Geno Smith: Auburn vs. Alabama for Georgia’s No. 1 DB prospect

These two will be going head-to-head against each other in the SEC. Columbia WR Keithon Redding (left) has committed to Tennessee, while St. Pius defensive back Geno Smith will pick between Auburn and Alabama (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

These two will be going head-to-head against each other in the SEC. Columbia WR Keithon Redding (left) has committed to Tennessee, while St. Pius defensive back Geno Smith will pick between Auburn and Alabama (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

The recruiting version of the “Iron Bowl” will take place in Georgia soon.

Archrivals Auburn and Alabama are battling it out for St. Pius DB Geno Smith, who is considered by many to be Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect at defensive back. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Smith will announce his college decision on August 17.

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“I’m down to Auburn and Alabama,” Smith told the AJC. “Texas, Tennessee and Notre Dame are in there, too. But it’s really between Auburn and Alabama. I’m planning on deciding before school starts and that will be it.”

How do Alabama and Auburn compare? “In my opinion, they are both very similar. Coach Saban and Coach Chizik are both great defensive coaches. I enjoyed myself when I visited each school this summer. I really felt comfortable at both places. It’s going to be a really hard decision on where I want to go out of those two.”

Smith is one of the state’s leaders in early offers, racking up nearly 40 scholarships, including both UGA and Georgia Tech. He has remained one of the nation’s top-rated players at cornerback, despite maintaining a low profile since attending a prospect camp in early April.

“My senior year is very important to me,” Smith said. “I just want to be ready for it, and do whatever I can to help my team make it to the state championship game. I took some time away from recruiting and the camps. I did an early visit in the summer to Auburn, and went recently to Alabama. That was enough for me because I knew in my heart that it would come down to those two schools in the end.”

The state’s fastest football recruit” or Carrollton sprinter Jonathan Jones (undecided) and Creekside’s Josh Holsey (committed to Auburn) are also candidates to be Georgia’s No. 1 DB. Geno Smith and Holsey are close friends, with Holsey trying to recruit Smith to play with him in Auburn’s secondary.

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    There were around 30 D1 prospects at DeKalb County's Media Day, and no one passed the eyeball test like Cedar Grove High School offensive tackle Brandon Greene. Alabama aggressively recruited the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder and landed his commitment last March. It hasn't stopped other schools from trying. (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    There were around 30 D1 prospects at DeKalb County's Media Day, and no one passed the eyeball test like Cedar Grove High School offensive tackle Brandon Greene. Alabama aggressively recruited the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder and landed his commitment last March. (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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193 comments Add your comment

Wally My Butts

August 4th, 2011
5:23 am

Wally My Butts

August 4th, 2011
5:30 am

I wish the kid well wherever he goes (except the one day a year that he plays UGA). Go get a free ride and hopefully a degree because you can’t count on football all of your life.

I am kind of glad he is making a decision so that we can stop hearing about him and where he is going (I think UGA wanted him along with everyone else in college football). Media overkill. But…..Ya’ never know ’til signing day.

Chi Town

August 4th, 2011
6:00 am

Tuscaloosa bound.

Michael Carvell

August 4th, 2011
6:14 am

Reminder: Inappropriate comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please do not trash a kid simply because he is not considering your favorite school.

social circle dawg

August 4th, 2011
7:19 am

The number one DB in the great state of Georgia does not play football at St. Pius. Top talent will rarely if ever come out of a St. Pius, Marist, Woodward Academy ect. The top level of competition is just not there on a weekly Friday night basis. Those two fellas at the top of this page need haircuts.

lilburndawg

August 4th, 2011
7:29 am

C.J. Curry roasted this dude in the 7 on 7 camps over the summer. Hosley is the best DB in the state. Missing on him and Brandon Greene will come back to haunt us.

Cmon man

August 4th, 2011
7:35 am

I have heard mixed reviews on this kid some say he is pretty good and some say he alright. I heard a few wrs at his lunch this summer on the camp circuit but then some people say he held his own. If anybody has seen him play can you give a true assessment of his game. @ social circle dawg why couldnt the top db come from a private school? They play the same teams as anybody else there are no special private school leagues in atlanta.

Cmon man

August 4th, 2011
7:39 am

@lilburndawg I have heard ALOT of people say holsey is a better corner I havent seen smith play so I cant compare the two but I have seen holsey play alot and i know he is the real deal

Bama Don

August 4th, 2011
7:40 am

Saban would help the kid get to the NFL faster if he choose Bama. If he chooses
AU he will playing for a team that WILL be on probation very soon. RTR

Beast from the East

August 4th, 2011
7:50 am

Real Problem

August 4th, 2011
7:50 am

Hard to believe this kid does not go to Bama with high chances of 3 of 4 starters going to NFL in April. Bama will be selling if you want to play in the NFL….just watch the NFL 2012 draft. These blue chip players are watching what schools are producing players….Bama has four first rounders in 2011….makes recruiting soooo much easier.

Sure would like to see big time corner choose the Dogs…………..

Old Flatulent Dawg

August 4th, 2011
7:57 am

I do believe UGA needs to a get a new Recruiting Coordinator, this recruit hard 1 yr, take it easy for the next, isn’t a prescription for success year in and year out. That nonsense of “Dream Team” recruits last year, is just what it was, LAST YEAR. UGA needs to recruit like that every year. And please quit spending so much time on one or two “Superstars” and recuit bigger and better lineman year in and year out. You win and lose in the trenches, it doesn’t matter how good the back if the holes aren’t there, he’s not getting any yards. Same on defense, stuff the run and then you can get after the QB. Schemes may be fancy and new, but the theory of the “Trenches” is proven over and over.

fan

August 4th, 2011
8:00 am

Geno roasted CJ Curry last year in their game against North Hall. Games situations count the most. 7 on 7 camps situations don’t matter at this point. Geno the best DB in the State and national ranked.

social circle dawg

August 4th, 2011
8:06 am

@Cmon man…do those private schools play the AAAAA schedule around the Atlanta area or do they play a AAA or AAAA schedule. I just did not think they played all the “big boys”.

Dr. Phil

August 4th, 2011
8:09 am

One difference in players from private schools and public schools is, the private school players have higher behavior standards and little trouble meeting graduation requirements, such as the GA HS graduation test that bites Richt so frequently.

S GA AU FAN

August 4th, 2011
8:17 am

Want to be in the NFL? Come to the plains, we had 15 players from the National Chamionship team sign with NFL teams.

WAR EAGLE!

Cmon man

August 4th, 2011
8:17 am

@social circle if im not mistaken they play AAAA but I know for sure the they teams like grady stn mtn, swd and marist face off against tucker ever year private schoola arent protected some states have private school leagues but not georgia. And dr phil private schools are exempt from the grad. test so try again

1eyedJack

August 4th, 2011
8:19 am

We didn’t want him anyway! Did we?

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:21 am

Top Georiga DB decides between Bama and Auburn…..

Meanwhile……Florida lands a top middle linebacker prospect from Ohio…….I guess the Pryor effect helped the Gators with this one. The Gators are simply edging towards one of the top recruiting classes in 2012….yep….Muschamp has no chance of suceeding at Florida….NO CHANCE at all.

By the way….there was a nice artice on Muschamps’ time at Georgia in the Gainesville Sun yesterday……..in which he talked about his absolute joy of having the opportunity to come play in THE SWAMP in 1994 (the stadium he came to watch his beloved Gators play as a child)……a game in which Florida crushed Zeir and friends scoring over 50 points (and I really enjoyed watching the 10 thousand or so Dawg fans leave early in the 3rd quarter….as they did in Athens when Florida visited there (leaving mostly to Gator fans to party between the hedges)…..still want that “home and home” deal instead of Jax?

Still…….I think this is the year you have a real chance of beating the Gators. Better now blow it. That chance might not come around again for awhile. The Gators are very, very young….and are loading up with talent….yet again…..and they still have better coaches….and recruiters.

Reality Check

August 4th, 2011
8:24 am

The best DB in the state is at Carrollton H.S. Jonathan Jones has the speed and athletic ability to be a top 10 DB in the country. It is crazy that UGA will not offer him because he is under 6′0″ tall. That is why UGA will continue to spiral down.

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

Socai circle…..

Didn’t one of the top LBs in the nation come from one of those Georgia private schools last year…..and sign with Stanford? I would think…..if you have outstanding talent like this kid….going to a private school that has an outstanding football program….would be an advantage, not an disadvantage. Excellent prep both academically and athletically. No problems therefore getting into college……or learning a complicated playbook.

Again……give me a 3 star player with a 10 star brain over a 5 star player with a 3 star brain (many times even lower) any day.

30344

August 4th, 2011
8:33 am

TampaGator
August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

No, Vaughters went to TUCKER, which a public school in DEKALB… I loved the way Knowshon ran for almost 200 yards against your GATOR defense as we smacked FLA around the whole night!…Is Mack Brown going to get any carries this year?

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:36 am

I eyed Jack….

No way…..he too easily meets eligibilty requirements.

AdMan

August 4th, 2011
8:37 am

TampaGator you are indeed a number one tool…..your grade school maturity level shows each time you make a post….but then again your a gator fan and we shouldn’t expect anything else…right!

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:43 am

30344……

Yeah…..but I think his mind ventured in the realm of brilliance….didn’t it? And……I think those schools regularly sent players to NCAA teams. I now Tech has had star players from Marist…and I think some of them played in the NFL.

Plus….I am not exactly sure how to connect your first though with the Knowshon thought….he came from NJ, didn’t he?. But, yep…..your teams gets a Florida acorn about every 6 to7 years or so….at least lately….and since the invention of the forward pass (that would be after 1980).

But…..you went down to Florida and found a QB who knows how to effectly throw onel…..and you now have a chance this year. Don’t blow it……

BB

August 4th, 2011
8:46 am

St Pius X is AAA school in Atlanta. They ended up losing to Carrollton last year in the playoffs 7-14. They should be a top 10 team this year with the guys coming back.

Region has..
Druid Hills Arabia Mountain
Grady Cedar Grove
North Atlanta Columbia
North Springs McNair
Riverwood Stone Mountain
St. Pius X Towers
Washington Woodward Academy

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
8:49 am

TampaGator:

Dude, do you know anything about football or recruiting. It seems to me before you start throwing around specific players and situations to A) Get their names B) Get the schools they went to right, and C) stop being such a homer. There is no way that you think Florida is doing as great as they have in years past. It is painfully obvious that Urban Meyer successfully depleted his talent pool of anyone that run that offense. The sheer fact that Chris Rainey is still on the team is baffling (even more baffling Stephen Garcia is still on South Carolina, but the again it may have something to do with that good ol “Florida tradition”). Since when is it fair to allow criminals to take the field on Saturdays? Oh well, I guess TampaGator won’t even understand anything about recruiting or college football. This year UGA’s class will not be as glamorous on paper as last year’s, but it will serve to fill holes on the team. Can’t win if you forget to recruit offensive linemen and only 7 on the opening day roster. Just a thought.

NCAA Enforcement

August 4th, 2011
8:50 am

Hey Bama Don,

Why would this kid risk going to a school that might be on probation when he can go to a school already on probation?

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2011
8:51 am

FSU gaining huge on the Gators !!!!

DC

August 4th, 2011
8:51 am

He signs with AU. His buddy has already committed to AU…and remember folks most freshmen dont start unless it is extremely necessary…Ideally you would want them to wait at least 1 year so they can understand the schemes and get used to the grind.

Woah eagle baby!

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:53 am

Adman….

“Number one tool”……

Well….how insightful and immaginative such thinking is….I am so impressed with your cognitive thinking and critical thinking skills……and so embarrassed by my own low-level Gator, educational background and mental development over the years.

As a former (successfully retired) corporate adman myself…..your resume most likely would not have made it by my administrative assistant’s desk. Just saying.

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
8:54 am

The invention of the forward pass was 1980? I believe the rules were changed in 1906 to change that. I guess you should tell Fran Tarkenton, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, and Bart Starr they were all doing it wrong in their day. This comment by TampaGator I thoroughly enjoyed.

30344

August 4th, 2011
8:55 am

TampaGator
August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

I thought Stafford was the QB when UGA smacked Fla and wasn’t he the #1 pick in the draft?…Fla made a horrible hire in the offseason, I was so happy when Fla hired Muschamp, get ready for annual butt kickings from UGA and SC for the next 5 years!…I respect Marist, they play in a loaded reigon, but i can’t recall one player who has made an impact in college from Marist..Fla is getting a great kicker from Marist this year though

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
8:56 am

Destin Dawg….

FSU has stopped gaining on the Gators……currently, talented on the roster wise…..they have jumped slightly ahead of the Gators. Fisher is a terriffic coach and person. He and Muschamp have been the best of friends, and their wives are best friends. It is going to be interesting to see how that relationship works in the coming years…….but Muschamp came in last year and saved a very good recruiting class….and he is putting together a great recruiting class now. So, things will even back up soon…..as it should. I like things better when FSU and Florida was a toss up every year. It was more fun than watching the Gators crush them 7 years in a row.

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
8:56 am

@TampaGator

Cognitive thinking? How else do you think? Isn’t all “thinking” “cognitive” in nature? You sir are a moron.

YoDawg!

August 4th, 2011
9:04 am

UGA is fine at DB! We need big, hard hitting guys back there! Thats what we’d like to see! We’ve gone the small, fast guy route before, and it didn’t work out… I’d like to see more Paul Oliver’s come through.

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:05 am

30344…..

Stafford…..I believe….is an example of one of those 5-star players with a 3-star brain…..I think. Murrary will be the better QB at Georgia (but maybe to small to play in the NFL….they said the same thing about Tarkenton, didn’t they)….and gives Georgia a better chance of winning the SEC…because of his combination of brains, physicall skill, and innate athletic skills. Plus….Mareno had more to do with that win than Stafford did. When Georgia had to rely on Stafford to beat Florida….they got crushed. Stafford better do it this year with the Lions (and not cry, “I’m hurt” again….or he will soon be on his way out of the NFL….with all his guaranteed millions. He has been a total flop in the NFL so far. But he is surreounded by a lot of talent in Detroit this year. Let’s see if he has it or not. I hope he gets it together. The Lion fans need it…..bad…real bad.

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:07 am

JAX Dawg….

There are various levels of cognitive skills……that is why some people go to college and become doctors and some don’t and fix TVs. You have to think to do both…..but one requires a different set of cognitive skills than the other……..and this moron knows that.

AdMan

August 4th, 2011
9:10 am

TampaGator just the`way you replied to my post about you says it all. I can assure you that I would never submit a resume to you under any circumstance.I work in much higher circles than the world of advertizing coupons and supermarket ads that you did.The people that work for me and that I work with can actually think for themselves and don’t pat themselves on the back like you do everyday….your ego tends to get in the way of your diarrea mouth too much to be successful in the circles that I work in…but then again your a gator fan and that explains it all…doesn’t it!

30344

August 4th, 2011
9:10 am

TampaGator
August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

“FSU has stopped gaining on the Gators……currently, talented on the roster wise…..they have jumped slightly ahead of the Gators”

FSU is 10x better than FLa right now, no comparing the rosters at all…Winston is better than any QB on your roster right now..FLA is ready to get back to 3rd best in FLA…

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:12 am

JaxDawg….

Again….it is levels of cognitive thinking.

Yes……Tark was a passer….more of a scambller to pass in his day…..but Spurrier took the passing game to an entirely new level in the 90’s…..when Florida became a power in the SEC….and unlike anything Tark had known….or any QB in the SEC up to that point for that matter….before then. The SEC, like most of the country, emphasized running to win. Spurrier changed all that in the 90’s.

I hope you enjoy this comment as much.

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
9:14 am

You do know that the word cognitive refers to mental processes correct? All thinking takes place in the brain correct? A mental process, by definition, is one that originates in the brain, correct? So tell me how is it that “cognitive thinking” is any different than thinking? I agree that there are different levels of thinking that require different cognitive abilities. But you sir, said “cognitive thinking” which is clearly repetitive. Please, don’t try to dig yourself out of a hole by saying “what I meant to say was….” It is embarrassing when a, hopefully, grown man cannot muster the testicular fortitude to admit he was wrong. Thanks for the follow up explanation to your completely erroneous first statement. Next time, my advice is to use the English language properly when criticizing people. Otherwise, you open yourself to the same level of criticism.

MikeP

August 4th, 2011
9:14 am

Bama Don
August 4th, 2011
7:40 am
“Saban would help the kid get to the NFL faster if he choose Bama. If he chooses
AU he will playing for a team that WILL be on probation very soon. RTR”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NFL: Auburn currently has 34 players in the league, bammer 27. Every year the best DB in the nation wins the Thorpe Award. Chizik has coached three Thorpe Award winners, Saban zero. Three weeks ago a Dallas Cowboys coach was complaining about having to teach Saban’s former DB’s how to play the position. If a DB is interested in the NFL, bammer is one of the last places he wants to go.

The idea that Auburn is going on probation is silly. Quoting Mark Emmert, NCAA president: “The reason the Cam Newton situation was settled relatively quickly is because nothing of value changed hands”. That’s all over but the paperwork.

In Tuskaloser, however, there are actual photographs of questionable activities. Looks like Ohio State HEAVY over there. The Tahd is on probation now and has been for 17 of the past 20 years, going for 21 of 24?

Come to Auburn, Geno, it’s one of the better decisions you’ll ever make!

ricky aldridge

August 4th, 2011
9:15 am

If Geno wants to play early and often Auburn is where he needs to go. Bama is stacked with db’s, while auburn is too, but not much experience

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
9:16 am

By stating that it is levels of “cognitive thinking” you have compounded your idiocy. Every process that occurs in the brain is cognitive. All thinking occurs in the brain. Therefore, thinking is a cognitive process.

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
9:17 am

You said 1980s in your first post. This linking of separate ideas must be tiresome on your “cognitive thinking.:

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:19 am

30344…..

Who is Winston? Never heard of him. I thought Manual was there QB….and a very good one….and he is better….right now….than any QB on Florida’s roster…..but Florida currently has two freshmen….both in the top 5 QB in the nation last year….one of which was rated the very best. You might have ;heard of them……Driskell and Brissett. I think the QB postion, at Florida, is in good hands talent wise….for years to come……and they are going to be coached by a fairly good QB coach….you night have heard his name too…..he coached the kid with the Patriots and turned around the career of the QB at KC last year….one, Charlie Weis (and yes, he has some weight on him….but that does not change the fact that he is the best QB coach in the country and a great offensive mind….and coaches for Florida. So….as I said….things will even up real quick.

JAXDAWG

August 4th, 2011
9:22 am

@TampaGator

Do you pay attention to recruiting? Winston is #11 on the ESPNU 150. He is the #1 QB. Which is, shockingly, in the Top 5 as your boy Driskell was. I don’t believe Brissett was Top 5 though. Don’t come on a recruiting blog the day after the #1 QB in the nation committed to your IN-STATE rival and start running your mouth. You didn’t even have to do research to know this. It was on the bottom line on ESPN all day yesterday. LEAVE US UNWORTHY BLOGGER!!

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:25 am

JaxDawg…..

Go read some psyh journals…..I have read hundreds…..cognitive skills are developed through stages,….and some reach higher stages than other…..and yes….cognitive is all thinking….but isn’t it obvious to you…..without reading those journals…..that people have different cognitive skill abilities. And….sometimes…that makes it difficult for those with varying levels of cognitive skill development to communciate with one another…

TampaGator

August 4th, 2011
9:26 am

That would be, “psych” ….sbort for psychology.