Tray Matthews, who has been committed to UGA for more than a year, had mixed emotions about the Bulldogs picking up two more recruits at safety over the last two days.
UGA now has 26 commitments for 2013, including four prospects at safety. Matthews, from Newnan High School, is the highest ranked of the four as a 4-star.
“It affected me a little bit, but the more I thought about it, it’s part of the game,” said Matthews, after learning JC safety Shaquille Fluker committed to UGA on Tuesday.
“I don’t know. I guess Georgia feel like I might switch, and they had to go pick up another safety. I don’t know what’s going on with that.”
Then after Matthews talked with his parents for a few minutes, he had a different perspective:
“My opinion is that Georgia saw a good safety and got him. We’re pretty low on safeties, and we got another one. It doesn’t affect me because there’s going to competition, regardless, since I’m going to be a freshman and there are players there [in college] already. I guess it will just mean more competition, and I’m fine with that.”
Matthews has been flirting a little with the idea of playing at Auburn with best friend Reuben Foster, visiting the Auburn campus with his family a couple of weeks ago. Matthews has said if he flipped from UGA to Auburn, he would do it sooner than later. What’s the latest with that? “That’s still kind of the case. I just know I’m going to take all my official visits.”
When asked where his commitment stood, Matthews said, “I’m 100-percent committed to Georgia.”
What about those official visits? Matthews plans to take recruiting trips to UGA, Auburn, USC, Tennessee and Florida.
“I’m still with Georgia, that’s my team,” Matthews said. “I want to take the visits because you’re only a senior one time. I just want a good experience. I was talking to some guys like Mike Davis and others. They said ‘Do everything that you can because it’s your senior year.’ I want to go ahead and do that and have fun with that. The colleges are paying for everything, so you might as well.”
UGA’S CLASS GROWING LIKE WEEDS: UGA has 26 commitments, and could pick up a couple of more within the next couple of weeks. Both are much-needed defensive linemen. Mill Creek’s Kelsey Griffin has narrowed down to UGA and South Carolina and hasn’t set a date. Meanwhile, Jackson’s Jay Woods will announce between five schools around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The finalists are UGA, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Kentucky. There’s a lot of hometown pressure on Woods to pick the Bulldog. “Yes sir, being from Georgia, and people seeing Georgia on my list, a lot of people around here want to see me go to Georgia,” Woods said. “I just tell them I’m talking it over with my family. I think I have a good feeling on where I want to go, but I’m not sure yet. I will let the world know on Thursday. I don’t feel pressure to go to Georgia. I feel like I will pick the school that is best for me … wherever I can say is another home for me.”
STATE’S MOST UNDERRATED PROSPECT? Despite around 20 football scholarship offers, North Cobb tailback Quentin James might be the state’s most overlooked prospect. After watching him beat Reuben Foster around the corner a few times during the RisingSeniors.com all-star game practices last December, a couple of scouts thought James – because of his size (6-1, 215) had as much upside as any of the state’s running backs, including Walton’s Tyren Jones (committed to Alabama), Norcross’ Alvin Kamara (undecided) and Elbert County’s Tyshon Dye (committed to Clemson). What’s the latest with James? He said Miami leads Mississippi State and he may make a college decision by early October. “Right now, I really like Miami. It’s just when I went down there, everything seemed to as good as I thought it would be. The coaches seem to be like my coaches, and are always there for me. And the offense they run, they do a lot of the same things we do at my school. It’s a good fit.” James is being recruited by both schools as an athlete who could play running back or outside linebacker. “I prefer playing running back, but I’ve been developing my skills at linebacker. I could see myself playing outside linebacker at the next level.” James said he would also be receptive to interest from Georgia Tech, Missouri and Texas A&M.
CROOKS TAKES HIS TIME: One of the state’s top offensive linemen, Delando Crooks of Carver-Atlanta High School, has kept a low profile on the recruiting radar over the summer. There were rumors he was on the verge of committing to either Georgia Tech or UGA in the spring. Now there’s speculation that both in-state schools have filled the OL spots — or have spots reserved for specific targets. His uncle, Troy Vaccianna, said the 6-5, 272-pound defensive tackle recently got written offers from Stanford, Vanderbilt, Purdue and North Carolina. “He hasn’t decided yet on a school; he’s been focused really hard on his senior season because he knows this is going to be a special year,” Vaccianna said. Crooks had recent contact with Georgia Tech, with them letting him know they’re still interested, according to his uncle. They’re not sure where things stand with UGA. “Nobody has told us they’re not interested,” Vaccianna said. Crooks doesn’t have a favorite or a timetable on making a decision. “God has a plan for everybody,” Vaccianna said. “Whatever the plan is, that’s what it’s going to be. The race is not for the swift, but for those who can endure it until the end.”
THIS AND THAT: Mark Richt told FS South that sometimes when it’s reported that UGA gets beat out for a star recruit, it’s not always the case. “There’s a lot of guys that it may look like on paper, or in the newspaper, that so and so beat out Georgia on a certain prospect, but we’re not gonna say that we decided to not bring him into our university because we were concerned about could he make that transition.” Richt can’t comment on specific recruits per NCAA rules, but we’re pretty sure he’d take Reuben Foster, Robert Nkemdiche or Tyren Jones.
SWITCHING TO BASKETBALL: Halle Washington, who is ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 college basketball prospects by ESPN, committed to UGA over Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida State on Monday. She’s a 6-2 forward from Bossier City, La. “I just feel like UGA was the best fit for me,” Washington said. “I have a real good relationship with the coaches, and they made me feel like I was at home. I had a good feeling about the university when I went down there.”
THIS JUST IN …
BECAUSE WE MISS THE OLYMPICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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