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American Christian At Anniston
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WEBB LEAVES STATE TO PLAY FOR GEORGIA
Clay Webb’s public announcement that he chose to play his college football at Georgia was about as low-key as his personality.
Local, statewide and recruiting-centric media saw no grand video presentation for the five-star offensive line and Alabama’s most high-profile, uncommitted recruit. There was no ESPN truck outside.
All who attended in the school’s sports arena Monday saw Webb in a blue suit and tie, seated at a table, surrounded by family, matter-of-factly letting the world in on something he’s known for some time.
He informed coaches Saturday, but “I knew for a while, but I was just seeing everything and just kind of keeping quiet about it,” he said.
With his announcement, Webb ends a recruitment long thought to include Alabama, Auburn and Clemson as finalists. Actually, he revealed Monday that it was down to Georgia and Alabama before it was down to Georgia.
Webb plans to sign during the early signing period, which starts December 19th. He’ll sign his paperwork privately and send it off before going off to Georgia for early enrollment and practice.
His high school life will end when fall-semester classes end.
So, too, will one of the most intensely private, high-profile recruitments ever.
Even though the fanfare wasn't like previous Oxford big-time recruits making their choices public, this was a big deal. Webb is rated the state's #1 prospect and the nation's #1 center, according to 247sports.com.
There was social-media activity, including Oxford folks posing for pictures when Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Alabama’s Nick Saban came to campus a week ago, fresh out of coaching in the SEC Championship Game.
In that respect, Webb’s recruitment was crazy.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” sixth-year Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this. Roc Thomas’ situation was nothing like this.
“You had a lot of people that wanted Roc Thomas, but nobody like these guys. The three major powerbrokers in college football have been camped out in Oxford for two weeks, basically.”
That doesn’t cover all of the phone calls.
“You’ve got Kirby Smart and Nick Saban in your school on the same day, and both of them are in the meat of their recruiting, instead of being in L.A. or New York or Miami, they were in Oxford, Alabama,” Herring said. “That’s pretty surreal.”
Why not Clemson’s Dabo Swinney? Webb had informed Swinney that he had narrowed his choices to Georgia and Alabama.
One wouldn’t know it on social media, or in recruiting media, or in any other media, for that matter. That’s the way Webb wanted it.
Publicly, he stayed consistent. Every interview, he lauded the connection he felt with Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman, Alabama’s developmental regimen, Clemson’s atmosphere and Auburn’s family feel. He spoke about them in ways that weighed them equally.
He never tipped a leaning. He never gave the public something to seize upon, nothing that sent media frantically trying to call or corner him for further comment.
“I don’t think he ever posted on social media, and that’s something that I wish a lot of kids in this country today would take a look at,” Herring said. “Just let your play do the talking for you.
“The best thing to do — and, of course, not many people are going to agree with it — but just stay off that junk. That junk, to me, is one of the pitfalls of our country.”
Webb even kept Herring largely in the dark.
“Me and Clay have talked absolutely none about this decision,” Herring said. “He hasn’t asked me for any advice, and I haven’t tried to give him any advice. This was totally his decision.”
Though Webb acknowledges his close-to-the-vest way of handling recruiting was more about his personality than strategy, he sees the benefit.
“I felt like some of the stresses of recruiting, some of the unnecessary stresses, was taken off greatly because of that,” he said.
And did the coaches who recruited him appreciate his approach?
“I guess so,” Webb said. “They didn’t have to call me every day.”
No one appreciated Webb’s low-key ways of handling recruiting more than his mom. Dana Webb observed how the stresses of recruiting weighed on other recruits.
“Everywhere we went and talked to other recruits and their families, they were so stressed and so pressured,” she said. “You could tell they were feeling it, and it just alleviated a lot of that for us.
“We’re not very outspoken. We don’t do social media very much. I have a Facebook, but I’m not very good at it.”
For the record, Clay Webb said his relationship with Pittman had the greatest impact on his decision, describing him as “like an uncle to me.”
He has family with rooting loyalties covering most of his final four teams. His mom and Clemson assistant coach Todd Bates taught together when Bates was part of John Grass’ staff at Oxford.
As for family dynamics, Dana, a 28-year teacher at Oxford, plans to retire in Alabama. She said she’d like to move and teach in either Georgia or Florida, so long as she’s close enough to “be there every Saturday to watch him play,” she said.
“I could’ve retired at 25 years,” she said, “but he wanted to stay here to be with his brothers.”
Article by Joe Medley - The Anniston Star
Talladega At Lincoln
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WHITE PLAINS TO HOST WEAVER TUESDAY NIGHT ON FNN
The Wildcats got back in the "win" column Friday night with a road victory against Cleburne County,
The Lady Wildcats knocked out a 43-34 "W" while the Boys won 62-41.
White Plains travels to Saks on Monday before returning home for the Weaver match-up on FNN Tuesday.
The Bearcats beat Pleasant Valley Friday 71-44 in a game that was a lot closer for a lot longer than the final score indicates. The Bearcats pulled away with from the Raiders with a 22-3 run over the final six minutes of the game.
The Weaver boys will bring a 5-1 record into Richard Madden Court Tuesday, with their only loss of the year being at the hands of Southside-Gadsden in the season opener.
The Weaver girls downed PV 71-40 to earn their 4th win of the season and to push their record to 4-3.
Both games should be entertaining. They always are when these two programs match up on the hardwood. Join Grady and Jim for all the action starting at 5:45 PM Tuesday.
Tuesday's game with Weaver will kick off a three-game homestand for the Wildcats. Following Tuesday's games with Weaver, the Cats open region play Friday when Cherokee County visits, then Tuesday (12/18), Piedmont comes to the Plains for the final home game prior to the Christmas break.
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