Archive for January, 2012

My day with JaQuay Williams

UPDATED at 9:32 a.m. on Wednesday: JaQuay Williams commits to Auburn

After covering college football recruiting all these years, I should’ve known it was too good to be true.

Some mutual friends of JaQuay Williams reached out to me and said the state’s No. 1 prospect at WR wanted to talk.

In the last few weeks, JaQuay had been bombarded with phone calls from college head coaches, college assistant coaches, friends, neighbors, and reporters from Rivals, Scout, 247Sports, ESPN and me —  as he wrestled with the idea of sticking with his commitment to Auburn or flipping to UGA.

JaQuay had dodged many calls from coaches and nearly all of them from the media. But here it was Tuesday, one day before signing day, and JaQuay was finally read to break his silence. I think it’s safe to assume that I was chosen because he was going to flip to UGA.

We arranged to meet at a “secret location” – his training facility near downtown Atlanta. I was actually early for once, arriving …

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Justin Taylor: Will sign with SEC rivals or remain Alabama 2013 commit

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The Atlanta running back who was told by Nick Saban a couple of weeks ago that he couldn’t sign with Alabama after being committed to the Crimson Tide for nearly a year has three options for Wednesday.

North Atlanta High School’s Justin Taylor will either remain committed to Alabama but have to wait to sign until next year, or sign with SEC rivals Ole Miss  or Kentucky at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Mays High School.

“He’s going to sleep on it, and see how he feels about everything in the morning,” said North Atlanta coach Stanley Pritchett, who is also Taylor’s legal guardian.

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound Taylor made both an unofficial visit to Ole Miss and unofficial visit to Kentucky within the last week. He has been given letters-of-intent by both schools to sign on Wednesday and enroll next summer.

Nick Saban (AP photo)

Nick Saban (AP photo)

A few weeks ago, Taylor was stunned to …

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Josh Harvey-Clemons: Changes mind, no schools “cut” (UPDATED)

[UPDATE: 8:05 p.m. After a two-hour wait, reporters learned that Josh will not cut any schools and have all four baseball caps in front of him at 9 a.m. Wednesday]

Josh Harvey-Clemons, who is ranked as the state’s No. 1 overall prospect by ESPN, will narrow down to two schools after 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Valdosta radio station.

Who will make the cut? Who won’t? It’s down to UGA, Florida State, FSU and Miami for the 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes High School.

TheVikingVoice, the radio station that broadcasts the Lowndes football games, said on Twitter that Harvey-Clemons will narrow down to two schools at 6-8 p.m. Thursday. It will be part of a signing day show that will also include other Lowndes seniors at a Valdosta steakhouse.

What about Josh’s official announcement? That will come in front of ESPNU cameras at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

As you can imagine, we’re hearing every rumor in the book about Harvey-Clemons via emails, text messages and phone …

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Dalvin Tomlinson: Got scholarship papers from Georgia Tech, Alabama and UGA in mail

Dalvin Tomlinson has the paperwork from Georgia Tech, Alabama and UGA, says his coach. Where will he sign? (AJC)

Dalvin Tomlinson has the paperwork from Georgia Tech, Alabama and UGA, says his coach. Where will he sign? (AJC)

Georgia Tech, Alabama, and UGA must all feel like they have a shot on Dalvin Tomlinson, the AJC Super 11 defensive end from Henry County High School.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder has gotten a letter-of-intent in the mail from each of his three finalists, his coach told the AJC.  On Wednesday morning, Tomlinson will sign a football scholarship with Georgia Tech, Alabama or UGA.

“There’s nothing new … well, I mean, Dalvin hasn’t told anybody anything,” Henry County coach Mike Rozier told the AJC. “He knows where he’s going but he’s not telling anybody. That guy is tight-lipped and poker-faced. His own family members, his aunt and uncle, they don’t know.”

Georgia Tech and Alabama have been rumored to Tomlinson’s frontrunners since last summer. The Yellow Jackets dispatched coaches to see Tomlinson the past two weeks, according to Rozier. Georgia …

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Brandon Greene: UGA makes last-ditch effort for top Alabama recruit

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Brandon Greene told the AJC on Monday afternoon that he still plans to sign a football scholarship with Alabama.

However, UGA still hasn’t given up hopes of changing his mind before Wednesday’s signing day.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from Cedar Grove High School confirmed that UGA has sent him a letter-of-intent. Greene said he also got one from Alabama, and that’s where he plans to sign.

There’s a lot of speculation surrounding Greene, who is ranked the state’s No. 1 prospect at OL by some, and with good reason: Greene made a surprise visit to UGA last month, reportedly angering Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Alabama's Nick Saban has enjoyed a banner year of recruiting Georgia's elite prospects (AP)

Alabama's Nick Saban has enjoyed a banner year of recruiting Georgia's elite prospects (AP)

Even to add more suspense to the recruiting drama, Mark Richt and his entourage of three UGA assistants went to Cedar Grove to see Greene last Thursday. …

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Markuss Eligwe: Changes mind, signs at 11 with FSU or Cal

AJC Super 11 LB Markuss Eligwe will delay signing until Feb. 6. UGA is considered a longshot but anything is possible in recruiting (AJC)

AJC Super 11 LB Markuss Eligwe will delay signing until Feb. 6. UGA is considered a longshot but anything is possible in recruiting (AJC)

UGA LB target Markuss Eligwe has decided to postpone signing his college scholarship papers for a few days.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker from Stone Mountain High School has been committed to Florida State since last spring. He took an official visit to UGA last month. Eligwe also took a recruiting trip to Cal last week – which is why Eligwe is postponing.

“Cal is a great place and I had a great visit,” Eligwe told the AJC. “I was expecting good things, and it blew me away truthfully. So I’m going to give myself another few days to think about it.”

Rather than sign on Wednesday, Eligwe said it was likely he will wait until Monday.

“It’s my life, and I’ve got make the right decision. With whatever college I sign with, I will be spending the next 4-5 years there. I believe I can wait four more days to sign without …

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Josh Harvey-Clemons: Miami moves into tie with UGA, Florida and FSU but …

Josh Harvey-Clemons prediction?

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How much of a contender will Miami be to UGA and the other finalists for Josh Harvey-Clemons?

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes High School will announce his highly-anticipated decision at 9:05 a.m. Wednesday on national TV. Harvey-Clemons is the state’s No. 1-ranked prospect, according to ESPN.

What about Miami? For the record, they are co-leaders with UGA, Florida and FSU. But the Hurricanes may have some catching up to do if you listen to Woodrow Clemons, the grandfather and legal guardian of the 5-star prospect.

Clemons has ranked the recruiting trips to UGA, Florida and FSU as an “8” on a scale of 1-10. What about this weekend’s visit to Miami? “Overall, I’d probably give them a 7, well a 6 or a 7.”

“We enjoyed our trip down there. But I guess at this point, pretty much all of them are about the same. There wasn’t anything about Miami …

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Grant Radakovich, son of Georgia Tech AD, makes college decision

OL-TE Grant Radakovich (Photo from RaidersFB.org)

OL-TE Grant Radakovich (Photo from RaidersFB.org)

Grant Radakovich, the son of Georgia Tech’s athletics director Dan Radakovich, will be playing football  at Mars Hill.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound center from Walton High School said he committed to Mars Hill over Mercer and UNC Charlotte. He is projected to play tight end at the North Carolina Div. II school.

“I liked Mars Hill because I wanted to get a small-town feel; I really liked the campus and it will be something different that metro Atlanta,” Radakovich told the AJC.

Radakovich said his father approved of the decision. “He just supported me with any way I wanted to go. I had the opportunity to walk-on at Georgia Tech but I wanted to go ‘blaze my own trail’ if you will. I’m excited about Mars Hill. It’s good fit for me.”

Radakovich has a 3.61 GPA and plans to study Business. He started on Walton’s team that finished as runner-up for the Class AAAAA state championship.

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Nick Schuessler: QB commits to Mississippi State

QB Nick Schuessler is the 6th Georgia senior to commit to a D1 school (AJC)

QB Nick Schuessler is the 6th Georgia senior to commit to a D1 school (AJC)

QB Nick Schuessler, who led Grayson High School to the state championship in Georgia’s largest classification, told the AJC that he committed to Mississippi State on Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder has been compared to former UGA QB David Greene by Grayson coach Mickey Conn, who was an assistant at South Gwinnett when Greene played there.

“It has been my dream to play in the SEC since I was little,” Schuessler told the AJC. “God opened a door for me, so I am taking it and running with it. I’m just chasing a dream.”

Schuessler visited Mississippi State this past weekend and spent a lot of time with offensive coordinator Les Koenning. Schuessler picked Mississippi State over Colorado State, and also had serious interest from Arkansas.

“Mississippi State is just where my heart was telling me to go,” Schuessler said. “I love Coach Koenning and I really felt like I mixed well with the …

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OL Mark Ruskell commits to Georgia State

Duluth High School offensive lineman Mark Ruskell has committed to Georgia State.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder picked Georgia State over Georgia Southern and Tusculum. He was all-region both his junior and senior years.

“He picked Georgia State because he wants to help Coach Curry built a football tradition in Atlanta,” said his father.

Ruskell is nephew of Tim Ruskell, former assistant GM of the Atlanta Falcons and former GM of the Seattle Seahawks.

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