While many high school seniors are trying to figure where they want to go to college, Shiloh's Eugene Glenn already has his post college plans in order.
The Generals' running back committed to the Air Force football program, but it was the benefits after college that persuaded him more than the X's and O's.
"It's like going to an Ivy League school for the academics and then BCS football, so it's the best of both worlds," Glenn said. "I'm guaranteed a job after I graduate and with the economy the way it is that's pretty good."
Glenn received the offer from Air Force in May and was drawing interest from Eastern Michigan. He pulled the trigger on his commitment just before Thanksgiving.
"I knew in my mind that's where I wanted to go, so I decided to quit procrastinating and commit," Glenn said.
Glenn, who maintains a 3.5 GPA and scored 1,420 on SAT, said he plans to be a dentist and the Air Force Academy provided him the best opportunity. An Air Force education is estimated to be worth $400,000.
Glenn will join fellow Gwinnett products Asher Clark (Peachtree Ridge) and Cody Getz (Buford) at Air Force. The Falcons were 7-5 last season, which included two overtime losses and a 20-17 defeat to TCU, who will play in the Fiesta Bowl. Glenn will take his official visit in January after the Falcons' bowl game with Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.
"The football team is great," Glenn said. "They only lost to TCU by three points and when I did my research on them I said these boys can play football. They run the spread, triple option kind of like Georgia Tech and I like that as a running back."
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Glenn led Shiloh in rushing with 608 yards and eight touchdowns. Glenn, who runs a 4.32-second 40-yard dash, was also a state qualifier in track last season.
"I have to get stronger and faster and get ready for college football," Glenn said.
Pemberton talk of the fair
One by one college coaches were amazed that running back Grayson Ean Pemberton had not been snatched up by a Division I program at Monday's Gwinnett Touchdown Club Recruiting Fair.
The Rams' running back, who has more than 4,000 career rushing yards and 38 TDs, has no offers from a Division I school. The 5-foot-4, 150-pound running back has offers from several Division I schools (formerly I-AA) and Division II schools, but none from Division I.
"It's a shame because he's the best running back in the state in my opinion," Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. "He can play Division I-A. They wouldn't be tacking a chance, he's a very productive player."
Pemberton rushed for 1,775 yards and 17 touchdowns this season to lead the Rams to their second straight Region 8-AAAAA title and a trip to the state quarterfinals.
Hurt players get a look at fair
The biggest benefitors of Monday's Gwinnett Touchdown Club Recruiting Fair were high school players that had little game film available.
Several standout players were hurt this year or did not play as juniors and the recruiting fair allowed players to get some much needed college interest.
Parkview quarterback Kalik Barnes missed a few weeks with a broken jaw and his recruiting interest might be different had he not gotten hurt.
"It would have not been a lot different," Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said.
The same came be said for Wesleyan's Anderson Porter, who was hurt and out for most of the season, and Mill Creek's Huram Joseph, who was out for the entire season.
Grayson's Frank Bebbs and Collins Hill receiver Cameron Nolan and defensive tackle Nick Diemer didn't play football last year and had standout senior seasons.
"This is first real opportunity to get them out there and that's the great thing about an event like this, kids that didn't play as juniors this is great opportunity to get themselves out there," Collins Hill coach Billy Wells said. "Events like this make it feasible for those kids to play."
Coaches not happy with NCAA
The sentiment was agreed upon by every Gwinnett County coach that the NCAA should not have banned Division I and I schools from attending recruiting fairs, like the one at the Gwinnett Civic Center.
While the exact rule was not clear, big-time programs like Georgia and Alabama to Georgia Southern and Georgia State were not allowed at Monday's fair.
"The rationale behind that I'm not sure. But I do know one thing, by them not being allowed to be here that's not good for high school football," Wells said. "One coach can hit 62 high schools in an hour. How long would it take to drive to 62 high schools to see those kids? From an exposure standpoint, them not being allowed to be here hurts our programs. It's a negative for high school football."
Most Division I programs already have their recruiting classes lined up for 2010, but can use recruiting fairs to look at junior prospects. But the ban really hurt Division I schools like Georgia Southern and Georgia State.
"They are hurting the kids. They are creating a rule for big programs like Florida and Georgia, but they don't need something like this," North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said. "They already have who they want, this is for the smaller schools. They've created a rule like that and it hurts the kids."
Here's what other coaches had to say about the NCAA rule.
"It's all about the kids and getting them as much exposure. It's a shame the NCAA won't let it happen," South Gwinnett's John Small said.
"I can't believe the NCAA won't let Division I and I-AA be here, especially with travel expenses. You've got all these schools under one roof. I think the NCAA did a mistake to the coaches and players, but it's a great opportunity to be seen by the smaller schools," Berkmar's John Thompson said.
"I don't understand that. The I-A got the guys they want already, but the I-AA don't. It's shocking to me because it hurts the kids. It's ridiculous. When a college coach can come in and see 60 high schools in one recruiting trip it helps a lot," Dacula's Kevin Maloof said.