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

IE81

June 22nd, 2011
12:12 pm

Give the young man credit for understanding that if he wants to win he has to leave the state, and both Bama and Auby have done that.

It is a shame that Richt does the least with the loaded talent pool at Jawga. He is a good man, but a poor motivator.

RRTDawgs

June 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Maybe that trip he took to Central America will motivate Richt dangerous place down there you have give him a lot of guts for going down there .

1eyedJack

June 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

“UGA doesn’t resonate outside of about a 400 mile or so radius when schools are mentioned from water cooler talk to national media outlets.”

What water coolers are you standing around and what national media outlets are you reading and listening to? Most of the media outlets I’ve read or seen have Georgia in their top twenty. I’d say that’s resonating.

Lasso

June 22nd, 2011
1:03 pm

Realitycheck: UGA 3-1 vs. Alabama last 4 meetings, 4-1 vs. Auburn last 5 meetings. How does that resonate?

fudd21

June 22nd, 2011
1:17 pm

Lasso, Bama won the national championship 2 years ago and there is not a preseason publication that doesn’t have them in the top 5 this year. We turn out top 4 recruiting classes every year. The reality is that as long as Saban is at bama we will be competing for national championships every year. Can you say the same for UGA>

SECIsFootball

June 22nd, 2011
1:24 pm

Lasso….I would not trade our 2009 NC and I am sure AU would not trade their 2010 NC for a winning record over UGA. The NC’s resonate to me more so than a winning record over UGA.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 22nd, 2011
1:28 pm

UH OH. Another recruit leaving the fine state of Georgia for the State of Alabama?!? Oh no, let’s cry like babies until we reduce the scholarship limits for SEC schools to 15 to even further even the playing field for inept coaches and overrated schools.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

June 22nd, 2011
1:31 pm

Please Dawgs, give it up and become a basketball school before it’s too late. You don’t have what it takes to field a championship team (you have ran out of black apparel). You would be a fine basketball school and could give UK a run for its money.

Academics

June 22nd, 2011
1:41 pm

Give the academic argument a rest. Vanderbilt aside, the rest of the sec is decent when it comes to academics. The US News report has UVA in the bottom 25. We all know UVA is a better school than all but two or three listed in the top 25. These top athletes are focused on making it to the NFL. Just look at some of the majors offered at the sec schools. What a joke.

Brown Dog

June 22nd, 2011
1:47 pm

Dawg fams, you’re right, we had a disappointing season. But with 9 new starters on defense and six SEC opponents coming off byes, we were three plays from having the chance to defend our national championship.

Et tu, Georgia? Not even close.

Geno's pizza rolls are good

June 22nd, 2011
1:47 pm

yum yum yum yum

Frankly

June 22nd, 2011
1:57 pm

If Geno has any inkling that he will stay in Georgia after graduation, he should seriouly consider UGA. The contacts he makes while attend this great university would transfer well into his post graduate career.

Frankly

June 22nd, 2011
1:57 pm

attend = attending.

Wayne

June 22nd, 2011
2:01 pm

Academically Georgia is one of the worst if not the worst in the SEC. Bama has a very high graduation rate and vanderbilt is the cream of the crop. If he wants to go to the NFL why would he consider auburn? they won a championship and lost a ton of players but only put 2 in the NFL and one was in the 5th round. bama would be the smart choice to go to the NFL but if he wants to learn how to use a firearm then auburn is a lock.

Morons

June 22nd, 2011
2:27 pm

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/page+9

Read it. Not a big deal that alabama is ranked as the number 79th school in education out of hundreds of universities. You people that post that alabama is terrible in education are moronic.

shyril

June 22nd, 2011
2:42 pm

If academics is a consideration then look at Vanderbilt, UNC at Chapel Hill, Michigan or Stanford.
Saban is a the best coach in the SEC maybe the nation. Alabama has a greater chance of winning a national championship within the next 4 years than Auburn. Between the two schools I would like Auburn over Alabma but for football purposes its clearly Alabama.

Georgia is not in the running.

[...] Alabama and Auburn are frontrunners for Georgia’s No. 1 DB (click on story link) [...]

Vol-Fan

June 22nd, 2011
3:42 pm

Geno if youwant to get away and experience some of the finest facilities in the country, you should really take a look at The University of Tennessee. I find it funny some folks on here want to bash other schools etc. yet in Knoxville you will find a piece of mind, a coaching staf to prep you for the NFL and ans that will love you no matter where you are from or what you look like (i.e. Condridge Holloway)… Be smart and make a choice you and your family feel coomfortable with.

Blackoutanyone?

June 22nd, 2011
4:55 pm

Lasso… in that time Bama and the Barn are 2-0 in BCS National Championship games… how does that resonate?

Robert

June 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

UGA, an academic school. Give me a break!

realitycheck

June 22nd, 2011
5:20 pm

Lasso…….Alabama has 13 national chamiponships and 22 SEC championships. The Tide is a name that has resonated nationally practically forever. To compare UGA to Bama in football is like comparing Georgia Tech to Duke or UNC in basketball. I suggest you go look up the records if you need more proof.

UGASlobberknocker

June 22nd, 2011
6:05 pm

Im sure he will enjoy the amazing cultural stimulation in the state of Alabama. Fishin, farmin, and football..already he will be in the top 10% of Alabamans …those who have had more than 6 or 7 years of book learnin’ . BTW, where’s the race this week boys?

Lakedawg

June 22nd, 2011
6:19 pm

Bama and the Dawgs both finish regular season 9-3. Dawgs will be back in Dome for SEC championship, while Bama will not make it. Would have liked seeing the Dawgs beat the midget coach to go 4-1 last 5 meetings.

Thugachopblock

June 22nd, 2011
6:54 pm

Suppose he could stay in the cess pool that is Atlanta. Entire county, clayton, lost its school accredidation! Much better quality of life in Auburn as it was ranked a top ten place to live. War Eagle! 2010 national champs!!

MikeP

June 22nd, 2011
7:12 pm

Blackout, I answered the same question from you a couple of weeks ago. I expect Auburn to finish no worse than 10-2 regular season. The winner of the Auburn vs. LSU game will play for the SEC championship in Atlanta.

Road games? They happen every other year. Auburn wins about 65% of the games played Between the Hedges so a trip to Athens is hardly considered a road game. Much like going to play in Tuskaloser, it’s a home away from home for the Tigers.

Katie

June 22nd, 2011
7:15 pm

Only way the dawgs get in Dome for SEC championship game, is to buy a ticket,

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 22nd, 2011
7:35 pm

You know what they say about opinions. Everybody on here has their own and the computer screen buys some folks the anonymity they need to spout off. The game is played on the field and although we can all make statistics bend anyway we want them to, it doesn’t mean a thing from one year to the next. If the year turns out like some of you say for your favorite team, I am sure you will be bragging to high heavens once the season is over. If it turns out different, you will hide behind another nick name and have more excuses than a dog has fleas.

@Coach Johnson are you sick?

June 22nd, 2011
7:58 pm

Thank you! I am sure your comment is real and from your HEART! I am sure someone will remind him(Geno)” everyday of his life. Geno
don’t cross the Georgia line after you graduate from college,because Coach Johnson,said,” don’t come back”! Who made Coach Johnson GOD? I am going to pray for Coach Johnson! What year were you born coach Johnson? This kid was born in 1994.I going to take a guess for your year .”1919?” LOOK IN THE MIRROR and repeat your statement 20 times every day. Perhaps the mirror will give you some words of WISDOM! You are ridiculous Coach Johnson! POOR TASTE? NO,CHARACTER? To Geno: Be strong man. Wherever, you go ,play to best of your ability with the talent GOD gave you! Peace be with you!

@Coach Johnson are you sick?

June 22nd, 2011
8:00 pm

Enter your comments here

@Coach Johnson are you sick?

June 22nd, 2011
8:06 pm

Be Strong Geno! Peace be with you!

David

June 22nd, 2011
8:38 pm

Come to Auburn and be part of the family !…War Eagle.!

Blackoutanyone?

June 22nd, 2011
8:41 pm

MikeP… lol 10-2? I must have missed your reply a few weeks ago to that question. So I thank you for participating in my questionaire which was used to determine exactly what level of DA you really were. 10-2… lol that says it all.

Brown Dog

June 22nd, 2011
9:05 pm

Mike P, if Auburn goes 10-2, Coach Chiz will be coach of the millenium and it will really have been a God thang.

realitycheck

June 22nd, 2011
9:17 pm

Lakedawg…….Let’s review the last four Bama/UGA games since I doubt you are interested in going back any farther than that. 2002: Teams met in Tuscaloosa with about equal talent. UGA scores late to edge Bama and Franchione in a good win for the Dawgs. 2003: With Bama on probation and playing with limited talent(including a 3rd string QB), UGA crushes the clueless Mike Shula led Tide in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. 2007: In Saban’s first year at Bama with players that he called”some of the worst he had ever seen”, outmanned Bama took UGA to overtime in a game where UGA’s talent was 30 points superior to Bama’s. 2008: The Blackout game was as one sided as the 2003 game was as UGA, as nearly a TD favorite, went to the locker room down 31-0 at the half. The 41-30 final was not indicitive of the Tide’s domination. UGA was beaten badly that night by inferior talent, and their program has yet to recover from that game. Since that Sept. night in Athens, Bama has won a NC and has stockpiled its roster full of talent. And yes, those talented players get real good coaching at Bama. Can you say that about UGA? I don’t think this UGA team wants any part of Bama now, so be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And if you’d like to review the Bama/UGA series prior to 2002 just let me know.

War Eagle

June 22nd, 2011
9:38 pm

NEW HOME, Bryant Auburn Stadium a GREAT venue for football, 24-0 Bama, 24-7 Bama, 24-14 bama, 27-14 Bama, 27-24 Bama, Oh great Venue FINAL 28-27 AUBURN, BAMA HAS BEAT AUBURN 0NE TIME IN THE GREAT VENUE SINCE MOVING FROM BIRMINGHAM

War Eagle

June 22nd, 2011
9:48 pm

NEW HOME, FORGOT ONE OTHER GREAT VENUE STAT,Auburn has won last 7 of 9 games with the great venue being a WINNER every year, PLEASE WATCH YOUR WORDS WITH PROPAGANDA TO RECRUITS…also please don`t respond with Cam , we all heard enough of that topic

Bama Fan#2

June 22nd, 2011
10:26 pm

It is the second day of summer and talking about Auburn beating Alabama
in Tuscaloosa every time. Well I was at the 08 game and Bama kicked
the crap out of Auburn 36-0. Auburn fans remember who was coaching
in Tuscaloosa the other times Shula and Dubose. We know why you won. RTR

Tdawg

June 22nd, 2011
11:12 pm

War Eagle with the NCAA finishing up with Ohio State and North Caroling and close to finsihing up with Tennessee they will soon turn their attention to Auburn and Oregon State. If you Auburn fans think for one second that the NCAA is through with you guys then you’re even more dense that I thought.

GT 1

June 22nd, 2011
11:34 pm

I sure wish Memphis, Ball State, Troy or Wofford would have offered, then PJ could have had a chance at this young man.

The Process

June 23rd, 2011
7:24 am

Come to Bama. Roll Tide Roll. You will sit a year, then get cut for “medical” reasons and transfer to a fine program like the University of North Alabama, or any of the fine HBC programs around, like Ft. Valley State.

The Process

June 23rd, 2011
7:25 am

Neither Shula or Dubose blew 24 point first half leads.

SECIsFootball

June 23rd, 2011
8:21 am

The process….that ok because the year before in Jerdin Haar Stadium (as the AU fans pronounce it), AU had a 14-0 and then a 21-7 lead. BAMA came back and won as a championship team would do. Thats how it goes sometimes. As for your comment about being cut….yeah….if Geno is a good player he will be cut. Saban just cuts the great players from our program all the time. I hear it is going to be Barron, Hightower and Richardson that get the ax this year. I have asked this question 1000 times but can never get an answer. Please name for me JUST ONE player for was “cut”. Name just one that did not go on medical hardship or thrown out for disciplinary reasons. No excuses. No BS response. Just one who was “cut”. My guess is you cannot do it. If you want to use one of the guys who went on medical hardship, please give me proof that they were not injured but were cut. I will be waiting. My guess is I wont see a response.

MikeP

June 23rd, 2011
9:13 am

Tdawg
June 22nd, 2011
11:12 pm
“War Eagle with the NCAA finishing up with Ohio State and North Caroling and close to finsihing up with Tennessee they will soon turn their attention to Auburn and Oregon State. If you Auburn fans think for one second that the NCAA is through with you guys then you’re even more dense that I thought.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is so funny! Auburn has done nothing wrong and the question of Cam Newton’s eligibility was determined on December 2nd when Cam was declared “eligible without condition” by the NCAA. Give up your dream of Auburn in trouble, it’s not going to happen.

To those predicting Auburn will have a bad year, that’s the same thing you were saying this time last year. How did that work out for you?

14-0, SEC and National Champs, it’s Great To Be An Auburn Tiger!

Charlie Hayes

June 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

Good Luck Geno. I can understand your position of too many dawgs in the doghouse and not wanting to compete! Everyone needs to look at the 2011 class and then put yourself in Geno’s shoes (or for that matter in Josh Holsey’s shoes as well).
Malcom Mitchell CB #7 4-Star 6-1,190 4.40
Damion Swann CB #9 4-Star 6-0,182 4.46
Nick Marshall CB #15 4-Star 6-2,186 4.4
Chris Sanders S #20 4-Star 6-0,173 4.40
Corey Moore S #6 4-Star 6-1,185 4.45

All of these guys are the right size and speed to be shutdown corners for UGA. Why would Geno Smith or Josh Hosley come to UGA to play behind these guys for the next several years?

Don’t sweat over this one at all. We need to focus on the big-time OT’s and OG’s that are eyeing UGA and get some of them to commit. OT John Theus (6-6, 292, 5-Star), OT Avery Young (6-5, 270, 5-Star), OG Vadal Alexander (6-6, 310, 4-Star) and OG Joe Harris (6-4, 285, 4-Star) should be our focus to have a Dream Team II. Come on boys there is immeidate playing time for all four (4) of you at UGA….Commit to the Dawg Nation!

McDawg

June 23rd, 2011
12:48 pm

i’m going to see the world…..Opeilka, AL -kinda like west columbus

are all these kids just hicks at heart

Blackoutanyone?

June 23rd, 2011
3:12 pm

See if this works..

Blackoutanyone?

June 23rd, 2011
3:13 pm

Blackoutanyone?

June 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

Reese Dismukes and the Aubarn Tiggeretts. LOL stay classy Auburn.

radney

June 23rd, 2011
4:16 pm

if you want to learn how to feed chickers and pick cotton, go to AuBarn.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 23rd, 2011
4:20 pm

Blackoutanyone?

Your link to that photo. is dead. At least check your source material if you are going to try your usual garbage spouting about UGA.