Border Wars: The Georgia Four

At 6-7 and 220-pounds, Southwest Dekalb defensive end T.J. Stripling is one of the top defensive ends in the country. Stripling has been to Florida on at least two separate occasions with teammate running back Ken Malcome. He fits in that long line of what Florida defensive ends have looked like over the past couple of years.

It appears to be a two team race on the surface with the University of Florida and Georgia. It also appears that T.J. Stripling and Ken Malcome appear to be headed to the same team and want to play together at the next level.

Stripling told me today that he will attend Friday Night Lights with Malcome in July. The sticking point seems to be who will announce their intentions first? Will it be Malcome and Stripling or Mack Brown? I believe that when Ken is ready to announce that Stripling will announce at or around the same time.

Brown reiterated the fact to me today that Florida is his top team. He also mentioned that he does not have a set date of when he might announce. It could come at the end of July or it could be at the end of August or October during his season. I get the impression that it won't go past the summer. I do think that Malcome and Stripling end up at the same school. Are these players telling everyone what they want to hear, no one will know until they announce. But when they do, I promise it will make for a great post-commitment inside access you will not want to miss.

One of the nation's top defensive tackles also is from the state of Georgia, Garrison Smith. Smith and I caught up earlier today as well and he is nowhere near making his decision at this time. I will have a story up with Smith shortly about where he draws inspiration from on and off the field. Smith is looking at everyone that looks at him whereas the previous three are down to Florida and Georgia.

Is there a great chance that Smith and Brown end up at the same school? I believe so but again only time will tell. Is there a chance that if one of these four steps up and announces for either Florida or Georgia the other three could follow? I believe there is a great chance of that taking place. I could also see two going one way and two going the other way.

There are truly hundreds of story lines each recruiting season and this year outside of Chaz Green and Christian Green, these four players from the state of Georgia are going to be the outcome I am most interested in.

I also got word today that maybe a few of these players are telling each recruiting site what they want to hear and that some of them could be close to announcing as this week.


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