Avery Young’s coach: Not part of “package deal” with 5-star OL

Avery Young’s high school coach told the AJC he was not part of a “package deal” that went wrong. Or part of any type of package deal with the 5-star OL prospect who broke UGA’s heart when he picked Auburn on signing day.

A few eyebrows were raised in recruiting circles when Chris Davis, Young’s high school coach from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was recently named as the new head football coach at Cedar Shoals High School – which is located in Athens and only a few miles away from UGA’s campus.

OL Avery Young was "the biggest fish that got away" from UGA. Young signed with Auburn (247sports)

OL Avery Young was "the biggest fish that got away" from UGA. Young signed with Auburn, with Florida as runner-up (247sports)

With Young as the “big fish that got away” from UGA, some have wondered if there was a connection between the two events: Did UGA put in a good word for Avery’s high school coach to get the local job with the hopes that his 5-star recruit may follow? And why would the coach want to leave what some would consider a “dream job” along the Florida coastline for, out of all the job opening across the Southeast, Athens?

There are never-ending conspiracy theories in recruiting, and Avery Young’s coach set the record straight about his situation.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, and that was obvious with the way things turned out, with Avery going to Auburn,” Davis told the AJC. “There was never any connection to Georgia’s recruitment of Avery Young, and me pursuing the coach’s job at Cedar Shoals. I want to be very clear on that.”

Davis, 37, is considered to be one of Florida’s top young coaching talents, and led Palm Beach Gardens to the third round of the state playoffs last year. Davis was in the process on building a successful program in an area that is affluent and rapidly growing in population along the Florida coast. Why leave? Why Cedar Shoals?

“My wife and I drove to Athens for a Nike camp awhile back, and she looked at me and said ‘Hey, this is where I want to live,’” Davis said. “I said yeah and I kind of laughed. She said ‘No, I’m serious; this is where I want to live.’ It just kind of went from there.”

For the record, Davis did list Mark Richt as a reference on his job application (It’s common for coaches to have other coaches as recommendations at all levels). Davis only got to know Richt well through Avery Young’s recruitment, but has longtime friendships with other members of UGA’s staff, including offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, offensive line coach Will Friend, and tight ends coach John Lilly.

“It’s kind of cool,” Davis said. “Coach Bobo recruited a quarterback of mine years ago. Coach Friend, his dad gave me my first job. John Lilly, I’ve known him since he was at Florida State. I’ve known a lot of those guys for years. When they offered Avery, it was nice to re-unite with them.”

So what happened with Avery Young and UGA? The Bulldogs were considered a co-leader with Auburn during the final weeks but ended up finishing third for Young behind Florida on signing day.

“I’m just a [contact] between the coaches and the players,” Davis said. “I think with Auburn, he just felt most comfortable there. That was the biggest thing. It was a family decision, Avery talked it over with his family, and they decided that Auburn was the best fit.”

Davis will begin working at Cedar Shoals at March 19. “We’re looking forward to it, and I think there’s a lot of work to do. We’re going to go in there, work hard and get things going in the right direction. There’s a lot of great people there, and I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES

INSTANT AJC RECRUITING CLASSICS

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

  • So much is happening so fast. Have you missed anything over the last few days? Catch up with our feed by CLICKING HERE
  • BOOKMARK the NEW AJC Recruiting homepage here
  • Want to see a list of the top 125 prospects state of Georgia who signed with D1 schools? It’s looong. Go here.

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

168 comments Add your comment

Mountain Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:40 am

Mountain Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:40 am

Also…#1 Dawg!

DawgBone

February 20th, 2012
4:44 am

Barners paying somebody these days, no way Chizik gets these kids legally.

German Shepherd Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:48 am

Mountain Dawg,

You’ve got insomnia as well?

That said, having lived in Athens for several years while at UGA, it is pretty close to heaven.

German Shepherd Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:49 am

DawgBone,

I’m more concerned about Saban’s man crush on these little kids than whether Chizik has a new Bobby Lowder. He sent 105 letters in one day to a 17 year old kid? Can you say, “stalker?”

German Shepherd Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:51 am

I love Kipp Adams tweet: If you only get 104 letters in 1 day from a college, then they don’t really want you.

dawgerbrown

February 20th, 2012
5:26 am

I love Athens. Have two daughter still living there. But, the one thing that is a turn-off for many is that unless you’re coming from Atlanta or Macon, Athens is a tough town to get to. The drive from Tampa to Auburn is long, but easy. If we ever had a four lane cutting from Forsyth straight to Athens it would be nice. Being from south Georgia I feel lucky we get kids from Valdosta with FSU only being about an hour away. If you live in Thomasville you don’t have to pay out of state tuition to attend FSU. Then, we deal with the same challenges concerning Auburn on the Bama state line. To those people, Athens seems like it’s in another state. Have long felt this is an issue. That being said, wouldn’t trade it for anything. GO DAWGS!

Joe

February 20th, 2012
5:43 am

Young has a cousin at Aubrun. Good luck t the kid.

Coach T

February 20th, 2012
6:18 am

I don’t know Mr. Davis and I’m sure he does good work. But that job should’ve gone to a Georgia high school coach.

.

February 20th, 2012
6:34 am

The fact the kid ended up at Auburn is a bit inconvenient for those who want to create a conspiracy theory.

tell me again

February 20th, 2012
6:54 am

Some of you are still letting the “experts” in the recruiting services lead you around by the nose. Most of these kids have not really proved anything in high school except that they can whoop on on kids that have not developed as quickly as they have. It’s great for our little egos to brag about the big one we just snagged, but the truth is, most of these “must have” recruits will never be anything but average players at best. Just go and read the list of the greatest recruits over the last 10 years and see how many of them became a Tebow or a Herschel – not very many.

bucket

February 20th, 2012
7:38 am

Just to play devil’s advocate: What if the coach coming to Athens actually worked against UGA getting Young because his high school coach didn’t work him as hard to come to UGA considering he knew he wanted Cedal Shoals and Davis didn’t want the rumor that he only got the job as a package deal?

Dawg Days!

February 20th, 2012
7:42 am

“why would someone leave a dream job on the Florida coastline for Athens”? I lived in Palm Beach Gardens for ten years. Although a nice town, I left the same area for a small town in Georgia. I’ll take the four seasons over South Florida any day. No brainer!

Vampire Bill

February 20th, 2012
7:46 am

Silly article and subject.

Ray

February 20th, 2012
7:48 am

Grew up in Athens went to Cedar Shoals as well great high school so don’t talk about my high school.

Seriously though anyone want to fill me in on what’s been going on there it seems like after Wilkins left we’ve had a hard time replacing our great coach. Talking about for Cedar Shoals.

Dawginit.

February 20th, 2012
8:20 am

I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that he can make $100,000 as a coach in Ga vs $70,000 in Fla.

Big Dog Dick

February 20th, 2012
8:25 am

The fact is if Bama had a spot open Young would have been in T-town. Both AU and UGA were 2nd choices…ask his father.

A Father

February 20th, 2012
8:43 am

Davis list coaches like Bobo, Richt, Lilly and Friend, this is not the whose who of college football coaching. This article is a good one for those that want a laugh. A Young was going to a school that has a top Offensive Line coach, Auburn has that and Georgia does not. Georgia needs to be very careful after the last two years of recruiting these kids, alot of questions have been submitted to the SEC Commissioners office on how several of the so called sports writers etc,. with strong ties to Georgia are involved with many of these recruits. All in all, the top to bottom coaching staff factors into a recruits final decision with a position coach many times being the final game changer. If you want to pray for a win than Richt is your man. If you want to kick ass and win, then Saban, Chizik, Franklin, Spurrier, Dooley, Muschamp, Miles, and many others are the place to be.

Joey

February 20th, 2012
8:50 am

“…Davis said. “I think with Auburn, he just felt most comfortable there. That was the biggest thing. It was a family decision, Avery talked it over with his family, and they decided that Auburn was the best fit.”

Translation: “The money was too much.”

After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret that he wouldn’t be going to Mississippi State, stating that his father, Cecil, had chosen Auburn for him because “the money was too much.”

Big Crimson 75

February 20th, 2012
8:51 am

What if Rueben Foster’s Coach took a job @ Tuscaloosa-Central or Hillcrest?
Anarchy — absolute Anarchy !!!

Young’s Coach must not be a big Fisherman or a fan of chic-fil-a……which one was it for this guy?

Jerry

February 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Another example of the under the table cheating that Saint Richt traffics in. Too bad it back fired on this coach. I’m sure his dream destination was Athens, Georgia. What a joke!

Jborodawg

February 20th, 2012
8:55 am

I agree with Vampire…silly…and trying to make something out of nothing.

Carvell, what’s wrong with Athens? You seem to be puttin’ her down. Many of us think Athens is a great town; just like the coach and his wife.

Flat Head Dawg

February 20th, 2012
8:59 am

So UGA wins a few games against the weaker SEC teams and we throw a parade. Let’s beat ALABAMA and LSU before we go throwing a tizzy expecting every kid to sign at UGA.

With Bobo calling the plays UGA will never win a National Champiuonship. Wake me when he is gone.

Rip Van Richt

February 20th, 2012
9:01 am

Richt againd was asleep at the wheel!

Rip Van Richt

February 20th, 2012
9:03 am

I hate losing to South Carolina!

chs

February 20th, 2012
9:09 am

Who gives a flying !@$# about Ala-keep it in the family-bama? This article had nothing to do with you.

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:11 am

@ A Father – actually your post was good for a much better laugh!!! You lost all credibility when you included Franklin, Dooley, and Muschamp in your little list. Of course, you didn’t have much credibility left after you had accused the ajc sportswriters of collusion with the UGA coaching staff. Anyone who reads this paper on a regular basis knows better than that! Over half the time UGA fans want to strangle CT, MC, MB, and JS.

ronaldh

February 20th, 2012
9:14 am

So Joey, why don’t you actually prove what you’ve just posted. Or, are you just repeating slander and lies that you have heard other places? Perhaps you’d like to read the letter Auburn received from the NCAA. I know this may be just a wee bit over your head but there is a difference between facts and slander that is written on message boards.

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:24 am

Also, @ A Father – since you seemed to be so “in the know” about the Sanders Commings issue last week, you do realize that a lot of UGA fans were trying to get CT suspended or fired over his articles about that incident. CT and MC are not UGA homers regardless of what UGA haters want to say.

A Father

February 20th, 2012
9:24 am

bucket, please share with me where I stated it was an ajc sports writer, ( not ), are you to dumb to read without making assumptions and claiming them as facts. Also, Franklin, Dooley and Muschamp are “FIGHTERS”, they have a drive, desire and passion for the kids to reach their highest goals and surround themselves with assistants of the same mindset.

Joey

February 20th, 2012
9:25 am

Hey peckerhead, did you hear the NCAA’s press conference on the Auburn issue? They dropped the investigation because they do not have subpoena power.

That means they were geting stonewalled by everyone connected.

It’s interesting to note the NCAA has changed the rule that allowed Cam to get away with this by claiming he knew nothing of Cecil’s money grab.

I could care less either way, but unlike you, I’m not looking out of my belly button . . .

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:33 am

No sir, @ A Father. I am not too or “to dumb” to read. I apologize for making assumptions, but if you were not referring to the ajc writers, then who were you referring to? UGA experienced a letdown because Richt was too loyal to some assistants that he has known for a long time. The signing of Grantham was a huge step in the right direction and the fight is back in Athens and Franklin, Dooley, and Muschamp will see that again this year. Also, Richt and assistants have taken all they can stand from the negative recruiters in the SEC and you are going to see an entirely different attitude in Athens from now on.

A Father

February 20th, 2012
9:33 am

CT nor MC are part of the questionable methods being used in recruiting, never said they were. Dont get you panties in a wad. The best article you could write is about the coaching staffs at each SEC school, you will find that GA does not rank very well, hence, some great talented teams with very poor results, much like Florida in the 70s and 80s.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

February 20th, 2012
9:37 am

“Barners paying somebody these days, no way Chizik gets these kids legally.”

Would you UGA clowns please get a life. It’s always “they cheated” when something doesn’t go UGA’s way.

THE MAJOR

February 20th, 2012
9:37 am

I invite all of the UGA fans here who say Auburn pays to get these players to do as Auburn did. Invite the NCAA in after they started the Cam investigation and look into every NCAA program. The NCAA did a colonoscopy on Auburn and found 14 secondary violations. Why doesn’t UGA have the balls to invite them in and take a look since you are so confident that Auburn cheats and UGA doesn’t? Amazing how arrogant dawgs fans are when they have no clue.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

February 20th, 2012
9:38 am

“The fact is if Bama had a spot open Young would have been in T-town. ”

Yeah, I’m sure he would have wanted to go to UAT just to sit for 2 years.

THE MAJOR

February 20th, 2012
9:39 am

Hey Joey! Get your facts straight,,,,,you are only reading through your red and black glasses…..the NCAA came looked and left after there was nothing there., Sorry when you are dealing with the crimson mafia across the state who will do anything to destroy you, you have to be clean. Sorry check post above and I dare UGA to do what Auburn did,

2010 BCS CHAMPS

February 20th, 2012
9:40 am

Joey

What sucks more in life for you?

1: The fact that your dawgies haven’t seen a national title trophy in 32 years?
2: The fact that Richt wanted to recruit Cam as a tight end?

OR

3: Football players in GA want to play for other schools?

The choice is yours, loser.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

February 20th, 2012
9:41 am

THE MAJOR

Joey is an Updyke type of gal. You don’t have to explain anything to her since the NCAA already ruled in favor of Auburn.

Joey needs to get a life and grow up.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 20th, 2012
9:47 am

If you think money or other favors aren’t offered you don’t live in the real world. College football is about MONEY. Coaches make millions, schools make millions…. don’t be naive. Cam Newton and now Avery Young. Good recruiting or other incentives? Auburn had the most successful OL recruiting class in the nation despite the fact that they sucked last year on the field. Money can come in from a lot of different places other than the schools or the coaches. Arrangements can be made. It happens all the time and the NCAA is like the Fed government – incompetent.

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:49 am

All the haters want to have it both ways when it comes to UGA. It’s either “UGA can’t get great players because they have a poor staff.” or “UGA can’t win even though they have great players.” Which one is it? Only a moron or hater could see that those two comments contradict eachother. No one on this blog really knows why Avery Young chose Auburn over UGA. I know that the UGA coaches believed as late as Sunday of NSD week that Young would be coming to Athens to play opposite 5 star Theus. Whatever Young’s reasons were, I wish him the best of luck, even when Auburn plays UGA, if UGA wins! lol

2010 BCS CHAMPS

February 20th, 2012
9:53 am

“Auburn had the most successful OL recruiting class in the nation despite the fact that they sucked last year on the field.

Losing 33 players to the NFL draft/graduation will do that to a team. At least AU doesn’t go around with stupid headlines such as “dream team.”

Good luck in 2012.

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:53 am

oops! I guess we all make mistakes – “only a moron or hater couldn’t see”. My apologies to all those posters in the past that I have made fun of for grammatical errors.

1eyedJack

February 20th, 2012
9:54 am

Well, I can agree with one statement made here today….”the Fed government – incompetent.”

bucket

February 20th, 2012
9:56 am

@ 1eyedJack – Me, too!!!

1eyedJack

February 20th, 2012
9:56 am

Cheesedick still have that stretch limo?

Proud-Dawg

February 20th, 2012
9:57 am

@2010 BCS Champs

4. UGA education vs. Auburn education? That’s too easy….continue to live off the accomplishments of student athletes, it’s truly sad.

Dude

February 20th, 2012
10:16 am

@Joey: If you know so much about the Cam newton scandal why don’t you go talk to the NCAA. I’m sure they would love to talk to you since you CLEARLY know everything. People like you make me sick. Get over it.

Dawg Haus

February 20th, 2012
10:26 am

Well, Athens is a nice place to live. I hope Coach Davis does good things for the Jags.

Just the facts

February 20th, 2012
10:27 am

Every football fan in the country outside of south Alabama views the 2010 bcs championship as being bought and paid for. Whether it’s true or not, that’s the reality. Most likely it’s true.