December 8, 2011

Come inside the War Room



Tuesday, Scottsdale CC (Ariz.) tight end Blake Jackson announced his intention to go to Oklahoma State. But had he not been offered by Oklahoma, he very well could have been a Dawg.

After his official visit to Georgia on Kentucky weekend, Jackson said he ranked it a 10 and thought it couldn't get much better but wanted to wait for things to settle in.

On the Tuesday following his UGA official, Jackson told UGASports.com that he had made his decision and would tell the coaches the next morning. However, on Wednesday, Oklahoma called Jackson up with an offer and set up an official visit for that weekend. Jackson then said he'd delay his decision and take his last two officials, which ended up turning the tide for the Cowboys.

Marshall mayhem

Right up until the moment the country's No. 1 all-purpose running back took to the podium to publicly give his verbal to the University of Georgia, rumors of him flipping to Clemson, and even Florida, stirred up the already highly anticipated event.

Few people knew the outcome, one select person was friend and fellow UGA target Todd Gurley. Marshall's written thank you prompt for his announcement even left any mention of the program he'd attend blank, with a note underneath written by hand "Keep it confidential." So while much of the hoopla regarding his indecision wasn't just for show, most of the rumors that fueled the fire, like that Florida coaches were told he was going to Clemson, were misinformed.

His circle of people in the know was very small, so many of the 'insider reports were based more in hearsay than anything else. Below is a more realistic timeline of the events leading up to the decision.

Indeed, Marshall was still torn the night before, choosing between Clemson and Georgia. Mark Richt offering Florida de-commit Mike Davis only added fuel to the flames that Georgia had thought it had lost its chances with the North Carolina standout hours before his press conference. Even as close as three hour until Marshall was set to decide, sources close to the Clemson coaches said they felt they were in the fight 50-50.

With almost exactly 1:15 to the announcement, that same source said the coaches had been told he'd be a Dawg. So while it did come down to the wire, Marshall insisted the decision was driven by following his heart, advice given to him by Clemson players he was close with.

What will Gurley do?

According to people close to Gurley, his favorite team, North Carolina, is going to be given every opportunity to win over the three star athlete.

In a conversation on Tuesday, before the Marshall decision, a source close to Gurley told UGASports that Georgia's decision to offer Mike Davis was a result of the in home visit that running backs coach Bryan McClendon had with Gurley on Monday.

While Gurley has let the Georgia staff know that UNC will get a shot for his services, the same source told UGASports on Wednesday that they had reason to believe that UGA is still in great shape with Gurley and it will take a great deal of effort from North Carolina to win over Gurley.

Latest on Avery Young

Palm Beach Gardens offensive tackle Avery Young is arguably the top player left on Georgia's board, and he will be taking his official visit to Athens this weekend for the annual Senior Gala.

Things have been quiet for Young, but a source close to the Sunshine State lineman has told UGASports.com that Young has "really cooled on Florida." That same source has said that Young has been talking a great deal about Georgia and that he likes Georgia's situation on the offensive line right now because he knows he can come and play for three or four years.

The UGA coaches are working hard on Young because if they can land him to go with John Theus, it will give them two elite prospects on the offensive line for 2012.

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