Georgia’s dream alive in Valdosta; Dogs get Mitchell, Rome (UPDATED)

Malcolm Mitchell was the second Valdosta football star to don a white Georgia cap on Thursday. Teammate Jay Rome chose the Bulldogs earlier in the day. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

Malcolm Mitchell was the second Valdosta football star to don a white Georgia cap on Thursday. Teammate Jay Rome chose the Bulldogs earlier in the day. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

Valdosta – Georgia’s recruiting dreams remained alive Thursday night as the Bulldogs recorded a sweep here in Title Town, landing two of the state’s top six players in the matter of two hours.

Tight end Jay Rome, an AJC Super 11 member and the No. 3 player in the state, committed to the Bulldogs over Alabama Thursday afternoon. Thursday evening, his wide receiver teammate Malcolm Mitchell, the state’s No. 6 player, joined Rome in tabbing the Bulldogs. He also picked the state school over Alabama.

“It’s a good idea,” Mitchell said of UGA’s “Dream Team” concept. “Jay going there and being a friend had a little bit of influence on me but it was based on what I wanted. That’s what it came down to. I had to do what I felt was right.”

Rome, a 5-star prospect from Valdosta High, unveiled his decision in a nationally-televised announcement that aired on the ESPNU show “Recruiting Insider.” In order to do that, Rome drove 80 miles with his family and head coach Rance Gillespie to tape-record the announcement at a Florida Public Television station near the Florida State campus in Tallahassee, Fla.

Mitchell stayed local. He unveiled his decision before a packed house at the bustling Hibachi Grill and Deluxe Buffet on Baytree Road just off I-75. Mitchell’s announcement was carried live on four Valdosta radio stations – 92.1-FM, 96.1-FM, 97.7-FM and 1150-AM.

Rome donned a white UGA cap and told show host Lowell Galindo,“I think I’m going to stay in state and go to Georgia.”

“Georgia’s a great school, they have great football and it’s known as ‘Tight End U,” Rome said. “At the end of the day, I wanted to stay home, stay in-state and get all the in-state love.”

Rome then implored other members of the mythical “Dream Team” to follow him to Athens. Specifically he called out Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell, the state’s No. 1-ranked player, who is visiting UGA this weekend; and Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew, the state’s No. 2 .

Rome managed to get back to Valdosta to attend Mitchell’s ceremony, which extended was extended to more than 50 minutes long by the radio broadcast.

“Now that he’s going to Georgia I’m ecstatic,” Rome said. “No matter where he was going to go I was going to support him. I honestly thought he was going to Alabama. That’s what I came over here thinking. We both made up our own minds independent. It just so happened both our minds happened to be on Georgia.”

Mitchell said he was late in coming to his decision to choose Georgia. “Alabama led the whole way, the whole way,” he said. “I thought at one time that’s where I was going to go.”

Asked what changed, Mitchell said: “It was the last-minute official I took [to UGA],” he said. “I really enjoyed myself up there. I enjoyed myself at Alabama as well. They’re both two great programs, but I had to do what I thought was best for me.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete was originally recruited as a lock-down cornerback. But his prolific production in new coach Rance Gillespie’s more open attack – he had 77 catches for 1,419 yards and 13 TDs – swayed both Alabama and Georgia to offer him as an offensive player. He was given the option to play either side of the ball by both schools.

“I think Coach Gillespie coming to Valdosta helped expose every aspect of my athletic abilities,” Mitchell said. “Him getting the ball in my hands showed everybody what I was capable of doing. I had offers before that, but I think it put in everybody’s mind what kind of player I can be.”

GEORGIA 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. C David Andrews (6-3, 276), Wesleyan School
  2. DE Sterling Bailey (6-4, 250), East Hall HS
  3. CB Devin Bowman (6-0, 175), Ridgeland HS
  4. WR Chris Conley (6-3, 185), North Paulding HS
  5. OT Watts Dantzler (6-7, 330), Dalton HS
  6. OT Zach DeBell (6-7, 265), Tarpon Springs, Fla.
  7. DB Quintavioius Harrow (6-0, 185), Carver-Columbus
  8. LB Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 215), N. Clayton
  9. QB Christian LeMay (6-3, 188), Matthews, N.C.
  10. OL Hunter Long (6-3, 293), Eads, Tenn.
  11. ATH Nick Marshall (6-2, 190), Wilcox Co. HS
  12. DL Chris Mayes (6-5. 295), Spalding HS
  13. WR Malcolm Mitchell (6-1, 185), Valdosta
  14. DB Corey Moore (6-1, 185), Griffin
  15. TE Jay Rome (6-6, 240), Valdosta
  16. DB Chris Sanders (6-0, 175), Tucker
  17. WR Justin Scott-Wesley (6-1, 190), Mitchell County HS
  18. WR Sanford Seay (6-2, 190), Lee County
  19. CB Damian Swann (6-0, 175), Grady
  20. OL Nathan Theus (6-3, 255), Jacksonville, Fla.
  21. LB Ramik Wilson (6-3, 225), Tampa, Fla.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

1,432 comments Add your comment

die hard dawg

January 20th, 2011
4:51 pm

rome is all dawg

Skin-oh

January 20th, 2011
4:52 pm

Bull

January 20th, 2011
4:52 pm

GO DAWGS!!! Let’s do this

Dawggie

January 20th, 2011
4:52 pm

Where am I? What place am I in???

Ching

January 20th, 2011
4:52 pm

Dawggie

January 20th, 2011
4:52 pm

Blackoutanyone?

January 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

Bull

January 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

I sure do hope we get these guys….GO DAWGS

Worm

January 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

I hoping for 1 of 2…Both would be excellent..How many more is bama gonna’ OVERsign?

RomeDawg

January 20th, 2011
4:54 pm

They are both Athens bound baby!!!!

sandman053

January 20th, 2011
4:54 pm

Go Dawgs!!!! Welcome Mr. Rome.

Bull

January 20th, 2011
4:54 pm

Bull

January 20th, 2011
4:55 pm

Welcome to the Bulldawg family!!!!

TampaDawg

January 20th, 2011
4:56 pm

Go DAWGS!! Lets have some good luck today and get them both!

BjohnDawg

January 20th, 2011
4:56 pm

need two dawgs tonight

Bryan

January 20th, 2011
4:57 pm

Both will have a G on the forehead!

sandman053

January 20th, 2011
4:57 pm

Need two dawgs tonight and a big John Jenkins in a few weeks.

PLACE YOUR BETs

January 20th, 2011
5:00 pm

i think w are on the way to a magic 2.5 weeks/starting today and going thru til Nationnal Signing DAY FEB> 2//I feel a wind or changes DREAM TEAM STYLE// no one deserves to start having chips to fall our way more the WE RUN THIS STATE U….!!!!!UGA

Blackoutanyone?

January 20th, 2011
5:00 pm

Bull… if so… good luck to him. Looks like an impressive prospect.

Drdawgfan

January 20th, 2011
5:01 pm

Any truth to the rumor that Coach Smart was seen leaving the school “in a huff” this afternoon?

Dawg_Mike

January 20th, 2011
5:01 pm

Chip, good luck on trying to find ESPNU on your hotel TV. Most cable services only offer it as a premium and as such only have ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN classic. Thank goodness I have DirecTV so I can tune in.
You might be able to get it via the web…

Good luck and lets get these Dawgs in the house!

1eyedJack

January 20th, 2011
5:03 pm

Hopefully we’ll get a double helping of chili on those dawgs.

rincon dawg

January 20th, 2011
5:05 pm

roll dawgs. lol

1eyedJack

January 20th, 2011
5:06 pm

Chip, just go to a sports bar, I’m sure they would oblige you.

Worm

January 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

Buck, Please don’t “Curt Gowdy” us!

JAWJeRDAWG

January 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

Definitely hope Rome is ‘resplendently’ dressed in Red and Black, and that Mitchell will announce he’ll join him in Athens. Getting both would be a great recruiting coup for UGA. Guess we’ll soon see. Go Dawgs!

BAMA

January 20th, 2011
5:09 pm

roll tide. Mitchell will replace Julio Jones and Rome will be a great TE to block for Richardson, Lacy and Crowell lol!!!!

5150 P.O.A.D

January 20th, 2011
5:09 pm

Are they serving DREAMLAND BBQ?

5150 P.O.A.D

January 20th, 2011
5:10 pm

Has RICHT showed up in his Ford Pick-up?

Bitter coach "J"

January 20th, 2011
5:10 pm

Chip dont allow “butts” mom to spoil the party, i believe in dont hit women

women “butts” this power trip drives me over the edge

dAWG man

January 20th, 2011
5:11 pm

We get these 2 players, then get the National Championship trophies ready!!!!!!!, dawgs champs the next 4 years!!!!!!

Brown Dog

January 20th, 2011
5:11 pm

This Alabama man would be happy to split the check. That work for you, Dawg fans?

HWJ

January 20th, 2011
5:11 pm

Sources are telling me Rome is a bulldog.

sandman053

January 20th, 2011
5:13 pm

Brown, I’m ok splitting the check, but I would much prefer to get greedy and have both of them.

sandman053

January 20th, 2011
5:14 pm

Is it 5:30 yet?

sandman053

January 20th, 2011
5:14 pm

Chip, is his announcement at 5:30 or is it going to be a long production that could make the announcement more like 6?

D A DoubleU G

January 20th, 2011
5:16 pm

Source: Both are Dawgs.

BAMA

January 20th, 2011
5:16 pm

We will be satisfied with splitting either Rome or Mitchell, since we already snatch up Dickson during the Under Armour Game, plus Clowney for Valentines day.

Bull

January 20th, 2011
5:16 pm

@blackout, this will be quite a surprise if Mitchell chooses UGA, even most Dawg fans thought he was a Bama lock. Given our lack of depth at WR, we sure do need him! GO DAWGS

Dawg of the Future

January 20th, 2011
5:16 pm

ESPNU says the announcement is at the top of the show. Can’t wait! This is making work more interesting…

Valdosta Cat

January 20th, 2011
5:17 pm

Malcolm Mitchell will prove to be a great pickup for the school he chooses. I’m one of many who’ve had the privilage of watching such a gifted athlete on the football field. He has made “Title Town” very proud of him. I only wish that he’d choose to be a Dawg but let’s be realistic….he’s gonna sign with the tide nation. Nevertheless….go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!

VSU_Dawg

January 20th, 2011
5:17 pm

Chip, I cannot understand why Mitchell chose Hibachi Grill to make his announcement…there is about a million other places I can think that would be waaaayyyyy better… but it is his choice! hoe they are both Dawgs! it has been fun watching them play high school ball!

memphisdawg

January 20th, 2011
5:18 pm

sorry drown dog, taking our chances with a of the dice, but i think Mitchell is BAMA

baloney

January 20th, 2011
5:19 pm

Hard to believe that a writer would drive the length of a state just to hear a taped version of some high school kids college choice. And we wonder why when the kid get in trouble he feels a sense of entitlement. Gee whiz.

mike

January 20th, 2011
5:19 pm

We are pretty well set at Bama at both positions 2 deep. These guys want to go where they can play. I cant blame them. That was the selling point for our past 3 classes. Now with depth we have to really recruit championships and the opportunity to compete versus ” we see you starting right away.” It would be gravy if we got them or even one. I would be shocked if they left the state of Georgia.

HWJ

January 20th, 2011
5:19 pm

Buck is a big time homer but this is encouraging.
http://blogs.buckbelue.com/

Brown Dog

January 20th, 2011
5:19 pm

Sandman, sounding more and more like Georgia will be picking up the entire check. In the end, greed is NOT good.

memphisdawg

January 20th, 2011
5:20 pm

Valdosta Cat. I agree with your praise for Mitchell. His tape is one of the most impressive i’ve seen all year; and I get way to into watching high school players film. Guess I’m a dork like that.

Tator-Tot

January 20th, 2011
5:20 pm

Redneck word of the day: “CEDAR”

Used in a sentence: “I knowed she wasn’t wearing panties cuzz when she bent over i cedar cooter”.

CEDAR

5150 P.O.A.D

January 20th, 2011
5:20 pm

Red Losbster would have been better and it has the color RED no matter the team he picks.