Bobby Petrino famously made headlines when he left the Atlanta Falcons before the season was over in 2007.
The Western Kentucky head coach pulled another shocker in December.
Petrino took away the scholarship of South Gwinnett’s Dennis Edwards despite being committed to the Hilltopers for four months.
“I wasn’t mad,” Edwards said. “I’d rather it happen now than when I got up there. It was shocking because I had an in-home visit just two or three days before it happened.”
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Edwards was a four-year starter for South at center. He committed to Western Kentucky over dozens of Division I-FCS schools in August. Since December, Edwards has picked up offers from Temple, Troy and Middle Tennessee.
“I lost one, but I gained some good ones,” Edwards said.
Edwards was a two-time all-state selection and played in the Rising Seniors Bowl in 2012 and the North-South All-Star game in 2013.
Edwards had an 88 percent blocking grade this season with 24 pancake blocks and 32 knockdowns to help South reach the state playoffs for the second year in a row.
The only explanation Edwards was given for having his scholarship pulled was Petrino felt he was too small to play offensive line for Western Kentucky.
“When I get back to school, I’m going to sit down with my head coach and set up my visits,” Edwards said. “I’m going to move on.”
Autry, Carter plan Signing Day announcements
Norcross’ Myles Autry and Lorenzo Carter are Gwinnett County’s highest rated players that are still uncommitted. The duo have said since the summertime they would make their college decision known on National Signing Day.
That hasn’t changed with Carter and Autry planning college visits the rest of the month.
Carter, the state’s No. 1 ranked recruit, is scheduled to visit LSU on Jan. 17, Florida State on Jan. 24 and Georgia on Jan. 31. National Signing Day is Feb. 5.
Carter had 125 tackles and six sacks this season despite having to avoid two blockers on nearly every play.
Autry plans to take visits to Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and Georgia Tech. His older brother Anthony is a receiver at Tech.
Autry injured his knee at the end of his junior season and had surgery to repair it last winter. The senior never looked the same during the regular season, but he returned to his old form in the playoffs. Autry scored the game winning touchdown against Colquitt in the semifinals. The receiver then had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 69-yard touchdown catch to seal the state championship.
Wesleyan’s Johnson headed to Harvard
Wesleyan offensive/defensive lineman Stuart Johnson committed to Harvard last month.
“Happy to announce my commitment to play football for Harvard University #GoCrimson,” Stuart posted on Twitter.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman was a second-team all-state selection on the defensive line. He made 45 tackles to help Wesleyan reach the state playoffs for the second year in a row.
Johnson chose Harvard over offers from Air Force, Appalachian State, Charleston Southern and Tennessee-Chattanooga.
He’s the third Gwinnett player to chose an Ivy League school, joining Greater Atlanta Christian quarterback Rafe Chapple (Yale) and Buford linebacker Deion King (Princeton).
Brookwood grad Priester to join Clemson
Brookwood’s Ky Priester signed with Clemson on National Signing Day last year, but spent this fall at Fork Union Military Academy to get academically qualified. Priester will begin class at Clemson today.
Priester was one of the state’s top receivers in 2012, catching 56 passes for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns.
What: National Signing Day
When: Feb. 5
Noteworthy: First day high school seniors can sign a National Letter of Intent