Stafford stays at home... still thinking

ATHENS – Georgia coaches did not get a visit this weekend from one of the last players on their recruiting check list.

D.J. Stafford, a defensive end from LaGrange, said today that he was unable to visit Athens because of bad weather.

"I could have gone this weekend, but our weather has been so bad that we decided not to go. I would have liked to go over there," he said.

Stafford is considered a soft verbal to Kentucky, and said the Wildcats' persistence during the recruiting process has been admirable.

"Kentucky has been there since day one and they have never stopped calling," he said. "There's still a strong chance that I will sign with Kentucky."

But the door has not been slammed shut on the Bulldogs, in fact Stafford says he's very interested in the Bulldogs, too.

"A couple of weeks ago Georgia started calling me a fair amount again. I figured that Georgia was interested in me again," Stafford said.

The Bulldogs had not maintained the kind of contact Stafford had hoped for late in the football season – at least not the type the Wildcats had. This weekend's official visit would have given Stafford a closer look at Georgia's campus, and would have given the Bulldogs a chance to make their recruiting move.

Still, for Stafford, Georgia is an appealing option – even without the official visit.

"I would say that Georgia, I know what they are about, so there still is a possibility that I will sign with them. I am just going to have think about it," he indicated.

Stafford is not projected to qualify, but he said both SEC schools have a backup plan in the works.

"Georgia told me that they were going to have a plan for me if I don't qualify. Kentucky said the same thing," he confirmed saying that both schools would likely send him to Hargrave, a prep school in Virginia.

Georgia's late-season push for Stafford has made this recruiting season extend into February for the Dawgs. Georgia had only one player commit to them in January. They could match that number in the early days of February if location has anything to do with Stafford's decision.

"My mother likes Georgia because it's closer to her, and I would like being closer to home, too," he said.

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