THE TEN AT 10:
1. Nick Tompkins was beginning to wonder what he had to do to get some attention. As a junior, the Brookwood running back (5-10, 175) rushed for 1,890 yards and 22 touchdowns while also playing some more-than-occasional defense to help the Broncos on their way to the 2010 Class AAAAA state championship. Yet as far as recruiting went, other than an occasional form letter in the mail, he was hearing crickets.
All that’s changed now. As winter thaws into spring, Tompkins suddenly finds himself with six major-college offers — the latest from Georgia Tech — and more are on the way.
“I’d been getting a lot letters but, that last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting hand-written letters from schools,” Tompkins told me this week. “After I finally got my first offer, before I knew it I had like five or six. So it’s all happening pretty fast now and continues to grow.”
Tompkins’ first offer came from Virginia the first of March. He has since gotten invitations from Arkansas, Army, Boston College, Tech and Wisconsin. Like most recruits, getting that initial offer was a thrill.
“Actually it was the first time I’d ever talked to them,” Tompkins said of the Cavaliers. “I hadn’t even received any letters from them. Coach [Vincent] Brown sent me an email and told me to call him. So I did and he was telling me about the school and offered me right there on the phone. I was really shocked because I wasn’t expecting it. I had been waiting for that first offer for a long time, so I was pretty excited about it.”
Now it’s becoming old hat. Penn State invited him up to State College this weekend, where an offer is expected to be forthcoming. Visits to West Virginia and Clemson are in the works. He has been to a junior day at Michigan State and Mississippi State and Central Florida are trying to get him on campus.
“I’m thinking I may pick up a couple more [offers] soon,” Tompkins said.
2. Tompkins’ film has been the key. He didn’t get any out until November, which is relatively late in today’s hurry-up world of recruiting. But once teams got a look at Tompkins’ big-play ability competing in the state’s highest classification, interest piqued.
Here’s a look at Tompkins’ highlight video, one of the more impressive ones you’ll see:
3. Tompkins is hesitant to name a favorite, but clearly Tech is a school that he likes. He made a trip down to The Flats this past weekend and came away extremely impressed with the Yellow Jackets.
“It actually went great,” he said. “It was basically an unofficial visit. They had a schedule for me. I met all the coaches, shook all their hands. I talked to the recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum, talked to the academic people, saw a couple of classrooms, they showed me around campus. I spent about four hours doing that. At the very end I went up and had personal time with Coach Paul Johnson. Me and my dad went into his office and talked for about 45 minutes. He said he wanted to offer me. He told me I’m a very special player and a perfect fit for the A-back position. He said I could have a big impact for them next year.”
Tompkins resisted the urge to commit on the spot.
“I mean, I was really happy. I really like Tech,” he said. “But [Johnson] even told me to think about it a while. He said they really want me there but he’s not going to rush me. I’m just going to take my time and make the best decision for the future.”
Tompkins said he intends to make up his mind by the end of summer. He wants the decision out of the way before embarking on his senior season and the Broncos’ defense of the state title.
4. They’ve had to close registration for the annual Atlanta MVP Camp, which will be held March 26 at Lovejoy High. Among the many prospects committed to participate at that event — known for putting players through the paces of a real football workout and not a bunch of combine tests — are several of the “elite” variety. They include St. Pius DB Geno Smith, one of the most heavily-recruited prospects in Atlanta; RB Beniquez Brown of Florence, Ala., who recently got an offer from Georgia; and Norcross WR Jason Croom. Representing the class of 2013 will be LB Reuben Foster of Troup, LB Johnny O’Neal of West Laurens and WR Uriah LeMay of Matthews, N.C., the younger brother of UGA QB Christian LeMay.
5. You may have seen the update I wrote Wednesday on DE Sterling Bailey, the UGA signee from East Hall who recently underwent shoulder surgery. Well, his big brother Korentheus Bailey, recently made a move. In January, Korentheus transferred from Western Kentucky, where he has played the last two seasons, to Georgia Southern, where he will play the next two.
Korentheus is a very good get for the Eagles. He’s a 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive tackle. And the best part for Kevin Bailey, the boys’ father, is Georgia and Georgia Southern will play each other in 2012 in Athens
6. Lorenzo Mauldin is still not talking to the media, but he continues to offer hints to his eventual destination via his Facebook page. On Wednesday he posted the following message as his status: “BIG EAST! #ENUF SAID.” The big defensive end from Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High, a Class of 2011 recruit, has been seriously considering an offer from Louisville. He had been committed to South Carolina since last July but was unable to sign with the Gamecocks on national signing day.
7. Quarterback Mike Tamburo, who announced last Friday his intention to transfer to UGA from Boise State, will not be the only invited walkon to join the Bulldogs this fall. Two players from Gwinnett’s Wesleyan School have also accepted invitations from Georgia: Running back Kyle Karempelis and linebacker Merritt Hall. Karempelis rushed for a Gwinnett County-best 1,918 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. Hall overcame several injuries to record 106 tackles in 10 games. Karempelis and Hall are teammates of UGA signee David Andrews, who will play center for the Bulldogs.
8. The reputed Texas street agent at the center of an investigation at Oregon, Will Lyles, has had numerous dealings with LSU, according to a Gannett news report by Glenn Guilbeau. The Tigers say their relationship with Lyles’ company, Complete Scouting Services, to which the school paid $6,000 in December, was permissible.
9. Florida LB Neiron Ball, a rising sophomore from Jackson, is recovering well in Gainesville following a hospital stay for ruptured blood vessel in his brain last month, according to the Palm Beach Post. It was determined Ball has an ateriorvenus malformation in his brain. Family and friends initially feared for Ball’s life when he fell out during an offseason workout last month. But he was released on Feb. 19 after six days in intensive care at Shands hospital. It has not yet been determined whether Ball can continue his football career.
10. THIS & THAT: Mario Edwards, a 6-4, 275-pound defensive end from Denton, Texas, committed to Florida State on Tuesday. Georgia was one of the main schools he was considering. . . . OL Jessamen Dunker (6-6, 315) is scheduled to visit Georgia this weekend. . . . Troup LB Reuben Foster, a 2013 prospect, is scheduled to visit the University of Florida this weekend. . . . Shadrach Thornton, a 6-1, 190-pound running back from Liberty County, recently received his first two major offers. They came from Kentucky and N.C. State. . . . North Carolina on Thursday offered RB Mike Davis, DE Jarontay Jones and DT Jafar Mann of Stephenson. . . . Ohio State offered Buford OLB/TE Dillon Lee this week.