Georgia recruits react to Dooley’s firing
Derek Dooley had three 2013 commitments from Georgia before being fired (AP)
There doesn’t appear to be much negative fallout from Derek Dooley’s firing among recruits in Georgia.
Tennessee has three commitments from the state: Jonesboro High School DB Cameron Sutton, LaGrange High School DE Joe Sanders, and Grayson High School LB Zach Barnes.
All three told the AJC that they remain committed to Tennessee despite Dooley’s dismissal.
And the trio hopes – at least for now — to sign with the Volunteers in February.
- Cameron Sutton is the highest-ranked of the group, rated as the 3-star by Rivals. “I’m not going to de-commit at this minute,” he said. “When the new coaching staff comes in … if they like me, and I’m still on the list, then I will probably stay with Tennessee. If they coaches don’t think I will fit in, then I will probably change.” Why is Sutton sticking with the Volunteers? “Tennessee is just one of those places where everything just stood out to me. It was everything I was looking for in a college, therefore I would really like to stay at Tennessee.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I was kind of disappointed because of the relationships I was building with all the coaches. I’m not really surprised by it because Tennessee has a winning tradition. The last few years they’ve been kind of going downwards. But I didn’t think Coach Dooley would (get fired now). I thought they would give him another year. I didn’t think it would be this soon.” Sutton will likely have plenty of choices if things do not work out with Tennessee. He is being actively pursued by North Carolina, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Wake Forest, among others.
- Joe Sanders is an unranked prospect on Rivals who committed to Tennessee only a couple of weeks ago. “I’m still committed to Tennessee. I’m waiting for the new coach to come and let me know if I have to commit again or not. I want to go there.” Why is he sticking with the Volunteers? “Because I liked Tennessee even before I met the coach. I really liked the camp, before I met (Dooley). Then I met him and it made things even better. I still like Tennessee. But if the new coach comes in and I’m not feeling them because I’m not used to them, then I’m going to de-commit.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I was kind of surprised. I thought he could turn it around if they have him another year. But I guess whomever was over him didn’t feel that way.” The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder claims football scholarship offers from Missouri, Auburn, South Alabama, Western Kentucky and South Florida. Sanders said that he’s also a scholarship candidate at UGA and that Bulldogs assistant John Lilly may attend his playoff game on Friday.
- Zach Barnes is ranked as a 2-star by Rivals but only playing his third year of football. His father played in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers. “Nothing has changed. I’m still committed to Tennessee. I’m just focusing on my game and helping my team in the playoffs.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I really don’t have much to say about it. I’m just trying to play my game right now for Grayson High School. I hope something good will come out of that. That’s all I can do.” The 6-3, 225-pounder picked Tennessee over Indiana and Southern Miss, but hasn’t really had any contact with any other schools since committing to the Volunteers last June.
WE’RE LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
- – By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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