Archive for August, 2011

Jason Croom picks Tennessee over Mississippi State

WR Jason Croom, who will sign with Tennessee, is the featured player on tonight's WSB-TV's "Thursday Night Football." See below for specific TV channels (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

WR Jason Croom, who will sign with Tennessee, is the featured player on tonight's WSB-TV's "Thursday Night Football." See below for specific TV channels (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Jason Croom, one of Georgia’s top college football prospects at wide receiver, committed to Tennessee on Thursday.

The 6-foot-5, 226-pounder picked the Volunteers over Mississippi State, among his 17 early offers, which also included Auburn, Michigan and Florida State. Croom is the fifth player from Georgia to join Tennessee’s 2012 recruiting class, and No. 2 at wide reciever, along with Columbia High School’s Keithon Redding.

“You know how they say ‘when you visit the right school, you will just know it?’ That’s how it was at Tennessee,” Croom told the AJC. “They think I can develop into a special player for them. They really care about my academics and helping me get a degree. I really like the coaches, the players, the atmosphere — you know, everything about the place.”

Norcross coach Keith …

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Tennessee vs. Mississippi State for Norcross WR Jason Croom

One of Georgia’s top football prospects at wide receiver will announce his college decision before Norcross High School’s season-opener against Dacula on Thursday.

Jason Croom will decide between Tennessee and Mississippi State among his 17 early scholarship offers around 3 p.m. on Thursday. Croom was a member of Norcross High’s state championship basketball team last season but will focus on football only in college.

“The colleges love his ability,” Norcross coach Keith Maloof said. “He’s big, he’s 200 pounds. He’s 6-foot-5 and he can run. He can get behind the secondary. He can run the possession routes. He can block outside on the corners. Just about everything he does is good.”

Norcross High School WR Jason Croom will decide between Tennessee and Mississippi State on Thursday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Norcross High School WR Jason Croom will decide between Tennessee and Mississippi State on Thursday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Croom talked about his two finalists. “With Mississippi State, I like the coaches, the players and facilities. It’s like one big family. They are in a spread offense …

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Stephenson LB Raphael Kirby remains committed to Miami, for now

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" at Stephenson's spring practice (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" at Stephenson's spring practice (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Do you think Miami’s potential NCAA violations will scare off recruits?

  • No, it’s still “The U”
  • Yes. Duh

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Stephenson High School LB Raphael Kirby remains committed to Miami, despite reports that the Hurricanes broke numerous NCAA rules.

“Right now, it’s just allegations … but it shocked me, and it shocked a lot of people,” Kirby told the AJC. “Right now, I’m still committed to Miami, so I’m taking it day by day. But I do know about everything that is going down there.”

Kirby said he talked with Miami assistant Terry Richardson at length: “We discussed the whole situation, what went down and how things transpired. He basically told ’since it’s Miami, the NCAA is going to investigate hard. And time will tell.’ He didn’t really know what was going to happen. As you know, it’s a new coaching staff, and all that stuff had to do with the …

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DT Jordan Watkins narrows down to 3: UGA, Florida and Stanford

UGA target Jordan Watkins, a DL from Woodward Academy. has narrowed down to UGA, Florida and Stanford (Photo by Rusty Mansell/247Sports.com)

UGA target Jordan Watkins, a DL from Woodward Academy. has narrowed down to UGA, Florida and Stanford (Photo by Rusty Mansell/247Sports.com)

Jordan Watkins prediction?

  • Dawgs
  • Florida
  • Stanford

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And then there were three.

Jordan Watkins, one of the state’s top college football prospects at defensive tackle, started off the recruiting process with 35 schools. The Woodward Academy football product narrowed it all the way down to three on Wednesday.

Which schools are the finalists? It’s UGA, Florida and Stanford.

Scratched off the shortlist are Miami, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

“It’s those three because they are all great schools athletically and academically,” Watkins told the AJC. “That helped them stand out among the top eight. Of course, with some of the other schools dealing with NCAA allegations (Miami), that made it a little easier to get to three.”

UGA fans have been vocal about feeling pretty confident about their …

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Geno Smith, AJC Super 11 DB, picks Alabama over Auburn

St. Pius DB Geno Smith (right) is Alabama's No. 5 2012 recruit from Georgia, including Cedar Grove OT Brandon Greene (left). AJC photo by Michael Carvell

Alabama invasion?? St. Pius DB Geno Smith (right) is Alabama's No. 7 2012 recruit from Georgia, including Cedar Grove OT Brandon Greene (left). AJC photo by Michael Carvell

Are UGA and Georgia Tech losing too many homegrown players to out-of-state schools?

  • Yes
  • No sir, the state produces nearly 200 D1 recruits per year. Can’t get them all
  • No, but I don’t like that the “invaders” are getting so many elite ones

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St. Pius defensive back Geno Smith committed to Alabama over archrival Auburn on Wednesday

Why type of player is Alabama getting? St. Pius coach Paul Standard told the AJC a talented football player, good student, and more. “He has been raised by his mother who has done an outstanding job in leading him. To me there is not the ‘great-player-but-what-if’ factor. There’s not the ‘what if he’s not going to class? There’s not the ‘what if he can’t stay out of trouble?’ They are getting someone who is a great person and …

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F-Bombs and Facebook insults before Geno Smith picks Alabama or Auburn

Geno prediction?

  • Roll Tide
  • War Eagle

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As one of the nation’s most heavily-recruited defensive backs, Geno Smith has heard plenty of trash-talking from opposing wide receivers over the years.

But surely nothing could have prepared the St. Pius cornerback for the verbal warfare between Auburn and Alabama fans on his Facebook page on Tuesday night.

Poor Geno, all he did was simply post “Tomorrow is the day!” on Facebook wall

It was in advance of Smith’s college decision between hated archrivals Auburn and Alabama scheduled for shortly after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

Within three hours, Smith had 128 replies to his four-word post, including a series of F-Bombs and insults traded between Auburn and Alabama fans, and probably some fans of other schools. A sampling of comments (in no order):

  • “yall [bleepers] are dumb… lets just all agree AU sucks and be done with it”
  • “Yea….. That’s we spanked you last year! WDE 28-27!”
  • “Roll tide!! Saben …

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John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins, John Theus

The instant classic between elite college football prospects John Theus (right) vs. Jordan Jenkins (left, yellow shorts) at Dawg Night. They are ranked the No. 1 overall prospects in Florida and Georgia by some. (Photo courtesy of UGASports.com's Radi Nabulsi)

Both are great prospects. Which do you predict will have a bigger impact in college?

  • OL John Theus
  • DE Jordan Jenkins

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John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins.

It sounded like a headliner on a fightcard you’d see for a UFC, MMA or boxing match. But this showdown was about football.

John Theus vs. Jordan Jenkins.

Before we move forward to the start of the high school football season later this week, we thought we’d take a look back at the best head-to-head matchup of football prospects at a summer college camp.

We voted for “Theus vs. Jenkins,” which featured Florida’s No. 1 vs. Georgia’s best. The location for the showdown was Athens, Ga., at UGA’s “Dawg Night” camp last month.

In one …

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Ex-LSU offensive lineman Cameron Fordham transfers to NC State

Cameron Fordham, who was granted his release from LSU’s football team after one season, has decided to transfer to NC State.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Northview High School picked the ACC school after making official visits to both NC State and Central Florida this past weekend.

Cameron Fordham

“I chose NC State because I felt like it was the best place for me both academically and athletically,” Fordham told the AJC. “I felt like there was a lot of integrity in the program at NC State. The coaches are all about the right things, and they really wanted me — which made me go for it.”

Fordham will have to sit out this season at NC State, per NCAA transfer rules, and then have three years of football eligibility. Fordham briefly considered the possibility of staying closer home at UGA, saying “I talked to Georgia a little bit but I think they are full at this time.”

When asked about the circumstances surrounding his decision to transfer from LSU, Fordham said, “I’m going to …

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Keith Marshall, nation’s No. 1 RB, will make official visit to UGA for South Carolina game

Will the presence of Isaiah Crowell help or hurt UGA’s chances at landing a top RB prospect?

  • Help. It takes two RBs in the SEC
  • Hurt. Will never play with IC there

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  • BREAKING: Top Georgia LB commits to Auburn (go here)

UGA has a shot at the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back.

Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C., said UGA will be one of his three official visits, along with Notre Dame and Florida, he announced via Twitter.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder will make his recruiting trip for UGA’s  game against South Carolina on Sept. 10.

What about Isaiah Crowell at UGA? Wouldn’t that scare off any top RB prospect from even considering UGA? Surprisingly, the answer is “no” from Marshall, as Crowell’s presence is actually a positive. Marshall explained his perspective recently to UGASports/Rivals.com’s Radi Nabulsi:

“I do not want to be the only guy. I would love to play with another back because I do not want to take a beating. Especially in …

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LB Trey Johnson picks Auburn over FSU, Florida, Clemson and Tennessee (UPDATED)

Which Alabama school is recruiting Georgia better over the last 10 months?

  • War Eagle
  • Roll Tide

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Auburn landed one of Georgia’s top college football prospects for 2013 on Monday, and they took advantage of some inside position to do it.

Central Gwinnett High School junior linebacker Trey Johnson committed to Auburn over Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee and South Carolina among his 24 early scholarship offers.

“Obviously being the national champion, Auburn has a great football program; Trey wanted to play for a winning program,” Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told the AJC.

Another advantage Auburn had was with the coach recruiting Johnson — Ted Roof, the Auburn defensive coordinator who played football at Central Gwinnett before later starring at Georgia Tech. “Trey and Coach Roof really have a great friendship. It was a different kind of bond than Trey had with the coaches at the other schools he visited. Trey really …

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