Archive for December, 2011

Justin Thomas flips his commitment from Alabama to Georgia Tech

Prattville QB Justin Thomas switched to Georgia Tech after being committed to Alabama for around a year (Photo by 247sports)

QB Justin Thomas switched to Georgia Tech after being committed to Alabama for a year (Photo by 247sports)

Quarterback Justin Thomas, who had been committed to Alabama for around a year, switched from the Crimson Tide to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.

It was a stunning turn of events – and good news – for Georgia Tech, which both lured away one of Alabama’s top recruits and added much-needed depth at the QB position.

Thomas is ranked as a 4-star prospect and the No. 19 all-purpose athlete in the country by Rivals.com. He could play multiple positions in college, including QB, WR or DB. Thomas recently led Alabama’s Prattville High School to the Class AAAAAA state championship.

“Alabama promised Justin on several different occasions that he would get the chance to play quarterback there,” the player’s father, Milton Thomas, told the AJC. “We did a lot of research. We know how Alabama uses their quarterbacks, and we know how Georgia Tech uses theirs. We just felt like …

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RB Tyren Jones offered by UGA

Walton RB Tyren Jones led the state's largest classification in rushing yardage (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Walton RB Tyren Jones led the state's largest classification in rushing yardage (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

The leading rusher in Georgia’s largest classification said he was offered a football scholarship by UGA on Tuesday.

Tyren Jones, a junior tailback at Walton High School, said he got the news when UGA running backs coach Bryan McClendon was at the school on Tuesday. Jones led Walton to an appearance in the Class AAAAA state championship, rushing for 2,375 yards and 38 touchdowns

“It feels good; it’s exciting,” Jones told the AJC. “I like the Bulldogs. They are close to home. I like Mark Richt. I’ve been to Georgia a couple of times. I’ve got some teams on my list, and Georgia is definitely on there.”

UGA has also offered another junior at Walton, offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow – who is leaning toward to the Bulldogs. Jones said he also has “verbal offers” from Vanderbilt and Duke, while adding Oklahoma State last week.

“Oklahoma State’s coach …

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Georgia State not afraid to recruit against the big boys

Georgia State coach Bill Curry (AJC)

Georgia State coach Bill Curry (AJC)

Many FCS schools (formerly NCAA Div. I-AA) are a little slower on therecruiting trail with extending college football scholarship offers.

Why? The theory is that they want the big boys of FBS (Div. I-A) to pick their guys first to avoid wasting the time and effort to recruit the same kids. There’s also the concern that by offering early, the FBS school might put a kid on the recruiting radar that might not otherwise be there.

What about Georgia State? What is their preferred method? Coach Bill Curry said he is recruiting with the same aggressiveness as he did when he coached at Georgia Tech and Alabama.

“Here’s what we know for sure – if we don’t get after them early, we’re dead … period,” Curry said. “”Let’s say we go after a kid and help a young man become ‘recruitable’ because we study his grades, look at his transcript and make sure he’s in the courses that would allow him to qualify at Georgia State.

“If …

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Could Adam Griffith help Alabama with kicking this year?

Alabama-bound K Adam Griffith (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

Alabama-bound K Adam Griffith (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

Adam Griffith, the Calhoun High School kicker who is committed to Alabama, could probably help out the Crimson Tide this year.

Alabama suffered a 9-6 loss to LSU in the regular season after Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley failed to score on four of six field-goal attempts.

Griffith, who kicked a field goal to win the Saturday’s Class AA state championship for Calhoun High School, admitted it was tough watching Alabama’s loss to LSU. He will sign with Alabama in February and be eligible to play next season.

“Of course, I wish I could’ve helped the team in that game,” Griffith said. “The kicker, Cade Foster, he had a bad night. But those are hard kicks to make, especially when it’s cold outside and they are long field goals. I was nervous watching him. I don’t know.”

Griffith has been a kicking machine at Calhoun. He booted around 65 of 80 kickoffs into the end zone this season. He has a …

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DJ White and Anthony Autry commit to Georgia Tech

Union Grove DB DJ White proudly wears his Georgia Tech hat on Sunday night

Union Grove DB DJ White proudly wears his Georgia Tech hat on Sunday night

Two football standouts from the Atlanta area, Union Grove DB DJ White and Norcross WR/DB Anthony Autry, committed to Georgia Tech on Sunday.

DJ White is considered one of the state’s top defensive backs. He won DB MVP honors at last spring’s Nike camp which featured many of the Southeast’s top prospects. He also made the surprising decision last spring to commit early South Florida, spurning offers from Auburn, Cal, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Mississippi State, among others.

The 6-foot-180-pound White de-committed from South Florida last week and picked Georgia Tech over Vanderbilt. He gave Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson the news before leaving campus on Sunday.

“When I first walked into the room, Coach Johnson said that they really, really wanted me and that I was high on their board … and if they could get me, they wanted me,” White told the AJC. “I just kind of told him …

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DT DeAngelo Brown commits to Louisville over Georgia Tech and South Florida

DeAngelo Brown

Lousville-bound DT DeAngelo Brown (red jersey) makes tackle in state championship game (AJC)

Savannah Christian defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown committed to Louisville on Saturday after leading his team to the GHSA Class A state championship at the Georgia Dome, according to SavannahNow’s Dennis Knight.

The 6-foot-1, 285-pounder Brown said he picked Louisville over Georgia Tech and South Florida.

“Louisville was one of the first to make me an offer,” Brown told the website. “And in the last few weeks they have made some visits to my home, and I just felt like it would be the best place for me.”

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible …

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Texas A&M football recruit visiting Georgia Tech this weekend

One of Texas A&M’s top football recruits is making an official visit to Georgia Tech this weekend.

Darion Monroe of Reserve, La., has been committed to Texas A&M for nearly a year but began looking at options after the Aggies coach Mike Sherman was fired last week.

Georgia Tech is recruiting Monroe to play quarterback.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder was contacted by Georgia Tech assistant Mike Sewak last week. “He said ‘we’re going to get things back going with you again with recruiting. We’re going to start a new relationship. He came to my house last night and met with my family. My parents liked him, so we set up a visit for this week.”

Monroe will be joined by several other top prospects that will be making official visits to Georgia Tech this weekend. Among the group will be three players committed to Georgia Tech – defensive end Francis Kallon of Central Gwinnett, defensive tackle Pat Gamble of Central of Carrollton, and linebacker Tyler Stargel of Gulf Shores, …

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Will Alabama LB commit make surprise visit to UGA this weekend?

AJC Super 11 LB Dillon Lee is also a candidate to be Georgia's No. 1 overall college prospect, along with Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins and a couple of others (AJC photo)

AJC Super 11 LB Dillon Lee (AJC photo)

Will Alabama LB commit Dillon Lee make a surprise official visit to UGA this weekend?

It’s one of the hottest topics on message boards, and there are legitimate reasons for the speculation:

The AJC Super 11 linebacker from Buford High School is the younger brother of UGA offensive lineman Dallas Lee. The younger Lee has gone with his parents (both longtime UGA fans) to just about every Bulldogs game this season to see his brother play, even after Dallas broke his leg in October.

While at the games, Dillon has had the chance to build a relationship with UGA’s coaches, including Mark Richt. For the record, Dillon says he’s committed to Alabama.

This is UGA’s biggest recruiting weekend of the year. Will Lee make an appearance in Athens? His mother told the AJC on Thursday that it won’t be decided until after Buford plays in the Class AA state championship on Friday.

Dillon Lee will sign with …

  • Alabama
  • UGA

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Alabama flirts with Georgia DB who is committed to South Carolina

South Carolina DB recruit Rico McWilliams (AJC)

South Carolina DB recruit Rico McWilliams (AJC)

Alabama is flirting with one of Georgia’s best cornerbacks, Lovejoy’s Rico McWilliams. He committed to South Carolina last summer.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound McWilliams is considered one of the state’s top “cover corners” and has helped lead Lovejoy to the Class AAAA state championship game against Tucker at 8 p.m. Friday. McWilliams has prototype size, speed (4.4 in the 40), and athleticism for the DB position.

Lovejoy coach Al Hughes said he has been contacted by Alabama assistants Kirby Smart and Chris Rumph about his star defender.

“They made an ‘unofficial’ scholarship offer,” Hughes told the AJC. “They’ve want to sign three cornerbacks this year, and he’s one of those three. Alabama said that they know his focus is on the state championship game. They told him to think about things, and after the playoffs are over, they would continue to pursue him if he’s interested.”

McWilliams said, “Coach …

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College coaches change the way they recruit at state championship games

The GHSA football state championship games, which will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend, were once a popular stop for college head coaches.

The GHSA football state championship games, which will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend, were once a popular stop for college head coaches.
A decade or two ago, the celebrity sightings along the sidelines drew as much attention as the games. College coaches made an appearance just to let a blue-chip prospect know that they were watching.
“Oh, gosh yes, I remember those days,” said Bill Curry, former Georgia Tech and Alabama coach at Georgia State. “We were all there at the championship games, trying to be seen. It was a funny thing. It was like going to a place that you know a girl you like will be at, and hoping she would see you in the crowd.”
Sandy Creek High School coach Chip Walker said, “Back in the old days, it was like a ‘who’s who’ in the coaching profession during state championship week. You name …

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