Archive for June, 2011

K Austin Hardin commits to Florida Gators over Auburn and Tennessee

Marist K Austin Harden

Marist K Austin Hardin

Georgia’s No. 1 kicker is a Gator.

Marist’s Austin Hardin auditioned at three football camps this summer, going 3 for 3 with offers from Tennessee, Auburn and Florida. He committed to Gators coach Will Muschamp while on campus on Wednesday.

“Coach Muschamp told me from his staff’s evaluation of me, and from what he heard from others, he considered me the best specialist in the nation,” Hardin told the AJC. “He put the offer out there for me, and said ‘We’d like you to come to Florida. You can come in right away and start off kickoffs.’

“I was very excited. This was the offer I had been waiting for. I told some other schools that I was going to wait until the end of July to commit. But I had been to enough camps and seen enough. I always knew I wanted to play at Florida so I committed. I didn’t want to drag it out any longer. I told Coach Muschamp that I was ‘100-percent Gator’ and happy to be part of the team.”

Hardin is ranked as the No. 1 kicker in the …

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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 …

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DE Darius English commits to South Carolina Gamecocks over Arkansas

Steve Spurrier has the Georgia-to-South Carolina pipeline working well for his 2012 recruiting class.

Or maybe it should be the McEachern High School-to-South Carolina pipeline.

Darius English committed to South Carolina over his other finalist of Arkansas.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound defensive end is No. 5 from Georgia to commit to the SEC school for 2012. English is also the third McEachern player since last February to either sign or commit to the Gamecocks.

“South Carolina has always been the leader for me,” English told the AJC. “When I went down there this weekend, it really felt like home. I actually committed on Saturday but I had to talk to my parents a little more about it before telling the media. I did that, and told everybody today.”

Two of English’s high school teammates, LB Marcquis Roberts and TE Rory Anderson, signed with South Carolina last February. That made a big difference for English.

Steve Spurrier landed No. 5 from Georgia for South Carolina's 2012 recruiting class (AP)

Steve Spurrier landed No. 5 from Georgia for South Carolina's 2012 …

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Jordan Adams will follow Atlanta AAU basketball coach to UCLA; runner-up was UGA (UPDATED)

Atlanta basketball star Jordan Adams will follow his AAU coach to UCLA (Photo by Adidas)

Atlanta basketball star Jordan Adams will follow his AAU coach to UCLA (Photo by Adidas)

One of the nation’s top recruits will follow his AAU basketball coach to UCLA.

Jordan Adams, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 69 college basketball prospect by Rivals.com, committed to UCLA over UGA, Memphis and Miami on Monday.

Earlier this month, UCLA hired Korey McCray, CEO of the Atlanta Celtics AAU basketball team, as an assistant coach. (click on story link)

Adams is a longtime member of the Atlanta Celtics and said McCray’s hiring influenced his college decision.

“It was a big factor,” Adams told the AJC. “I’ve been playing for Coach McCray since I was 12 or 13 years old. I used to always work out with him. He helped me get to where I am now as a basketball player. If it wasn’t for [McCray], I wouldn’t be this good and none of these college coaches would be recruiting me.”

The 6-foot-5 small forward transferred from Central Gwinnett High School to Oak Hill (Va.) prep school last …

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Paris Head commits to Vanderbilt Commodores

Buford DB Paris Head (R) is yet another Georgia player to commit to Vanderbilt

Buford DB Paris Head (R) is yet another Georgia player to commit to Vanderbilt

Another day, another Georgia football recruit committing to Vanderbilt.

Paris Head, a defensive back from Buford High School, picked Vanderbilt among his 10 scholarship offers, which he said also included Boston College and Louisville. He also had serious interest from numerous other SEC and ACC schools, including Georgia Tech and UGA, that wanted him to attend summer camp.

“I messaged [Vanderbilt's recruiting coordinator] on Facebook and I told him I was ready to commit,” Head explained to the AJC. “He told me to call the head coach [James Franklin]. I did, told him I was ready to commit, and Coach Franklin was excited and said ‘Welcome to the Vanderbilt family.’”

Vanderbilt has launched an all-out invasion on recruiting Georgia — 7 of 8 commitments for 2012 are from Georgia.

“I think that’s awesome because I feel like Georgia is one of the top states in the country for football,” Head said. “I …

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‘Relationships’ help Georgia Tech recruiting, Vanderbilt talks SEC championships

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Just like in the business world, building and nurturing relationships is extremely important in college football recruiting.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was the benefactor of maintaining a longtime friendship with a former player he recruited while as an assistant at Georgia Southern. Statesboro High School WR Micheal Summers Jr. committed to the Yellow Jackets over Florida, Pitt, Duke and Vanderbilt, among others — citing the connection with Johnson as a contributing factor in his college decision.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Summers was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.39 seconds and has a 38-inch vertical jump. He had 10 early offers and would’ve likely doubled them within the next few months, but said his recruiting is over after the commitment to Georgia Tech (click on story link).

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WR Micheal Summers picks Georgia Tech over Florida, others

Statesboro ATH Micheal Summers committed to Georgia Tech after a recent offer from the Florida Gators (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Statesboro ATH Micheal Summers Jr. committed to Georgia Tech after a recent offer from the Florida Gators (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Georgia Tech landed the most highly-regarded member of its 2012 recruiting class — so far — when Micheal Summers Jr. committed to the ACC school on Sunday.

Summers, who is a multi-purpose athlete from Statesboro High School, picked Georgia Tech among his 10 offers, which also included Florida, Pitt, N.C. State, Duke and Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is projected to play wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets, but may also get a look at running back.

“Georgia Tech was the offer I was waiting on, and once I got it, I decided to commit,” Summers told the AJC. He added that Georgia Tech was only going to sign one WR, and he wanted to be that one.

A longtime friendship between Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and Summers’ family was a deciding factor in the decision. When Johnson was an assistant at Georgia Southern, he recruited Micheal …

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LB-DE Josh Dawson commits to Vanderbilt over Notre Dame, UGA, others

Vanderbilt is raiding the state of Georgia for college football prospects.

Josh Dawson, a 6-foot-4, 226-pounder from Tucker High School, picked Vanderbilt among his 23 football scholarship offers, which also included Notre Dame, Boston College, South Florida, and UGA. He will play defensive end or outside linebacker in college.

Vanderbilt has seven commitments for its 2012 recruiting class, including six from Georgia.

Josh Dawson is the second Tucker defender to commit to Vanderbilt

Josh Dawson is the second Tucker defender to commit to Vanderbilt

“I felt like Vanderbilt wanted me more than any other school that offered me or recruited me,” Dawson told the AJC. “It felt like a family there. All the coaches and players have the same  mindset. They want to win SEC championships and the whole BCS championship. That put Vandy over the top with me.”

Who is generating all the excitement among Georgia recruits and generating the high expectations for Vanderbilt? It’s none other than James Franklin, the first-year coach at Vanderbilt.

“Coach …

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QB Dennis Andrews commits to Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt

QB Dennis Andrews of Tallahassee, Fla.

QB Dennis Andrews of Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida quarterback Dennis Andrews committed to Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder picked the Yellow Jackets over his other finalist, Vanderbilt. Andrews said he had 14 early scholarship offers, including South Carolina, Arkansas, and South Florida.

The rising senior from Godby High School of Tallahasee, Fla., is Georgia Tech’s sixth commitment for its 2012 recruiting class. Andrews informed Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson before leaving campus on Saturday night.

“I like Georgia Tech and my family likes it, too,” Andrews told the AJC. “They have a great engineering program. I really like the coaches and the football program. It’s just a good fit for for me.”

“Coach Johnson told me a lot of good things about Georgia Tech and how it compares with other schools academically. He said they are going to win football games and they’ve been to 14 straight bowl games. For me, it’s all about winning.”

Andrews is considered one …

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RB Storm Johnson transfers from Miami to Central Florida

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)

One of Georgia’s top college football prospects from the Class of 2010 has decided on a new school.

Tailback Storm Johnson will transfer to Central Florida, reported the Orlando Sentinel on Friday. Johnson originally signed with Miami and played one season with the Hurricanes after starring at Loganville and Buford high schools.

“Yes sir, Storm committed today and he will start classes on the 22nd,” Wesley Johnson, Storm’s father, told the Sentinel. “It actually feels quite good just to get the pressure off and be able to resume his college career. He starts off with a clean slate. Coach [George] O’Leary met with us today and coach felt good about [Storm], and Storm felt good about being there.”

Johnson committed to Central Florida after touring the campus. He will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules, and have three years of eligibility remaining. Johnson also visited South …

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