Kelsey Griffin: South Carolina lands 4-star DT who tried to commit to UGA (UPDATED)

Steve Spurrier, who has led South Carolina to three straight wins over UGA, has made the state of Georgia his top recruiting priority. The Gamecocks have 21 commitments and counting over the past two seasons out of Georgia (AP)

Steve Spurrier, who has led South Carolina to three straight wins over UGA, has made the state of Georgia his top recruiting priority. The Gamecocks have 21 commitments and counting over the past two seasons out of Georgia (AP)

Kelsey Griffin, who tried to commit to UGA a few weeks ago, pledged to South Carolina on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-1, 290-pound defensive tackle from Mill Creek High School picked South Carolina after making an unofficial visit to see the Gamecocks defeat UGA 35-7 this past weekend.

“He’s very relieved and excited,” Mill Creek coach Shannon Jarvis told the AJC. “It was always between South Carolina and Georgia for him. He feels blessed with how it all turned out. He was able to go the game this week, and meet with Coach [Steve Spurrier] on Sunday to finalize this.

“He’s excited about the opportunity to play at South Carolina. He’s built a great relationship with the coaches. Kelsey was high on their board. He was a priority for South Carolina. They’ve done an excellent job recruiting him. Kelsey is very relieved to get his recruiting over with, and ready to move on with our season.”

South Carolina landed a 4-star recruit who is ranked as the nation’s No. 5 defensive tackle by 247sports.com. He’s also ranked as the eighth-best overall prospect out of the state of Georgia by 247.

“For their scheme, he fits perfectly with the way they move their tackles,” Jarvis said. “They are a 4-3 based alignment, which is different than a lot of schools that run a 3-4. It will let him stay around the body weight he is right now. And if you look at his body type, it fits in exactly with what they do upfront defensively.

“I think Kelsey saw that first-hand on Saturday night. That was one of the first things he was impressed with, with how they move their defensive front. Because Kelsey, with his size, his quickness, and his ability to use his hands, those are things that are strengths for him and allow him to fit in well with that scheme.”

Tuesday’s commitment ended a strange few weeks in the recruiting world for Griffin.

On the morning of Sept. 22, Griffin sat with his parents in front of TV cameras and publicly committed to UGA. However, a few hours later, his coach stated to the AJC that he was not pledged to the Bulldogs.

Apparently, Griffin made a commitment that UGA was not ready or willing to accept.

“I did not affirm my commitment,” Griffin said at the time. “For right now, that’s all I have to say. It wasn’t confirmed. It wasn’t official. So right now, I’m uncommitted.”

On Tuesday, Griffin’s coach told the AJC, “I had different schools from across the Southeast calling me after the Georgia thing, trying to line up visits and all. But Kelsey didn’t want to open up the recruiting process again. He wanted to focus on South Carolina and go to the game there.

Will Kelsey Griffin come back and haunt UGA? The 4-star DL has landed at South Carolina after trying to commit to UGA a few weeks ago (AJC)

Will Kelsey Griffin come back and haunt UGA? The 4-star DL has landed at South Carolina after trying to commit to UGA a few weeks ago (AJC)

“From that game, he needed to come home and finalize some things with his parents. Once he talked with them this week, he was ready to make the decision to and move forward.”

Was UGA still interested in Griffin? “Not that I know of,” Jarvis said. “They did not contact me, so I don’t really know that answer. I have not talked to Georgia for three weeks now.”

Was there any disappointment that it did not work out with UGA? “No, I think Kelsey feels blessed with the opportunity at South Carolina. He really hasn’t looked back at the other thing. He’s excited about South Carolina. They were always in his top two. With Georgia, I wouldn’t … I wouldn’t … well, I’m just going to leave it at that. He’s very happy about South Carolina.”

After signing 12 recruits from Georgia last season, South Carolina is having another banner recruiting year in the state. The Gamecocks have 21 commitments for their 2013 recruiting class, including nine from Georgia, led by Kell High School defensive back Brendan Langley.

Meanwhile, UGA has 27 commitments and appears to be holding two spots along the defensive line for Dooly County’s Montravius Adams and Toby Johnson of Hutchinson junior college.

RECRUITING HEADLINES

WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY

GREATEST HITS

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

162 comments Add your comment

Bobo sucks

October 10th, 2012
12:24 pm

This is hilarious!!!! Talk about a bad week for UGA

Bobo sucks

October 10th, 2012
12:27 pm

On another note BOBO has the most predictable offense in the country, and Murray is the softest QB in the country!

DieHard Dawg

October 10th, 2012
12:27 pm

I’ve never seen my Dawgs botch one like they did this one. Wait a minute, we screwed up with Carl Lawson and Robert Nkemdiche this year. Oh and last year, Coach Richt blew it with Dillon Lee, Jaquay Williams and Josh Holsey who by the way is starting at corner for Auburn. Am I leaving anyone out? Okay, Brandon Greene, too, last year when offensive line is our team’s biggest weakness.

If we don’t get Montravious Adams or Toby Johnson, our coaches ought to be fired.

chilidawg

October 10th, 2012
12:32 pm

Surprise, surprise. Well done, Mr. Garner. Good luck, Mr. Griffin. I’m sure you’ll receive top-notch coaching in Columbia.

Gamecock in VA

October 10th, 2012
12:32 pm

Ahh, wait until all the dawgs come on here saying, WE DIDNT WANT HIM… problem is… UGA really shouldnt be pushing guys like this away. Your loss is our win… reminds me of the game.

chrisdawg

October 10th, 2012
12:38 pm

The one I can’t get over is Robert Nkemdiche. You’ve got the #1 recruit in the country 30 miles from the university of Georgia and you basically ignore him until after his junior season of football. Everybody knew about him as a sophomore. His older brother begged to go to Georgia, and our coaches ignored him until the last minute, and after he had committed to ole Miss. Now of course he’s Ole Miss’s top player on defense. I still can’t believe we assigned Coach McClendon to recruit Nkemdiche. He’s their age and more concerned about playing video games with them than recruitnig them. He was in over his head. Grantham should’ve been on Robert all along. Poor recruiting I agree.

Jacket Man

October 10th, 2012
12:38 pm

I’m guessing that was one of Steve Spurrier’s easiest sales pitches, ever. Best of luck in Columbia.

1eyedJack

October 10th, 2012
12:43 pm

Well, Gamecock in VA, if Georgia had really wanted him they would have accepted his commitment on Sept. 22. The reason they stiff-armed him is because they have two spots open for the DL and they are going hard after M. Adams and Toby Johnson. So there.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
12:44 pm

Wishing the young man well. I hope he would have got the test score that he needed to get into UGA. It would also be nice if the conference had universal admittance standards as well as discipline standards.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
12:46 pm

1eyedJack, that is a big gamble, IMO. The kid LOVES Georgia. I hope it works out for everyone.

sheepdawg

October 10th, 2012
12:46 pm

he will get properly coached up at sc, not so much at uga

The Real Truth

October 10th, 2012
12:46 pm

As a Dawg fan, I think this kid made the right decision in the end. At least he’ll be coached up and have the opportunity to play for a staff that actually prepares for games. If I were a recruit, I wouldn’t consider Georgia until Richt and his band of clowns are fired.

bairddawg

October 10th, 2012
12:47 pm

We’re not going to come on here saying we did’nt want him,we would’nt have offered him the scholarship to begin with if we did’nt, but you know yov’e go to meet certatin standards&if not,you have to go to your 2nd choice that has lower ones! Simple as that! oh&by the way thats the true story not the public one .UGA muzzled by NCAA!

The Real, Real Truth

October 10th, 2012
12:59 pm

If we want him at Georgia, I can assure you that he will sign with the Dawgs. If we miss on some other priorities, then we’ll simply fall back on Kelsey about a week away from signing day and he’ll go with the Dawgs. Bet on it!

Alpharetta

October 10th, 2012
12:59 pm

Our offensive and defensive lines are terrible, and were exposed against South Carolina. I hate turning down a kid that really wanted to sign with Georgia. You know we’re going to lose some commits at the end just like last year, so I don’t understand why we didn’t take KG. This ruins my day.

The Sham

October 10th, 2012
1:01 pm

Just when the pain was starting to subside… This kid WANTED to be a Bulldog, but for whatever reason we couldn’t take him. If it is a “hold out for another higher rated player” scenario, I hope we get him, bc this is embarrassing. On the other hand, if it was a “we don’t want to take your committment and then have to pull it later, bc of another higher rated player committed” scenario then that is another credit to Richt’s character. I just hope we get that rose we are looking for when passing on this tulip!

In any case, I hope he does well, just not when he plays us.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
1:02 pm

shak, why is that? Because it is true? Look it up. Only UGA and KY give suspensions on the first failed test. Is it harder to get into UGA then say, USC, UT, UM, MSU? Yes, yes it is.

The Sham

October 10th, 2012
1:02 pm

ironic that my post comes after “the Truth’s”… haha!

FYI – mine is a geographical reference, not an indicator of my comment’s validity.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

October 10th, 2012
1:04 pm

Word on the street…UGA was backing off this kid anyway.
Muschamp turned UF around in 2 years.
Urban will have Ohio in the Top Ten next year.
CMR will have UGA in the same place next year.

Watch Out

October 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

As a Dawg fan I think “The Truth” is an idiot

slobodan

October 10th, 2012
1:09 pm

Priority for dogs should be linemen; offense and defense. Forget receivers for a year or two. Losing top instate linemen to other schools is a pattern that needs to be broken.

tony

October 10th, 2012
1:12 pm

Greg McGarity need to hire Lorenzo Ward to replace Mr Richt. Ward will keep our best players from leaving this state plus he is a disciplinary. This guy can coach and players respect him.

Ward made the 235-mile drive, walked into the school and greeted Clowney, alongside Johnson, who was Clowney’s primary recruiter. Clowney had only met Ward in passing at USC, and here he was, at his high school, right before Signing Day.

“Who is this?” Clowney asked Johnson, as Ward recalled.

“Do you know who Mariano Rivera is?” Ward replied.

Clowney said no.

“He’s probably the best closer to pitch in major league baseball,” Ward said.

“Oh, are you the closer?” Clowney asked.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Ward said.

He proceeded to tell Clowney, “Everybody’s been telling you how good you are, and everybody’s been kissing your (butt). I ain’t gonna kiss your (butt). I ain’t gonna call you, and you’re gonna call me every day.”

Ward said Clowney did just that — called him every day for the next two weeks.

“Wouldn’t talk to another guy on the staff but me,” Ward said.

Clowney signed with USC, and said recently, “I’d say he closed it out.”

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 10th, 2012
1:12 pm

After that beatdown Saturday night, how could he not want to play at South Carolina?

LagDawg

October 10th, 2012
1:13 pm

This is pathetic. You offered the kid a scholorship, he committed and you turned him down. Not only did UGA turn him down. They publicly embarrassed him and his family. There is beginning to be a bad trend of UGA screwing up with recruits and it is catching up with them. The kid did the best thing. He will get great coaching and will play for a HC that wants to win. I personally am disgusted with the way that UGA is letting all this top talent leave the state and that they are weak a the CB position and not bringing in enough talent to compete against a top passing attack. The lack of coaching is starting to show up against the teams that are just as talented as UGA and that is why they keep losing against top caliber opponents. I for one think it is past time for a change and I know the question will be, who will they get to replace him. Penn St. is in shambles and their first time head coach is doing pretty good considering the turmoil that they are in. There are plenty of qualified applicants for the HC position and I am willing to believe that someone else can bring a NC to Athens. The problem is a lot of you love CMR as a person but, he is not getting it done as a HC and it is time for a change. Change for a championship or continue to support failure. So what if UGA wins ten games a year. It is still an underachievement. It has been 32 years and the talent is here year after year, but still no NC.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:15 pm

Lost another in state linemen to another school. LOL Typical CMR program. No linemen. IT STARTS IN THE TRENCHES. CMR?????????????????????????????????????????????????????
We need a coach.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:17 pm

There are good coaches out there to replace CMR. MR needs to go. Bbobobobobo toooo

LagDawg

October 10th, 2012
1:18 pm

Every time this happens, the comment is “UGA was backing off this kid anyway.” Does he have disciplinary problems? That is amazing. when they say that, the kids seem to stay out of trouble at any other school. UGA just has poor evaluations and it shows by the amount of talent that leaves the state and are top players at other programs. Past time for a change.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:21 pm

No player would want to come to a school that is on the downfall. SC is on the uprise. SC embarrassed CMR. No player wants to come to a school who has an overrated Defense. CMR is not a good head coach for the SEC. IDK if he would make it in the ACC. We need a coach with fire.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:22 pm

ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE. WE NEED A NEW COACH

The Real Truth

October 10th, 2012
1:25 pm

Blind sheep. If you seriously think that UGA doesn’t have a significant issue with the coaching staff, their inability to game plan, and consistent wasting of talent, then you are out of your mind. This staff makes me long for the days of Ray Goff.

And yes, I do need to preface my comment…there are clearly too many chicken, bug, and crock fans on these blogs. Unfortunately, these forums are also filled with Disney Dawgs. The fact is we’ve been stumbling backwards since the loss to WVU in the Sugar Bowl. The fact that Richt couldn’t win an NC with Stafford, Moreno, and AJ on the same team is pathetic.

tdawg

October 10th, 2012
1:26 pm

This is sad because this is a kid who really really wanted to play for Georgia and we basically told him to get lost. I hope we get Adams and Johnson because if we don’t this looks awful, or it already does.

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
1:27 pm

Tech fan here…one of things I’ve noticed about UGA recruiting is that they tend to place a bigger emphasis on “name” recruits across the country trying to haul in the recruits that get the publicity. Meanwhile, they ignore a TON of in state talent who are just as good, or not that far behind. Once UGA realizes they have no shot at their “name” recruits, they try to work their way back into the good graces of the in state recruits who they overlooked. By then it’s usually too late. UGA needs to have more confidence in their ability to coach players up, and focus on getting all the great recruits in state committed first, THEN go out of state for the big fish. UGA will get their pick of Georgia talent if they do that, as the majority of football players grow up wanting to play for the mutts. The funny thing is, schools like ‘Bama, Notre Dame, Clemson, South Carolina, Ohio State, pretty much all the big football school make Georgia a priority, but the flagship Georgia university doesn’t!

Trust me, GT would love to have UGA’s leftovers…but it seems we can’t even get that these days.

sleeze

October 10th, 2012
1:28 pm

Georgia’s not even a leader for Montravius Adams – he’s likely going to eother Auburn or Clemson, and now Florida’s jumped on his leadership. How can you turn down a committment from the nation’s #5 DT when you’re a longshot to land Adams? Makes no sense to me.

Alphare

October 10th, 2012
1:29 pm

theTruth,

“Is it harder to get into UGA then say, USC, UT, UM, MSU? Yes, yes it is.”

It’s not that hard to get in UGA in the 1st place, and the football players are special admit. I know a bunch of kids in 2nd year of middle school have a SAT score +100 points higher than UGA special admit.

Chatsworth dawg

October 10th, 2012
1:35 pm

I’m very disappointed in richt and staff about the failure in big games but i completely understand why uga is not recruiting this kid. It comes down to what type of personnel you need to run a 3-4 defense and this kid just doesn’t have the body type we need. Sorry but at 6′ 1″ 290lbs he is not going to grow into a nose man for a 3-4 defense. He’s better suited to play tackle in a 4-3 defense and anybody who understands personnel should be able to figure this one out.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 10th, 2012
1:37 pm

Everyone talks about how classy Richt is.

Is classy offering a scholarship to a kid and not accepting his commitment?

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:37 pm

Clowney better be glad he did not sign with Uga. Uga would of not played clowney the first year because they can’t coach. Then they would of let him gain 100 lbs and say he is growing and needs to sit out another year, by that time Clowney is over weight(fat and lazy). Clowney would of failed a drug test because Uga test college kids the day after they come back from spring break. Then they move Clowney to offense because no one recruits OL at Uga. Then he gets moved back to Defense and special teams. Then he gets a hug from CMR Then he gets to dive off the diving board, instead of learnig the game of football. Then he gets a degree. Then he leaves.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
1:41 pm

ugab, who do you want as coach? Serious question, who is better that would come? Personally I like Sarkisian from Washington, don’t know if he would come or the coach at Stanford, David Shaw but neither are ‘proven’.

Out of 124 coaches in D1, only 7 have NC’s. I guess that means 117 are failures. Only ONE has won a MNC at more than one school, you know, the same guy that BLEW the biggest game last year? He lost the big game at HOME last year and was given a mulligan. It is very hard to beat any team twice in a season. So, in the last 14 years in the SEC, only ONE team has went undefeated in the regular season. Bama might do it again with their weak schedule this year. With that said, we shouldn’t lose by 28 points to anyone, ever.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:42 pm

JB

October 10th, 2012
1:43 pm

Tech guy….The problem in Athens is not talent. The problem on the Flats is talent…. Wonder what kind of days McGarity had Sunday and Monday? He is in a pickle. He has a coach who has enough talent to beat up all the weak sisters on the schedule and end up in a bowl and not enough coaching talent to beat a ranked team. Saturday was ugly. The Announcers unloaded on Richt on National TV. Once is a bad night. Every time we are own national TV against a top notch opponent, we get blown out. We have that reputation now. As does Richt.

tony

October 10th, 2012
1:43 pm

Alphare
October 10th, 2012
1:29 pm

And your sinful insensitive ways will reap a harvest of special admit. Galatians 6:7,8

shakazulu

October 10th, 2012
1:46 pm

Sleeze….

You’re correct. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You got a guy that wants to join your program right now, but the Dawgs are hoping they get the other two. A huge risk in my opinion. Now, Griffin will be jacked the next four years when USC plays the Dawgs.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
1:47 pm

Alphare, UGA does not go with the minimum special admit that the NCAA allows for athletes. Yes, they do have easier admittance for athletes but not the minimum like the schools I listed. Those schools DO allow the minimum admittance. I’ll give the Mississippi schools a pass because they don’t have a choice. They have more JC’s than any state in the country I believe?

JB

October 10th, 2012
1:48 pm

Saban,Meyer,Stoops,Miles,B. Bowden, V.Dooley,Shug Jordon, Pat Dye and on and on ALL have ONE thing in common……..They were all UNKNOWN assit. Coach’s at one time. The next great one is out there…..Add Richt to that list of unknowns at one time.

theTruth

October 10th, 2012
1:49 pm

Shak, sleeze, I agree. I have a feeling he will bite us in the tail. The thing about this kid is he is high character and high motor.

ugab

October 10th, 2012
1:49 pm

Its not the loss. It is the way CMR loses. Its the way he just sits there and does nothing. Good coaches are coaching to the end. Good coaches have a team ready to play. I like the coaches at the small schools who get the players that are not half as good to play discipline, fundamental football. The drug testing policy is a weakness. J Jones was contained against SC. Clowney could have been contained also.

True Grit

October 10th, 2012
1:50 pm

Good Luck Mr. Griffin, you are an inspiration to my rising son.

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

October 10th, 2012
1:56 pm

JawGA turned down a 4 star rated bird in the hand for 2 possible birds in the bush? For the next 3 years this young man is going to have an internal fire that won’t be extinguished every time he plays against JawGA.

Marcus Dupree

October 10th, 2012
1:56 pm

theTruth:
shak, why is that? Because it is true? Look it up. Only UGA and KY give suspensions on the first failed test. Is it harder to get into UGA then say, USC, UT, UM, MSU? Yes, yes it is.

Ok, SC couldn’t take the Geathers kid that’s currently on UGA’s roster because of academics but somehow he was able to to qualify for UGA? Listen I couldn’t agree more about standardizing academic requirements for the league but that’s up to the crooks in Birmingham.

JB

October 10th, 2012
1:57 pm

Carolina barely get out of Vandy with a win. The worst Kentucky team in 10 years push’s them around for 2 1/2 quarters…… Here comes the #5(sic) Georgia Bulldogs…..and we look like Duke. Beat to a pulp