Archive for April, 2012

Grant Radakovich, son of Georgia Tech AD, switches football teams

Grant Radakovich, the son of Georgia Tech’s athletics director Dan Radakovich, has changed his college football plans.

Radakovich signed a football scholarship with Mars Hill last February, but said he recently both requested and was requested a release. He is now committed to Mercer University.

OL-TE Grant Radakovich (Photo from RaidersFB.org)

OL-TE Grant Radakovich (Photo from RaidersFB.org)

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound tight end from Walton High School made the change of plans after visiting Mars Hill with his parents for orientation and student registration a couple of weeks ago. The NCAA Div. II school is located in rural North Carolina.

“I went up to Mars Hill and it was a beautiful campus and everything,” Radakovich told the AJC. “I really thought it was going to be the place for me. But after I went up there, looked around, and came back home, my parents and I talked about it. They said ‘We’re not really sure if it’s a good fit for you.’ I kind of agreed. I was kind of feeling that way, too.

“The coaching staff was great, …

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Have you ever seen “The Blind Side” movie?

If you've seen this movie, then you know about Ole Miss's new football coach

If you've seen this movie, then you know about Ole Miss's new football coach

“Have you ever seen ‘The Blind Side’ movie?”

That’s certainly one of college football’s most unique recruiting pitches.

And it’s used with effectiveness by Hugh Freeze, the first-year coach at Ole Miss. Freeze has a special connection to the 2009 movie: He was the real-life high school football coach of Michael Oher, the movie’s central character who was a “homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of caring woman and her family.”

Just about every sports fan — including many football prospects — has seen the inspirational Hollywood flick. The film’s popularity helps recruits remember Freeze when they are bombarded with attention from dozens of college coaches.

“No doubt, it helps … it’s an instant icebreaker for our assistant coaches or me, particularly for kids who have not heard of Hugh Freeze outside of the states of …

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Tony Parker: Basketball star picks UCLA over UGA, others (UPDATED)

The AJC's Mr. Basketball is UCLA bound (AJC photo/Curtis Compton)

The AJC's Mr. Basketball is UCLA bound (AJC photo/Curtis Compton)

UCLA’s decision to hire a longtime Atlanta AAU coach has paid huge and immediate dividends with recruiting.

Tony Parker, the basketball star from Miller Grove High School who is ranked as one of the nation’s top 25 overall prospects, picked UCLA over UGA and Ohio State among his finalists, which also included Duke, Kansas and Memphis. Last summer, UCLA hired one of Parker’s former AAU coaches as an assistant.

At the end of Monday’s 57-minute commitment ceremony, Parker briefly toyed around with baseball caps from Georgia and Ohio State before revealing a t-shirt with the UCLA logo on it.

“I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition,” Parker said.

At UCLA, Parker will also be going to place with a familiar face. Last June, the Bruins hired Korey McCray, the former CEO of the Atlantic Celtics AAU team. While Parker has played primarily for the Georgia Stars AAU team over the years, he appeared in …

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Tony Parker: UCLA lands AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball (REPLAY)

Note: We are scheduled to have a live video stream of Tony Parker’s announcement at 4 p.m. today

What will Tony Parker do today?

The Atlanta schoolboy legend will make his highly-anticipated college decision shortly after 4 p.m. Monday.

Parker, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 20 overall college basketball prospect by Scout.com, will pick between hats from Duke, UGA, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State and Memphis.

“Whichever college gets Tony, they will be getting a player with a good feel for the game and a great basketball IQ, along with an incredible post presence,” Miller Grove High School basketball coach Sharman White told the AJC on Sunday night.

Parker’s basketball coach didn’t offer any hints on the big decision, only saying, “I can imagine this weekend was either peaceful or stressful, depending on if he was confident with his choice.”

What will the AJC's Mr. Basketball do? It appears to be UCLA or UGA (AJC)

What will the AJC's Mr. Basketball do? It appears to be UCLA or UGA (AJC)

The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Parker did not return phone calls on …

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RB Kamani Thomas hopes for offer from Tech

RB Kamani Thomas has five offers,  including Vanderbilt, and is hoping for one from Georgia Tech this spring (AJC)

RB Kamani Thomas has five offers, including Vanderbilt, and is hoping for one from Georgia Tech this spring (AJC)

Georgia Tech hopes to sign two running backs for next year.

Lovejoy’s Travis Custis has already committed to the Yellow Jackets, which are looking at numerous candidates for the other scholarship spot.

One of the other candidates is East Paulding’s Kamani Thomas, who has early football scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Troy and Southern Miss.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder was one of several top prospects that attended Georgia Tech’s spring game on Friday.

Some of the others in attendance on Friday were ELCA DE Isaac Rochell, Alpharetta DE-LB Naim Mustafaa, Chamblee DE Davin Bellamy, Tucker QB-WR Juwaan Williams, Norcross RB Alvin Kamara, Tri-Cities OL Shamire Devine, Jonesboro WR Cam Sutton, Northgate WR-DB Brandon Facyson, Jonesboro WR-DB Cam Sutton and Jackson DT Jay Woods.

Thomas feels good about his chances of getting an offer from …

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Max Garcia: OL transfer picks Florida over UGA, others

OL transfer Max Garcia said "Gator Nation" over UGA, others (Photo courtesy of Maryland)

OL transfer Max Garcia said "Gator Nation" over UGA, others (Photo courtesy of Maryland)

Maryland OL transfer Max Garcia committed to Florida over UGA, USC, Wisconsin and Ole Miss on Saturday.

“Gator Nation,” Garcia said in a text message to the AJC.

On Twitter, Garcia wrote, “Once a Terp always a Terp, but it is a great day to be a Florida Gator!! #GatorNation.”

The decision for Florida was a mild surprise for UGA fans because Garcia had listed the Bulldogs as the frontrunner – ahead of the Gators – at the beginning of the recruiting process.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Garcia started all 12 games as Maryland’s left offensive tackle last season but decided to transfer in order to play closer to his home. Garcia, who graduated from Norcross High School, was granted a release from Maryland in February and took visits to all five of his finalists over the last couple of months.

Garcia will have  to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules and then have two years of …

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Georgia Tech to entertain top football recruits for spring game

Jonesboro two-way star Cameron Sutton is being recruited to play DB by Georgia Tech (AJC)

Jonesboro two-way star Cameron Sutton is being recruited to play DB by Georgia Tech (AJC)

Georgia Tech will entertain some of Atlanta’s top football prospects for its spring game on Friday night.

Some of the recruiting targets expected to be in attendance:

  • RB Travis Custis, Lovejoy: He was Georgia Tech’s first commitment for 2013.
  • OL Shamire Devine, Tri-Cities: Many are predicting it will come down to Georgia Tech and UGA for the 6-foot-7, 331-pounder.
  • DT Jay Woods, Jackson: He has been one of the hottest prospects in the state during the spring period.
  • QB Juwaan Williams, Tucker: The state championship QB has Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt as his co-leaders, and he visited Florida State last weekend.
  • DE Naim Mustafaa, Alpharetta: The Georgia Tech legacy has the Yellow Jackets, Auburn and Tennessee as his top three.
  • WR-DB Brandon Faycson, Northgate: He also has Georgia Tech among his leaders.
  • DE Davin Bellamy, Chamblee: He originally was scheduled to be out of town but will make …

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Naim Mustafaa: Georgia Tech rises, UGA falls … with 4-star DE

DE Niam Mustafaa is a Georgia Tech legacy but says his father is not forcing the Yellow Jackets on him (247sports.com)

DE Naim Mustafaa is a Georgia Tech legacy but says his father is not forcing the Yellow Jackets on him (247sports.com)

Naim Mustafaa, a Georgia Tech legacy, says his father is not pushing him to follow in his footsteps to play for the Yellow Jackets.

And he said he’s not being pressured either way about archrival UGA by his pops either.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound linebacker has early football scholarship offers from around 25 colleges, including both UGA and Georgia Tech.

Mustafaa has a top three of Georgia Tech, Auburn and Tennessee. His father, Najee Mustafaa (changed his name from Reggie Rutland), played safety at Georgia Tech in the mid-1980s and for seven seasons in the NFL.

“My dad is not really pushing Georgia Tech on me; he’s not the type to do that,” Mustafaa told the AJC. “He has told me to take my time with my decision, weigh out my options and take my visits. He said it’s my decision to make.”

UGA was one of Mustafaa’s first offers but the Bulldogs are not among his …

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Tony Parker: Memphis coach blames his wife for NCAA violation

Tony Parker is in the national news, and not only for his impending college announcement.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner tweeted the name of Tony Parker this week. Memphis is considered a longshot for the basketball star (AJC)

The Memphis coach tweeted the name of Tony Parker (pictured) this week. Memphis is considered a longshot for the basketball star (AJC)

The Atlanta schoolboy basketball legend will sign with Duke, UGA, UCLA, Kansas or Ohio State at 4 p.m. Monday at Miller Grove High School.

Parker was in the news on Thursday, for other reasons – actually a pretty funny story that has been picked up by the national media outlets, including Deadspin.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner said he self-reported a secondary NCAA violation after accidentally tweeting the words “Tony Parker” from the basketball team’s official Twitter account.

Pastner claimed he was simply putting Parker’s name in Twitter’s search engines and simply typed it in the wrong space – which is completely understandable.

However, the funny part was the contributing factors behind the Twitter confusion that Pastner explained to the Memphis …

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Juwaan Williams: State championship QB makes return trip to Georgia Tech

Juwaan Williams, the quarterback from Tucker High School’s state championship team, will return to visit the only college which has offered him a football scholarship at QB.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder will attend Georgia Tech’s spring game at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

Georgia Tech QB target Juwaan Williams led Tucker to the 2011 Class AAAA state championship (AJC)

Georgia Tech QB target Juwaan Williams led Tucker to the 2011 Class AAAA state championship. He visited Florida State last weekend (AJC)

It will be his first visit with the Yellow Jackets since he was offered in person by coach Paul Johnson in early February. Williams’ only other recruiting trip this spring was last week’s visit to Florida State, which is one of his 18 early offers, along with South Carolina and Kentucky.

“Georgia Tech and Vandy are my leaders; I really don’t have a number one,” Williams told the AJC on Wednesday night.

What about the opportunity to play QB in college? Will that affect Juwaan’s decision? Last year was his first year playing the position.

“It goes into my decision, but not so much,” …

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