Banneker DB Chaz Elder discusses finalists UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt

Bannker DB Chaz Elder will pick between UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in August (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Bannker DB Chaz Elder will pick between UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in August (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

One of Georgia’s top defensive backs will pick between UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt next month.

Chaz Elder, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Banneker High School has narrowed down to the three SEC East schools out of 20 early offers, which also includes Auburn, Ohio State and LSU. Elder will visit each finalist for a second time in July — including an appearance at UGA’s “Dawg Night” prospect camp on July 15 and at South Carolina on July 21.

Elder met with Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, along with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and DB coach Scott Lakatos in Athens a couple of weeks ago. Elder said he was originally recruited by UGA only at the safey position but is now getting looks at both safety and cornerback. Elder has determined that he wishes to play cornerback in college because it gives him “the best chance” at reaching his NFL dreams. (Note: He’s right about that)

“The Georgia coaches said they were looking at me more at safety, that I could come off the edge and blitz a lot,” Elder told the AJC. “They also said I could play some at cornerback. I like Georgia because it’s an in-state school and close to home.”

“Georgia telling Chaz that he will get a shot to play cornerback may be something they needed to do because Chaz is really serious about playing corner in college,” Banneker assistant Ryan Andrews said. “Once Chaz came out and said that publicly [about his desire to play cornerback over safety], everybody is starting to see that’s the position he wants to be recruited at if they want him to go there.”

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What about South Carolina? The Gamecocks will take heavy hits in the defensive secondary after this season, and Elder said he was told that could start as a true freshman. “They are losing some seniors, and they think that Stephon Gilmore may leave early for the NFL,” Elder said. “I like the defense they run.”

Added Andrews, “South Carolina has always wanted Chaz at cornerback. He has a very good relationship with [defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward]. They laid out the DB situation for next year. Not only do they think he could come in and play immediately; he also could start.”

The wildcard is Vanderbilt, which may be riding an all-time high in recruiting after beating out “bigger name schools” for a 4-star recruit over the weekend and invading Georgia for recruits.

“Vandy is intriguing for a few reasons,” Andrews said. “He has a pretty good relationship with the coaches and they feel like Chaz can be a ‘face’ of the program. I know that’s not likely with any defensive player. But when someone says something like that, it makes you listen a little bit.

Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner (right) has one more chance to pitch the Bulldogs at "Dawg Night" on July 15 (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner (right) has one more chance to pitch the Bulldogs to Chaz Elder at "Dawg Night" on July 15 (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

“And Vanderbilt is recruiting Chaz the hardest out of everybody. They are recruiting their tails off with him, and they have a legitimate shot at him.”

Elder said he has a 2.6 GPA and plans to major in sports management.

  • If you thought you saw one of the state’s top college football prospects participating in the Peachtree Road Race, you saw correctly. Jordan Watkins. a 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive tackle from Woodward Academy, used a combination of running and walking to finish the course in an hour and 20 minutes. “I’ve been doing it for a while; My parents have been doing it for 17 years,” Watkins told the AJC. He said he heard “Go Dawgs” at least a dozen times during the event. UGA is one of his 8 finalists (click on story link)

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116 comments Add your comment

Gator ATL

July 5th, 2011
2:29 am

1st!! Hey Georgia fans I can’t believe all the mean and cruel things yal have mouthed off about UF OC Charlie Weis with regards to his weight. It’s not cool. Let me say this: I know Charlie Weis personally and I can tell you this … … He is nowhere near the “girth” of your precious Coach Rodney Garner. That is one GIANT of a man … .. good lawd!!!

JB

July 5th, 2011
2:49 am

I think you need a new pair of glasses.

HBTD!!!

Charlie Weis

July 5th, 2011
3:24 am

I’m a grown man. I don’t need you sticking up for me Gator ATL. Now get in my belly!

slydog

July 5th, 2011
5:08 am

is he tall enough? i thought 6′3 , 200 lbs was the minimum? just kidding. Now what if these procrastinators lose out on this one too? all the short ones have bolted the state already …lol

slydog

July 5th, 2011
5:31 am

Gator Atl, do you really need to defend Charlie Weis ? A person who really knows Weis personally would not bring his name up in the comment section of an article covering a high schooler. Sounds like you have engaged in a little hyperbole yourself.

SCBOY

July 5th, 2011
6:41 am

If he really has NFL dreams he should go to South Carolina. They have put a ton of DB’s in the league lately.

JAWJeRDAWG

July 5th, 2011
6:51 am

Would love to get Chaz Elder, but right now, from his Rivals interview while last visiting UGA in June, he makes it clear that playing time and his relationship with his coach(es) are his most critical factors in his school of choice. His top three are SC, UGA, and Vandy.

Right now, he said that SC can offer both these the most and that SC’s Coach Ward is currently his favorite coach.

While also saying his mother will have a large input into his school choice, SC has been recruiting him only as a corner, and that’s where he wants to play his collage ball. UGA, Vandy and others have mentioned him playing as both a CB and S.

He’s now 6′ 2″, now up to 185 and though ranked # 15 nationally as a S, he wants to play corner. As he seems to want to make his decision sometime late summer or early fall, it seems that UGA really needs to get on Chaz HARDER if they want his commitment.

Here’s hoping they can and do, and persuade him to come to UGA. But with SC’s chances of him seemingly playing much sooner at CB, especially with the possibility that if a corner leaves early for the NFL and the seniority of their best other CBs, unless he and his mother are completely sold on Georgia, it seems he might be leaning hard to SC.

We certainly know that the considerations of these HS recruits are fluid, but I hope that UGA can get after hard and soon, and can get him. .. Go Dawgs!

Paddy

July 5th, 2011
6:52 am

Playing CB gives him his best chance at a NFL career. NO, his best chance at a bright future is being a college grad. My guess this will be the last we hear of this kid. Poor priorties gets’em every time. Plus no leadership and good advice from his HS coach. Same old, same old, every year and yet nobody learns from these obvious errors of judgement . The light is on but no one is at home!

Destin Dawg

July 5th, 2011
6:53 am

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State university education, plus Big Time sports ” in beautiful college town… Athens, Ga…. kids that stay in State .. close to support groups.. friends and family.. do better in school and life after foot ball.. wouldn’t like Columbia, S.C… Go Dawgs !!!

E

July 5th, 2011
7:28 am

I guess Gator fans can’t distinguish right from left. Get over it, Gator. Charlie’s fat.

Saban

July 5th, 2011
7:39 am

choakdawg should offer him a krispy kreme outlet.

Boise State 66 DAwgs 3

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
7:43 am

It sounds like we are really no need of CB for this class i do like what i am hearing from Jordan Watkins when he says Go Dawgs and John Atkins gave UGA high marks when visited UGA this past weekend coaching staff told Atkins not to come to DawgNight because we are in good shape with him .

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
7:49 am

@Saban get over your self Boise St. is not the same team they have been there O- line is smaller UGA defense is bigger then there entire offense line it will be close game one question i do have is will UGA’s offensive line hold up that will be the key .

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
7:51 am

Hey Saban how does it feel loosing several players this past month do to oversigning .

dauggie dawg

July 5th, 2011
8:11 am

John Atkins is a super guy.We call him JOHN John.He si huge and real quick for a big man.We look forward to seeing him on the field this fall betwix the bricks.He is a man among children.He will be a great asset to Georgia if he chooses to go there.

gt4ever

July 5th, 2011
8:14 am

Walking a 10k race…. Good grief, this kid needs to get in shape… 1 hour and 20 minutes to finish 6 miles.. My 11 year old could have beat him… Pathetic…

gt4ever

July 5th, 2011
8:15 am

UGA’s Rodney Garner could have finished the race in less time…. Well, maybe not…

Really?

July 5th, 2011
8:22 am

Gator fans can’t tell the right from left? They don’t seem to have any problem with the right and left endzone in Jacksonville……..
Gator ATL – This IS UGA football season, they are NC now, Come on say it with me, DREAM TEAM! WOOF WOOF, don’t worry they always shut it down after August 31, and leave the football to the Gators, Bama, Auburn, oh and South or Central Florida, I can’t remember which one, but then again, it doesn’t matter does it.

Really?

July 5th, 2011
8:23 am

RRT – that’s due to, not do to, lol.

1eyedJack

July 5th, 2011
8:24 am

Can he play OT?

rhall55

July 5th, 2011
8:29 am

How can these college Coaches get so out of shape? They are a liability health wise and a poor example to the young men they are recruiting (who we ask to be in tip/top shape); the Universities need to suspend their American Express Gold”en” Corral Cards!!! In this case, “You Snooze, You Gain”!!! Just Win UGA and the recruits will come; they want to play for a winning Team w/ a winning attitude!!!

You're my Boy Blue

July 5th, 2011
8:32 am

2.6 GPA and Vandy is going after him hard? Guess the new coach has lowered the bar for the Vandy football team.

sandman053

July 5th, 2011
8:35 am

Why not offer the kid the opportunity to compete for a starting position. He should see by this year’s recruiting class (hopefully) that the days of starting because you’ve been good at holding the bench down for three years are over.

gt4ever

July 5th, 2011
8:36 am

Yeah, that 2.6 is very suspect…. A 2.6 gpa at Westminister is one thing, but Yikes… UGA could get him passed through, but I am not sure Vandy could graduate him…. Time will tell…

St. Richt

July 5th, 2011
9:20 am

Did Rodney Garner eat Mark Richt? Geez, looks like he’s trying to kill himself.

St. Richt

July 5th, 2011
9:23 am

I’ve always wondered where Oliver Miller, the old Arkansas and NBA big man, ended up. Looks like he is coaching in Athens and standing next to Rodney Garner in that picture. I guess that is Garner’s secret to looking trim- stand next to an even fatter coach.

German Shepherd Dawg

July 5th, 2011
9:31 am

gt4ever,

Your rhetoric is truly pathetic. I believe it’s more likely you are 11 years old, not father of a child.

Don’t you have anything better to do? I know I have better things to do than read your B.S. Thanks for wasting my time….

Bitter "ROUGE BOOSTER"

July 5th, 2011
9:31 am

dawgs are packed at corner——-with the new group coming in we are now 2 to 3 deep

———–but if he is a dawg at heart—–come and compete and win a starting spot!!!

———-just like champ did ————-no give away’s—————–all schools are lying when

—————-you hear———come here and you will start as a freshman————RIGHT!!!

——————belive that and i’ll sell you swamp land in gator country!!!hahahahahahah

Fan

July 5th, 2011
9:33 am

@paddy while you are entitled to your opinion I would ask that you please refrain from commenting on If you read the article carefully, you will see he said his Dreams of the NFL and playing corner gives him his best shot of reaching that dream. Also, you know nothing about that coach or any of the coaches at Banneker. So unless you are going to go by the school and interview the players and ask them what type of coaches they have, please keep your negative comments to yourself. Thank you good sir and have a great day.

sogadog

July 5th, 2011
10:04 am

Watkins has to WALK in the Peachtree Road race? Old guys (and gals) run the whole thing all the time.

The Dawgs are recruiting a corner who is 6′ 2″ with a 2.6 GPA over the “fastest player in Georgia” (also a corner) who is 5′ 10″ with a 3.6 GPA. The Dawgs should recruit the smart talented kid over the tall talented kid. The smart kid wont flunk out and wont create the discipline problems we have suffered through over the years.

Bitter "ROUGE BOOSTER"

July 5th, 2011
10:04 am

smart kid ———-he left pay for play—-and——tree killers off list——go kid—-hahahahahah

A 2.6 GPA = Red Flag

July 5th, 2011
10:43 am

I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but a 2.6 GPA in high school would cause me to not recruit this kid at all. He will have to improve either his work ethic or get tons of time-consuming help to do the bare minimum to stay eligible at any SEC school. A GPA this bad is a huge red flag for me, but to each coach their own I guess.

JB

July 5th, 2011
10:56 am

I like 6′2″ 190 lb. DB’s……6′3 to 6′5 WR’s are the norm now. 5′9″ DB’s don’t get it.

Fan

July 5th, 2011
11:01 am

2.6 is not bad… smh… not great… but not bad… means he has had some b’s some a’s some c;s… thats all that means. and thats his core gpa… meaning math, science, social science, english, foreign language… Also the minimum for the NCAA is a 2.0… and D1 has a sliding scale.

Research

July 5th, 2011
11:03 am

people please make sure you do proper research and have proper knowledge before you make these comments. You are still dealing with kids and they will read this along with there parents.

Bitter "ROUGE BOOSTER"

July 5th, 2011
11:15 am

get off the #’s game———at corner size dont matter—champ was 5′11 at best—–

—————-its about football smarts and HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!———ATLANTA FALCONS best corner

—————————–5′9″—————-now what??? and GPA of 2.6 is fine if his

—————————————football gpa is 4.0——————–trolls——-just saying

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
11:26 am

We have really been recruiting Yuri Wright NJ CB more than any other corner is what i have been hearing also Nelson Agholor Florida Safety there are other recruits who we are after the most .

Dawg Tired

July 5th, 2011
11:32 am

Sounds like USC to me. Immediate playing time and it seems to be a guarantee at corner instead of safety. Hate to miss on this one though. We would be better with this kid playing at UGA, but 18 year- olds only see as far as next week.

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
11:33 am

Hey Mr. Carvell you were talking about about favorite movies i have a couple The Program and Remember The Titans my favorite sports movies .

Lester Miles

July 5th, 2011
11:37 am

Goo info as usual Michael. our buddy Chip is doing a good series on UGA and it is appreciated. However even if you are a long time supporter of his don’t dare to ask a question that he does not want to answer. Never use profanity or say anything vulgar but it didn’t matter. I was banned just for asking who at AJC rquested the info under FOI act about pocket dialing. Didn’t get an answr just got banned, No way to treat a long time supporter. What gives Chip? Enough of that let’s hope UGA can accelerate recruiting shortly. Have a great day. God bless.

BG

July 5th, 2011
11:51 am

Come on down Mr. Elder! GO DAWGS!

RRTDawgs

July 5th, 2011
11:59 am

@BG i hope so but Yuri Wright would not be bad pick up ether need offensive linemen the most .

slydog

July 5th, 2011
12:16 pm

alumni of UGA, do not ever take it personal when someone from GT insults an Athens education. With all the engineers, scientists, and hackers GT graduates, they have a miserable endowment and athletic contributions. Why? Cause the geeks have to get money to finance their dreams. Who produces better business and finance majors? Right. They can code, but they just can’t make money. Nuff’ said.

1eyedJack

July 5th, 2011
12:19 pm

“I want to play corner and I expect to start as a freshman.”

I don’t particularly like being held hostage by recruits, especially not top rated recruits.

UGA_2001

July 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

Vandy’s recruiting a kid with a 2.6 GPA from Banneker? Wow. We’ll be lucky if he qualifies, but Vandy is supposed to have higher standards than that.

esaun

July 5th, 2011
12:45 pm

SEC still the same league; trenches trenches trenches!!! 5star dbs, prima dona wrs, elite qbs, or stud backs don’t win championships they just shine when the ol/dl as a unit give them the opportunity. qb throwing under distress = int. proper blitz pickup = homerun td

Blackoutanyone?

July 5th, 2011
12:49 pm

Ryan you care to share with everyone exactly who were the players Bama lost due to oversigning? Replying to an obvious flame post with ignorance is not too cool. Your better than that.

College endowments...

July 5th, 2011
1:15 pm

@slydog
GT $1.438 Billion (with a B)
UGA $572 Million

St. Richt

July 5th, 2011
1:17 pm

I guess Rodney Garner and the other coach in that picture aren’t taking part in Tereshinski’s conditioning program. They look like they’ve made one to many trips to the all you can eat buffet at Ryan’s.

D BAG TROLLS!

July 5th, 2011
1:17 pm

Chaz you need to become a DAWG! We would love to have you!!!!

I would like to thank each of you personally for spending your time thinking about the DAWGS and how good we are going to be for many season to come. Thanks again.