I have begun a two-week trip that will take me through most of the states in the Southeast. I will drive about 7,000 miles and meet about 300 football players, including 100 in Florida.
Last Saturday, I interviewed 20 of the top 25 players in the Atlanta area during a session at Georgia Tech. It was 15 degrees with four inches of snow on the ground at 7 o'clock in the morning. Some kids couldn't get to the meeting because they didn't know how to navigate through the snow. The weather was something they had never experienced. Hey, on Sunday, it as in the 40s in Palm Beach, Florida.
My brother is a policeman in Marietta, Georgia, and he claims people don't know how to drive in the snow. There were accidents everywhere.
Earlier, in Nashville, Tennessee, I met 6-7, 310-pound Antonio Richardson, the top offensive lineman in the state. I also met 6-3, 230-pound defensive lineman Matt Everett, who was recommended by his uncle, country singer Tim McGraw.
Overall, the state of Georgia has a lot of talent. The two best players are 6-4, 235-pound defensive end Ray Drew of Thomasville, who is an ordained minister at age 17, and 6-5, 240-pound tight end Jay Rome of Valdosta.
Drew has been offered by Notre Dame, Florida, Georgia, Miami, USC, Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan. Rome has as many offers, including Notre Dame. They are the two most recruited prospects in the state.
Jeoffrey Pagan of Ashville, N.C., a 6-3, 255-pounder, is one of the most highly recruited defensive ends in the nation. He looks great on film.
Other Georgians to watch are 6-6, 255-pound defensive end Stephon Tuitt of Monroe, who looks like an NFL player, and 6-1, 220-pound linebacker James Vaughters of Tucker, who has been offered by Notre Dame and several southern schools. Also 6-4, 250-pound defensive end Xzavier Dickson of Griffin.
At Georgia Tech, I renewed acquaintances with Al Groh, the former head coach at Virginia who now is defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.
Guess who was visiting the campus while I was there? Florida coach Urban Meyer, who said he had begun his leave of absence to regain his health. He was watching his daughter, a volleyball player at Georgia Tech.
Georgia is a popular state for Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan recruiters. They seem to be the only northern schools that are capable of luring southern kids away from the warm weather. Notre Dame has offered at least five players in Georgia and 10 in Florida.
The No. 1 player in the nation continues to be James Wilder of Tampa, Fla., a 6-2, 220-pound running back/linebacker who is the son of former All-Pro running back James Wilder of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has over 50 scholarship offers.