Sheldon Rankins would likely be committed to North Carolina if not for NCAA investigation (UPDATED)

Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins

Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins

One of Georgia’s top college football prospects admits he would likely be committed to North Carolina if the Tar Heels weren’t under an NCAA investigation.

Sheldon Rankins, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end from Eastside High School, said he nearly committed to North Carolina during an unofficial visit on June 13. The next week, the NCAA handed the ACC football program a notice of allegations that listed nine major violations.

“Yes, I almost committed when I went up there for a visit but I didn’t want it to be a spur-of-moment thing,” Rankins told the AJC on Monday night. “I decided to wait a few days until I could get back home and think about it. When I got back, I heard all the talk about the NCAA sanctions and that has kind of delayed everything.”

Despite all the bad news, Rankins said that North Carolina remains his leader out of 20 early scholarship offers, which also includes Stanford, Ole Miss, South Florida, N.C. State, Duke, Mississippi State, Louisville and Kentucky. Rankins has not had contact with UGA or Georgia Tech.

“Even with all the sanction talk at North Carolina, I’m pretty confident that I know what’s going on up there — North Carolina has been my leader, and they still are my leader; South Florida is right behind them,” Rankins said.

“I talk to the North Carolina coaches. They feel pretty confident about the outcome. I’ve done my own research. From what I hear, the coaching staff should remain intact. At the most, it should be a few scholarships lost and a one-year ban from a bowl game. Other than that, I’m pretty confident what I will hear later this year will be good. But you never know what can happen with the NCAA. So I’m going to wait to see what happens.”

North Carolina has 90 days to respond to the allegations, and is scheduled to appear before the NCAA Infractions Committee on Oct. 28. Rankins said he would like to wait until then before making his college decision but is unsure.

North Carolina coach Butch Davis (AP photo)

North Carolina coach Butch Davis (AP photo)

Rankins said North Carolina coach Butch Davis has had an upbeat attitude during their conversations. “Coach Davis feels like the coaching staff will remain intact, that North Carolina will get the players they need, that they are on the rise in the ACC, and that they are going to have a good season this year.”

“It’s important to me that Coach Davis is still the coach. I really like him as a person and a coach. If he was forced out, I would see who the new coach is there and go from there.”

For now, Rankins is checking out other options. He also visited Mississippi State and N.C. State in June, and will make recruiting trips to South Florida and Ole Miss within the next couple of weeks.

Rankins wants to study pre-med in college, and hopes to be an orthopedic surgeons. He has a 3.5 GPA, crediting his mother’s influence. “She’s a sixth-grade math teacher, so education always, always, always comes first,” Rankins said.

  • In case you missed it, there was some pretty big news in recruiting circles on Monday when the AJC’s Chip Towers reported that UGA assistant recruiting coordinator Charlie Cantor had resigned “to pursue other opportunities.” Cantor was relatively unknown to mainstream UGA fans, but had many important roles behind the scenes with Georgia’s recruiting efforts, including last year’s “Dream Team.” Cantor told Towers the following in an email:
Charlie Cantor resigns at UGA (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Charlie Cantor resigns at UGA (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

“It has been a pleasure working with Coach Richt and the staff at Georgia football,” Cantor wrote. “The future looks bright at Georgia . This past year we assembled an outstanding recruiting class that [the] Bulldog nation should be very proud of and allow the Bulldogs to have the increased competition at every position across the board. It is competition that will allow Georgia to get to the top of SEC. Georgia is in a great position to finish out through signing day with a great 2012 recruiting class. I know I gave my all to Georgia football and every one of the past and present recruits that ever stepped foot in Athens knows that.

“I never knowingly broke any recruiting rules at the University of Georgia . We have worked within the framework of the NCAA recruiting manual to present Georgia as a ideal place for many young men to pursue their college football aspirations. Great opportunities lie ahead in my future and I am prepared to pursue those now.”

For the rest of Chip’s story, please click here

  • Whitewater offensive lineman Jordan Watson committed to Kentucky on Tuesday, according to the Lexington Herald. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Watson will be following in the footsteps of his former high school teammate, RB Josh Clemons, who signed with the SEC school this past February.

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95 comments Add your comment

Old Dawg

July 6th, 2011
6:08 am

I don’t mean to be a downer, but I have a bad, bad, bad feeling about this Coach Cantor thing. Is it just me or does that sentence in his statement “I never knowingly broke any recruiting rules” scare the holy heck out of every Dawg fan everywhere???? Somebody out there please assure me that this is not the first of much bigger problems.

Paddy

July 6th, 2011
6:28 am

Old Dawg….he got fired right in the middle of recruiting season. I am worried also.

Randy

July 6th, 2011
6:30 am

Old Dawg, don’t you have a job to go to today? Get a life.

Dawg Consultant

July 6th, 2011
6:43 am

There is certainly more to the story than the summary “he has left to pursue other opportunities.” I have no reason to believe this is a BIG deal, but it will doubtlessly lead to speculation if for no other reasons than the lack of detail and the timing of his resignation.

Go Dawgs!

JB

July 6th, 2011
7:12 am

could be several things. number 1, it COULD be a better job in the private sector..It could be he is “worried’ as all lowly paid staff that this administration of Georgia football is under pressure to win or else. It could be from several butt chewing’s of all these little things that have popped up.He could be tired of the hours and low pay….WE don’t know!

TennesseeDawg

July 6th, 2011
7:36 am

I agree with Old Dawg. If you resigned from your job today would you include the sentence “I never knowingly embezzled company money”

.

July 6th, 2011
7:38 am

He did not leave he was pushed. However, the AJC seems to love to chum the waters with innuendo and half-told stories. This was NOT “pretty big news.” This guy was the equivalient of an administrative assistance for the recruiting office.

Chip’s reference to H. Walker only helped to perpetuate the rumor and mystery. This reference, along with Cantor’s “never knowingly broke any recruiting rules” statement and people start filling in the blanks with their imagination. Walker was on campus working out with the team a couple of weeks ago. Cantor introduced a recruit, who was on campus at the time in the Butts-Mehre building, to Herschel and that is crux of the Walker story. A secondary violation, if that. I am not sure why Chip couldn’t have just explained that this is what occured rather than just dropping in the Walker reference with no context.

..

July 6th, 2011
7:46 am

Chip’s reference to Herschel was out of the blue. What’s with that, Chip?

UGAG is gitting the ncaa death penalty, he he ha ha

July 6th, 2011
8:00 am

The end is near, all wins over the past decade will be forfeited, a three year ban on all football will be imposed on UGAG. He He Ha Ha

..........

July 6th, 2011
8:02 am

.Go ask Chip, not Michael. Wrong blog!

GH

July 6th, 2011
8:15 am

Wow he said that? Oh yeah the hammer is coming down. Why else would you say that. He wasn’t even asked if he did anything wrong. And the never knowingly is the biggest bs excuse for yeah I knew and I screwed up. Sanctions r coming to the dogs.

Tom

July 6th, 2011
8:16 am

Look at the bright side, at least you won’t have to vacate any meaningful wins. LMAO!!!

MOD

July 6th, 2011
8:18 am

Anyone else think charlie looks like lane kiffin in that photo?

Biff

July 6th, 2011
8:21 am

The video you are displaying contains motherfu**er in it in case you are not aware. Typical of the society created as a result of Brown v. Board.

Bitter "dawg reporter------aka---Chip Towers."

July 6th, 2011
8:24 am

trolls remember to mail your unemployement papers today————–hahahahahahah

—————————————–hatters—————————–

1eyedJack

July 6th, 2011
8:25 am

The conspiracy theorists are out in full force today. FYI, GT has already gotten the “death penalty”. His name is Coach Fishfry.

You're my Boy Blue

July 6th, 2011
8:26 am

If Rankins would draw offers from GA Southern, Elon, and Middle Tennessee St would Tech get involved in his recruitment.

Paul in RDU

July 6th, 2011
8:28 am

In other NC recruiting news, UGA’s top target at RB, Keith Marshall of Millbrook HS, Raleigh, made the US team for the IAAF World Youth Championships by winning the 100m in the US qualifying in Myrtle Beach last week. Marshall is not competing in Lille, France as he has a passport issue.

RxDawg

July 6th, 2011
8:48 am

Eh, I’m not going to jump to any conclusions about his sudden departure. I imagine the life of a recruiting coordinator isn’t very glamorous. You probably have to work day in day out, the pay isn’t THAT great, and you have to kiss 18 year old’s @ss’s all day. Yeh, i love my dawgs but I’d probably pass on that job.

JB

July 6th, 2011
9:00 am

RxDawg. you nailed it. Constant traveling, 80 hour weeks…….For what, 60, 70K……..or $12 an hour.

...

July 6th, 2011
9:05 am

Yep! Should’a posted on Chip’s blog instead. Death penalty for me!

Saban

July 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Doesn`t really matter who the dawgs recruit. Florida beatdown every year, new daddies everywhere.

Imagine the dawgs have been caught with their paws in the honey jar.

gt4ever

July 6th, 2011
9:19 am

“I never knowingly broke any recruiting rules” scare the holy heck out of every Dawg fan everywhere????

Sooooooo Funny… Like the Dawg nation is going to be surprised to find the football team cheats….. I mean, really!

DawginLex

July 6th, 2011
9:27 am

Arkansas 49
alabammer 3

DawginLex

July 6th, 2011
9:33 am

Penn state 63
alabammer 7

slydog

July 6th, 2011
9:34 am

so I guess all these fine institutions of higher learning have rhodes scholars as football players? get outta here with that nonsense gt4ever. everybody bends rules, breaks them, or flat out ignores them

St. Richt

July 6th, 2011
9:38 am

Coach Fish Fry? Have you taken a look at the girth on UGA’s coaching staff?? Rodney Garner and Todd Grantham both look like beached whales.

1eyedJack

July 6th, 2011
9:44 am

“Rodney Garner and Todd Grantham both look like beached whales.”

Coach Fishfry looks like a sissy and Al Groh resembles a decomposing corpse. So thar!

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

July 6th, 2011
9:51 am

[...] when I went up there for a visit but I didn’t want it to be a spur-of-moment thing,” Rankins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I decided to wait a few days until I could get back home and think about it. When I got [...]

St. Richt

July 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Seriously, does the UGA coaching staff meet at the local Krystal every day or the local Ryan’s Family Steakhouse? Maybe Piccadilly…

St. Richt

July 6th, 2011
9:58 am

LOL 1eyedjack, OUR COACH looks like a sissy? Really? You’ve got a midget with a spray on tan and receding hair line, who is generally considered one of the softest coaches on the planet right now. I can’t think of another coach who does less with more than Richt.

ga gator

July 6th, 2011
10:05 am

St. Richt, I can think of one; Urban Meyer who took 2010 off.

RambleOn84

July 6th, 2011
10:16 am

I’m always confused when a “top recruit” doesn’t have offers from either state school. To me it sends up a red flag.

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:17 am

Richt… Midget?……. You are clueless. Richt is 6′4″

cisco

July 6th, 2011
10:19 am

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:24 am

Good point Ramble….. Also, Dawgs are in desperate need for OL and ONLY have 8 or so spots left open for next years class and will sign 5 or 6, so DE is a low priority. Also, you never know when a coach from Tech or Ga visit a school to inquire and the coach tells them they are wasting their time, the kid is going to so and so or he has an offer from school X and has a silent verbal. Stuff we bloggers will never know. Go Dawgs and good luck Tech except you know when.

St. Richt

July 6th, 2011
10:25 am

JB, looks like you’re the clueless one. Richt isn’t even 6 feet, much less 6′4”. He is listed at 5′10” which probably means 5′9″. He looks like an SAE at a frat party showing up with the bad tan and the croakies holding his shades…

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:28 am

St Richt……….You got a 100k to bet. I have met the man 5 or 6 times, I’m 5′11 and he is 5 inch’s or so taller than me. you want to bet. We will arrange the money at a bank. …Waiting.

UCF Alumni

July 6th, 2011
10:32 am

This kid should be a knight!!!!10-6

RambleOn84

July 6th, 2011
10:35 am

Good point JB…we also have bigger needs than DE (NT and OL) but we did sign a couple others and it’s a bit curious we weren’t interested at all. I don’t mean to bash the kid and I may be making a mountain out of a molehill, but I keep thinking of Storm Johnson. He was such a huge talent yet neither team wanted him. He ended up at Miami, a red flag in and of itself, and is now transferring after getting in some trouble with the new staff. It may not be fair, but this is what I’m being reminded of.

Willie Martinez ... Tallest Midget

July 6th, 2011
10:35 am

“I never knowingly broke any recruiting rules at the University of Georgia…”
NEVER KNOWINGLY translates into Y-E-S, rules were broken, but I didn’t know we were breaking them.

Think of this analogy ….. a restaurant NOT KNOWINGLY serves spoiled food that gets 50 people sick. Said restaurant wasn’t trying to sicken people, but it did. Who is responsible, and more importantly WHO gets in trouble for it??? It sure ain’t the customers.

GT Fan ...

July 6th, 2011
10:38 am

Enter your comments here

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:40 am

I guess St. Richt is arranging the money?

UCF Alumni

July 6th, 2011
10:41 am

JB get a life and stop trolling on every blog loser

GT Fan ...

July 6th, 2011
10:42 am

EXACTLY what I was thinking JB & RambleOn … why no contact from the InState schools?? It’s the recruiting “experts” like Chip, Michael, Newberg, Luginbill, etc. etc. that purport these kids to be “TOP RECRUITS”

IMO … it didn’t look like the guy’s competition was worth a darn, and at the HS level when you’re 6′3″ 260 lbs. there are very few 16-18 year olds even close to your size.

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:43 am

UCF Alum………Sad to hear about the verdict ( really, not kidding). That is horrible for that family, and UCF. Good luck this year. I hope we have a better team as not to get stuck playing in a lower end bowl with a unmotivated team against a upstart like UCF with nothing to lose. Good luck this year.

Tossed Salad

July 6th, 2011
10:43 am

JB, hold off on that. Richt ain’t 6′4′. A Georgia Tech fan, though, making fun of UGA’s coach’s LOOKS? Doesn’t get any better than that. You can’t pay for that kind of entertainment.

Michael Carvell

July 6th, 2011
10:44 am

@GT Fan …. thanks for your post. Two things: 1) The state of Georgia produces nearly 200 D1 prospects per year. Georgia Tech and UGA can’t offer them all. They get a lot of good ones and they miss a lot of good ones. It’s because of the sheer number of 200 per year. 2) I think you’re a top prospect if you have 10 offers. This kid has 20. Thanks, Michael

JB

July 6th, 2011
10:47 am

I know he ain’t 5′9. I had my picture taken with him and he is at least 4-5 ‘taller than me in that picture and I’m 5′11.

Bring Back Wally Butts

July 6th, 2011
10:49 am

OK, now that everyone has gotten their pent up venom released from having to hold it over a long holiday weekend, can we get back on target?
RambleOn84 says that this kid has no offer from either of the state schools. What’s worse is that he hasn’t gotten an offer from either of the Bama schools, either. If you look at recruiting websites, Auburn, Alabama, Stanford and Notre Dame have offered every prospective athlete in the country.