Two of UGA’s top recruiting targets eliminate the Bulldogs

Will UGA finish in the top 10 again this year?

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If you’re a Georgia fan how much better do you feel about this year’s recruiting class today? As opposed to yesterday, before Jordan Jenkins, who many consider the state’s No. 1 prospect, made his stunning announcement?

Yeah, just about everybody in the Bulldog Nation is feeling a little more confident on Tuesday about UGA’s chances of finishing strong by February’s signing day.

After a disappointing start to this year’s recruiting efforts, UGA is starting to turn things around. The Bulldogs are the only school in the country to finish in the top 10 of the team rankings since 2002, according to Rivals.com. After Jenkins picked up the helmet with the “G” on Monday, Georgia moved two spots up to No. 19 for this year.

What’s next for UGA? They have 16 commitments for 2012, and project to sign between 24-27 in February. To finish with a record-breaking top 10 class, the Bulldogs will need to make a strong run on the top remaining free agents, elite prospects such as RB Todd Gurley, OL Avery Young, LB Josh Harvey-Clemons, RB Mike Davis and junior college WR Cordarrelle Patterson.

UGA is also going to have to steal away some elite prospects committed to other schools.

Two of UGA’s top targets committed to other schools, OL Brandon Greene and LB Markuss Eligwe, told the AJC that they are no longer considering the Bulldogs after strong flirtations.

Cedar Grove OL Brandon Greene (left) with his high school teammate, junior QB Johnathan McCrary. Greene visited UGA but said he is sticking with Alabama (AJC photo)

Cedar Grove OL Brandon Greene (left) with his high school teammate, junior QB Johnathan McCrary. Greene visited UGA but said he is sticking with Alabama (AJC photo)

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Greene is from Cedar Grove High School is a longtime Alabama commit who made a surprise official visit to UGA last month. He told reporters at last week’s Under Armour all-star that he was sticking with Alabama, and confirmed it again to the AJC.

“Yeah, I’m a 100-percent Bama, man,” Greene said. “I’ve just been thinking about it for a long time and that’s where I really want to go.”

Why did Greene visit UGA? “It was really just to take a visit. Everybody kept telling me I need to visit another school to have something to compare to Alabama, so I did it.”

What was Georgia’s sales pitch? “Honestly, I really wasn’t even listening. I just went there to go on a visit. I’m 100-percent Alabama.”

What if UGA had offered earlier? Or at least before Alabama? Would that have made a difference? “Everybody keeps asking me that. I don’t even know. I can’t answer that.”

There were also rumors that Alabama’s Nick Saban wasn’t too happy about Greene visiting UGA and let the big guy know how he felt about it. Was that true? “I couldn’t answer that question. Yes, they talk to me after it got out on the Internet that I was at Georgia. Right now, I’m just trying to let all of that UGA stuff die down. I’ve talked to Alabama and we’ve gotten through all of that. I’ve still got Georgia and other schools calling but I’m not picking up the phone. I’m trying to let it ride out until Feb. 1 until it’s time to sign with Alabama.”

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Eligwe is an AJC Super 11 selection at linebacker from Stone Mountain High School.  He committed to Florida State on his birthday last spring but took an official visit to UGA last month. Eligwe said the courtship with UGA is over.

Markuss Eligwe visited UGA last month, and will travel to FSU and Cal over the next two weeks (AJC)

Markuss Eligwe visited UGA last month, and will travel to FSU and Cal over the next two weeks (AJC)

“Yeah, I’m pretty much done with UGA,” Eligwe said. “I mean, it’s a great coaching staff and it feels like home.  But it’s just not the place for me. I just feel like I can get a better education in Criminal Justice at Florida State, and I want to get away from home.”

Eligwe ignited panic attacks among FSU fans last week when he tweeted that he “was no longer committed” to the Seminoles. As it turned out, it was a prank by his all-star teammate, Stephenson LB Raphael Kirby, who sent out the tweet on Eligwe’s cell when he wasn’t looking.

“Kirby got me and that was funny,” Eligwe said. “But I had to call the FSU coaches and let them know so they wouldn’t have to worry.”

While Eligwe said he’s eliminated UGA, he still plans to take one more recruiting trip: He will go to Cal on Jan. 20.

“This is one of the biggest decisions of my life, and when signing day comes around, I want to make sure that I’ve checked out all of my options,” Eligwe said. “I’m most definitely committed to Florida State. I let the coaches and everybody know where I’m going and taking other visits. They know they have nothing to worry about.”

Eliwge will take his FSU visit this weekend.

Now it’s YOUR turn: What prospects committed to other schools do you think UGA will go after next? Please post below.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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264 comments Add your comment

Ronnie

January 10th, 2012
11:05 am

ESPN already has UGA in the top 10.

DC

January 10th, 2012
11:09 am

Well dang, I was really hoping we could turn Greene.

Best of luck to you two gentlement in your futures at Alabama and FSU.

Dap01

January 10th, 2012
11:12 am

Sounds like someone got a scolding for talking to other schools. Hope he is not one of the future victims of oversigning.

Dap01

January 10th, 2012
11:15 am

Mr. Carvell: Assuming we got all of the above prospects to commit. That would give UGA 21 committments this year. Who are some of the other targets that will complete the class?

JustMyOpinion

January 10th, 2012
11:15 am

Hey Michael, I know that it’s early, but what’s going on with Brandon’s teammate in the picture;Johnathon McCrary? I’ve heard that he’s transferring to MLK.

Massive Dawg

January 10th, 2012
11:15 am

Does anyone have any up-to-date info on that Big Samoan Vasi “Tombstone” Papulu from Pago Pago? I remember seeing a bunch of activity around him at this time last year. I know UGA, Southern Cal, and UCLA were after him big time… Last I remember he was enrolling at Community College of the Pacific trying to get his grades up. Does anyone have any info on this kid? He’s a monster.

Lakedawg

January 10th, 2012
11:17 am

Inside linebackers and a couple DB’s or needed in this class. Maybe one of the 2 Tenn. DB’s that visited will flip. Dawgs lose most of ILB group next year and only couple in place to play year after.

Clemons, Young, Patterson, Gurley or Davis, Whitehead, would round out class nicely.

UF Girl

January 10th, 2012
11:25 am

Enter your comments here

UF Girl

January 10th, 2012
11:26 am

Massive-

Pago Pago Dawg probably can shed some insight on Vasi. Think he may stay out West.

1eyedJack

January 10th, 2012
11:27 am

Has Herschel committed yet?

RxDawg

January 10th, 2012
11:27 am

Was hoping we could flip Greene too. Maybe this means we’ve got an even better shot (or maybe we already have) at landing Avery Young. It’s really too bad that we whiffed on so many ILB’s this year. But I really like the rumors I’m hearing about Reubon Foster for 2013. That guy could play out the gate.

DP

January 10th, 2012
11:31 am

Yesterday: “Grantham is a main reason why Jenkins is seriously considering Georgia.” (and a less imposing depth chart as it turns out)

Today: Jordan Jenkins made “his stunning announcement.”

Nice spin.

Mike755

January 10th, 2012
11:32 am

Dap01, before you bring up the oversigning issue, know exactly what you are talking about. When this is brought up, Saban’s name is associated with it. There are 4 other SEC programs who have averaged signing more players in the last 5 years than Bama. This issue only came up during the Dawgs dismal season last year. A better question to ask might be why this season and other less than great seasons have occurred recently when Georgia is the only SEC program to have Top 10 recruiting classes in each of the last 10 years.

Stewart G. Griffin

January 10th, 2012
11:34 am

If all these rumors about JHC pitching Georgia to Mike Davis at the Army AA game are true, this class will be exactly what we needed. UGA needs quality not quantity this year. If we land most of our remaining targets, I’ll put the top 8 recruits in our class up against anybody else’s in the country. CTG FTW.

Truth

January 10th, 2012
11:38 am

Bama has sign 133 players to UGA’s 103 over the last 4 years. That is an entire extra recruiting class. How ethical is this practice to these kids who go there with high expectations?? I get injured for a while and my coach abandons me because there is only so much room on the roster?And secondly, why aren’t the parents of these kids concerned too? The Wall Street Journal has already done an article on this pointing out how some kids were strongly encourage to take medical rede shirts. Mark Richt will not do this to a player – toss a young kid to the curb over an injury that might not even be career ending. Bama and a few other SEC teams that do this will be exposed soon and in a big way. There is a reason the BIg Ten does not allow over signing either. It is to protect the kids form over zealous programs and alums. .

RedandBlackDawg

January 10th, 2012
11:39 am

Sounds like these kids were committed already form their junior years to go out of state. Good luck kids.

Send'em U hauls

January 10th, 2012
11:42 am

We still have Mike Bobo…… This recruiting garbage is much ado about nuttin!

Stewart G. Griffin

January 10th, 2012
11:43 am

Truth,

I honestly think it’s the kids egos that cloud their judgement. They have been the big man on campus their entire lives and think they will continue to be the dominant guy on the roster even at a place like Bama. Therefore the thought that someone as great as they are could ever be cut as a victim of over signing never crosses their mind. The real world slaps us all in the face at some point in our lives.

DP

January 10th, 2012
11:47 am

Just make up numbers “Truth”. It’s not like anybody is going to check them.

7576DAWG

January 10th, 2012
11:47 am

Eligwe didn’t look into UGA curriculum’s very good . When I was at Georgia in the 70’s one of my electives was Criminal Law , my professor was a former warden at the State of Georgia State Penitentiary for 25 year’s. You can’t get any better than that.

Richard

January 10th, 2012
11:48 am

Carvell:

This is old information. Why run it today? Looks like an overt attempt to dampen the mood after the HUGE get by Grantham last night.

Bad form, dude, very bad form

7576DAWG

January 10th, 2012
11:50 am

The point is Georgia would have just as good professor’s in the Criminal Justice curriculum now as they did in the seventies.

schmeckdawg

January 10th, 2012
11:51 am

What was Georgia’s sales pitch? “Honestly, I really wasn’t even listening. I just went there to go on a visit. I’m 100-percent Alabama.”

***************************************************************************************************************

What a PUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ginger

January 10th, 2012
11:57 am

What about LB Rapheal Kirby from Stone Mt…I know he gave a verbal to Miami and then maybe visited Georgia and have not heard anything else ?

AJC

January 10th, 2012
11:57 am

Fire this guy!!!

#1 in 2012

January 10th, 2012
11:57 am

We didn’t want either of them. They didn’t have offers, we talked to them so they wouldn’t feel bad. Don’t say anything or we’ll send Grantham to curse your children and eat your chitlins.

Nom Nom Nom Chuck's Taylor, or Norris if he is avaliable

January 10th, 2012
11:58 am

Nice how you put an article out on Jenkins, but immediatley dash the good pickup by UGA with this article. Nice objectivity bro.

Energy Vampire

January 10th, 2012
11:59 am

I’ve yet to come across someone vehemently opposed to oversigning who can:

1) Provide a list of names who have had their scholarship revoked.
2) Understand that using number of signees per year x 4 years is short-sighted and not a legitimate argument.

Who owns this site?

January 10th, 2012
12:00 pm

BAMA STAN. puppy fans talk about the SEC, are you even in the SEC? The SEC of all the National Championships is made up of Alabama, LSU & Florida. The puppies are just Ws on our records, you don’t contribute anything but jealousy and you bring down our stregnth of schedule.

DP

January 10th, 2012
12:03 pm

7576 Dawg, it’s too bad for your sake that Georgia didn’t offer a class on the use of apostrophes. You’d do well to emulate George Costanza, whenever you’re deciding whether or not to put an apostrophe in a word, think of what you’d normally do and do the opposite.

PR

January 10th, 2012
12:04 pm

Who owns this state – Huh? Who are you talking to? What is CMR’s record again Bama? And how about his record against Saban? I’ll hang up and wait for you to respond…

coachx

January 10th, 2012
12:06 pm

UGA needs some LB depth for sure. Any word on the 4 star Mississippi LB that UGA is flirting with ?

nash

January 10th, 2012
12:08 pm

consider this if UGA signs the remaining targets there won’t be any room for more LB’s or Olineman so is this even a story?

D.E.

January 10th, 2012
12:08 pm

Mississippi LB is not coming here.

Send'em U hauls

January 10th, 2012
12:09 pm

Dream Team II is ranked # 19…… What a joke…..

7576DAWG

January 10th, 2012
12:10 pm

DP
Sorry I used the crutch of secretary’s when I was working. Old fart’s like me do the best we can trying to stay up with the changing time’s.

hornblowermg

January 10th, 2012
12:11 pm

i am sorry that i read this crap, by this crap, and about these craps.

hey truth

January 10th, 2012
12:12 pm

nobody reads your dribble. maybe if you shortened up the post and tried to make it readable dawg nation could figure out wtf is going on. you da.

besides your post is not even an original post. i posted that info months ago and nary a dog could figure out the implications. par for the course for the trailer nation. which brings me to ask you…. who sat you down and explained it to you? did you have to take off your socks n shoes to count?

WUZZADAWG

January 10th, 2012
12:13 pm

Even if we are in the top 5 it wont mean much baeed on past record.

Just pick a school and be done with it

January 10th, 2012
12:15 pm

Schools like Cal are suckers for giving what amounts to a free trip to these kid con-men. The con men say they’re not gonna change committments. And Greene said he “wasn’t really listening” to anything GA was saying, he “just went on a visit”. Classless answer. Just answer the question posed with a little class if you have any.
I love it when these kids sense of entitlement days come crashing into a brick wall. They wind crying loudest thinking they’re owed something.

Bama Tide

January 10th, 2012
12:18 pm

As usual, Bama is cleaning in recruiting, getting all the Ga recruits they want. Saban–best recruiter in America!! Title #15 coming in 2012!!! Roll Tide!!

Truth

January 10th, 2012
12:19 pm

@Energy

The exposure on SEC over signing is coming soon and in a big way. Bama will be at the center of the article and it will be interesting how the patient one, Nick Saban, responds – if he even will. It is an ugly practice. If you think the northern media who controls the likes of Sports Illustrated, the Sporting News, Newsweek and Time, are going to sit back after 6 NC’s in a row by our conference and not expose it, you are nuts. There is a reason other conferences do not allow it. It is disgracefull and needs to be exposed.

Bob Loblaw

January 10th, 2012
12:21 pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

BamaTideIdiot

January 10th, 2012
12:26 pm

9 not 15 titles. I guess that is Bama Math at work. If you get all of the recruits you want, then what happened with Jordan Jenkins, Malcom Mitchell and Ray Drew. go back to your trailer.

Stewart G. Griffin

January 10th, 2012
12:28 pm

Truth,

I’m brand new to these message boards, but it appears your posts are the most insightful on here. Your point about Northern media being fed up after 6 NC’s in a row is right on point. Take that from someone who actually spent some time working in the media. There will be a backlash against the SEC, especially after that atrocity of a game last night….even if it does just stem from jealousy.

oakisland

January 10th, 2012
12:32 pm

Wasn’t listening to anything Georgia had to say- don’t worry when you attend class at Alabama-if you have to attend classes- -you don’t have to listen there either-just play football and if you get hurt see you at Jacksonville State

1eyedJack

January 10th, 2012
12:37 pm

How could they be two of UGA’s top recruits when they are already committed to somebody else? Is that like my favorite wife is married to my brother?

SSgt Dawg

January 10th, 2012
12:44 pm

Maybe its me but, I don’t care where the recruiting sites rank our classes. CMR has had an average of number 2 over the last 10 years in recruiting, and has yet to beat any of the big boys or win a NC. I’m tired of drinking the kool-aid. CMR has had a #1 recruit at some position every year and it amounts to nothing. I’m not too concerned with how many 4&5 stars we sign, I just want to see the talent used properly, and developed the way other big programs do. For instance; Murray is a 5 star recruit, he’s never beaten a ranked team. AJ never had 1000 yards, Orson only has 3 catches in bowl games etc etc etc

Truth

January 10th, 2012
12:45 pm

@Stewart G Griffin

Likewise. I don’t post often. All you have to do is read some of the advanced mindsets on these blogs and you will know why.

7576DAWG

January 10th, 2012
12:49 pm

Stewart G Griffin
I can assure you that nobody want’s a playoff more than the fan’s in the SEC. Just make sure that the SEC can have 2 to 4 team’s participate. The SEC had 4 team’s finish in the top 10 this year and all 4 would have deserved to be apart of a play off. If the media will get behind it we will get a play off. JUST MAKE SURE EVERYONE GET A FAIR OPPORTUNITY TO BE IN IT.
This is a down tear for the SEC. So be ready in the future for the SEC to even have 6 team’s participate in the play off.