Archive for April, 2012

Bobby Petrino: How Arkansas firing will affect recruiting vs. SEC rivals

Ex-Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino (AP)

Ex-Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino (AP)

Ole Miss and Missouri are two SEC football programs that often go head-to-head with Arkansas on the recruiting trail.

Coaches from both schools aren’t sure how Bobby Petrino’s firing will impact the competition with Arkansas for future recruits.

“I think it’s too early to tell,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told the AJC. “I think Arkansas has had some tremendous years recruiting and they have great facilities. I’m not confident enough to say we have a great advantage now. Now I think it could be an advantage but certainly they could go get another great coach in there, which I’m sure they will. Then [Petrino’s firing] would be over in the minds of recruits very fast … so it’s kind of hard for me to say on that.”

Missouri’s Gary Pinkel said, “I haven’t thought about how it will affect our recruiting. I think a lot of people recruit against Arkansas, not just us. I don’t know a lot about the whole thing over there, so we’re just going to …

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Robert Nkemdiche: Clemson gains favor after teammate commits

Will Nkemdiche sign with Clemson, too?

  • Yes
  • Nope

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One of Robert Nkemdiche’s teammates has committed to Clemson.

Will the nation’s No. 1 overall football prospect follow?

“I don’t know; I think that’s all up to Robert,” said Wayne Gallman, the running back from Grayson High School who committed to Clemson.

Nkemdiche, who is rumored to have Alabama and Ole Miss as his co-leaders, endorsed Gallman’s commitment to Clemson.

“It helps Clemson a lot with me,” Nkemdiche told the AJC on Wednesday night.

Back to Gallman: The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder said he picked the Tigers among his 10 offers, which included both UGA and Georgia Tech. Gallman said the runner-up was Florida State, although he didn’t have a scholarship offer from the Seminoles yet despite making an unofficial visit there last week.

Will Nkemdiche follow Grayson RB Wayne Gallman (pictured) to Clemson? (AJC)

Will Nkemdiche follow Grayson RB Wayne Gallman (pictured) to Clemson? (AJC)

“I loved everything about Clemson and I knew in my heart that’s where I …

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Reuben Foster: How will transfer of 5-star LB affect UGA’s chances of flipping Alabama commit?

5-star LB Reuben Foster, pictured with his 3-year-old daughter, has transferred from Georgia to Alabama for his senior year of high school (AJC)

5-star LB Reuben Foster, pictured with his 3-year-old daughter, has transferred from Georgia to Alabama for his senior year of high school (AJC)

UGA’s chances of flipping the commitment of the No. 2 college football prospect in the nation may have lessened on Wednesday.

Reuben Foster, the 5-star linebacker who is committed to Alabama but still flirting with UGA and Auburn, confirmed to the AJC that he is transferring to Auburn (Ala.) High School and could begin classes as early as Thursday.

Foster has played the last three seasons at Troup High School and decided to transfer after his coach, Charles Flowers, was fired in February apparently over the improper transfer of a player into the school district.

“I needed to get away from Troup, with all the stuff going on there,” Foster said. “There were all kinds of emotions going on about the situation … I feel bad about leaving. But at the same time, it was the best thing to do. I’ve got to do what is best for me.”

Foster, who is …

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Georgia Tech adds son of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward to 2012 recruiting class

Brian Gregory is hot, hot, hot with recruiting (AJC)

Brian Gregory had a good year with recruiting, signing four homegrown stars for Georgia Tech (AJC)

Corey Heyward, the son of the late NFL star Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, signed a basketball scholarship with Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

The 6-foot, 205-pounder is a point guard from Virginia’s Hargrave Military prep school and graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School last year.

“It was a relief to finally sign the papers, and I’m ready to get things started down at Georgia Tech,” Heyward told the AJC.

Heyward is the fourth member of Georgia Tech’s 2013 recruiting class, along with shooting guard Chris Bolden of North Gwinnett, power forward Robert Carter of Shiloh and small forward Marcus Hunt of North Clayton. The others signed in November’s early period.

“I’m excited about having Corey at Georgia Tech,” coach Brian Gregory told the AJC. “The two things that are most important in recruiting are bringing in guys that have always been winners and understand what it takes to win …

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Where will Tony Parker sign? Duke? UGA? Kansas? UCLA? (UPDATED)

Where will Tony Parker sign today?

It’s unlikely that he will sign anywhere on Wednesday – the opening day of the NCAA’s late signing period, which runs until May 16.

Which star prospect does UGA have a better chance of signing?

  • Basketball’s Tony Parker
  • Football’s Robert Nkemdiche

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Parker, one of the nation’s top uncommitted basketball prospects, has seven schools as his finalists: Duke, UGA, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown and Memphis.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Parker is scheduled to appear on a signing-day show on ESPNU but he will likely just discuss his finalists rather than sign any papers.

The 6-foot-9, 280-pounder has remained poker-faced throughout the recruiting process, rarely revealing any hints. One noted basketball recruiting analyst said that he’s never been “more at a loss” with predicting Parker’s final resting place for college basketball.

We’re going to take our best shot at where we think things stand with …

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JP Vonashek: UGA may be on brink of yet another commitment (UPDATED)

UGA could pick up its third 2013 commitment from Camden County High School with OL JP Vonahsek (AJC)

UGA could pick up its third 2013 commitment from Camden County High School with OL JP Vonahsek (AJC)

UGA already has two commits from Camden County High School, and it could add a third. J.P. Vonashek, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive lineman, was offered a football scholarship by the Bulldogs on Monday and briefly considered accepted it. He still may do so, as early as Tuesday. “I feel good about it, and I’m really feeling Georgia,” Vonashek told the AJC. “I’m thinking about committing to them. I told Coach [Mark Richt] that I just want to go home and talk it over with my parents, and then go talk to [UGA offensive line coach Will Friend] tomorrow night about it.” Perhaps that only thing that could make it interesting with Vonashek is if Alabama offers. UGA and Alabama are his two favorite schools, but the Crimson Tide has not offered. Vonashek holds early offers from UGA, Miami and North Carolina. Camden County WR-DB JJ Green committed to UGA on Monday, while Camden …

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WR-DB JJ Green picks UGA … second commit of day for Bulldogs

UGA-bound JJ Green could play offense or defense for the Bulldogs (AJC)

UGA-bound JJ Green could play offense or defense for the Bulldogs (AJC)

Commitments are coming in groups and bunches these days for UGA.

JJ Green, a WR-DB-RB from Camden County High School, committed to UGA on Monday.

The 5-foot-9, 178-pounder also had offers from Georgia Tech, Stanford, Duke and Mississippi State. Green was UGA’s second commitment on Monday, following in the footsteps of LB Reggie Carter, who also pledged to the Bulldogs earlier in the day.

On last Friday, three prospects committed to UGA.

For the year, UGA now has 14 commitments for its 2013 recruiting class and could sign around 30 next February. The SEC has a “soft cap” limit of 25 signees per year but early enrollees do not count against the limit.

More on JJ Green: He’s the teammate of another UGA commit, Camden County QB Brice Ramsey, which played in the favor of the Bulldogs. The two are best of friends.

“I’m happy for JJ and certainly not surprised by his decision with Georgia,” Camden County coach …

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Reggie Carter: LB commits to UGA over FSU and South Carolina

UGA-bound LB Reggie Carter is commit No. 13 for the Bulldogs (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

UGA-bound LB Reggie Carter is commit No. 13 for the Bulldogs (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

UGA is off to a blistering start for its 2013 recruiting class.

On Monday, LB Reggie Carter committed UGA over Florida State and South Carolina, according to his coach. It was commitment No. 13 for UGA, which could sign as many as 30 next February.

“Reggie loves the coaching staff at Georgia and he feels comfortable there,” South Gwinnett High School coach John Small told the AJC. “It’s close to home so all of his family can come see him play, it’s an in-state school, and I just think he feels at home there.”

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Carter could play several different linebacker positions at UGA.

“I think he fits in well with what Georgia does on defense,” Small said. “He’s a very versatile kid. He can rush the passer, he can put his hand down, he can rush off the edge, he can play inside or outside linebacker … he can help them wherever they need him. He’s very smart, a student of the game. …

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What does Georgia State’s move to Sun Belt mean for recruiting?

What does Georgia State’s move to the Sun Belt Conference mean for its football recruiting?

With the move transforming Georgia State into an FBS school (formerly NCAA Div. I), the Panthers will likely attract more top-tier recruits from within the state.

“It will do a great deal for recruiting,” Georgia State coach Bill Curry said. “Kids feel like if they’re not playing at the highest level, they’re really missing something. There’s a different kind of athlete that we should be able to attract. We like our recruiting but we think we’ll like it more.”

Georgia is one of the top five states in producing college football talent with around 175-185 high school seniors per year signing with FBS schools, formerly NCAA Div. I.

Georgia’s other FBS schools are UGA and Georgia Tech.

What does this mean for GSU? Georgia State isn’t likely to beat out UGA or Georgia Tech in any head-to-head battles, except for maybe the QB position. But Georgia State will now have a better shot at in-state …

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Tony Parker: Atlanta schoolboy legend “unlikely” to sign on Wednesday

Tony Parker prediction?

  • UGA
  • Duke
  • UCLA
  • Kansas
  • Other

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Tony Parker, the AJC’s Mr. Basketball and one of the nation’s top uncommitted basketball prospects, is unlikely to make his highly-anticipated decision on Wednesday – the first day of the NCAA’s late signing period.

“What I’m getting from his family is that there’s a good chance it won’t be Wednesday,” said Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White.

“I don’t think he’s just quite ready. He’s trying to figure out the last intricate parts of this decision … so he can make the best choice.”

The 6-foot-9, 280-pound power forward has seven finalists: Duke, UGA, Ohio State, Kansas, UCLA, Memphis and Georgetown. Parker, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 21 overall prospect by ESPN, claims no leaders.

Over the weekend, there were rumors that Parker had eliminated Ohio State. Parker “has stopped returning calls from Buckeyes coaches, a sign that OSU is out of the picture,” …

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