Academic reputation and other educational
opportunities are often a big factor in any recruit's decision-making
process, but rarely does it get as specific as with one of Georgia's top
Dougherty High School's
Dana Graydon says a childhood love affair passed down from
his late father has sparked an interest he may pursue in college.
"I've been looking hard at Georgia Tech because of
the major I want to get into," he said. "They've got a good engineering
school, and I'm wanting to get into something like that with computer
"My father faced cars, and before he passed away, we
used to spend every Saturday at the race track. I probably love cars more
than football, to tell you the truth. It's always been a passion for me,
whether it's been building models or working on real cars. I love mechanics.
I can tell you everything about cars from bumper to bumper. So I'm looking
to get into something in college where I'll have a good career that I love
and enjoy if football doesn't work out."
There's a good chance he'll be highly successful at
both. The four-star propsect is a member of the Rivals.com
Top 50 team and the No. 14 outside linebacker in the nation.
He recorded 105 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior and has chalked up 85
tackles and eight sacks through nine games this season.
That kind of performance has drawn offers from
dozens of schools, but Graydon has begun the process of trimming his list.
Home state Georgia and Georgia Tech will be
prominent, along with Florida State and Louisville.
"Florida State has probably been my favorite going
back several years, but there's something about playing for your home teams
as well," he said. "I'm not real particular about whether it's home or away,
though. I'm really thinking hard about Louisville right now. They've got a
good program coming up, and I like their coaches a lot. Two former players
from down here (Montavious Stanley and Greg Tinch) are getting a lot of
playing time for them now. That tells me they let the talent step up and get
on the field. They don't discriminate against you just because you're a
freshman. So that's looking like a decent situation, and I'd go into the
program knowing a couple of other people. It wouldn't seem so far away."
Graydon has scheduled an official visit to
Louisville for Dec. 13.
Tradition and coaching personalities weigh in
Florida State and Georgia's favor.
"They're both great teams with lots of tradition,"
he said. "It would be nice to play somewhere that you thought you had a good
chance to play for the championship. Both of those coaches are real good
guys. I like coach (Bobby) Bowden a whole lot. I've always wanted to play
for him. He's taken a real personal interest in me. I got a chance to talk
face-to-face with him this summer, and he's just a real down-to-earth person
who's interested in his kids on a personal level. Plus, (Tallahassee) is
just an hour and a half from home, so mom would be close. That's a big
The Seminoles will "definitely" get an official
visit, he added. He's considering Jan. 10 or 17 as the date.
"I'm still weighing my options on the other ones,"
he said. "I'm not ruling anything out. If somebody stepped up to the plate
with something real impressive, I might pay attention, but right now those
four teams have the best shot."