UGA may add that “mystery” football recruit after all

Speedy Mario Alford (blue shirt) vs. current UGA football player Justin Scott-Wesley (red) in a 100-meter heat at last spring's state championship meet. Could both be teammates at UGA? (AJC)

Speedy Mario Alford (blue shirt) vs. current UGA football player Justin Scott-Wesley (red) in a 100-meter heat at last spring's state championship meet. Could both be teammates at UGA? Alford is already qualified and could enroll this summer (AJC)

Remember all that talk about a UGA “mystery football recruit” that never happened?

It’s probably going to happen now after a gut-wrenching turn of events for UGA over the last week.

On signing day, the Bulldogs went 2 for 9 on targets that held UGA scholarship papers – and could’ve signed with them. However, the devastating news arrived a couple of days later when three members of last year’s “Dream Team” recruiting class were dismissed for team violations (DB Nick Marshall, DB Chris Sanders, and WR Sanford Seay).

All of sudden, UGA has at least seven scholarships to fill – if it chooses – by this summer.

Expect UGA to sign one by then, maybe more. The top candidate would be a junior-college prospect somewhere in the middle of nowhere who was “overlooked” by scouts. Also fitting the profile would be a star player in prep school or currently in high school who is a borderline student and ends up qualifying late.

If UGA was willing to sign a kid to be a “kickoff specialist” nearly two months after 2009’s signing day [Brandon Bogotay], you can bet the house they will add at least one to the roster by the summer.

Flash forward to now: One of the candidates UGA is evaluating is track star Mario Alford of Georgia Military junior college. Mark Richt and his staff inquired within the last few days about Alford, according to 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell. Alford could play WR, DB, maybe RB and definitely some Wildcat QB — and he’s eligible to play next season.

Speedy Mario Alford had to play QB at Greenville High School because his team needed him there. He projects at WR or DB in college (AJC)

Mario Alford had to play QB at Greenville High School because his team needed him there. He projects at WR or DB in college (AJC)

Alford is a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder who was a stellar quarterback at Greenville High School as a senior for the 2010 season. He also had legendary status as a track star. Because the school didn’t have a track, Alford would train on grass. Because it was the spring and the practice field wasn’t maintained like it was during football season, the grass would sometimes be knee-high.

“If the grass was too high, then he would go run around on the asphalt in the parking lot,” former Greenville assistant Tripp Busby told the AJC with a chuckle.

As a junior, Alford won the state championship in the 100 meters with a time of 10.77 seconds. Last spring, in a showdown with Mitchell County’s Justin Scott-Wesley [now freshman football player at UGA], Alford was disqualified for a false start.

Many SEC and ACC colleges scouted Alford in football for his pure speed. They weren’t quite sure what position he would play, but he was fast enough to figure it out later on — until he didn’t get his schoolwork finished in time. Alford got an offer from Georgia Southern but didn’t sign there last February because he wasn’t qualified yet, according to Busby. However, Alford did end up qualifying very late — and enrolling at GMC. He was one of the team’s top players this past season (see video below).

“Mario can run with anybody in the SEC,” Busby said. “They’ve got some highlights of him on YouTube and man he looks good. He has got some serious wheels. If you put him in the slot and get him the ball … if he gets the sidelines, he is gone.”

“He’s a coachable young man and has a great work ethic. He’s a really, really good kid with a lot of character. And an unbelievable amount of speed.”

Again: UGA hasn’t offered Alford. They are just window shopping. If UGA does offer, they have a built-in advantage because two of his best friends are already with the Bulldogs – offensive lineman Kenarious Gates and basketball star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (both played at Greenville).

Because Alford has already qualified, he may be able to transfer to a major college this summer and have three years of eligibility.

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140 comments Add your comment

Taco Meat

February 7th, 2012
9:12 pm

Taco Meat

February 7th, 2012
9:15 pm

Does he have defensive highlights? We need DBs, not WRs/RBs!

ATLNTA

February 7th, 2012
9:16 pm

Alright bring em up over toi Athens

My God, a freshman!

February 7th, 2012
9:20 pm

The kid can fly! SIc’em! Now!

hugedawgfan

February 7th, 2012
9:21 pm

we’ll take him now!!

GEORGIA FAN

February 7th, 2012
9:22 pm

Based on the higlight shown above, this kid is very very explosive, once he catch the ball he is gone

bjohnDawg

February 7th, 2012
9:23 pm

Okay…looks like he has got some wheels.
And we have scollays…go get him!

jawjadawg

February 7th, 2012
9:30 pm

Welcome to last week mikey. Besides dbs how do you think we need wrs? Mitchell, brown,king,bennett,jsw,conley sounds pretty deep to me with only o.e upper classmen. What other needs do you see?

Conyers Dawg

February 7th, 2012
9:39 pm

Mario Alford is super fast. That’s legit competition against grown men playing JUCO ball. Keith Marshall is fast too but his tape looked like he was playing against middle school kids. But that’s not his fault. North Carolina football sucks. I say we sign Mario!

Rick James

February 7th, 2012
9:41 pm

Looks like a nice addition if it happens.

FAST??????

February 7th, 2012
9:42 pm

is he that fast or is everyone else a little slower

Bubba J.

February 7th, 2012
9:44 pm

He does have the speed. Like it said, bring him in and figure it out later. We have the scholarships to give so why not. Maybe we could give a couple of those walkons a scholarship as well.

jawjadawg

February 7th, 2012
9:47 pm

10.77 100meter=fast

Buzzzed

February 7th, 2012
9:47 pm

The news in this article is the dream team meltdown. First time I heard of the three players being dismissed. Guess Richt trying to clean things up at UGA.

JB

February 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

We need bodies. fast ones. Maybe he becomes our Rainey. Maybe he comes in at nickel DB and gets enough coaching to cover any wideout running a post on us. Deion Sanders made a living without ever hitting anyone.

JB

February 7th, 2012
9:49 pm

Buzzzed…………….Try dismissing 10 of 11…….soon to be 11 of 12.

Grantham's The Man

February 7th, 2012
9:52 pm

I say give the kid a spot, and fast. There’s nothing holding Saban back from culling some poor kid to open up a slot, and telling Alford he will start from the first snap, or whatever lie he thinks might fit.

Ga needs another DB and this kid might be great as a returner.

Just Saying

February 7th, 2012
9:52 pm

That rascal can fly, and he’s got some juke as well. Looks like a KO return guy, slot receiver. He needs the ball in his hands.

Zoli

February 7th, 2012
10:07 pm

Looks like he is faster than everyone around him. Bring this dude in and have him hang with the DB’s and safties! You can teach speed how to play anywhere.

Snotbubble

February 7th, 2012
10:18 pm

sorry you mentioned him, Saban’s probably at his house right now. Let’s see, what does that give him this year 45 signees?

BKbroila

February 7th, 2012
10:20 pm

I have been waiting for them to offer the kid for 2 weeks…give him a scholarship, already…has 4 years to play 3…you can’t teach speed and this kid wants to play for UGA….we need depth in the secondary, and he is worthy of a scholarship…we have 12 to burn!!! Natural athlete, can play anywhere…we have (dismissed or lost to transfer) 6 db’s in the last year!!!! Go get em!!!!

SC Dawg

February 7th, 2012
10:22 pm

Yes…We’ll take him. Sign him up. With that kind of speed, he can play just about anywhere and make an immediate impact.

jaxdawg

February 7th, 2012
10:33 pm

He looks like a candidate that really contribute. Does Alabama have any “gray shirts” that we could use? If so, I’m sure at least some of them feel disappointed enough in the way Saban treated them that we could talk them into coming to Athens.

kybodawg

February 7th, 2012
10:39 pm

uga better offer now before ala figures out how to rip the heart out of another poor kid.

Rick James

February 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

@Buzzzed

The news in this article is the dream team meltdown. First time I heard of the three players being dismissed. Guess Richt trying to clean things up at UGA
———————————————————————————-
Try dismissing a Tech recruiting class that cracked nobody’s top 50.Try dismissing a coach whos dimissed this as unimportant..

JRW7

February 7th, 2012
10:57 pm

Coaches at UGA have been talking about this kid ALFORD for days now, WHEN are they going to offer him? Maybe just talk, but we need some more DB’S! UGA always seems a little slow to offer, and sometimes that hesitation to offer comes back to bite us, when the kid commits somewhere else!

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

What about his GRADES?

Proud-Dawg

February 7th, 2012
11:08 pm

Alford is Tray Matthews cousin, win-win for the Dawgs. Add depth and secure the top safety in the state. Not to mention increase the chances of flipping Reuben Foster. Sign him up Richt.

Egbert

February 7th, 2012
11:12 pm

You can’t have enough hard – working, high -character Meriwether County kids and you can’t coach speed. Sign Mario. Now.

5150 UOAD

February 7th, 2012
11:21 pm

It will be Uga IX and it a Bit.h Uga….aka. Big Bad Burtha. RUSS the temporary Mascot is gone and it will be the Year of the BIT.H DWAG…………….

5150 UOAD

February 7th, 2012
11:24 pm

I can’t WAIT until the DREAM TEAM and the RING TEAM lose to the MIZZOU team. Sing them all I say and watch them be the BEST of the SEC Least.

cdpridg

February 7th, 2012
11:40 pm

5150…It really is about the Dawgs day and night…24/7 365 a year…huh son? Gotta love the so called tech fan.

5150 UOAD

February 7th, 2012
11:54 pm

cdpridg…………..It must be. The MUTTS make HEADLINES in the AJC be it good or bad. I posted 2 times today so what!

5150 UOAD

February 7th, 2012
11:56 pm

cdpridg….did you VOTE on the Sports VENT? I am still almost #1 with the Stadium v Hockey team.

Mountain Dawg

February 8th, 2012
12:08 am

If we don’t get this guy NOW, I want to know the reason why.

5150 UOAD

February 8th, 2012
12:12 am

maybe cause he can’t give the right answer to the Value of a 3 point shot in a basketball game?

Reddog

February 8th, 2012
12:15 am

With the extra scholarships available, I think it is a no brainer. He could play special teams at the very least. With his speed and hands, he looks like a natural conerback if he does’t make it on offense.

5150 UOAD

February 8th, 2012
12:21 am

Get a FAST White Boy!!!!!! He will get the chance to date so many fake blonde white suburban girls while he is at UGa.

UOAYJ

February 8th, 2012
12:21 am

5150, wake up on the wrong side of probation or is that 57th ranked recruiting class , another year of irrelevance in the ACC , or just sick of being dominated decade after decade by Georgia? A tech fan calling anything anywhere concerning football least. I understand they have medication for dawg envy available, try a dose.

UOAYJ

February 8th, 2012
12:23 am

5150, Your blowup doll a fake blonde?

5150 UOAD

February 8th, 2012
12:26 am

Actually a natural Red Head

clay

February 8th, 2012
3:00 am

I have seen this kid play in person at GMC. The kid can freakin fly. Just bring him to athens and they can figure it out there. We can use him just like they did with boykin, on every side of the ball. He can play nickle, return kicks and punts, and play offense on a few snaps. Go get him Richt. There is no reason not to sign him with all of the scholarships we have to offer.

gomdawg

February 8th, 2012
6:07 am

WHAT ARE WE WAITING ON THIS KID IS VERY GOOD

01HAWK

February 8th, 2012
6:10 am

Snotbubble

February 7th, 2012
10:18 pm

sorry you mentioned him, Saban’s probably at his house right now. Let’s see, what does that give him this year 45 signees?

Sorry PUPPIES……………………………SABAN does not sign 2 STARS.

BAMA does not have to scramble to get recruits such as UGA, and AUBARN. He had his 2012 class filled and UGA was on a manhunt for anybody walking. Tell CMR to get off of the lake and go to work…………………………………….Oh, I forgot, he sold the house on the lake. Well he must be just…………………………..SLEEP.

ROLL TIDE ROLL

Paddy

February 8th, 2012
6:41 am

01Hawk……..if I was a Red Elephant fan right now I would keep a low profile right now. Enough said!

Lars Taint

February 8th, 2012
6:45 am

This was not the “mystery recruit”. That recruit wound up sticking to his original commitment. But the good news for you is that if we sign another warm body or two, we may move up a spot in the rivals rankings and you can keep talking about a streak that doesn’t exist. News flash Michael, the ONE rivals article you keep referencing was incorrect. PLEASE just look at the website and see what UGA’s 2010 class was ranked.

bigtime

February 8th, 2012
6:49 am

UGA = oversigning by using roster management techniques. Those poor players that got kicked off of the team. How will they ever survive? Would someone like to explain why Mark Richt called a JUCO and tried to have all 3 of those players placed at that school? That’s worse than any grayshirt, that’s like a JUCO shirt.

01HAWK

February 8th, 2012
6:49 am

Paddy …………………………You guys do not like CRYSTAL do you ?

You will never and I mean never get a chance to experience a BCS Championship.

ROLL TIDE…………………………When is the PUPPY commercial on ESPN coming out ?

calidawg

February 8th, 2012
7:03 am

Wow not bashing UGA for once, im shocked.

JB

February 8th, 2012
7:14 am

01Hawk……………..enjoy the moment. they don’t last. As a Dawg fan AND SEC fan i’m proud of Bama winning it twice for the conference. It’s doesn’t …and won’t last……Because i was watching the Tide every game between Stallings and Saban.