James Franklin vs. Todd Grantham, Round 2?
Vanderbilt’s head coach and UGA’s defensive coordinator are going head-to-head in a recruiting battle over one of the state’s top prospects, Tucker High School defensive end Josh Dawson.
If you remember, Franklin and Grantham got into a heated confrontation after this season’s Vanderbilt-Georgia game.
Back to Dawson: The 6-foot-5, 229-pounder has been committed to Vanderbilt since last summer. This weekend, Dawson took an official visit to UGA. Technically, the Georgia assistant in charge of recruiting Dawson is Rodney Garner but Grantham has gotten heavily involved within the last few weeks.
“I guess it’s because Coach Grantham would be my position coach at Georgia,” Dawson told the AJC. “I didn’t really talk to [Grantham] that much until the last few weeks. Now we talk a lot. He’s a pretty cool guy. He’s very passionate with the way he coaches. It seems to bring out the best in his players. I don’t have any problems with it. I’m just waiting to see which way I go with [my recruiting].”
Ironically, Dawson was at the Vanderbilt-Georgia game and on the home sidelines at the end. However, he didn’t see the confrontation. “I wasn’t close enough to see everything that went on.” But he did see the replays. His thoughts? “Football is an emotional game. I just think both teams wanted to win very badly. Personally, I didn’t have any problems with it:”
During his official visit to UGA, Dawson sat in the film room with Grantham. “He showed me some clips and told me about all of the guys he put in the league [NFL]. He wants me at outside linebacker, at the Sam or Will. I will be rushing the passer from defensive end, and I might put my hand in the dirt sometimes. Most of the time, I will be standing up in the base defense. Overall, Coach Grantham said he would move me around a lot.”
Grantham is Georgia’s “hottest recruiter” after swinging 5-star DE Jordan Jenkins from Alabama last week. Will Jenkins’ decision affect how Dawson feels about UGA? “No sir. I just feel like with any big-time program you go to, there’s always going to be talent there. It shouldn’t affect your decision because you should want to play with the best talent. That’s only going to make you better.”
So is Dawson still committed to Vanderbilt? Is he considering flipping to Georgia? Which school is leading? “I’m still committed to Vanderbilt,” Dawson said. “They’ve shown me a lot of love for a long time, and that’s why I committed there. Vanderbilt is ahead and … I don’t know … what else to say. I’m leaving everything out on the table for now. I will take my visit to Vanderbilt next weekend and see how things go.”
“If I have to make a change, which I don’t yet, it will probably be before signing day. I need to visit Vanderbilt next weekend and make sure I’m making the right decision.”
Dawson said both Vanderbilt and UGA are tentatively scheduled to make in-home visits this week, while Mark Richt will probably come to his house next week. Dawson said he is also considering a midweek visit to South Carolina.
RELATED: North Cobb DE Tre Griffin, who was Vanderbilt’s first commitment for 2012 but said his Vanderbilt scholarship was revoked after he made a qualifying ACT score too late, pledged to Georgia Southern on Sunday.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OVER THE WEEKEND
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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