DE Sheldon Rankins ’shocked’ about firing of UNC’s Butch Davis

Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins was "shocked" by the firing of Butch Davis. But not enough to still consider signing with North Carolina.

Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins was "shocked" by the firing of Butch Davis. But not enough to still consider signing with North Carolina.

One of Georgia’s top college football prospects was “shocked” with the firing of North Carolina coach Butch Davis.

Sheldon Rankins, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end from Eastside-Covington High School, is a prime UNC recruiting target and admitted he would be committed to the Tar Heels right now if they weren’t under NCAA investigation. Rankins was caught off guard by Wednesday’s turn of events.

“It’s always a shocker to hear the head coach of the football team you really  like got fired … but you take it as it is and go with it,” Rankins told the AJC. “I was already looking at other options because of the NCAA sanctions, so it didn’t really affect me that much. Everything is still wide open.”

Rankins said his top two options are South Florida and Auburn, while he’s also communicating with N.C. State, Mississippi State, Louisville and Nebraska. Rankins stated that Auburn recently offered him a scholarship.

“It was around two weeks ago, and we spoke a little bit,” Rankins said. “They want me to come down there, see the campus and get a good feel for the place.” Rankins said he may visit this weekend or next.

Rankins hasn’t ruled out North Carolina, despite the firing of Davis and looming NCAA penalties. “I’ve always liked North Carolina. Since I was a kid, I’ve watched North Carolina basketball, and I’ve followed their football program a little bit.

“I’ve always liked the Tar Heels. And, you know, Coach Davis was a coach I really liked. Anyone would tell you when a head coach that you’re really fond of gets fired that it would affect your decision. I’m going to wait to see who they name as head coach and go from there.”

  • Lithonia High School offensive lineman Joe Harris commits to South Carolina over UGA and Clemson (click on story link)
  • One of Georgia’s top basketball players has Duke, Memphis and Ohio State as his leaders. Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound forward from Miller Grove High School, is also talking with North Carolina and NCAA champion UConn (click on story link)


– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item?


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62 comments Add your comment

[...] Click here to read about top UNC recruiting target in Georgia shocked by firing of Butch [...]


July 28th, 2011
2:22 am

Will butch davis’ firing help UGA with keith Marshall?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Who cares (the original)

July 28th, 2011
6:56 am

Why wait so late to fire him???

Go Jackets!!!


July 28th, 2011
7:24 am

Sheldon is smart and comes from a great family so he’ll make the best decision for him when the time comes….I hope it’s Auburn baby!!!!!!!!!!! WDE


July 28th, 2011
8:12 am

Anyone surprised that North Carolina is in trouble with the NCAA? Everybody who follows college football knows that Butch Davis is a walking time bomb.


July 28th, 2011
8:26 am

Looks like with the corrupt cesspool and cheating and lies at the Trade School that coach Moobs Johnson will be next to get canned, and rightfully so.


July 28th, 2011
8:26 am

When UNC hired Davis I predicted that they would soon become thug U. It didn’t take long, but it had to happen. Not a Heels fan, but the university has a better reputation than what Davis brought them. It will be interesting to see how this affects their play this year.


July 28th, 2011
8:38 am

The only shock is that he lasted this long….

Vince Dawgley

July 28th, 2011
8:43 am

James, you better watch out. The dam is about to break and the flood of findings of uga violations and cheating is about to start. Jarvis Jones will be first and there will be more to follow. And if uga were ever to become concerned about academic integrity like UNC decided to be, you might not have enough players left to field a team.


July 28th, 2011
8:59 am

I was shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that Butch Davis was involved in any wrongdoing

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

July 28th, 2011
9:09 am

Looks like he’ll join tressell and coach rod making big ESPN bucks…well seems that ESPN is hiring more and more women to do mens sports…sad.


July 28th, 2011
9:12 am

Vince Dawgley, if that is your real name, even if Jones committed a violation, which is still in doubt, it happened under the watch of USC and has no link to Georgia. Try to keep up.

Jackets 2011

July 28th, 2011
9:55 am

UNC going to finish in division higher than Tech?
No way.
Worse for Heels is the next shoe to drop.
At least we got our penalty out of the way and have regrouped.

Jackets 2011

July 28th, 2011
9:58 am

Spurrier doing an excellent job of raiding Georgia.
The guys Dawgs used to sign going there, Bama and Auburn.
Richt should have been a second dad to his two running backs and gotten them through school.
What did they get for playing for Uga for a few years?
Their fault some but some on coach too.


July 28th, 2011
10:00 am

Georgia doesn`t have the brains to cheat, and if they were successful Richt would coach them all down to a 5-7 season.

Boise State 66 Dawgs 0

Jackets 2011

July 28th, 2011
10:02 am

Paul Johnson is not on the hot seat.
Richt is.
With the easy schedule aside from first two games, he better win big.
Lots of dawg fans alarmed at how often families want player to go to Uga but he chooses out of state anyway.

Jackets 2011

July 28th, 2011
10:05 am

The post office jobs you used to arrange for guys who could not make the pros not going to be there anymore.

Jackets 2011

July 28th, 2011
10:52 am

I can’t wait for Dragon Con!


July 28th, 2011
10:53 am

Did anyone see the article in USA Today headlined “Alabama players will no longer attend booster sponsored merchandise signings.”? Trouble on the way?


July 28th, 2011
10:57 am

Keith Marshall come on down Go Dawgs .

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Sir Barks A Lot

July 28th, 2011
11:04 am

Vince Dawgly – UGA is fine and no corruption there. Any issues on Jones – are on Jones, his AAU coach regarding travel to USC.

How many days unitl kickoff?

This is a huge season for UGA – and I think at the end of the year – UGA will win 9 to 10 games.

1. DEFENSE improvement is understated – and the control of the line will be much improved. This will have a positive impact on our offense.
2. OL depth is an issue – but our line play will be better.
– OL will be more physical at the line of the attack due to caoch T.
3. UGA will be better prepared to win the 4th Q.
4. Schedule – should beat all of our SWC West opponents this year – the games will not be push overs – but we will win these games. That leaves Boise, USCe and Florida.
Tennessee will be improved – but predicting a UGA win
Auburn lost too many – rebuilding – will resemble Tennessee last year – and will give great effort.

4 toughest games – Boise State, USCe, Mississippi ST, Florida
2nd Wave – Tennessee, Auburn, GT
3rd Wave – Kentucky, Ole Miss
Last Wave – Vandy, New Mex ST and Coastal Carolina

Go Dawgs!


July 28th, 2011
11:17 am

@Jackets 2011 –

I concede your point. You are correct. See, UGA is expected to beat the cheats from North Ave. every single year since they are your masters. Therefore a win over the thugs from Atlanta garners you zero brownie points. However, a Yech coach defeating UGA gives you 15 years worry free, along with Cracker Jack “state championship” rings. So yes, I see your point ;)

This is a "what if"?

July 28th, 2011
11:17 am

Davis must be wondering now if there had been no suspensions….he at least could probably had a good season to vacate.

ps…we all know that the coach does not make those suspension decisions.


July 28th, 2011
11:21 am

Vince Dawley

you are an idiot. The investigation with Jones has nothing to do with UGA. You should be worried about mire evidence being discovered with your cheating insects


July 28th, 2011
11:24 am

James = Troll


July 28th, 2011
11:35 am

BRW = Typical angry, jealous, bitter, jobless, miserable, virgin Yech troll


July 28th, 2011
11:41 am

Sir B A L, I am not a Dog basher, but I do think you have a couple of significant issues…depth on the O-line…lack of a proven backup QB (my Jackets’ season callapsed last year after Nesbitt broke his arm)…and having to rely on a true freshman to carry the load at running back…which isn’t just carrying the rock, but also picking up the blocking schemes. You will know a lot about your team after the 1st 2 games…I and my fellow Tech fans will know nothing until at least game 4, and possibly not even then, since UNC is in disarray after Davis’s firing. Anyway, looking forward to the season…good luck until 11/26.


July 28th, 2011
12:06 pm

So now the athletic director is out. There is a mess in Chapel Hill.

Paul in RDU

July 28th, 2011
12:14 pm

Baddour doesn’t step down at Chapel Hill until his contract runs out in Summer 2012.


July 28th, 2011
12:33 pm

Looks like UNC fans will be shopping at Coaches By The Numbers here…


July 28th, 2011
12:34 pm


According to ESPN, Baddour quit and told the chancellor to start looking for a replacement


July 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

sheldon is a class act and eastside is a good program. hey gt fans, come see sheldon vs adams saturday oct 1 (sandy creek vs eastside). should be a bloody war!


July 28th, 2011
1:08 pm

I have always liked North Carolina but there was no way Butch Davis was going to survive what happened last year. By firing Davis and their AD, Baddour it will definitely send a message to the NCAA that what allowed the discipline to get that bad at UNC has been purged. Davis did nothing wrong except to look the other way and let kids do what they wanted but the penalty from the NCAA will be a lot least severe . . First it will cost them Davis last year salary of 2.7 million and could hurt recruiting depending on who they hire and when.


July 28th, 2011
1:19 pm

That brings us the GEORGIA. I am so proud that UGA got rid of the trouble makers before the disciplined at Georgia got so bad that we ended up like North Carolina. With as many players that were disciplined last year everyone could see that the kids were running the show. They treated their privilege of having a scholarship as their right and the university as their own little play ground. Most assuredly it was embarrassing and I applaud McGarity for doing something before it was to late.


July 28th, 2011
1:51 pm

Jackets 2011, By your reasoning you don’t believe this student was fully responsible for his failures, the first thing they told my son, when he started College, was it was his responsibility to make passing grades not mine, or someone else’s, Coach Richt could not make this individual do something he didn’t want to do in the first place, you can’t make a person learn, or do right if they don’t want to, some people are just bad eggs, and you never know them till its to late. I blame this more on the parents, and their high school teachers, and coaches for not being honest with these College Coaches in the first place, you know, they know, what kind of person they are to begin with, how many times have you heard he’s a good student with no off field problems, then they come to college, and they change? No, they were that way to begin with, it’s just brought to light in college.

Paul in RDU

July 28th, 2011
2:13 pm

Thanks for the clarification. The first report I read said that he was staying through his contract (til Summer 2012) but the N&O has it that he is getting paid through his contract. Bit of a difference


July 28th, 2011
2:25 pm

One of the problems with college football is they have dummied it down so a lot of kids that have no business going to college can play football. Make no mistake a certain percent of college football players are there only to play football. If these kids were exposed to a real curriculum they wouldn’t last one semester. I am not looking down on these kids but they have no business in college. We have a certain requirements that gets you into and out of college that is bypassed for football players. Now a lot of these kids are smart and deserve to be there. But for the others majors have been invented that a smart seventh grader could pass. All kids deserve to have a post high school education but all kids are not smart enough to take the college route. That’s why you have on the job training and Vo-Tech in most towns.
All organization that controls this at colleges should be ashamed that they have allowed themselves to be Pro Footballs minor leagues letting the tax payers pay for these kids football development instead of where it should be, with the Pro teams.

Beast from the East

July 28th, 2011
2:35 pm

Don’t really understand the timing of Davis’ firing. Why wouldn’t they have done this months ago, as nothing new has come out with the investigation. It appears to me that they are just trying to exercise some damage control and hope the punishment from the NCAA isn’t too harsh. Kind of like the way OSU handled their situation.


July 28th, 2011
3:59 pm

I hate to say this about a kid I don’t even know, but he has to be an idiot to say he’s shocked that Davis got fired. Everyone that follows college football knew that this was coming. It was honestly just a matter of time. I said it when he was hired that he would get UNC into some major trouble. But that’s what happens when you hire a guy like Butch Davis. UNC knew what they were getting when they hired him. I personally am a fan of UNC, but I think they’ll get what they deserve for hiring him and letting him do what he did to their program.


July 28th, 2011
6:01 pm

You attend NC first: to get a great education, second: to play basketball, third: to play lacrosse, and fourth: to be on the debate team…not to play football. NC had no business hiring Butch and his baggage in the first place.


July 28th, 2011
6:10 pm

James…when did CPJ get on the hot seat? He has done a great job at Tech. You need to watch more football or try ladies basketball.

Team Dream

July 28th, 2011
6:19 pm

Aww, whutz a matta ‘James’ …. did somebody step on your widdle tail??

Rodney Dangerfield

July 28th, 2011
10:54 pm

Recruits were “shocked” at the firing of Butch? Were they living under a rock? I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. I’m guessing UNC is going with the Ohio St “blame it on the coach, we had nothing to do with it (even though we employ the coach and are indeed responsible for what he does)” approach.

Rodney Dangerfield

July 28th, 2011
10:55 pm

But then again UNC is not the cash cow Ohio St is for the NCAA. Good luck UNC!

Broadway Danny Rose

July 29th, 2011
3:09 am

Yeah, this kid sounds like a real intellectual. It’s hard to believe Stanford or Duke weren’t vying for his services–instead of Auburn and University of South Florida.

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