Archive for April, 2012

New SEC member does something big to catch attention of Georgia football recruits

The SEC's newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruiting targets (Photo was tweeted by SEC_Chuck)

The SEC's newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruiting targets (Photo courtesy of University of Missouri)

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel knows all about the billboard placed along I-85 in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County.

It says “Proud To Be SEC: Mizzou.” Missouri is a first-year member of the SEC, and will have its conference opener against UGA on Sept. 8.

“Oh yes, I get text messages and emails from Mizzou people that live in that area and that region,” Pinkel told the AJC. “They talk about it and say how excited they are to see it.”

There are 16 billboards, including eight that have been placed out of state. There are three in Georgia, including two in Atlanta and one near Valdosta, while one each in Tampa, Fla., Dallas, Birmingham, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis. What was the idea behind the billboards?

“It’s to market Missouri,” Pinkel said. “We’ll be in Georgia …

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Robert Nkemdiche: Did Ole Miss sign his brother to get to consensus No. 1 prospect?

Does Ole Miss have inside position on the "consensus" No. 1 prospect in the nation? (AJC photo)

Does Ole Miss have inside position on the "consensus" No. 1 prospect in the nation? Alabama, UGA, Clemson and LSU are also in the chase (AJC photo)

Did Ole Miss sign Robert Nkemdiche’s brother last year just to put itself in better position to land the consensus No. 1 college football prospect in the nation for 2013?

There are plenty of rumors and speculation about that topic since it involves Robert Nkemdiche, who told the AJC he will leave on Friday to visit Ole Miss and watch his brother play in this weekend’s spring scrimmage.

Alabama and Ole Miss are considered the frontrunners for the 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive lineman from Grayson High School. Robert also has UGA, Clemson and LSU among his leaders. He is tentatively scheduled to announce on May 18.

Last spring, Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert’s brother, was a late academic qualifier out of Grayson. The speedy defensive back was hotly pursued by Ole Miss in late May, and committed shortly after returning from his official …

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Recruiting Rewind: RB Kenyan Drake reflects on Nick Saban, signing with Alabama over UGA & Tech

Alabama’s Nick Saban finished with this year’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the nation, and it was boosted immensely by the signing of eight prospects from Georgia. One of Alabama’s top imports from Georgia was Kenyan Drake, the AJC Super 11 running back from Hillgrove High School.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Drake committed to Alabama over UGA and Georgia Tech nearly a year before signing day, and never wavered. He reflected on his recruiting journey with the AJC:

What is the most creative thing a college did to get your attention? “There really wasn’t anything too creative, other than the coaches just showing up at my school and coming to see me. I think when [Alabama’s Nick Saban] and [Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson], along with [UGA assistant Bryan McClendon], came to my school and showed me love, I felt like that was one of the most important things in the whole recruiting process.”

RB Kenyan Drake was one of eight Georgia prospects that signed in February with Alabama, which finished with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation (AJC)

RB Kenyan Drake was one of eight Georgia prospects that signed in February with Alabama, …

Continue reading Recruiting Rewind: RB Kenyan Drake reflects on Nick Saban, signing with Alabama over UGA & Tech »

Mark Richt on UGA’s hot recruiting start: “It’s a good thing”

Mark Richt

UGA's Mark Richt gives the congratulatory "commitment hug" in this picture tweeted by Sandy Creek WR Demarre Kitt

UGA coach Mark Richt is excited about the team’s blistering start in recruiting for the next two years.

At Saturday’s G-Day game, the Bulldogs added two more commitments:

Overall, UGA, which signed 19 recruits last February, already had 18 prospects committed for the next two seasons.

After the G-Day game, Richt couldn’t talk about any specific commitments due to NCAA rules. But he was obviously happy with the overall early results of recruiting.

“I know, I think it’s a good thing  — there’s a lot of people really interested in the Dawgs,” Richt told the …

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Tony Parker: Basketball star denies UCLA rumors, will sign on Monday (UPDATED)

Tony Parker’s coach denied a report that the AJC’s Mr. Georgia basketball has decided to sign with UCLA.

Atlanta schoolboy legend to announce on Friday (AJC)

Atlanta schoolboy legend to announce on Friday (AJC)

“That’s something that got started at [an all-star game] … it doesn’t have any legs to it,” Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White told the AJC on Sunday.

“Tony has not committed yet. That’s the best and only way I can put it.”

However, there are a couple of new developments with Parker: He will make his highly-anticipated college decision on Friday, and his finalists are UCLA, Duke, UGA, Kansas and Ohio State.

“Tony is ready for it to get over with,” White said. “He’s planning on doing it on Friday. We haven’t set a time yet but when we do, we’ll let everybody know.”

Unless something changes, Parker is also unlikely to make a return trip this week to visit any of his finalists, according to his coach.

The 6-foot-9, 280-pound Parker is ranked as the nation’s No. 26 overall prospect by ESPNU. He led Miller Grove to …

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Reggie Wilkerson: Florida DB is commit No. 15 for UGA

UGA picked up commitment No.15 at Saturday’s G-Day.

DB Reggie Wilkerson, a 6-foot, 175-pounder from Citron, Fla., committed to UGA over South Florida and Clemson.

“I picked Georgia because it feels like family,” Wilkerson told the AJC. “I have great chemistry with the coaches and I’ve bonded well with the players.

“It feels like home to me. I feel this is a place where I can come in and compete for the starting job on first day.”

UGA is off to a blistering start for its 2013 recruiting class with 15 commitments, including five players who may get a look at cornerback — Shaq Wiggins, Steven Nelson, JJ Green and Tramel Terry.

Earlier on Saturday, UGA got a commitment from Sandy Creek WR Demarre Kitt, who is a high school sophomore.

UGA commits for 2013

  1. RB Derrick Henry, 6-3, 241, Yulee, Fla.
  2. QB Brice Ramsey, 6-3, 190, Camden County HS
  3. S Tray Matthews, 6-2, 205, Newnan HS
  4. DB Shaq Wiggins, 5-10, 160, Sandy Creek HS
  5. DB Steven Nelson, 6-0, 185, College of Sequoias JC (Northside-WR …

Continue reading Reggie Wilkerson: Florida DB is commit No. 15 for UGA »

Jarrad Davis: LB will play against UGA-bound teammates at Auburn

Auburn-bound LB Jarrad Davis has a 3.86 core GPA (AJC)

Auburn-bound LB Jarrad Davis has a 3.86 core GPA (AJC)

While at least two of his high school teammates will sign with UGA, Jarrad Davis will play college football at SEC rival Auburn.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker from Camden County High School committed to Auburn over a football scholarship offers from Tennessee and Duke on Saturday. He also had interest from Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

“Today just felt like the right time to do it,” Davis told the AJC. “Last time I visited Auburn was a couple of week ago, and I almost committed then. Today, I felt like I needed to do it. It just felt right. I didn’t want to push the limit, so I decided to go ahead and do it.”

Two other rising seniors at Camden County, QB Brice Ramsey and WR-DB-RB JJ Green, have committed to UGA, while other one (OL JP Vonashek) may pledge to the Bulldogs any day. Davis had limited contact with UGA.

“The Georgia thing, it is what it is,” Davis said. “We’ll always talk and joke about …

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WR Demarre Kitt commits to UGA over Clemson

UGA-bound WR Demarre Kitt

UGA-bound WR Demarre Kitt

One of Georgia’s top football players for 2014 committed to UGA on Saturday.

WR Demarre Kitt, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Sandy Creek High School, said he picked UGA over Clemson among his dozen scholarship offers, which also included Florida and Auburn.

“Georgia is the place I want to be, it feels like home, and I love everything about it,” Kitt told the AJC.

Kitt is UGA’s third commit for 2014, joining RB Stanley Williams of George Walton Academy and DB Nick Glass of St. Pius. Kitt and Glass are best friends.

“Nick is committed to Georgia, and that helped a little with my decision,” Kitt said.

UGA has 14 commits for 2013, including Kitt’s teammate at Sandy Creek, DB Shaq Wiggins.

Sandy Creek is the alma mater of NFL Pro Bowler Calvin Johnson, along with the state’s No. 1 prospect at WR for 2012, JaQuay Williams, who signed with Auburn.

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Max Garcia: UGA target “close” to making decision

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Max Garcia, one of the nation’s most heavily-recruited football transfers, told the AJC that this weekend’s visit to Wisconsin will be his last trip, and he’ll announce his college choice within the next couple of weeks.

“It will be before May,” Garcia said.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman has Wisconsin among his five finalists, which also include UGA, Florida, Ole Miss and USC. He has taken recruiting trips to all five. UGA was once listed by Garcia as his frontrunner, but now he claims no favorites. However, the Bulldogs are still considered the school to beat because of the close proximity to Garcia’s family in the Atlanta area. Garcia ranked his official visit to UGA “between a 9 and 10.”

OL transfer Max Garcia (UM)

OL transfer Max Garcia (UM)

Garcia was granted permission to transfer from Maryland earlier this spring because he wanted to play closer to home. Garcia started all 12 games at left …

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VIDEO: What about UGA’s blistering start in football recruiting?

UGA is off to a torrid start with its 2013 football recruiting class.

The Bulldogs already have 14 commits for next year, and could add another one soon with this guy.

How fast is UGA’s pace? To put it into context, with this year’s class (2012), the Bulldogs didn’t get No. 14 until QB Faton Bauta pledged last November, around 2.5 months before signing day.

With next year’s class, UGA already has 14 and signing day is around nine months away.

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UGA commits for 2013

  1. RB Derrick Henry, 6-3, 241, Yulee, Fla.
  2. QB Brice Ramsey, 6-3, 190, Camden County HS
  3. S Tray Matthews, 6-2, 205, Newnan HS
  4. DB Shaq Wiggins, 5-10, 160, Sandy Creek HS
  5. DB Steven Nelson, 6-0, 185, College of Sequoias JC (Northside-WR HS)
  6. DT Chris Mayes, 6-4, 295, Mississippi Gulf Coast JC (Spalding HS)
  7. DT DeAndre “Moose” Johnson, 6-3, 311, Northgate HS
  8. WR Tramel Terry, 6-0, 185, Goose Creek (S.C.)
  9. LB Johnny O’Neal, 6-1, 230, West Laurens HS
  10. WR Kyrin Priester, 6-2, 185, Brookwood HS

Continue reading VIDEO: What about UGA’s blistering start in football recruiting? »