UGA recruit Jackson preparing for prep school

Griffin’s Toby Jackson, the only member of Georgia’s incoming recruiting class not to qualify, is disappointed about missing his opportunity to play for the No. 1 team in the nation.

Instead of practicing with the Bulldogs, where he was expected to contribute at defensive end, Jackson has been working out with some high school buddies in preparation for reporting on Friday to Hargrave (Va.) Military Prep.

“I wouldn’t say I’m heart-broken, but it hurts,” Jackson said. “However, I’m happy for the other freshmen and rest of the team. They’ve earned the shot at being No. 1. Hopefully I can take care of what I have to do in prep school and join those guys [at Georgia] in time for bowl practice.”

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Jackson said he has already made the necessary grades, but needs to improve his test scores. He hasn’t had much to do with Georgia since getting the news at the beginning of July that his college career would be delayed.

Jackson hasn’t visited Athens or attended any preseason practices. He talked with a few of the other freshmen recruits in the early summer, but sort of lost contact. However, Georgia coach Mark Richt and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner gave Jackson a pep talk over the telephone last week.

“They just encouraged me, telling me to stay focused and stay hungry,” Jackson said. “They told me to use my time wisely at Hargrave.”

Jackson was arguably Georgia’s most heralded recruit on defense last year, earning the ranking as the country’s No. 5 strongside defensive end by Rivals. He picked the Bulldogs over USC and Miami. Within the last month, Jackson said LSU and Alabama have let him know a scholarship is available if he changes his mind, but he said he is Georgia-bound.

Georgia signed 24 players last year, including Cedar Grove’s Xavier Avery, who opted for professional baseball over football.

– Courtesy of AJC.com

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Fontaine Gets High Marks

Tight End Arthur Fontaine

Tight End Arthur Fontaine

Arthur Fontaine, who committed to Georgia this week, is the No. 5 tight end in the country, according to Rivals.com, but he was the Bulldogs’ No. 1 choice.

Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell, who is based in Connecticut and has seen Fontaine up close, understands why.

“He’s the most complete tight end in the country when it comes to blocking and catching,” Farrell said. “The others are more athletic who are ranked higher, but they’re going to have to learn to block, and Arthur won’t.”

Rivals’ No. 1 tight end, Logan Thomas of Virginia, is a high school quarterback who has never played the position.

Orson Charles, rated No. 4, is faster but lacks size at 6-foot-2, 216. Charles, a teammate of quarterback Aaron Murray, a Georgia commit, also has been recruited by Georgia.

Fontaine, who is 6-5, 240, caught only 10 passes last season and plays in a state not known for its high school football, But he has become a prize recruit based on his work in summer camps.

“He’s a well-rounded, physical, hard-working, typical Northeastern kid who will roll up his sleeves and smack the person in front of him or sneak out into the flat,” Farrell said. “Stealing him away [from Boston College] is a big deal. You don’t get kids out of Massachusetts if BC wants them, usually.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com

Fontaine Commits To UGA

Tight End Arthur Fontaine

Tight End Arthur Fontaine

Tight end Arthur Fontaine of Dartmouth, Mass., who committed to Georgia on Tuesday, still can’t believe the way his recruiting played out. He is Georgia’s 13th commitment for the 2009 recruiting class.

“I never had any intentions of going to Georgia when they first offered,” Fontaine said. “But I visited and loved it. Then I visited Georgia again last week and loved it more.”

Fontaine, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 4 tight end by Rivals, actually gave a secret commitment to Georgia coach Mark Richt at the end of his three-day trip to Athens last Friday. Fontaine waited until Tuesday to reveal his decision because he wanted to inform his other finalists: Boston College, Virginia and Maryland.

“Coach Richt was real excited, and then [Georgia assistant Mike Bobo] told a funny story: He said he had a dream about me, that I signed with Georgia but reported at 211 pounds. He said ‘Oh no, I thought you were going to be 245 because we really need that big tight end in our offense.’ I was laughing the whole time.”

Fontaine said it was his “gut feeling” that led him to the Bulldogs. He also said the blessing of his mother played a critical role in his final decision.

“My mom loved Coach Richt and Georgia, which just confirmed how I felt about everything,” Fontaine said. “I still can’t believe this kid from Massachusetts is going down to Georgia, and that the No. 1 team in the country wanted me so badly. My mom just said everything happens for a reason, and she’s right.”

Fontaine committed to Boston College in early May, but backed off it a few weeks earlier because he felt he rushed his decision. He said he won’t be changing his mind about the Bulldogs. “Recruiting is over for me.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com

Fontaine To Commit Tomorrow

Arthur Fontaine

Arthur Fontaine

Arthur Fontaine, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end from Dartmouth, Mass., will commit to Boston College, Georgia, Maryland or Virginia on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

“My decision has been made,” Fontaine said shortly after 6:30 p.m. today. “I’ll be announcing it [on Tuesday] at 1 o’clock.”

Fontaine, the fourth-best tight end in the nation according to Rivals.com, said he doesn’t plan on holding a press conference.

“I’ll just start texting and calling people at that time,” said Fontaine, who visited Georgia last week. Fontaine admitted to the AJC over the weekend that he nearly committed to the Dogs during his three-day trip to Athens.

He has already notified coaches at the program he intends on calling home for the next four years.

“They’ve known about my decision since Friday,” Fontaine said. “I’ll be e-mailing coaches at the other schools about my decision tonight.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com

Top-Rated TE May Be UGA’s Next Commitment

Arthur Fontaine of Dartmouth, Mass., one of the nation’s top prospects, will arrive in Athens on Wednesday for his second unofficial visit to Georgia.

Fontaine, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end, lists his four finalists as the Bulldogs, Boston College, Virginia and Maryland. Fontaine is ranked as the country’s No. 4 tight end by Rivals.

“I never really considered Georgia until I went down there the first time and was just blown away by the experience,” Fontaine said. “So my family and I want to go back and see if I feel the same way this time as I did the first time.”

When Fontaine was asked if he would consider committing if the Georgia trip met expectations, he said, “We’ll have to see what happens, how everything goes. I definitely plan on making a decision before my first high school game on Sept. 12, if not sooner.”

Fontaine said he plans to meet with some other Georgia commitments, including Oconee County quarterback Zach Mettenberger, and will watch practice on Thursday.

“During my first visit, we got to sit down and eat dinner with Georgia coach [Mark Richt],” he said. “He is such a great person. This time, I’ll get to meet some of the Georgia players. And I’ll get to see how the coaches interact with them at practice.”

Fontaine is excited to see the Bulldogs ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/Coaches poll.

“It’s like a dream come true to be recruited by the No. 1 team,” he said. “Recruiting has gone very well for me, but I never thought I’d be in this position, to be wanted by the No. 1 team.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com