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 recoveries as a junior last season. Whitehead said in a recent article he grew up a Georgia fan but he doesn’t currently have an offer from the Bulldogs. Like Tuitt, he’s an accomplished academician and is thinking about majoring in computer science or similar technology in college.

“My mom stresses to me about academics,” Whitehead told HokieHaven.com. “She says, ‘Son, you can’t play football the rest of your life, it could be taken away from you, once you get an education, you get that degree nobody can take it away from you.’ I’m really looking at getting my degree and how it will help me later on in life. I know if I graduate from Notre Dame, that’s a prestigious college that everybody knows. I want a school with great academics. I’m thinking about a college with computer engineering or computer science. The fact Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech offered is big, especially since I’m trying to work in that field.”

Sound familiar?

2. You might have seen my report on former South Carolina commitment Lorenzo Mauldin signing a letter-of-intent with Louisville this past week. Well, blog regulars will recall that Mauldin was one of two commitments from whom the Gamecocks withdrew offers in the 11th hour before national signing day last month due to over-committing their scholarship allotment. The other one was linebacker Jordan Montgomery of Groveland, Fla., whose coach at South Lake High, Walter Banks, was furious about South Carolina’s treatment of his player. I called down there this week to find out if there had been any developments in Montgomery’s recruitiment.

“At this point it looks like him and his family are going to still be going to South Carolina or to prep school,” said South Lake assistant coach Terrance Larmond, who handles recruiting at the school. “I can’t understand it myself, but that’s apparently his intention. He had an offer from Temple but he turned it down.”

Larmond said Montgomery, like Mauldin, still has not qualified for admission. “But that just puts him in the same position 50 or 60 percent of the kids there. He has the [test] score, he just doesn’t have the GPA to match it. But he’s on track to get it after this semester.”

Mauldin, meanwhile, tells me he’s waiting to hear back from his latest attempt on the SAT. He, too, will attend prep school if he doesn’t meet freshman eligibility requirements.

3. Ronald Darby, a super fast athlete from Maryland who currently has 28 offers (the latest from Auburn), was profiled Wednesday by Jamie Newberg at ESPN.com. But what that article failed to mention is that Darby has been a longtime target of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets were among the first schools to offer Darby last fall. They could no doubt utilize Darby’s tremendous speed on The Flats. He recently won the state indoor track championships in the 100 (10.5 seconds) and 200 meters (21.2). At Potomac High in Oxon Hill, Md., the 5-11, 180-pound athlete rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 23 TDs while playing several different positions. Recruiting services list him as an “athlete.”

4. Georgia produces a ton of elite prospects every year, but 2013 is shaping up to be a particularly strong class. Several rising juniors were represented recently on the ESPN Rise Sophomore All-America team, including a pair of defenders from Gwinnett County. Central Gwinnett linebacker Trey Johnson (6-1, 205) and Grayson defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (6-5, 260) were the only Georgians named to the first team. Stephenson DE Reggie Carter, Troup LB Reuben Foster, Houston County DB Bradley Newkirk and East Paulding RB Kamani Thomas were all listed on the second team.

5. Guest speakers at Saturday’s MVP Camp at Lovejoy High include Joe Burns and Steve Herndon. They played for Tech and Georgia, respectively. In case you missed it, here’s yesterday’s report on the MVP Camp in which Chad Simmons of FoxSports/Scout.com, one of the camp organizers, singles out some of the top prospects who will be in attendance. More than 400 high school football players will be participating.

6. While the Atlanta MVP Camp is going on down in Hampton, the Georgia Bulldogs will be conducting another junior day over in Athens. Among the participants scheduled to be there include a couple of potential five-star prospects: RB Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C., and DB Geno Smith of Atlanta’s St. Pius School. Marshall and Smith represent two of the Bulldogs’ most significant targets for 2012.

7. A new high score for the Nike SPARQ rating was set in Atlanta at the Nike Combine at Hallford Stadium this past weekend. Cory Batey, a 6-foot, 180-pound wide receiver out of Nashville, Tenn., recorded a score 125.40 on the physical tests, which combines the 40-yard dash, a shuttle run, a power-ball toss and a vertical leap. Batey clocked a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, a 4.16 seconds on the shuttle,threw the power ball 41.5 feet and jumped 39.3 inches on the vertical. That sent him past Yulee, Fla., RB Derrick Henry (123.09) and Clermont, Fla., LB Justin Horton (122.75), who had recorded the country’s previous bests.

Batey, a rising senior, advances to Nike’s national SPARQ competition this summer in Portland, Ore. As a junior at Ensworth High last season caught 47 passes for 687 yards and had 42 tackles at Ensworth last season, according to ESPN.com. He has offers from Kentucky and South Carolina so far.

Other standouts at the combine included McEachern’s Kofi Amichia, who finished first among offensive linemen and set a national best for that position with a score of 106.26. The 6-3, 253-pound athlete ran a 5.08 40, a 4.41 shuttle, jumped 31.9 inches and threw 42 feet. The rising senior is still looking for his first offer.

Hillgrove running back Kenyan Drake, an Alabama commitment, recorded the day’s fastest 40 at 4.53 seconds.

8. Georgia’s recent acquisition of basketball player Nemanja Djurisic of South Kent, Conn., by way of Podgorica, Montenegro, got me to thinking of another player the Bulldogs brought in from across the pond to play ball. I was covering Georgia basketball when Younes Idrissi was recruited to UGA from Morocco by former coach Dennis Felton. Idrissi spent two solid but unspectacular years with the Bulldogs before transferring to Iona, where he spent one season but never actually played a game.

I recently caught up with Idrissi on Facebook. He returned home to Morocco in 2008 and is currently living in Egypt and playing professional basketball in Egypt.

“I am doing great now,” Idrissi wrote to me in a message. “Playing overseas on my third professional contract out of Morocco. In Egypt, to be exact, doing my thing. I evolved into a better player and a better person thanks to UGA!”

9. In case you missed it, here’s the latest on Rockdale County guard Kevin Ware, who’s looking to get out of his letter-of-intent with Tennessee. According to the AJC’s Michael Carvell, the family has yet to hear back from AD Mike Hamilton or anybody else in answer to their request to be released from the LOI. Ware, a four-star guard who has been committed to the Vols since he was a 10th grader. The 6-4 guard says he’s interesting in checking out Georgia and Georgia Tech and a few other schools as well as possible sticking with UT, depending on what coach it hires.

10. THIS & THAT: 6. Cordarrelle Patterson, a 6-foot-4, 197-pound wide receiver from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, made an unofficial visit to Georgia earlier this week, Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247.com reports. As a freshman last season, Patterson had 52 catches for 907 yards and scored 12 TDs, including three on kick returns. He graduated from Northwestern High in Rock Hill, S.C. . . . OT Brandon Greene (6-6, 295) of Cedar Grove has accepted an invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game, according to Scout.com. He’s an Alabama commitment . . .

Jenkins County teammates Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach made an unofficial visit together to Auburn. . . . Louisville and Cincinnati offered Stephenson DB Kyle Fleetwood this week. . . . Brookwood RB Nick Tompkins has added Mississippi State to his list of offers. . . . Peachtree Ridge DB Ray Buchanan Jr. picked up an offer from Louisville this week, his second so far. . . . Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins has picked up two more offers since I first wrote about him Tuesday. The latest were from Vanderbilt and Illinois, which gives him 11 overall.

76 comments Add your comment

Who cares

March 24th, 2011
10:02 am

1st. I’m on a roll

Who cares

March 24th, 2011
10:04 am

Is Whitehead 210lbs or 220lbs

Who cares

March 24th, 2011
10:09 am

It’s obvious that the parents of the kids at Monroe Area High School have their kids thinking about the long term, not just the short term. Need more parents like them

juvenal

March 24th, 2011
10:10 am

always good to see a kid with a good head on his shoulders, focused the right way-too many lt’s out there….

JuniorSeau

March 24th, 2011
10:16 am

The latest on Ware of Tennessee says that he tweeted “Vol 4 life” on his account. He loves UT.

Who cares: I’m not buying what I’m reading. Sure sounds good, though, doesn’t it?

Buzzzed

March 24th, 2011
10:20 am

“I know if I graduate from Notre Dame, that’s a prestigious college that everybody knows.”

Football fans know Notre Dame nationally. CS and Computer Engineering employers know GT globally.

glsjunior

March 24th, 2011
10:26 am

GSU baseball team is 19-4 and has won 10 in a row. 3-0 vs. in state teams. World Series baby!

ATL Sports Fan

March 24th, 2011
10:34 am

Buzzed, employers know Notre Dame globally as well. Guess your still upset he didn’t sign with Tech.

jp

March 24th, 2011
10:44 am

Keith Marshall and Geno Smith should be 1 and 1A priorities for UGA this year in recruiting. Well put Theus at 1B.

Tide Roll

March 24th, 2011
10:45 am

What a great report. Thanks Chip!

dawgs73

March 24th, 2011
10:46 am

Watched Whitehead play every game last year. He is way more advanced than Tuitt was. He gets off the ball much faster and never gives up on a play. Fligg was right about his motor. Unbelievable desire and great attitude. I wish my Dawgs would offer. I believe he would do great in that OLB/DE hybrid position in the 3-4.

D A DoubleU G

March 24th, 2011
10:46 am

Bad news Buzzed,

It’s probably safe to say NONE of the kids listed above would qualify, or ev
en have interest in, CS or Computer Engineering.

Please take your academic arguments to the “Academic Blogs” section of ajc.com.

Thanks.

Listen up

March 24th, 2011
10:54 am

What’s going on at Parkview they have lost two of their best players to Stephenson over the winter. May be this will be the year for Stephenson to break through. Monroe Area had two studs at DE , they should have dominated teams defensively? Mark Richt is going to have to get a little more firm with the new recruits coming in and let kids know that UGA is not some 4-year vacation.

Old Gold

March 24th, 2011
10:56 am

Whoever forks out the big bucks will get Geno Smith. Pull out the checkbook UGA, Auburn is coming..

joe

March 24th, 2011
11:13 am

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
11:16 am

Cordarelle Patterson sound like real good WR someone who could replace AJ Green i hope we can get him good news with Junior day going to be a big weekend Geno Smith and Kieth Marshall and some other big recruits will be there .

Will B

March 24th, 2011
11:20 am

Chip can you tell us all the names that will be attending Georgia’s Junior Day?

JM

March 24th, 2011
11:30 am

I see GT as offered quite a few of the names on this list. Anyone know the expected class size for next year?

Dekalb Fan

March 24th, 2011
11:33 am

Disappointed that Geno wont be at the MVP event really wanted to see him compete against some top receivers ,especially Blake Tibbs of MLK. Georgia better get busy on this receiver because Auburn and some other big schools are about to get the jump on them. watch the Youtube highlight video makes every kind of catch ,not just the routine wide open catches. I hope UGA lands Geno seems to be great athelete and a good kid.

Gt

March 24th, 2011
11:33 am

Price & Neal would be a plus to the staff at Georgia tech

Gt

March 24th, 2011
11:35 am

I’m I am hearing 19 to 21 kids

Mr. Johnson

March 24th, 2011
11:35 am

Listen Up,

Stephenson does a great job of getting there kids into college, so what parent wouldn’t want their kid to be a part of that. I have friends that are contemplating moving into their area just so their kids can have the same opportunity… I’m sure the parents of the Parkview kids saw that and want to give their kids an opportunity to get more exposure because Parkview is washed up in many peoples eyes. But on the contrary, Stephenson is not going to breakthrough. As long as they have the same coaches, they will not win a state championship. They don’t put enough emphasis on that and they don’t know how to adjust. Especially defensively. Maybe they will break through, but my guess is THEY WON’T… REGARDLESS OF WHO TRANSFERS OVER THERE.

Gt

March 24th, 2011
11:37 am

Watch ga fizzle awAy all that talent they got in this years class

RxDawg

March 24th, 2011
11:46 am

Thanks for the updates Chip. Kinda neat you caught up with that B-ball player in Egypt.

Mr. Johnson

March 24th, 2011
11:46 am

Listen Up,

Monroe Area did dominate teams defensively!! They finished 11-2 and only gave up 146 points. That’s an 11 point per game average for teams that they played against. They had an amazing season before losing to eventual state champion Sandy Creek in the quarterfinals. Tuitt and Whitehead were hell on wheels for every team that they played against.

Dekalb Fan

March 24th, 2011
11:48 am

I think Ealey and King will have good years if they are given the chance. King seems to be holding back because of injuries ,but this year he has nothin to lose . Ealey played good ball last year just had some crucial fumbles. These two are older and stronger running backs and they should be ready to explode with Crowell coming in to provide a little excitement.

GT45

March 24th, 2011
11:52 am

Mr Whitehead, come on over to the flats. Your folks can see you play just 45 minutes away, and you can get back home for some good ol’ home cooking. Stay in the state, boys!

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
12:02 pm

Dekalb Fan Geno Smith and Kieth Marshall will be in Athens for Junior day in case your wondering .

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
12:10 pm

UGA will have much better year this than last year defense was trying to learn 3-4 they got better and now with players they got for 3-4 with Ray Drew and John Jenkins to plug up that hole don’t sleep on the dawgs .

The Sham

March 24th, 2011
12:32 pm

Younes Idrissi… now that’s a name I barely remember. No fault of the kid’s though (I think) as Felton had a revolving door over there.

CHIP – why did he transfer out? Personal reasons, performance related or was he one of those off the court cases we had plenty of? Thansk for the walk down memory lane. Speaking of Lane – anyone know what D.A. Lane is doing?

GTman

March 24th, 2011
12:36 pm

UGA will be fine. If University of Auburn can win a NT, any team can! Paul J needs to onsider getting boosters more involved if you catch my drift.

Viking87

March 24th, 2011
12:40 pm

Good job Chip but how about some news on some South GA boys? Specifically, would love to hear a little more about Clemons from Lowndes (my alma mater of course). Do you think he’s a FSU lean? They have pulled basically all the top talent out of Lowndes the last 3 years.

ClinchCountyDawg

March 24th, 2011
12:44 pm

Viking87

Don’t forget about your neighbor over in Lanier County. Monster Jeremy “Dozer” Daniels has destroyed many buffets in the Valdosta area.

coach1

March 24th, 2011
12:57 pm

I stated a few months ago that Whitehead was the better player. He needs to bulk up some more.

thebull35

March 24th, 2011
1:05 pm

Word on the street (and when i say on the street I mean his older sister, bout a year older than he is), is that Geno absolutely loves Georgia Tech. His older sister was a Calculus student of mine and just as recent as yesterday, she said that Tech is his leader.

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
1:08 pm

I know UGA has been after Josh Clemons Bobo does pretty well down in south GA getting guys like Drew , Jay Rome and Mitchell .

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
1:10 pm

UGA has been recruiting Geno Smith hard i have not heard lot about Tech really going after him .

thebull35

March 24th, 2011
1:13 pm

Tech’s been after him pretty hard and he’s really drinking the kool aide

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
1:19 pm

We see what happens beecuse Smith will be in Athens this weekend a lot of the recruits will we be in wait and see mode to see how both UGA and Tech do this season .

ClinchCountyDawg

March 24th, 2011
1:20 pm

thebull35

Paul Johnson hasn’t signed one of Georgia’s top ten prospects since he has been at Tech. Don’t think that Geno Smith will break that trend.

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
1:28 pm

Tech and UGA will be in tough battles with a lot of these recruits i can’t wait for this season to start .

thebull35

March 24th, 2011
1:32 pm

Granted, I am a Tech fan but I dont want anyone to think that I’m throwing this out because of loyalty to Tech. But I simply asked his sister what school he was going to (she doesn’t even know that I’m a Tech fan, I’m always talking about my alma mater, Alabama State) and the first thing she said that he really likes Georgia Tech. Hell, I hope that the current trend of big named recruits from the state spurning Tech changes myself. I’m just going by what she told me. On a side note, his sister was amazed when I told her how big a recruit he was

Dawggie

March 24th, 2011
1:43 pm

Don’t care who saw who do what at Monroe Area last year. Last year Tuitt received the double teams and Whitehead went mostly 1v1. Let’s see what he does this year without being able to “get lost” in the shuffle.

Johnny Too Good

March 24th, 2011
1:49 pm

3. The speedy Darby kid would be a steal for GTech if they could get him
6. Did UGA intentionally set up their Junior Day at the same time as the MVP camp?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

RRTDawgs

March 24th, 2011
1:57 pm

Maybe it was a smart move by Richt because Geno Smith and a few others were going to the MVP camp now they will be Athens not Atlanta .

George Stein

March 24th, 2011
1:58 pm

Next time you wonder why Tech fans think UGA fans are dolts, Double, we will use your comment as Exhibit A.

The kid mentioned his interests on his own. Whether he will qualify or not is information that neither I nor you have.

You should consider reading the blog next time. It has some interesting content.

Will B

March 24th, 2011
2:07 pm

CHIP can you give us a list of who is attending Georgia’s Junior Day?

juvenal

March 24th, 2011
2:22 pm

D A, consider the academics of this blog-ND #8 on payscale.com,graduate 90+% of Black football players, doubt if any of them are special admits-i do not agree with Buzzed, if my kid could go to ND or Stanford or Duke, they all make more $ than Techies, more varied curriculums….maybe the point is that there are just so many more atheletes of all kinds out there, it’s an opportunity for every kind of athelete-but the plantations will still play the best ball……

Ramblin Man

March 24th, 2011
2:38 pm

Correct me if I am wrong but Geno Smith was looking to major in broadcasting if I remember right so would that not kill any hopes of him coming to GT? I have said for years GT needs to broaden the curriculum to help with recruiting I just do not ever see it happening unfortunately.

Score Check

March 24th, 2011
4:12 pm

Poor SOS. If he had taken Satan’s lead and use Medical Hardships none of this would have happened.

LOL