Friday, February 1, 2013
Inside the DawgHouse
By Radi Nabulsi
Heading in to the last weekend before signing day, the news is coming fast and furious, as Georgia chases after its top targets and prepares for a breakneck end to the 2013 recruiting cycle. Here is a quick recap of news that has broken on The Pound in the last 24 hours.
Dee Liner (Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals), the nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle, was scheduled to take an official visit to Georgia this weekend. He was going to be accompanied by Georgia’s biggest recruiter, cornerback and fellow ESPN 150 standout Shaq Wiggins and would have been hosted by a friend of his, Georgia early enrollee Tray Matthews, the safety commit who also hosted Reuben Foster last weekend. All four of those prospects are friends, and sources closer to Liner, who recently decommitted from Auburn and is thought to be an Alabama lean, say he is the one who called Mark Richt to gauge the Bulldogs’ interest. This could have made for a very interesting situation as Liner is also friends with Montravius Adams, Georgia’s top defensive tackle target, but Liner’s visit was cancelled Friday afternoon.
Date pushed back
The nation’s top undecided junior college defensive tackle, Toby Johnson, has decided to make his announcement on Feb. 12. Johnson plans to take in Auburn this weekend to visit with former Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who will now stalk the sidelines for the Tigers. On Feb. 8, Johnson will visit Mississippi State to meet more of the Bulldogs players and visit with old friend Rufus Warren. At this point it does not appear that Georgia is going to continue to recruit Johnson, with academics apparently being an issue.
Five yards short?
Mississippi might have scored a coup with the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. After visiting Ole Miss this past weekend and then hosting Georgia and Ole Miss coaching staffs at his house, it appears as though the Rebels now lead for Tunsil. In fact, the ESPN Hot Board prediction this morning was updated to reflect Ole Miss as his likely destination. On the surface it appears that Ole Miss came out of the blue, but in reality Tunsil has been recruited by the Rebels all along. In fact he announced his intentions of taking an official visit there back in August. The visit last weekend left Tunsil “confused” according to Derek Tyson, who spoke with Tunsil after he returned from Ole Miss. Tunsil has long maintained that Georgia and Alabama were his top two and he told Bulldogs quarterback commit Brice Ramsey around Christmas that he would be attending Georgia. As to that, Tunsil said that “was a long time ago.” There is still time for the Georgia coaches to try and make up ground, but they may be making contingency plans.
New offer in the works?
On Friday the Georgia coaches called Alpharetta High School to see if offensive tackle George Adeosun had any interest in playing for the Bulldogs. As recently as two weeks ago, Adeosun had no FBS offers and actually committed to William & Mary over Holy Cross last month. Virginia offered the 6-foot-5, 305-pound sleeper on Jan. 18 and since then his recruitment has taken off with new offers coming from Oklahoma, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee in just over the past week. Georgia plans to offer as soon as he gets off a plane, after which he will begin an official visit to Arizona State. It will be interesting to see if he visits the Bulldogs upon his return, makes a decision on signing day or even delays his recruitment to consider his many new options.
2014 visitors in town
The Georgia coaches will have a couple of 2014 standouts on campus for visits this weekend. ESPN Watch List members Lorenzo Carter and Myles Autry have indicated they would visit the Bulldogs. The teammates from Norcross (Ga.) High School have offers from Georgia. Carter is a top defensive end who would project to outside linebacker in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense, and Autry is a dangerous athlete with the ball in his hands whether lining up at running back, wide receiver or kick returner. Both are teammates of Alvin Kamara, who is scheduled to decide between Alabama and Georgia on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
More offers go out
A trio of prospects from East Lake (Fla.) High School visited Georgia on Friday. Watch List offensive lineman Mason Cole, Watch List wide receiver Artavis Scott and top 2015 athlete George Campbell were in the Classic City and left with offers from Richt.
“We came up for the visit and we had a talk with Coach Richt and Coach B-Mac [Bryan McClendon],” Campbell said. “We all just sat down and talked and they told us that out-of-state kids are important and, ‘We only offer them when they are special.’ ”
Defensive tackle Dontavius Russell of Carrollton (Ga.) High School also picked up an offer on Friday, as the coaching staff seems to prefer to offer on that day. The 6-3, 300-pound junior also has offers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia Tech.
Another Visit cancelled
Georgia was set to host another top prospect this weekend in Matthew Thomas, the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker. His coach, Tim Harris, told DawgNation earlier in the week that Thomas was looking forward to his visit since he has family in Georgia. Thomas also wanted to meet with defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Todd Grantham, who has had great success getting his players to the NFL. But on Friday the visit was cancelled, and Thomas looks to be headed to Florida State or Miami.
Richt on the road
On Friday, Richt was in Tallahassee, Fla., making stops at Lincoln and Godby High School, two programs with multiple BCS prospects. Standouts at Lincoln include ESPN 300 wide receiver Reggie Davis, who has been committed to Georgia since last June, ESPN Watch List defensive back Kendall Randolph, who includes Georgia among his double digit offers, and 2015 standout wide receiver John Burt, who has offers from Florida State, Ohio State, Ole Miss and South Carolina. At Godby, ESPN Watch List safety Deion Singleton has a dozen offers to date, 2014 linebackers Kris Harris and Jacob Pugh already have multiple offers, and 2015 athlete Jaylin Hayward already boast offers from all three in-state powers.
Riles off the radar
There was a lot of speculation that Georgia had renewed its interest in Florida defensive line commit Antonio Riles of Archer (Ga.) High School. Rumors had the big defender scheduled to take an official visit to Athens this weekend. That is not the case, as the Bulldogs coaching staff will not be hosting Riles but will instead zero in on Montravius Adams as its main target.
With the cancellations and switching of favorites, who does Georgia close with? That is hard to say, but as it stands right now keep an eye on developments with Adams, Kamara, Davin Bellamy and Adeosun.