On Monday two University of Georgia commitments began the next stage in their journey to Athens. While four-star prospects John Atkins (Thomson, Ga./Thomson) and Leonard Floyd (Eastman, Ga./Dodge County) graduated high school this year, neither was able to meet the qualification requirements. They will enroll today at Hargrave Military Academy in an attempt to avoid going to junior college.
Atkins, an ESPN 150 prospect and Under Armour All-America Game selection last season, is a 6-foot-3, 325-pound defensive lineman who was considered one of the most athletic big men in the 2013 class. Because of the talent returning this fall, Atkins was likely to redshirt this season anyway, but now he will have a chance to arrive in January and prepare for next fall.
“I plan to keep my head on straight, get my grades up, and get to Athens in January,” Atkins said.
The former No. 12 prospect in Georgia is departing Monday at noon for Virginia, and plans to retake four classes from ninth grade in which he scored low. Atkins says they will take the highest grade to raise his GPA. He also plans to retake the ACT. His area recruiter is eager to get him on campus at Georgia.
“I talk to Coach O [Kirk Olivadotti] once a week,” Atkins said. “He just tells me to get done and get down there.”
Once Atkins arrives in Chatham, he will have a familiar face waiting for him, as Floyd left Sunday night for Hargrave. Floyd, ranked the No. 25 prospect in Georgia last year, is also ready to take the next step.
“I am excited about getting up there and wrapping up what I need to do to enroll at Georgia,” Floyd said.
Like Atkins, Floyd, who says he is now 6-foot-5 226-pounds, also plans to take four classes in an effort to become eligible. The outside linebacker was given words of encouragement by the same recruiter as Atkins.
“Coach Olivadotti told me Hargrave should be a good experience that helps prepare me,” Floyd said.
The addition of Floyd and Atkins to the commitment list gives Georgia 28 commitments to date, the most in the country. Their arrival in January is dependent upon the necessary improvement in the classes and/or test score needed to qualify, but they would be eligible to be counted toward the 2012 class. If there is room under the 85 scholarship limit, the Bulldogs could sign up to 36 during the 2013 recruiting cycle, with Atkins, Floyd and nine early enrollees counted toward the 2012 class along with the 25 possible additions for 2013.