Dream leads Troupe to Georgia

TIFTON — A high school football player usually dreams of a chance to play at a major Division I university. Tift County Blue Devil Israel Troupe said Thursday a dream also led him to what university he will play for next season.

Israel Troupe, the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the state of Georgia, said he has chosen to commit to the University of Georgia. Georgia was one of his three final choices, along with University of South Carolina and the University of Florida.

"(The decision) came to me in a dream. (Georgia) coach (Mark) Richt comes out of a closet and tells me I should go to Georgia," Troupe said.

While the dream may have made his final decision easier, Troupe indicated he was happy with his final choice.

"I am very excited about going to Georgia," the Blue Devil wide receiver said.

After talking to offensive coordinator Neil Callaway and wide receivers coach John Eason, Troupe said the Georgia coaching staff was happy with his selection.

"(However,) coach Callaway was disappointed that he was not in my dream too," Troupe said.

Georgia will be getting last year's Region 1-AAAAA Offensive Player of the Year, as well was the league's co-male athlete of the year.

During the 2005 football season, Troupe caught 36 passes for 495 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 14 punt returns for 214 yards, four kickoff returns for 194 yards and seven rushes for 27 yards. He averaged 15.2 yards every time he touched the football. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, as well as one punt.

Scott Kennedy of Scout.com, which has Troupe rated as the state's top wide out, the Tift wide receiver's decision is a big coup for Georgia.

"Troupe is the top pure wide receiver prospect in the state of Georgia this year. This helps Georgia continue to stockpile talent at the position so that they'll have plenty of options down the road with several talented targets," Kennedy said. "Troupe is an ideal slot type of receiver, but he can also stretch a defense vertically with good speed and the ability to elevate for acrobatic catches."

Troupe received 1-AAAAA athlete of the year mention as he was also a standout baseball player.

Helping lead the Devils to the state quarterfinals, Troupe batted .354. He also had a .461 on-base percentage, a .583 slugging percentage, eight doubles, four home runs, 27 runs scored, 26 RBIs and seven stolen bases.

A part of Georgia's appeal for Troupe was Bulldogs head baseball coach David Perno also agreeing to allow him to play baseball while at Georgia.

"I did not talk to coach Perno today. But, he has all ready said he would welcome me on the team," Troupe said.

But, Troupe is not worried about baseball right now.

"I am happy to get my decision out of the way. I want to concentrate on helping us win the state championship," he said.

steve.carter@gaflnews.com


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