The AJC’s Signing Day Central

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.”

FOLLOW 247Sports updates FREE on signing day

http://georgia.247sports.com/Article/-SIGNING-DAY-CENTRAL-2012–59462

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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70 comments Add your comment

Big Enos Burdette

February 1st, 2012
6:18 am

It’s all a bunch of bull

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
6:18 am

Good luck MC and staff . I am sure you will need it trying to herd the cats on here today :-)

Big Enos Burdette

February 1st, 2012
6:19 am

But I can’t help myself

gtzulu

February 1st, 2012
6:20 am

Either a transcription error or Lemming misspoke. The third instance of ‘Georgia’ in the following sentence regarding Francis Kallon should be ‘Georgia Tech’:
“Once he committed to Georgia Tech, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and everybody started coming after him and Georgia was able to hold onto him.”

FL Jacket

February 1st, 2012
6:23 am

Nice piece. Lemming seems to make it sound that there’s some distinction between knowing how to recruit…and knowing how to evaluate.

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
6:26 am

Or in Saban’s case … do both ;-)

“the Southeastern Cionference does it better than everyone else, and I think they take their lead from him”

Coach D

February 1st, 2012
6:28 am

During recruiting coaches must become like some of my least favorite people…. Politicians.

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
6:30 am

I’ve heard Saban grows a bat wings , a long tail and horns Coach D … I have never actually witnessed it myself though

Mountain Dawg

February 1st, 2012
6:34 am

“They laugh about it”. “That’s why they have so much success”. Success? Really? Oh my!

Beast from the East

February 1st, 2012
6:41 am

Paddy

February 1st, 2012
6:44 am

Success comes in the evaluation of your talent. Just not before they get to campus but after you have “coached them up”. tech does do a good job in that regard. Give the devil his due!

Go Dawgs

Birdhair

February 1st, 2012
6:45 am

I said my prayers last night. Go dawgs!

Get Real

February 1st, 2012
6:47 am

Let’s get real. Doesn’t matter how much you know. It’s how deep the pockets of the booster are that win on signing. How many $100 hand shakes that you can make, cars given, houses leased fot a dollar and jobs given to relatives. Deep pocket boosters equal top 20 recruiting classes.

Bird

February 1st, 2012
6:52 am

ESPN has the Dawgs 5th. Funny how recruiting sights differ so much. No one knows, especially Lemming. I can watch tape and do just as well as him, that’s for sure. 80% of these guys never pan out. It’s all about heart and work ethic. We will find out 3 years down the road….

Bird

February 1st, 2012
6:54 am

Get Real? Really? Someone needs to grow up….

Abbey an

February 1st, 2012
7:04 am

Do you really think the relentlessness fostered by Saban’s recruiting machine extending down to the grad assistant level that unethical behavior isn’t happening but tolerated and encouraged. Tricky Nicky has something up his sleeve and more under the carpet. Having said all that, I still feel sorry for him because he lives in Alabama which is the equivalent of purgatory.

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:05 am

Although some of these young men and their parents/ guardians have rubbed us the wrong way (although knowing reporters, things were taken out of context), lets not forget it’s their day. For most of these young men, they are leaving a life of crime and poverty behind with the opportunity to enjoy fruits this country has to offer either through football or education and hopefully both. Let them bounce to the stage, flip flop hats, etc. This is the beginning of their journey to manhood. Alas, many won’t make it. But at least they got this far to try.

Jordan

February 1st, 2012
7:06 am

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
7:08 am

I don’t really see how anyone could say GT does poorly with what they get … just based on the recruiting services . Of course if recruiting rankings are an inexact science , they are doubly so with a school like Georgia Tech .

Players get shifted to play spots analyst never even evaluated them for to begin with . When those players get shifted into the right spots a kid who wasn’t as highly thought of by analyst … for all the other schools and the way people think THEY would always use them … suddenly some kids can shine in ways he wouldn’t if he had indeed been stuck playing in a “mainstream” way

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:09 am

BTW, Tom Lemming’s The Blind Side was almost a complete fabrication. You can ask Michael Oher himself. He already knew how to play football. A social worker found that home for him. He was already a good student, not some ignorant silver back gorilla, as he was portrayed. He didn’t need to be saved, he just needed to be helped. IMHO

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:10 am

However, it’s not completely Flemming’s fault how the movie was made. But he bears some responsibility.

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:13 am

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
7:16 am

Abbey got me thinking …

I wonder if the lackadaisical attitude towards recruiting by the some head coaches has extended down to their fan bases ?

The “why worry about working that hard when we can just make excuses later ? ” mentality ?

Is that the fault of certain head coaches … or is it just a symptom of the way some people in America think in general ? :-)

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
7:17 am

slydog … Hollywood ( and the media ) ALWAYS distort everything they lay their hands on … I thought you knew ;-)

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:20 am

@Crimson Crush

You hit it on the head. It’s all about the combination of the player, the system, and the coaches knowing how to put them in positions to succeed.

On a side note, a lot of people complain about CMR’s finesse style vs Alabama’s and LSU’s power game. Some people just don’t know football. Different styles of football have won championships each and every year. It’s all about execution, play-calling, timing, and putting the right players in the right spots at the right time.

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:21 am

They put the audience on the blind side…lol

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
7:31 am

@slydog … frankly there are lots of different ways that could win as far as systems and programs go . One thing I don’t think you can ever leave out is an incessant drive to see what ever strategy you pick through .

the king is here

February 1st, 2012
7:37 am

Good Luck to MLK Lions!!!

Bama Fan#2

February 1st, 2012
7:38 am

Wonder if anybody has a live animal as part of his signing today
like the Georgia RB did last year!! RTR

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:40 am

Hate to bring this up, but the very fact that McGarity hasn’t given CMR his contract yet isn’t a good sign. Plenty of coaches have signed extensions in December and January.

Bulldog Proud

February 1st, 2012
7:43 am

Slydog you said for most of these young men they are leaving a life of crime and poverty behind. Really? Maybe some, but don’t you think saying most of them is a stretch. Not hating, just saying. However this is the opportunity of their lives and they do need to make the right decision for themselves.

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:43 am

I heard Yeldon was bringing a baby elephant

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:45 am

Bulldog Proud

I meant some, but the percentage is more than likely 40% for black males, to be specific.

Bama Fan#2

February 1st, 2012
7:49 am

Yeldon better have a shovel behind Baby AL RTR

slydog

February 1st, 2012
7:52 am

lets just hope somebody doesn’t bring a whip

Grammar Nazi

February 1st, 2012
7:54 am

It’s y’all… not ya’ll

Happy Signing Day, Y’all

Nom Nom Nom Chuck's Taylor, or Norris if he is avaliable

February 1st, 2012
8:00 am

Grammar Nazi

February 1st, 2012
7:54 am
It’s y’all… not ya’ll

Happy Signing Day, Y’all

THANK YOU!!!!!

Love Them Dawgs!

February 1st, 2012
8:05 am

Hope this turns out to be a big day for the Dawgs! Sure you could sign with Alabama, or Auburn, or LSU, or USoCal….. but those teams all have recent championships…. if you get another, ho hum, another trophy. But if you go to UGA and get one… you’ll be legendary….

Let’s get some damn good Dawgs!!!!

Updyke

February 1st, 2012
8:09 am

JayQuay is a War eagle…..sorry mutt fans you lose again

Crimson Crush

February 1st, 2012
8:11 am

Nice upbeat post LTD! … have fun and enjoy …

klr

February 1st, 2012
8:18 am

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].”

Big game

February 1st, 2012
8:19 am

UGA signs another top 10 recruiting class but They won’t end up in the top 10 in the next seasons final polls.

Get real mutt fans, defense wins championships and ur D is no where close to Lsu Bama Scar.

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

February 1st, 2012
8:21 am

Lord SABAN is giggling and eating an oatmeal cookie…

Saint Richt and the Chizzzzzzzz are BEGGING recruits to FLIP………

S_cks to be you :)

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

February 1st, 2012
8:22 am

Jayqay will not make the grades so it doesn’t matter except today on the rankings.

DC

February 1st, 2012
8:24 am

haha now UGA fans will bash Jaquay…after begging him to go to UGA..

G

February 1st, 2012
8:28 am

Dc ,

Were the Auburn fans nice to Yeldon when he went to the dark side?

DC

February 1st, 2012
8:32 am

Heck no..but I’ll stick to the present b/c it makes it look better for us haha :)

crimsonandsatan

February 1st, 2012
9:02 am

Hope tomlinson sits on the bench for 4 years and ends up selling insurance in Oplieka. How do these freakin bama necks get to play by a different set of rules than everyone else? Even LSU, uga, uf don’t cheat as much as they do.

What? Why?

February 1st, 2012
9:10 am

Bama has signed 3 DT’s in this class already. Good luck getting PT there.

DawginLex

February 1st, 2012
9:14 am

fleischtard

It is always a better day when you are a Dawg versus being an Updyke/mulligan U fan.