Kelsey Griffin, who has kept a low profile since he tried to commit to UGA a few weeks ago, spoke to the AJC about Tuesday’s pledge to South Carolina and his feelings towards the Bulldogs.
“I’m pretty excited about South Carolina; they were second on my list for a reason,” said the 4-star defensive tackle from Mill Creek High School.
“When things didn’t work out with Georgia, I went to the second person on my list, which I had up there for a reason. I got to see a game for the first time at South Carolina this past weekend, and I enjoyed myself. I had them second on my list, I really liked them a lot, and I committed.”
The 6-foot-1, 290-pounder had a face-to-face meeting with Steve Spurrier on the day after South Carolina’s 35-7 win over UGA. “It was a pretty nice conversation. He got pretty excited about about me coming there, and he said he was glad to have me as a Gamecock. He wants me there. What else could you ask for from a great coach like that?”
Three weeks ago, Griffin sat in front of TV cameras and made a public commitment to UGA that the Bulldogs were not ready or willing to accept. It was an embarrassing situation for all parties.
“All I have to say is that things didn’t go as planned,” Griffin said. “I prayed about it, I went to God about it and I talked to my parents about it. Things worked themselves out, and I’m happy to be with South Carolina right now.”
Any feelings about UGA? “There are no hard feelings at all. That’s just not my personality. Just tough things happen in life. What else could I do but move on? There’s no reason to be sad over something I can’t control.”
THE ONE AND ONLY ROBERT NKEMDICHE: Undisputed No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche ignited an earthquake in Clemson on Tuesday when he told ESPN’s Kipp Adams that “My recruitment is crazy still and Ole Miss is making a push for me. It does not matter to my dad, but my mom wants me to go to Ole Miss and we are still talking about it, so we have not come to an agreement on it yet. It is tugging my heart in two different directions.” This is setting up to be a high-stakes recruiting showdown over the next four months. It’s also a reminder how important the role of mothers are in the recruiting process. You’ve got to win them over. TigerIllustrated’s Ryan Bartow reported that Clemson’s coaches will fly over to Nigeria this winter to visit with Nkemdiche’s mother, who is a politician there. Also, while watching this unfold, you’ve got to think there’s a lot of colleges, including Clemson and UGA, that are kicking themselves over not signing Nkemdiche’s older brother, who is blossoming into one of the SEC’s best young defenders this season for Ole Miss.
COULD UGA RECRUIT SWITCH TO CLEMSON? If you thought Nkemdiche’s recruiting has turned into a soap opera, he’s got nothing on Tramel Terry, who has committed twice to UGA and may be deciding on a college for a third time. The wide receiver from Goose Creek High School took an official visit to Clemson this past weekend. “I think Clemson’s in good shape with him; he had a great time and his mother liked it,” Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy, who is a former Baylor head coach and Clemson assistant, told TigerIllustrated’s Ryan Bartow. Reedy told TI that Terry’s final decision could come at the Shrine Bowl all-star game in December. “I’ve got some thoughts, but I told him I’m not going to tell him anything until he tells me what he wants to do. I’m not going to influence him.” Clemson is recruiting Terry as a RB.
FORMER UCLA QB COMMIT TO VISIT SEC SCHOOL: Eddie Printz, who de-committed from UCLA last month after he said he was told the Bruins would no longer honor his scholarship, will take an official visit to Missouri this weekend. The new SEC school seems to be in the lead for the senior QB which has Lassiter High School off to a 6-0 start. “Missouri has liked him all along, and they came in here and looked at him last spring,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “They told him when he was committed to UCLA that it was a long time until signing day and they would continue to recruit him.” What does Missouri like about Printz specifically? “If you watch how they play, they are in the shotgun and do a lot in the intermediate and short passing game,” Irwin said. “They do a spread offense like we do, but they’re a little more empty [in the backfield] and less traditional than us. They throw it about 65- or 70-percent of the time. It’s a good fit. It’s an SEC school. Eddie liked Missouri’s campus when he went out there this summer.” Irwin said several other colleges are “privately” recruiting Printz because they have a quarterback already committed. A pair of Lassiter WRs are also being recruited by D1 schools: Juwaan Dickey, who has been hindered with a dislocated kneecap, has offers from Oklahoma State South Florida, Southern Miss, Louisville and Cincinnati. Willie Police, who plays RB at Lassiter but projects at WR in college, has offers from Utah State and Georgia Southern.
UPDATE ON LSU QB COMMIT FROM ATLANTA: How is LSU-bound QB Anthony Jennings playing this year at Marietta High School? Jennings has his team off to a 3-2 start and while completing 61-percent of his passes (83 for 135) for 1,133 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions. “He’s played really well,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “He’s managed our team and led our team exactly the way I would want him to. He’s extremely astute and spends a ton of time in the film room. His leadership has really shown this year with our team. Statistically, he has done well. I think statistically he could do better. But that’s not always an indication on how well he’s played either. He’s thrown a couple of balls he wishes he could have back. But, by in large, he’s done a great job.” LSU dispatched its QB coach to observe Jennings at a recent game. “They loved him, and they talked about his command of what it is we’re trying to do and how you tell he’s fully aware of what everybody on the field is doing on offense and defense,” Burton said. “We talked about his release point — how compact, efficient and quick he is with his release. We talked about his elusiveness and how he could extend plays. They’re excited about having him at LSU.” Like with all good recruits, other colleges are still trying to sway Jennings, whose father Willie Jennings played defensive tackle at UGA. Burton declined to name the schools, but said “We’ve had some contact by other people. It’s certainly nothing that Anthony or his camp has sought out. He has done a great job of politely saying I appreciate your interest but I’m committed to LSU. And, for the most part, those inquiries have died out with how he has been diplomatic but firm with his commitment to LSU.”
UGA RECRUIT TO RETURN TO ACTION: Defensive back Shaq Wiggins, who is committed to UGA, is expected to return to action on Friday night for Sandy Creek High School after missing the last three weeks with a mild concussion … Sandy Creek has one of the metro’s top juniors in defensive tackle Chris Williams, who recently got his first offer from Ole Miss. There are some concerns about his height at 6-1 and 260 pounds but not many about his ability. South Carolina, UGA and Tennessee are reviewing film … What about former Auburn commit JaQuay Williams? After failing to meet NCAA requirements this year, Williams is playing at a prep school. “I talked with JaQuay on Saturday, and he’s doing really well,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker said. “He’s taking the ACT test in November and December, and plans on being enrolled at Auburn by December.”
THIS AND THAT: Zack and Daron Blaylock, the twin sons of former Atlanta Hawks point guard Mookie Blaylock, are slated to start at the safety positions for Kentucky this weekend, according to their stepfather. They’re freshmen. Kentucky plays pass-happy Arkansas. The Blaylocks are from Walton High School … Georgia Military College (a junior college) had 28 players sign with four-year schools last February and has some players to watch this season: Former South Gwinnett High School WR Kevin Gary has caught five touchdowns this year and has a recent offer from Colorado State. Harrison High School’s Clay Chastain is starting at QB as a freshman for GMC. Neville Hewitt is a sophomore safety from Conyers and has attracted heavy interest from some D1 schools.
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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