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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

Notebook: ‘Go Dawgs’ at Masters, UGA updates and Nick Saban’s sweater

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UGA’s top target at safety is at the Masters golf tournament this week.

Rashad Roundtree, who is ranked as a 5-star by Rivals, is from nearby Lakeside-Evans High School. Roundtree works in Augusta National’s pro shop as a sales assistant and stocker.

And Roundtree, with his trademark hairstyle, has been recognized by college football fans at the Masters.

5-star Rashad Roundtree (Jason Mussell)

5-star Rashad Roundtree (Jason Mussell)

“I’ve had a few random customers come up to me and say ‘Go Dawgs,’” Roundtree said with a laugh. “They told me congratulations on everything. I guess you can tell it’s me with the hair.”

This is Roundtree’s second year in a row working at the Masters. The golf club traditionally hires a lot of local high school students. Another high-profile recruit from the Augusta area, Auburn DT signee DeVonte Lambert (from Burke County High School), is also working there this week.

Roundree, who’s not a golfer, said the most famous person he has seen so far this week in the pro shop is Condoleezza Rice.

What’s the latest with recruiting? Roundtree has made visits this spring to UGA, Auburn and Duke. The most recent was with the Bulldogs last week.

“The best thing that Coach Richt told me was that I was the No. 1 safety on his list,” he said. “Auburn has said that, too. Almost all of the schools have.”

Roundtree said he doesn’t have any leaders but I would guess that UGA is the school to beat.

Here’s the rest of our top 10 list, with my opinion added:

NON-CUPCAKE GAMES WITH A PURPOSE: I always look at things from a recruiting perspective, and I never understood why former UGA athletics director Damon Evans insisted on scheduling games with Colorado, Arizona State and Oklahoma State. There was zero to gain from a recruiting standpoint. How often does UGA get kids out of Colorado, Arizona and Oklahoma? In my opinion, if you’re going to play a non-SEC opponent that isn’t a cupcake, you need to shoot for the moon (play a top 10 school for the pub) or aim for games in one of your strongest recruiting bases. So the possible UGA vs. Notre Dame series makes sense for getting into the national spotlight, although I’d say the parents of recruits rather than recruits have a better memory of Notre Dame’s glory days. But if I was current UGA AD Greg McGarity, my first look would be to the state of North Carolina, where UGA has enjoyed sustained recruiting success with guys like Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Jeb Blazevich, Uriah LeMay and Lamont Gaillard (and you can even go back to guys like Mohamed Massaquoi, Joe Cox, and even Tim Worley). College football isn’t necessarily bad in North Carolina, but there are reasons that so many out-of-state schools raid that state on an annual basis. If I was McGarity, I’d go for Duke first, UNC second, and then either N.C. State, Wake Forest or East Carolina. And if you did a home-and-home series, maybe you could convince the away game to be played in Charlotte? Next atop the list would be another Florida school after the Gators. (Note: I still cant believe McGarity agreed to this deal). Since the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is in North Florida, I’d go far south. The top choices would be either Miami (unlikely), Florida International, and Florida Atlantic. The last two schools aren’t household names but they would get you invaluable exposure in talent-loaded Miami. If none of them worked out, I’d go for South Florida or UCF (rematch of 2010 Liberty Bowl?).

BIG YEAR IN GEORGIA FOR AUBURN? Auburn could have one of its greatest recruiting efforts in the state of Georgia, if the fearless predictions of Keith Niebuhr come true. He’s the recruiting analyst for Auburn’s 247sports.com team website, and this week projected Auburn to sign 12 players from Georgia next February. The Tigers signed 10 from Georgia this past year. Here are some of Niebuhr’s 2015 predictions from Georgia: Langston Hughes DE D’Andre Walker, Mill Creek OL Kaleb Kim, Creekside WR Jayson Stanley, GAC DB Darius Slayton, Griffin DB Jordan Colbert, Sprayberry OL Bailey Sharp, Milton OL Nick Wilson and Coffee County TE Jalen Wilkerson.

THE BAMA THREAT? There is fear building among UGA fans after its top commitment for next year, 5-star WR Terry Godwin, gave rave reviews to Alabama after visiting there last weekend. He also announced he will make a return trip to the Crimson Tide on April 19. “Even though I am committed, everyone is still in it,” Godwin told TideSports.com. “Everyone is coming after me pretty hard.” Is Godwin truly shopping for another school? Or just enjoying the recruiting process? UGA can regain some momentum when Godwin attends Saturday’s G-Day scrimmage … UGA’s other 2015 commit at WR, Christian Owens, won’t be at G-Day but he’s not visiting another school. He has a prom date on Saturday at Griffin High School.

FINAL BASKETBALL RANKINGS: HoopSeen.com’s Justin Young knows Georgia’s basketball talent as well as any recruiting analyst there. Here’s his final 2014 rankings. Young has got Greater Atlanta Christian small forward Isaiah Wilkins (the nephew of Dominique Wilkins signed with UVA) bumped all the way up to the No. 2 spot, compared to No. 11 in the 247sports composite rankings. He also has Whitefield Academy small forward Eric Lockett (signed with George Mason) at No. 7 — and he’s unranked by 247.

UGA OPPORTUNITY: If you read this article about 4-star linebacker Adonis Thomas of Central Gwinnett High School, it’s easy to surmise that UGA has a lot of work to do if it wants to catch up with Alabama and (most notably) Florida — especially since his mother didn’t get to spend much time with Mark Richt during the last trip with the Bulldogs. And if it’s one thing you learn in a hurry in the recruiting world, it’s that you’ve got to win over the mothers. The good news for UGA is that Thomas was able to squeeze in a last-minute overnight trip there on Thursday during his spring break. Unfortunately, his parents weren’t able to accompany him due to their work schedules but they will likely go back for another visit at some point if the overnight trip goes well.

LB Natrez Patrick of Mays (Special)

LB Natrez Patrick of Mays (Special)

HOW TO KNOW IF UGA REALLY WANTS YOU? UGA made national headlines last week for sending hand-drawn portraits with an autographed message from Mark Richt to many of the state’s top prospects. The sketch artist, Lisa Rader, was profiled by The Red and Black’s Nick Suss. She’s a junior graphic designer who works as a student assistant in UGA’s recruiting office. Rader has drawn 12 to 15 sketches, although she couldn’t disclose names per NCAA rules. If you’re a recruit, you know for certainty that you’re a priority for UGA if you get a sketch in the mail. So we can say with certainty that Natrez Patrick, a 4-star linebacker from Mays High School, is high on UGA’s recruiting board. Here’s the sketch he got this week. What do you think?

YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING … And isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? It looks like Tennessee is the first school to copycat with this artwork sent to Natrez Patrick. You knew it was a matter of time, didn’t you? There’s rumors that Alabama is in negotiations to hire DreamWorks for sketches. Anyways, what do you think of Tennessee’s drawing?

TECH WAS FIRST IN LINE: Georgia Tech was the first to offer 2015 defenisve lineman G.G. Robinson, an defensive lineman from Parkview High School. He has since added offers from Georgia State and UVA. Robinson, whose father played football at Auburn, may visit Georgia Tech this weekend, per JacketsOnline.com.

2017 DE MJ Webb gets Alabama offer (Special)

2017 DE MJ Webb gets Alabama offer (Special)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: UGA has to be glad it’s ahead of the pack with the recruitment of 2017 defensive end MJ Webb of Morgan County High School. That’s right, he’s a freshman, and the Bulldogs were the first college to offer him last weekend. On Wednesday, Webb toured Alabama for the first time, and as expected, got an offer from Nick Saban. I will write it about more on another day, but I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is for UGA and Georgia Tech to make early offers for elite in-state talent. The state produces 190 D1 prospects per year, and UGA and Georgia Tech can’t offer them all. But if a kid is clearly one of the state’s top 2-3 prospects at his position by the time he’s a high school sophomore, UGA and Georgia Tech have to offer if they want to remain in the chase, simply because there’s so much out-of-state competition. Back to Saban: You don’t see football coaches wearing non-football outfits after a practice. I like the sweater. By the way, I got a few emails about this picture of an assistant at another SEC school.

 

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