When there is discussion about who are the top running back prospects from the Golden State for the class of 2011 the name of George Atkinson III (6-2.5, 190, 4.45) from Livermore (Calif.) Granada always comes up. He has everything you for in a running back, size, speed, toughness and an outstanding work ethic.
The talented Atkinson has even drawn comparisons to Eric Dickerson. He used his skills to earn second-team all-league after rushing for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 9.1 yards per carry. He is an every down back who is also a threat out of the backfield. Atkinson ended up with 13 receptions for 260 yards and one receiving touchdown while averaging 20.0 yards per catch.
Atkinson is planning on taking in the NIKE Camp in Palo Alto and perhaps the Cal camp. He is unsure at this time if he will participate in any other camps.
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On the recruiting trail, Atkinson has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, and San Jose State.
It appears the list of offers is about to increase for the East Bay running back.
"I get a lot of mail from LSU," Atkinson said. "Today (Tuesday February 16) I received some mail from USC and the letter said that they recognize me as one of the top recruits in the class of 2011 for the nation.
"I grew up being a SC and Cal fan," Atkinson said. "At first it was strictly SC, but then I started going to a lot of Cal games and started pushing more towards Cal.
"That was when I was younger, but now I don't know who I like," Atkinson said. "I'm keeping my options open.
"I am looking forward to taking all five of my official visits," Atkinson said. "If something feels right, I might commit, but I may also take it to the end, I'm not sure.
"Right now I am keeping my options open from San Jose State to USC to Oregon," Atkinson said. "It doesn't matter; I'm just enjoying the recruiting process and getting to know the coaches and their programs.
What is Atkinson looking for in a college?
"I'm looking for the possibility for early playing time," Atkinson said. "I want to compete as soon as possible. I'm not looking to redshirt or anything. I love competition and I want to play as early as possible.
"Also how I fit at the college," Atkinson said. "I want to know that I can live there for four years if I'm not playing football. Also a nice community, the coaching staff and I feel like I'm at home when I get there.
Atkinson has outstanding bloodlines as his father, George Atkinson, had an outstanding career in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and his twin brother Josh Atkinson is also a D-I recruited athlete.
In the classroom, Atkinson carries a 2.8 GPA and will be taking his SAT in March.