‘Package deals’ and elite prospects — Isaiah Crowell, Stephon Tuitt, Da’Rick Rogers, others

This ran as an iPad exclusive last weekend . . .

If you’re recruiting one of the nation’s elite prospects who has a close friend or teammate who also is being looked at by colleges, then you may consider offering a “package deal.” The idea is to secure or improve your chances with the 5-star recruit while risking a second scholarship with a lesser-known player.

The two-for-one deal was the biggest issue on last year’s signing day after Rogers — the AJC’s No. 1-rated prospect for the state — reneged on his long-time Georgia pledge to follow his high school quarterback and best buddy to Tennessee.

Isaish Crowell's best friend since kindergarten is already committed to UGA (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

Isaish Crowell's best friend since kindergarten is already committed to UGA (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

This year’s AJC No. 1 is Carver-Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell, and there’s speculation that Georgia created a package deal involving one of Crowell’s best friends to gain inside position against Alabama before the Feb. 2 announcement.

“I’m personally not a fan of package deals, but I understand the logic,” Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said. “If that’s going to be a college’s best way of getting their 5-star guy, then that makes for a good case for some schools to try it.”

Package deals are nothing new and have been around since recruiting was invented. In Georgia, it has only gained notoriety in recent years because dual offers may have influenced college decisions of the elite.

Now that Lamb has had a year to reflect upon it, he speculates that Rogers would have stuck with his original commitment had Georgia extended a late January offer to quarterback Nash Nance. However, the Bulldogs had plans to sign only one quarterback for the 2010 class, and Lassiter’s Hutson Mason committed in December.

While Georgia watched Rogers flee, it successfully completed or set up two other high-profile package deals last year. On signing day, Wilcox County wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw was both offered and signed by the Bulldogs in around the time span of an hour. Outlaw’s cousin and best friend is Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall, one of the state’s top prospects for this season who ended up committing to Georgia.

The Bulldogs also locked up last year’s AJC No. 2, Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, when they made a December offer to his twin brother that was accepted the next day. Fullback Zander Ogletree might have been Newnan’s best player, but he was overlooked by colleges because of his height. He committed to Georgia over Savannah State, West Alabama and Shorter.

Zander’s rapid commitment happened around the same time that then-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin invited the twins for an official visit. Florida State also was considering the same ploy.

Da'Rick Rogers reneged on his longtime UGA pledge to follow his QB to Tennessee on last year's signing day (AJC)

Da'Rick Rogers reneged on his longtime UGA pledge to follow his QB to Tennessee on last year's signing day (AJC)

“Alec was committed to Georgia and not really looking around … but did it seal the deal? Of course,” Newnan coach Mike McDonald said. “I know the family was ecstatic because they could go see both sons play at the same place on Saturdays.”

The twins both played as freshmen at Georgia this past season.

Georgia Tech appeared to be trying the same type of strategy this year with Monroe Area 5-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who committed to Notre Dame in mid-September, flipped to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, and then switched back to Notre Dame on Wednesday.

Tuitt and his high school teammate, athlete Demontevious Smith, made official visits to Georgia Tech together last weekend, with Smith accepting a scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets before leaving campus. He had also picked up a recent offer from Virginia Tech.

“This was absolutely not a package deal,” Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg said. “I’ve been pushing Demontevious on Georgia Tech for two years. After the bowl game, they met. Georgia Tech has some issues at quarterback, and I think [Smith] is the best quarterback I’ve ever coached.

“Georgia Tech never presented it to either player as a package deal, and they never looked at it as one. They were always both going to do their own thing. They are friends and teammates, but not like best friends.”

At Carver-Columbus, the same can’t be said about Crowell and defensive back Quintavious “Cootie” Harrow. They have been best friends since kindergarten. Georgia was the first …

To read the rest of this article, go here

– By Michael Carvell, AJC College Recruiting

Package deals — Smart strategy or bad business? What’s your opinion?

119 comments Add your comment

D A DoubleU G

January 27th, 2011
12:08 am

CHIP TOWERS!!!!!!!

Go to sleep!!!!!!!

We appreciate your great work. But DO NOT let us see another post from you a minute earlier than 1pm tomorrow (hell, Today!)

Rest, Chip. Rest.

hipdawg

January 27th, 2011
12:13 am

just get it over with already.

Party at the Moontower

January 27th, 2011
12:13 am

The rest of you,

I see nothing wrong with this practice. When it works, not only does a kid who may not have had an opportunity to play for a school he truly wanted to, complete a dream, it also allows true friends to share the greatest years of their life side by side.

Kudos to Tennessee for realizing they could get Da’Rick by offering…. that other kid. And if Isaiah Crowell comes to UGA, then I am VERY happy he gets to share that experience with one of his lifetime best friends.

I hope you are a Dawg Isiah. And Cootie Harrow, whether Isaiah comes with you or not, WELCOME to Dawg Nation young man. Very glad to have you here.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Charlie

January 27th, 2011
12:21 am

Relax D A, the story was by Michael Carvell not Chip. But we do appreciate all your hard work Chip.

What happens to the rest

January 27th, 2011
12:21 am

In the mid 80’s, the best players from my team didn’t get offered a D1 scholarship. The player that did get a D1 offer though was probably the 8th or 9th best player on the team. I am wishing QH nothing but the best. Take advantage of the opportunity.

Egbert

January 27th, 2011
12:22 am

No problem with the Harrow offer. The Dogs had the last laugh with the Ogletree twins because Zander looks as if he can play some ball. And we missed out a few years ago by NOT offering Casper Brinkley and missing Jasper. Definitely worth the risk of blowing a scholarship-which we have certainly done before.

JT

January 27th, 2011
12:22 am

DA, this is a Michael Carvell article that I believe ran in this past Sunday’s paper. Chip hopefully is sound asleep.

What happens to the rest

January 27th, 2011
12:23 am

Grades played a major role.

jarvis

January 27th, 2011
12:24 am

This is a classic recruiting strategy. I was on campus at the same time as the Luckie (sp?) triplets. That was a three for one.

Can you Handle the Truth

January 27th, 2011
12:33 am

Back in the unlimited scholarship days it was common practice by schools to offer package deals to keep players from committing to their rivals. As scholarship numbers were reduced( directly related to Title 9) the practice was reduced dramatically, or slowed to a crawl. In most cases there would be a couple or three players worthy of the multiplayer discounts, but now with the emphasis on the type systems ran by schools, the lack of wiggle room on the roster and conference limitations on travel rosters that practice is not worth the extra offers.

Is Harrow worth it? Who knows, more than likely he will redshirt, play on special teams and if he bulks up and develops he will fall into a backup position. A great deal as to do with the Head Coach and where he emphasizes which side of the ball he is geared toward. As for example, a guy like Mike Leach would probably not offer an offensive scholarship to a player who is not going to see the field, a guy like Muschamp or Saban would not offer a defensive player add on a scholarship. But I will add the caveat that if the player was a Hershel, a Bo, Tebow type player and his buddy was standing there alot of coaches would bend their own personal rule to get the target player to suit up on Saturdays, but those guys would have to be sure hit players from the time they arrived on campus.

Maconbulldog.

January 27th, 2011
12:50 am

I have see the Video of “Cootie” and I like the kid looks like a real ball hawk. I hope that this young man comes into UGA ready to take heads off and shows everyone he is just not Crowell’s best buddy but can stand on his own. I dont see this being a wasted scholarship. I see this as a young man who worked to get his test scores up and now someone is giving him a shot…..the someone (or someones) just happen to be in the form of the University Of Georgia.

Maconbulldog.

January 27th, 2011
12:52 am

seen* sorry guys.

Carvell is Kirby's rentboy

January 27th, 2011
1:11 am

HURRRR DURRRR lemme rile up the locals with another BS hatchetjob and watch the hits pile up.

GFY AJC, no wonder your worthless rag has zero circulation anymore.

recruitnik

January 27th, 2011
1:14 am

good chip towers you need to let this crap go.. you are seriously being a total tool.

Can you Handle the Truth

January 27th, 2011
1:33 am

The Tiger boosters are turning on one another and we will get a sneak peek at the blacked out documents on January 31st.

A federal judge has delayed a hearing concerning new bribery allegations against Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley until Jan. 31, the day prosecutors said they are willing to release information that had previously been redacted from some evidence.

Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke the conditions of Gilley’s pre-trial release last week amid allegations Gilley had contact with and offered a bribe to former lobbyist and co-defendant Jarrod Massey in an attempt to limit Massey’s testimony in a state corruption case in which Gilley and 10 others were indicted in October. Massey entered into a plea agreement with the government in December and is now a cooperating witness.

Gilley and his attorney, Doug Jones, vehemently denied the allegations. Jones filed a subsequent motion asking the court to force prosecutors to reveal information that had been blacked out of documents turned over to the Gilley defense team. Jones claimed the information could be vital in his defense of the new bribery allegations, but prosecutors said the information pertained to an ongoing criminal investigation outside the scope of the current indictments and could not be released until Jan. 31.

Note the statement, “pertained to an ongoing criminal investigation outside the scope of the current indictments”.

Remember John Bonds statements, about players being bought and sold and the FBI. And why is i now that several others are now cutting deals to avoid harsher sentences and cooperating with the Federal investigation. The earth is not flat and as the Late Great Lewis Grizzard used to say about giving directions to Auburn: ” Drive south till you smell it, then go west until you step in it”. Oh so true.

Can you Handle the Truth

January 27th, 2011
1:35 am

By the way, this was posted in the DOTHAN EAGLE, and is there for further reading, with several more articles describing the melee surrounding the boosters from Auburn.

gomdawg

January 27th, 2011
1:42 am

CHIP, GET A REAL JOB THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, GO LOOK AT THE FILM ON THIS KID HE CAN PLAY BALL AND IF HE BLEEDS RED AND BLACK .THAT’S THE KIND OF KIDS WE NEED PLAYING FOR US. GO DAWGS

NerdCentral@NorthAve

January 27th, 2011
1:46 am

Bullpoop fans,
Remember, you are a middle-tier team in the SEC, like Miss State or Kentucky. But then again, you lose to those teams don’t you? Say all you want about 9 out of 10 or whatever, but we’re not talking about that. This is about your misguided expectations. Tech fans know who they are. We are not pretending to be something we’re not. You insist you are on par with the likes of UF, Bama, LSU, AU, or even SC for that matter, but you are not even close. Fran Tarkenton has it right. Why can’t the rest of you get it right?

NerdCentral@NorthAve

January 27th, 2011
1:49 am

UGA fans are dorks.

NerdCentral@NorthAve

January 27th, 2011
1:53 am

You will lose on The Flats this year. I guarantee it. And that will get your classy coach fired. I feel bad that his own fan base does not support him. Sad.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Currington and Andrew Bone, Chip Towers. Chip Towers said: ‘Package deals’ and elite prospects — Isaiah Crowell, Stephon Tuitt, Da’Rick Rogers, others http://bit.ly/he1Vv4 [...]

Why did I even bother?

January 27th, 2011
3:00 am

This is so d@mn stupid. You just won’t let this “package deal” stuff die will ya? When it comes to UGA, I don’t see how something can be considered a “deal” when you consider the fact that Harrow is already committed and Crowell could possibly go elsewhere. Where is the “deal” in that? Does Harrow lose his scholly if Crowell isn’t a Dawg? Of course not, so where’s the “deal”? I’d call it a package deal if the elite prospect said I’ll come if you offer my friend. That’s a DEAL. I just don’t see how something can be called a deal when there’s no deal being made.

Destin Dawg

January 27th, 2011
5:06 am

Chip, get a life and tell us something relevent… NERD @NorthAve… depression sets in as you are stuck in metro Atl… afraid to come out at night… crime, muggings, sirens all night…. depressing….

H-Town Dawg

January 27th, 2011
5:35 am

Why is the AJC so determined to make an issue out of this? How many times is Carvell going to write about the Harrow offer?

Paddy

January 27th, 2011
6:40 am

Chip did not write this piece. Pls re-read or have someone read it to you.

5150 P.O.A.D

January 27th, 2011
6:46 am

We will offer every recruit 4 Cokes and 4 hotdogs to every relative if they will only come to our games at Tech!

poopdawg

January 27th, 2011
6:48 am

A “package deal ” for a kid that runs a 4,4 forty and tackles well . UGA’s offer stands regardless of what his buddy does.

Prince of Alabama

January 27th, 2011
6:49 am

We own the media in Alabama..they write what we tell them to and nothing more!

Can I play also

January 27th, 2011
6:56 am

Hmmm…sounds like I need to get chumy with a stud football player. Never mind that I have my AARP card I want to play also :-)

AmericusDawg

January 27th, 2011
6:58 am

@Nerdcentral@northave, Paul Johnson, 4 cokes 4 hot dogs, 25,000 fans(on a good day), that middle school offense,the ugly women, 9 out of 10! you are irrelevant. As Keyshawn, Berman, and Tom Jackson would say………………. COME ON MANNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NerdCentral@NorthAve' Top

January 27th, 2011
7:05 am

Get back to bed and grab the lube or I’m going dry on ya

Scott

January 27th, 2011
7:07 am

Thanks Mr. Chip for all your hard work putting these articles together. I enjoy them immensely…

AmericusDawg

January 27th, 2011
7:11 am

Yeah i get it. Just like Tuitt did you right!? this @#%$ is funny!

AmericusDawg

January 27th, 2011
7:14 am

it must suck to have a 40000 seat stadium, and only 25000(mostly the other team’s) fans show up. I mean DAMN!

Track coach

January 27th, 2011
7:28 am

I hear Cootie’s mother timed his 4.4 40. Really in the neighborhood of 4.65

What happens to the rest

January 27th, 2011
7:37 am

Blackout and Bigtime (and other Alabama fans); ESPN is doing a nice piece on their college football program running right now. Check it out if you have time. LSU up next on their next show. Does anyone know when UGA will be the focus?

Sleeze

January 27th, 2011
7:38 am

Once again, fellas, Chip Towers did not write this stupid article. It just looks like one of his normal stupid articles.

dap01

January 27th, 2011
7:38 am

Thanks for the objective free journalism by the AJC. I am personally glad that offering a scholorship to a player and committing to him for 4 years is a larger travesty than oversigning and telling a player to act like they are injured. No need to waste stories on little things like getting paid to play. Or especially no need to waste time on independant classes offered only to athletes at Auburn.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

January 27th, 2011
7:48 am

Da’Rick isnt worth two scholarships. I’d rather have Hudson than that Nash kid any day. GO DAWGS

What happens to the rest

January 27th, 2011
7:52 am

Wow! That piece on Alabama was impressive. The announcers also pushed their top 3 remaining prospects as well. They really pushed Crowell saying, Ingram, Richardson, Crowell – that’s a factory.”

Red

January 27th, 2011
7:52 am

UGA better focus on coaching UP some talent. They get great classes even in these package deals and then fizzle out. UGA – the career killer. Caleb King can score more points on his license than he can on the field. Such a waste. Maybe they need to stop focusing on packages and work on getting every single piece of talent they can and not let Mike Booboo touch them.

hiveredtech

January 27th, 2011
7:58 am

Chip

Thank you for putting Coach Fligg’s comments in there because I was not thrilled with the inference in the article that the Smith offer was to help with Tuitt. Virginia Tech offered Demon as a DB and they were not even recruiting Tuitt…as well as many others. I also love that he had an academic schollie offer from Harvard!! Demon is a legit athlete…the best athlete on the Monroe Area team. Added bonus….he already runs GT’s offense. He can come in and start out at QB and if things do not work out, he can easily play DB or WR.
Athletes like Demon are part of the GT recruiting strategy this year. We have commitments from EIGHT QUARTERBACKS! Only one of them will play QB….but we are going after the best and smartest athletes on their respective high school football teams.

Jacket Man

January 27th, 2011
8:01 am

GA Tech’s offer to Demon was to a player being recruited by several other high profile teams, such as Virginia Tech, and his previous scholarship offers to them had been on the table for a while so it’s not like this young man was an unknown. GA Tech offered late because they had an unexpeded scholarship open (attrition) in an area they think he’ll be able to help.

Can UGA say the same about their offers?

dawgfan365

January 27th, 2011
8:03 am

Why do tech fans enjoy talking about how other teams beat uga? dont ride off of another programs success talk about tech!

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 27th, 2011
8:08 am

“CAN you handle the truth” a great read, fact that “ROUGE” Auburn boosters think it is the early 1980’s and they are still recruiting “bo” noo’s, is a scary thing to think a “U” can in this day and age still act so stupid and out of control,

PS every herd of THE HAMMER GETTING READY TPO DROP!!!! SUCKERS/AU

nerds are funny

January 27th, 2011
8:13 am

It is sad how techies only battle cry is who UGA loses to. That shows two things, their program is a little above Duke’s and we own their as*ses and it just kills them. 4 Cokes, 4 hot dogs to watch a team on par with Duke and Virginia. No wonder only 25,000 show up. Who wants to show up for that package AND a possible mugging?

Blind in Humptown

January 27th, 2011
8:21 am

nerds are funny

Mugging? That would be by a member of the Fulmer Cup winning squad the Jawja Bull$*** Dogs.

Jabo

January 27th, 2011
8:26 am

Good grief, everyone knows Crowell is going to Georgia. The kid likes seeing all you idiots put his name in print everyday. It doesn’t matter, he’s a perfect fit for Athens with his wonderful attitude. I hope the Bulldogs get ten five star criminal athletes so we can rub your noises in it at seasons end. Roll Tide & War Eagle!

FLA DAWG

January 27th, 2011
8:29 am

Gotta give Richt credit for putting together a top notch recruiting class so far. Crowell would be a great fit – certainly needed by The Dawgs. Furthermore, he would not get the playing time at Bama because of their talent in place. Not too sure about Auburn either. UGA is clearly his best chance to start early.

But just what will Richt DO with this talent this time?

Andy in Blairsville

January 27th, 2011
8:30 am

Another batch of undisciplined kids with egos who won’t play as team.

Yay!