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Michael Carvell

Myles Autry: It could be a wild, wild finish in recruiting

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WR-RB Myles Autry is one of state's top uncommitted prospects and best of friends with No. 1 Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

WR-RB Myles Autry is one of state’s top uncommitted prospects and best of friends with No. 1 Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

One of the most intriguing storylines in recruiting to follow over the next two weeks will be Myles Autry.

He’s the 4-star athlete from Norcross High School who is uncommitted and ranked as Georgia’s No. 21 overall college prospect.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder appears to be a hot commodity down recruiting’s final stretch for many reasons, including the fact that he finally showed college scouts late in his senior season that he still had his signature explosiveness after recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery.

Autry also has a special connection to the state’s No. 1 prospect, which could create some interesting scenarios that would make JFK conspiracy theorists proud.

Georgia Tech has always been considered the school to beat because Autry’s older brother plays for the Yellow Jackets (and their mom likes the idea), while reigning national champion Florida State is a top contender.

There’s also the Florida Gators, which could make a late push for Autry for several reasons, including his close friendship with Norcross teammate Lorenzo Carter, the 5-star defensive end who has UGA and Florida as his co-leaders.

And, because of that, in theory, UGA could also get involved late with Autry if they feel like it may push them over the top with Carter, even though there’s nothing going on there now. The Bulldogs will probably have a few extra scholarships available for this year’s class to get creative.

Autry has kept a low-profile with his recruiting, but updated the AJC this weekend on his situation:

He switched around his official visits, and will now go to Georgia Tech next weekend and FSU on Jan. 31. Things also may be heating up with Florida, and Autry said he maintains communications with Ohio State (which he calls his “dream school”) and Oregon.

“I’m going to tell you this: It’s going to be a real hard decision for me on Feb. 5 (signing day),” Autry said. “My mom and I are going to have to talk everything out. It’s going to be a hard decision. You know, that’s life.”

Last Thursday, Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof stopped by Norcross to visit with Autry. His older brother is Anthony Autry, a rising sophomore wide receiver with the Yellow Jackets.

“Georgia Tech was originally my last official visit but I switched it with FSU because I signed up to take the SAT next Saturday,” Autry said. “Georgia Tech was the only one of my leaders that is a local school, so I can start my official visit that Friday night, come back the next morning for the SAT, and go back to Georgia Tech right after that.”

What about his brother’s present at Georgia Tech? How does that impact things? “He got a medical redshirt this year, giving him three more years,” Autry said. “That would just be three years for us to play together. And that would be my main reason to go to Georgia Tech, to play with my brother. Together, we could do some damage like we did in high school. It’s really going to be a hard decision there.”

On Friday at Norcross, Autry was visited by Florida State assistant Charles Kelly. There’s a strong relationship there as Kelly recruited his older brother to Georgia Tech while working as an assistant for the Yellow Jackets.

“Tallahassee is a great city, and FSU is a great place to be at,” Autry said. “I visited there and had a great time; My mom visited there and had a great time.

“They won that national championship, and it’s a great thing for that organization. But that really doesn’t push me more to FSU just because they won. That’s not my main reason if I went there because I really don’t care about the rings.

“It’s about how much they are considering me and the chance to play as a true freshman. There are a lot of people leaving FSU, and there’s a great chance for me to play as a true freshman.”

Which position is Autry being recruited by at FSU? “They want me as an athlete,” he said. “They told me if they had a guy like me at Florida State, they would change some things up to utilize me a lot. They got me as an athlete, probably at the slot and receiver – just putting me where I can get out in space.”

The original plan was for both Autry and Carter to visit FSU next weekend together.

Autry and Carter together as a “package deal” creates some interesting scenarios – and plenty of fodder for message boards.

It could be a major reason that Florida gets involved with Autry, although some of that chatter began after the rapid chemistry at Army All-America Bowl practices between Autry and Will Grier, the 4-star quarterback who has enrolled early with the Gators.

“Will Grier convinced me at the Army Bowl, after practicing together every day, that I ought to consider Florida,” Autry said. “We’ve got a special connection. He thinks we could do big things together at Florida. He talked to the coaches for me, and said they liked me as a great athlete. They’ve talked to me about an official visit, and we’re trying to work things out.”

Would Autry seriously consider Florida if it decides to pursue him? “I definitely would,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of football history at the University of Florida. That’s a team a lot of people want to play for. They’ve had a couple of bad years but that program is really rebuilding and stuff like that. I think they’ll be fine. They just need some playmakers on offense. The coaches were telling me that I could be a playmaker for them. They said I could hook up with Will and change things around there. I think I could have a great chance to play there as a freshman. I would just have to be ready to compete.”

What about Carter and Autry being a “package deal” to Florida? What about Carter and Autry being a “package deal” to any college? Both will take official visits to FSU, and both could end up touring Florida, depending on how things develop between Autry and the Gators.

“There’s a high possibility we could be a package deal — I’d say it’s a 90-percent possibility,” Autry said.

“We’re great friends. I knew Lorenzo before he even transferred to Norcross. We’ve talked a lot about playing together in college and doing damage together – him on defense and me finishing it off on offense.  We’re great friends. We’d love to play and, if not, we’re still be great friends.”

And that’s the reason why conspiracy theorists suggest that UGA may try to get involved with Autry – if the Bulldogs feel they have to match Florida’s overtures to stay in Carter’s good graces. “Package deals” are common to get an elite recruit, and UGA has had some success with them in recent years, including John and Nathan Theus, Quintavious “Cootie” Harrow and Isaiah Crowell, Nick Marshall and Lonnie Outlaw, and Alex and Zander Ogletree.

How would Autry feel about UGA if the Bulldogs got involved late? “If they give me a chance, I’d definitely consider them,” Autry said. “I’d have to talk to my mom and Lorenzo about it.”

Finally, Autry has Oregon and Ohio State as long-shot candidates. Things have cooled with the Buckeyes since last month’s commitment of wide receiver Johnnie Dixon of West Palm Beach, Fla.

“I talked to Johnnie at the All-America game, and he was basically telling me what he liked about Ohio State,” Autry said. “With him committing there, it didn’t affect how I feel about Ohio State. I never run away from competition. If anything, I would want to go there more just to compete. Him committing there didn’t affect me liking them. Ohio State is still my dream school, and will always be my dream school. If they want to talk again, I’d listen.”

Autry was under-recruited as a senior because it took him a long time to fully recover from knee surgery. He finally returned to old form in Norcross’ last two games of the season. He scored the game-winning touchdowns in both the playoff semifinals and state championship.

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