

Ward is scheduled to go to Mississippi State this weekend, and could taken “shortened” official visits to as many as three schools next week.

If you wanted some fun recruiting drama to follow, you may get your wish.

“I really don’t think Xzavier will start the process on making his college decision until the day before signing day,” Propst predicted. “He’ll look back and think about everything, and sometime make a decision during that 24-hour period.”

117 comments Add your comment

STATE

January 19th, 2011
11:07 am

STATE

January 19th, 2011
11:07 am

San Francisco Dawg

January 19th, 2011
11:10 am

Are we stacked at tackle as well to not offer this guy other than a grey shirt? It seems like just a couple of years ago we had depth problems on the O line…does this mean we have all of our remaining scholarships for this year accounted for? And we don’t have one for him??

ALABAMA STUDENT

January 19th, 2011
11:12 am

Thats the penalty of not committing on time- the more you delay the more you are greyshirted,

Doh!

January 19th, 2011
11:13 am

Looks like the UGA staff has some non-public commitments in the bank…

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
11:17 am

That is good news on X. Ward that UGA is back in it maybe tide roll will shut up hey chip i her that UGA visited Ray Drew and Crowell .

chilidawg

January 19th, 2011
11:19 am

Hmmm, greyshirt offer? I guess they think this class will fill at the last minute with some heavy hitters!

Dawg_Mike

January 19th, 2011
11:20 am

R U Kidding me? Beefy O lineman does not get in right away> 2012 will be too late for CMR. WIN NOW !

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
11:22 am

News of Tanner Strickland is leaving is maybe why UGA is after Ward .

SouthGaBrave

January 19th, 2011
11:25 am

RRTDawgs,

Yes the UGA coaches were in to see Isaiah yesterday and Ray Drew tweeted this morning that he was “Getting ready to see CMR”

sowegadawg

January 19th, 2011
11:28 am

Dawgs making push for Ward because spot opened in class with Tanner Strickland graduating and deciding not to continue with football

Well said

January 19th, 2011
11:33 am

UGA has commitments from two OT’s (Dantzler and Bell). No shortage there. Strickland, if he leaves, is a guard. X.Ward should have jumped on his offer when he got it months ago. Now if he chooses UGA, its a greyshirt. We would welcome him anyways. Go Dawgs!!!

74 Dawg

January 19th, 2011
11:33 am

At 275 the kid would red shirt next year any way. He needs to put on some weight. Richt is looking for help this year – he has seen the hand writing on the wall.

Bulldog59

January 19th, 2011
11:34 am

Following up on sowegadawg’s comment:

Tanner Strickland just announced he is forfeiting his final year of eligibility due to the nagging shoulder injury, so with an open scholarship, why does Ward need to grayshirt at UGA? Possibly everyone is correct and UGA has silent commits to fill all available spots?

nate

January 19th, 2011
11:34 am

Chip or anyone else,

Can you enlighten us to how many scholarships UGA has available and how many are already taken by commitments. It seems to me we have quite a few left and would be crazy to only offer a grey shirt…but does that mean we have some silent commitments?

Thanks for the info.

goldwreck

January 19th, 2011
11:35 am

I don’t think Strickland has anything to do with it.If it did Georgia would not be talking grayshirt.There is something else going on.

reebok

January 19th, 2011
11:36 am

he won’t go for the greyshirt w/ GT and Missy State ready to pull the trigger. IMHO, of course…

CEcil Newton

January 19th, 2011
11:36 am

AWebren lock…the money was too good

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
11:36 am

I hope we get good news tomorrow with Jay Rome everyone says Mitchell is going to Bama i think its a toss up .

bigtime

January 19th, 2011
11:36 am

Morning to all and Roll Tide. Watched a wonderful basketball game at Coleman Coliseum last night in which my Tide almost blew a 20 point lead against UK but that stories for a different day.Good to see that atmosphere for the B-Ball team .

This kid is a good blocker but he’ll either need a redshirt or a greyshirt and put on some muscle. He’s a little light in the britches,so to speak, for an SEC lineman. (Picture a power-forward at tackle). He’s got good technique but he’s still a little raw. It’ll be a great pickup for whoever potential wise but don’t look for him to get any playing time for a couple of years. One thing about Propst is his teams have run the primarily the spread so this kid’s not used to coming out of a 3 point stance that I know of. I haven’t followed him too closely so I can’t be certain that is what offense they ran this year at his school. He’s a great prospect regardless and the sky is the limit potential wise.

Careful with this injury talk or someone will put you on oversigning.com. Players get hurt playing football…..who knew ?

bigtime

January 19th, 2011
11:37 am

Oh and ROLL TIDE

Real Problem

January 19th, 2011
11:40 am

Bigtime…..Bama worried about Cyrus?

saban

January 19th, 2011
11:40 am

All Mine, Georgia gets hind tit again.

CAM NEWTON SAYS DONT PLAY 4 UGA HICKS

January 19th, 2011
11:43 am

BE LIKE JAMAL LEWIS,JIM BROWN,CHUCK SMITH,DEION BRANCH,ERIC BERRY,DARIUS WALKER,WILLIE GAULT,ROBERT MATHIS,TERRANCE MATHIS,JASON ELAM,CHRIS GARDOCKI,CHARLIE WHITEHURST AND CAM NEWTON ALL FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA AND THEY LEFT THIS BACKWARDS STATE BOTH BLACK AND WHITE TO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE!

bigtime

January 19th, 2011
11:45 am

Real Problem……Not at all worried about BigCy. Bama’s worried about Morris from Mississippi at the Tackle spot. He was giving the Tide serious consideration before Bo Davis ( who was recruiting him) left for Texas. He seems to have backed off a bit since. ROLL TIDE

BostonDawg

January 19th, 2011
11:46 am

Maybe we should offer his best friend a grey shirt too. Then we’ll get him!

SouthGaBrave

January 19th, 2011
11:47 am

nate,

Here is a chart from UGASports with the scholarship distribution. The only error I have seen on it is that Jarvis Jones should be a RS Soph next year, if I’m not mistaken (1 year at SC and then a RS here last season). I notified Radi Nabulsi (UGASports editor), and he said that was right, so they should change it soon. They update it with commits:

http://uga.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=878&CID=387116

Geori

January 19th, 2011
11:53 am

Re: CAM NEWTON SAYS DONT PLAY 4 UGA HICKS

Because Alabama and Tennessee are more progressive than Georgia? Give me a F’n break. Atlanta hosted the Olympics.

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
11:55 am

Justin Scott Wesley says UGA will finnish with a strong class .

Well said

January 19th, 2011
11:56 am

So we have 26 slots available, with 18 commits. So 8 remaining. I believe it will fall out as follows:

1-Crowell
2-Harrow
3-Rome
4-Drew
5-Jenkins
6-Mitchell (Yes “bigtime”, still great shot a landing him)
7-?? Possibly DE Barnes from PA
8-?? Maybe flip X.Dickson from Bama or LB Vaughters
Any others I am missing??

One Hairy Dawg

January 19th, 2011
11:56 am

If Strickland leaves, Dawgs have 26 scholarships and 18 commits. If they offered Ward a gray shirt, the writing is on the wall. Look for tha Dawgs to close strong. CMR knows some things we don’t know

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
11:58 am

Heard that Gabe Wright was impressed with his Voles visit so may not be a lock for AU they lost Marcus Robinson to Texas Tech .

BostonDawg

January 19th, 2011
11:59 am

@Well said: Hope you don’t have to update that list after tonight…

sowegadawg

January 19th, 2011
11:59 am

RRTDawg talked with Justin Wesley Scott Monday he told me the same there will be some shockers is how he put it, but did not pass on any more info

Brooksdawg

January 19th, 2011
12:00 pm

SouthGaBrave….what is your “gut” telling you about who we will close with?

bigtime

January 19th, 2011
12:02 pm

Well Said…….There’s always a chance, this is recruiting my friend.

Well said

January 19th, 2011
12:03 pm

@BostonDawg, I hope not either. But in reality, until NSD, these kids could bounce all over the place. Two more weeks.

RED & BLACK

January 19th, 2011
12:03 pm

chip check on whats going on with ray drew i read yesterday he is going to commit somewhere

One Hairy Dawg

January 19th, 2011
12:03 pm

Well Said- You are on the money. A couple of LB’s could also be in play. I believe Kent Turene is visiting this weekend.

In-State Pride

January 19th, 2011
12:06 pm

@CAM NEWTON SAYS DONT PLAY 4 UGA HICKS

You’re an R-Tard. Knew Whitehurst in highschool. He wanted to go to UGA, but they already filled their QB spot with another quarterback from the beautiful state of Georgia. Heard of DJ Shockley? Either way, I think both QBs made the right decision in the end…and neither hold a grudge against this state in any way.

sowegadawg

January 19th, 2011
12:06 pm

Red & Black
Ray Drew set a possible commitment day for the 28th he is going to announce at his church is the tentative plan

SouthGaBrave

January 19th, 2011
12:07 pm

Brooksdawg,

Crowell, Jenkins, Rome, Harrow, Drew.

The gut says Mitchell is going to Bama, and since we were going to play him at receiver, you could see us try to swipe DeMarco Robinson from Kentucky late.

If we want to sign a full class for all the available scholarships, you could see an under the radar defensive tackle or linebacker get a “morning of NSD” offer.

haters are skaters

January 19th, 2011
12:07 pm

anyone have any news on charone peake? is he solid w/ clemson?

COWETADAWG

January 19th, 2011
12:09 pm

I really hope all of this pans out, we could be smiling on NSD or really feeling beat down. hope for the best

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
12:09 pm

I think after the article yesterday will all need to relax UGA will finish strong good her from bigtime i know that person was giving you a hard time i have been through it to .

Brooksdawg

January 19th, 2011
12:11 pm

SouthGaBrave..I think Mitchell is Bama too…to much smoke, not to be the truth….I would be very happy with that at the close…Thanks for all your input here

RRTDawgs

January 19th, 2011
12:13 pm

With UGA visiting Drew and Cowell i think we will close with those recruits and Crowell and his family will be Athens go dawgs .

Greg Talley (Ho)

January 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

Well said, FSU fans are worried that Wilder is going to flip to dawgs.

SouthGaBrave

January 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

Brooksdawg,

No problem buddy. I enjoy the back and forth banter from everyone on here (as long as we keep it civil). Those are just my thoughts, I don’t claim to be an insider, although I do follow alot of sources and information. Anything can happen though, really. We could get all of the ones I mention or they could all spurn us. We’ll find out all too soon. Some of these guys will be able to compete and help out the Dawgs next year, but we will really be banking on a re-commitment and new attitude from the returning guys for a better 2011. I believe Joe T, TB, Tony Gilbert, and Kendrell Bell are gonna give em all they want this spring and summer!

Brooksdawg

January 19th, 2011
12:17 pm

SouthGaBrave—one more thing and I will leave you alone….are you hearing anything about the offense looking different this year?