Ten@10: S.C. commit Lorenzo Mauldin strongly considering Louisville offer

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Lorenzo Mauldin is still not sure what he’s going to do, but he’s starting to feel better about his options. The Maynard Jackson High defensive end and longtime South Carolina commitment, who was stuck without a scholarship after the Gamecocks oversigned on national signing day, is now heavily considering an offer from Louisville.

Mauldin

Mauldin

Cardinals’ second-year coach Charlie Strong has offered to bring in the 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end as a non-qualifer if he continues to come up short on his test scores, according to Mauldin. That means Mauldin would have to pay his own way the first year but would have three years of eligibility remaining and a qualify for a fourth if he’s on track to graduate.

“That’s a pretty good option for me,” Mauldin said Monday. “I believe it’s better than prep school. I’ll already be there with the team and I could be playing football the next fall.”

Louisville would, of course, prefer to take Mauldin as an out-right qualifier. Mauldin, who has lived in 16 foster homes and currently resides in a children’s group home in Atlanta, said he believes he would be able to come up with the money to pay tuition at Louisville for a couple of semesters if he doesn’t.

“I have supporters that are not alumni of Louisville that will help me out with that,” said Mauldin, who has been committed to the Gamecocks since last July. “Playing football here [at Maynard Jackson], I’ve gotten to know a lot of people who want to help me. Plus, there’s the Pell Grant. So, yes, I think I can come up with [the money].”

Meanwhile, Miami and Troy continue to recruit Mauldin and prep school remains a possibility. But clearly he would prefer to stick with his first option, which is to meet freshman eligibility requirements by spring and force the Gamecocks to find room for him. Mauldin said he is now undergoing individual tutoring sessions on taking college entrance exams twice a week at Georgia State.

“It’s all based on the score,” said Mauldin, who said he is awaiting an ACT score and will take the test at least one more time. “I see that I’m so close on these scores, I feel sure I’m going to get it. If I do get the score I hope [South Carolina's] word is good and I get the scholarship.”

South Carolina signed 32 players in its 2011 football recruiting class. Four of those recruits enrolled in January and will count toward the 2010 class. But that still leaves them three over the NCAA maximum of 25 that can be added to the scholarship roll this fall.

Mauldin said Gamecocks assistant coach Lorenzo Ward promised him the football program would find room if he qualified.

“He said if I get the score I will get the scholarship from one of the other boys who won’t academically qualify,” Mauldin said. “He tells me that’s his word. A man’s word is his bond, so I’m hoping that will be carried out.”

2. Reaction to Mauldin’s story has been strong from both ends of the spectrum. Opinions tend to fall into two categories: (1) Those who believe Mauldin and others like him have been terribly wronged and disgarded by the system; (2) those who believe South Carolina simply did what others do to remain competitive and/or that Mauldin knew all along he wasn’t going to be signed due of academic shortcomings.

Mauldin admits that not signing was brought up as a possibility by Ward “a couple of weeks” before national signing day. But, he said, “I didn’t know for sure until they sent that letter over. I don’t know what day they faxed it because they sent it to my coach, but it was right before signing day.”

Maynard Jackson coach Eric Williams told the AJC that they were informed by the day before national signing day the scholarship he’d been promised would not be available.

3. Oversigning has been a hot topic since national signing day. The Wall Street Journal published a story on Monday in which three SEC coaches — including South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier — defend oversigning on the basis that it helps underprivileged prospects and those that don’t qualify. The Big Ten forbids oversigning and “I think that really hurts them a lot,” Spurrier said. “They end up giving scholarships to a lot of walk-ons.”

Spurrier

Spurrier

Spurrier does admit in the article to making some mistakes this year. But he falls short of being apologetic. “What we probably could’ve done earlier in the recruiting [process] is tell them that this could happen,” he said. “But then again, we didn’t know it was going to come up. It’s a ticklish situation.”

“Ticklish” is one way to put it. Then there’s the way Walter Banks put it.

“I told [South Carolina] this was foul,” said Banks, the coach of Groveland (Fla.) High defensive back Jordan Montgomery, another longtime South Carolina commitment who was stuck on the outside looking in. “I didn’t have a clue [the scholarship was being withdrawn] until 18 hours before signing day. And if they say anything else, they’re lying.”

Closer to South Carolina, Ron Morris, a columnist for The State newspaper in Columbia, calls the practice of oversigning “repugnant” and says rules should be enacted to eliminate it. But he doesn’t hold out much hope. “Do not hold your breath on that happening,” he writes.

4. Yesterday I reported that North Hall running back Imani Cross committed to Tennessee over the weekend. Understandably, a number of people asked me whether Cross had any concerns about the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Vols’ football program (and basketball program). I wondered that, too, and asked Cross about it.

“One thing I understand is it wasn’t them; it was the previous coach, Lane Kiffin,” Cross said. “They made that clear. The program was in other hands at the time and that’s why the investigation is going on. So they didn’t really harp much on the investigation, etcetera. They just said Tennessee is heading in the right direction and they’re doing things right. And that’s the vibe I got from Coach [Derek] Dooley and all of their assistant coaches.”

I asked Cross if he worried how potential sanctions might impact him or the team. “No, I’m not too concerned about that.”

Cross rushed for 586 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in five games for the Trojans as a junior last season. He missed the first half of the season while rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon suffered in spring practice. He’s 100 percent healthy now.

Here’s a link to some highlight video of Cross from last season.

5. Booker T. Washington running back Justin Taylor, who committed to Alabama last week, got an unexpected call on Monday. Taylor said Georgia assistant coach Bryan McClendon dialed his coach to inform them that the Bulldogs were offering Taylor a scholarship.

Taylor (5-10, 215) was flattered but otherwise unimpressed. “It doesn’t make a difference,” said Taylor, who also has offers from Georgia Tech and Arkansas. “I’m going to stay committed to Alabama. Georgia is just another school that offered me.”

Taylor said the same answer stands for any other would-be suitors. In fact, the signature line on his cell phone texts reads “100% BAMA BOY LOL.”

6. Two other local products who recently received scholarship offers from the Bulldogs were a little more appreciative. Linebacker Raphael Kirby and defensive lineman Jafar Mann, both of Stephenson High, were extended offers while on a brief visit to the UGA campus last week.

“It’s a great honor just to get an offer from Georgia being from Georgia,” said the 6-2, 220-pound Kirby. “I have visited many times and it meant a lot for Mark Richt to offer me.”

Said Mann, a 6-4, 285-pound two-way starter: “The offer from Georgia, I’m really happy about it because it’s from my home state. When you’re from Georgia you come up kind of hoping to get an offer from them.”

That said, it doesn’t appear very likely either will end up signing with the Bulldogs, though anything could happen. Florida, which offered both players early in the recruiting process, appears to be in the lead. Stephenson teammate Mike Davis has already committed Florida and Kirby and Mann were with him on the same trip to Gainesville.

“Really, Florida is a beautiful state; everybody knows that,” Mann said. “But I went down there and it felt like I’d been going there all along. Right now, they look very good.”

However, Mann, who has 17 offers, said he won’t make a move until national signing day.

7. One of the drawbacks to so many players from one school having so many scholarship offers — Stephenson currently has 10 players hold more than 70 scholarship offers between them — is occasionally teammates who play the same position get offers from the same school.

That’s the case with Mann and fellow junior Carlos Hood. Both play interior tackle positions in the Jaguars’ 4-3 defense and both have ended up with offers from defending national champion Auburn, which the two of them visited along with some teammates last weekend.

There is little chance, it seems, that both will decide to sign with the defending national champions.

“Carlos and I and everybody at one time decided we were all going to the same school,” said Mann, who lists Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia as his five favorites. “But I don’t think me and Carlos are going to do that now. We decided he’ll be better off if he goes over there and we go over here. But me and Jarontay [Jones], that’s a different story. He’s a D-end. So me and him won’t be fighting for a position like that.”

Said Hood: “It’s really an independent decision. We could end up going to the same school but, at the same time, we could be fighting for the same position, too. I guess we could end up playing beside each other but we’re not really thinking about it like that.”

Hood, who also has offers from Memphis, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, South Florida and Tennessee, made it clear he favors Auburn. But, “I want to wait to see who the D-line coach is going to be,” he said.

8. Online registration began Monday for the second annual Atlanta MVP Camp. The star-studded event, organized by recruiting analysts Chad Simmons of Scout.com and Rusty Mansell of 247Sports.com, will be held March 26 at Lovejoy High School. Like last year, it’s expected to attract some of the best prospects in Georgia and surrounding states.

According to Mansell and Simmons, one position that looks particularly strong this year is quarterback. Among the signalcallers expected to participate are 2012 prospects Greyson Lambert (Wayne County), Will Gardner (Coffee County) and Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.); and 2013 targets Brad Butler (Darlington), Taylor Lamb (Calhoun), Jonathan McCrary (Cedar Grove), Eddie Printz Jr. (Lassiter), Brice Ramsey (Camden County) and Cole Seagraves (White County). There’s even a 2014 prospect in Cole Garvin of Sandy Creek.

Lambert (6-5, 200) is generally regarded as the top quarterback in the state this year and one of the best in the country. He already has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and N.C. State and is being intensely recruited. “I like guys like him that have all those offers but aren’t scared to compete,” Simmons said.

AJC “Tentative Ten” prospects Vadal Alexander, Kenyan Drake and Jordan Jenkins are also scheduled to participate. Go to TheMVPCamp.com for more information.

Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey was named Top Performer at his position during the Orlando MVP Camp this past weekend. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey was named Top Performer at his position during the Orlando MVP Camp this past weekend. (Photo provided by 247Sports.com)

9. Speaking of the MVP Camp, Mansell and Simmons hosted their Florida version last weekend in Orlando. Some Georgia kids were among the standouts at that event, including the Camden County quarterback Ramsey. Ramsey, who measured in at 6-2 1/2, 191 pounds, was named the top performer at his position.

“That kid can play,” Mansell said. “I don’t know what Jeff Herron is going to do with that Wing-T down there but Brice has a cannon of an arm.”

Mansell said other Georgians to play well were DE/OLB Kenneth White of Clinch County, DB T.J. Gurley of Cairo and QB Steven Bench of Bainbridge. All of the them were slated for Elite 101s, meaning they’re considered among the top few at their position. Simmons lauded DL Bryan Attaway of Camden County,  OL DeAndre Wise of Alpharetta and DE Randy Wooten of Cairo for their work at the camp.

10. THIS & THAT: Speaking of Gurley, the 5-11, 180-pound cornerback is drawing a great deal of interest from Georgia Tech. He told GoJackets.com that assistant coach Todd Spencer has been checking in on him and he would not be surprised if an offer might be imminent. “[Spencer] said he checked my profile and that they would be recruiting me this year,” Gurley said.  “If I were invited to come up to their practice or spring game, I would like to go to one of them.” Gurley, who earned his way into Elite 101 status at the Orlando MVP camp, is not currently holding any FBS offers but is drawing interest from numerous ACC and SEC schools. He said he prefers North Carolina and will be looking at early playing time and comfort level on campus as key factors in making his decision. . . .

Georgia offered Banneker safety Chaz Elder on Monday, according to Scout.com’s Simmons. . . . Clarke Central quarterback Martay Mattox, who enrolled at South Carolina early, is working out with deensive backs. . . . Brad Lambert, a former defensive assistant under Jim Donnan at Georgia, has been named head football coach at Charlotte. He comes from Wake Forest, where he was defensive coordinator, to start the football program from scratch. The 49ers will play their first FCS season in 2013. . . .

It’s not exactly recruiting but since their people bothered to send me a link, here’s a link to a survey by universityreviewonline.com on the highest paid college coaches in all sports. You won’t be surprised about who tops the list.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

119 comments Add your comment

joco trojan

March 1st, 2011
10:06 am

johnny too good

March 1st, 2011
10:11 am

1. He should.
5. So UGA finally got over to Stephenson….. took long enough
8. I dont remember the Ramsey guy from Camden from last year. Wasnt Ruiz their QB?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

RxDawg

March 1st, 2011
10:27 am

“Georgia is just another school that offered me.”

I think that would be enough for me to rescind the scholarship and wish him luck.

Beast from the East

March 1st, 2011
10:28 am

I think Slive needs to get involved with this oversigning business. Any school that has to pull an offer within one week on National Signing Day because they offered too many will have their scholarships reduced by that same amount for the next season. That should stop this practice, don’t you think?

johnny too good

March 1st, 2011
10:31 am

7. Where is the registration for the atl mvp camp?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

RxDawg

March 1st, 2011
10:32 am

Sounds fair to me Beast. It would at least make some of these coaches think twice about tossing out scholies everywhere and seeing how many they catch.

Beast from the East

March 1st, 2011
10:38 am

Rx Dawg,
I agree. Seems to be a problem that is mostly confined to the SEC West and South Carolina. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the other teams from the East practice this. It really is a poor practice that needs to be addressed…..other than in the media. That hasn’t stopped it.

Tech= duiU

March 1st, 2011
10:40 am

Another day, another Tech athlete in the news for DUI.

What a bunch of THUGS.

Huh?

March 1st, 2011
10:41 am

Wow, Louisville is going to allow him to pay his way for a year?? How nice of them.

Huh?

March 1st, 2011
10:43 am

Also how come no one mentioned the fact that Montgomery was strongly considering Miami when it looked like it was going to offer him late?

RxDawg

March 1st, 2011
10:43 am

“I don’t think I’ve seen any of the other teams from the East practice this.”

They will if nothing is done to stop it.

78 DAWG

March 1st, 2011
10:48 am

Another day another TECH athlete, shut up dummy, we’re now only ahead 12 – 4 in arrest for the last 12 months, so don’t bring it up!

Tech= duiU

March 1st, 2011
10:48 am

Thug
Excessively
Chugging
Hard-liquor

Dawg Man

March 1st, 2011
10:51 am

We need to show this kid that told us he doesn’t want to come to UGA, by pulling the offer, that’ll show him!
We are just as good as Alabama one year every decade!

Chip Towers

March 1st, 2011
10:56 am

Huh?: Louisville would prefer for Mauldin to qualify. I didn’t think that needed to be spelled out but perhaps it should be.

Beast from the East

March 1st, 2011
10:57 am

Nice response, Chip. Nice.

Chip Towers

March 1st, 2011
10:57 am

johnny too good: You can register for the MVP camp online at theMVPcamp.com. I’ve updated the blog to reflect that.

Chip Towers

March 1st, 2011
10:58 am

Beast from the East: The SEC will discuss oversigning at its spring meetings in Destin.

CT_Jacket

March 1st, 2011
10:59 am

@Tech=duiU,

You’re right. No excuse for his behavior. I hope that he learns from his mistake. He was lucky that no one was injured by his recklessness.

BTW, I wished no one had ever started the THUG talk regarding other players. These are very young men who don’t all grow up in the best environment. Hopefully, they will all use their opportunity at a free college education to improve their situation.

devildawg

March 1st, 2011
11:01 am

So whats up now Nerds? Your ’student athletes’ are the ones getting arrested now, and you got nothing to say. What a joke that whole school is.

joe

March 1st, 2011
11:01 am

Today is March 1st…you know what that means…time for all blind homer pooper scoopers to pimp out the dream team into SEC champions…come on ya’ll, stike up the band. Tell us how Phil Steel is gonna predict the #1 pass offense for the dogs with a 5-10 QB and no WRs…tell us your new 5-star RB will get 1500, despite no line blocking. It’s open season…here comes all the NC talk right on time.

Mtn Dawg

March 1st, 2011
11:02 am

I guess there is simply nothing to report on men’s basketball recruiting at UGA. You win, Chip. I give up.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 1st, 2011
11:11 am

Dannyboy – You are correct, but maybe he was saying they be more versatile in that set, they currenly run the ball a lot.

Georgia is just another school that offered me

March 1st, 2011
11:16 am

hey dogs the real sory is that his comment is really ‘player seak’ for

i looked at the facebook pages of crowell and some of uga’s other signees and realized they are all thugs to the nth degree. he doesnt want to play with a bunch of thugs for last place in the SEC and he wants to play for a team that wins nc’s not loses bowl games to cengral florida.

tooooo funny

roll tide

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:22 am

joe….

You’re right. NOBODY should EVERY be optimistic about a program they love.

I’d say the Marlon Brown/Tavarres King/Rontavious Wooten/Malcolm Mitchell/Chris Conley will absolutely SUCK with Aaron Murray feeding them the ball.

Orson Charles/Aaron White/Jay Rome are easily the worst TE trio in the nation.

I guess you are right, it is a crime to be optimistic about a highly touted running back coming in.

And Aaron Murray is only 5-10!!!! My god. Cut him!!!! Wait….. i think Drew Brees is also…..5-10. Weird.

And it’s OBVIOUS our O-line will only get worse!!!!.

So you inspired me Joe. I am going to sell my tickets. I am going to exile any thought of college football since UGA has hit a rough patch. I will never step foot in the wonderful town of Athens ever again. I will refuse to do what I love this fall, and spend time with good friends and family while rooting on our alma mater.

Thanks Joe. You woke me up.

hev devil dog are you serious? really? REALLLY?

March 1st, 2011
11:24 am

any body with an ounce of sense would look at the past 12 years and say….. geeee gt and most other schools will have a student athlete get into trouble but uga is on a different planet.

key word in that comment is ‘an ounce of sense’ of which you have none.

lets see here. last year ALONE uga had like 13 players arrested (and that is the ones we know about lmao) including the AD meanwhile it would take georgia tech 20 years to reach that number.

can you cay ‘FULMER CUP’ at thug u.

you would have been better of to leave that one alone eh?

Chip Towers

March 1st, 2011
11:24 am

Mtn Dawg: I really must brush up on my basketball recruiting. Have you heard something? Is there something I should be aware of?

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:25 am

Alabama has only won one NC since 1992.

Most of these kids were just being born in 1992. So Bama is FAR from a powerhouse in these kids eye’s.

Bama had all the talent in the world last year and went 10-3. They won the Capital One bowl. Not that impressive to these kids.

I would make a comment how you Bammers are still just riding the coat tails of Bear Bryant, but you will find me and poison my front lawn I spend so much time maintaining.

Dannyboy

March 1st, 2011
11:27 am

BigTimeTECHFan – not familiar with Camden County’s play calling, I’ll leave that to you, but when Mansell says stuff like, “I don’t know what Jeff Herron is going to do. They run a Wing-T down there, but he may have to re-think that. Brice has a cannon of an arm.” Sounds like Mansell thinks Herron should scrap the Wing-T for a more “passing friendly” offense just to maximize Brice’s arm…which is just an un-informed statement coming from someone in the football talent evaluation business. For the sake of his credibility, I hope he was either mis-quoted, or meant what you said but it didn’t come off that way.

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:27 am

Only a Techie will justify their student athletes getting arrested with past UGA players getting arrested.

Bottom line…… Looks like there is a problem in Atlanta right now. How long has it been since a UGA player has been in the negative news??

i find it funny how...

March 1st, 2011
11:29 am

the former steve holier than though spurrier would have railed over ‘over signing’ years ago but now that he is is the coach for the ’still a crappy program’ gamecrocks it is ok.

i guess the new sec corrupts all coaches even the old ball sack

johnny too good

March 1st, 2011
11:30 am

@Dannyboy…… he may try that but I’m not too sure because it would only be for one year……Brice wasnt their starting QB last year

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

hey D A

March 1st, 2011
11:31 am

after reading your dumb post it is clear what your initials D A stand for. in case you still dont get it ill give you a hint.

D= dumb

BigTimeTECHFan

March 1st, 2011
11:31 am

&@D A DoubleU G Bama is a powerhouse team, read all the comment by their recruits last year, they signed a lot of nice players and those kids talk about how good Bama is. I give UGA credit, they signed a lot of nice players also, but those kids talked about turning the program around.

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:32 am

Yep.

“dumb”?? or just not what you wanted to hear??

Dawg Man

March 1st, 2011
11:33 am

Still hurtin over losing Crowell just another?

Dawg Man

March 1st, 2011
11:33 am

You wouldn’t be calling him a thug if he came to Tuscaloosa would you?

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:34 am

Bama will always be a good brand.

But they are not the National Championship factory their fans think they are.

If Bama didn’t win it this past season….. how in the HELL do they think they are going to win it this year??

Bama 2011 will be similar to UGA 2009. Losing EVERYBODY and thinking they can just “reload”…. but reality is going to bite them come mid-October or so.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 1st, 2011
11:35 am

Nobody should call Crowell a thug – That’s uncalled for, he’s doing pretty well for himself.

D A DoubleU G

March 1st, 2011
11:36 am

If Bama signed Crowell their fans would go ahead and start printing off the 2012 Championship Banners.

Since he came to UGA, he is “just a thug”.

Dannyboy

March 1st, 2011
11:38 am

@johnny too good – that’s the beauty of the Wing-T. It’s such a flexible offense that it will maximize the talent of any QB whether they are “dual-threat”or “traditional” drop-back passers. It use to be one of the most popular offenses on the high school level for that reason (and still may be). There’s not too much Herron will have to change, outside of playcalling, to take advantage of that kid’s arm.

hey D A

March 1st, 2011
11:39 am

one player does not make a problem. anybody that has any sense knows that it takes at least 3 data points to have a ‘trend’.

uga usuallty passes the number 3 in a week.

speaking of 3….. your boy richt sure showed that player by letting him off after 3 weeks of punishment. funny that but he was reinstated just in time for spring practice.

thug u! nothing left to say.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 1st, 2011
11:39 am

Bama is loaded, they will be in the mix

schmeckdawg

March 1st, 2011
11:40 am

Rule Of The Day: If you are drinking alcohol, stay off of Roswell Road in Buckhead! See Damon Evans and now this kid from The Joke By Coke!

This has been a Public Service Announcement! You may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging!!

so D A

March 1st, 2011
11:46 am

you so love crowell that you would let him date your sister? of course that would have to take place after he was done ‘dating’ your mama.

have you even readh his facebook page? i have! he makes pacman jones look like …. like…. mark richt.

even other football factories like oklahoma have standards that uga does not. they kicked a player off thier team for making comments like crowell did. meanwhile back at the ranch mark richt says boi’s will be boi’s.

you uga fans still dont get it. you recruit thugs. they get into trouble and totally distrupt the team and you wonder why you are what you are.

can you say laughing stock.

even stever spurrier still stiffles a giggle whenever someone brings up the name uga.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 1st, 2011
11:46 am

2012 top 10:
1. Oklahoma St
2. Alabama
3. Florida St
4. LSU
5. Texas A&M
6. Oregon
7. Georgia Tech (gotta add them as homer)
8. Oklahoma
9. Florida
10. TCU

johnny too good

March 1st, 2011
11:54 am

fyi

there are fake/phony facebook profiles online

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

HWJ

March 1st, 2011
12:15 pm

GA TECH as number 7 in your dreams… the fact that you have 2 ACC teams up there is just mind blowing..

Also.. UGA needs to get back on the recruiting trail we are already missing out on some primetime guys.

Dekalb football fan

March 1st, 2011
12:18 pm

Check out WR Blake Tibbs on Youtube. These highlights are a against all 5a competition including Stephenson, Valdosta, South Gwinnett, Collins Hill,Colquit, Newnan, East Coweta,Newton County. He already runs routes better than most college WR.

Colquitt Fan

March 1st, 2011
12:23 pm

Cole Segraves (Sophomore Highlights) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vMWy9XG3R8

6′ 4″ – 205 lbs. – 1,580 Passing Yards in 2010 Season