Steven Nelson is not only getting calls from an overzealous “UGA fan” but also recruiters from Texas Tech, Oregon State, Oklahoma, Baylor and Kansas, among the 12 schools that have offered. Nelson, the DB from the California junior college, has been committed to UGA since last February.
He will take an official visit to Oregon State on Oct. 6 and hasn’t ruled out other recruiting trips. Should the Bulldogs be worried? “They have nothing to be worried about unless I feel that the coaches are not being honest with me. I’m looking for complete honesty. I’m still officially committed to Georgia. The only way that would change would be if they were dishonest with me about the opportunity to play right away at boundary corner, and also let me return the ball, because that’s what I do. Whatever school lets me do both, that’s what I’m looking for.” Has UGA agreed to let Nelson do both? “Yes.” Nelson was apparently bothered when he learned that former UGA signee Chris Sanders was returning to the Bulldogs to play the same position until he was dismissed from Georgia Military junior college. “I had to find that out on my own,” Nelson said.
Nelson had the opportunity to redshirt this season at California’s College of the Sequoias, which would’ve left him with three years of eligibility at Georgia. However, Nelson opted to play. “The type of player I am. I don’t feel like sitting out and missing the action. I feel like I can go to the NFL in two years anyways, maybe in one.”
WE ARE PENN STATE: Penn State’s new coach, Bill O’Brien, told the AJC last spring that he would recruit the state of Georgia much more aggressively. O’Brien is a former assistant at Georgia Tech, and his defensive coordinator is Ted Roof, who played football at Georgia Tech and Central Gwinnett High School. They know Georgia talent. So far, this year, Penn State has offered five from the state, including Grayson High School defensive back Kasey Gaines on Sunday. It was the first BCS offer for the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Gaines, who was congratulated on Twitter by his heralded teammate, Robert Nkemdiche. Gaines also took to Twitter to defend Penn State’s reputation, saying, “Believe whatever and listen to media, but it’s an honor to recognized by a program with such tradition. Blessed.” When asked about that Tweet, Gaines told the AJC, “A lot of people think Penn State may be going down the drain, or whatever. Some people are saying it’s a rebuilding year. The way I look at it, I’m happy they choose me and they were interested in me to be part of rebuilding the program. That’s how I look at it.” Is Gaines seriously considering Penn State after all that has happened there, including the NCAA penalties? “Honestly, it stinks that I can’t play in a bowl game if I went there. But it’s not like that would affect my total decision. I still think it would be an honor to play there, regardless of everything.” At this point, it appears that Penn State’s toughest competition for Gaines will be Harvard. He also has offers from Virginia Military, Presbyterian and Howard. Gaines is also getting hard looks from Wisconsin, FIU and Miami of Ohio. “That’s a tough choice for me, whether I want to play ball with the big boys in D1 at Penn State, or get that degree from Harvard,” Gaines said. Gaines made the signature play of Grayson’s state championship season, returning an interception 15 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds left in the region championship against Brookwood. His older brother, Korey Gaines, signed with BYU out of high school and now plays at a California junior college.
HOLY COW: Did you hear about this scrimmage at 7 p.m. Thursday? Reuben Foster’s old high school, Troup, will play against the 5-star linebacker’s new high school, Auburn High School. The winner gets to keep Reuben on their roster for the rest of the season. We’re kidding about that. But expect emotions to be riding high when the two teams meet. Neither side is speaking much publicly about it, but there are some hard feelings about Foster’s departure from Troup. Of course, in Foster’s defense, he only left because his former high school coach at Troup was fired. And, in case anybody wanted to know, this game was scheduled before Foster changed zip codes. Last year, Auburn did a scrimmage at Troup. Note: If you’re attending the scrimmage, Auburn High School plays off-campus at Duck Samford Stadium.
MARIST IS LOADED: Marist has one of its largest classes of D1 prospects in school history. TE Greg Taboada has more than 20 offers, including Alabama, FSU and Vanderbilt, among others. Nose tackle Steve Wallace (6-0, 280) has an offer from Kentucky. “He’s low to the ground, and plays hard and aggressive,” Marist coach Alan Chadwick said. Then there’s a pair of speedsters in RB Gray King (5-11, 175), who has an offer from Air Force, and RB-DB Myles Willis, who switched his commitment from Central Florida to Boston College. Chadwick on King: “He’s got great quickness, cutting ability, and outstanding at changing directions. He’s a good athlete who runs well with the ball. He has great speed.” Willis may be the fastest player at Marist in Chadwick’s 28 years as coach. Willis was recently clocked at 4.34 in the 40-yard dash. “That’s pretty darn close as the fastest player we’ve had. I can’t remember anyone faster. We’ve had some 4.4 guys, though.”
STILL WAITING: What’s the latest with Auburn signee JaQuay Williams? “Nothing yet,” according to Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker. Williams is still finishing up an online class and waiting for permission from the NCAA Clearinghouse to report to Auburn. He still plans to play this season. The backup plan is for Williams, who was ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect at WR this past season, to enroll at Auburn in January. He’s currently training at Sandy Creek.
SLEEPER ALERT: One of the state’s top sleepers is Vidalia High School athlete Nic McBride, who plays QB, WR and DB. He’s 6-2, 210 pounds and is being recruited by colleges at safety and linebacker. He has early offers from South Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, and Furman. He’s also getting looks from Duke, Ole Miss, Wofford, Georgia Southern and Florida. He’s got a 3.85 GPA.
THIS JUST IN …
BECAUSE WE MISS THE OLYMPICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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