Uga VIII

UGA football signees

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(Georgia’s press release on its 2012 recruiting class.)

JOHN ATKINS
DL, 6-4, 300
Thomson, Ga., Thomson HS
Born: Dec. 21, 1992…High School: Thomson …SuperPrep All-Dixie Team….Scout.com three-star player, #23 DT in the country, #23 player in the state…Rivals.com three-star player, #40 DT in the country, #52 player in Georgia…ESPNU four-star player, #11 DT in the country, #55 player in the region, #12 player in the state, #119 player in the country…#122 in the ESPNU Top 150…247sports.com four-star player, #17 DT in the country, #16 player in Georgia…Participated in the 2012 Under Armour All-American game…High School Coach: Milan Turner.

COLLIN BARBER
P, 6-2, 191
Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville HS
Born: November 11, 1993…High School: Cartersville… Scout.com three-star prospect…Rivals.com twostar player…ESPN.com three-star player…247sports.com twostar player, #6 punter in the country, #153 player in the state…Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAA All-State team, Member of the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAA First Team…Participated in the 2011 Georgia High School Association All-Star Game…High School Coach: Frank Barden.

FATON BAUTA
QB, 6-3, 225
West Palm Beach, Fla., Dwyer HS
Born: Jan. 2, 1994…High School: North Clayton…SuperPrep All-Dixie Team….Scout.com three-star Player, #24 QB in the country Rivals.com three-star player, #15 dual QB in the country, #79 Player in Florida…ESPN three-star player, #29 QB in the country, #170 player in the Region, #59 player in Florida…247sports.com three-star player, #7 Dual player in the country, #61 player in Florida…Member of the Orlando Sentinel Class 7A Second Team Offense… High School Coach: Jack Daniels.

MARK BEARD
OL, 6-4, 290
Adamsville, Ala., Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
Born: December 1, 1991….Junior College: Coffeyville CC…Honorable mention 2011 NJCAA All-American team…SuperPrep JUCO 100….First team All-Jayhawk Conference 2011…Rivals.com three-star prospect…Scout.com threestar prospect…247Sports.com three-star player, Ranked #50 among JUCO prospects nationally…Coffeyville CC Head Coach: Darian Dulin.High School: Minor HS…Honorable mention Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Team 2009…Birmingham News All-West Metro Team…Participated in 2009 Alabama Mississippi All-Star Game…Ranked as #12 in the state of Alabama according to Maxpreps.com following his senior season…Originally signed with Troy University before choosing to attend Coffeyville Community College….High School Coach: Randy Cook.

JOSH DAWSON
LB, 6-4, 225
Tucker, Ga., Tucker HS
Born: January 10, 1994…High School: Tucker…SuperPrep All-America and All-Dixie Teams…2011 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl Team Scout.com four-star prospect, #27 DE nationally, #19 prospect in the state… Rivals.com four-star prospect, #20 DE nationally, #20 overall prospect in Georgia…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #44 DE nationally…247Sports three-star prospect, #27 ranked DE nationally, #30 ranked overall player in the state of Georgia… 2011 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAAA All-State Team…2010 and 2011 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAA All-State first team…Helped lead Tucker to 2011 GHSA State Championship…As a junior recorded 45 tackles, including 16 sacks…High School Coach: Franklin Stephens.

SHELDON DAWSON
ATH, 5-11, 180
Memphis, Tenn., Ridgeway HS
Born December 17, 1993…High School: Ridgeway…SuperPrep All-America and All-Dixie Teams…AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All Star Game Blue Team…Scout.com four-star recruit, #11 ranked cornerback nationally, #1 player in the state …Rivals.com three star recruit, #27 Athlete nationally, #11 overall in Tennessee… ESPN.com three-star recruit, #69 CB nationally, #28 overall in Tennessee…Maxpreps.com #26 overall in Tennessee… 247sports.com fourstar recruit, #8 ranked Athlete nationally, #92 overall prospect nationally, #1 overall in Tennessee…Threat at RB, WR, and CB positions…Helped lead his team to a 9-4 record in 2011 Head Coach: Duron Sutton.

JAMES DeLOACH
LB, 6-3, 260
Millen, Ga., Jenkins County HS
Born: Feb. 13, 1994…High School: Jenkins County…SuperPrep All-Dixie Team…Espn.com four-star prospect…Rivals.com three-star prospect, ranked #50 overall in the state of Georgia…Scout.com three-star prospect, ranked as #74 DE nationally…247Sports three-star prospect, #37 ranked DE nationally, #46 ranked overall player in the state of Georgia… Teammate of DT Jonathan Taylor who also signed with Georgia…Recorded eight sacks while playing in just four games his junior season, missed most games due to a broken arm…Intends to pursue a degree in radiology…High School Coach: Chuck Conley.

TY FLOURNOY-SMITH
TE, 6-3, 228
Moultrie, Ga., Colquitt County HS
BORN: December 17, 1993…High School: Colquitt County…SuperPrep All-Dixie Team…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #12 TE nationally, #32 overall prospect in Georgia…Scout.com three-star prospect, #18 TE prospect nationally…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #10 TE, #22 in Georgia, #112 in the region…24/7sports.com three-star prospect, #22 TE nationally, #41 overall prospect in Georgia…Atlanta JournalConstitution Class AAAAA All-State…Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAAA All-State First Team …Selected to Georgia High School Association All-Star game…Region 1-AAAAA Offensive Player of the Year…All-Region 1 AAAAA First Team…Helped lead Colquitt County to the state semifinals three-straight years, the only team in Georgia’s highest classification to do so…Had 42 catches for 576 yards in 2010… Ended the 2010 state championship game with seven catches for 84 yards… Recorded 46 catches for 785 yards and five touchdowns in senior year…Caught two-point conversion to lift team to state semifinals in 2011…High School Coach: Rush Propst.

LEONARD FLOYD
LB, 6-4, 215
Eastman, Ga., Dodge County HS
Born: September 8, 1992…High School: Dodge County …..SuprePrep All-Dixie Team…Scout.com fourstar prospect, #18 DE nationally, #142 overall prospect nationally, #11 player in the state…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #13 DE nationally, #177 overall prospect nationally, #12 overall prospect in Georgia…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #28 DE nationally…247Sports four-star prospect, #123 ranked overall player nationally, #10 ranked OLB nationally, #11 ranked overall player in Georgia …Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA AllState Team…Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AA AllState first team…As a junior recorded 81 tackles, including 14 for a loss and six sacks, as well as 549 receiving yards and three touchdowns at tight end…High School Coach: Rex Hodges.

TODD GURLEY
RB, 6-1, 195
Tarboro, N.C., Tarboro HS
Born: August 3, 1994….High School: Tarboro…North Carolina Associated Press Player of the Year for 2011… NCPreps.com 2A Player of the Year for 2011… SuperPrep All-Mid-Atlantic Team…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #11 ranked RB, ranked #10 in state of North Carolina overall…Scout.com four-star prospect, #107 player and #13 ranked RB nationally, #5 player in the state…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #5 ranked RB nationally, #42 ranked overall player, #3 player in state of North Carolina… 247Sports four star prospect, #57 ranked overall player nationally, #6 ranked RB nationally, #5 ranked player overall in the state of North Carolina North Carolina Associated Press First Team All State…ESPNHS North Carolina Magazine First Team All State…Won three consecutive 2A State Championships at Tarboro High School…Rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 State Championship game…As a senior totaled 2,600 yards and 38 touchdowns…Played RB and safety during his Junior season, totaling 1,472 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, as well as 79 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble…Named Rocky Mount Telegram All-Area Offensive Player of the Year for the 2010 season…Ran Track for Team USA in Europe during the Spring and Summer of 2011…High School Coach: Jeff Craddock.

QUAYVON HICKS
RB, 6-2, 245
Blackshear, Ga., Pierce County HS
Born: July 17, 1994…High School: Pierce County…SuperPrep All-Dixie Team…Scout.com threestar prospect, #3 FB nationally, #27 player in the state…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #2 FB nationally, #45 overall prospect in Georgia…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #64 ATH nationally 247sports.com #2 ranked FB nationally, #31 overall prospect in Georgia…2011 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association NorthSouth All-Star Team…Participated in 2011 Under Armour All-American Football Combine…Saw playing time at defensive end, nose tackle, linebacker, tight end and fullback…Also competed on wrestling and track teams… As defensive end, recorded 60 tackles, four sacks, and seven tackles for loss….averaged four yards per carry and scored one TD as RB…lead blocker for seven rushing TD¹s…All-Region second team as DL…High School Coach: Sean Pender.

JORDAN JENKINS
LB, 6-3, 245
Hamilton, Ga., Harris County HS
Born: July 1, 1994…High School: Harris County…SuperPrep Elite 50, All-America, and All-Dixie Teams…ESPNU Top 150…PrepStar 150 Scout.com five-star player, #5 DE and #19 overall prospect in the country, #1 ranked prospect in the state.Rivals.com four-star player, #6 DE and #56 prospect in the country, #3 player in the state…ESPNU four-star player, #8 DE in the country, #32 player in the region, #7 player in the state…247sports.com four-star player, #5 DE and #28 overall prospect in the country, #1 player in Georgia,…Named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 and Class AAAA AllState Team… Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAA first-team…Participated in the Under Armor All-American game…High School Coach: Tommy Parks.

KEITH MARSHALL
RB, 5-11, 190
Raleigh, N.C., Millbrook HS
Born: February 16, 1994…High School: Millbrook…SuperPrep Elite 50, All-America, and All-Mid-Atlantic Teams….Rivals.com four star prospect, #2 RB nationally, #4 player in North Carolina, #48 overall prospect nationally…Scout.com five-star prospect, #1 RB and #12 overall player nationally, #2 player in the state …ESPN.com five-star prospect, #2 RB nationally, #1 player in North Carolina, #1 player in Southeast Region, #5 overall prospect nationally…24/7sports.com fivestar prospect, #1 RB nationally, #2 player in North Carolina, #21 overall prospect nationally…ESPNU 150…PrepStar fivestar prospect, #1 RB nationally and Dream Team 150 (#14)…MaxPrep five-star prospect, #4 RB nationally and #26 overall prospect nationally…Athlonsports.com consensus #6 prospect nationally…The Sporting News #6 overall prospect nationally…played in the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game…North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year…Cap 8 Conference Offensive Player of the Year…HighSchoolOT.com Preseason Player of the Year, 1st team All-State and All-Region…owns Millbrook records for rushing yards in a season and points in a season…Millbrook career-leader in rushing yards with 4,552 and points with 332…as a senior rushed for 1,891 yards and 25 touchdowns on 258 carries, leading Millbrook to a berth in the Class AAAA playoffs…as a junior rushed for 1,539 yards and 17 rushing TDs leading Millbrook to the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs…as a sophomore rushed for 1,165 yards and 11 rushing TDs leading Millbrook to the first round of the Class 4A playoffs…NCHSAA AAAA state 100m champion…High School Coach: Clarence Inscore.

MARSHALL MORGAN
PK, 6-3, 195
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., American Heritage HS
Born: November 28, 1993…High School: American Heritage…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #7 kicker nationally…Scout.com three-star prospect, #7 kicker nationally…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #5 kicker, #104 overall prospect in Florida…24/7sports.com three-star prospect, #6 kicker nationally, #154 overall prospect in Florida… Participated in inaugural Semper Fi Bowl where he hit game-winning 46-yard field goal for the West Team…Four-time All-State selection, including freshman year as a punter… Four-time Sun Sentinel All-County First Team selection…No. 31 on the 2012 Florida Top 100 by Orlando Sentinel…Miami Herald’s No. 25 top recruit from Broward County…No. 10 ranked prospect in Broward County by Sun Sentinel…Hit 15-of-16 field goals and 63-of-64 PATs while averaging 43.7 yards per punt junior year at Archbishop McCarthy…Holds record for longest field goal at Archbishop McCarthy of 53 yards among other multiple records…Tallied 10-of-12 field goals senior year…Kicked field goals of 44, 45 and school-record 59 yards to lead American Heritage to District 15-5A title…59-yard field goal ties record for longest field goal in the county and was longest in Florida for 2011…Voted MVP junior and senior year…High School Coach: Jeff Dellenbach.

GREG PYKE
OL, 6-6, 315
Baltimore, Md., The Boys’ Latin School
Born: June 4, 1993… High School: The Boys’ Latin School…SuperPrep All-Mid-Atlantic Team…2011 Chesapeake Bowl South Roster… 2011 Consensus All-State Football Team…2011 All-MIAA Football Team (B Conference)… 2011 Maryland Crab Bowl All Star Game… 2011 All-Metro First Team Offense…Scout.com three-star prospect, #41 offensive line position player nationally… Rivals.com three-star recruit, #25 offensive guard nationally, #12 overall in Maryland… ESPN.com three-star recruit, #90 offensive line, #16 overall in Maryland… Maxpreps.com #79 overall in Maryland…247sports.com four-star recruit, #23 offensive tackle nationally, #8 overall prospect in Maryland…Has experience at the guard and tackle positions…Highly touted lacrosse recruit…High School Coach: Ritchie Schell.

JONATHAN TAYLOR
DL, 6-4, 315
Millen, Ga.; Jenkins County HS
Born: November 19, 1993…High School Jenkins County…SuperPrep All-America and All-Dixie Teams…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #7 DT nationally, #3 player in Georgia and #72 overall prospect nationally…Scout.com four-star prospect, #9 DT and #76 overall prospect nationally, #4 player in the state…ESPNU four-start prospect, #6 DT nationally, #4 prospect in Georgia, #27 prospect in Southeast Region and #53 overall prospect…24/7sports.com four-star prospect, #63 ranked player nationally, #8 DT nationally, #4 prospect in Georgia and #62 overall prospect nationally…ESPNU 150…PrepStar four-star prospect, #6 DT prospect and Dream Team 150 (#50)…MaxPrep four-and-a-half star prospect, #7 DT prospect and #64 overall prospect…Athlonsports.com consensus #36 overall prospect in the nation…The Sporting News #21 overall prospect nationally…Played in Under Armour All-American Game…Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2011 Georgia’s Super 11 and Class A All-State honorable mention…2011 Super Southeast 120 (#7) by the Mobile (Ala.) Register…MaxPreps.com Lemming Top 100 player and Top 25 DT…High School Coach: Chuck Conley.

JOHN THEUS
OL, 6-6, 292
Jacksonville, Fla., The Bolles School
Born: January 19, 1994…High School: The Bolles School…2011 USA Today All-America first-team offense…Parade Magazine All-America team…2011 Army AllAmerica Team…2011 MaxPreps Top 100…2011 PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team…ESPNU 150….Scout.com five-star prospect, #2 offensive lineman and #7 overall prospect nationally, #1 player in the state…Rivals.com five-star prospect, #5 OT nationally, #3 overall prospect in Florida, #23 overall prospect nationally…ESPNU four-star prospect, #5 OT and #28 overall prospect nationally, #7 ranked player in Florida…247Sports.com four-star prospect, #35 ranked overall player nationally, #3 ranked OT nationally, #5 ranked overall player in the state of Florida…2011 Florida Times-Union Super 11 and Class AAAA All-State first team…Helped lead Bolles to FHSAA state titles in 2009 and 2011, as well as an undefeated regular season and district title in 2010…Competed in shot put and discus on track and field team…High School Coach: Corky Rogers.

BLAKE TIBBS
WR, 6-2, 185
Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King, Jr. HS
Born: October 21, 1993… High School: Martin Luther King, Jr. …SuperPrep All-Dixie Team…Class AAAAA All-State Offensive Team… 2011 Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Class AAAAA First Team Offense… Scout.com three-star recruit, #52 wide receiver nationally, #25 player in the state… Rivals.com three-star recruit, #65 wide receiver, #21 overall in Georgia… ESPN.com three-star recruit, #75 wide receiver, #60 overall in Georgia… Maxpreps.com #47 wide receiver, #13 overall in Georgia… 247sports.com threestar recruit, #57 wide receiver nationally, #29 overall prospect in Georgia…As a junior he caught 60 passes for 1,054 yards and 8 touchdowns… As a senior he caught 63 passes for 1,065 yards and 15 touchdowns… Returned kicks and punts for his team… Led Martin Luther King, Jr. to a 12-1 record in 2011… Head Coach: Michael Carson.

Arizona signee My-King Johnson set to become FBS’ first active openly gay scholarship player

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Arizona Wildcats watches from the sidelines during the Territorial Cup college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Arizona signee My-King Johnson probably caught most Wildcats’ fans attention with his impressive name when it was listed among the 23 signees for the football program on National Signing Day.

The 6-3, 225 pound defensive end’s name is set to become a little more well known however.

In a story on Saturday in the Arizona Daily Star, Johnson confirmed that he would become the first active openly gay scholarship player in FBS when he enrolls over the summer down in Tucson.

“I do feel like when I say that, it can put a target on my back,” Johnson told the paper about going public with his sexuality. “But whatever.”

Johnson is far from the only gay athlete to play major college football but does appear to be one of the first to go public on the matter prior to suiting up for a major program. Missouri’s Michael Sam came out once he entered the NFL Draft. Just up the road in Tempe, where Johnson went to high school, Arizona State walk-on Chip Sarafin told his teammates in 2014.

From the Daily Star:

When Johnson told UA assistant Vince Amey about his sexuality while being recruited, the coach’s reaction — “We want you to be a Wildcat” — was exactly what he wanted to hear.

Johnson picked the Wildcats despite offers from numerous FBS programs, including many in the Pac-12. Perhaps coincidentally, he really jumped on the radar of the coaching staff when he sacked quarterback Rhett Rodriguez, an Arizona signee himself (and the son of head coach Rich Rodriguez), three times in a high school game.

It certainly seems as though Johnson is very comfortable telling his story to a wider audience than just his teammates and coaches by doing the interview with the Daily Star and the environment down in Tucson has been very welcoming to all the new attention that it will bring. As the Wildcats begin spring practice this month, chances are the coaching staff is probably just as excited about the prospect of Johnson making an instant impact on defense this fall after seeing plenty of issues on that side of the ball during a 3-9 campaign in 2016.

Central Michigan AD taking same position at Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 25:  Wide receiver Samajie Grant #10 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates after scoring on a two yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the fourth quarter of the Territorial Cup college football game at Arizona Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Arizona has its replacement for former athletic director Greg Byrne.

Central Michigan AD Dave Heeke is set to take the same position in Tucson with the Wildcats, the school announced Saturday afternoon.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Arizona Athletics family. It is truly an honor to be named the new Vice President for Athletics and have the opportunity to return to the prestigious Pac-12 Conference,” Heeke said in a release. “I want to thank Dr. Hart and those involved with the search process for their confidence in my ability to lead one of the premiere athletics departments in the country. This program is about excellence and we will continue to focus on achieving at the very highest level athletically and academically, while creating the finest experience in the country for our student-athletes.

Heeke has been in Mount Pleasant since early 2006 and found plenty of success with the MAC school across numerous sports. In football, he notably hired Butch Jones to replace Brian Kelly when the latter left for Cincinnati and has seen the Chippewas make a bowl game eight times during his tenure.

While he is a Michigan native, he’s no stranger to the way things operate out West having spent 18 years at Oregon. While he held a variety of roles in Eugene, he eventually became a senior associate athletic director with the Ducks before departing for CMU.

Arizona had a vacancy in their athletic leadership ever since Byrne left to become Alabama’s AD not long after the national title game in January.

UTEP’s Theron Aych named new receivers coach at Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 10:  Wide receiver Trey Griffey #5 of the Arizona Wildcats catches the ball in front of defensive back Jaterious Pouncey #48 of the Grambling State Tigers for a 34 yard touchdown in the third quarter at Arizona Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Spring practice is already underway in Tucson but it took until the end of this week for Arizona to finally have a complete offensive coaching staff.

The Wildcats announced on Saturday that Theron Aych would be taking over as the team’s new receivers coach, filling a vacancy created when Tony Dews left for West Virginia.

Aych helped provide a nice boost to the Miners’ passing game in his one season in El Paso and spent five seasons at Division II Angelo State prior to that. He served as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach with the Rams during his five-year stint before moving up to the FBS level.

The Pac-12 is no new experience for Aych though, as he served as a graduate assistant at Washington over a decade ago.

Aych should have his work cut out for him this spring with the team featuring plenty of young players at the receiver position while also dealing with the loss of standouts like Trey Griffey and reliable veteran Nate Phillips both gone.

Colorado rounds out new defensive staff with hire of former Purdue DC Ross Els

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 22:  Head coach Mike MacIntyre of the Colorado Buffaloes looks on prior to the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks defeated the Buffaloes 44-10.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Just in the nick of time, Mike MacIntyre has rounded out his new defensive staff for the 2017 season.

The Buffaloes announced on Friday evening that former Purdue defensive coordinator Ross Els would be joining the program and serving as inside linebackers coach. The release notes that Els’ paperwork was completed in time for him to join the team for their second practice of spring ball.

“Coach Ross Els brings a lot of energy,” MacIntyre said.  “He has great experience as a coordinator, positions coach and special teams coach, and we’re really excited about having his expertise in those phases in our program.”

Els adds plenty of experience to Boulder, having coached linebackers at New Mexico State, Ohio and Nebraska. In addition, he was the Boilermakers’ defensive coordinator  and safeties coach last season.

The move completes the staff for the Buffs after seeing a number of coaches depart to Oregon with former coordinator Jim Leavitt.