UGA got some unexpected good news with one of its commitments on Thursday.
John Atkins, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle from Virginia’s Hargrave prep school, was told that the NCAA Clearinghouse had corrected a mistake on his transcript — allowing him to enroll early at UGA.
“I feel good, I feel blessed,” Atkins told the AJC on Thursday evening, while making the six-hour trip from Virginia to Georgia.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. They told me ‘You’re going to Georgia, and you will be there by tomorrow.”
Atkins will provide immediate help this spring to a UGA defense that will be depleted by graduation and NFL departures. He will play nose tackle.
Last year, Atkins signed with UGA out of Thomson High School but failed to meet NCAA academic requirements. This year, Atkins went to Hargrave to improve his academics and hoped to enroll at UGA in January but was told he needed to stay at the prep school longer to qualify.
However, when Atkins reported to Hargrave this week, one of his coaches discovered that one of his grades was not reported correctly, paving the way for his early departure to UGA. He is expected to start classes on Monday for the spring semester.
One of Hargrave’s assistants gave Atkins a ride to Charlotte to meet his sister, who will take him the rest of the way.
Atkins will miss out on a face-to-face meeting with UGA coach Mark Richt on Friday morning at Hargrave. Richt will still meet with another UGA recruit at the prep school, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. “It’s all good,” Atkins said with a laugh, “because I will see Coach Richt when he gets back to Georgia now.”
— Jake Rowe (@JakeRoweRivals) January 3, 2013
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