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Getz ready to prove doubters wrong at next level

Cody Getz has proven to high school football fans across the state that you don't have to be big to be successful.

Now the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Buford running back will make his case to the rest of the country.

Getz committed to Air Force on Monday, choosing the service academy over Wofford, Georgia Southern and walk-on offers from Georgia and Florida.

"I've been proving my whole life that size doesn't matter, now I get to do it on the biggest level in college football, so I'm excited," Getz said.

Getz will be joined by teammate Devin Durden, who committed to Air Force on Sunday after a visit to the school in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"I'm really excited for Cody and Devin," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said.

Durden, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end, made nine catches for 153 yards last season for the Class AA state champions.

Getz was one of the most exciting players in the state as a running back and kick returner with his 4.38-second 40-yard dash speed. The senior rushed for 1,359 yards and 27 touchdowns despite sharing carries with junior Storm Johnson. Getz was a Daily Post All-County selection and was named the Georgia Sports Writers Association's Class AA Offensive Player of the Year.

One of Getz's first college scholarship offers was from Air Force last summer and the school continued to recruit him hard throughout the football season.

"I knew deep down Air Force was the place to go and I finally realized it's the best decision I could make right now," Getz said.

Getz visited Air Force on Jan. 16 and had a visit to Georgia last weekend.

"They wanted me as a preferred walk-on," Getz said of Georgia. "As much as that sounds like a good opportunity for someone, I just knew Air Force has wanted me since last July and they think enough of me that I can play there and offer me. I'm definitely glad of the decision I made."

When Getz made his visit to Air Force the coaches compared him to another Gwinnett County product, Wesleyan's Chad Hall. The 5-8, 180-pound Hall was a lot like Getz in his game-changing abilities and was an Air Force Heisman Trophy candidate in 2007.

"They compared me to Chad," Getz said. "They said I'm my own person and want me to make a bigger name for myself than he did. That boosted my morale."

Air Force graduates are required to serve a five-year commitment in the military, but Getz said he wasn't concerned about his post-college life.

"It's not like what everyone thinks. Everyone thinks the moment I graduate I'm going over to Iraq and that's definitely not the case," said Getz, who maintains a 3.9 GPA. "I'm getting the best education possible in America. My future is looking nothing but bright right now."

Jarry still without an offer

Tyler Jarry has been one of the top players in Gwinnett County the last two years, but the North Gwinnett standout does not have a college scholarship offer despite efforts by the North coaching staff.

"Right now, honestly, I don't have much going on," Jarry said. "I don't know what's going to happen."

Jarry visited Appalachian State last weekend, but the Division I-AA power did not offer him. Jarry has been offered a walk-on spot at Georgia Tech.

"I'm pretty disappointed. I'm not too down or worried," Jarry said. "I do believe my academics are strong enough that it will take care of me."

Jarry maintains a 3.4 GPA and has also put up impressive numbers on the football field. As a hybrid running back/receiver in North's spread offense, Jarry is Gwinnett County's all-time leader in receptions. He also runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.

"Tyler has been such a phenomenal football player it's disappointing he doesn't have many opportunities based on his productivity," North head coach Bob Sphire said.

As a senior, he rushed for 862 yards and 11 TDs and was third in the county with 53 receptions for 736 yards and one TD. His junior year, he led the Bulldogs to the state finals while rushing for 856 yards and 16 TDs, along with setting a county record for receptions in a season with 72 for 804 yards and seven TDs.

UTC gets a 'steal' with Wise

The chance to play close to home was too much for Kadeem Wise to pass up. The Berkmar standout committed to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga last week, which is a short two-hour drive from Gwinnett.

"I think it's going to be a good opportunity for him," Berkmar head coach John Thompson said. "I think Kadeem can start right away or at least compete for a starting job."

Wise chose the Mocs over James Madison, Presbyterian and Valdosta State.

"They are getting a very good cornerback and kick returner," Thompson said. "They got a steal. He's a Division I talent."

Wise originally committed to Duke last year, but backed out in December. The Daily Post All-County selection made 51 tackles on defense and caught six passes for 110 yards and one touchdown.

"He felt right at home at UTC and he's going to get a good education there," Thompson said.

Powell headed to JSU

Mill Creek's James Powell committed to Jacksonville State over the weekend, becoming the third Hawk to make his college choice.

The 6-2, 200-pound linebacker made 61 tackles and three sacks last season. He also had seven catches for 64 yards on offense.

Powell joins teammates Ryan Robinson (Oklahoma State) and Jordan Johnson (Middle Tennessee) as college commitments.

Three Central players make college choices

Central Gwinnett's Kaycee Ike will be part of a historic signing class as the senior will ink with upstart program Georgia State next week.

Ike is one of three Central players who have made college commitments, joining Edmund Kugbila (Valdosta State) and Khary Powell (Fordham).

Georgia State will not start playing football until 2010, but the Panthers will have their first football signing class on National Signing Day.

Ike (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) and Kugbila (6-4, 330) were dominant offensive linemen for Central, helping running back Diante Drake to another 1,000-yard rushing season.

Powell, a 5-11, 180-pound linebacker, made 27 tackles for the Black Knights last season.

North's Thomas commits to D-II powerhouse

The pipeline from Gwinnett County to Valdosta continues.

North Gwinnett's Jake Thomas committed to Division II power Valdosta State, joining 11 other Gwinnett grads returning for the 2009 season.

The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Thomas was the anchor of the Bulldogs' offensive line the last two years at center. Thomas was a Daily Post All-County selection and paved the way for an offense that put up 4,770 yards and 31 points a game.

"Jake was the leader of the offensive line, making all calls for the front for our run game and for our pass protection schemes," North head coach Bob Sphire said in an e-mail. "He is relentless as a run blocker, very efficient in his pass sets, with the mobility to be very effective in the screen game."

Thomas is the third Bulldog to make a college commitment, joining quarterback Mikey Tamburo (Boise State) and tight end Kenny Barnes (Wofford).

Valdosta State is consistently one of the top team's in the Gulf South Conference. The Blazers reached the second round of the playoffs last year and won the national championship in 2007 and 2004.