THE TEN AT 10:
1. Mike Tamburo is coming home. Where he is going to play football remains a mystery, however.
Tamburo, a redshirt sophomore quarterback at Boise State, confirmed to me that he plans to transfer “closer to home.” But the North Gwinnett High graduate wasn’t ready to say exactly where that will be.
“I am planning on transferring but, at this point, I don’t really want to talk about it until it is official,” said Tamburo, who accounted for 8,476 total yards and 90 touchdowns while playing for Bob Sphire at North Gwinnett. “I probably should know in the next week or two what I’m doing. But I am planning on transferring somewhere closer to home. I’d rather not get into specifics because I just want to make sure everything works out first.”
Things haven’t worked out for Tamburo at Boise State. He has never played a live down for the Broncos and now he finds himself buried behind three other players on the depth chart. There was some discussion of Tamburo changing positions, possibly to wide receiver, but ultimately he would like to remain under center.
“That’s the goal,” he said of sticking at quarterback. “I was helping out on the scout team some doing some receiver duty and doing what I could. But we just switched quarterback coaches and I was going to stay at quarterback. It just wasn’t working out for me there. I wanted to try somewhere else and get a fresh start.”
The hot rumor on the Internet this week is his destination is UGA. The Bulldogs, of course, open the 2011 season against Boise State in September in the Georgia Dome. One would think the Broncos might have some reservations about releasing Tamburo to a school they’ll play in that season’s opening game.
“I don’t think they’re too worried if I did want to go to Georgia,” said Tamburo, who’s not saying that’s where he’s heading. “It’s not like I’d be there during fall camp where I’d know the gameplan.”
Of course, the Bulldogs are also pretty well set at quarterback. Starter Aaron Murray is just entering his sophomore season and Georgia has sophomore Hutson Mason, freshman Christian LeMay and two invited walkons to back him up.
2. A more likely destination for Tamburo might be Georgia State of Georgia Southern. He would be immediately eligible at the FCS school. Meanwhile, the Panthers have incurred some quarterback attrition recently.
The AJC’s Ken Sugiura reports that returning starter Drew Little has been suspended for spring practice and the first four games of next season and Star Jackson has left the program. That leaves the Panthers with only Kelton Hill and quarterback-turned-receiver-turned-quarterback Bo Schlechter to play the position. They signed Ben McLane (6-1, 215) from Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood on national signing day.
Tamburo said he’ll let me know where he’s heading as soon as his transfer paperwork is complete. In the meantime, he said he will be leaving Boise State without hard feelings.
“I would say that Boise State has been super cooperative and Coach Pete (head coach Chris Peterson) is a great coach,” he said.
3. Speaking of accomplished quarterbacks, Georgia Tech is position to land another one in its 2011 class. Jerrard Randall (6-2, 190), a four-star prospect out of Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory High in Hollywood, Fla., was originally committed to sign with Oregon. But the Ducks abanadoned him when it appeared he was not going to meet freshman eligibility requirements. As it turns out, Randall recently qualified and he has reopened his recruitment. And now he lists the Yellow Jackets among his three favorites, including LSU and Miami.
“I am going to take a couple of visits and Georgia Tech will be the first school I look at,” Randall told Kelly Quinlan of JacketsOnline.com. “I want to play somewhere I feel wanted and I don’t feel that from Oregon,” he said. “I have talked with the coaches at Georgia Tech and my coach has spoken with coaches from LSU and Miami and we are setting up visits and I am trying to find the best option for me. Georgia Tech has a lot of interest in me and I have a lot of interest in them,” he said. “The coaches love the way I run and throw the ball and Coach Johnson told me if I throw like I do on film he can build his offense around that. Georgia Tech is in front for me right now.”
If Randall does choose the Yellow Jackets he’ll face some competition. Tech returns junior starter Tevin Washington and has sophomore David Sims and redshirt freshmen Synjyn Days already on the roster. They also signed the highly-touted signalcaller Vad Lee out of Durham, N.C., in February.
3. Kudos to my pal Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph for being the first to get some local information on the use of scouting services for recruiting. I mentioned in “Tuesday’s 10″ that the use of such services had become a national topic after it was reported that Oregon had paid more than $25,000 to one such service in Texas.
I vowed to look into such usage by the two in-state programs but Emerson beat me to the punch. He was able to get an open records request into Georgia — I’ve since received the same documents — and reported that the Bulldogs have paid three such services for recruiting information since October of 2009. Georgia cut checks totaling $33,155 to LRS Sports of Springfield, Ill.; Elite Scouting Services of Hollywood, Fla.; and Bluechip Athletic Solutions of Atlanta.
I still have to get Georgia Tech’s information on this and do some reporting about what they actually get for these services. But, eventually, I plan to bring you a full, detailed report on the subject. So stay tuned.
4. Jontavious Carter, a 6-4, 190-pound wide receiver from Crisp County down in Cordele, committed to Miami on Wednesday. What makes Carter’s story particularly interesting is, in this age of paid scouting services and combines, etc., he handled his recruitment all on his own. According to this story by Scout.com analyst Chad Simmons, Carter put together his own highlight video, mailed it to Miami himself and called to make sure they had received it and watched it.
“I called [assistant] Coach [Brennan] Carroll to make sure they got it and he told me they saw it and that they wanted to offer me a full ride to Miami,” Carter, who grew up wanting to be a Hurricane, told Simmons. “Then I talked to [head coach Al] Golden and told him I wanted to be part of ‘The U.’ He told me to go talk to my family and then call him back. I talked to my grandma, told her what happened and then I called Coach Golden back and committed to him. I told him that I wanted to be a Hurricane, I wanted to be part of the family, and that I was ready to be part of Miami.”
Carter was getting interest from Georgia and other SEC schools but Miami was his only offer so far. He caught 49 passes for 650 yards and 7 TDs as a junior last season.
5. You may have seen where I reported Wednesday that Georgia had to report five NCAA rules violations as a result of five-star defensive end Ray Drew’s commitment ceremony at Thomas County Central in January. Well, there’s an interesting follow-up story to read in the Thomasville Times Enterprise. They talked to Thomas County Central’s athletics director and head football coach, both of whom expressed surprise and disappointment that anything that was done there could be considered illegal by the NCAA. A lot of folks agree.
6. Speaking of Drew, I thought one of things he said in the story was being unfairly characterized by some commenters on The Blog. While it’s highly likely these people were fans of Georgia rivals, they were critical of Drew’s comments that he “had no regrets” over the way he handled his announcement. I didnt see that as a negative comment at all. Drew is adamant that he didn’t do anything wrong and that his intentions were anything but to bring trouble to the school he chose to attend.
I think the following quote, which I was unable to fit into the original story, may be a better characterization of how Drew feels about the whole situation:
“My take on it is you have to take the good with the bad,” said the licensed minister. “If you come out with a class that is highly ranked as this one was, people are going to ask, ‘why did you choose this and why did you go about doing things this way or that way?’ As long as you have all your ducks in a row and you know you’ve done nothing wrong, you can walk around with a smile on your face and not let it worry you, which is what I’m doing right now.”
7. Lorenzo Mauldin, another talented defensive end, may be drawing closer to making a final decision on a school choice. The Maynard Jackson High senior has cut off all interviews while his complicated recruitment is getting worked out. But, in the meantime, he appears to be offering some hints as to its conclusion on his Facebook page.
Above a picture of some University of Louisville football players celebrating on the field last season, Mauldin posted “My Boys.” Later, he posted the picture of a maroon Cardinals’ No. 26 jersey, above which he wrote, “my numba goin in.”
Mauldin, (6-4, 233) had been committed to South Carolina since last July but was left in limbo after the Gamecocks overcommitted their scholarship allotment. Currently a non-qualifier, Mauldin has been given the opportunity to eventually sign with Gamecocks. But Louisville has offered him the alternative of possibly signing and coming in as a non-qualifier. And Mauldin continues to get tutoring and take college entrance exams.
8. A quick programming note: I will be heading down to Florida on a brief vacation with the family on Friday and won’t be back at work until next Wednesday. So that means there will be no “Ten @ 10″ next Tuesday. However, the AJC Recruiting Blog will resume business as usual next Wednesday. In the meantime, AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell will be keeping an eye on all things recruiting and will update the blog if there is some news to report.
9. One other programming note: I’d like to resume”The Mailbag” as soon as possible. But to do that, I’ll need your help. So please send recruiting questions you would like for me to answer to The Mailbag’s special email address: email@example.com. If I receive enough (reasonable) inquiries the once-weekly feature will resume next week. Thanks in advance.
10. THIS & THAT: Vadal Alexander, in my opinion the top offensive line prospect in the state this year, told me in an interview this week that Alabama, Auburn and LSU are his favorites at this point. The 6-6, 310-pound tackle from Buford is a native of Louisiana. I’ll have more on Alexander later. . . .
Georgia recently entered the sweepstakes for Sandy Creek defensive tackle Quinteze Williams. The Bulldogs offered the 6-5, 244-pounder late last week. “Georgia is the home-state school, they are the home-town school, and it feels good to know that Georgia took the time to evaluate me and that they have the confidence to offer me a scholarship,” Williams told Scout.com. . . .
Talk about a diamond-in-the-rough prospect! Brian Stumpf of ESPN Rise reports that LB Justin Horton (6-2, 201) of Clermont, Fla., recently recorded a SPARQ rating of 122.73 at a Nike Combine in Florida. That’s the best mark in the nation so far. The SPARQ rating is a combination of a prospect’s abilities in four disciplines: the 40-yard-dash, the shuttle run, vertical leap and the five-pound ball toss. Horton’s numbers were sparking — 4.61, 4.00, 37.6 inches and 37.5 feet, respectively. Horton, a 2012 recruit, has no offers so far.