Georgia Tech had its biggest and best recruiting turnout of the year for Saturday’s upset over Clemson.
More than two dozen of the state’s top college prospects turned out for the game, including Allatoona High School running back Miles Jones.
“It was a pretty lively atmosphere for college football,” Jones told the AJC. “Everybody was pretty excited. There were a lot of people there. The place was packed, and it was loud. I liked it a lot. It made you want to go out on the field and play yourself.”
Around 10 Georgia Tech commitments for 2012 showed up on Saturday, including Central Gwinnett defensive end Francis Kallon, Sandy Creek offensive lineman Will Adams, and running back Marcus Allen of Hilliard, Fla.
Sandy Creek cornerback Shaquille Wiggins and Tri-Cities offensive lineman Shamire Devine were among a select group of the state’s top juniors who attended the game. There were also some big-time uncommitted seniors, including AJC Super 11 defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson of Henry County and Liberty County running back Shadrach Thornton.
Back to Miles Jones: Georgia Tech is looking to sign at least two running backs for 2012, and already has one commitment in Allen. Thornton, who made an official visit to Georgia Tech this past weekend, appears to be another top target. Thornton is a “soft” commitment to Kentucky, but now is reportedly torn between Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
What about Jones? He does not have an offer from Georgia Tech, but he said the Yellow Jackets may be close. “They said I’m at the top of their recruiting board,” Jones said. “Right now, they are trying to get their numbers together before they can give out any more scholarships. But they said I’m next in line, right at the top.”
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Jones said an offer from Georgia Tech may depend on Thornton’s decision. Thornton told the AJC last week that he expects to finalize his college decision within the next couple of weeks.
“That’s what I’ve been hearing, but I’m not sure,” Jones said. “I saw [Thornton] at the game on Saturday. I have heard some stuff — that if they don’t get him, then I may be the next they offer. But I mean I don’t know how all of that will work out. Hopefully, it will all work out in my favor, of course. I’m going to keep focusing on my senior season at Allatoona and let this recruiting situation play itself out. There’s really nothing more I can do.”
There’s also rampant speculation that if Georgia Tech offered Jones, he would commit faster than he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds.
“I’d definitely consider committing,” Jones said. “I want to take an official visit there first … but yes, an offer would be good news for me. I would really consider Georgia Tech. I could see myself going there. But I can’t say that when they offer me, if it happens, that I would commit right then.”
Jones has intrigued college scouts with his strong performance as a senior, rushing for 1,470 yards and 21 touchdowns in the first nine games for playoff-bound Allatoona. He’s also had feelers from UGA, Duke, Tennessee, N.C. State, and Middle Tennessee State, among others. He has been to three Georgia Tech games this season, along with one at UGA. “They [UGA} told me they are still looking for running backs, and I’m on their board, too.” Jones said he was offered by Kentucky as a sophomore but hasn't had much recent contact with the Wildcats.
RELATED: From Todd Holcomb of Georgia High School Football Daily: Frederick Walker, a 6-3, 325-pound noseguard for undefeated Lamar County, has picked up offers from Mississippi State and Kansas the past two weeks and could be swayed to change his about South Alabama, where he is committed, if the right school came calling. That would be Auburn, said his coach, Jason Strickland. Auburn coaches are planning a visit to the school this week, Strickland said. ''I think he's solid with South Alabama, but if Auburn offers, he'll change his mind,'' Strickland said. ''His family are big Auburn folks. That's his childhood dream. I don't know if those guys will offer or not. Outside of that, he's firmly committed.'' Walker also has a close relationship to former Auburn player Craig Ogletree, the only Lamar County player ever to play in the NFL. Strickland is the top defensive player on a 9-0 team that clinched Region 4-AA last week with a 51-15 victory over Greene County. He had three tackles for losses in that game. Central Florida, Georgia State and Georgia Southern also have made offers.
-- By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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