Archive for June, 2012

Solomon Poole: Georgia Tech lands one of nation’s top 15 prospects

Georgia Tech has landed one of the top point guards in the nation.

Solomon Poole of Jacksonville, Fla., committed to the Yellow Jackets over UCLA on Saturday. He is ranked as a 5-star recruit by Rivals, along with the nation’s No. 14 overall college basketball prospect for 2013.

“First of all, I picked Georgia Tech because I think ACC is the best conference for basketball,” Poole told the AJC. “Also, my brother [Stacey Poole] is there. The program has a tradition of point guards going into the league, guys like Stephon Marbury and Mark Price.

“[Coach Brian Gregory] was real with me. He only told me what I needed to hear. He didn’t give me a bunch of hype and tell me I was great just to get me to go to the program. I get along with all the coaches well there at Georgia Tech. And it’s a solid educational school, one of the best in the country.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard also had scholarship offers from Louisville, Memphis, UCLA and UGA, among …

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State’s No. 1 kicker commits to Georgia Tech

After touring the Southeast to see his favorite colleges over the last week, Harrison Butker will be staying close to home to play football.

Auburn is first offer for Westminster's Harrison Butker (AJC)Westminster’s Harrison Butker (AJC)

The kicker from Westminster  committed to Georgia Tech on Saturday while driving back to Atlanta from a recruiting trip to Kentucky. He was also considering Auburn and North Carolina. Butker is considered to be the state’s best by several recruiting analysts.

“I just finished looking at all of my options,” Butker told the AJC. “My parents and I were talking about Georgia Tech. That’s where I want to be. I felt most comfortable with the coaches, I have the chance to be a four-year starter, and I felt most at home there. Georgia Tech just felt right there.”

Butker called Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson from the car to let him know the news. “He was really excited about me being part of the Georgia Tech family. They were all really happy that I’m going to be a Yellow Jacket now.”

The …

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Rough week: UGA loses second football recruit in three days (UPDATED)

It has been a rough week for UGA.

UGA lost its second recruit of the week when WR Kyrin Priester backed off his commitment to the Bulldogs on Friday.

Earlier in the week, UGA’s top-rated recruit, 5-star tailback Derrick Henry, also decided to “re-open” his recruiting after being committed to the Bulldogs since last summer. He made a statement that you can read here, saying he rushed his decision — but claims he is still considering the Bulldogs.

What about Priester? He’s a Florida native who recently transferred from the Orlando area to Brookwood High School. A couple of months ago, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder committed to UGA over Vanderbilt and TCU, citing UGA’s needs for wide receivers and his appeal to Mark Richt’s Christian beliefs (click to read story).

On Friday after playing with his Brookwood teammates in a 7-on-7 tournament. Priester confirmed that he was backing off his decision.

“I just want to see all my other options before I make a serious …

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Robert Nkemdiche: Clemson lands nation’s No. 1 recruit … “It’s family man!”

Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 overall college football prospect, has committed to Clemson.

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end from Grayson High School made the unexpected announcement during a visit to Clemson on Thursday.

“It’s family man!” Nkemdiche said in a text message to the AJC, confirming his commitment to Clemson.

Robert Nkemdiche (No. 1 jersey) in Clemson gear with his Grayson teammates, sent out by Wayne Gallman on Twitter

Robert Nkemdiche (No. 1 jersey) in Clemson gear with his Grayson teammates, sent out by Wayne Gallman on Twitter

There’s a lot of connections between Nkemdiche and Clemson that would make it feel like a football family: Two of his Grayson teammates, DB David Kamara (Nkemdiche’s best friend since middle school) and RB Wayne Gallman, have already committed to Clemson. There’s an extra level of trust with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney because he roomed together and played football at Alabama with Grayson coach Mickey Conn, who has helped Nkemdiche navigate through the recruiting process. Clemson is located only 100 miles away from Grayson High …

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David Kamara: Robert Nkemdiche’s best friend picks Clemson

The Grayson-to-Clemson pipeline? (AP)

The Grayson-to-Clemson pipeline? (AP)

Two of Robert Nkemdiche’s high school teammates have committed to Clemson.

Will the nation’s No. 1overall college prospect follow them to the ACC school?

“I know Robert likes Clemson, but I don’t know about that,” said David Kamara, the Grayson High School defensive back who committed to Clemson on Wednesday. Grayson tailback Wayne Gallman has already pledged to the Tigers.

“Hopefully Robert comes to Clemson but if that’s not what he wants to do, I’ll support his decision.”

Another Clemson-Grayson connection: Grayson coach Mickey Conn roomed and played football together at Alabama with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Kamara has been best friends with Nkemdiche since middle school. He picked Clemson over Ole Miss among his nine football scholarship offers.

“It was Clemson, Ole Miss and LSU,” Kamara said. “I had been talking to LSU and was hoping to get an offer from LSU when I went to camp there. …

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Nigel Bowden: Ex-Georgia Tech commit is still considering Jackets

4-star LB Nigel Bowden says he will likely sign with Vanderbilt or Georgia Tech (AJC)

4-star LB Nigel Bowden says he will likely sign with Vanderbilt or Georgia Tech (AJC)

Nigel Bowden, who recently de-committed from Georgia Tech, said he is still considering the Yellow Jackets and will likely sign with them or Vanderbilt.

The 6-foot, 238-pounder from Central Macon High School originally committed to Vanderbilt then switched to Georgia Tech in early June. One day after making the switch, Bowden said he realized he may have rushed his decision.

The 4-star linebacker is currently not committed to any school.

“I talked with my coach, my family and everybody, and they felt like I might be doing things in too much of a rush … and after thinking about it some, I felt the same way,” Bowden told the AJC on Thursday.

“This is one of the biggest decisions of my life, and they want me to be happy at the place I’m going to spend the next 4-5 years of my life. So I decided to take a step back and look at everything some more. I’m going to visit Georgia Tech and …

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Carlos Burse: Vanderbilt beats out others for 4-star WR

WR Carlos Burse (AJC)

WR Carlos Burse (AJC)

Vanderbilt earned a commitment from one of the state’s top overall prospects on Thursday.

Carlos Burse, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver from Alpharetta High School, picked Vanderbilt over Mississippi State among around 20 football scholarship offers, which also included Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He’s ranked as a 4-star by Rivals.

“It was the academics mainly, and I wanted to build my own little legacy over there,” Burse said. “Vanderbilt showed me the most interest.”

Burse is a two-sport star, averaging nearly 20 points in basketball at Alpharetta. He was recruited by colleges in both sports, but will focus on football at Vanderbilt.

“I talked to them about playing basketball at Vanderbilt and they’re fine with it,” Burse said. “But basketball is on the backburner right now.”

Burse is legendary for participating a long football practice at last December’s RisingSeniors.com all-star game, and then joining his …

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Derrick Henry: UGA’s top recruit de-commits from the Bulldogs (UPDATED)

UGA’s top football recruit de-committed from the Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Derrick Henry, the 5-star tailback from Yulee, Fla., released a statement to recruiting reporters that he was backing off his UGA commitment from last summer.

Henry said he decided to re-open his recruiting because “I was probably a little too quick in making my initial decision and got caught up in the moment, so I apologize for that.”

Henry’s change of heart came after he spent a few days with Alabama’s Nick Saban on an unofficial visit last weekend.

UGA's top recruit, RB Derrick Henry, has de-committed from the Bulldogs (247sports.com)

UGA's top recruit, RB Derrick Henry, has de-committed from the Bulldogs (247sports.com)

If there’s any good news for UGA, it’s that Henry claims he is still considering the Bulldogs as he moves forward.

Here’s the statement:

“This has been a great experience getting to know so many great coaches and visiting some of the best college football programs in the country. Even though I’ve worked really hard to put myself in this situation, I …

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Florida 3-star is third OL to commit to Georgia Tech

Chris Griffin liked Wednesday’s visit to Georgia Tech so much that he committed on the spot.

The 3-star offensive tackle from Crawfordville, Fla., then got on the phone and canceled recruiting trips scheduled this weekend for Clemson and Vanderbilt.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pounder picked Georgia Tech over Clemson and South Florida among his 16 football scholarship offers.

“You know how you go somewhere and you know it’s just right? That’s how I felt about Georgia Tech,” Griffin told the AJC. “I knew it was the right place for me, so I went ahead and told them I was coming there.”

On Wednesday, Griffin spent around six hours touring the Georgia Tech campus for the first time with his mother, brother, grandfather and neice. Toward the end, he met with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and gave him the news.

“Coach Johnson was really excited, and he said that I made his day,” said Griffin, who has a 3.3 overall GPA and will likely study Mechanical or Civil …

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Josh Dobbs: Arizona State lands Alpharetta QB

Joshua Dobbs - Alpharetta High School - mug

Another Georgia D1 QB … Josh Dobbs of Alpharetta HS (AJC)

Georgia, which has one of its strongest quarterback classes in years, sent another one to the D1 ranks on Wednesday.

Josh Dobbs, a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder from Alpaharetta High School, committed to Arizona State. He had around a dozen offers, including Boston College, Duke, Arkansas and Wake Forest.

“It was a decision by Josh and his family that was really well thought out,” Alpharetta coach Jason Dukes told the AJC. “Arizona State is a school that has his major [aeronautical engineering], and the school that is going to run a style of offense that he is used to. It’s a situation where they have a quarterback there [for two more years], and there won’t be the pressure for Josh to play right now. Although, knowing Josh’s competitive spirit, I’m sure he’ll be ready to compete as soon as he gets to Arizona State.”

Dobbs is one of the state’s top student-athletes: He has a 4.0 GPA, has perfect school …

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