Archive for January, 2011

Nation’s No. 4-ranked DE Jeoffrey Pagan de-commits from Clemson, favors Georgia

One of the nation’s top-ranked defensive ends confirmed to the AJC on late Thursday night that he is no longer committed to Clemson, and now favoring Georgia.

It was a brief conversation with Jeoffrey Pagan, the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder from Asheville, N.C. who is ranked as the county’s No. 4 strongside defensive end by Rivals. Pagan was publicly leaning to Georgia earlier this month, but committed to Clemson while he was on an official visit with the Tigers on Jan. 16.

For starters — and most importantly — Pagan cleared up any confusion about whether or not he was still committed to Clemson on Thursday. “I’m not committed anymore,” he said.

Secondly, Pagan was asked if he was favoring Georgia. “Oh yes, I’m excited about Georgia.”

Pagan then said he had to go because he was on the other line (presumably with college coaches). However, we threw him one last question: What about the rumors that he has already secretly committed to Georgia? Pagan paused for a moment, and then …

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Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson revokes scholarship of longtime DT commitment Tre Jackson (UPDATED)

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and longtime commitment Tre Jackson of Wayne County parted ways on Thursday.

Jackson confirmed via text message to the AJC that he no longer had his Georgia Tech scholarship offer because he had agreed to take an official visit to Florida State this weekend.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle had been committed to Georgia Tech since last October. Jackson was approached within the last couple of weeks by FSU, among other schools.

Historically, it has been Johnson’s policy at Georgia Tech to rescind the scholarship offers of commitments who visit other schools after pledging to the Yellow Jackets. Asked by text message whether that was the case here, Jackson replied, “yes.”

There were warning signals of the pending breakup. In recent days, Georgia Tech had been unable to reach Jackson over the telephone to discuss the situation. On Thursday, Johnson talked with Wayne County’s coaches, and both parties decided it was best to go in …

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Ten@10: Expert says a top 3 national recruiting ranking possible for Georgia

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class has a chance to be ranked in the top five nationally and possibly the top three if it manages to close on all its main targets on national signing day, national recruiting expert Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports Network said Thursday.

The Bulldogs already have secured commitments from six of the top 12 players on the AJC Fab 50 list and will find in the next several days if they’ll add Georgia’s top two players. Thomas County defensive end Ray Drew, the No. 2-ranked player, will announce his choice on Friday. Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell, the No. 1 player, will announce on national signing day. Georgia is also in the lead for nose guard John Jenkins, Rivals.com’s No. 6-ranked junior college player. He will announce a week from Saturday.

If those prospects tab the Bulldogs, that will give them top player in America at three different positions. Valdosta’s Jay Rome, who committed to UGA last Thursday, is the No. …

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‘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 …

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Georgia Tech flirts with N.C. State commitment Dave Mann of Lithonia High

Georgia Tech made a pass at Lithonia defensive end Dave Mann, a longtime commitment to N.C. State.

The Yellow Jackets allegedly extended a scholarship offer last weekend to Mann, according to Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks. But whether it was a hard offer from Tech or just an attempt to gauge interest remains unclear.

“Dave was kind of excited about the [Tech] offer, and said he was going to consider it,” Jelks said. “However, N.C. State came to the school [on Tuesday] and spent a lot of time with him. I’m pretty sure that Dave will stay with N.C. State.”

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Mann said he met with Georgia Tech assistant Joe Speed last Thursday — and he was informed that a scholarship had come open at his position.  Mays defensive end Darrius Caldwell, who was previously committed to Georgia Tech, switched to Illinois on Sunday after taking an official visit to the Big 10 school (academic issues reportedly played a factor in Caldwell’s decision to part with the …

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Carver-Columbus 5-star RB Isaiah Crowell cancels Auburn visit

It's down to Alabama and Georgia for Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell.

It's down to Alabama and Georgia for Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell.

It’s official. It’s down to Alabama and Georgia for Isaiah Crowell.

The state’s No. 1 college football prospect, a 6-foot, 210-pound  tailback out of Carver-Columbus, canceled what was to be his final official visit to Auburn this weekend.

“He just said he was getting real tired,” Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee said Wednesday. “He wanted to thank Auburn for recruiting him and felt like this would only be fair if they wanted to recruit another running back. He said he’s down to Alabama and Georgia now. He wants to take the weekend off and sit down with his family and talk about the situation.”

Not coincidentally, Auburn got a commitment Wednesday from running back Tre Mason of Lakeland, Fla.

Crowell is a 5-star-rated recruit who’s considered the No. 1 back in America by ESPN and Scout.com. He will make his announcement between the two schools on national signing day sometime around 1:30 p.m. at …

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Media blitz over Isaiah Crowell overwhelms Carver-Columbus

Want to know how intense it’s getting around Carver High School in Columbus? So intense that the Muscogee County School District has had to step in to handle the media blitz inundating head football coach Dell McGee.

Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee has been a little overwhelmed with recruiting here lately. (Photo from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee has been a little overwhelmed with recruiting here lately. (Photo from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

Of course, McGee’s star player is none other than running back Isaiah Crowell, the number one prospect in the state. And everybody in the world wants to know where Crowell is going to play football in college, yours truly included.

Crowell, understandably, has closed off all communication with media as he tries to make this very difficult decision Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. So with Crowell’s cell phone turned off, we’ve all turned to Coach McGee to answer our questions (the latest one being whether Crowell had canceled this weekend’s scheduled visit to Auburn).

But when you have on the average of 10 media outlets covering the three …

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DE Trey Flowers of Huntsville, Ala., commits to Georgia Tech (UPDATED)

Opposing teams spent most of the time running away from DE Trey Flowers of Columbia High School in Huntsville, Ala. (Photo by Ellen Hudson, Huntsville Times)

Opposing teams spent most of the time running away from DE Trey Flowers of Columbia High School in Huntsville, Ala. (Photo by Ellen Hudson, Huntsville Times)

Updated 2:39 p.m. . . .

Georgia Tech’s 2011 recruiting class is coming together at a breakneck pace. The Yellow Jackets on Wednesday received a verbal commitment from defensive end Trey Flowers of Columbia High School in Hunstville, Ala.

“Yes, sir, he did,” Columbia High coach Corey Collier said. “He’s been an unbelievable player for us. I believe he will be for Georgia Tech, too.”

Flowers (6-3, 250) is commitment number 24 for Tech and the fourth in a three-day span. The Yellow Jackets landed three recruits on Sunday. Flowers said he actually gave his commitment to Georgia Tech Tuesday afternoon.

“It was just a phone call,” Flowers said. “I went down there for a visit last weekend and liked it a lot. It’s a great school, they have great facilities and a great coaching staff. It sounded like I could go down there and play …

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Ex-UGA recruit Zack Witchett may have Memphis scholarship offer

Ex-UGA recruit Zack Witchett, who had his football scholarship revoked by the Bulldogs earlier this month, may have an offer from Memphis.

Witchett is scheduled to make an official visit to Memphis this weekend and will likely be offered before he leaves campus, according to Booker T. Washington coach Stanley Pritchett. He is being recruited at wide receiver and defensive back.

“They know he is a D1 athlete and they are kind of glad he might fall to them,” Pritchett said. “The Memphis [assistant] said they were going to offer, that Zack had to meet with [Memphis coach] Larry Porter but he felt like it was a ‘done deal.’”

Georgia withdrew Witchett’s scholarship offer on Jan. 5 — less than a month away from signing day — due to undisclosed off-the-field issues. Pritchett said that Memphis asked about that particular situation. (Click here for the UGA details)

“They wanted to know what kind of ‘character guy’ he is,” Pritchett said. “I told Memphis that Zack is like your normal …

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Patience pays off for new Tech commitment Kyle Travis

A jack-of-all trades at South Forsyth, Kyle Travis is expected to play outside linebacker at Georgia Tech. (Family photo)

A jack-of-all trades at South Forsyth, Kyle Travis is expected to play outside linebacker at Georgia Tech. (Family photo)

By all accounts, Kyle Travis is a pretty laid back guy. He always believed he could play college football at the highest level. But he wasn’t tossing and turning in angst when the calendar flipped to 2011 and he still didn’t have an FBS offer.

“I wasn’t really worried about it,” said the 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker. “I knew I could play. I just thought somebody would come along eventually.”

That somebody ended up being Georgia Tech, and Travis couldn’t be happier about it. Travis accepted a scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets after taking an official visit this past weekend. He was one of three recruits to jump on board with Tech this week.

“I had been talking to Tech for a while,” said Travis, who also played offensive line, defensive line and fullback for the War Eagles (6-5). “Coach [Paul] Johnson told me if they had the numbers they’d offer me. …

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