Geno Smith says Alabama and Auburn are frontrunners

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Geno Smith, one of the nation’s most-heavily recruited college football prospects with nearly 40 scholarship offers, says Alabama and Auburn are his frontrunners.

The defensive back from Atlanta’s St. Pius has Notre Dame, Texas and Tennessee in the rest of his top five. However, it’s the last two BCS champions — and bitter rivals Alabama and Auburn — with the inside position.

“They are my leaders, but it’s not a big lead; they are my two frontrunners, you could say,” Smith told the AJC.

Smith could make his college decision by mid-August. “I’m thinking about committing before the start of my senior season [of high school football]. I’m not sure yet, though.”

Smith has canceled plans to visit both Notre Dame and Texas over the summer due to team and family obligations. However, if Smith doesn’t commit by August, he will likely take official visits to both schools at a later time this year.

Not a day goes by when Smith is not asked about UGA or Georgia Tech by classmates, teammates or supporters of both colleges. “They are both good schools with good coaches. I just want to go out of state. That’s the reason.”

Smith considers UGA 5-star DE recruit Ray Drew, who signed with the Bulldogs last February, one of his mentors. “We did talk a lot at one point. He helped me out with recruiting, giving me some pointers on how to handle things. This was before he left for college. I haven’t talked to him in a while.”

St. Pius DB Geno Smith (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

St. Pius DB Geno Smith (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Plenty of others are blowing up Smith’s cell, though. A couple of Auburn commits from Georgia, Creekside DB Josh Holsey and Sandy Creek WR JaQuay Williams, are trying to sway Smith to Auburn.

Meanwhile, Hillgrove RB Kenyan Drake and Booker T. Washington RB Justin Taylor are Alabama commits from Georgia doing the same on behalf of Alabama.

Smith said he will probably make one more unofficial visit to both Alabama and Auburn this summer.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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173 comments Add your comment

GATADAWG

June 22nd, 2011
3:20 am

First!… I never thought the day would come. Go Dawgs!

Trojan94

June 22nd, 2011
3:20 am

Seen him in person and i came away very impressed. He could be the next eric berry

GATADAWG

June 22nd, 2011
3:22 am

Ray Drew needs to mentor this kid from not picking one of the academically sub-par Alabama schools.

Trojan94

June 22nd, 2011
3:22 am

Man look at the time it was a tie!

Trojan94

June 22nd, 2011
3:30 am

GATADAWG this guy is the real deal! Even if he say’s he is going out of state he is still worth recruiting UGA should keep going after trhis kid

SEC

June 22nd, 2011
5:45 am

Nick Saban was the easy consensus choice for top SEC coach, but after that, it’s not so clear-cut.

NCAA's best defense

June 22nd, 2011
5:56 am

The Crimson Tide returns 10 starters from the third-ranked 2010 unit, the only loss being Marcell Dareus. The 2011 unit will be loaded with playmakers like Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron and Dre’ Kirkpatrick.
Tide could have not only the SEC’s best defense, but the NCAA’s best defense.

Chi Town

June 22nd, 2011
6:01 am

Meanwhile…………Saint Richt is over in Honduras saving the world while Saban comes in and hand picks the recruits out of the state of Georgia.

Offensive line

June 22nd, 2011
6:02 am

Four of Alabama’s five linemen from a year ago return, making this one of the team’s strongest units. The returners have combined for more than 70 starts at Alabama. Barrett Jones is the star of the show. The junior has been the Tide’s starting right guard each of the past two seasons, but took reps at left tackle and could be asked to move. William Vlachos is back at center and could be the best at his position in the league. Fellow starters D.J. Flucker and Chance Warmack are back and took reps at left tackle this spring.

On the ground

June 22nd, 2011
6:06 am

Trent Richardson, Alabama, Jr. Now we get to see Richardson as Alabama’s go-to back, and it should be something to see. He’s a freak physically and runs through defenders and around them in equally stunning fashion.

NEW HOME

June 22nd, 2011
6:14 am

Bryant-Denny Stadium is quickly becoming one of the most prominent college football venues in the nation. Located on the southwestern edge of the University of Alabama campus, the history-laden stadium ranks among the nation’s top 5 on-campus football stadiums with a seating capacity of 101,821 after completion of the latest expansion in the summer of 2010.

dawgerbrown

June 22nd, 2011
6:16 am

If he wants to go out of state then go to Notre Dame. Alabama and Tennessee barely quallify for that destination definition.

chuck Allison

June 22nd, 2011
6:19 am

Who told him that UGA is a good school? It is wrong to lie to these young men. Just because he doesn’t know the difference yet, you shouldn’t lead him to believe that UGA is academically acceptable.

Football_365

June 22nd, 2011
6:21 am

any minute now all the message board recruiting gurus are going to blame cmr although the kid clearly said he wants to leave the state.

Midtown Dawg

June 22nd, 2011
6:47 am

Geno,

If you want to go out of state for college, I understand. There is a lot to see in this world and going elsewhere can be a good thing.

But, please, if you are going to go out of state, don’t go to Alabama or Auburn. It is just one state away if you are trying to go elsewhere, the next state over isn’t really going elsewhere. Also, you go to St. Pius and either Alabama or Auburn would be a step down academically. The best schools academically in the SEC are Vanderbilt, Florida and Georgia (and kudos for Georgia because their academics have steadily improved over the last couple decades to be included in this top 3 because before it was a top 2). Outside the SEC, you have Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, U California Berkeley, Duke, UCLA (and I would add USC except Lane Kiffin coaches there and I would not wish that upon any young man). If you are looking at these schools, going out of state seems legit to me, but Alabama or Auburn? please…

SuperB

June 22nd, 2011
7:04 am

Academically, Georgia is better than eitehr of the Alabama schools. Nothing against Bama and Auburn– but they are not rated as highly as Georgia. and– Mark Richt is the best person to play for.

Proud-Dawg

June 22nd, 2011
7:11 am

Geno will be in Athens, bank on it. He is playing the Ray Drew game from a year ago. This isn’t my opinion, this is coming from someone close to UGA recruiting. Why would he want to get an education in Alerbama?

slydog

June 22nd, 2011
7:21 am

if he ends up going to either alabama or auburn, dawgnation didnt lose anything. he is a good athlete and football player, but he is to small and slight of stature. We are not missing out on a pro prospect here. The Eric Berry comparisons need to stop. Its ridiculus. Berry’s potential versus Smith’s at this point are not even close. Besides, look at the size and speed factor of the other recruits already on Alabama’s or Auburn’s roster. Not a loss nor would it be a gain

CobbDawg51

June 22nd, 2011
7:27 am

chuck Allison, I would LOVE to see your transcript!

JB

June 22nd, 2011
7:32 am

Oversold. Good luck in Bammer if that be your choice. I think Bryan Evans #3 who has since left the Dawg program( thank goodness) was about his size and the same stars. He has moved on with the picture he had of Willie Martinez and a goat. I wish Geno good luck, but the south is loadeddddddddddddd with good, fast physical DB’s.

dawggone

June 22nd, 2011
7:38 am

proud – dawg, your just like the rest of the koolaid drinking butt sniffing dog so called nation

Football Fan

June 22nd, 2011
7:58 am

If you have ever been to Auburn or Tuscaloosa you will find there is little to do there unless you are into binge drinking.

Go Jackets

June 22nd, 2011
8:09 am

I don’t know if this kid is Catholic or not, but don’t rule out Notre Dame, particularly if they can get him up there before it starts freezing.

Michael Carvell

June 22nd, 2011
8:11 am

Please do not make personal attacks on the kids or you will be banned from further commenting.

Andy

June 22nd, 2011
8:12 am

Academically speaking I don’t know of many football players from UGA that have gone on to be Rocket Scientists.

Saban

June 22nd, 2011
8:16 am

Too easy recruiting in Georgia. Kids want to play for a national championship not lose to
Central Florida in the Peanut Festival Bowl in Valdosta.

Word is Richt is lost in the jungles of Honduras. Hope he makes it back. Keep Richt.

Dr. Nick

June 22nd, 2011
8:18 am

Saying academics and UGA in the same breath is an oxymoron.Academics IS GEORGIA TECH !!

1eyedJack

June 22nd, 2011
8:32 am

Alabama or Auburn? Surely by this time in his life he already knows his ABCs and how to count to twenty.

We (UF) own UGA

June 22nd, 2011
8:42 am

We know UGA fans, you didn’t want him anyway, or he doesn’t have a “real” offer from UGA. Let the excuses begin….

The Gimmick Team II is losing all the top players in the state to other schools. Classic!

UGA is irrelevant…..hahaha

JB

June 22nd, 2011
8:51 am

@8:42……. Gators lost 5 last year…….yes 5…coach quit at mid season…you’ve hired a unproven coach……..no proven QB. No proven WR’s. Weak OL………Plenty of problems in Disney world……..worry about your own rebound.

SECIsFootball

June 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

Wow….some update UGA fans in here. Sad people can take an objective look at their program versus another and just realize that not everyone wants to go to UGA. Get over yourselves. The kid can go to Alabama or AU, get a good education, play for a CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING TEAM and possibly make it to the NFL as well.

JB

June 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

Any RB’s on the Florida roster who has proven they can run inside in the SEC? Any fullbacks even on the roster? New systems on both sides of the ball. None of the National press expecting much. More on page 3 C of the morning paper…LOL

Chi Town

June 22nd, 2011
8:57 am

ATTN: Football Fan

What else is there to do in that dump town of Athens besides binge drinking too?

You stupid mutt fans act like Athens is the greatest city on earth. Need to get out more.

JB

June 22nd, 2011
8:58 am

SECIsfootball…………It’s the AJC……..Not us….We are happy with recruiting every year. It’s the results we are not happy with.

1eyedJack

June 22nd, 2011
9:01 am

Chi Town…now there’s a cesspool of corruption.

RxDawg

June 22nd, 2011
9:02 am

Not sure if I’m buying the “he’s playing the Ray Drew game”. Drew always had UGA near the top. Geno’s statements are pretty strong in that UGA isn’t in the picture. He’s outright lying if he really is a UGA silent commit. I just don’t see it.

I do agree that Auburn and Alabama really isn’t out of state. Same trees, same hills, same red dirt. If I felt like going out of state I’d be looking at Oregon. Or even better, Hawaii. I’m still amazed that Hawaii doesn’t get their pick of the best football player in every state.

marietta

June 22nd, 2011
9:05 am

Dawg fans ya’ll are killing me with the “but UGA is better academically” angle. That may be true – but it’s really the difference between a BMW and an Audi. Both are very good, and either will provide an abundance of opportunity.

What makes me laugh, though, is that this is the argument you put forth. The argument would be a lot stronger with “hey, we’re poised to start winning championships here.” But Brian VanGorder ain’t walking through that door.

Orange Julius

June 22nd, 2011
9:08 am

He wants to play for Kirby Smart. . .end of story

JB

June 22nd, 2011
9:10 am

Also, most of the National press had us in the top 10 in recruiting this year. Bama and Auburn offered most of our class. Don’t see any Bama papers Asking Saban why Crowell nor Drew signed with Bama…………………………..Of course, after committing to us, the party line was we didn’t want them anyway…………. or we didn’t have room for them at the end……….This crap plays both ways

JB

June 22nd, 2011
9:11 am

Orange………….He might have to be in Athens in 2012 to play for Kirby…..just say’n.

MikeP

June 22nd, 2011
9:15 am

What a hoot you DullDawgs are! He’s got 40 scholarship offers but he’s too small for UGA. Riiiight! That’s almost as silly as all the “UGA is better academically” stuff.

For the Cwimpsin Wimp that posted all those factoids about bammer, you could have found as much to write last year, when Saban coached the nation’s pre-season #1 team down to finish 4th in the SEC West. He’ll probably repeat, 4th in the west is a spot where bammer seems to fit.

This guy will make the best decision for him and come to Auburn. War Eagle, Geno!

cantondawg

June 22nd, 2011
9:16 am

I guarantee you UGA will recruit this kid to the very end. I don’t care if he commits in August. Alot can happen between August and February

zeee Nachos aka the "Living Legend"

June 22nd, 2011
9:17 am

“Academically, Georgia is better than eitehr of the Alabama schools. Nothing against Bama and Auburn– but they are not rated as highly as Georgia. and– Mark Richt is the best person to play for.”

WHAT THE FOCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ???

Richt hasn’t done a dang thing in 6 years.. so what if he’s a good man. It’s all about CHAMPIONSHIPS you foolish drunken fleabags.

Crumpy's paws in action

June 22nd, 2011
9:19 am

The only reason Saint Richt went to Honduras was to improve his tan.

@offensive line

June 22nd, 2011
9:20 am

Bama offensive line gave up the 2nd most sacks in the SEC, has Big ?? at QB and receiver.

Chi Town

June 22nd, 2011
9:20 am

The only reason UGA is harder to get in vs Bama is the Hope Scholarship. That is it.

Jawja and Bama are tied for 35th in Law school rankings. Business school rankings are about the same too. Look it up at your local Winder library.

.

sooooooo...... Princess

June 22nd, 2011
9:23 am

UGA football is a disgrace to the SEC. Kick their sorry arses out and bring back Tech.

UCF 10, UGA 6.

Carlton

June 22nd, 2011
9:25 am

soooooo..Princess? Is that your name for the past 10 years of UGA vs. GT football homes? I think we’re 9-1 son..

RxDawg

June 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

“The only reason UGA is harder to get in vs Bama is the Hope Scholarship. That is it.”

Well… your partialy correct. Having Atlanta and it’s 5 million people (the population of the whole state of Alabama) has a part to play also.

But Alabama is a fine school too. I’m not on here beating my academic chest in superiority. Auburn is ok… they’ve had their issues but it looks like they got things back under control.

Ga.

June 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

Princess is a good name for a tech fan.