Archive for February, 2012

Jimbo Fisher: FSU is one of teams that can play and recruit against SEC

How much of a challenge is it for a non-SEC school located in SEC territory to recruit against the almighty conference that has won six national championships in a row?

Jimbo Fisher would know. He’s the coach at Florida State, one of the few schools that hasn’t been smashed, clobbered and choked to death on the recruiting trail during the SEC’s golden era.

FSU's Jimbo Fisher (AP)

FSU's Jimbo Fisher on recruiting vs. SEC: “It’s a challenge but you need to remember this: Florida State and Miami were winning them (national championships) in the 80s and 90s" (AP)

“It’s a challenge but you need to remember this: Florida State and Miami were winning them [national championships] in the 80s and 90s,” Fisher told the AJC. “So Florida State is one of the teams that can line up and play with the SEC. We can recruit against them, and we have as good of a football tradition as any of those guys.

“We’ve had just as many great football players come through FSU, and kids know that. We just …

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DT “Moose” Johnson is commitment No. 7 for UGA

UGA DT commit "Moose" Johnson (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

UGA DT commit "Moose" Johnson (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

After getting his “dream offer” from UGA about three weeks ago, DT DeAndre “Moose” Johnson didn’t see any reason to wait any longer to commit.

The 6-foot-3, 311-pounder from Northgate High School committed to UGA among his dozen offers, which included Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Purdue, Southern Miss and Mississippi State. Georgia Tech was Johnson’s second favorite school.

“I had been thinking about everything my coaches were saying, how Georgia was probably only going to offer a few guys at my position (noseguard),” Johnson told the AJC. “I’ve been wanting to play for Mark Richt for a long time. Now that I had the chance, I didn’t want to take a chance on somebody else taking my spot at Georgia, so I committed.”

Johnson informed Richt during a Tuesday phone conversation. “Coach Richt asked if I was coming up there for [Junior Day] this Saturday and everything. He …

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Justin Taylor: Kentucky appreciative of “trust factor” in signing ex-Alabama RB commit

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips was appreciative that he won the “trust factor” with Justin Taylor, the North Atlanta RB who decided to sign with Wildcats rather than accept a controversial grayshirt offer from Alabama.

After Taylor was safely signed with Kentucky, his high school coach made it point to say, “We trusted the coaches at Kentucky … We felt comfortable with them, and they promised to take care of Justin.” [Click here to read more]

Kentucky’s coach was thankful for the complimentary words from North Atlanta coach Stanley Pritchett.

RB Justin Taylor signed with Kentucky rather than accepting a grayshirt offer from Alabama (AJC)

RB Justin Taylor signed with Kentucky rather than accepting a grayshirt offer from Alabama (AJC)

“We feel good that Stanley would say something like that,” Phillips told the AJC. “It had to do with relationships we have built with Stanley throughout the years. This was not our first time dealing with Stanley and one of his players. We have four or four guys on our staff at Kentucky that had some type of connection with …

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Robert Nkemdiche: Could Ole Miss pull off recruiting UPSET of century in Georgia?

Could Ole Miss pull off the recruiting upset of the century in the state of the Georgia? Could the Rebels – which just fired and hired coaches – march into Georgia and steal the first-ever player from the state to be ranked as the nation’s No. 1 overall college football prospect?

Ole Miss just might have a chance, according to several published reports.

Let’s start from the beginning: Robert Nkemdiche is a 6-foot-5-, 270-pound defensive end from Grayson High School who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2013 by several recruiting services. Nkemdiche is the first-ever Georgia player to claim the No. 1 spot. One respected coach called him a “once in a generation player” and I agree.

No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche was so overwhelmed by the attention he got at Ole Miss that he said he felt like "Michael Jackson" (AJC photo)

No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche was so overwhelmed by the attention he got at Ole Miss that he said he felt like "Michael Jackson" (AJC photo)

Robert’s older brother is Denzel Nkemdiche, who is a freshman DB at Ole Miss. Denzel was a late qualifier out of Grayson …

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Steve Spurrier on recruiting success: We’re 8-0 vs. UGA, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson last two years

Steve Spurrier: “The reason we were able to sign some of the top players in Georgia is because of what we’ve done the last two years. We’ve won 20 games. We’ve beaten Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson. We’re 8-0 against those guys the last two years." (AP)

Steve Spurrier: “The reason we were able to sign some of the top players in Georgia is because of what we’ve done the last two years. We’ve won 20 games. We’ve beaten Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson. We’re 8-0 against those guys the last two years." (AP)

Steve Spurrier was in a really good mood when talking about South Carolina’s recruiting efforts in the state of Georgia recently, and there was a good reason for it.

Nearly half (12) of South Carolina’s 25-member recruiting class was comprised of Georgia talent, and the Gamecocks beat out UGA, among other schools, for elite Atlanta area prospects such as DB Chaz Elder, OL Joe Harris and RB Mike Davis. You could make a case that South Carolina, as well as Alabama, recruited the state of Georgia as well as anyone in 2012.

We had a Q&A session with Spurrier and, as usual, he was candid and colorful with his comments. One response from Spurrier that particularly stood out is when we asked him about …

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Nick Saban to UGA recruit: “I’ll offer, if you commit … TODAY”

Nick Saban (AP photo)

Nick Saban to UGA recruit: "I'll offer, if you commit … today" (AP photo)

Alabama’s Nick Saban tried to steal one of UGA’s top recruits.

DB Shaq Wiggins, who committed to UGA a couple of weeks ago, rode with a couple of his Sandy Creek High School teammates for an unofficial visit to Alabama last Thursday. Wiggins got called into Saban’s office.

“Coach Saban was describing my highlight film and talking about he hadn’t seen a cornerback with cover skills like mine in a long time,” Wiggins told the AJC on Sunday night.

“It was a great conversation, and right at the end he said ‘I’ll offer you a scholarship to Alabama if you commit … today.’ Then he paused, waiting for a response. He took me by surprise by saying all of that.”

“Then we started talking again, and I just kind of told him that I was honored but I’m staying with Georgia. And it was an honor. That was Nick Saban, and that will probably be a conversation that I will never forget.”

[Note:

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Jeremi Hall: One of state’s top OL briefly considers committing to Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech and UGA are among leaders for "package deal" from Tri-Cities HS -- offensive linemen Jeremi Hall (6-5, 350) and Shamire Devine (6-7, 331)

Georgia Tech and UGA are among leaders for the "package deal" from Tri-Cities HS — offensive linemen Jeremi Hall (6-5, 350) and Shamire Devine (6-7, 331)

One of the state’s top offensive linemen thought briefly about committing to Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Jeremi Hall, a 6-foot-5, 350-pound junior from Tri-Cities High School, went to Georgia Tech’s Junior Day on Saturday. He and his teammate, Shamire Devine, both were in attendance, and both have offers to play offensive guard for the Yellow Jackets.

“Out of all my trips to Georgia Tech, this was the nicest,” Hall told the AJC. “We got to talk for a long time to the coaches, and we got to see the new indoor football facility, which was really nice.

“Coach [Paul Johnson] just asked how interested I was in Georgia Tech and wanted to know my major. He and [assistant Mike Sewak] went over my film, and they were telling me how I could help them at guard.”

Did Hall think about committing? “No … well, the things …

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Mark Richt and UGA Junior Day: “We’re always recruiting, brother”

“Are you finished with recruiting?”

When we asked UGA’s Mark Richt that question recently, we were actually talking about the Class of 2012 – if he planned any late additions after signing only 19 earlier this month.

Richt, however, took it to mean the Class of 2013, which would be high school juniors.

“We’re always recruiting, brother,” Richt told the AJC.

“We’re always recruiting. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell you, when signing day hits, you think you’re going to get a break from it. But you really don’t. It intensifies for the next year. There are so many things happening for us right now for 2013. It’s a very, very busy time for us right now.”

Mark Richt made sure it was heard loud and clear this week, saying "UGA will sign another RB for 2013" to Norcross RB Alvin Kamara (AP)

Mark Richt made sure it was heard loud and clear this week, saying "UGA will sign another RB for 2013" to Norcross RB Alvin Kamara (AP)

UGA will entertain some of the state’s top juniors this weekend — one of several “Junior Day’s” coming up for the Bulldogs:

It’s a group that’s small on size, but …

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Deion Bonner: Derek Dooley defends decision to sign ex-UGA target

Derek Dooley defended his decision to sign Deion Bonner, who was one of the Southeast’s most highly-recruited cornerbacks before being arrested as part of UGA lockerroom theft of iPods and iPhones.

Before last April’s incident at UGA, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Carver-Columbus High School had more than 30 early scholarship offers, including one from the Bulldogs. The majority of colleges backed off on Bonner, who was charged with one count of theft by taking. He has entered pre-trail intervention to have the misdemeanor charge dismissed.

Derek Dooley on (AP)

Derek Dooley on Deion Bonner: "… Part of character is not saying ‘I only want perfect people.’ We’re all flawed and we all make mistakes. The question is: Do you have the character to learn from it and get it right?” (AP photo)

Following the arrest, Bonner faced several penalties, including being suspended for the first five games of his senior season at Carver-Columbus.

It appeared that Bonner was headed to junior college, …

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Steven Nelson: JC DB picks UGA over Houston and Middle Tennessee State

New UGA DB commit Steven Nelson played at Northside-Warner Robins High School last year (Special)

New UGA DB commit Steven Nelson played at Northside-Warner Robins High School last year (Special)

Steven Nelson, a junior college DB from Warner Robins, committed to UGA on Thursday.

The 6-foot, 185-pound speedster picked the Bulldogs over offers from Houston and Middle Tennessee State. He also had interest from Utah, Colorado and Cal.

“First of all, I’ve been a UGA fan since I was a young’un,” Nelson told the AJC. “A couple of Georgia coaches used to come watch my football games in high school but I didn’t have the grades. So I had to come to junior college first. Now I have the grades and I got an offer from Georgia today, so I committed. I think it’s going to be great.”

Nelson graduated from Northside-Warner Robins High School last year and signed to play at California’s College of the Sequoias this past fall.

Nelson is expected to enroll at Georgia in January 2013. He is UGA’s sixth commitment for its 2013 recruiting class — and second at DB (Sandy …

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