One of the state’s top point guards will be on display when state champions collide at Miller Grove High School on Friday.
The Columbia boys play against Miller Grove at 7:30 p.m. Friday, preceded by the girls teams from both schools at 6 p.m. All four teams are defending state champions.
The best player on the court may be Columbia’s Tahj Shamsid-Deen, the 5-foot-9 point guard who has signed with Auburn.
“If Tahj was 6 feet, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about how good he is because everybody would know,” said former Columbia coach Phil McCrary, now an athletic coordinator for Dekalb County Schools. “The kid is so much heads and shoulders above so many point guards that people say are better than him. The only thing that coaches question is his size. But how can you question his size when the kid hasn’t been anything but a winner all of his life?”
Columbia High School offensive tackle Eric Smith said he committed to Virginia on Friday.
The 6-foot-6, 275-pounder said he picked Virginia over offers from Alabama State, North Carolina, Florida International, Georgia State and Jacksonville State, among others.
“It was just the overall feeling I got from the coaches, the football program and academics at Virginia,” Smith told the AJC.
Smith was on the radar with a lot of teams, making unofficial visits to North Carolina, Auburn, Georgia and Jacksonville State. He decided to go ahead and commit without taking any official visits.
“The pressure was on me; they (Virginia) didn’t pressure me, though,” Smith said. “The fact is that time was winding down. I knew my spot could be filled by another athlete. I felt like I might as well commit because Virginia was the school I liked the most and had the best vibe about.”
Smith, who is the starting center for Columbia’s basketball team, has a 3.2 GPA.
UGA is expected to have its largest signing class in more than a decade, with 30-35 in February. On Thursday, Mark Richt commented on two junior college players that signed with the Bulldogs this week.
Montravius Adams, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect by 247sports, will take one of his last recruiting trips before signing day to UGA.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle from Dooly County High School has selected four of his five official visits, according to his coach Jimmy Hughes. Adams will go to:
What about UGA? “My mom really likes Georgia, and they’re my hometown school,” Adams told the AJC on Wednesday. “I really like the coaches. I know their coaches aren’t about to leave. Their coaches are stable, which means they don’t leave a lot, like some of the other schools. Also, at Georgia, you can get a great education.”
Adams was also asked about a Dawg247 report that Rodney Garner, who is both UGA’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach, is a
Texas A&M’s move to SEC is paying off with its recruiting efforts in Georgia.
The Aggies landed another big-time talent when Tommy Sanders committed to them on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker is from Crisp County High School and played the last two seasons at Butler junior college in Kansas. He is ranked as a 4-star recruit by ESPN.
Sanders picked Texas A&M over runner-up Ohio State, while also considering offers from South Carolina and Mississippi State.
“Playing in the SEC, coming from the South, that was a goal for me,” Sanders told the AJC. “Texas A&M had been recruiting me for a while, I’ve got a good relationship with the coaches, and there’s a good chance for me to come in and be a leader on that defense.”
Coming out of high school, Sanders committed to Central Florida but never enrolled because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues.
After having his NCAA appeal denied, Sanders finally decided to attend a junior
Auburn has now lost seven football recruits since Gene Chizik was fired.
AJ Jackson, a 6-foot-6 tight end from Lovejoy High School, de-committed from Auburn on Tuesday. Jackson had been pledged to the Tigers since last May.
Should Auburn be worried about losing all of these recruits?
“I just wanted to let you know that I de-committed from Auburn … and keep my options open until I take my visits and see who has the best interest in me,” Jackson told the AJC.
Jackson is the seventh overall recruit that Auburn has lost since the coaching change – and fifth from the state of Georgia. The others:
Georgia State beat out some of the big boys for Kight Dallas, who was committed to South Carolina until last week.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder linebacker from Stephenson High School pledged to Georgia State on Tuesday. Dallas also claims current offers from Purdue, Cal, Arkansas and Troy.
“Really, the reason I had picked South Carolina before is because it was close to home,” Dallas said. “Georgia State is close to home, too. They did a great job of recruiting me, and they really wanted me.”
What about turning down bigger schools to play at Georgia State? “Hey, hopefully this will change some other people’s minds. I think Georgia State can be something big, and I can be part of something new.”
Dallas committed to South Carolina last April but officially parted ways with the Gamecocks last week. South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward withdrew the scholarship offer after scouting Dallas in a “performance-based decision,” according to Palmetto
In recruiting, there’s the initial commitment and flip. The rarest? A double flip.
AJC Super 11 WR Demarcus Robinson of Peach County High School completed the double flip on Monday when he switched his commitment for a second time, this time going from Florida to Clemson after returning from an official visit with the Gators over the weekend, according to his coach.
Robinson, who is considered one of the state’s top prospects at his position, originally committed to Clemson but switched to Florida last week after an in-home visit last week with the Gators coaches, including Will Muschamp.
Despite losing Robinson, Clemson never gave up, dispatching several assistants to meet with the 4-star wide receiver last week.
Florida will have a tough time convincing Robinson to switch for a third time since Sunday night was the end of the NCAA’s
Auburn’s recruiting has taken some body blows since the firing of Gene Chizik.
At least six prospects have de-committed from Auburn since the coaching change, with 3-star linebacker Jarrad Davis of Camden County High School being the latest.
On Sunday, Davis switched his commitment from Auburn to Florida after taking an official visit with the Gators.
“When they had the coaching change at Auburn, he certainly didn’t know where he was going to stand with them,” Camden County coach Jeff Herron told the AJC. “So people started coming and looking at him, and they asked if he was open to looking at some other places – and he was, which he needed to be in that situation because we didn’t know for a couple of weeks what was going to happen at Auburn.”
Jarrad’s coach was informed on Friday that Florida was
5-star safety Vonn Bell put his recruiting on hold until after his senior season at Ridgeland High School.
Ridgeland’s season ended with a loss to Sandy Creek in Saturday’s Class AAAA state championship, and Bell has set up his official visits to his three finalists.
Bell will go to Ohio State on Jan. 11, Alabama on Jan. 18 and Tennessee on Jan. 25, his coach told the AJC.
The AJC Super 11 selection grew up a fan of Tennessee.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer attended Bell’s game last Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
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