Happy Signing Day, Ya’ll.
This is the main hotspot to follow the AJC’s recruiting coverage on Wednesday.
Football stars from across the nation — and state of Georgia — began signing scholarship papers at 7 a.m.
This is where we’ll do most of our chatting throughout the morning, and we’ll also update this page with news as it happens.
Check back for updates.
TOM LEMMING SPEAKS ON RECRUITING
On the eve of signing day, the AJC’s Chip Towers talked with Tom Lemming – You know, the guy from the “The Blind Side” movie? He’s also CBS Sports Network recruiting coverage and will be on TV all day on Wednesday.
Here are some comments from Lemming on UGA and Georgia Tech – again, on the eve of signing day:
Lemming on UGA
“I have them 19th nationally but they only have 17 players so they have one of the smallest classes so far. They were of the teams I’ve written about and talked that could really rise here at the end. Florida State and USC are in the same boat, Clemson and Oklahoma. Those are teams that could be moving up because they have room to maneuver.”
“In-state it was a good year, maybe not a great year. They have some good players. Last year they had a great year and finished in a way that made it a great class. This one I think is a good class but not great.”
“I saw Keith Marshall when I went to North Carolina. He’s probably the most exciting small back in the country. He has legit 10.6 100-meter speed. He’s got great vision. He had a tremendous sophomore year, an average junior year and finished up with a real good senior … Getting Todd Gurley is a big deal, too He is the biggest surprise in the country as far as running backs are concerned. I brought him to our Semper Fi game back in early January and he was one of our big stars. He was a star in the Shrine Bowl as well. So I think it’s a great combination of speed with Marshall and then you’ve got size with Gurley with great size and strength. I think you’ve got two of the very best in the country. I’d say two of the top 6 in the country are both going to Georgia and are both impact players. Maarshall is more of the ‘now you see me now you don’t back’ and Gurley is more of the guy who can pound out those extra yards. Along with Crowell from last year, they’ve got a stable now of running backs … Give Gurley a lot of credit for committing right after Marshall. He’s a quiet guy but he is exceptionally productive. He doesn’t have to fear Marshall. They can fit into the same offense like Lightning and Thunder.”
Lemming on Georgia Tech
“My brother is a policeman in Marietta, so I come there a lot. And we filmed the movie ‘The Blind Side’ there as well. So I’m very familiar with the Atlanta area. And I always make a stop at Georgia Tech. I’m very close with the coaches there … I was there last week and I spent some time Al Groh and Coach Johnson and Andy McColllum. I think they’re class is exactly what they’re looking for it to be. That is, it fits into their style of play.”
“You don’t see them winning too many recruiting battles. And I know they don’t complain about it. They laugh about it. What they get on the field, all things being equal, is exactly what they need.”
“I just like the way they go about their business there. They’re tremendous evaluators. They have to be because almost always they’ll lose head-to-head with Georgia when they go against them. They are great evaluators and that’s why they’ve had so much success.”
“Looking at their list, I’m impressed with several of their ball players … Justin Thomas out of Alabama is maybe the faster player in the country. Everyone else wanted him as a DB or wide receiver and kick returner. But he plays quarterback at Prattville and he ran a 4.2 40 as a junior. He has great ball-handling skills but not much of an arm. But he’s a perfect fit for that Georgia Tech offense and he could be a lights-out guy for them. He’s definitely a four-star player and a potential 5.”
“DJ White was one of their best players out of Atlanta. He runs a 4.4 and can play. Arguably one the top sleepers in the country is Frances Kallon from Central Gwinnett, the defensive end. Once he committed to Georgia Tech, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and everybody started coming after him and Georgia was able to hold onto him.”
Lemming on Nick Saban “You know, Saban knows what to do. He is a relentless recruiter. I’ve always said somewhat facetiously, show me a coach who loves to golf and I’ll show you a coach who is a lousy recruiter. Saban takes it as a hobby, as does Urban Meyer and a few others. Obviously, the Southeastern Cionference does it better than everyone else, and I think they take their lead from him. His work ethic and his aggressiveness and his personality when it comes to recruiting — like Mack Brown and Pete Carroll and really Urban Meyer — is tough to beat. He instills that into his assistant coaches, who better be successful at it or they’re going to be out in a couple of years. To me, it comes down from his level all the way down to the GA’s [graduate assistants].”
Lemming on Steve Spurrier “Spurrier used to be the golfer but now he’s out there recruiting. That’s because he knows if he doesn’t get out there he’s going to get buried.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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