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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Race Heats Up For Carter

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxLorenzo Carter’s recruitment is close to being wide open.

The defensive end from Norcross (Ga.) High School said so during an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week following his official visit to LSU.

“With the changes going on right now and the visits I’m taking, I’ve just got to sit back and just let it all happen,” Carter said.

A lot will happen for Carter in the next week and a half leading up to signing day on Feb. 5. He’ll hear from coaches at Florida, Georgia, LSU and Florida State. He maintains all four schools still have a shot at landing him.

LSU improved its standing with Carter during his visit to Baton Rouge.

“Going into the visit they were a little behind,” Carter said. “That was just because how late they came in but I think they did a pretty good job.”

Carter, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com, will take an official visit to Florida State on Sunday. The Seminoles have plenty to offer.

“Like LSU, they send defensive linemen to the NFL,” Carter said. “And they’re national champs.”

Georgia was fortunate to hire defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt away from the national champs. Pruitt, who joined Georgia’s staff on Jan. 14, has made Carter a priority for Georgia’s 2014 class.

“He reassured that I’m still the No. 1 guy on his board,” Carter said.

Georgia will receive Carter’s final official visit before signing day. He told the AJC people still tell him to “stay in state and represent Georgia.” It’s difficult to tell if that pressure will influence Carter’s decision.

“I’ve still got to look at other options,” he said.

A report from 247Sports cited multiple sources calling Georgia a slight leader ahead of Florida with LSU and Florida State both trying to make up ground in Carter’s recruitment. His father, Leo Carter, was asked by the website if those sources were correct.

“To be honest, the way you stated it, I would say it is probably exactly accurate at this point,” Carter said.

 

Kentucky lands defensive back Randolph

Defensive back Kendall Randolph from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Fla., committed to Kentucky on Tuesday.

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Cornerback Jones Schedules Visit To Ole Miss

Cornerback Riyahd Jones from Garden City (Kan.) Community College has scheduled an official visit to Ole Miss.

Jones, who attended Columbus (Ga.) Carver High School, has offers from Kentucky, Kansas State, Texas Tech and others. Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma State have expressed interest but haven’t made an offer.

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Auburn Adds Quarterback To 2013 Class

Quarterback Jeremy Johnson from Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., has committed to Auburn.

“It feels great,” Johnson told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like Auburn is the best choice for me.”

Johnson chose Auburn over LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Johnson is the third quarterback this month to choose an SEC school over LSU. Cooper Batemen (Alabaa) and Connor Mitch (South Carolina) are the others.

Johnson is the ninth prospect to commitment to Auburn’s class of 2013 and the first quarterback to do so.

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Parks And Rec Scandal Could Take Down 2 UGA Hoops, Football Players

Columbus, Georgia police — investigating the city’s Parks and Recreation Department — found that two higher-ups in the department might have spent money on a pair of local basketball players who starred for a Columbus AAU team.  One of those players signed with Georgia.  The other played a year of football at Southern Cal before transferring back to Mark Richt’s program.  Now both face eligibility questions.

According to The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:



“Police records show that an unauthorized bank account controlled by (P&R Department director Tony) Adams and (Herman) Porter was used to pay for flights to and from Los Angeles for Jarvis Jones, a two-sport start at Carver High School who played football for one season at the University of Southern California, and for the cell phone bill of the mother of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a five-star shooting guard from Greenville High School.”


Columbus police chief Ricky Boren told the paper that the NCAA is “aware of the investigation, allegations and actions of the individuals we had under investigation.”  Meanwhile, UGA director of compliance Eric Baumgartner said he had “not received or heard of anything” from the NCAA.

Georgia spokesperson Claude Felton said, “We are aware of it and will do our due diligence in looking into the matter.”

Jones’ flights cost a total of $828.40.  The cell phone bill of Caldwell-Pope’s mother cost $280.90.

And now both players’ amateur status is in doubt.

Oh, so stupid.

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Isaiah Crowell’s Teammate Commits To Georgia

Georgia has received a commitment from athlete Quintavious Harrow from Columbus (Ga.) Carver High School.

Harrow, who projects to play defensive back at Georgia, is a teammate of tailback Isaiah Crowell, who’s considered one of the nation’s top prospects and a key target for the Bulldogs.

Carver coach Dell McGee confirmed Harrow’s commitment to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“He decided to go ahead and commit to Georgia because he felt like it was the best situation for him and he felt comfortable doing it today,” McGee said. “Coach Richt was really happy and pleased about it after they talked on the phone. (Richt) said he was going to take good care of him, off and on the football field. We’re just happy for Quintavious.”

It will be interesting to see how Harrow’s commitment affects the decision of Crowell, who is considering Georgia and Alabama. The two players will both take official visits to Georgia this weekend.

“Isaiah was happy for Quintavious that he is getting the opportunity to continue his education on the next level,” McGee said.

Georgia’s staff has placed a high priority on Crowell. The Bulldogs have struggled to find a proper replacement in the backfield since Knowshon Moreno left for the NFL following the 2008 season.

Some analysts have predicted Crowell could be this year’s version of Marcus Lattimore, who made an immediate difference as a true freshman tailback for South Carolina. The foot-11, 210-pound Crowell appears to have the frame needed to play right away at the college level.

ESPN.com ranks Crowell as the nation’s No. 1 tailback and fourth best prospect in the nation.

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