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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

Ex-Georgia Tech signee Myles Autry said he talked with UGA’s Mark Richt

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Myles Autry (right) with his brother after committing to Georgia Tech on ESPN cameras on signing day (AJC)

Myles Autry (right) with his brother after committing to Georgia Tech on ESPN cameras on signing day (AJC)

  • UPDATE: Myles Autry will attend Georgia Prep Sports Academy this fall, GPSA coach Mike Carson told the AJC on Tuesday.

Myles Autry, who signed a football scholarship with Georgia Tech but requested a release from the Yellow Jackets this week, said he talked over the telephone with UGA’s Mark Richt on Friday.

“Coach Richt told me he called Georgia Tech’s compliance to see if I got an official release and to see my restrictions,” Autry told the AJC on Saturday. “He found out that I was a free agent, so we talked yesterday. He basically said that he wants to look into my situation more.

“He asked which prep school I’m going to so they can look into it. Basically, he wants to keep in touch with me.”

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound wide receiver from Norcross High School said he both requested and was granted an unconditional release from the letter of intent he signed with Georgia Tech because his older brother, wide receiver Anthony Autry, was dismissed from the ACC program earlier this week for violating an undisclosed university policy.

The younger Autry had not yet enrolled at Georgia Tech this summer because he was waiting on approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse (and is still waiting). Autry said he will likely go to prep school this fall to get his academics in order, and then report to a four-year college in January. He hasn’t been offered yet by anybody since his release.

Along with UGA, Autry said he’s also heard from coaches from Louisville and West Virginia within the last couple of days.

Some of Autry’s new followers on Twitter include Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier, West Virginia wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, and Georgia State assistant Jay Volker.

Autry said he’d also like to hear from FSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson and South Carolina, among others.

Autry has a connection with UGA because his former Norcross teammate, Lorenzo Carter, was the state’s No. 1 overall prospect this past year and signed with the Bulldogs. Autry said he talked some with Carter this week.

“I was kind of surprised to hear from Coach Richt,” Autry said. “It’s really exciting talking to him, and talking to Lorenzo. It’s more exciting than surprising.

“I feel good about Georgia’s interest. If it’s good for me to stay in Georgia, and that’s my main goal to stay in Georgia – I would be happy if got the opportunity to go there. That would be great. They want me to go to prep school, and look at getting me there in January.”

According to various reports, UGA may be able to sign as many as 31 prospects for 2015 due to roster attrition.

Autry said he’s also leaving open the possibility of returning to Georgia Tech, even without his brother there.

“I’d also consider Georgia Tech again,” Autry said. “It’s a great school and they have great fans who have been supportive of me throughout this whole thing.

“Anything can happen, and if I want to stay in Atlanta, I’d go to Georgia Tech. If I’m meant to go there, I will go there. Anything can happen in lie. I can’t predict the future.”

Autry also said he has a special place in his heart for Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who issued an unconditional release after the two met on Thursday.

UGA's Mark Richt (AJC's Chris Hunt)

UGA’s Mark Richt (AJC’s Chris Hunt)

“I have mad respect for Coach Johnson,” he said. “He’s a great man. He released me without any restrictions and told me to ‘do whatever is best for me,’ I really respect him. He really wanted what was best for me, so I have nothing but mad respect for him.”

Autry said Georgia Tech placed restrictions on his older brother from transferring directly to UGA or other ACC school, so that’s why he’s attending Hutchinson junior college to lift all the restrictions.

The No. 1 goal of the Autry brothers is to play together in college, although they’d go different ways if required.

Myles Autry led Norcross to back-to-back state championships in Georgia’s largest classification the past two years. The 3-star prospect was sidelined for much of his senior season while recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery but returned in time to score game-winning touchdowns in both the state semifinals and state championship games.

NOTE: Some UGA fans have asked why Georgia Tech granted an unconditional release to Myles Autry but not basketball star Robert Carter. With Carter, the UGA athletics director Greg McGarity requested permission for the Bulldogs to recruit Carter and he was denied. Johnson hasn’t publicly commented on the situation, but the difference seems to be that Carter was already enrolled at Georgia Tech and competed in two seasons of the basketball on behalf of the ACC school, while Autry had yet to step on campus to start classes (and is still waiting for NCAA approval). So Carter was a Georgia Tech student-athlete, while Autry was a signee who had to yet to qualify, start classes or join the program in an official capacity. Autry said his older brother has the same restrictions as Carter.

What’s my analysis of Myles Autry as a prospect? It’s the same things I said before he signed with Georgia Tech. He dropped from a 4-star to a 3-star in the rankings because of his knee injury. He doesn’t pass the eyeball test. He doesn’t have prototypical size or speed. Yes, he’s known for having a ton of self-confidence in his ability. Yes, he has to work on his academics (although it seems like he’s close or Georgia Tech wouldn’t have tried). And I don’t even know what his true college position is. But I do know this: He’s something special when he has the ball in his hands. Just watch the film. All he does is make plays – and he makes the plays in the biggest games in the state’s biggest classification. Norcross had 20+ D1 prospects on those teams, including Lorenzo Carter and Alvin Kamara, but Autry was the straw that stirred the drink. You can throw heights, weights, 40 times and combine measurements out of the window with Autry. He just makes plays. When Norcross trailed Colquitt in the fourth quarter of this year’s semifinals, it was Autry who caught the game-winning touchdown with seven minutes left, despite only playing in a total of 15 plays in the game because of the knee. When Norcross was getting blown out with 14-0 deficit in the first quarter in the state championship game against North Gwinnett at the Georgia Dome, it was Autry who stepped up. He ran past everyone on the field for 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to awake Norcross from the dead. Then he supplied the knockout punch in the fourth quarter with a 69-yard scoring reception. And many people forget the previous year’s state championship game against Lovejoy, when he appeared mostly as a decoy after suffering a torn ACL in the semifinals. Most kids would’ve watched it from the sidelines. Autry not only insisted on playing, but he also caught a 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, setting up the events for the comeback win. He plays hurt, and make plays.

TO GET THE BIG PICTURE

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

mcarvell@ajc.com

– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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