GEORGIA: Bulldog coach Mark Richt told a booster club gathering that senior David Greene is the best NFL prospect that he has ever coached and that includes Heisman Trophy candidates Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. Bulldog weightlifting records will be reported next week, but in general terms, 19 players benched 400 pounds, squatted 500 pounds and power cleaned 300 pounds. In 2002, 24 players benched over 400 pounds, compared to 32 this year. Guard Max Jean-Gilles and defensive tackle Gerald Anderson benched over 500 pounds. In 2002, 24 players squatted over 500 pounds, while this year 37 players reached the mark. Nine players squatted over 600 pounds and Anderson benched over 700 pounds. Strength and conditioning Coach Dave Van Halanger said this is the strongest Georgia team he has coached. Receiver Reggie Brown set a 43.5-inch vertical leap, second only to former Bulldog standout Boss Bailey. (UGASports.com) For the first time in 50 years, Georgia will travel to a Pac-10 school. Athletic Director Damon Evan announced this week that the Bulldogs will play Arizona State in Tempe during the 2008 season and then in Athens during 2009. The last time Georgia played a Pac-10 school was in 1960 when they lost at USC with quarterback Fran Tarkenton. (AJC.com)
AUBURN: Defensive back Lorenzo Ferguson (6-3, 190) of Miami (Fla.) Southridge, who had planned on enrolling at LSU, is coming to the Tigers as a late signee. Recruiting interest dropped off after Ferguson broke his foot in a late-season game last year. The Tigers also got a verbal commitment from Ali Sharrief (5-10, 200), a running back/linebacker Stevenson (Ala.) North Jackson High. (AuburnSports.com) Phil Snow, the longtime host of the Auburn Football Review, has been replaced by play-by-play announcer Rod Bramlett, who took over for the late Jim Fyffe. Snow, who had been hosting the show since 1976, discovered the change by reading it in the media guide. (Al.com)
FLORIDA: GatorBait.net listed 10 players as summer standouts: defensive back Cory Bailey, linebacker Channing Crowder, center Mike Degory, running back Ciatrick Fason, Offensive lineman Randy Hand, linebacker Travis Harris, quarterback Chris Leak, offensive lineman Ray McDonald, lineman Jeremy Mincey and tight end Markell Thompson. Heralded receiver prospect C. J. Byrd (6-3, 185), who is from North Augusta, S. C., has cut down his schools to five: Georgia, Clemson, USC, Florida and FSU. Byrd recently ran a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. Nate Harris, a linebacker from Dodge City, Kansas, is being recruited by Florida. Harris (6-1, 220), a former Miami signee, was rumored to be going to LSU. He committed to the Canes, but got in trouble with the law and ended up spending some time in a boot camp, which erased the incident from his record. Harris is expected to be one of the top junior college recruits this season. (GatorBait.net)
OLE MISS: Felony reckless endangerment charges against Ole Miss running back Jamal Pittman have been reduced to misdemeanor charges. Pittman will be placed in a diversion program and all charges will be dropped in a year if he meets the conditions. Rebel linebacker Ken Bournes, who was with Pittman when they were arrested in Memphis July 17 because a weapon was involved, is reportedly going to be placed in a diversion program also. Six of 25 signees—receivers Tony Burks and Cory Kizer, defensive end Dion Gales, running back Lavarus Giles, linebacker Peria Jerry and defensive tackle Alton Pettway-- did not qualify. Rogers Loche (6-1, 230), a linebacker from Louisiana, has committed to the Rebels. Texas A & M and Arkansas are also recruiting him. (RebelGrove.com)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Brian Staley (5-10, 185), a cornerback from Georgia Military College, is going to play with the Bulldogs this season. He originally signed with Clemson after being offered by Florida, Nebraska and South Carolina. Staley could challenge for playing time immediately. (BulldogBlitz.com)
ARKANSAS: Reggie Fish (5-7, 145), a receiver from Mesquite (Texas), is commitment No. 10 for the Hogs. SMU, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Iowa are recruiting him. (Hawgsports.com)
ALABAMA: Defensive end signee Travis McCall, who is from Prattville (Ala.), did not qualify. He is the fifth Tide defensive line signee who did not qualify. Other non-qualifiers are Lorenzo Washington and Brandon Fanney, who are attending Hargrave Military Academy and Jeramie Holifield and Kevin Hamilton, both from Prattville. Receiver Nikita Stover of Hartselle also did not qualify. Another signee Ezekiel Knight, who recently took the Alabama state high school exit exam, is still awaiting the results. Linebacker Freddie Roach had arthroscopic procedure on his right knee last Thursday after suffering torn cartilage. He had a torn MCL in the same knee in 2001. He could be out until the first part of the season. Michael Johnson (6-7, 285), an offensive lineman from Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest, has committed to Alabama. (BamaOnline.com)
SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks will wear black jerseys and white pants at home and white jersey and black pants on the road. Defensive end Moe Thompson, linebackers Curtis Rice and Ryan Brown and safety Jamacia Jackson all passed a grueling conditioning test, but tailbacks Demetrius Summers and Cory Boyd and quarterback Syvelle Newton must do the conditioning run before the team reports Friday. Coach Lou Holtz refused to pay for the second session of summer school for the players after they missed classes and other team activities in June. (The State) Braxton Kelly (6-2, 225), a defensive end/linebacker from LaGrange (Ga.) has offers from Virginia Tech, Kentucky and South Carolina. He told GamecockCentral.com that Georgia has been his favorite team growing up.
LSU: Tiger coach Nick Saban appears Saturday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN College Gameday as a part of the network’s college football preview. (TigerBait.com) Saban has made it clear that Marcus Randall will be the starter at quarterback because of his stability and confidence. Randall has played in 22 games, but started in only six of them. Tiger defensive end Melvin Oliver resolved some of his legal problems by agreeing to a year-long protective order that requires him to leave his girlfriend alone. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
FLORIDA STATE: Freshman receiver Kenny O’Neal is finally on campus. While, O’Neal might not break into the crowded receiver rotation, he could return kicks. Receiver DeCody Fagg has recovered from a torn meniscus. He weighs nearly 210 pounds. Another receiver, Lorne Sam, will be medically cleared in time for fall practice August 9 after recovering from a foot injury. Summer Player awards according to Warchant.com are: Top Newcomer-middle linebacker Jae Thaxton; Top Leader on Offense-running back Leon Washington; Top Leaders on Defense-linebackers Ray Piquion, defensive linemen Brodrick Bunkley and Travis Johnson, and defensive back Jerome Carter; Most Improved Player on Offense-lineman Cory Niblock and Most Improved Player on Defense- Piquion; Summer Most Valuable Player-linebacker Ernie Sims.
NORTH CAROLINA: LSU transfer Barrington Edwards is looking at joining either North Carolina, Ohio State or N. C. State. Edwards, who could not break into the tailback rotation at LSU, will have to sit out this season wherever he goes. (CarolineBlue.com)
MIAMI: Former Hurricane signee Bobby Washington, a star running back from Miami Killian, is reportedly preparing to attend N. C. State after Miami granted his release. An ACT agency and the school admissions office flagged his score, which showed dramatic improvement the second time he took the test. Defensive lineman signee Antonio Dixon will reportedly attend a prep school because he did not qualify. (Palm Beach Post) Devin Hester, who played receiver last year, might move to defensive back. Last season, he caught only four passes for 116 yards. He could make an immediate impact in the secondary with the expected loss of Terrell Walden due to a knee injury. Charges were not filed against Antrel Rolle stemming from his July 11 arrest on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct outside a Coconut Grove night club. Miami and Florida are looking at playing their game in 2008 at another location—possibly in Orlando or Tampa. (CaneSport.com)
CLEMSON: Josh Miller (6-1, 215), a linebacker from Manning, S. C., has committed to Clemson over FSU, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. He is the No. 1 linebacker recruit in the state according to Rivals.com (TigerIllustrated.com) Defensive lineman Chris McDuffie, who redshirted as a freshman last year, will likely enter a pre-trial intervention program coming from his arrest last month on two felony drug charges. The three-month program allows first-time, nonviolent offenders to avoid a possible conviction and have a clean record upon completion. He has been re-instated to the team. (The State)
GEORGIA TECH: Kyle Fowler (6-2, 196), a linebacker from Altamonte Springs (Fla.) has attended camps at FSU and Florida. He also has written offers from UCF and Temple. A month ago, he named Florida, FSU, Auburn, UCF and Georgia Tech as his top five, but he declined to name his favorites in a recent interview. (JacketsOnline.com)
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR THE CLAY COUNTY LINE IN ORANGE PARK, FL. E-MAIL BRENT AT email@example.com
HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM AND SAMSPORTSLINE.COM.