Why Banneker TE Larry Jefferson picked Louisville over UGA, Auburn, Cal, Virginia Tech, others

Banneker TE Larry Jefferson committed to Louisville over UGA, Auburn, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Cal, among others (Photo by Michael Carvell/AJC)

Banneker TE Larry Jefferson committed to Louisville over UGA, Auburn, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Cal, among others (Photo by Michael Carvell/AJC)

There’s still a little buzz in recruiting circles about the decision of Banneker High School’s  Larry Jefferson to commit early to Louisville over other football scholarship offers from UGA, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Cal and North  Carolina, among others, last week.

Surprising? Yes, at least on the surface. Even Louisville coach Charlie Strong was surprised with the early pledge, Jefferson confirmed to the AJC. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder said after he committed to Strong, the conversation went something this:

Strong: “That’s great, great news. We’re excited to have you. Welcome to the Louisville football family.”

Jefferson: “Glad to be part of it, Coach.”

(A couple of minutes later)

Strong: “Now you’re sure you’re not going to change your mind on us and be a Bulldog?”

Jefferson: “No sir, Coach. I’m coming to Louisville.”

Strong: “You’re sure? Because there’s a lot of Bulldog fans around your school and Atlanta.”

Jefferson: “I’m sure, Coach. I’m going to be a Cardinal.”

Actually, Strong should’ve been more worried about Cal than UGA or Auburn because the West Coast school was Jefferson’s runner-up.

Back to the story: Why Louisville? A main factor was that Jefferson (who has grown up in Atlanta) has an older brother and sister that both live in Louisville, along with many cousins. Said Jefferson, “My brother and sister are Louisville fans, so they were happy.”

“It is a good place for me to go,” Jefferson said. “With the academics, Louisville has my major, which is criminal justice. They are recruiting me as a tight end, and there’s the chance to play right away at that position. Coach Strong and all the coaches took me in as family when I visited the campus.”

Jefferson said he prefers to play tight end in college. He was being recruited by UGA and Southern Miss at outside linebacker; by Auburn and Illinois at wide receiver; and by North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Cal at defensive end.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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83 comments Add your comment

Well said

April 21st, 2011
10:48 am

He would’ve redshirted at UGA anyways. Good luck Larry.

258DAWG

April 21st, 2011
10:56 am

no doubt. how bout compete at the highest level.

Sam

April 21st, 2011
10:58 am

UGA has a criminal justice major. I think the fact that he wants to play TE and not LB should not have been buried in the story. In journalism I think that is called burying the lead. (I find the academics argument funny–if that were the case then Cal would be the winner.

jaglaw

April 21st, 2011
10:58 am

Cant blame the kid…..least he didnt go to Florida

RxDawg

April 21st, 2011
11:08 am

Ya know, the fact that the kid was straight up and didn’t string along everyone till signing day makes me respect him. Good luck to the young man up there.

Riley

April 21st, 2011
11:08 am

Good for him. He’ll get to play for a solid coach and has the added bonus of being near family. Great choice and good luck to the kid.

Dawgs97

April 21st, 2011
11:11 am

Yeah, agree on most points here. He had specific, tangible reasons why he wanted to go to Louisville and though it wasn’t mentioned in the story, one would think he has a chance to play right away for Charlie Strong. At Georgia, he’d be waiting behind a few guys, same with Auburn and some of those others.

Plus, we’re not going to be playing Louisville and their not relevant on the national stage – so this is may not have been a pick up for Coach Richt, but it won’t exactly come back to haunt the Dawgs, either.

Good luck to him – seems like a decent kid.

Who cares (the original)

April 21st, 2011
11:18 am

Don’t know who the recruiting coord is at Louisville, but they have been pulling some good recruits lately. I know most people won’t agree, but I think it is good for these guys to get the prespective of living in other parts of the country (not just going to an in-state school because you are from the state)and can benefit from being around different people.

Enjoy your time up there

Go Jackets!!

Tdawg

April 21st, 2011
11:21 am

Hope the kid has a great career. Having said that the kid obviously has no asperations of ever playing on a national championship team. I know that going to one of these other schools would have make it a certainty that he would be on a championship team, but at the very least, he would have had a chance to win one. No chance at Louisville, that is unless he plays basketball. Kid a word of advice. Go to a school that best fits your talents. If Louisville is the best that you think that you can do, then by all means go to Louisville. If you’re good enough the NFL will find you. You just won’t be wearing a national championship ring.

Best Wishes

April 21st, 2011
11:24 am

C Strong is an excellent recruiter. I wish the young man all the best. It will be interesting to see if he remains a TE once he gets on the field.

Go Dawgs!

Best Wishes

April 21st, 2011
11:24 am

Enter your comments here

RRTDawgs

April 21st, 2011
11:29 am

Good luck to Mr. Larry Jefferson UGA had a huge OT visitor big Jeremy Daniels i saw a picture of this guy a and he is a mountain of a man i can see why ClinchCountyDawg mentioned him so much plus College Park S Chaz Elder has the dawgs on top .

Dekalb Fan

April 21st, 2011
11:31 am

UGA needs a receiver , there is one in the back yard that their about to let slip away Blake Tibbs. He is the leading WR returning in the state. The other receiver that played opposite of him last year broke the state yardage record. This kid is the best pure WR out there. He torched Stephenson ,Valdosta, and Colquit. The routes he runs are not just fly routes , they are precision routes that some college WR don’t run well.I know UGA is looking at a lot of kids that have received a lot of hype but you have a gem right in front of your face. Check out his YouTube video out.His quarterback also has the best arm in the state.

RRTDawgs

April 21st, 2011
11:35 am

It appears that Gators WR Chris Dunkley is wanting to transfer to another school maybe this is a chance for UGA to pull a recruit from Florida .

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
11:51 am

RRT, Dunkley chose UF or UGA. Heard he was having academic and play book issues at Florida. If he can get his academics in order I’d love to have him in Athens. He would have to sit out a year which would help from a academic stand point.

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
11:53 am

Enter your comments here

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
11:54 am

Sorry, hopefully I got this in before the grammar Nazi’s came out… I meant OVER not or.

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
11:55 am

To hear Tdawg tell it, UGA is in line for the next National Championship… How do you know he can’t win one at Louisville? Charlie Strong was certainly instrumental in the last Gator NC! He is a great recruiter as well… On another note, Hate to see Dunkley leave… Puts UF in a tight spot on receivers… running short

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
11:58 am

Dekalb Fan, UGA is recruiting Blake Tibbs.

Hoss

April 21st, 2011
12:02 pm

You going to see this a lot this season. So much uncertainty around Coach Richt, with that short contract, McGarity having no confidence in Coach Richt, recruits are heading elsewhere.

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
12:04 pm

Gatorzone, not sure why you think he was mentioning UGA is next in line. Heck for all we know he may not be a UGA fan. I can speak for expierence since I moved from Louisville about a month ago and was working in the athletic department. I’m not sold on U of L being a NC contender. More than likely they will be going with a listed 5′10″ QB, and thats being generous. Plus their skill positions are not that great. They should do well in the Big East but not contend for the national championship. Like some have said about UGA being a football school, U of L is a basketball school first. The YUM Center is always full and Freedom Hall was always full no matter what their record was. Pizza Stadium is never sold out. Case in point last year versus Cincinattai, it was about 75% full.

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
12:06 pm

Hoss, show everyone some data that shows McGarity is not sold on Richt. His contract is through 2013.

RRTDawgs

April 21st, 2011
12:13 pm

I agree if McGarity was not sold on Richt he want not have resigned him but Richt seat is still warm and this could be Richt last chance if we have 9 or 10 wins his job is safe .

Uga the Ocho

April 21st, 2011
12:34 pm

@ ATL Sports Fan True what you said about Louisville this year, but they are still in a major rebuilding phase and would never be considered to contend for an MNC THIS year. Plus Stein is pretty skilled, just vertically challenged. What part of ULAA did you work in at, 2nd or 3rd floor?

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
12:40 pm

ATL Sports Fan

You are right, i just assumed with a name like Tdawg, he was a UGA fan… What are the odds? As far as UofL being national contenders, i did not mean this year. However, this kid will not be there until next year and then a few after that so anyone saying he doesn’t stand a chance of winning a NC there really cannot say that for sure. That was my only point… Lots of UGA fans speak with a certainty that belies logic, especially in the offseason… You want an example, check out the other blog with Bill King and people on there are predicting a Blowout win over Boise State… one guy even said 45-14…

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
12:43 pm

Gatorzone, If you are not thinking NC every season then why even be a fan? As tough as the SEC is, if you have 1 loss and when the SEC you have good chances to make it to the BCS Title game. Is it impossible for UGA? I don’t think so, they have the talent and I believe they have the coaches, they just need a little help from Lady Luck…I think it will be a good game with Boise. They were hyped last time they came to Georgia and look what happened? Last year I think was a fluke with VA Tech. If you watch the game closely, Boise got all the breaks and honeslty the refs were terrible.

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

45-14 was the score in 2005 the last time Boise visited Georgia

I posted that.

Mark Richted

April 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

He could not handle the competition, He couldn’t start at a powerhouse like UGA or Central Florida! lol

ATL Sports Fan

April 21st, 2011
12:50 pm

Ocho, second floor. If he is so skilled then why was he not given a chance last year? I think if Strong does well, he will not be there long. Jurich will not be able to pay him top dollar as it is all sunk into Pitino.

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
12:51 pm

Having visited Louisville, i’d say his choice of major-Criminal Justice, will come in handy. Especially down by the river, at night.

Mark Richted

April 21st, 2011
12:52 pm

Yes Lex, we killed Boise when the weren’t any good. We are trying to buy Boise State out for the kickoff game and pay Middle Georgia $1,000,000 to play (So Michael Adams will need to layoff another 20 teachers to pay for that win).

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

They did get some breaks for sure, but Boise is too good to get blown out… That is my only point about that game.. Not sure what your first sentence is supposed to mean, but Louisville has just as good a shot of being a top notch contender as a Boise, TCU, Missouri, Oregon, and any other teams that have recently turned into competitive programs. My main point was to say it is not beyond possibility that he could win a NC there… Strong is a great coach and recruiter…

REALLY

April 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

UGA fans talking about crime or arrest? REALLY! Next you’ll talk about education.

Play Makers on the Plains

April 21st, 2011
12:59 pm

I had to laugh when a UGA fans says the kids is going to go to Louisville but he will never play for a National Championship.

That was funny!

Louisville is much much closer to a BCS title than UGA. Why? The conference they play in is an easier route to go undefeated. UGA is currently maybe one or two players ahead of the Cardinals.
Louisville was smart enough to hire a coach who does not tolerate poor behavior. Strong is a dynamic coach with much more stock rising than Richt. UGA does have a better base to recruit in, but the last three staffs have done little with those players who have seen or will see 4 to 7 players go in the first round of the NFL draft without a title in the past 4.

dawgster

April 21st, 2011
1:01 pm

Hoss..,does it even bother your to post absurd comments that you know are not valid and still look in the mirror…Please post some comments that have some validity…I can assure Greg has confidence in Coach Richt, but if things don’t work out as Greg thinks they should then I’m sure he will do what is best for UGA…What I wonder though is, will Greg contact you for your insight…go dawgs

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
1:01 pm

Yeah, isn’t it funny how Boise was all that blah blah blah in 2005 until we waxed them??

Expect the same this year.

We will beat them.
TCU will beat them
Probably have 1 other loss.

All the “experts” will say they had a down year. Funny how the down years occur when they actually play somebody………

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
1:06 pm

Such Bravado for the preseason…. Coming off of the last 3 years performance, I wouldn’t be talking with such certainty of greatness from UGA…

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
1:07 pm

playmaker on the plains

Loserville close to a BCS title??

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

they can’t beat Kentucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

they have no QB for 2011. They still have no defensive linemen.

Staring 6-6 or 7-5 in the face in the Big Least

Yeah, they are real close to a BCS title!!!!!!!!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
1:08 pm

GATORZONE,

I’d worry more about the all you can eat buffet destroyer and destroyer of notre Dame football being your OC.

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
1:14 pm

no worries here about our OC… He has done a great job as strictly an oc and not a head coach… But, you also do not hear me predicting blowouts either… I think the Gators will win the east, but I wouldn’t predict a blowout against ANYBODY at this point… Judging by what you have seen from Richt the last 3 years, I am surprised that ANY Dawg fan would practically gurantee a victory by predicting a 45-14 score… Just being realistic…

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
1:15 pm

And yes Lex… Weiss is a fat@$$…

Gatorzone

April 21st, 2011
1:19 pm

From the looks of it, Grantham could do some damage to a buffet as well…
:)

Uga the Ocho

April 21st, 2011
1:21 pm

@ DawginLex At least “Loserville” beat their C-USA bowl opponent last year…

McDawg

April 21st, 2011
1:23 pm

a little scrawny for a TE

and the days of 5′ 7″ corner backs are over

glsjunior

April 21st, 2011
2:16 pm

GSU to the Sunbelt!

DawginLex

April 21st, 2011
2:20 pm

I didn’t predict 45-14. i posted the score from 2005

I do believe we will win.

Of course, I usually do………………….

RRTDawgs

April 21st, 2011
2:23 pm

The drama surrounding Kevin Ware continues he committed UCF but still taking visits makes you wounder if he regrets his decision .

Best QB?

April 21st, 2011
2:49 pm

Dekalb fan? who might that be. The best arm in the south east side of town is at Stockbridge. now the kid you reference may have the stats, but thats a product of the system. the best arm is at stockbridge. The best two Qb’s may be in Henry with Moody at Henry co and Prunty at Stockbridge! cant wait!

Best QB?

April 21st, 2011
2:52 pm

saw this kid at UGA JR Day and at a few combines. he can run. and he looks like a nice safety. My sons friend who transfered to banneker said he played LB and TE. He looks like he could be a good LB. or a Julio Jones type receiver without his speed.

PHIL

April 21st, 2011
2:52 pm

This Dunkley kid may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but it appears he has figured out early that he doesn’t want to play for Weiss. ND players and their family’s couldn’t stand him and that will be the case will be even more so at UF. UF is the easiest place to recruit in the nation.In a couple years the only offensive players they will be able to get are those who have grown up in Florida that have wanted to play for UF all their life.