Recruiting threads have had a mixed run here at Dawg Sports lately. That will not stop me from posting another one. This evening Valdosta standouts tight end Jay Rome and receiver/cornerback Malcolm Mitchell will announce their respective college choices in separate ceremonies in Titletown, U.S.A. As I understand it Rome will be declaring at 5:30 and Mitchell will make his (totally-nonbinding) selection between Georgia and Alabama at 7:00 at a local hibachi restaurant. Which I can't blame him for. There's no special occasion that's not made better with the addition of seared shrimp tossed straight into your mouth by a gifted chef/comedian, right?
My guess continues to be that Rome chooses Georgia. He's stated publicly that Georgia has been the leader for him, other prospects have pointed to him as the "ringleader" of Mark Richt's Dream Team, and he's being recruited primarily by one of the southeast's best recruiters (John Lilly) to play a position which Georgia has always recruited and utilized well under Mark Richt. If Jay Rome does not choose Georgia, well, it has the looks of a Walter Cronkite moment for Georgia's 2011 recruiting class. If we don't have him, it's hard to imagine who we do have. But with the tight ends already in Athens in 2011 and 2012, it wouldn't be a crippling blow for, you know, the actual football team that actually plays football games. But again, my guess is Georgia.
Malcolm Mitchell is a tougher one. I'm not sure where he's headed and frankly I'm not sure he is either. I do know that the latest Rivals' recruiting rankings have moved Mitchell all the way up to the #30 spot in their list of the 100 best prospects in the land. That's just one spot short of the cutoff for the coveted "5th star" that so many recruitniks watch for like they're traipsing to Bethlehem. Suffice it to say, Malcolm Mitchell is a very athletically gifted young man, everyone including Mark Richt knows this, and as a Georgia football fan you should want him to put on the red and black hat tonight rather than the crimson one.
Mitchell could pick either Georgia or Alabama and I wouldn't be a bit surprised. I do know that coaches from Georgia and Alabama were both at Valdosta this morning for one final word. I do not know if they ordered the pizza or the chicken sandwich in the cafeteria, but I'll see what I can find out. I don't know the tailnumber of the plane Kirby Smart flew out on, but I do know he didn't take Mike Bobo with him, despite tankertoad's generous offer to pack his bags and a bologna sandwich for the trip, and even fly the bird to Tuscaloosa for them. Pretty ungrateful, if you ask me.
If Mitchell does choose the Taahhhhddddd, look for Georgia to make a late offer to M.L. King wide receiver Demarco Robinson. He's a diminuitive, slot receiver-type who recently set the Georgia record for receiving yards in a a season (a jaw-dropping 1655 yards on 73 receptions, 27 of which went for touchdowns). Robinson committed to Kentucky back in November over offers from Minnesota, Louisville and others, but Georgia has maintained interest in him throughout the recruiting process. I believe Mitchell is a very special player who could see time early for the Bulldogs at either receiver or corner. But if Robinson could be swayed from the Wildcats it would be a nice consolation prize. No matter what, you can share the excitement and/or sheer panic wrought by the decisions of disproportionately athletic teenagers right here.
On an unrelated note, I've been storing up content for the stretch run to National Signing Day and think we have a enough nutty goodness to get you to the most wonderful Tuesday in February. There will be signees worth toasting, rivals for roasting, and prospects you don't even know. Scary decommitment stories and interviews with the ghosties from Signing Days long, long ago. Stay tuned. Until later . . .