Justin King, Tennessee LB recruit, switches to QB

Justin King will play linebacker at Tennessee and was supposed to play the position this year at Dunwoody High School.

However, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was shifted to quarterback after his team’s 0-2 start and King accepted the call, leading Dunwoody to three straight wins.

Dunwoody plays Southwest DeKalb at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (televised live on WSB-TV’s digital channel 2.2 and at wsbtv.com).

The future Tennessee defender is fine with playing quarterback because “the team is winning ballgames” and said his college coaches approve of it. “They like that I’m athletic enough to play different positions, especially QB. Tennessee’s coaches don’t have any problems with it. They want the best for my team, and right now that’s me playing quarterback.”

Tennessee LB commit Justin King of Dunwoody HS (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Tennessee LB commit Justin King of Dunwoody HS (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

The original plan was for King to play linebacker and running back. “Having Justin at quarterback gives us a big-time weapon at the position,” Dunwoody coach Jim Showfety said.

King committed to Tennessee one day after attending UGA’s Dawg Night prospect camp last summer. He picked the Volunteers among 15 offers, which included Virginia, Central Florida and Cincinnati. He wasn’t offered by UGA or Georgia Tech and says “there are no hard feelings.”

“Georgia and Georgia Tech have to do what’s best for them, and only they know what they are looking for,” he said. “They are trying to find the players that are the best fit for their systems. I don’t have any grudges against them, and I wish both nothing but the best.”

King will make his official visit to Tennessee next month for either the LSU or South Carolina game. He may travel to Rocky Top this weekend for the UGA match. His pick? “I’ve got to pull for the Vols.  That’s my future team and teammates. I can’t go wrong with picking the Vols.”

King has a 2.8 GPA and plans to major in Special Education. He got involved with a club at Dunwoody that volunteers to help children with learning disabilities and other handicaps. It stole his heart.

“There’s just something special about helping those kids,” King said. “I feel so comfortable around them every day. If you’re having a bad day, you can go in there and talk to them. You can tell by the way they are smiling and laughing, they love life. They bring me a lot of joy.”

King said when he reports to Tennessee to play football, he wants to volunteer with special-needs kids in the Knoxville area.

  • Remember former UGA great Eddie “The Meat Cleaver” Weaver? He was one of the best interior defensive linemen to play for Vince Dooley (He also had a legendary nickname).

“The Meat Cleaver’s” nephew, Connor Weaver, is a 5-foot-11, 280-pound nose tackle for Dunwoody. Connor’s father, the late Mike Weaver, played offensive line for UGA.

“He’s a very good student and has some very good bloodlines,” Dunwoody coach Jim Showfety said. “Connor’s biggest disadvantage is his height. But once people see him in action, he can be a very effective noseguard in a 3-4 defense. I don’t know if he will go Div. I-A, but he will definitely sign I-AA.”

“The Meat Cleaver” tutors his nephew in track with the shotput during the spring.


  • #79 Darien Foreman, OT-DL, Dunwoody, Sr., 6-4, 285: Finally in shape after shedding 30 pounds, and has been dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage. Offer from Western Kentucky, and a lot of new interest from bigger schools
    Late D1 bloomer? Dunwoody OT-DT Darian Foreman at 6-4 and 285 pounds and "dominating" both sides of the line of scrimmage (AJC)

    Late D1 bloomer? Dunwoody OT-DT Darien Foreman at 6-4 and 285 pounds and "dominating" both sides of the line of scrimmage (AJC)

  • #21 Dazel Claytor, WR, Dunwoody, Sr., 6-2, 185: Great body frame for DeKalb County’s reigning champion in the 100 and 200 meters.
  • #7 Justin King, QB-LB, Dunwoody, Sr. 6-3, 220: Committed to Tennessee.
  • #2 Shaq Goodwin, WR, Southwest DeKalb, Sr., 6-8, 240: One of nation’s top 20 basketball prospects has narrowed down to UGA, Florida, UCLA, Arizona State and Memphis.
  • #8 Arden Key, DE-TE, Southwest DeKalb, Fr., 6-4, 185: The first freshman to start in 29 years at Southwest DeKalb under legendary coach Buck Godfrey. He got his first recruiting letter recently, and it was from — Alabama. “He’s a freshman and he will be a Parade All-American as a 10th grader,” Godfrey said. “He has got the frame, the attitude, the grades and the character. He’s tough as nails, real coachable and has fun playing the game. He’s a delight to coach.”
  • #25 Toran Davis, LB-QB, Southwest DeKalb, Sr.: May be the best player on the field. Offers from Toledo and Ohio, with Virginia Tech and Maryland heavily interested.
  • #73 Damon Sprouse, OT, Southwest DeKalb, Sr.: Offers from Kentucky, East Carolina and Louisville.
  • #5 Kori Thomas, DE, Southwest DeKalb, Sr.: Offer from Southern University.


  • Tennessee-bound LB has “no hard feelings” toward UGA or Georgia Tech (click on story link)
  • Buford TE Kurt Freitag returns from official visits to Florida and Alabama (click on story link)
  • Guess why Georgia Tech’s No. 1 recruit didn’t visit UGA? TRUE STORY (click on story link)
  • North Gwinnett DL talks about Ohio State football offer (click on story link)
  • Guess who was waiting on Atlanta basketball star Tony Parker when he returned from his official visit to UCLA? Coach K. The Duke coach has launched an all-out effort to land TP (click on story link)
  • Vanderbilt (yes, Vanderbilt) is recruiting Atlanta in a way that would make Lane Kiffin proud. Vanderbilt’s coach cruised to a pair of high school games on Friday in a helicopter (click on story link)
  • Will OL Brandon Kublanow commit to UGA after getting his “dream offer” this weekend? (click on story link)
  • Steve Spurrier gets commitment from Columbia HS defensive end Jhaustin Thomas (click on story link)
  • Twin sons of ex-NBA point guard Mookie Blaylock are headed to Kentucky — but to play football (click on story link)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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32 comments Add your comment


October 6th, 2011
3:02 am

Seems like a nice young man. Wish him all the luck in the world on his decision. He did what was best for him. He seems a lot more mature than say a person like Ealey was for UGA. He seems like a team player not a me player.
Good luck young man.

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

October 6th, 2011
7:56 am

[...] will announce his choice today between Tennessee and Michigan.2. Vols LB commit Justin King is playing quarterback for his high school team.3. Tight end Kurt Freitag has visited Alabama and Florida. Will he visit [...]


October 6th, 2011
8:36 am

Wow…Alabama continues to be UGA giving offers to players before we do. I think it is time to get a new recruiting coordinator at UGA.


October 6th, 2011
8:46 am

Dooley has found another classy young man. Go get ‘em Justin.


October 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Great article. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I was King’s age! Justin seems like a fine young man and wish him nothing but the best!


October 6th, 2011
8:53 am

Shame UGA couldn’t use him. Seems like a class act. Good kid. Good luck to him. Exceot against UGA.

Bob Loblaw

October 6th, 2011
9:05 am

He got a letter, NOT AN OFFER. Life must be miserable for you, Douglas. Why would you stir an empty pot?


October 6th, 2011
9:28 am

So Richt and company always gets beat out by Alabama? You win some and you lose some, but do the names Crowell, Mitchell, Rome, and Drew mean anything to you?


October 6th, 2011
9:34 am

I understand there is an 8th grade middle linebacker from Hahira named Roscoetavious Churn that is tearing it up. Saban has yet to offer, but did dispatch Kirby Smart to watch his practice this week. ;)

Kennesaw gator

October 6th, 2011
9:56 am

I don’t understand why all the UGA fans get so worked up over recruiting and losing players to the “big boys” of the SEC – even it these young talents had chosen UGA, they would be UNDER-COACHED and under perform on the field.
I think this has become obvious to the high school coaches around the state as well.


October 6th, 2011
9:57 am

In other news, the Pee-Wee league running back that was restricted to three touchdowns per game has announced that Alabama is his frontrunner.


October 6th, 2011
10:00 am

Yeah coming to Georgia is such a career killer for players that UGA doesn’t ever send anyone to the NFL – oh wait.


October 6th, 2011
10:18 am

Alabama doesnt “whoop” georgia every year in recruiting the state. Alabama has 2 starters this year from Georgia. Bama is doing a good job this year, but every year please get off that its very inaccurate.
As for the rest i think February is when the commitments count.

Kennesaw gator

October 6th, 2011
10:37 am

Again guys, recruiting doesn’t mean squat without the COACHING. If success in college football was judged solely by the number of stars of the recruiting class, UGA would be in the running for the BCS championship every year.
Unfortunately for you dawg fans, championships are won by performance on the field…


October 6th, 2011
10:40 am

Good Luck to a nice young man. UGA and GT needs to build better relationship with local coaches. Then the 4/5 stars will HAVE Georgia/Tech on their MIND!!!!!!!!


October 6th, 2011
10:49 am

Classy young man…I wish my Jackets had offered him and attempted to keep him in-state, but I wish him the best in his college career at Tennessee.

Paul N Destin

October 6th, 2011
11:01 am

Rodney Garner is a Pat Dye cheater. He recruits by the recruiting service system since he is so lazy and not very bright either. Rodney knows where the bodies are buried so you’re stuck with him or you will use the old Pat Dye and Bobby Lowder pay them forever system!


October 6th, 2011
11:23 am

Any offers/commitment for the kid Dazel Claytor?? Can’t teach speed.

Chuck UGA

October 6th, 2011
11:42 am

Many of these kids pledge a commitment to a school before UGA evern has a chance to offer. Can’t blame Richt and Garner for waiting a bit to see how these kids shake out during their senior year. Offering mid-level talent while juniors is very dangerous. Patience is a virtue, and for good reason. Tennessee on the other hand is desperate to build their program back and are offering anyone and everyone in Georgia because of the Dooley connections plus Tennessee has so few prospects.


October 6th, 2011
5:09 pm

Seems like a great guy…and Justin….you can play for UT and still be a great Georgia fan as well. Good luck to ya!


October 6th, 2011
5:13 pm

Paul in Destin……get over Garner son….he will always out recruit smart up one side and down another….which is a shame since smart is an old Dawg getting paid by the biggest redneck state in the union!


October 6th, 2011
5:38 pm

1 eyed jack…..that pee wee runing back did get a letter from Alabama. His parents had to read it to him. It was in long-hand. They had not started teaching long-hand yet at his school.

Ramblin Man

October 6th, 2011
6:42 pm

Sounds like a good kid and I wish him well. Wonder why he had no offers from in state though?

Troll Tide

October 6th, 2011
7:01 pm

if Saban is the greatest recruiter in the world why would the top qb in Alabama not be comitted to Bamer? is Saban spending so much time in Ga that the top player, at a position of need, in the state of Alabama not going to Bamer. we need a new crutin cordnater.

5150 UOAD

October 6th, 2011
8:11 pm

Good for him.


October 6th, 2011
11:07 pm

The top rated receiver in Alabama is comitted to FSU


October 6th, 2011
11:25 pm

hate to tell yall rodney garner haters out here but, if it wasn’t for him Tenn wouldn’t won the 98 national championship. oh yeah more then half of the top recruits in one way or another have spoken to Garner. so you might want to becareful he’s a great recruiter. actually the best on your team. the problem isn’t garner. UT is rebuilding but not just taking anyone, coach dooley is taking guys who can play, and can fit into his system. not these thugs who are gonna get into trouble and be out. he weeds those guys out.i.e… Janzen Jackson. Yall know who his daddy is, and he is turning this place around!GO VOLS!


October 6th, 2011
11:28 pm


October 7th, 2011
1:53 pm

King sounds like a nice kid. His Dunwoody coaches are being selfish — he needs to play linebacker to be prepared for the next level. Did you watch the game last night — Dunwoody is going nowhere as a team and King is getting no help at QB. At least let him get prepared for his college position. And if Foreman is now in shape, I would have hated to have seen him when he was out of shape; kid could barely breath in the 4th quarter.

Ah, memories

October 8th, 2011
2:44 pm

The Weavers were Damn Good Dawgs!

I dunno

October 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

I liked it better when there was a Dunwoody and a Peachtree high….What the heck happened to Dunwoody and Dekalb county? Ughhh


October 10th, 2011
10:10 am

@ComeOn Good observations. King is a class act, as is his entire family. Dunwoody’s entire coaching staff has a number of players out of position, not just King. King was moved to QB to help an offense that was non-existent. The moved looked good because they played some weak teams, but you saw how bad their offense looked against SWD. The offense is too predictable and every team knows that we will never pass except when #21 comes in. They have a backup QB with a great arm, but he is never used. I wish they would abandon the triple option as nobody on the team seems to know how to run it correctly.