Archive for April, 2011

Indiana basketball star won’t be recruited by new Georgia State coach

Prediction for RJ Hunter

  • Wake Forest
  • Iowa
  • Virginia Tech
  • Georgia State
  • Other

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Georgia State’s new coach “refuses” to recruit one of Indiana’s top college basketball prospects for 2012. He was laughing when he said it.

Pike High School’s RJ Hunter has around a dozen early scholarship offers, including Wake Forest, Iowa, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and Oregon State.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was recently offered a scholarship from Georgia State, where father Ron Hunter was hired as coach earlier this month.

It comes with complications.

“I will not recruit my own son,” Hunter told the AJC. He will delegate that responsibility to his top assistant, Darryl LaBarrie. (Talk about some pressure)

“From the first day I got to Georgia State, I told Labarrie that he will be recruiting RJ and I will be recruiting the mom. Hopefully, between the two of us, we can get it done for Georgia State.”

Hunter decided to take the …

Continue reading Indiana basketball star won’t be recruited by new Georgia State coach »

Ex-Morrow High School basketball star Tony Dukes transfers to Clayton State

Clayton State announced former Morrow High School standout Tony Dukes is transferring from Div. I USC Upstate and has signed with the Lakers basketball program.

Dukes becomes the second Division I transfer to join the Clayton State program for the season. Point guard Anthony Salter, a 5-foot-11 junior from Tallahassee, Fla., transferred to Clayton State from Hawaii and set out the second part of the season.

Dukes, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior from Ellenwood, Ga., saw action in 30 games with 18 starts this past season at USC Upstate under head coach Eddie Payne. He averaged six points and two rebounds a game while shooting 31 percent from both the field and from 3-point range.

Some of his best games for the Spartans came against big-time competition. Dukes’ best game was arguably against Virginia when he scored a season-high 19 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. He also scored 13 points on four 3-point baskets against Auburn. Dukes’ best games in Atlantic …

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UGA 5-star football recruit Ray Drew and The Charlie Daniels Band

UGA-bound football recruit Ray Drew (yellow shirt) and his younger brother with county music Charlie Daniels (Photo courtesy of Drew family)

UGA-bound football recruit Ray Drew (far right, yellow shirt) and his younger brother with country music legend Charlie Daniels (Photo courtesy of Drew family)

Ray Drew, UGA’s 5-star football recruit, recently had the opportunity to meet one of his all-time favorite country music singers.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end from Thomas County Central and his younger brother went to go see The Charlie Daniels Band at a Valdosta concert earlier this month. Before the show, Drew stood in line to meet the 74-year-old Daniels.

That’s when the fun began.

“There were other people in line that found out that I was going to play football at the University of Georgia,” Drew recalled with a laugh, “and they started asking me for autographs while I was waiting for Mr. Daniels.”

The singer’s handlers noticed the small crowd gathered around Drew, and learned about his background as an ordained minister and future college football player by the time Drew got to the front. Daniels signed …

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Georgia Tech and UGA go scoreless with commitments at spring football games

Once upon a time, you could count on somebody committing at the Georgia Tech or UGA spring game.

It didn’t happen this year — well, at least not publicly.

Surely, somebody whispered in the ear of Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson at Saturday’s T-Day or UGA’s Mark Richt at last weekend’s G-Day and said, “Coach, I’m coming here. I’m just not ready to go public with it yet.”

Why none “officially” at either in-state spring game?

We have plenty of theories:

Maybe a certain kid has promised other college coaches that he would visit their respective schools later this spring/summer before announcing?

Maybe the prospect wasn’t able to attend either game to talk to Johnson or Richt in person. After all, it was tough scheduling — with T-Day played Easter weekend and G-Day during spring break for many.

Maybe the prospect prefers to announce at a press conference at a later date. Or at a table with a bunch of hats in front of TV cameras.

Maybe, simply, nobody was ready (Unlikely).

Maybe later …

Continue reading Georgia Tech and UGA go scoreless with commitments at spring football games »

Former Atlanta area basketball standout leaving Oregon Ducks

Ex-Meadowcreek HS standout Teondre Williams (Oregon SID)

Ex-Meadowcreek HS standout Teondre Williams (Oregon SID)

Former Meadowcreek High School basketball standout Teondre Williams has decided to transfer from Oregon for his senior year.

“I am transferring back down to the South,” Williams told The Register-Guard.

We’re not sure if by “the South” Williams is referring to Oakland, Calif., (where he was born) or in the Southeast.

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound was a reserve player as a junior at Oregon, averaging 4.5 points and 1.7 points.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Celebrated QB recruit Vad Lee to attend Georgia Tech’s T-Day

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson couldn’t resist the urge this week to watch video of the most heralded member of his 2011 recruiting class, quarterback Vad Lee of Durham, N.C.

There are high expectations for Lee, who will make a personal appearance at Tech’s T-Day on Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is attending the annual spring scrimmage with many of his fellow recruits.

“I’m excited about my first time going to T-Day and hanging out with the rest of our recruiting class,” Lee said. “It will be good to see everybody again.”

Lee said he will be riding to the game with another Tech signee, linebacker Tremayne McNair of Jacksonville, N.C. “I’ve called and texted just about everybody, and as far I know they are all going to be there on Saturday.”

Lee will report to Tech this summer and compete immediately for playing time as a freshman. “That’s what the coaches have told me all along,” Lee said.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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State’s No. 1 DB has Alabama, Tennessee and FSU in top 3

No UGA or Georgia Tech for Geno Smith? (AJC Photo by Michael Carvell)

No UGA or Georgia Tech for Geno Smith? (AJC Photo by Michael Carvell)

St. Pius defensive back Geno Smith, who is a candidate to be the state’s No. 1 football prospect for 2012, confirmed to the AJC that his leader is Alabama, with Tennessee and Florida State rounding out his top 3.

What about Georgia? The Bulldogs had appeared to be making progess with Smith. What about Georgia Tech?

“Georgia and Georgia Tech are still in the mix,” Smith said.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Smith is expected to make his college decision after his senior season at the Atlanta private school.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Kevin Ware’s family on rumors: ‘I’m not sure what the (heck) is going on right now’

Kevin Ware prediction

  • Central Florida
  • Louisville
  • UGA
  • Surprise school (see remarks below)

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They say recruiting is like “soap operas for males.”

Rockdale County High School’s Kevin Ware, one of the nation’s top college basketball prospects, will be a nominee for Best Recruiting Story of 2011.

It’s hard to keep up with it all because it seems to change  by the hour. To the best of our knowledge on Thursday night, there were two new developments:

1. During player introductions at the Derby Classic in Louisville, Ware was introduced with his name and “undecided” as in his college choice. (Yeah, that might get some folks in the Sunshine State a little worried after Ware committed to Central Florida on Monday). Note: Ware’s stepfather did tell the AJC on Thursday night, “That ‘undecided’ stuff, that was planned before he even left. We had filled out the forms that way, and decided to leave it that way. It wasn’t because he is …

Continue reading Kevin Ware’s family on rumors: ‘I’m not sure what the (heck) is going on right now’ »

Vanderbilt’s first 2012 recruit is North Cobb DE Tre Griffin

North Cobb DE Tre Griffin is Vanderbilt's first 2012 commit (Photo provided by Griffin family)

North Cobb DE Tre Griffin is Vanderbilt's first 2012 commit (Photo provided by Griffin family)

Vanderbilt’s first commitment for its 2012 recruiting class is North Cobb High School’s Tre Griffin.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound defensive end had only one early scholarship offer, and it was from Vanderbilt. He decided to go ahead and commit to the SEC school rather than wait.

“The education is great there, and I fell in love with the campus when I visited,” Griffin told the AJC. “I love the new coaching staff and their energy.”

Griffin attended Georgia Tech’s Junior Day last weekend. He said he had interest from the Yellow Jackets, along with South Carolina, Purdue and Georgia Southern.

“The other schools were football, football, football … and academics second,” Griffin said. “Football is extremely important but I still have to get an education, too. That’s why I chose Vanderbilt.”

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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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: …

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