Archive for March, 2011

Ten@10: GAC OL Chase Roberts becomes commitment No. 2 for Georgia Tech (UPDATED)

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Tech picked up its second football commitment of the year on Wednesday from Chase Roberts, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound offensive lineman from Greater Atlanta Christian. Roberts, a lifelong Yellow Jackets fan whose father graduated from The Institute, committed in person to head coach Paul Johnson after Tech’s spring practice Wednesday.

Roberts

Roberts

“That was one of the biggest parts for me,” Roberts said of committing right there on Rose Bowl Field. “I talked to Coach Johnson for about 30 minutes there at the end and I just asked for a couple minutes of his time after practice. I went up to him and said I felt like I’d been a Yellow Jacket my whole life and I wanted to make it official right there. So that’s kind of how that went down.”

In Roberts, the Yellow Jackets are landing an extremely intelligent and versatile prospect. Roberts has a 3.8 grade-point average and plans to study to become a lawyer in Tech’s public policy school. And while he plays left …

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Florida gets another Georgian with commitment from DE Quinteze Williams (UPDATED)

Quinteze Williams (L) jokes with Shamire DeVine after the two went head-to-head in the Atlanta MVP Camp at Lovejoy High this past Saturday. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Quinteze Williams (L) jokes with Shamire DeVine after the two went head-to-head in the Atlanta MVP Camp at Lovejoy High this past Saturday. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Florida continued to find recruiting success in Metro Atlanta on Wednesday when it landed a commitment from one of the state’s best players.

Quinteze Williams, a two-way lineman for Class AAA state champion Sandy Creek in Tyrone, committed to the Gators around lunchtime on Monday. Williams picked the Gators from an offer sheet that included more than a dozen schools, including Georgia and Georgia Tech. He was rapidly developing into one of the most sought-after prospects in the metro area.

“We just liked it,” Ellis Williams, Quinteze’s father, said of choosing Florida. “We feel like the atmosphere there is right for him. We liked the schemes and feel like the staff down there is just unmatched. [Sandy Creek] Coach [Chip] Walker has had a long relationship with Coach [Will] Muschamp. He says he’s a great guy and …

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Atlanta’s Geno Smith likes how he looks in a UGA No. 4 jersey

Geno Smith has a reputation at St. Pius for flying around the field. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Geno Smith has a reputation at St. Pius for flying around the field. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Before he took a trip to Athens this past weekend, Geno Smith said he never thought much about what number jersey he might wear in college.

Then the Bulldogs took them into their newly constructed locker room, put him in a home red No. 4 red jersey, then took him over to a display of former All-American and Nagurski Award winner Champ Bailey. The Denver Broncos’ All-Pro cornerback just so happened to wear that same No. 4 while he was in Athens.

“At first, I wasn’t really thinking about wearing the same number I have in high school,” said Smith, who wears the number 4 at St. Pius. “But after putting that jersey on and seeing it, I like it. I’ll definitely try to wear 4 wherever I go now.”

Smith’s profile pic on his Facebook page now features him wearing the Georgia No. 4 jersey and posing with his mother in front of the Champ Bailey display.

Smith, a 6-foot, 165-pound athlete, is …

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Ten@10: WR JaQuay Williams succeeding in goal to ‘become known’

WR JaQuay Williams is obviously pleased with his hardware haul from the Atlanta MVP Camp, which included trophies for Top Overall Performer and Top Wide Receiver. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

WR JaQuay Williams is obviously pleased with his hardware haul from the Atlanta MVP Camp, which included trophies for Top Overall Performer and Top Wide Receiver. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

THE TEN AT 10:

1. I went down to Hampton this past weekend to catch the Atlanta MVP Camp being conducted at Lovejoy High and came away extremely impressed on a lot of levels. Mainly there was just an awesome amount of talent there. Nearly 360 players showed up, most of them rising seniors and juniors, from all over the state and beyond. Fortunately the rain stayed away long enough to let this big group get in all their work. Here’s A PHOTO GALLERY by the AJC’s Jason Getz to get an idea of what it was like.

A name you’re surely going to hear much more of in the coming months is JaQuay Williams. The 6-foot-2 (and change), 200-pound wide receiver from Sandy Creek High (by way of Heard County, more on that later) walked away with some significant hardware following the four-hour camp. He was …

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New Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory ‘a classic grinder’ in recruiting

Brian Gregory (lower right) beat out numerous major programs to land high-flying four-star forward Chris Wright at Dayton. (Photo provided by University of Dayton)

Brian Gregory (lower right) beat out numerous major programs to land high-flying four-star forward Chris Wright at Dayton. (Photo provided by University of Dayton)

Brian Gregory’s name alone is probably not going to have bluechip prospects lining up at the door to sign with Georgia Tech. But his work ethic and evaluation skills eventually will win them over.

That’s the opinion of Dave Telep, senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com.

“Brian is a classic grinder,” Telep told me Monday. “He’s not afraid of hard work and prides himself on evaluating. Expect him to establish a brand and recruit to it.”

That formula worked for Gregory at Dayton, where he was 172-94 (70-58 Atlantic 10) since 2003. It certainly helped him land Chris Wright, one of the A-10’s best players the last four years.

Gregory and longtime assistant coach Billy Schmidt out-worked Illinois, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas and Xavier for the 6-foot-8, 220-pound, four-star forward from Trotwood, …

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South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Steve Spurrier both ‘arrested’ over weekend

You have to hand it to Steve Spurrier for his ability make a point.

Clowney

Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney — the nation’s top recruit and South Carolina’s top signee — was handcuffed and detained briefly by police Friday in the Five Points area of downtown Columbia. Apparently the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Clowney fit the description of a robbery suspect who allegedly held up a convenience story earlier that night (how much you want to bet the accuser was a Clemson fan?).

Anyway, anticipating media questions about the incident the next day, Spurrier had Columbia’s chief of police come out to the field and “arrest” him during his post-practice media briefing. The “incident” was caught on video.

Spurrier’s point was a good one. Anyone can be handcuffed, detained and questioned. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. He did, however, chastise the 18-year-old, high school senior for being out in the city’s nightclub district at 2 in the morning.

But, of course, you can’t be arrested for …

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Georgia’s third commitment comes from Colquitt County TE Ty Smith (UPDATED)

Ty Smith caught 42 passes as a junior at Colquitt County last season. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

Ty Smith caught 42 passes as a junior at Colquitt County last season. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

Ty Smith has three main hobbies. He likes to play cards, to customize cars and to catch footballs.

And he’s really good at catching footballs. So good, in fact, that it landed him scholarship offers from Georgia and Florida and recruiting interest all over. The 6-foot-3, 228-pound tight end from Colquitt County committed to the Bulldogs while visiting UGA on Saturday. He’s the third recruit to pledge the Class of 2012.

“Actually I grew up a Georgia fan, so I’ve always been a fan of the Dogs,” said Smith, who received a scholarship offer from them about a month. “So when the opportunity came, I was excited about my offer and thought hard about committing right then. I was never sure if I was actually going to be able to go there. Me and my family, my close friends, my coaches, we talked about it and we felt like that’s what I wanted to do. When I got a chance to go up there …

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Florida nabs another commitment out of Stone Mtn.’s Stephenson High

Stephenson's Jafar Mann was not doing the "Gator chomp" here. He was clapping in celebration of his team's win over Parkview last fall. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Stephenson's Jafar Mann was not doing the "Gator chomp" here. He was clapping in celebration of his team's win over Parkview last fall. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Stephenson defensive tackle Jafar Mann on Friday became the second player from his school to commit to the Florida Gators. And if he has anything to do with it he won’t be the last.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound rising senior joined running back teammate Mike Davis in pledging Florida. The Gators are also in hot pursuit of Stephenson defensive end Jarontay Jones and linebacker Raphael Kirby. All four players have in excess of a dozen scholarship offers apiece so far.

Mann said there is a chance all four players will play together at Florida. “I’d say it’s a strong possibility,” he said.

These things can definitely seem subject to momentum. Mann admitted that Davis, who was the first to commit to the Gators on Feb. 19, definitely helped sway him toward UF. And they, in turn, plan to work on their teammates.

“He was an …

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Ten@10: Stephon Tuitt not the only elite DE produced by Monroe Area

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Remember Stephon Tuitt, who chose Notre Dame over Georgia Tech in a vigorous and well-documented recruiting battle earlier this year? Well, lost in all the hoopla over the five-star defensive end was the fact that Monroe Area High School had another excellent defensive end playing opposite of him.

That little tidbit of information has not been lost on college recruiters, however, as Kenderius Whitehead is drawing plenty of attention of his own this year. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound rising senior recently landed his ninth scholarship offer from Ole Miss. The Rebels joined Clemson, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, Notre Dame, South Carolina, UCF and Virginia Tech in the line to secure Whitehead’s services.

“He has the highest motor of any player I’ve ever coached,” Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg said. “He is 6-5 but only 220. But he plays like he’s 290. Very quick and fast.”

Fligg said Whitehead had 54 tackles, 13 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble …

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MVP Camp to feature some of state’s top prospects

ATLANTA MVP CAMP, SATURDAY, LOVEJOY HIGH

Washington running back Justin Taylor, an Alabama commitment, will be among the elite prospects in attendance at Saturday's MVP Camp at Lovejoy High. (Photo by Chad Simmons of FoxSports/Scout.com)

Washington running back Justin Taylor, an Alabama commitment, will be among the elite prospects in attendance at Saturday's MVP Camp at Lovejoy High. (Photo by Chad Simmons of FoxSports/Scout.com)

Chad Simmons of FoxSports/Scout.com and Rusty Mansell of 247Sports.com are organizing their second annual Atlanta MVP Camp, which will be conducted this Saturday down at Lovejoy High (registration opens at 8 a.m. and the competition and instruction goes from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).

They have cordially invited me to cover this event and I’m looking forward to doing just that. In the meantime, I asked Chad, one of the most respected recruiting analysts in the South, to give me an idea who will be some of the top prospects in attendance. As is Chad’s style, he did way more than that and provided a comprehensive list with a comment on every kid.

So rather than try to hash out a story based on his analysis, I thought it would be more practical and …

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