Originally created 01/29/97

Two more Eagles pick schools



Georgia and Alabama became the newest winners in the Josey recruiting sweepstakes by landing a pair of all-state big men.

Tight end/defensive end Percy Bland, a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder, has expressed his intent to sign with the Bulldogs, while 6-6, 250-pound lineman Shaun Williams says he plans to sign with the Crimson Tide.

Bland had official visits set up with South Carolina, Alabama and South Carolina State, but each school has canceled those trips. A moot point, says the Eagles' leading receiver in 1996.

"I'm excited about playing for Georgia and being able to stay close to home," Bland said. "They told me they would like me to play tight end, and also said I might play some inside receiver. I think I've got a chance to play as a freshman."

Though he has not yet met the NCAA's academic eligibility requirements, Bland says he expects to qualify. He is taking an evening class to help bring up his core GPA, and took the Scholastic Aptitude Test last weekend.

Like teammate Armark Tolbert, who said earlier this month that he plans to sign with Georgia Tech, Bland gave up playing varsity basketball this season to concentrate on his grades.

"I feel confident about my SAT score and know I'm going to qualify," Bland said.

As for Williams, academics have never been a problem. The two-way tackle is an A student and has already registered a qualifying SAT score.

Known mostly for his exploits on the Josey offensive line, Alabama recruited the strong, mobile Williams to play defense.

He has canceled his upcoming visit to Penn State.

"I think they both wanted to get the whole recruiting process behind them, and I think they're both happy with their decisions," Josey head coach John Starr said.

That leaves All-America defensive back/wide receiver Deon Grant and defensive back John Fielding as Josey's remaining recruiting holdouts.

Grant's status has attracted much attention nationwide from recruiting analysts, reporters and fans, especially in the Southeast. The 6-4 star has narrowed his choices to Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Virginia.

Fielding, who received a home visit from new Tide coach Mike Dubose, is reportedly leaning toward Alabama, but has yet to announce his intentions.

Oral commitments are non-binding. College football's National Signing Day is Feb. 5.