July 2, 2011

Atkins talks visit

Thomson's John Atkins wasn't asked to come to Dawg Night by Georgia coaches during his visit to Athens Friday.

He considers it a compliment.

"Georgia told me not to come to Dawg Night because they already know what I can do, so they do not need to see me," Atkins said during a telephone interview with UGASports Saturday. "That made me feel good."

That wasn't all that put a smile on Atkins face.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder defensive tackle has zoomed up the recruiting charts over the past few months and Georgia coaches made it quite clear they not only want him to be a part of the Bulldogs' 2012 class - they need him.

"They told me they needed me there, and that I can play the three technique, the five, the nose; anywhere on their line," said Atkins, who talked with head coach Mark Richt, inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti and defensive line coach Rodney Garner. "To hear they needed me at Georgia shocked me. Other colleges have told me they want me, but Georgia is the only one to ever tell me they needed me. That makes me feel like I am a priority for them."

So what's next?

"In a month or two I am going to commit. Georgia has a great shot to be that school. I liked Auburn and Alabama when I visited, and I have to visit Georgia Tech next Wednesday, Florida on the 22nd and probably Clemson in the next two weeks," Atkins said. "I should be ready by August. I will talk to my mom about it and see what she thinks and where we want me to be for the next four years. She has not been able to visit any of the schools, because she has had to work."

Friday's visit to Athens was an opportunity for Atkins to check out both Georgia's academic and football facilities.

"I was there from ten to around two. I took an academic tour, and I got to see the stadium, the locker rooms and the team lounge," Atkins said. "I liked it all a lot."

Sitting down with Richt and getting re-acquainted with Bulldog freshman Ray Drew stood out the most.

"Coach Richt was straight up with me, and he told me he hoped I would come and play for him. My family and I think he is a good person and a good coach, but we know he will get after me if he needs to," Atkins said. "Drew told me he would love for me to come to Georgia and play with him, but that he wanted me to go where I want to go more than that."

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