Originally created 06/27/99

Georgia-signee Robinson awaiting test results



Durell Robinson said his latest SAT try was "a lot harder" than the previous one.

"There was more pressure on me this time," said Robinson, a Georgia signee who took the test June 5 after his previous mark of 1,100 was flagged by the NCAA Clearinghouse. "I was a little bit nervous."

Robinson, a Parade first-team All-American from Byrnes (S.C.) High, said he's been working out in his high school weight room and plans to move to Athens immediately if he qualifies.

"I work on my upper body on Mondays, lower body on Tuesdays, take Wednesday off, then do my upper body again on Thursday and lower body on Friday," said Robinson, who had 73 catches for 1,386 yards and 28 touchdowns in 1998.

MONEY VS. TRADITION:

The recent talk of ACC expansion might border on blasphemy in the basketball-crazed state of North Carolina.

Imagine just one meeting a year on the court between North Carolina and Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State. It could happen if the conference expands to 10 or 12 teams.

The idea of change was spawned largely by the changing face of conferences, which are expanding to increase their television contracts, markets and recruiting bases.

In football, the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences -- both of which comprise 12 schools -- rely on a two-division formats, and their championship games have proved to be lucrative endeavors in recent years.

Last week, the Roanoke (Va.) Times & World News reported the University of Miami (Fla.) was approved for ACC membership and that it would be announced as early as July 17-18 during the next ACC meeting in Greensboro, N.C.

In a statement released Friday by the ACC, conference commissioner John Swofford said the conference hasn't made a decision on expansion.

"There is genuine interest in discussing what is best for the league, and part of that discussion is whether or not expansion would be positive," he said. "... The thing that is important is that we thoroughly evaluate it and we will do so on a continual basis. Our conference is blessed with a great deal of tradition, and our member institutions value that."

ADIOS, ISAAC:

South Carolina received a kiss of good fortune recently when it discovered Derek Watson, the jewel of its 1999 football recruiting class, qualified academically.

In the recent case of Isaac Stackhouse, the Gamecocks weren't as lucky.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder failed to attain the required academic numbers and will attend Mississippi Junior College this fall.

Stackhouse, considered one of the top athletes in the Palmetto State, reportedly is seeking to join the Gamecocks before the 2001 season.

I DO:

Georgia Tech received its first verbal commitment of the 2000 recruiting class last week, when tight end Jonathan Jackson announced his decision to be a Yellow Jacket.

The 6-foot-2, 215 pounder from Jacksonville, Fla. said he chose Georgia Tech because "they have a great football program on the rise plus a great engineering school."

Jackson, who prepped at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, reportedly bench presses 365 pounds and squats more than 500.

NOBODY'S LOSS:

Think Steve Spurrier is afraid of Vanderbilt?

With little resistance, the Gators' coach released quarterback Tim Olmstead from his scholarship recently, after which Olmstead transferred to Vandy.

It paled to the recent struggle between Alabama coach Mike DuBose and sophomore receiver Eric Locke. DuBose refused to grant Locke his release to a Southeastern Conference school, so Locke will pay his own way at Tennessee.

Olmstead is the second Parade All-American quarterback in three years to transfer from the Florida program. Bobby Sabelhaus left for West Virginia before the 1996 season. Luke Bencie signed with the Gators in 1991 before he was moved to fullback a season later. The next year, he transferred to Michigan State.

DUSTY'S ROAD:

Kentucky quarterback Dusty Bonner might not be confronted with the battle he once expected when drills begin in August.

Kentucky coach Hal Mumme said last week he doesn't expect Jared Lorenzen, a highly touted signal-caller from Covington, Ky., will beat out Bonner, who was named the starter in the spring.

"It's tough for a true freshman coming in, and it's almost doubly tough for a quarterback because you've got all the mental aspects," Mumme told the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. "And when you have a quarterback, you don't want to waste a year of eligibility with him only playing sparingly while he's learning."

Lorenzen, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, led Highlands High to an undefeated season and a state 3A title last season and was named Mr. Football in Kentucky.

"He may shock us," Mumme said. "But any freshman quarterback who comes in, I'd say the percentages are very low that he's going to start."

Since his days at Valdosta State, Mumme has been reluctant to side with a two-quarterback attack.

"What we like to do is determine one quarterback at the end of the spring, and then go with him," Mumme said. "If your team does well, you're probably not going to change. If the team doesn't do as well as expected, you look again. You always try to get better."

MISSING PERSONS:

It might have been an all-star game, but last week's Georgia-Florida All-Star Game in Atlanta was missing a few prominent faces.

Most conspicuous by their absence were several Florida signees who were encouraged by Spurrier to skip the annual event.

Just three Gainesville-bound players played -- tight end Marshall Schapp, linebacker Byron Hardmon and receiver Elgin Hicks. Among the no-shows were highly touted players Lito Sheppard, Mike Nattiel and Clint Mitchell.

Spurrier said recently he would urge his signees to "think more strongly" about playing after the events of last year, when incoming freshman Chuck Marks tore a knee ligament during the game and John Capel dislocated an elbow in practice.

The Georgia-Florida clash wasn't the only of its kind across the South that saw depleted ranks. Kentucky tight end Derek Smith sat out the Tennessee-Kentucky game in favor of the Kentucky-Indiana basketball game the same day in Indianapolis. Four future Alabama players -- including heralded linebacker Saleem Rasheed -- chose not to play in the Alabama-Mississippi game.

Larry Williams covers college sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3645 or larrywill7@yahoo.com.