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Reuben Foster has UGA high on list

7/17/2011

ATHENS, Ga. -- One of the top prospects in the south for next season is linebacker Reuben Foster (LaGrange, Ga./Troup County). In fact, there's already a huge battle brewing among Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and many others. Foster, 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, was on hand for Dawg Nite.

"I thought the camp went great," Foster said. "I just wanted to come up here and compete. It was nothing major, just learning a lot of simple stuff. I had a good time and picked up on a few little things."

Foster has been to Athens on several occasions and admits he gets more and more comfortable on each trip.

"I didn't really learn anything new about Georgia," Foster said. "I have been up here seven, eight times now. You just get to know the coaches a little better. I like those guys. It's like a big family. I feel better and better each time I am here."

Like many battles brewing this season and in recent years, it seems like the Dawgs and Crimson Tide are battling for this super inside linebacker prospect.

"They are both the same to me," Foster said. "It's not like Georgia is one and Alabama is two or Alabama is one and Georgia is two. It's tough."

Foster will be visiting Alabama on Sunday and Auburn later today.

"I also want to hit Florida," Foster said. "I would love to check out somebody new, like Notre Dame."

Jones getting healthy

2012 offensive tackle Oliver Jones (Ninety-Six, S.C./Ninety-Six) got his first test in quite some time. After breaking his femur and tearing his ACL last year, he saw his first camp action of the spring and summer at Dawg Nite. What was his reaction?

"I thought everything went pretty well, considering," Jones said. "I played about as I expected. It's seems like it's been a really long time and the leg felt good out there. That was like my first real competition in about a year.

"It was good to get out there and compete. It was good to see the coaching style of Coach [Will] Friend. I didn't get a Georgia offer, but I should hear from them next week."

While he waits on the Dawgs, Jones has offers from several other schools, including South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, East Carolina, Kentucky and Illinois.

"Right now I feel pretty open," Jones said. "Georgia was my first camp this summer. I went to Clemson's but didn't participate. Right now I like Georgia, Clemson, North Carolina and South Carolina."

2013 DB could commit soon

One of the top defensive backs from the Peach State next season is Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan). Matthews, 6-1 and 190 pounds, has a slew of scholarship offers already.

"Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Mississippi State are some of the schools that have offered me," Matthews said. "Right now the top two for me are Georgia and Alabama."

Matthews was in attendance for Dawg Nite but did not play. Regardless, he liked what he saw in Athens.

"Georgia is great," Matthews said. "Athens is quaint. I like the city, campus and the coaching staff. They are like one big family here. They care about more than just the football player. They really care about you."

Georgia was his first visit. Matthews will check out Alabama on Tuesday.

"Nick Saban, Nick Saban, Nick Saban," Matthews said. "I can't wait to finally go to Alabama on Tuesday. Nick Saban all the way. You hear so much about him. He has a great background with defensive backs, and there's nothing bad you can say about Alabama. I am really looking forward to that visit."

While he has many options, it seems that once again Georgia and Alabama are fighting hard for one of the top prospects in the Peach State.

"I could do something soon," Matthews said.

Calling an audible

Jonathan McCrary is torn. The Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove quarterback couldn't help but take note of fellow 2013 quarterback Brice Ramsey's decision to commit to Georgia. Still, McCrary was impressed with the Bulldog trip.

"I loved it," the 6-3, 180-pounder said. "I was thinking about attending UGA but they're thinking about bringing in another 2013 quarterback so they kind of dropped down on my list."

McCrary said he still has an offer from Georgia and hasn't eliminated the Bulldogs, but now he is exploring other options in light of Ramsey's commitment.

"I'm really considering Alabama because they're not bringing in a 2013 quarterback," said McCrary, who also is considering Tennessee, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Texas, LSU, Oregon and Southern California.

McCrary describes himself as a "dual-threat" quarterback, but he seems more proud of his ability to pass as opposed to run.

"My style of game is I like to throw the ball but if they're really trying to stay back or blitz I could run," he said. "I can still terrorize safeties and cornerbacks with my arm."

Schools have talked to McCrary about playing another position, but he's not real fond of that conversation. He's determined to follow his dream of playing quarteback in college.

"The main thing I like about playing quarterback is being able to have all the pressure on you and being that guy in the huddle that can change the game," he said.

McCrary said he will visit Alabama on Sunday and Florida next week. He already has visited Florida State and Georgia Tech.

Close?

Isaac Rochell (McDonough, Ga/Eagles Landing Christian) believes he is close to receiving a scholarship offer following his performance on Friday evening.

"I felt like I did really well," the 6-5, 243-pound defensive lineman said. "I didn't feel like anyone blocked me and there were some good offensive linemen at the camp. I talked to Coach [defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Rodney] Garner and he said they were really close to offering me. He said they were going to look at the tape and probably offer me."

Even though Rochell has 15 scholarship offers and Alabama could be close to making it 16, getting an offer from the in-state Bulldogs would mean a lot.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "I live in Georgia so growing up around Georgia fans, it's a big deal."

However, don't pencil in Rochell as a Georgia commitment if he does get that long-awaited offer.

"Not necessarily," he said. "I wouldn't just commit right away, but it would be a huge deal."

Dave Hooker contributed to this report.

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.