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Green to Georgia?


matt marshall
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rivals article: http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1021397

Jamie Newberg

Recruiting Analyst

Jamie Newberg is a football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.

Is Georgia the new team to beat for Tampa, Fla., athlete Christian Green? Are Florida State, Florida and USF still in the mix for this Rivals100 player?

What's the latest with defensive end prospects Chris Martin and Jackson Jeffcoat? Will Martin stick with Notre Dame or end up with Oklahoma or Florida? Can Houston pull Jeffcoat, or is it Texas, USC or someone else?

How will Connecticut do in recruiting this season?

All this in this week's mailbag.

Jamie's Mailbag

Green to Georgia?

Is it true that Christian Green could be headed to Georgia? How is it that my Bulldogs are having so much success in the Tampa area and in Florida?

-- Shawn from Atlanta

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Several factors are at play in the Christian Green decision.

Georgia has done very well in the Sunshine State. Last year, the Bulldogs signed three big-time recruits from Florida. This year, they already have seven commitments from the state.

The three headliners last year were two Tampa Plant stars in quarterback Aaron Murray and tight end/wide receiver Orson Charles, and wide receiver Rantavious Wooten was a steal from Belle Glade. In the Class of 2010, Georgia has gone south to land offensive lineman Brent Benedict, cornerbacks Derek Owens and Nickell Robey, defensive end B.J. Butler, safety Marc Deas and linebackers Deon Rogers and Demetre Baker.

Certainly, Georgia has changed up strategies. The Bulldogs are putting more of an emphasis on recruiting the state of Florida, in part because of John Lilly. Lilly, the Georgia tight ends coach for the past two seasons, spent 1998-2007 at Florida State, where he was recruiting coordinator many of those years. Lilly is an underrated recruiter, and he knows how to connect with Florida kids.

The Bulldogs are not done in Florida. One player, in particular, they could close with is Green, from Tampa Catholic. Green, an outstanding athlete, projects as a receiver.

Early on, Florida State was the team to beat for Green. His cousin is former FSU star receiver E.G. Green. His mother also graduated from Florida State. The Seminoles were a heavy leader for some time.

But somewhere along the line, things changed. Many say it was when Florida State began to struggle this season. But you can almost point to the summer, when Green kept moving back his decision date. Here we are at Thanksgiving, and there still hasn't been a decision from Green.

In that time, several teams made moves for Green. He has been up to Gainesville to see Florida on 10 or so occasions since the spring. Green has been to Athens for both unofficial and official visits. Then there are the hometown USF Bulls. Green's father, Hiram, played college basketball for USF. Needless to say, Green is very comfortable with Jim Leavitt and the USF football program.

So you have four teams. Which one will it be? Many close to Green say he's genuinely confused as to what school to choose. Each program has its pros and cons.

A few sources still feel Georgia could be the team to beat. Coach Mark Richt was E.G. Green's offensive coordinator while he was in Tallahassee. And Green's mother also feels very comfortable sending her son to play for Richt and Georgia if he chooses not to go to FSU.

Could Brandon Green be headed to the same school as his brother?

But I wouldn't exactly rule out Florida State. You have all the reasons mentioned above. In addition, Green has an older brother, Brandon, who is currently at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. What would happen with Christian if Brandon were to play his remaining college football at Florida A&M? Well, I would suspect there would be a good chance the Green brothers both would play in the city of Tallahassee.

USF has offered Brandon Green, who projects as a defensive end. But there is speculation that offer could be contingent on Christian Green coming to the Bulls as well. So you can't count out USF just yet.

Green, who's Tampa Catholic team plays Lake Highland Prep in the second round of the playoffs on Friday, will make another unofficial visit to Florida this weekend. It was originally scheduled to be an official visit but that changed Monday night.

Maybe the Gators will make a move. Chances are Florida won't. This will likely come down to Georgia and Florida State, but I wouldn't fall asleep on USF just yet.

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