Archive for December, 2011

Reuben Foster is committed to Alabama but still flirting with UGA

Rueben Foster (No. 2 jersey), who is ranked as the No. 2 college football prospect in the USA for 2013 and committed to Alabama, shares a laugh with his good buddy Tray Matthews (No. 26), who is committed to UGA (AJC)

Reuben Foster (No. 2 jersey), who is ranked as the No. 2 college football prospect in the USA for 2013 and committed to Alabama, shares a laugh with his buddy Tray Matthews (No. 26), who is committed to UGA (AJC)

It’s the NCAA “dead period” until Monday but UGA has had one of its best recruiters working this week on Reuben Foster, the linebacker from Troup High School who is ranked as the No. 2 overall college football in the nation for 2013.

Foster, who is committed to Alabama but still flirting with UGA, is the star attraction for the 2011 AT&T Junior Bowl that will be played at 7 p.m. Friday at Grady High School. Nearly half of the 90 juniors in the all-star football game have early scholarship offers.

But none are like the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Foster, who has been so dominant in practices in front of his wide-eyed teammates this week that some players have dubbed his team, the West squad, as “Team Rueben.”

“Everything you’ve heard about Reuben Foster, it’s …

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Who will be Georgia’s top RB prospect for 2013?

We’ll be providing updates all week from the 2011 Junior Bowl, which features 90 of the top college football prospects that are high school juniors from across the state of Georgia. Friday’s game will be played at 7 p.m. at Grady High School and televised on ESPN3.com

The state of Georgia has a national reputation for producing college running backs. Herschel Walker and George Rogers, who both won the Heisman, along with Jamal Lewis, are just a few of the top homegrown tailbacks.

Who is Georgia’s top prospect at running back for 2013?

2013 North Cobb RB Quinten James (AJC)

2013 North Cobb RB Quinten James (AJC)

That is still being decided, but Quinten James of North Cobb High School is stating his case at this week’s Junior Bowl practices. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder said he has early offers from Clemson, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Purdue and Kentucky.

“I didn’t realize he was that fast,” said Rusty Mansell, National Recruiting Analyst at 247Sports. “He was able to get the edge in practice against defense …

Continue reading Who will be Georgia’s top RB prospect for 2013? »

State’s top juniors compete in all-star football game

We’ll be providing updates all week from the 2011 Junior Bowl, which features 90 of the top college football prospects that are high school juniors from across the state of Georgia.  Friday’s game will be played at 7 p.m. at Grady High School and televised on ESPN3.com

Milton DE Carl Lawson, who is still waiting on his first scholarship offer, was the star of the East all-star practice on Tuesday (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Milton DE Carl Lawson, who is still waiting on his first scholarship offer, was the star of the East all-star practice on Tuesday (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Every year at the Junior Bowl, there are unknown players who “come out of nowhere” to register on the recruiting radar after outstanding performances in practice against blue-chip prospects who already boast early scholarship offers.

Last year, it was Raphael Kirby who was “discovered” at the Junior Bowl. Kirby didn’t have any scholarship offers at the time but turned heads with his stellar play at linebacker. Word quickly spread about Kirby, the Stephenson High School standout who later committed to Miami out of his eventual 38 scholarship …

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Holiday wishlist: 5 of Georgia Tech’s top recruiting targets

Georgia Tech will put the finishing touches on its 2012 recruiting class over the next four weeks.

The Yellow Jackets have 14 commitments so far, and expect to sign between 17-19 players by February’s national signing day.

Georgia Tech’s top commitment may be Francis Kallon, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive end from Central Gwinnett High School. He’s ranked as a 4-star recruit by both ESPN and Scout. Kallon, who just finished his first season of organized football after moving from England, spurned offers from Auburn and Tennessee, among many others, to stick with the Yellow Jackets.

There’s also quarterback Justin Thomas, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Alabama’s Prattville High School who is ranked as a 4-star prospect and the No. 19 all-purpose athlete in the country by Rivals. He was committed to Alabama for a year but switched to Georgia Tech because of the opportunity to play quarterback.

Here are five of the top remaining targets on Georgia Tech’s recruiting …

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How to get a college scholarship if you’re an overlooked senior

Note: This is a reprint from the AJC, due to popular demand. If you have any questions, please post them below.

OK, so you’re a high school senior and you want to play college football and you are looking for a football scholarship?

With national signing day five weeks away, there is plenty of time to do something about it. And you can do it on your own, without paying thousands of dollars to recruiting or scouting services.

All it takes is a little bit of hard work, a lot of determination and about $50. There are numerous stories of seniors who landed last-minute scholarship offers after taking some initiative. Consider:

Former NFL Pro Bowl safety Corey Chavous had only one offer (Wofford) two months before signing day during his senior year at Silver Bluff (S.C.) High. Chavous mailed out 10 highlight tapes and got 10 offers. He signed with Vanderbilt and played 12 years in the NFL.

Former Auburn wide receiver Robert Dunn didn’t mail out highlight tapes until late …

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Imani Cross de-commits from Tennessee after being encouraged to look elsewhere

RB Imani Cross was committed to Tennessee for nearly a year before the two sides parted ways (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

RB Imani Cross was committed to Tennessee for nearly a year before the two sides recently parted ways (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

Ex-Tennessee RB recruit Imani Cross said he has “no hard feelings” after his recent separation from the Volunteers, and has set up at least two official visits with other schools in January.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder from North Hall High School was the Tennessee’s first commitment for its 2012 recruiting class, picking the Volunteers last February among 15 early offers, which included South Carolina and Georgia Tech. Cross is ranked as the No. 19 RB in the nation by ESPN.

However, the yearlong courtship ended after a recent conversation between Cross and Tennessee recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph. What happened? We’ll let Tim Cross, the recruit’s father, explain:

“After being committed for 11 months, the reason the recruiter Terry Joseph told Imani and then Derek Dooley told me was that, ‘they hired a new RB coach from South …

Continue reading Imani Cross de-commits from Tennessee after being encouraged to look elsewhere »

QB Steven Bench commits to Rice

D1 QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

D1 QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

The state of Georgia has produced another D1 QB for this year.

Cairo High School’s Steven Bench committed to Rice University on Thursday, picking the Owls over Georgia State, Samford, Eastern Kentucky, South Alabama and Jacksonville State. Bench also had interest from Mississippi State and Alabama, among others.

“I committed to Rice just because of the fact that out of the schools that had offered me, it was the best situation for me,” Bench told the AJC. “There’s no doubt that Rice is a win-win situation for me. If I am blessed enough to have the opportunity to play pro football, that’s great. If not, however, I will have an Ivy League-type of degree from Rice. Not many people can say that.”

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Bench had 20 total touchdowns at Cairo. He transferred from Bainbridge for his senior year after his father was hired as an assistant at Cairo. Bench will make an official visit to Rice on Jan. 14.

Georgia has five …

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Good new, bad news: UGA signs OL recruit, loses 4th commit for 2012

UGA OL recruit Mark Beard

UGA OL recruit Mark Beard

UGA got some good news and bad news on Wednesday.

Junior college OL Mark Beard officially signed his scholarship papers with the Bulldogs and will enroll in January with three years of eligibility. Meanwhile, longtime LB commitment Kent Turene of Atlanta Sports Academy prep school told reporters he did not meet NCAA qualifying requirements and will enroll instead at Marshall in January.

First, more on the good news: Beard, an offensive lineman from Kansas’ Coffeyville junior college, signed a letter-of-intent with UGA on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder picked the Bulldogs over Arkansas and Mississippi State. Beard is from near Birmingham, Ala., and has a longtime relationship with UGA OL coach Will Friend, who recruited Beard when he was an assistant at Alabama-Birmingham. Georgia’s other OL commitments are 5-star John Theus of Jacksonville, Greg Pyke of Baltimore, Md., and Chester Brown of Hinesville.

Now the bad news: UGA’s drama-filled …

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RB George Morris commits to Syracuse

Syracuse-bound RB George Morris of Central Gwinnett High School (AJC)

Syracuse-bound RB George Morris of Central Gwinnett High School (AJC)

George Morris, a running back from Central Gwinnett High School, committed to Syracuse on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder said he picked Syracuse over offers from Vanderbilt, Illinois, Utah, Purdue, Indiana, Florida International and East Carolina, among others. Morris did not have much contact with UGA or Georgia Tech.

“George just committed to Syracuse,” Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told the AJC. “He said he just likes them playing in the ACC and that they have recruited him the hardest.”

This past season, Morris had 145 carries for 1,045 yards and 17 touchdowns, while catching 36 passes for 395 yards for Central Gwinnett, which plays in Georgia’s largest classification for high school football.

Syracuse has one other Georgia player in its 2012 recruiting class – Stephenson tight end Joshua Parris.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Continue reading RB George Morris commits to Syracuse »

Holiday wishlist: 5 of UGA’s top recruiting targets

Your No. 1 wish for UGA is …

  • OL Avery Young
  • WR Cordarrelle Patterson
  • RB Todd Gurley
  • DE Jordan Jenkins
  • S Josh Harvey-Clemons
  • Other

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Georgia will need a strong finish over the next six weeks to maintain its record-breaking streak in football recruiting. The Bulldogs are the nation’s only team to place in the top 10 of the Rivals.com recruiting rankings each year since 2002.

Georgia has struggled some in assembling this year’s recruiting class, with the team’s 0-2 start and speculation over Mark Richt’s future as contributing factors.

The Bulldogs dropped back to No. 22 in this year’s Rivals rankings before bumping up to No. 16 after recently landing 5-star tailback Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C.

Here are five of Georgia’s top remaining targets:

RB Todd Gurley (247Sports.com)

RB Todd Gurley (247Sports.com)

Todd Gurley, RB, Tarboro, N.C.: The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is one of the Southeast’s hottest prospects after leading his team to the …

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