Ten@10: Ray Drew still being coy about Friday’s decision (updated)

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Ray Drew may be a licensed minister, but he’s having a devil of a good time keeping people guessing about his impending college decision. The 5-star defensive end is going to unveil his choice on Friday morning in the gym at Thomas County Central High School. Which team he will choose, well, everybody thinks they know but nobody really does.

Publicly Drew likes to throw out hints that he’s headed to Auburn, such as the text he sent me Sunday night that read “WDE” (that’s “War Damn Eagle,” as in the Auburn battle cry, for the un-indoctrinated). But Georgia fans insist Drew is so overly outspoken about the Tigers that it has to mean it’s a smokescreen for his real intention, which is to become part of the Bulldogs’ Dream Team. But then Drew will throw up a Facebook status that confuses the issue even more, such as the one he posted late Monday evening.

“There will be a huge surprise on Friday . . . no Auburn, no Georgia, no LSU . . . time to shock the world baby!,” he wrote.

Based on our conversation earlier Monday night, that would mean he’s picking Miami. Drew told me then that his four final choices on Friday will be Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Miami (he eliminated Clemson after his official visit there this past weekend). But, again, can we buy that he’d offer such an obvious hint four days before his supposed big reveal? Should we believe that he’d choose Florida or Tennessee or USC, some of the schools he talked about late into the process but never actually visited?

Here’s what we do know: Drew’s announcement is tentatively scheduled for sometime in the 9-9:30 a.m. block at his high school. Drew said he hasn’t decided yet what he’ll do or exactly what hats he might choose from or if he’ll choose hats at all. Details are still being worked out but he wants the entire student body and faculty to come out for the announcement. I plan to be there, too, assuming I’ll be able to find a seat.

2. Speaking of Drew, No. 2 in the AJC Fab 50,  and his invitation to join UGA’s “Dream Team,” I informed him of the AJC’s No. 9 player, Xzavier Ward, committing to the Bulldogs on Monday. You may have read part of his reply on Twitter. Here it is in full:

“Hmmm. I’m proud for him. I’m glad he found out where he wanted to be. I’m sure he made the best decision for him and his family. Now I’m looking forward to going against him one Saturday.”

3. Another potential Dream Team member Georgia is desperate to land is Isaiah Crowell, the AJC’s No. 1-rated prospect. Crowell took his official visit to UGA this past weekend and is headed to Auburn for his final trip this Friday. Crowell’s silence since that visit has been deafening. He hasn’t talked to anybody that I know of, and certainly not me. Evasive to start with, it looks like the Carver-Columbus tailback has completely shut it down now as far as interviews. Which is fine. It’s an extremely difficult decision he’s trying to make between Alabama, Auburn and Georgia from now until national signing day on Feb. 2.

But my attempts to reach Isaiah did land me an opportunity to speak to his father, Andrew Crowell. The baratone-voice patriarch of the Crowell clan is a man of few words who clearly is not easily impressed by or does not get rattled about this whole recruiting thing.

  • On the official visit to UGA this past weekend he said: “It was nice. All the schools we’ve been to are pretty nice.”
  • On what school he may favor at this point: “I don’t really care. We’re leaving that up to Isaiah. I’m just looking at him finishing his education and going where they can keep him in line and where there’s a good mentor for him. Where and when he’ll play on the field, I’m not really paying attention to all that.”
  • On the final decision: “We talk to him about it, but it’s going to be his decision. He’s the one that’s gonna be living there so it’s up to him.”

Whatever young Crowell decides, we won’t find out until national signing day. Carver coach Dell McGee said all of his seniors that are signing with colleges will do so as a team that Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the community center near the school. Gabe Wright (Auburn or Tennessee), Quincy McKinney (South Carolina commit) and Riyadh Jones (undecided) will among the Tigers to sign letters-of-intent that day with FBS schools.

4. It won’t go down as a new commitment but Georgia coach Mark Richt pretty much re-recruited Zach DeBell back to the Bulldogs over the last several days. The big offensive tackle from Tarpon Springs, Fla., was pretty shaken up by Stacy Searels’ decision to leave UGA to coach the offensive line at Texas. But Richt and his assistant coaches managed to smooth things over with an in-home visit last week and several phone calls since then.

“I was very disappointed in Coach Searels’ departure,” Debell told me in an e-mail. “He was a big part of why I chose Georgia. Coach Richt came to my home along with Coach [Bryan] McClendon and Coach [Warren] Belin and explained that he will have an offensive line coach in place shortly. Coach McClendon will be back in Florida next week and I may get to meet him then. I am eager to do so.”

Meanwhile, Texas lost one of its offensive line commitments during the transition (5-star tackle Christian Westerman switched to Auburn). I asked DeBell, a four-star prospect and a U.S. Army All-American, if he had been approached by the Longhorns.

“I have no interest in Texas,” he wrote. “I want to be a Bulldawg. I know Mark Richt will get someone really good.”

5. Georgia landed a somewhat unexpected late offensive line commitment from Colquitt County’s Xzavier Ward on Monday and it very well may have landed two. But ultimately Taylor Gadbois decided “to stay with my word” and stick with his commitment to Miami. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound tackle from East Paulding said he was “stressed out” after meeting with Richt and other staff members for an extended period at his school on Monday.

“They said Xzavier had committed and they wanted me to commit, too,” said Gadbois, who like Ward was offered a scholarship Sunday morning. “I told them I couldn’t do that to Miami, that I was a man of my word. I mean, I didn’t want to be rude to Coach Richt, because he’s a good man. But if it came down to Miami and Georgia, I was going to choose Miami because that was my dream school. And they had scholarships when they first started recruiting me. They just didn’t offer me one.”

So it would appear the Bulldogs are in the market for one more offensive lineman. The main target for that spot appears to be Antonio Richardson. The four-star prospect from Nashville, Tenn., was an official visitor this past weekend and reportedly loved it. But he has long been considered a heavy lean to the home-state Tennessee Volunteers.

6. The hot rumor this past weekend was that Southern Cal commitment Kent Turene of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., had committed to Georgia while on his official visit in Athens. One fan site actually had a story to that effect posted for a short while. Turene quickly shot it down via text message. “I don’t know where that came from,” he told me later. “I’m still committed [to the Trojans].”

That said, he really enjoyed his visit and really likes the Bulldogs. He was supposed to make an official visit to Tennessee immediately afterward but that trip got canceled.

“Georgia’s been recruiting me since last spring,” said the 6-3, 225-pound athlete. “I’m from Savannah originally and I’ve always liked Georgia. I committed to SC and Georgia never stopped recruiting me. They’ve just always been there and I feel very comfortable around all those coaches and players.”

So what might swing him to Georgia? “The depth chart at linebacker,” he said. “They don’t have a lot there right now. There’s a lack of depth, so the opportunity is there. They’re recruiting me for inside linebacker but they say I could play both.”

Turene, who is now listed as a “soft verbal” to USC on most lists, is going to visit Texas Tech this weekend. He said he’ll decide between Georgia, Nebraska, Texas Tech and Southern Cal on national signing day.

7. With 23 commitments — including three this past Sunday — Georgia Tech appears to be filling up fast. But the Yellow Jackets remain in the hunt for some elite recruiting prospects. They have not given up on Monroe Area’s Stephon Tuitt, the five-star defensive end who was committed to them for about 36 hours last week before re-committing to Notre Dame. And they may actually lead at this point for four-star defensive tackle Darian Cooper of Hyattsville, Md. Cooper visited Iowa this past weekend and is also looking hard at Michigan State in addition to the Yellow Jackets.

I’ve had interviews with two of the three new Jackets’ commitments and already posted a story on Miami linebacker Nick Menocal. I’ll be profiling linebacker Kyle Travis of South Forsyth later today.

8. In case you missed it, Michael Carvell had a couple good posts this week about Class AAAA state champion Chattahoochee. He reports that Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino stopped by Chattahoochee about two weeks ago to talk about defensive end Barron Dixon, who ended up committing to Mississippi State. Chattahoochee coach Terry Crowder asked Petrino for a few extra minutes of his time.

“I told Coach Petrino, ‘I’m not letting you leave here until you look at Kane Whitehurst,’” Crowder recalled. “I showed him some film and he just kind of fell in love with the kid.”

Whitehurst committed to Arkansas on Monday. The 5-11, 172-pound cousin of former Clemson great Charlie Whitehurst caught 84 passes for 1.378 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, including four on kickoff returns.

Carvell also reports that Class AAAA Player of the Year Tim Byerly is getting late interest from Michigan, among other schools. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback is also fielding calls from Duke, Wake Forest and other ACC schools.

9. Herschel Walker told our Jeff Schultz he wants to see more Georgia kids going to UGA, and he’d like to help make it happen.

“One of the things that’s happened is we’ve been losing so many kids coming out of high school to out of state college,” he said of the Bulldogs’ recent struggles. “They’re not going to the University of Georgia, and I’ve been sort of hurt by it. I’ve talked to Coach Richt and I’ve spoken to Greg McGarity and I’ve told them I’d like to get involved and help them in any way I can. But I’m not sure what the NCAA would allow me to do.”

10. THIS & THAT: Georgia State received its eighth commitment of the 2011 class over the weekend from Walton RB Kyle Vorster. Vorster (6-0, 207) rushed for about 1,800 yards this past season, according to coach Rocky Hidalgo. . . . The Panthers also may have gotten a commitment from DB Demazio Skelton of Georgia Military College, though that is unconfirmed at this writing. . . .

Lee County quarterback Justin Walker — who established a state record with 591 yards passing in a single game this past season — accepted a scholarship offer to West Georgia on Monday. Walker (6-3, 180, threw for more than 3,000 yards and 40 TDs this past season. Many of those passes went to Georgia wide receiver commitment Sanford Seay. . . . North Cobb linebacker Troy Gray and Sandy Creek defensive back Bruce Dukes committed to UCF. . . . Tucker running back Bashr Coles, the Class AAAA Region 6 offensive player of the year. Bashr, received a scholarship offer from UAB late last week. He adds that to offers he already has from Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Indiana State, Western Carolina, Presbyterian and Georgia Southern. Coles visited Georgia Southern last weekend. . . .

S. Thomas Coleman reports that Westlake defensive back Ronnie Harris expects to make his decision this week. After visiting the Air Force Academy over the weekend, he will choose between Air Force, Harvard, Notre Dame, Standford and Tennessee. Harris (5-10, 175), who was was visited last week in his home by Stanford’s new head coach, David Shaw, will run track this spring to improve upon his 4.40 time in the 40. “He wants to be running 4.3 by the time he lands on campus,” said Harris’ father, Ronnie Harris Sr.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

472 comments Add your comment

Dream Team

January 25th, 2011
1:53 pm

As the Dream Team comes together, it appears to be bringing out the worst in some of opposing posters. Jealousy of UGA erupting on this board. Dogs down for awhile, but headed back to the top, and some of you can’t stand it.

naganole

January 25th, 2011
1:54 pm

@GTfan2011 You mean you’ve forgiven FSU for knocking Hamilton out? lol ;)

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
1:54 pm

As a Dawg fan, I always root for FSU recruiting.

WHat is good for them, is good for us. Other than the few occasions when a recruit comes down to FSU and UGA, when FSU picks up a recruit they are usually taking them away from Florida, Bama or Auburn.

The ONLY time UGA will play FSU would be in a bowl, and that would be GREAT. I would like to see them go head to head more in the regular season, but big schools are so weird about scheduling these days, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Not only does FSU hate Florida on a parallel level as UGA, they also hate Tech. So a FSU fan is good in my book.

GO NOLES! And more importantly GO DAWGS!!!

enough said

January 25th, 2011
1:55 pm

Thanks for the update Chip, not learning anything new on here so it is time to go back to work.

See ya on the next 10 at 10 or any updated news.

Have a good one all, and good luck to you recruiting junkies, I hope you get your fix.

DC

January 25th, 2011
1:56 pm

“GodsCountry13″..huh..did that make sense?

“GTfan2011″..he is putting up smoke screens left and right to get people to pay attention to him. he has always suppported AU and having ice cream..licking lolly pops..or watching UGA’s 2010 highlights at Richt’s house wont change that.

PS Clowney is going to south carolina.

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
1:58 pm

and wow…….

8 little days……. and then most of the ignorance on this blog can take a few months nap. I have stressed this recruiting season more than any I can remember. I am excited to just know who we will get, and not get, and look forward to reading about Spring Practice.

Also, with this brutal Winter we are having in Atlanta, NOTHING sounds better than the dogwood blooms on North Campus on G-Day.

8 short days, and a GREAT time of year will be upon us.

GO DAWGS!!!

GTfan2011

January 25th, 2011
1:58 pm

naganole,
I WAS AT THAT GAME. We marched down the field on a 10 minute drive, scored a TD and led 7-0. That moment was probably the high point of GT football in the late 90s. Of course we lost the game 34-7, I think, because you guys cheap shotted Hamilton. :) But yeah, I’m over it.

naganole

January 25th, 2011
1:59 pm

@D A DoubleU G From 1:54pm By gawd, I couldn’t have said it better myself…

Ted Brogan

January 25th, 2011
2:00 pm

UGA gets a dream team..

It seems like this has happened since CMR has been there, top 5 recruiting classes with a ton of talent. How in the world has this not turned into more success? If I was a UGA fan I would be extremely upset with the way things are going and would want changes at the top. Even if CMR stayed there should be changes with OC and DC but I think it’s time for a change at the top.

Good luck UGA b/c it obviously doesn’t matter what kind of recruiting you get based on the past few years…

DC

January 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

Nothing has confirmed that Crowell has cancelled his visit…more or less..murmurs of it…nonetheless I think he will be a bulldog…does that make uga a threat…in one word. NO!

you need lanes for him to run..and offensive line is garbage. congrats you got a lineman recently…that bama and AU passed up..

GodsCountry13

January 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

DC-

We have bigger fish to fry than Drew and that man is only the NUMBER 1 RECRUIT IN THE NATION. Just you wait until NSD when Clowney comes to God’s Country to play for a real Champion, and not the kind you can buy for $180,000. Roll Tide!

NGAfan

January 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

Hey Drew, guess what? Not everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting to see where you go! Get over yourself! And your dad says he wants you to go somewhere that can keep you in line and be a mentor?? Hmm, wasn’t that HIS job? Go ahead and make your decision and move along so those that are also on the schools charts can make plans!

Criminoles

January 25th, 2011
2:02 pm

Seminole Red: I’d like to introduce you to the pot and the kettle.

Andy

January 25th, 2011
2:02 pm

DC

January 25th, 2011
2:03 pm

“GodsCountry13″, you do know that bama is little brother to AU right? You know we have dominated you all for good while now right? I’ll give you bear bryant’s years…but thats about it. Clowney has some really close friends at USCe and being close to home will be the reason he goes there. Nothing against bama but sometimes location outweighs other things.

GTfan2011

January 25th, 2011
2:04 pm

DC, not to put too fine a point on it, but you are wrong about Ward. Alabama and Auburn were very much trying to get back in it for Ward at the end. Its funny, because both apparently tried to play hardball with him trying to get him to commit, both dropped him to try to prove a point, and then both came crawling back in at the last minute.

gdawginkalamazoo

January 25th, 2011
2:06 pm

AltaDawg, It is not just you. I have to agree. I also posed the question as to why Gene Chizik smiles just like Floyd Landis.

FSU fans on here talking smack? Win something other than the Chick Fil A bowl then come back.

naganole

January 25th, 2011
2:07 pm

Looks like Arrington Jenkins couldn’t wait for Thur and has committed to FSU. YES…!

naganole

January 25th, 2011
2:08 pm

@gdawginkalamazoo Seriously, dood? At least we won our bowl game…

UGAFan

January 25th, 2011
2:10 pm

Crowell’s dad: “…. going where they can keep him in line and where there’s a good mentor for him.”
***************************************
Oh hell . . .

sandman053

January 25th, 2011
2:12 pm

D A Double, you’ll have to stop by and have a drink on G-Day with us. Hopefully it won’t be cold and/or rainy

GodsCountry13

January 25th, 2011
2:13 pm

DC-

You barners are all the same. You cheat your way to the top one year and you act like you’ve been there for decades. Let me tell you something- come talk to me when you start counting National Championships on more than one hand. I already have my shoe off to count all of mine so you have some catching up to do. Until then I think I’ll put my trust in Saban Almighty to continue putting his finishing touches on the another championship- THE NUMBER ONE RECRUITING TEAM IN THE NATION! Roll Tide!

DAWG Trappen in BAMA

January 25th, 2011
2:14 pm

@naganole …..trying to argue with a UGA fan is like trying to argue with your wife. You might be right, she may know your right, but in the end does she is still gonna be trying to tell you why the ski is green.

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
2:14 pm

naganole……

ignore the moron dawg fans in despair right now. They are panicking after sub par years.

Us TRUE Dawg fans/alumni understand how the system of college football works. Like i said earlier, there is no fan in college football, other than a TRUE Dawg, than a Nole.

I assure you there are 10,000 TRUE Dawg fans to every idiot Dawg fan (many Tech fans in disguise) on these ajc blogs. Most are either still in High School or never did what they had to do to attend any type of college to begin with.

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
2:15 pm

*there is no better fan…….

Ted Striker

January 25th, 2011
2:15 pm

Good column, Chip, thanks.

I found the part about Arkansas offering Kane Whitehurst an excellent nugget. Good for Chattahoochee coach Terry Crowder his part in that.

And congrats to the the lesser known recruits who have given Georgia State a verbal.

One final thing: No matter where Ronnie Harris goes it looks like he has a chance at an education that will last him long after his playing career is over.

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

January 25th, 2011
2:15 pm

It is in our nature to argue, irrationally. That’s why we love UGA. Doesnt matter what the facts are.

sandman053

January 25th, 2011
2:16 pm

DA Double….well said, sir. I’m not going to bash anyone until we end the season undefeated and then we will talk smack.

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

January 25th, 2011
2:17 pm

I will tell you one thing….. the Barner’s are worked up even more over where Drew is going to sign vs. UGA fans.

GTfan2011

January 25th, 2011
2:18 pm

D A DoubleU G,
Why would a GT fan pretend to be a Dawg fan? That doesn’t even make sense.

DC

January 25th, 2011
2:20 pm

look at AU’s offensive linemen recruits..AU is not crawling…

Aggie54

January 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

I just received word from one of the coaches at Central of Thomasville, that he is going to Auburn.

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

GTfan2011,

the same reason UGA fans pose as Tech fans, acting like they are completely unsatisfied with “their program”. Because in their pea-brain mind, they think they are actually becoming a voice of reason, and may impact decisions being made in the office of the opposing program.

As absolutely lame as it sounds, there are plenty of both sides. And it doesnt just happen with Tech/UGA, it happens will all major college rivalries.

Now I realize you were using a more sarcastic reasoning to your question, but instead of stooping to your level, I provided you with an answer to what I meant.

Have fun at your basketball game tonight. I hear you can probably sit wherever you want.

9-1. Mark Richt is YOUR DADDY.

DC

January 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

Yeah “godscountry”…then NCAA started having regulations on recruiting and those rings started to diminish with time…like I said…I’ll give you Bear’s years..but you all haven’t done much until saban got there…and “little brother” still won the NC..

You can talk about history all you want…but lets go to somewhat of recent years..hard to talk trash with football played in the 1800s haha

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

January 25th, 2011
2:24 pm

@ DC O-Line is only one component. Not to mention their O-Line will be completely depleted for 11′, even with the outstanding O-Line they are recruiting they still will be freshmen.

naganole

January 25th, 2011
2:25 pm

@Aggie54 No, he’s not. Bill Shaver laughs at this idea…

DC

January 25th, 2011
2:27 pm

negative dawg..look at AU’s recruits from past years…I checked on that..we had some quality 4 star athletes that will have to step up for sure…will it be a tough transition..yes..but there are players in place to fill the holes..and players that can be coached to be quality athletes…I get where you are coming from..no doubt.

Massengill Nozzle, QB Summers Eve High - GT Commit

January 25th, 2011
2:27 pm

FSU football fans talking trash while being too scared to step outside the ACC for some real competition.
LOL

AltamahaDawg

January 25th, 2011
2:29 pm

Zoo, I always know when I send up a flare on occations there are still some of the old school guys that will see it.

GodsCountry13

January 25th, 2011
2:30 pm

DC-

Let’s see how you do next year with out Scam Newton and Nick “go for the knees” Fairley. I think a 7-5 year should be good enough to run of your OC off and then CGC will be exposed as the 5-19 fraud he is. And I didn’t even get to the NCAA sanctions. See USC and takes some notes.

Wolfman

January 25th, 2011
2:34 pm

Big pickup for UWG! Welcome Justin Walker!

GTfan2011

January 25th, 2011
2:36 pm

D A DoubleU G,
I wasn’t being sarcastic, I really haven’t seen any GT fans posing as UGA fans on these blogs. Just a little while ago I saw Chip kick somebody off who was posing as both a bama fan and a uga fan. But no mention of GT anywhere in there. I have seen some other comments on here of a UGA fan named Logan Booker posing as a GT fan. But I have NOT seen any GT fans shown to be posing as UGA fans. Now I have heard a lot of UGA fans try to claim that certain fans on here that claimed to be UGA, UF or Alabama fans were just GT fans, but I’ve never seen any proof. Are there a-hole GT fans, of course, but I have found them to be few and far between.

Mtn Dawg

January 25th, 2011
2:37 pm

Chip –

What can you tell us about men’s basketball recruiting?

Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
2:38 pm

FSU football fans talking trash while being too scared to step outside the ACC for some real competition.
LOL

“”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”
what school just BACKED OUT of a series with Oregon?

AltamahaDawg

January 25th, 2011
2:39 pm

Wisteria Gardens?

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
2:39 pm

Gtfan2011,

What do you think? People advertise themselves as being fake? Give me a break man.

And I can assure you the “Logan Booker” accusations are 100% false.

Down South Jacket

January 25th, 2011
2:40 pm

There is NO GT fan at the a-hole level of Fire CPJ, WrexNFX, or whatever other alias he uses.

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
2:42 pm

Down South,

go read the firepauljohnson blog…. NO WAY that person is a UGA fan.

GTfan2011

January 25th, 2011
2:42 pm

D A DoubleU G,
Funny but the only way you could know if the “Logan Booker” accusations were 100% false was if you actually were Logan Booker.

Bama2424

January 25th, 2011
2:43 pm

@DC
Auburn the big brother to Alabama???? 13>3