Archive for May, 2012

Is Alabama’s serious flirtation with UGA QB recruit Brice Ramsey over?

Alabama got some good recruiting news on Wednesday.

And it’s likely good news for UGA, too.

Alabama’s serious flirtations with UGA’s prized QB recruit, Brice Ramsey – highlighted by last week’s 90-minute Skye conversation between Nick Saban and Ramsey – are likely over after the Crimson Tide landed one of the nation’s top quarterbacks on Wednesday.

Good news for Alabama on Wednesday likely means good news for UGA's Mark Richt. After Alabama landed another QB, it's serious flirtations with Brice Ramsey are likely over (Photo taken and owned by Ramsey family. Photo was not owned, submitted, authorized or arranged by UGA)

Good news for Alabama on Wednesday likely means good news for UGA's Mark Richt. After Alabama landed another QB, it's serious flirtations with Brice Ramsey are likely over (Photo taken by Ramsey family. Photo was not owned, submitted, authorized or arranged by UGA)

Utah QB Cooper Bateman, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 61 overall prospect by ESPN, committed to Alabama on Wednesday. Ramsey is ranked at No. 110.

It is very rare for two high-profile QB prospects in the same class to attend the same college.

“Maybe that will be the case,” Camden County High School coach Jeff Herron told the AJC on Wednesday afternoon. “One thing I’ve …

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State’s No. 1 OL prospect commits to Georgia Tech over FSU

Georgia Tech-bound Shamire Devine won MVP honors at Atlanta NIKE camp (AJC)

Georgia Tech-bound Shamire DeVine won MVP honors at Atlanta NIKE camp (AJC)

Georgia Tech landed a commitment from a hometown star who some rate as the state’s best college football prospect on the offensive line.

Shamire DeVine, a 6-foot-7, 331-pounder from Tri-Cities High School, committed to Georgia Tech after his team’s spring practice on Wednesday night.

“I like the academics,” DeVine told the AJC.

DeVine, who was named OL MVP at last month’s Atlanta NIKE camp, had around a dozen offers, including UGA, Florida, FSU, Tennessee and Southern Cal.

“I picked Georgia Tech over Florida State, and I really don’t know who the third guy was,” said DeVine, who has a 3.0 GPA and wants to study Computer Engineering and Programming.

“Florida State was ranked in the top 10 in computers, while Georgia Tech was in the top three. So I chose the school with the best academics. I don’t really care about the football part. I just want the best degree I can get, as far as the field I want to …

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Adam Smith: Virginia Tech picks up big-time transfer

Adam Smith committed to Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

Virginia Tech commit Adam Smith (UNCW)

Virginia Tech commit Adam Smith (UNCW)

Smith, the former Parade All-America shooting guard from Fayette County High School, pledged to Virginia Tech at the end of his official visit. He declined to mention any other schools he was considering.

“I felt real comfortable with the coaching staff,” Smith told the AJC. “I felt like it was a great situation for me and I had to seize the moment.”

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Smith signed with UNC-Wilmington out of high school and averaged 13.2 points per game as a college freshman. Smith decided to transfer because of his own athletic and academic goals and objectives.

Smith will have to sit out next season and have three years of eligibility.

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Off and Running … Georgia Tech picks up 2nd commitment

Georgia Tech has picked up its second commitment for 2013 – and he’s also a running back.

Donovan Wilson pledged to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. Wilson is a 3-star running back from Dublin, Ohio, and also boasted offers from Purdue, Boston College, Ohio and Air Force.

Wilson was recruited and landed by Georgia Tech's new special teams coach, David Walkosky (Photo by Georgia Tech)

Wilson was recruited and landed by Georgia Tech's new special teams coach, David Walkosky (Photo by Georgia Tech)

The 6-foot, 215-pounder made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech last month, finally got a scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday, and committed three hours later.

“This was the offer I had been waiting on,” Wilson told the AJC. “I went through my practices, thought about it hard, talked to my parents, and made the decision to commit.”

Why Georgia Tech? “Good academics and good football – they compete for the ACC championship every year,” Wilson said. “And it’s a ‘running back school’ and that’s what I like to do. I’ve always watched them and respected them.”

Georgia Tech’s other …

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Donovan Wilson: Georgia Tech RB commit from Dublin, Ohio

  • Prospect: Donovan Wilson, running back, Jerome High School of Dublin, Ohio, Class of 2013.
  • RB Donovan Wilson hurdles defender (Photo by Kara Hall/jeromefootball.com)

    RB Donovan Wilson hurdles defender (Photo by Kara Hall/jeromefootball.com)

  • Colleges: Committed to Georgia Tech (May 15, 2012) over Purdue, Boston College, Ohio and Air Force … Pledged to the Yellow Jackets within three hours after being offered a football scholarship. “This was the offer I had been waiting on. I went through my practices, thought about it hard, talked to my parents, and made the decision to commit.” … Recruited by Georgia Tech’s new special teams coach, David Walkosky, who has recruiting connections in Ohio
  • Why Georgia Tech? “Good academics and good football – they compete for the ACC championship every year. And it’s a ‘running back school’ and that’s what I like to do. I’ve always watched them and respected them.”
  • Vitals: 6-foot and 215 pounds. Has 3.2 GPA, and wants a career in nutrition.
  • Recruiting rankings: 3-star and ranked as nation’s No. 77 running back by …

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Recruiting Rewind: Alabama signee on UGA rumors, visiting cancer patient

Alabama-bound Geno Smith with cancer patient Grace Buckel (Special)

Alabama-bound Geno Smith with cancer patient Grace Buckel (Special)

One of Alabama’s star football recruits stopped by an Atlanta hospital to visit a girl who was recently diagnosed with bone cancer.

Geno Smith is a senior at St. Pius, ranked as the No. 8 defensive back in the country by Rivals, and signed with Alabama over Auburn last February.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Smith was approached last week about going to see the younger sister of one of his classmates, Grace Buckel. The 12-year-old girl was diagnosed with cancer in her leg last month and was hospitalized at Scottish Rite (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta).

An Auburn player recently visited a patient down the hall. Grace is an Alabama fan and her parents thought a visit by Geno might cheer her up. Smith and his St. Pius teammate, Nick Maiolo, made the special trip last Friday.

“I was happy to do it,” Smith told the AJC. “We just hung out and talked a …

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Marqui Hawkins: Florida picks up commitment from Isaiah Crowell’s HS teammate

Florida-bound WR Marqui Hawkins (AJC)

Florida-bound WR Marqui Hawkins (AJC)

One of the state’s top wide receivers committed to Florida on Monday.

Marqui Hawkins, a  6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Carver-Columbus High School, picked Florida over Clemson among 15 offers, which also included Tennessee, Southern Cal, and North Carolina.

“We spoke earlier in the week about Florida, and Marqui went on to tell his mother about it,” Carver coach Dell McGee told the AJC. “He called Coach [Will] Muschamp and told him the good news. Coach Muschamp called me after he committed. Both parties are happy.”

Hawkins attends Carver, the alma mater of UGA tailback Isaiah Crowell. Hawkins did not have a UGA scholarship offer but was being evaluated by the Bulldogs. At Florida, Hawkins projects to play offense and maybe some defense.

“He’s a great kid, first of all …  great attitude and great character,” McGee said. “He’s got a real physical demeanor about himself on the football field. He can do a variety of things. Florida can play him …

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Davin Bellamy: UGA offers top prospect after blunt feedback

Davin Bellamy, one of the state’s most-heavy recruited football prospects, got some blunt feedback when he was evaluated by UGA last season.

“They said I was ‘too weak,’” Bellamy recalled.

Times have changed for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end from Chamblee High School. Bellamy now has 21 early football scholarship offers after he got the news from UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner over the weekend.

DE Davin Bellamy

DE Davin Bellamy

It was Garner who was the first college coach to evaluate Bellamy in person last fall.

“He came to the Miller Grove game and gave me some comments that really helped me with my game … he said I was ‘too weak,’” Bellamy said. “I was fresh off the basketball court going to the football field, so I accepted that.”

“I mean, I was distraught about it.  I didn’t think I would be good enough for a top-tier school like Georgia. I had to better myself to make sure I was that caliber of player.

“By [Garner] saying that, it really pushed me into becoming a better …

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Mark Richt has a little secret

How large will UGA’s football recruiting class be for 2013?

Mark Richt isn’t saying — at least publicly.

“I don’t really get into talking hard numbers with everybody in the media, to be honest with you” he told the AJC recently.

How many will UGA sign in February 2013?

  • 30 or more
  • 29 or less

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“I will say this: We will definitely have space to count guys back to last year’s class … there’s no doubt about that. We would love to have as many midyear enrollees as possible to maximize that number going back, along with providing space to go forward with 25, if there’s room with the 85 number [for overall scholarships].

“There’s no doubt, this year in particular, we definitely would be looking to get guys to come at the midyear [in January] and count back towards last year’s class.”

Let’s take a step back: The SEC has new rules against over-signing, limiting each member school to sign a maximum of 25 recruits per year. However, there is …

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Does 6 BCS championships in a row give the SEC a recruiting advantage?

Does winning six BCS championships in a row give the SEC a recruiting advantage?

We think so, especially when we hear things like this: We asked one of Atlanta’s best prospects if he was hoping for a scholarship offer from one of the ACC’s top programs and he said this:

“They were going to offer but I wasn’t really interested. I mean, it’s a good school but there’s no point in wasting their time. I’m staying in the SEC. The best players and the best competition are in the SEC.”

Yeah, that’s pretty powerful stuff, and brutal for a non-SEC school to have to compete against in fertile recruiting grounds of Georgia.

How does an SEC coach feel about that issue? Does winning six BCS championships in a row help you with recruiting? We asked Tennessee’s Derek Dooley:

Tennessee's Derek

Tennessee's Derek Dooley: "I’ve been watching the SEC a long time. There have been times when Georgia has hit a dip, there has been a time when LSU has hit a dip, there’s been times when Bama has hit a dip and Florida …

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