Will UGA add another one of the nation’s top running backs to its 2012 recruiting class?
Todd Gurley, a 6-foot, 200-pounder from Tarboro, N.C., will announce between UGA, Clemson and NC State shortly after 2 p.m. Friday.
“I think Georgia has a good shot,” said Rusty Mansell, National Recruiting Analyst from 247Sports. “From everything I keep hearing, Georgia is in there with Clemson and NC State. I think it was a big deal for the other schools that he decided not to take an official visit to North Carolina because that’s one school he’s probably visited the most over the years. If things had gone differently at North Carolina, with the coaching changes and possible NCAA violations, they would have as good of a chance as anybody. But from everything I’m hearing right now, it’s probably going to come down to Clemson and Georgia as his final two, once it’s all said and done.”
Ironically, one of the biggest things in UGA’s favor with Gurley is that the Bulldogs already landed another running back, 5-star Keith Marshall from Raleigh, N.C. Marshall, who enrolled early in UGA this week, and Gurley are good friends, even arranging it where they could take official visits the same time at both UGA (for the South Carolina game) and Clemson. Since committing to UGA, Marshall has vowed to recruit Gurley and others with him to the Bulldogs for a class he’s dubbed “The Ring Team.”
Gurley, who is ranked as a 4-star, talked about UGA in his diary with ESPN High School Football:
My next top school is UGA, which is a school I visited three times and I see why people say it’s a great school. First of all, the food is the best and that’s my favorite thing about the school. My bro Keith Marshall goes there now and that would be good to have two NC boys in the backfield representing for our state. Plus, the relationship I developed over time with (running backs) coach Bryan McClendon and coach Mark Richt has been great. Two great coaches running a great program.
If UGA was to land Gurley, there are rumors that it would end the courtship between the Bulldogs and arguably the top running back from the state of Georgia, Stephenson’s Mike Davis. UGA got heavily involved with Davis after he de-committed from Florida last month after being pledged to the Gators for nearly a year.
The 5-9, 200-pound Davis is scheduled to take an official visit to UGA on Jan. 20. He will announce between the Bulldogs, South Carolina, FSU, Tennessee and Clemson on National Signing Day (Feb. 1).
“That’s something I really don’t know, and I don’t think anyone would know except for Georgia,” Mansell said. “I think that would be a pull if Georgia could bring Mike Davis, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Just my opinion, but I don’t see that happening. If Georgia were to get Todd Gurley, that would probably end things with Mike Davis because he’s got other options as well.”
We contacted Davis to ask about the possible scenario: If Gurley committed to UGA, how would that affect how he felt about the Bulldogs? “It doesn’t affect me at all. There’s going to be competition everywhere you go in college.”
Davis was also asked about the rampant rumors that he is a “secret commitment” to South Carolina, where he will take an official visit this weekend. After pausing for a couple of seconds, Davis replied, “Wait until signing day. We’ll see.”
Back to Gurley: As expected, there are rumors everywhere on the Internet. Ryan Bartow of Clemson’s Rivals website reported that UGA’s Rivals website will be at the press conference because three UGA commits indicate that Gurley will pick the Bulldogs. Bartow also wrote that he felt like UGA was in the lead at the beginning of the week but now Clemson may have the edge after talking to his contacts within the last 48 hours.
Here’s a link to a 247Sports live blog at Gurley’s announcement.
OTHER RECRUITING LINKS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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