Posted: 11:59 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
One of the state’s top defensive backs is “not committed” to Tennessee, according to his high school coach.
“There was just some miscommunication,” Tucker coach Bryan Lamar told the AJC on Tuesday.
On Monday night, Tucker 4-star cornerback Duke Shelley created a lot of excitement among Tennessee fans on Twitter when he surprisingly tweeted out “I’m officially a VOL.”
Since the 5-foot-8 speedster is such a highly-rated prospect and claims offers from several big schools, including Clemson and Georgia Tech, his commitment over Social Media quickly was picked up by Tennessee media outlets. Shelley did a long interview about the commitment with InsideTennessee.com.
However, by late Monday night, some of the same websites weren’t sure if the commitment had been accepted by the Tennessee coaches.
“It’s part of learning the recruiting process,” Lamar said. “It’s one of those things where you had a kid commit before he talked to me, and I can make sure we are all on the same page (with the college) with everything. That’s all.
“They’re (Tennessee) still high on him. It’s not a situation where they don’t like the kid or want the kid. You know how it is? They’ve still got to go through their evaluation and recruiting process, and make sure he’s the best fit for them and all that kind of stuff.
“He’s still considering Tennessee. It’s not a situation where there’s anything negative out of the situation. There are no hard feelings. If it was a bad situation, I would say it. But that’s not the case. It was just a miscommunication.”
Also on Monday, USC issued an apology after an unnamed member of the team’s football staff was overheard calling Jalen Hurd “soft and terrible” in a video posted on USC’s Instagram account. Hurd is the 5-star running back who signed with Tennessee a couple of weeks ago.
THE TUCKER PIPELINE
After having 16 seniors sign college football scholarships (including two with UGA) a couple of weeks ago, Tucker is poised again to have another stellar class of recruits. It’s a D1 pipeline and that’s why all colleges (including Tennessee) are careful not to burn any bridges there.
Tucker has four 2015 kids who are among the state’s top 75 juniors.
The headliner is defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter, who abruptly committed to Alabama last month but visited UGA last week and will go to Auburn next weekend.
Tucker outside linebacker Elijah Sullivan (6-1, 215) got an offer from the Florida Gators this week. “He should be getting a lot of offers over the next few weeks when the college guys get back into the office, and start looking over all the new information they’ve gathered,” Lamar said. “He’s one of the better players in the state – there’s no question about it.” Sullivan also has early offers from Auburn and Georgia Tech, while UGA and Alabama are extremely interested and reviewing his film. “The guy from Miami asked me ‘Where have you been hiding this kid?’ I haven’t been hiding him. I’ve been telling everybody about Elijah. You know how recruiting goes? You tell people about kids, but sometimes they don’t really pay attention until some other schools offer. He’s one of the better kids out there. I want to see some linebackers that are better than him. He’s as athletic and physical as we’ve ever had at Tucker. He’s unreal.”
Tucker wide receiver Nekyle Lundie (6-0, 200) might’ve been the best player at the Elite Junior Classic with an acrobatic over-the-shoulder catch and nasty crackback block. He’s got early offers from Georgia Tech and Missouri. “They like his size, and his ball skills. That kid is extremely talented. They like all those things about him. He’s 200 pounds and runs in the 4.4 for the 40-yard dash. He can play. In that (junior) all-star game, he was kind of like a man among boys.”
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