Archive for March, 2011

Ten@10: Could Tech or UGA make room for UT signee Kevin Ware?

THE FIVE AT 10 (sorry, some unexpected challenges this morning):

1. The fallout has begun at Tennessee in the wake of Bruce Pearl’s dismissal as men’s basketball coach and Georgia or Georgia Tech could benefit from it. Kevin Ware has officially requested a release from his UT letter-of-intent. A 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High, Ware is a four-star prospect who has been committed to the Vols since he was a sophomore and signed with them last November. He told the AJC’s Michael Carvell that he’d consider either of the state schools but might lean toward UGA since the Yellow Jackets are also going through a coaching change.

“I wouldn’t lean to Georgia Tech as much because Coach [Paul] Hewitt just got fired and I don’t know the situation there without a new coach,” Ware told Carvell. “I would take a good look at Georgia because of some of the guys coming in, especially Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (a five-star signee from Greenville High). We played against each other twice …

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Lorenzo Mauldin inks with Louisville, puts S. Carolina oversigning saga behind him

Lorenzo Mauldin has decided to cast his lot with coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

Lorenzo Mauldin has decided to cast his lot with coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

Lorenzo Mauldin finally did last week what he thought he was going to do more than a month ago. The defensive end from Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson signed a national letter-of-intent to play football on scholarship in college.

Only this LOI was not from South Carolina, as he expected it to be when he committed to the Gamecocks last July. Mauldin signed instead with Louisville. With a little luck and some more hard work, he’ll join the Cardinals for preseason practices in August.

“South Carolina was, you know, planning on me signing with them after prep school,” said Mauldin, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior. “I don’t believe they thought I would make the [qualifying test] score. It kind of made me feel like they were wishing for me to not make the score.

“[Louisville] Coach [Charlie] Strong had faith in me from the beginning. He said he …

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Georgia gets fourth commitment from forward from Connecticut

With the sting of its NCAA Tournament first-round loss still fresh, the Georgia Bulldogs found a little relief by landing a fourth member for its 2011 recruiting class.

Nemanja Djurisic (pronounced neh-MON-juh jerr-REE-sic), a 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward from South Kent, Conn., by way of Southeast Europe, committed to the Bulldogs late Sunday evening. He will sign with UGA when the national signing period begins in mid-April.

Djurisic chose Georgia over a laundry list of offers, including closest runners up N.C. State, Utah, Arizona State, Kansas State, Minnesota and Texas.

“I like him because he’s very sound and cerebral,” said Dave Telep, senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. “He’s a tough and intelligent basketball player. He has a little Matt Howard in him.”

Howard is the 6-8 forward who has been starring for Butler in its latest NCAA Tournament run. Georgia believes Djurisic can have the same impact.

Djurisic is “a typical European,” according to South …

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Mailbag: Isaiah Crowell’s durability, Tech’s basketball coach and 5-star prospects

mailbag(1)THE MAILBAG:

It’s back. The AJC Recruiting Mailbag has made its triumphant return! OK, so maybe it’s not so triumphant, but it’s here and it’s something to read. At least I hope you do. Anyway, the plan is to run The Mailbag as a regular feature every Friday from now until, well, you guys quit sending me sensible questions to answer.

On that note, thanks to the many of you who sent in queries this week. I tried to answer all of them but I wasn’t able to. Some of the leftovers I’ll include next week and some, well, I’m sorry, but they just didn’t make the cut. Of course, for this to be a successful endeavor I need readership participation. So if you ever think of a recruiting situation you wish I’d address in The Blog, just jot it down in the form of a question and email it to me at ajcrecruiting@yahoo.com.

Chriqui

Chriqui

And remember, your questions do not always have to be limited to college recruiting. I’m open to any topics. Last year, for instance The Mailbag became an …

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Ten@10: Georgia Tech among many to show sudden in interest in Nick Tompkins

THE TEN AT 10:

Nick Tompkins gained nearly 1,900 yards rushing for Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood last season. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Nick Tompkins gained nearly 1,900 yards rushing for Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood last season. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

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 …

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Georgia signee Sterling Bailey out 4 to 5 months following shoulder surgery

Another one of Georgia’s 2011 signees is going to be sidelined a while after undergoing surgery.

Bailey

Bailey

Sterling Bailey, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end from East Hall High School, underwent shoulder surgery on March 8 and will out of action for four to five months, his father confirmed. Bailey suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder in the third game of the football season last fall but played through the injury in both football and basketball.

“He’ll go to Georgia as planned in June and he should be able to run drills by July,” Kevin Bailey said. “He’ll probably be in a green [non-contact] jersey when they start practice in August.”

So why wait until now to go under the knife?

“We were actually planning on doing it in January after the Army All-American Game, but Sterling wanted to play basketball,” Mr. Bailey said. “He had already played in several [basketball] games by then and didn’t want to quit on his teammates. We got with Coach [Mark] Richt and Coach [Todd] …

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QB Mike Tamburo to transfer to UGA from Boise State

“I’m actually going to go to Georgia and do the whole walk-on thing there.”

Tamburo

Tamburo

That was the word from Suwanee resident Mike Tamburo on Friday, who told the AJC earlier this week he intended to transfer from Boise State to some place “closer to home.”

Turns out that place is Athens, Ga.,, home of the Georgia Bulldogs and the team against which Tamburo’s current team opens the season in the Georgia Dome in September.

“I’ve been talking to Georgia and to Coach [Mike] Bobo and I just liked everything about the idea of going there,” said Tamburo, a record-setting quarterback out of North Gwinnett High. “There’s the football program, the tradition and all that. I know about the all the guys on the depth chart and all that. But that’s not what this is about. I’m just lokking for a fresh start.”

Tamburo is alluding to the fact that Georgia is young at the quarterback position. Aaron Murray returns as a sophomore starter for the Bulldogs and sophomore Hutson Mason and true …

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Ten@10: Boise State QB Mike Tamburo of North Gwinnett to transfer ‘closer to home’

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Mike Tamburo is coming home. Where he is going to play football remains a mystery, however.

Tamburo

Tamburo

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 …

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Ray Drew’s announcement results in 5 NCAA violations for Georgia (UPDATED)

The participation of former Bulldogs David Pollack (L) and Randall Godfrey (at lectern) in Ray Drew's commitment announcement was a violation of NCAA rules. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

The participation of former Bulldogs David Pollack (L) and Randall Godfrey (at lectern) in Ray Drew's Jan. 28 commitment announcement was a violation of several NCAA rules. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

(Adds comments from David Pollack, 2:20 p.m.)

Ray Drew’s decision to have former Georgia football stars Randall Godfrey and David Pollack speak at his commitment ceremony in January has the Bulldogs in some hot water with the Southeastern Conference.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that UGA had to report five NCAA rules violations to the SEC as a result of Drew’s Jan. 28 news conference at Thomas County Central High School. Drew, a five-star recruiting prospect, announced that day he was committing to the Bulldogs.  The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end has since signed a national letter-of-intent with UGA.

Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity detailed the violations in a March 4 letter sent to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. That letter was obtained by the AJC …

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Ten@10: Another top RB heading westward out of Georgia

THE TEN AT 10:

Columbia's Kenno Loyal busted loose for 1,500 yards and 17 TDs as a junior last season. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

Columbia's Kenno Loyal busted loose for 1,500 yards and 17 TDs as a junior last season. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

1. Another one of Atlanta’s top backs has chosen to attend college out of state. Columbia High running back Kenno Loyal confirmed that he committed to Auburn late Monday afternoon.

Loyal said he committed to the Tigers as soon as he’d heard they offered on Monday as they had long been his favorite.

“I went down to Auburn for their junior day Saturday and I just like everything about it,” said Loyal, who said it was his sixth trip to The Plains. “Everything there is about family and unity. Even the people who don’t play football, the students, everybody, they’re all like a family. It’s a home away from home.”

Loyal (5-foot-10, 215-pounds) rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns — including 320 yards and 4 TDs in one game — as a junior last season. Auburn was his 10th offer. His others included Georgia and Georgia Tech. He’d also …

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