0

RECRUITING NOTES: Jackson decommits from Illinois

Brookwood High School varsity Football head shots. 2011

Brookwood High School varsity Football head shots. 2011

Gwinnett County college commitment list

Six months ago, Brookwood senior Zach Jackson thought he would spend the next four years playing college football at Illinois.

Then Illini head coach Ron Zook was fired and Jackson's college future was uncertain.

The 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back still had intentions of playing for Illinois, but that changed less than two weeks ago when he decommitted.

Jackson took an official visit to Texas Christian University this weekend and committed to the Horned Frogs on Saturday. He's the third player from Gwinnett to decommit to a school this month. National Signing Day is on Feb. 1.

"With Ron Zook getting let fired, I wanted to take my talents elsewhere," Jackson said.

Jackson told the Daily Post earlier this month that he planned to stick with his commitment to Illinois after Zook was let go in Novemeber. However, he still had not met new head coach Tim Bekman and his staff at the time.

"I wasn't comfortable with them like the previous coaching staff," Jackson said.

That prompted the de-commitment and opening the recruiting process back up for Jackson. He had interest from Wake Forest and Indiana, who originally recruited him, but once TCU stepped in the picture he knew that's where he wanted to be for the next four years. TCU will move to the Big 12 conference next season and is 36-3 the last three season in the Mountain West Conference.

"I knew I wanted to go there," Jackson said. "I like everything about it. The campus is beautiful. It's a private school, so they have a lot of money put into it."

Jackson was a Daily Post all-county selection, making 58 tackles and two interceptions. As a junior, he helped Brookwood to the Class AAAAA state championship.

It's not uncommon for a player to change schools late in the recruiting process. Jackson is the third Gwinnett senior to de-commit from a Division I school. Like Jackson, Collins Hill's Andrew Everett de-committed after a coaching change. The defensive end was originally headed to Southern Mississippi, but now is going to Old Dominion. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Everett will join former teammate and record-setting quarterback Taylor Heinicke at ODU.

Grayson defensive lineman Sebastian Rice de-committed from Georgia State and is now headed to Furman, according to his head coach.

"He went on some visits and liked Furman," Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. "I think he felt it was a better fit."

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Rice made 39 tackles and six sacks to help Grayson to the Class AAAAA state championship.

Dacula's Capobianco picks West Georgia

A month ago Rocky Capobianco didn't have any college football scholarship offers.

That all changed in the last three weeks. The Daily Post's Offensive Player of the Year picked up offers from Brevard, Valdosta State and West Georgia in recent weeks.

On Sunday he committed to Division II school West Georgia.

"It felt great to finally get an offer and then another one came," Capobianco said. "I'm excited to get the chance to keep playing for another four years."

Despite leading Gwinnett County in rushing with 1,403 yards and 13 touchdowns as a running back/quarterback, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Capobianco is being recruited as a cornerback by West Georgia. Capobianco started the last five games of the season at the position.

Capobianco visited West Georgia two weeks ago and rival Valdosta State last weekend. After the visit to South Georgia, he made the decision to go with the Wolves, who beat the No. 1 team in the nation last season.

"It just felt right there. I felt like they are a program on the rise," Capobianco said.

Capobainco is the third member of Dacula's senior class to make a college commitment, joining offensive lineman Corey Levin (Tennessee-Chattanooga) and defensive back Juanye Roberts (Dean Junior College).

Duluth's Stewart going to Middle Tenn.

Duluth quarterback Anfornee Stewart committed to Middle Tennessee State over the weekend, choosing the Blue Raiders over interest from Michigan State and Central Florida.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Stewart threw for 1,538 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He missed three games with an ankle injury and also played as a defensive back.

Offensive lineman Nick Wasylyk committed to Tusculum, a Division II school in Tennessee.

Buford adds two commitments

Buford has never had more than nine players sign college scholarships on National Signing Day. The Wolves could break that record on Feb. 1. Defensive lineman Dequan Clark has committed to Georgia Southern and offensive lineman Robert Hill is headed to Tennessee-Chattanooga. That gives Buford nine commitments for its senior class.

Clark made 31 tackles and one sack for the Wolves, while Hill helped pave the way for a Buford offense that had more than 5,000 yards and averaged 43.1 points a game.

Buford signed nine players with its 2004, 2008 and 2010 classes.

Grayson and Peachtree Ridge hold the county record for most signees in a season with 12.

Eagles' duo make college choices

Teammates Jermichael Bailey and Jordan Parker also made commitments last week, choosing Charleston Southern and Middle Tennessee, respectively.

Bailey, a linebacker, made 62 tackles, 1 sack and an interception this season.

Parker was third in the county in rushing with 1,212 yards and 12 touchdowns to earn Daily Post second-team all-county honors.

GAC's Thomas headed to Presbyterian

Greater Atlanta Christian linebacker George Thomas has committed to Presbyterian College. Thomas made six tackles and one sack for the Spartans this season.

More Lions make commitments

Peachtree Ridge had five players make college commitments over the weekend, giving the Lions seven commitments.

Alex Gray, an all-county defensive back selection, will continue his playing career at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. Gray made 57 tackles and one interception to lead the Lions to an 8-3 record and the first round of the state playoffs.

Offensive lineman Alex Jauregui is headed to Middle Tennessee State University, while defensive backs D'Aron Hill (Valdosta State), Christian Goodlett (Hutchinson Community College) and Denzel Ozieh (West Georgia) will also play at the next level.

The group joins defensive back Ray Buchanan (Arkansas) and Di Andre Atwater (Princeton), who already made their college commitments.

Parkview's Reid going to Ohio

Parkview senior Jordan Reid, a quickly rising star on the recruiting circuit in recent months, made a commitment over the weekend to the Ohio University football program.

Reid, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound wide receiver, focused on basketball for most of his high school career, but became a star when he joined the football team as a senior. He caught 41 passes for 549 yards last season, including two big touchdown catches vs. Brookwood. He also had 11 catches for 144 yards and an interception in the Panthers' final game against Dacula.

Reid is the third Panther to make a college commitment, joining Patrick Flowe (Georgia Southern and Wyatt Hammond (Chattahoochee Tech).

Central's record breaker Jones headed to Appalachian St.

Record-breaking Central Gwinnett senior Malachi Jones made a commitment to the Appalachian State football program this past weekend.

Jones made a county-record 82 catches this past season for 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns after transferring from Wesleyan. As a Wesleyan junior, he caught 45 passes for 638 yards and 11 scores.

He is the son of former Notre Dame football player Andre Jones, a member of the Fighting Irish's 1988 national championship team. His older brother T.J. just finished his sophomore season at Notre Dame.

Norcross' Tolbert going to VSU

Norcross receiver J.T. Tolbert committed to Division II power Valdosta State over the weekend.

Tolbert made 17 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns to help the Blue Devils to an 8-3 record and the first round of the playoffs.

Archer duo going to Coffeyville JC

Two key members of third-year program Archer's birth to the state playoffs have made college commitments. Linebacker Derrick Parker and quarterback Jarvis Holley are headed to Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas.

Holley rushed for 710 yards and eight TDs, while Parker was second in the county in tackles with 119 stops. The duo helped guide the Tigers to the state playoffs for the first time.

Comets' pair chooses Gardner-Webb

South Gwinnett's Arlando Griffin and Azziz Higgins have committed to Gardner-Webb over the weekend. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Griffin led the team with 73 tackles and five sacks as a defensive lineman. The 6-2, 185-pound Higgins made 69 tackles for the Comets.