Archive for May, 2011

Creekside DB Josh Holsey will pick between UGA, Auburn, LSU and Virginia Tech (UPDATED)

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Josh Holsey, who is a candidate to be the Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect at DB for 2012, will pick between his finalists of Auburn, UGA, LSU and Virginia Tech at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Holsey has been publicly favoring Auburn, the reigning BCS champion. Holsey was asked on Sunday night if Auburn was still his leader or were all four schools “even” with their chances?

“Um, they’re about even,” Holsey told the AJC.

UGA has made a late charge for speedy cornerback out of Creekside High School.

Quick recap: Holsey has said that UGA was his childhood favorite, and there was speculation that Holsey would’ve committed during an April visit. However, the Bulldogs didn’t offer at the time, with Holsey saying that was told to come back for UGA’s summer camp to audition for a scholarship. UGA changed its stance over the last 10 days, offering a scholarship (Holsey’s last in a stack of …

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Grayson DB Denzel Nkemdiche commits to Ole Miss, says UGA visit is ‘unlikely’

Grayson DB Denzel Nkemdiche (Special)

Grayson DB Denzel Nkemdiche (Special)

Denzel Nkemdiche committed to Ole Miss on Friday night, and said he is unlikely to make an official visit to Georgia.

“I don’t really see the Georgia visit happening now … I really don’t,” Nkemdiche said. “I will talk to my father and my coach [Grayson's Mickey Conn] about it and see what they say. But I don’t think that will happen. I’m excited about Ole Miss.”

The speedy cornerback from Grayson High School said he called Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt to reveal his decision on Friday night, then talked with UGA assistant Bryan McClendon.

“Coach McClendon heard that I had committed to Ole Miss and he wanted to know if it was true; I told him ‘Yes sir, it’s true,’” Nkemdiche said. “[McClendon] told me that he still wanted me to make an official visit to Georgia on the day after the Memorial Day holiday [Tuesday, May 31].

“That’s not going to be possible because that’s when Ole Miss wants me to report there for summer school.”  …

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Vanderbilt ‘plunges’ into Georgia for college football prospects

Vandy is on a hot streak in Georgia.

The SEC East school landed three commitments from Georgia in one day — North Atlanta LB Stephen Weatherly, Stephenson LB Darreon Herring, and East Paulding DE LaDarius Banks on Thursday.  Vanderbilt has six 2012 commitments, crossing over the Tennessee state line into Georgia for 5 of 6, including North Cobb DE Tre Griffin and Tucker LB Jacob Sealand.

Stephen Weatherly

Stephen Weatherly

Sealand recalls a recent conversation with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin:

“Coach Franklin said we need to get this thing going, we need a ‘plunger’ and I didn’t know what he meant by ‘plunger’ … then I realized a little later,” Sealand said. “He said he needed one big-name player in the Atlanta area to commit and people would follow. I didn’t know I’d be that guy. But as soon as I committed last week, I guess other people saw it because we got more commitments from our area. I’ve been calling and talking with Darreon and other recruits. Hopefully, we can get some more …

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Grayson DB Denzel Nkemdiche returns from Ole Miss, hopes to visit UGA

Denzel could be a "package deal" with this guy -- brother Robert Nkemdiche (No. 1 jersey), a candidate to be the USA's No. 1 college football prospect for 2013 (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Denzel could be a "package deal" with this guy — younger brother Robert Nkemdiche (No. 1 jersey), a candidate to be the USA's No. 1 college football prospect for 2013 (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Cornerback Denzel Nkemdiche returned from an official visit to Ole Miss on Thursday, may take another recruiting trip to UGA this weekend, and said there are at least three other schools he wouldn’t mind hearing from.

The 6-foot, 205-pound Nkemdiche is a hot commodity because he appears to be on the brink of meeting NCAA academic requirements and is the older brother of Robert Nkemdiche, who is a candidate to be the nation’s No. 1 college football prospect for 2013. The brothers wish to play in the same team in college.

When Denzel was asked if there were any other schools he’d like to hear from, he told the AJC, “Yes, sir. It would be great to talk with Florida, Auburn and Tennessee. They are great programs. I don’t know the [scholarship] situation at those schools.”

The elder …

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Georgia’s No. 1 package deal? Robert and Denzel Nkemdiche (UPDATED)

Robert Nkemdiche

One noted recruiting analyst on Robert Nkemdiche: "His only weakness is that he's too good, too soon" (AJC Photo by Michael Carvell)

The final days of May are traditionally not filled with too much college football recruiting drama — unless you’re a celebrated 5-star signee sweating out the NCAA college entrance requirements.

But there is something very big going on in the eastern suburbs of Atlanta. Something possibly with far-reaching implications for the next couple of years.

The leading character in this story is Robert Nkemdiche, who seems to be like every other 16-year-old finishing up their sophomore year of high school. Well, except for being built like a Greek god at 6-foot-5 and 263 pounds, and a leading candidate to be USA’s No. 1-ranked overall prospect for 2013.

One noted recruiting analyst said of Robert: “His only weakness is that he’s too good, too soon.” You can read stories about the defensive end here and here.

May’s chapter of this best seller has to do …

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No. 6 to commit from Stephenson High School: LB Darreon Herring picks Vanderbilt

D1 No. 6 from SHS goes to ... Vanderbilt (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

D1 No. 6 from SHS goes to … Vanderbilt (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Six down, and eight more to go at Stephenson High School.

Darreon Herring committed to Vanderbilt on Thursday morning, picking the SEC school over his other finalists of North Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker is the sixth 2012 player to commit from Stephenson, which is a top contender to lead the nation with most players from one high school to sign major-college football scholarships in February 2012.

The others are:

LB Raphael Kirby (Miami)

RB Mike Davis (Florida)

DT Jafar Mann (Florida)

DL Carlos Hood (South Carolina)

TE Joshua Parris (South Florida)

How about Vanderbilt? The Commodores have invaded Georgia. Vandy now has four commitments for its 2012 recruiting class, and three are from Georgia  — North Cobb DE Tre Griffin, Tucker LB Jacob Sealand and Herring.

Back to Stephenson: Who is the best player left on the board? It’s Jarontay Jones, the 4-star …

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Charlie Weis shows off Super Bowl ring, LB Raphael Kirby commits to Miami Hurricances eventually

Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis may have a higher Q Rating than some SEC head coaches, including his own with the Gators (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis may have a higher Q Rating than some SEC head coaches, including his own with the Gators (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Stephenson High School, showcasing 14 prospects with D1 offers, had its spring football scrimmage on Tuesday.

There was so much going on that we’re just going to hit the high points:

  • The star of the scrimmage was Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, one of around 20 college coaches to make an appearance. Either everybody was looking at Weis or his Super Bowl ring, which appeared to weigh 100 pounds. Not sure how he carries that ring around. Charlie didn’t show much interest in the scrimmage, spending most of the time chatting on his cell or telling football war stories to younger college assistants eager to listen. Stephenson has two 2012 prospects committed to Florida, tailback Mike Davis and defensive lineman Jafar Mann. Charlie left the building right after halftime of the scrimmage. On his way out, …

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Update on UGA recruit Nick Marshall playing QB in ‘Wild Dawg’ and meeting NCAA academic requirements

Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall passed for 41 touchdowns this season and finished as Georgia's all-time leader with 102 career TD passes. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall passed for 41 touchdowns this season and finished as Georgia's all-time leader with 102 career TD passes. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Nick Marshall’s coach said he wasn’t surprised to hear UGA football coach Mark Richt mention that Marshall may play some QB in college.

Marshall is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the history of Georgia high school football, but signed with the Bulldogs to play defensive back. Richt told reporters recently that Marshall may see time at QB in Georgia’s Wildcat formation — or the “Wild Dawg” as Richt likes to call it.

“No surprise there,” Wilcox County football coach Mark Ledford said. “We talked about that after Nick committed to play defensive back. Coach Richt called up to say that he might put some kind of package in there for him.

“After watching Nick for four years, I would say any way that Georgia could find a way to get the ball in Nick’s hands, that would be a great idea.”

What about some time …

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Storm Johnson transfers from Miami Hurricanes

Storm Johnson was one of Georgia's top running backs in the 2010 recruiting class (AP photo)

Storm Johnson was one of Georgia's top running backs in the 2010 recruiting class (AP photo)

Former Loganville and Buford tailback Storm Johnson is transferring from Miami, according to the ACC school on Tuesday.

“As of this afternoon, Westleigh Storm Johnson is no longer a part of the University of Miami football program,” Miami coach Al Golden said in a statement. “When these situations arise, we always assist the student-athlete and his family in the transfer process.  We wish Storm success in all future endeavors.

Last season as a freshman, Johnson carried 19 times for 119 yards at Miami.

What happened? Here’s some insight from the Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro and Barry Jackson:

Storm’s father, Wes Johnson, said his son had spoken to Golden “multiple times” about leaving since he took over as coach.

“He wanted to be closer to home. He’s a mama’s boy and the backfield is crowded,” Johnson Sr. said. “Life is full of surprises. We’re not broken up. It’s his life. Sometimes …

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Virginia Tech transfer Manny Atkins commits to Georgia State

From VT to GSU: Former Tucker HS standout Manny Atkins (Special)

From VT to GSU: Former Tucker HS standout Manny Atkins (Special)

Virginia Tech basketball transfer Manny Atkins has committed to Georgia State.

“It’s home, and it’s my home school,” Atkins told the AJC on Tuesday night. “I told myself if I decide to leave Virgina Tech, I will come home and work it out from there. I love the new coaching staff at Georgia State. It seemed like the right fit for me. I like how coach [Ron Hunter] has the system running for next year. I look forward to playing for him.”

The 6-foot-7 forward was one of Georgia’s most-heavily recruited prospects out Tucker High School in 2009, signing with Virginia Tech over around 15 offers, including Georgia Tech, UGA, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan and Florida State. He played two years at the ACC school, averaging 4.9 points as a reserve this past season.

“I was looking for more playing time,” Atkins said. “I just felt like I wasn’t getting as much playing time as I wanted and that it wasn’t going to get any better my …

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