Longtime UGA DB commit backs off Bulldogs

The recruiting journey of longtime UGA DB commit Steven Nelson took another twist on Tuesday.

Nelson, who had been committed to UGA since last February, backed off his pledge to the Bulldogs.

Ex-UGA DB commit Steven Nelson played at Northside-Warner Robins High School last year (Special)

Ex-UGA DB commit Steven Nelson played at Northside-Warner Robins High School (Special)

The highly-regarded defensive back from a California junior college will likely decide between Oregon State and Texas Tech in December.

Nelson is a native of Warner Robins and, he is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 DB out of the junior college ranks by 247sports.com.

“Steven did de-commit from Georgia but he has not committed anywhere else right now,” Fred Zepeda, the defensive backs coach at the College of Sequoias junior college, told the AJC.

“He took a long time to think about everything before he made this decision (to de-commit). I’m just supporting Steven with whatever he does. I told him to go ahead and take his trip to Houston on Dec. 14. He will probably wait until sometime over his Christmas break before he will make his decision.”

How did things sour between UGA and Nelson? Apparently, UGA had very little to do with Nelson after he committed, according to his coach.

“He didn’t communicate very much with the DC at Georgia (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham),” Zepeda said. “The only coach that he was communicating with was (UGA defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos). The relationship between the DC coach and Steven wasn’t there.

“When Steven went on an unofficial to Georgia last summer, he just briefly spoke with the staff. He didn’t really get to sit down with them like he wanted to, other than Coach Lakatos.

“You know it was the ‘relationship factor’ between Steven and Georgia.

“Then you’ve got (Oregon State defensive back coach) Rod Perry. He’s got 17 years of experience in the NFL, and that was pretty big, too.

“Steven took an official visit out there to Oregon State on Oct. 6. And prior to that, Steven had been communicating a lot with both Coach Perry and (Oregon State head coach Mike Riley). He felt comfortable with the relationships he had established.

“Steven just never felt the same connection with the Georgia coaches.”

Will the loss of Nelson help UGA's chances of flipping DB Brendan Langley from South Carolina?

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Last August, Nelson took an official visit to Texas Tech. A California newspaper reported that Nelson committed to Texas Tech – which Nelson vehemently denied.

A few days later, a person claiming to be a UGA fan contacted Nelson directly over the telephone to ask about his commitment status. You can read about that here.

Nelson also was considering Oklahoma, but “they kind of fell out of the picture,” his coach said. “Steven really wasn’t that interested in them.”

Asked if Nelson would reconsider UGA, his coach replied, “I think that it’s not going to happen with Georgia. Oregon State and Texas Tech would be his top two schools right now.”

UGA has lost four commits from its 2013 class — RB Derrick Henry (Alabama), WR Kyrin Priester (NC State), OL Trenton Brown (undecided) and Nelson.




  • – 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.

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114 comments Add your comment

Tech Wrecked

November 13th, 2012
5:53 pm

Stevie decommitted from Georgia because Mike Bobo asked him to play tight end like he did with Cam Newton.

Big Daddy

November 13th, 2012
5:54 pm

We need linemen! 1st BTW


November 13th, 2012
5:59 pm

Oh well!! NEXT!!!

Johnny Canada

November 13th, 2012
6:00 pm

No big deal. We haven’t had success with juco DBs(the hitman anyone?). I’d much rather have his scholarship free to give to a high school kid.


November 13th, 2012
6:02 pm

There’s better opportunity than UGA???

Dalton Dawg

November 13th, 2012
6:06 pm

So a kid visits all the way from California and gets blown off from our coaching staff? I would decommit, too. Rodney Garner needs to go. They need to change the whole culture around our recruiting. This kind of stuff makes me mad at %&^&


November 13th, 2012
6:08 pm

He is scared of the depth chart. He won’t beat Wiggins for the corner spot across from Swann.

Northside Dawg

November 13th, 2012
6:13 pm

Oh no, the Dawgs are losing a fantastic punt returner, or at least he was at Northside.


November 13th, 2012
6:15 pm

“(the hitman anyone?).”

Thomas Hearns played DB at UGA? Who’d of thunk it.


November 13th, 2012
6:16 pm

“There’s better opportunity than UGA???”

Anywhere is better uga, even Youngstown State.


November 13th, 2012
6:17 pm

Dang, I had him starting across from Swann next year. I dont think those freshmen will be ready to go out of the gate.


November 13th, 2012
6:18 pm

We’ll be fine!


November 13th, 2012
6:22 pm

Why would he want to play for Tuberville. The guy even slaps his assistant coaches around during games. Also, why would anyone that has a chance to play at an SEC school go to Oregon State?


November 13th, 2012
6:26 pm

oh well, the last juco db we had that was an impact player was Jeff Sanchez, around 25 years ago!

Mad Dawg

November 13th, 2012
6:26 pm

Classic UGA recruiting.

Our coaches are lazy, lazy, lazy


November 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

Good young man.


November 13th, 2012
6:29 pm

Good luck to the young man.

230gr Full Metal Jacket

November 13th, 2012
6:34 pm

“why would anyone that has a chance to play at an SEC school go to Oregon State?”

Maybe because he realizes that the average NFL career is less than 2 seasons. Maybe because he wants an education. Maybe because he wants a degree worth more than the paper it’s printed on. All are perfectly valid reasons to stay away from the so-called “schools” in the SEC (With the exception of Vanderbilt, of course). Maybe the kid is smarter than most SEC fans and realizes that there are things out there MUCH more important than a bunch of kids playing a child’s game with a ball? Regardless, sounds like Grantham’s wonderful personality (and the UGA staff’s misguided belief that EVERYONE wants to play in the cesspool) ran this one off. No problem though, since there are always plenty of good D-backs with collegiate experience out there to recruit. Right???

Savannah Dawg

November 13th, 2012
6:51 pm

Do you really believe what you just typed Full Metal?? If he cared so much about an education he wouldn’t be at a junior college!! You’re a moron if you believe that hes looking for an education. PLEASE. Even you cant be that stupid. Sounds to me like this kid is a Prima Donna who can’t handle it when coaches don’t coddle him every minute and tell him how great he is. Now go back to your basement and cuddle with your guns and ammo magazines!!

The Truth

November 13th, 2012
6:54 pm

If you read the small print…UGA was backing off this kid…..

Rick James

November 13th, 2012
6:55 pm

@Tech Wrecked
Stevie decommitted from Georgia because Mike Bobo asked him to play tight end like he did with Cam Newton.
Cam was asked to play tight end because Georgia had Matt Stafford playing quarterback.What wasTech’s excuse for not signing him?


November 13th, 2012
6:57 pm

AJC…….Seriously? :-)


November 13th, 2012
6:58 pm

We loose a recruit and gain recruit in one day wow AJ Thurman commits to UGA how about that .


November 13th, 2012
7:10 pm

Who cares? We’ll have a dozen more commit and de-commit between now and signing day. I put no stock into any of this recruiting discussion until the final 3 weeks of the process. Like anyone actually thought that kid from Grayson was going to end up at Clemson. I repeat, who cares?


November 13th, 2012
7:14 pm

THIS TU_RD as been a pain in the A$$ since spring———what a joke

—anoher please me please—-spoiled recruit—–blahahahahahah

———-another over-ated —hitman—-blahahahahahah

—–dawgs are loaded with top level tallent—–no room for this

———-flunky——another crowell——hahahahahah

—Dawgs are a top 5 team now and will rise up in the DOME and beat



November 13th, 2012
7:17 pm

Yo metal straight jacket take a xannydo & calm your high blood pressure having arse down. Apparently someone was denied enrollment to a certain SEC school & instead ended up at Youngstown State. Anyways I do believe Ga. has some kind of issue going on with its recruiting team although just like years passed the roster always produces some magic makeing players. My biggest concern however is when your state puts out #’s 1 & 2 players in country & UGA is not even in their top five choices.Ga. must do better job of in-state recruiting.


November 13th, 2012
7:35 pm

According to this article, he de-committed because he didn’t develop a relationship with the DC but he did with his position coach. It also stated he developed one with the position coach at OreSt and the HC but not the DC. What am I missing here? Less competition at OreSt and Texas Tech for playing time.

Ron Burgundy

November 13th, 2012
7:47 pm

Plenty more where he came from, lots of junior colleges.

slick rick

November 13th, 2012
7:50 pm

He still a north side eagle but he be fine

Matthews Dawg

November 13th, 2012
7:50 pm

From what I read he was a soft commit. I would say none of these kids are solid till NSD! Go Dawgs!


November 13th, 2012
7:50 pm


November 13th, 2012
7:50 pm

These young men beat all I have ever seen !! He’s acting like somebody done him wrong. Acting like a spoiled child. Your not giving me enough attention. Does he realize that there is a football season going on. Why would you have to call him all the time if he’s COMMITED ? Go on Nelson if you think you can do better than playing in the SEC Get your butt down the road BABY. It’s your slacker self’s fault you couldn’t make the grade to play at D1 in the first place. LET THE BIG DAWG EAT


November 13th, 2012
8:07 pm

@Dalton Dawg… The kid’s beef was with the DC(Todd Grantham) and the perceived lack of communication, not Garner. Get it right!


November 13th, 2012
8:19 pm

NCAA need to firm up some commit rules. Too many games being played and 16-17 year old kids can’t stay focused a week, much less 18 months. Shady coach’s ( see the entire state of alabama) will tell any line to get a big fish back in their boat. ( See the story from this summer with Saban on the phone for hours with the QB from So. Ga. Dawgs have committed.

supa mario

November 13th, 2012
8:20 pm

winning we will need that scolly for a 5 star on nsd


November 13th, 2012
8:22 pm

See Ya Wouldn’t want to be Ya !!

Vampire Bill

November 13th, 2012
8:25 pm

Should be a surge in quality recruits with the very recent success of the program. Too bad dawgs got SMOKED so bad by SC. Think of the buzz if we were undefeated! Winning the SEC would be a monster for recruiting.


November 13th, 2012
8:42 pm

Dont let the door hit you in the azz leaving son. I only care about kids that wants to be Dawgs.GO DAWGS!!!


November 13th, 2012
8:43 pm

Maybe the fact that UGA has 3 other very good safety prospects committed might have had something to do with it. I think that Michael Carvel forgot to mention that when he was elaborating on how the UGA coaches ignored Nelson. If his heart is not at UGA or if he is afraid of competition, he needs to stay out West. He could go to a ACC or Southern Conference school if he wants to get back closer to home.

Uncle Kirk

November 13th, 2012
8:47 pm

JaxDawg……where have you been? UGA is in the top 3 for the #1 recruit (prolly wont get him), and is looking like they may get the #2 and #3 recruit in the state.


November 13th, 2012
8:52 pm

I ain’t worried at all! Don’t ya just want to shed some tears for this wantabe? Everybody quit telling how great he was in high school,that he did this and he did that, who cares, this is the SEC!
The only comment I’ve read so far that I agree 100% with is that RD needs to go, I’ve been saying that for years, don’t worry who goes with him, there are kids everywhere that will come to UGA without RG being there!

supa mario

November 13th, 2012
8:58 pm

we can really distnce our selves from florida and usc gamecocks with this class lets not forget the talent we will lose to the nfl this year. and with murry stoc rising he will leave too. also consider or schdule next year its really this year or bust.

molar roller

November 13th, 2012
9:14 pm

uga signs top 10 classes every year…i have as may natchamp rings as richt….


November 13th, 2012
9:26 pm

Yawn. UGA will play for the SEC championship again next year, like they have 5 out of the 12 years Richt has been at Georgia.

hind tit

November 13th, 2012
9:39 pm

What do these kids do set around and pout if somebody is not on the phone with them everyday. The kid got an offer and he committed and his position coach Lakatos stayed in touch with him. What else does he want. The DC has been just a little busy for the last 4 months trying to figure out how to put a game plan together. That’s the last thing he needs is a pouting kid to deal with. Where he’s going is not Jr. college ball. Prove yourself and quit going around with your bottom lip poked out.

Dawg '88

November 13th, 2012
9:56 pm

Yeah UGA coaches don’t know how to recruit…thats why we have Jarvis Jones, Jordan Jenkins, Damian Swann, Tavarres King, Jay Rome, Arthur Lynch, Aaron Murray, John Theus, Malcolm Mitchell, Alec Ogletree, Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley, and on and on….

Back To SEC East Championships, 2 SEC titles, 5 SEC east titles, and a #5 ranking currently….yeah these coaches are terrible. Top 5 Class after Top 5 class and 2nd most NFL players from UGA.

Don’t let facts get in the way.

Mark Richt vs Georgia Tech 10-1 soon to be 11-1. DOMINATION!!!

Suck it up haters….Got Jealousy?

savannah dawg

November 13th, 2012
10:43 pm

Dawg ‘88…

UGA actually recruited the hell outta Jarvis when he was @ Carver but he signed with USC. He came to UGA after USC gave him the boot when they had concerns over a neck injury. Best transfer UGA has ever had. EVER!!!!


November 13th, 2012
10:49 pm

I seem to remember this kid talking about only playing 1 year of D1 ball and going pro. Go get Langley and move on.


November 13th, 2012
10:55 pm

Just keep winning. The recruits will come…


November 13th, 2012
10:58 pm

Big deal.. Dogs run 85 commits anyway..
What happens to those 6 starplayers when they
hit Athens? Spurrier beats then every year with 2 star kids…