Archive for January, 2012

Nick Saban meets with Justin Taylor, promises to “stand by his word”

Alabama's Nick Saban met with now-2013 commit Justin Taylor on Tuesday (AP)

Alabama's Nick Saban met with now-2013 commit Justin Taylor on Tuesday (AP)

Nick Saban and Justin Taylor sat across from each other for about an hour at North Atlanta High School on Tuesday. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two since it was reported that Taylor can’t sign with Alabama this year. It was surprising news for Taylor, who has been committed to Alabama since last February (he was the 7th of Alabama’s 27 commitments). The Crimson Tide wants Taylor to “grayshirt” because of a knee injury and wait to enroll in 2013, while others speculate that it was creative “roster management” by Saban. You can catch up by reading HERE and HERE and HERE. What’s the latest with Justin Taylor? He remains committed to Alabama. That’s never changed since last February. Purdue is interested but hasn’t offered a football scholarship. At this point, Taylor’s top options appear to be attending a prep school next fall or simply sitting out of school altogether until he is …

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Josh Harvey-Clemons bringing a visitor to church? UGA’s Mark Richt

UGA coach Mark Richt is going to church on Wednesday with the state of Georgia’s top uncommitted prospect, Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Richt’s church visit will count as his in-home visit with the 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes High School. Harvey-Clemons has UGA, Florida and Florida State in a three-way tie and will announce his decision on National Signing Day (Feb 1.).

Richt, who is known for his Christian beliefs, won’t be the first college coach to attend church services with Harvey-Clemons at a small Baptist church in the Clyattville area of Lowndes County.

“[Will Muschamp] came to our regular service about a month ago; I guess Coach Richt doesn’t want to let Coach Muschamp beat him out with going to church with us,” said Josh’s grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, with a laugh.

The elder Clemons has been attending Mt. Calvary Baptist for around 50 years. It’s a popular place of worship for many former Lowndes football stars, including family members of Greg Reid (plays …

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Georgia State’s prized QB commit will stick with Panthers

Trent ThompsonOne of Georgia State’s top commitments, quarterback Trent Thompson, confirmed to the AJC that he will be signing with the Panthers next week.

The star quarterback from McEachern High School took an official visit to Tennessee Tech a couple of weeks ago and had also sparked the curiosity of several other schools.

“There were rumors out there, and some of the rumors had some truth in them,” Thompson said. “But I’m going to Georgia State in the fall. I’m ready to go compete for the quarterback job and help this program win. I’ve quit looking at other schools because Georgia State is where I want to be and where God wants me to be.”

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Josh Harvey-Clemons: New competition for UGA?

Miami may be a last-minute contender in the sweepstakes for Josh Harvey-Clemons, the state’s top uncommitted prospect.

Miami linebackers coach Michael Barrow attended Tuesday’s basketball game of the 6-foot-5, 200-pound linebacker from Lowndes County High School. Harvey-Clemons has UGA and Florida, along with Florida State, as his leaders.

“Coach Barorw is there now, and he’s wanting to talk to us after the game,” said Harvey-Clemons grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, told the AJC.

There is a good possibility that Harvey-Clemons will switch his final official visit from Louisville to Miami. That’s because, as of late Tuesday night, Louisville had not finalized travels plans for this weekend’s visit.

“If Louisville doesn’t respond, and Josh talks to Miami and wants to go down there, I will take Josh down to Miami myself this weekend,” Clemons said. “That will be decided tonight and Josh will make that decision. I don’t know what’s going on with Louisville. Apparently, they think …

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DE Sheldon Rankins commits to Louisville

Eastside DE Sheldon Rankins

DE Sheldon Rankins

Sheldon Rankins, one of the state’s top defensive ends, committed to Louisville during an in-home visit on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder from Eastside-Covington High School committed to Louisville over Wake Forest, among his 26 scholarship offers.

“They brought coaches in and spent time with my family,” Rankins told the AJC. “I was already leaning towards Louisville. I had heard from other people that they might move me inside to defensive tackle, but they assured me that I’m their guy at defensive end. That’s all I needed to hear.

“I made it look like I was going to the bathroom, but I went and got this Louisville hat I had already bought. I came back out with the hat on and everybody went crazy after that.”

Last summer, Rankins was leaning toward committing to North Carolina before the Tar Heels were accused of NCAA violations. Rankins also had serious interest from Auburn until suffering a hairline fracture last season and missing his final …

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QB Steven Bench flips to Penn State

Penn State-bound QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

Penn State-bound QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

QB Steven Bench flipped his commitment from Rice to Penn State on Tuesday.

Penn State got involved very late with the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Cairo High School who committed to Rice about a month ago. Penn State invited Bench for an official visit last weekend and offered a football scholarship before he left campus on Sunday.

After a couple of sleepless nights, Bench committed to Penn State.

“It was a really tough decision, but I felt like Penn State was the right choice for me,” Bench said. “The school was amazing, the facilities were amazing, and the thing that really stood out there during my visit was the school pride. Everybody loves it there. It’s hard to find a place where 44,000 people like the school they go to.”

Penn State has been in the news for months for months because of the alleged child sex scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky and the firing of the late Joe Paterno. Bench said he considered …

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Trey Griffey commits to football, Arizona

The latest Ken Griffey, known as Trey Griffey, has committed to play football for Arizona and new coach Rich Rodriguez.

Numerous media reports surfaced of the commitment Monday night and the younger Griffey, the son of the baseball great Ken Griffey Jr., confirmed it to the Orlando Sentinel.

“My parents said, ‘It’s up to you, you got to do what you want to do … what you feel is right,’” Griffey told the Sentinel. “I’m going to the University of Arizona. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

A 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver, he caught 72 passes for 970 yards as a senior at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando.

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Guess which college coaches showed up for Dalvin Tomlinson?

Georgia Tech got an good look at Dalvin Tomlinson, who is one of the state’s top uncommitted football prospects.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle from Henry County  High School has Georgia Tech, UGA and Alabama as his finalists.

Georgia Tech is rumored to be the school to beat, and the Yellow Jackets made a recruiting contact with Tomlinson on Saturday. Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum and assistant Joe Speed attended Tomlinson’s wrestling matches at a nearby high school.

AJC Super 11 DE Dalvin Tomlinson (AJC)

AJC Super 11 DE Dalvin Tomlinson (AJC)

“They were there,” Henry County coach Mike Rozier told the AJC. “They were there all day. They just sat upstairs and watched. I guess it was let Dalvin know that they still want him very badly.”

Tomlinson has kept an extremely low profile in the final days of recruiting. He cancelled an official visit to UGA because of “family reasons” and has revealed little about which way he is leaning, although most consider Georgia Tech as the frontrunner. …

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OL Chester Brown de-commits from UGA for unknown reasons (UPDATED)

Chester Brown (left) and John Theus won't be playing the O-Line together at UGA. Brown is the fifth 2012 commitment that UGA has lost for one reason or another (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

Chester Brown (left) and John Theus won't be playing the O-Line together at UGA. Brown is the fifth 2012 commitment that UGA has lost for one reason or another (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

  • TUESDAY UPDATE (9:44 pm): A relatively new Georgia Board of Regents policy regulating the admission of undocumented students and illegal immigrants has prevented Chester Brown from gaining admission to UGA, reports the AJC Chip Towers (click on link to read the full story)

OL Chester Brown, who had been pledged to UGA since last summer, confirmed that he has de-committed from the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound offensive lineman from Bradwell Institute high school told the AJC it was for “personal family reasons.” Brown is the fifth commitment that UGA has lost in this recruiting class for one reason or another.

It was a big blow to UGA, which is desperately seeking one or two more offensive linemen before National Signing Day, which is a week away (Feb. 1). The Bulldogs still have …

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Guess who is waiting on state’s No. 1 WR after his UGA visit? Yes, Gene Chizik

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One day after JaQuay Williams returned from his official visit to UGA, Auburn coach Gene Chizik was waiting for him at school.

Chizik spent around 90 minutes on Monday afternoon at Sandy Creek High School talking to Williams, who is ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect at WR. Later on Monday night, Chizik was scheduled to make an in-home visit with Williams.

It was ideal timing by Chizik, with rumors swirling about Williams switching his longtime Auburn commitment to UGA after visiting with the Bulldogs this past weekend.

“I think JaQuay’s visit to Georgia went really well,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker told the AJC. “But I don’t think he’s changed his mind about Auburn or flipped.

Gene Chizik (right) with Auburn's most famous football recruit from Georgia

Gene Chizik (right) with Auburn's most famous imported football recruit from Georgia

“He said he a good time at Georgia while he was there. I think the coaches at Georgia did a good …

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