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New Georgia AJC 150 is out and article on recruiting..


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GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: COLLEGE RECRUITING

College recruiting: Football’s grand courtship ritual

Breaking up is hard to do and playing the field often trumps long-term commitment

By TODD HOLCOMB

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Michael Bowman and Justin Jones admit to having dream dates that aren’t their girlfriends.

Antonio Foster and Chaun Gresham were in committed relationships, but each has found another.

Branden Smith’s true love won’t be known it until he announces it on reality-like TV next year.

And Chase Vasser will let his classmates know Dec. 16 whether his 11-month commitment still holds true.

This is college football recruiting, where love triangles and flirting are just part of the game. It has become a big shell game, and the kids have learned how to play just as good as the recruiters.

The award for honesty goes to Bowman, the prized wide receiver from Ridgeland High in Rossville, who admitted at the time of his commitment to Alabama in September that “Georgia has always been No. 1.”

So what does that make Alabama? “My backup plan,” he said.

Jones, the tight end from Heritage of Conyers, wishes he had what Bowman had. Jones committed to Kentucky in June but insisted his heart was in Alabama, where he’s met with coach Nick Saban a couple of times without securing a scholarship offer.

Jones has since broken up with Kentucky.

Some breakups are for the best. Others bring tears.

“I was heartbroken,” Valdosta lineman Antonio Foster told Rivals.com last month upon hearing that coach Phil Fulmer was leaving Tennessee. “I actually had tears in my eyes.”

Foster had committed to the Vols in July. But a day after Fulmer was ousted, a new love came along, and Foster was committed to Georgia Tech.

The Jackets know what it’s like to have loved and lost.

In August, linebacker Chaun Gresham of Winder’s Apalachee High spurned Georgia Tech for South Carolina.

It was the very thing Gresham hoped to avoid.

“I don’t want to pick a school too early and miss out on another school,” Gresham had said during his junior season to the Athens Banner-Herald.

But he couldn’t resist. He picked Tech in March — too early. In August, he switched to the Gamecocks, and they have lived happily ever since.

Gresham and Foster are among a half-dozen or so top recruits in Georgia to break up. In the recruiting world, it’s called de-committing.

A couple of metro Atlanta players — tackle Camden Wentz of Lassiter and tight end Brock Sanders of Northview — de-committed to Stanford last month when they weren’t guaranteed admission into school.

Without other offers, Wentz is waiting by the phone.

“If a school comes and calls, I’ll go and visit,” he said.

California and Georgia Tech have called, so Wentz will be fine.

A third Stanford commitment from Georgia, Jamal Patterson, is sticking to his pledge, but he is seeing other people.

The AJC Super 11 pick from Henry County has attended games at Georgia, Florida, Clemson and Georgia Tech.

Another who is being coy is Smith, the cornerback from Booker T. Washington in Atlanta.

The No. 1 recruit in Georgia, according to many, Smith is turning this into reality TV. He’ll tell the world of his decision on Jan. 4 at the televised Under Armour All-America game in Orlando.

Even his parents and the school he’s picking won’t know, Smith said.

That’s if Smith can keep a secret. On Nov. 6, Smith declared he would not reveal his finalists until TV time. But four days later, he blurted them out: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia.

But that’s all he’s saying.

“Everybody asks, but they’ll just have to watch TV and see,” Smith said. “I really don’t know myself.”

Smith says he’s just having fun, and so is Vasser, who committed to Georgia in January.

Vasser, the linebacker from Chestatee in Gainesville, said the fear factor prompted his early decision. He was told Georgia would sign only two linebackers, so when the second player committed, Vasser became the third on the same day.

Now, Vasser has decided he needs to make a final decision. He’ll do it Dec. 16 in front of his schoolmates at Chestatee.

“I’m giving these other schools the opportunity to say everything they have to say to me, to go all-out, because once it gets to Dec. 16, my mind will be made up for good,” Vasser said.

Expect Vasser to enroll at Georgia in January.

But for some of the others, you can’t be sure.

Jonathan Atchison of Atlanta’s Douglass High is committed to Auburn, but he’s going out with Alabama on Jan. 17, two weeks before National Signing Day.

Brandon Jacobs of Parkview, also committed to Auburn, will take calls from anybody, especially Florida.

“It won’t hurt to talk with them,”’ he said. “I’m still 100 percent with Auburn.”

And it’s hard to blame them for playing the field.

Banneker linebacker Milton Patterson could have committed to Mississippi State last summer, but he wasn’t ready. When he was ready, the Bulldogs weren’t. They told him they had taken the scholarship off the table.

Some say Patterson blew it.

“They say I should have made a wiser decision,” said Patterson, who was “crushed” over the news.

But Akron still wants him. And if they don’t, well, there’s more to life than football, anyway.

That’s the perspective of Josh Elizondo, an excellent lineman from Naples, Fla., who had offers from South Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.

Elizondo last month committed to the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute of Orlando.

“I used to love football,” Elizondo said. “But I’m tired of it. I’ve got other interests now.”

*** Link to ajc 150

Top 150

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An update on johnny farms and tony williams:

Alabama makes advances with Tennessee recruit Toney Williams

By Jeff Hood | Monday, November 24, 2008, 11:31 AM The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With his commitment to Tennessee hanging in the balance, Milton fullback Toney Williams has accepted an invitation from Alabama to attend the Crimson Tide’s home game against rival Auburn on Saturday.

“I like what they’re doing at Alabama,” said Williams, who scored five touchdowns in Milton’s first round playoff loss to East Paulding on Nov. 14. “It’s my kind of football.”

Williams, who is scheduled to visit Kentucky on Dec. 5, said a scholarship offer from the Tide would certainly get his attention. But he’s eager to see who Tennessee names as coach Phillip Fulmer’s successor.

“[An offer from Alabama] would change things,” he said. “But I’m still waiting to see what Tennessee will do. It will probably be the middle of December [when they name a new coach].”

As for Georgia Tech, there seems to be little activity between Williams and the Jackets.

“There’s really nothing going on with me and Georgia Tech right now,” he said.

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Perry OL Farms switches commitment from South Carolina to North Carolina

By Phil Giltman | Monday, November 24, 2008, 11:32 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Perry offensive guard Johnnie Farms, a member of the AJC’s Super 11, decommitted from South Carolina this weekend and committed to North Carolina after his official visit to Chapel Hill, N.C.

“I talked with [uNC] coach Butch Davis for hours and it just felt right,” said Farms, a 6-foot-3, 306-pound member of the AJC’s The Georgia 150. “My family and I fell in love with it.”

Farms said he notified South Carolina assistant coach Robert Gillespie of his decision.

“He was real disappointed,” he said. “He still wants me to come out and take my official visit.”

Farms said he currently has no intentions of taking an official visit to South Carolina.

Despite the Tar Heels’ 41-10 loss to N.C. State on Saturday, Farms said he sees potential in UNC’s football program.

“They need help on the offensive line,” he said. “They were just flat Saturday and N.C. State came to play.”

Farms said he talked with the coaches, went bowling with the players and toured the campus.

“It was awesome,” he said. “I felt at home there and the education is a little better than South Carolina.”

Farms committed to South Carolina on Sept. 29. Alabama was his top choice, but Crimson Tide coaches told him they were “full” at his position.

Rivals.com ranks Farms as the 8th best offensive guard in the nation.

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Steal for Butch n Co! The education is far better than USC though not just a little. Modest though :lol:

farms' entire recruiting has been a joke.. we will see what else happens.. as the world turns.. hopefully he has quit with the soap opera. i would believe a farm's commitment like I believe that britney spears was a virgin.

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We need it terribly. Probably our biggest weakness. He's going to get PT his freshman year if he keeps his commitment.

not sure if you have seen his video, but he is a monster inside.. very nasty and a great pickup. if he stays at unc you guys got yourself a 4 year starter if he doesn't leave early..

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Any news on Darren Myles?

that's a great question.. uga doesn't really seem to be in the picture because they are going hard after starling.. his dad wants him at uga.. he has commented on that in the past, but he will let darren make his decision himself. there was a great article in the ajc i can't find online comparing the two styles of richt and johnson and it had comments from darren's dad in it regarding his opinion of the two guys. soo many things i have heard leans me to believe myles heads out of state to an lsu, but right now it's hard to get a handle on where he is leaning.. all i hear is lsu..

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I am hearing Myles like Georgia Tech ALOT. My guess would be GT or LSU and LSU might be running out of ships so that is good news for us.

i am sure he likes gt and he very well could end up there, but right now lsu doesn't have a committed safety and they are really after loston and i am sure they have a few ships for safeties.. if location is impt to him then gt would be the better option.. i wish uga knew more about starling because if starling was out of the picture, they would put on a full hard press on myles, but for some reason they aqre putting all their eggs in the starling basket so it's either starling or no one.

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that's a great question.. uga doesn't really seem to be in the picture because they are going hard after starling.. his dad wants him at uga.. he has commented on that in the past, but he will let darren make his decision himself. there was a great article in the ajc i can't find online comparing the two styles of richt and johnson and it had comments from darren's dad in it regarding his opinion of the two guys. soo many things i have heard leans me to believe myles heads out of state to an lsu, but right now it's hard to get a handle on where he is leaning.. all i hear is lsu..

I saw that article as well. I thought Myles dad said lots of good things about Tech, especially about how good a guy CPJ was. It was a month or two ago I believe.

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