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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Georgia checks out Ashton Shumpert

By Radi Nabulsi

Georgia does not have a running back committed for the Class of 2013, despite having 27 commitments already. To rectify that, tailbacks coach Bryan McClendon was in Fulton, Miss., on Nov. 2 to check out ESPN 300 athlete Ashton Shumpert of Itawamba High School.

“I talked to Coach McClendon on Sunday,” Shumpert said. “He talked about how much he enjoyed the game and everything. He said he liked the way I played. He wants me to make it back to Georgia sometime soon.”

With offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State, Shumpert is wanted for his ability to play a number of positions. The Bulldogs want him to run the ball.

“He tells me he wants me to play running back out there,” Shumpert said. “He says they have some backs that are already there and doing good but just like anywhere, if you go in and compete, you never know what could happen. I would say they are recruiting me pretty hard. They want me to come back there and they came to see me.”

The success of freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall doesn’t concern the 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior.

“I really don’t think too much about it because I am a firm believer in hard work and competing,” Shumpert said.

The schools competing to land Shumpert have yet to separate themselves in his view.

“No one stands out just yet,” Shumpert said. “I have said the entire time that if I do make a decision early it will be after our football season so that might be in December sometime. But if I don’t it will be on signing day.”

Shumpert has visited Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Georgia so far this season. In the summer he camped at Oklahoma State. His visit to Athens for Georgia’s contest against Tennessee was rather uneventful.

“There wasn’t much to tell about the last visit to Georgia because I got there about 30 minutes before the game was supposed to start,” Shumpert said. “I had just enough time to get check in and go to my seat.”

In that game he witnessed Gurley and Marshall each rack up over 100 yards rushing. Shumpert says he would like to try that himself, but jokes that, with his big frame, “it is hard to get low sometimes.”

Shumpert, who is also being looked at as a safety, says he will visit Georgia again.

“I will, but I don’t know when yet.”