Archive for April, 2011

UGA football recruit Ray Drew will be two-sport athlete for Bulldogs

Ray Drew can do more sports than football at an elite level (AJC photo)

Ray Drew can do more sports than football at an elite level (AJC photo)

Georgia 5-star football recruit Ray Drew says he plans to play two sports in college.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end told the AJC that he requested and was granted permission to join UGA’s track team. This spring, Drew has rapidly developed into one of the nation’s top discus throwers while at Thomas County Central High School.

“I’m not going to give up on football,” Drew said with a laugh, “but I’m going to do both at Georgia.”

Drew said he talked with Georgia’s football coaches and they signed off on the idea. “They think if I have an opportunity to go far with it, then they are all for it.”

Drew finished fourth in the discus in last year’s state meet at 171-10. This season, Drew worked hard on his technique and the results have been startling. At the Florida Relays, Drew threw 192-3, which is one of the best performances ever by a Georgia high school athlete. Last week at another meet in …

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Tennessee offers DB from alma mater of Vols’ great Eric Berry

Josh Holsey, one of the state’s top prospects at cornerback, was wondering when Tennessee was going to offer a football scholarship.

How could he not? Tennessee fans had been asking Holsey about it over Facebook and Twitter for the last few months.

They were well aware of Tennessee’s connection to Creekside High, which is the alma mater of one of the Vols’ all-time greats, Eric Berry.

Creekside's Josh Holsey is "the best we've had since Eric Berry." says his coach. (Photo by Creekside HS)

Creekside's Josh Holsey is "the best we've had since Eric Berry." says his coach. Holsey ran a 4.31 at camp last weekend and has a dozen offers, including Auburn, Georgia Tech and — now — Tennessee, alma mater of his mentor, Eric Berry.

Holsey’s social network finally got the answer they were looking for on Thursday when Tennessee offered Holsey and made serious inquiries about his Creekside teammate, cornerback Davion Tookes, who committed to Virginia Tech last February.

“It was shocking to get the Tennessee offer,” Holsey told the AJC. “I guess those people on Facebook and Twitter will be …

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Will UGA and Georgia Tech show up for ex-Tennessee recruit?

Where will Kevin Ware sign?

  • Louisville
  • Central Florida
  • UGA
  • South Carolina
  • Rocky Top again
  • Georgia Tech in a shocker
  • Other

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Kevin Ware, one of the top unsigned basketball prospects in the nation, will have a better idea on which schools have the most interest in him beginning on Friday.

Friday (April 15) is the start of an NCAA “contact period” when college coaches can observe the ex-Tennessee basketball recruit working out at Rockdale County High School and also make in-home visits with the 6-foot-4 guard. It lasts for five days.

Who will be there? Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida are good bets. There’s also the possibility of representatives from UGA, Alabama, Georgetown and UCLA.

“Those are the schools that Kevin really likes, and they seem to like Kevin, too,” the prospect’s stepfather, Wesley Junior told the AJC on Wednesday night.

What about Georgia Tech? “Everybody keeps asking us about Georgia …

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Time for the NCAA’s late signing period for basketball (UPDATED)

UGA’s basketball team is expected to sign at least one player in the NCAA’s late signing period, which begins on Wednesday. Nemanja Djurisic, a 6-8 forward from South Kent, Conn., committed to the Bulldogs earlier this spring. UGA coach Mark Fox could add another player or two by the end of the signing period, which is May 18.

Meanwhile, the Georgia State women are expected to sign forward Miranda Smith from Virginia’s Patrick Henry High School.

Here’s a partial list of other boys and girls from the Atlanta area signing on Wednesday:

Alex Davis, Pace Academy boys, Oglethorpe. The 6-1 combo guard averaged 15 points.

Lanerryl Esters-Johnson, Walton HS boys, Tennessee Tech. The 6-1 point guard averaged 24 points.

Christina Gamble, Columbia HS girls, Air Force. Has 3.7 GPA.

Shanteona Keys, Roswell HS girls, Georgia College & State University. The 5-9 guard averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds for the Region 6-AAAAA champions. Keys finished as the school’s third all-time scorer with …

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Two ex-basketball recruits of Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory granted scholarship releases

What does new Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory think about the two basketball recruits that were released from his former school on Tuesday?

We’ll let Gregory tell him yourself — in past tense. Here’s video of Gregory talking about Percy Gibson and LaDontae Henton after they signed with the University of Dayton last November. Now that both players are free agents again, NCAA rules prevent college coaches from currently commenting on them.

Both were recently named to the Detroit News “Dream Team” as two of the five best high school players in Michigan. Gibson is a 6-foot-9 center who led his team to the state championship game, averaging 22 points and 11.5 rebounds. Henton is a 6-7 forward who was named AP Class A Player of the Year after averaging 25.6 points and 14.5 rebounds.

Gibson and Henton both requested and were granted releases from their basketball scholarships on Tuesday. Naturally, it has led to speculation that both players (especially Gibson) may be …

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Alabama is frontrunner for St. Pius cornerback Geno Smith (UPDATED)

St. Pius Geno Smth 1Cornerback Geno Smith, who is a candidate to be the state’s No. 1 prospect for 2012, created a buzz among Alabama football fans when he declared the Crimson Tide as his “leader” at a football camp last weekend.

No, it wasn’t a commitment or anything close to it. However, it did catch many by surprise because Smith has played it close to the vest with his true feelings about his college offers, which increased to 28 after Michigan was added on Monday night.

How much should Alabama, along with competing schools, read into Smith’s comments?

Maybe not too much after hearing Smith explain to  Scout.com on Sunday about what led to his declaration:  “I was at the VTO camp on Saturday. They were asking me about a leader, and I guess I felt like I could name one. I thought about it, and said it was Alabama. “

Less than 24 hours, Smith was a lot more confident — and revealing — with his Alabama announcement in an interview with the AJC.

“I really like a couple of their assistants, and …

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LSU is offer No. 12 for Sandy Creek WR JaQuay Williams

JaQuay Williams has been picking up trophies and scholarship offers, with LSU being No. 12 on Monday (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

JaQuay Williams has been picking up trophies and scholarship offers, with LSU being No. 12 on Monday (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

LSU entered the sweepstakes for one of Georgia’s top prospects at wide receiver, extending an offer to Sandy Creek’s JaQuay Williams on Monday night.

“I’m excited, great school,” Williams told the AJC. He has around a dozen offers, including Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina and Georgia Tech.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder recently won the top award at the 2011 Atlanta MVP Camp attended by many of the state’s top college football prospects.

Williams recently transferred from Heard County High School to Sandy Creek, the Fayette County school which has won back-to-back state championships.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Recruiting Rewind: Georgia Tech’s Darren Waller can laugh about UGA rumors now

Where do you think Waller could help Tech the most in the upcoming season?

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North Cobb High School’s Darren Waller wasn’t happy about the rumors he was flirting with Georgia while committed to Georgia Tech.

The 6-foot-5, 224-pounder signed a football scholarship with Georgia Tech last February and will compete for playing time at either safety or wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets this season.

Waller now laughs about the awkward situation with the archrivals. After all, there were legitimate reasons to why the rumors started. He was spotted on Georgia’s campus several times. It’s true.

But it wasn’t for the reasons most people thought: Waller said he wasn’t there to for secret meetings with the Bulldogs but to visit his older sister, who attends Georgia.

“There was a little controversy,” Waller said. “We’d go to a basketball game or something like that, and then someone would tell me that they read on a …

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St. Pius linebacker T.J. Holloman commits to South Carolina (UPDATED)

St. Pius linebacker T.J. Holloman committed to South Carolina on Sunday night. On Monday, he said his next order of business was recruiting his high school teammate for the Gamecocks — cornerback Geno Smith, who is a candidate to be Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect for next year.

“I want to help South Carolina in recruiting by having the best 2012 class, starting by working on my teammate Geno,” Holloman said.

Holloman gave three reasons for picking the Gamecocks: “No. 1, Coach Spurrier stresses the importance of graduation and, as an athlete, it is important for me to excel in the classroom first. I believe in order to do well on the field, it starts in the classroom. No. 2, South Carolina has a winning record for the past two years and made it to the SEC Championship, showing the program is a great competitor in the best conference in the country. No. 3, when I attended the Spring Game I observed the number of fans there. I realized football is important to the fans …

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USC’s Lane Kiffin worried about behavior of former Henry County WR Markeith Ambles

Where is Markeith? (USC SID)

Where is Markeith? (USC SID)

Former Henry County (Ga.) High School football star Markeith Ambles skipped USC’s practice on Saturday for unknown reasons.

“He wasn’t here this morning,” USC coach Lane Kiffin told ESPNLosAngeles. “It went on as normal, so we’ll figure it out.”

Ambles originally committed to Tennessee, and then followed Kiffin to USC, signing with the Trojans in 2010. It has been a tumultuous road ever since.

Here’s more background from ESPNLosAngeles:

[Ambles] was punished earlier in the week for arriving late to a mandatory team weightlifting session and was not allowed to practice on Thursday, instead running repeatedly around Howard Jones Field during the Trojans’ practice.

He had previously been suspended in October and, shortly after his reinstatement two weeks later, left the team in November and went home to suburban Atlanta for several weeks over the Christmas break before meeting with Kiffin and deciding to rejoin the team in mid-January.

Kiffin …

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