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Monday, December 12, 2011
What I learned from this weekend

By Jamie Newberg

Do Dawgs make up ground?
The University of Georgia is trying to make up ground on Under Armour All-American safety Chaz Elder (College Park, Ga./Banneker). This weekend, Elder made his way to Athens for an official visit to Georgia.

“It was cool,” said Edler of his visit. “The main thing for me was just sitting down with the coaches and understanding their DB situation. They like me as a safety and I think I can step in and help out. And Georgia has a nice family atmosphere. Georgia definitely gave me more to think about. It was a good trip compared to the other visits I have made.”

Elder, 6-2 and 185 pounds, says he still plans on making his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game.

“That’s the plan,” Elder said. “South Carolina is still my leader. It’s just a place where I feel so comfortable and I really like their DB coach. I get that vibe there.”

Elder said he still may make a visit to see Vanderbilt and possibly Arkansas. He finished the season with 83 tackles, six tackles for loss, one interception for a touchdown, six pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two kick returns for scores.

Elder is a four-star prospect and the No. 7 ranked safety in the nation and the No. 13-rated recruit from the state of Georgia.

LB shutting things down
Georgia hosted FSU linebacker commit Ukeme Eligwe (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain) over the weekend but he refused to comment on visiting the Dawgs.

“At this time I don’t want to discuss my visit to Georgia and I am shutting things down with recruiting and I will no longer do interviews,” Eligwe said.

This could actually bode well for Georgia. If Eligwe took the visit to check out his in-state school and was still firmly committed to the Seminoles he probably would have said just that. If anything, UGA could find themselves in the hunt for the ESPNU 150 linebacker.

Eligwe did say he would make his official visit to FSU next month and possibly make a trip to see Southern Cal.

Eligwe is the nation’s No. 3 inside linebacker prospect, No. 118 overall, and the No. 10 rated prospect from the state of Georgia.

Razorbacks lead for JUCO WR
Courtney Gardner (Roseville, Calif./Sierra College) came home more than impressed with his visit to Arkansas and right now the Razorbacks find themselves in the lead for the junior college wide receiver prospect.

“The trip was awesome,” Gardner said. “Arkansas is my leader. I sat down and had a great talk with coach (Bobby) Petrino and the other coaches. We watched film and they showed me how that offense works and how I would fit in. Arkansas was the first team on me and the first to offer me.”

Gardner, 6-3 and 213 pounds, caught 61 passes for over 1,100 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. He also blocked seven field goals and three punts. He’s scheduled to visit Pitt (Dec. 16) and FSU (Jan. 13).

Yeldon MVP of Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic
Daphne (Ala.) star running back T. J. Yeldon rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns to lead Alabama to a 31-12 win over Mississippi. Yeldon scored on runs of 2, 9 and 37 yards. He has been a long-time commitment to Auburn, but recently made an official visit to Alabama. He said after one of the all-star practice last week that he was firm with his Tiger commitment.

Yeldon is the nation’s No. 7 ranked running back, the No. 91 ranked recruit in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 5 rated recruit from the state of Alabama.

Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala./Hueytown), the nation’s top quarterback, finished the game 17-24 for 124 yards. His high school teammate, wide receiver Cameron Broadnax, had nine receptions, which set the game record.

Mississippi linebacker Richie Brown (Long Beach, Miss./Long Beach) finished with a game-high 12 tackles. Arkansas commitment, JaMichael Winston (Prichard, Ala./Vigor), finished with five tackles and a sack while Alabama commitment, Ryan Anderson (Daphne, Ala.) had five tackles. Mississippi was credited with 20 tackles for a loss. Brown had three as did South Panola stars Temario Strong and Issac Gross. ESPNU 150 defensive end Channing Ward (Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen) had two tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

Curtis wins 24th state title
Amazingly, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis High School won its 24th state championship 33-3 over Winnfield (La.). John Curtis finished unbeaten and 14-0. It marked the 12th unbeaten season in school history. Only one team this season came within three touchdowns of John Curtis. The Patriots outscored their opponents in the playoffs 217-36.

Coach J.T. Curtis is 506-54-6 in his coaching tenure at Curtis.