It’s not easy being 18 and wanted.

By now, most Dawg fans are aware that A. J. Harmon withdrew his previous verbal commitment – that term being perhaps the biggest oxymoron in college sports – from Clemmins and pledged his allegiance to Georgia during yesterday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Solid, baby.

Now, Carter Strickland’s article in the AJ-C makes it sound like Harmon is still pretty conflicted about his decision.

“When I committed to them [Clemson] I was 100 percent,” Harmon said. “I am 100 percent Georgia right now.

“But I know it is not over until February,” he said. “I hope I can make a decision by February.”

… But then Harmon said this: “I’m kinda sure about Georgia, and I am not sure at the same time.”

But the Athens Banner-Herald tells a different story.  First, the kid comes off sounding a bit more definitive about his decision.

“After I talked to Clemson and let them know what I was doing and they reacted I decided to let it all be over with,” he said. “I’m only taking my official visit to Georgia now. I’m proud to be a Bulldog.”

It’s the backstory that’s interesting, though.  Evidently Harmon tried to commit to Georgia over a month ago, only to be told that there was no room for him.

… Harmon tried to commit to Georgia after Clemson’s 20-17 loss to Boston College on Nov. 17. Georgia had promised to hold a scholarship for him until Nov. 18. When Harmon called that day to take them up on it, he was told the school didn’t have any more scholarships for the 2008 class.

That disappointed Harmon and those close to him. He then said he wanted to go to a school “where he could hit (Georgia quarterback) Matthew Stafford every play” after that didn’t work out.

“When Coach Richt called and apologized and told me he was sorry it meant a lot,” Harmon said. “He said Coach (Rodney) Garner and Coach (Jon) Fabris had been all over him 24-7 about finding a scholarship after I tried to commit and they pulled the rug out from underneath me.”

Evidently Harmon wasn’t kidding about being impressed with the blackout at the Auburn game.

Luckily, something opened up (probably this) in Georgia’s recruiting numbers for the ’08 class.  And that was that.  Presumably.

… Richt would call back weeks later with news a scholarship had opened up. Harmon said that call came before Christmas. He committed on the spot.

A lot of people are criticizing Harmon for being conflicted (my favorite is the guy on one of the Clemmins boards who suggests that Tommy Bowden jerk Richt’s son around and withdraw the scholly offer to him at the last minute for revenge), but, let’s face it, this is the most important decision this kid’s ever made in his life.  If he’s not sure what he wants to do yet, it’s up to the schools to decide whether they want to cater to him or not.

And that seems to be the real issue here.  Georgia looks like it has no wiggle room left on the numbers for the incoming class and let Harmon know it.  It remains to be seen if that’s enough to keep him in the fold.

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7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

7 responses to “It’s not easy being 18 and wanted.

  1. dean

    I’m still not 100% sold on this commitment. He’s been floundering during the whole process. He shows up to UGA games wearing a Georgia shirt and hat but a Clem[p]son belt and vice versa.
    If he comes to UGA great, if not we’ll be fine with out him. Either way best of luck to the kid.

  2. I really dislike this Jimmy Clausen-like air coming from this kid. Why keep announcing it and then changing? If you’re going to commit, then wait until you’re positive you know where you wanted to go. Hell, I wasn’t even close to getting a football scholarship and it took me till about mid-January to decide for sure I wanted Georgia. Harmon should just take the time to sit down with his parents and discuss the pro’s and con’s of each situation, and make an informed decision. All this wishy-washy behavior makes him seem too focused on drawing attention his way, just like the masterful performance by Mrs. Clausen last year before choosing Notre Dame.

  3. Ally

    “I tried to commit and they pulled the rug out from underneath me.”

    Are you kidding me?? I know this kid’s a beast, but damn I’m so sick of his diva attitude. I really hate that we’re catering to his every whim. I’d much rather have Sanders – guess that’s not gonna happen now.

    I don’t think its as much about being indecisive as it is enjoying being in the papers every week. Doesn’t speak much to his character that he continues to jerk BOTH programs around by the neck.

  4. Hobnail_Boot

    Eh, I just see it as a young kid who’s not used to the attention and honestly likes 2 schools. It’s not a lack of character or smarts or anything like that. I can’t say that put in his shoes I’d handle it much better.

    I think the only real question left WRT our incoming class is if Z. Sanders ever gave us a silent commitment.

  5. NM

    I hope this kid is just indecisive, but he seems pretty self-important — in other words, exactly the kind of player Richt and Bowden tend to avoid. So maybe this is just out of character for him… or maybe he’s just REALLY good.

  6. tom

    Or maybe he really wanted to be a Dawg from the very beginning! Carter Strickland is from the journalisn school of “let’s see how we can knock UGA today.” Please, it gives Strickland a real ego boost. Welcome to Athens, kid. You’re gonna love it here.

  7. dawgmeister

    I’ve met AJ several times during recruiting and can attest to the fact that he’s not a dive, prima donna, or otherwise full of himself. He’s pretty down-home–he won’t make any announcements after getting out of a limo and won’t affect an emu hairdo. He likes both schools and is getting a lot of pressure from coaches and fans, and is having trouble making a final decision. Give the guy a break–he’s a teenager getting tons of media attention and learning how to handle it.