Archive for February, 2011

UGA’s class has ‘wow’ factor; Tech’s high on versatility

Spent a lot of the day Thursday catching my breath after national signing day. But, in case you didn’t see a print edition of the newspaper Thursday, here’s an analysis piece I was asked to write for it. I’d love to get your thoughts. . . .

Georgia

Thumbs up: To the “Dream Team” theme. Rival recruiters and a lot of media-types scoffed at the notion of placing a hokey name on UGA’s recruiting class in a year in which the state was supposed to be stocked with talent. But there is no denying the effectiveness of the tactic as the Bulldogs inked eight of the state’s top 12 players, including three who were ranked No. 1 in the nation at his position (running back Isaiah Crowell, defensive end Ray Drew, tight end Jay Rome).

Thumbs down: At this point at least, there does not appear to be any immediate help on either line of scrimmage. That will be remedied somewhat if the Bulldogs land junior college nose guard John Jenkins (6-4, 340), who will choose among UGA, Florida, Auburn and …

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West Georgia signs son of Braves’ manager

The University of West Georgia had 27 football signees including Alex Gonzalez, the son of Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Alex is a 6-1, 265-pound lineman from Lassiter High in Marietta.

The bulk of the signing class is from Metro Atlanta.

The 2011 Class of West Georgia signees

Brandon Collins DB/C 5-7 160 Fayetteville-Whitewater

Beau Dugan TE/WR 6-5 185 Carrollton-Carrollton

David Dupaty LB 6-2 225 Kennesaw-Harrison

Trenton Edwards DB/C 5-9 180 Fayetteville-Starr’s Mill

Joey Eliezer WR 6-3 185 Dallas-North Paulding

Lorenzo Ford DB/S 6-0 185 Marietta-Lassiter

Alex Gonzalez OL 6-1 265 Marietta-Lassiter

Seth Hinsley TB 5-10 220 Norcross-Norcross

Adam Holley QB 6-1 180 Fayetteville-Starr’s Mill

Jamaree James DB/S 6-1 170 Covington-Alcovy

Malcolm Johnson WR 6-0 170 Bartow, Fla.

Austin Kahler DE 6-3 220 Cumming-North Forsyth

Teddy Lawrence LB 5-11 198 Rome

Dorian McMickens WR 6-2 191 Marietta

Tryheme Mitchell OL 6-2 260 Snellville-South Gwinnett

Amir Mustafaa DE 6-1 225 College …

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5-star DE Stephon Tuitt thought more about Georgia Tech before signing with Notre Dame (UPDATED)

The battle between Georgia Tech and Notre Dame over Monroe Area’s Stephon Tuitt officially ended in Austin, Texas on Wednesday.

tuittstephonmonroeareagaheadshotThe 5-star defensive end signed his letter-of-intent with the Fighting Irish on Wednesday morning in ceremony in Austin, Texas, with other U.S. Under-19 football team members participating in Team USA vs. The World game, which was played ater that night.

“I’m glad I’m here on signing day,” Tuitt told the AJC in a telephone interview. “It has been a great experience getting to do this, playing against some of the best players in the country.”

Tuitt revealed last week that he wouldn’t have his signing ceremony at Monroe Area until Friday. It led to speculation that Tuitt might flip again from Notre Dame to Georgia Tech, which he had done earlier this month.

Tuitt confessed that Georgia Tech had been on his mind over the past few days.

“It was getting to the point where it was about time to sign the papers,” Tuitt said. “This is a four-year decision I …

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5-star TB Isaiah Crowell chooses Georgia Bulldogs (UPDATED THROUGHOUT)

Isaiah Crowell, the top player in the state, heeded the Georgia Bulldogs’ call to become part of their “Dream Team.” The five-star running back from Carver-Columbus chose the Bulldogs over Alabama on Wednesday.

His announcement was nationally-televised live on ESPNU.

Crowell wore a crimson-colored tie with a gray suit to throw people off. But after pulling a Georgia cap from underneath a table, he said, simply, “I’m going to be a Dog.”

“The main thing was where I felt comfortable,” Crowell said of the decision. “I had a good relationship with the running backs coach [Bryan McClendon], the strength and conditioning coach [Joe Tereshinski]. That was the difference between Alabama. It was a close decision, but when it came down to it, my heart was at Georgia.”

A few moments after announcing, Crowell produced a white English bulldog puppy, which he displayed on the table where he sat at the Events Community Center in Columbus.

“It was my friend’s dog,” Crowell explained. “I …

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Ex-Georgia Tech recruit Tre Jackson signs with Florida State over UGA, others (UPDATED)

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson didn't get Tre Jackson but earned the respect of his coach for his recruiting policy (AJC photo)

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson didn't get Tre Jackson but earned the respect of his coach for his recruiting policy (AJC photo)

Former Georgia Tech commitment Tre Jackson went with the school on Wednesday that caused the Yellow Jackets to drop their football scholarship offer.

The Wayne County offensive lineman signed with Florida State over North Carolina State, while also considering offers from Georgia, Alabama and Miami.

It was the final act in arguably state’s No. 1 recruiting soap opera over the last week. Until a week ago, Jackson was a longtime commitment to Georgia Tech.

“He feels really good to get everything over with — he’s smiling again,” Wayne County coach Jody Grooms said. “It’s really good to see him smiling again and happy.”

Last week, Georgia Tech became concerned when it failed make contact with Jackson for several days — never a good sign so close to signing day. They had heard rumors about last-minute flirtations between Jackson and Florida State and N.C. …

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AJC on the scene as Crowell chooses UGA

AJC staff writer Ken Sugiura is in Columbus where Carver High School running back Isaiah Crowell has decided to sign with the University of Georgia. For more on the decision, click here.

Crowell, rated the top running back prospect in the country, will likely complete the Bulldogs’ ballyhooed “Dream Team,” a collection of many of the best players from the state. Already Wednesday, AJC Super 11 members Ray Drew, Chris Conley, Nick Marshall and Damian Swann, have already signed letters of intent with Georgia.

At 12:45 p.m., perhaps 200 people had gathered for the 1:30 p.m. announcement, including coach Dell McGee and teammates. Projection screens showed Carver highlight clips. No fewer than six television cameras, including those from ESPNU, broadcast the decision live.

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South Gwinnett HS sends 10 to college football ranks

Here’s a list of the 10 South Gwinnett players that signed on Wednesday:

Adrian Ranson – The Citadel

Kent Rollins – Air Force Academy

Richard Shankle – Georgetown University

Kevin Gary – Georgia Military College

Trevon Walker – Iowa Western Community College

Aaron Wimberly – Iowa Western Community College

Edward Muldrow – University of South Carolina

Joe Hillin – Mars Hill College

Chris Sledge –   West Georgia

Tryheme Mitchell – West Georgia

– By Michael Carvell, AJC College Recruiting

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Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson comments on 2011 recruiting class

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson briefly addressed this year’s recruiting class around lunch on Wednesday.

The Yellow Jackets signed 22 players, the ACC school’s largest group of prospects since 2004. Here are a couple of things that Johnson had to say:

“I think we addressed our needs and signed a very balanced, talented group. We are excited about this class and feel like we have a number of players who are not only quality players, but quality young men as well.”

“I thought our staff did a nice job working this year to put together a class we feel really good about.”

Johnson will talk more about Georgia Tech football recruiting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC College Recruiting

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AJC Super 11 LB James Vaughters (Stanford) one of four FBS signees for Tucker

AJC Super 11 linebacker James Vaughters highlighted a signing ceremony at Tucker that included four players inking with Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Vaughters (6-3, 230), the No. 4 player in the AJC Fab 50, signed with Stanford on Wednesday.

Fellow linebacker Justin Garrett signed with Auburn, safety Chris Sanders signed with Georgia and running back Bashr Coles signed with UAB.

They represent one of the finest senior classes ever for coach Franklin Stephens at Tucker.

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Three from Marist make it official

Marist had three football players sign to play college football.

Jordan Snellings (Furman), Mitchell Anderson (Presbyterian) and Justin Olderman (Virginia, invited walk on) made it official Wednesday.

Olderman is a 6-4, 235-pound offensive tackle who had an offer from the Air Force.

Snellings, 6-1, 171, is an accomplished track athlete as well as a wide receiver.

Anderson, 6-2, 230, is a defensive lineman and also a three-year letterman in baseball. His grandfather, an uncle and a cousin all played Division I football.

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