February 18, 2009

Ogletree a big hitter

LOCUST GROVE - When President Teddy Roosevelt uttered those famous words "Walk softly and carry a big stick" little did he know that he'd one day be describing Alec Ogletree, a football recruit for the University of Georgia.

OK, so that association might be somewhat of a stretch. Still, when you put it into context, the soft-spoken safety from Newnan High School and a member of the Class of 2010, sticking opposing players is what he does best.

"I like to hit," Ogletree said. "That's what I enjoy doing."

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, the low-keyed safety has future star written all over him. Not only does his reputation as a hard-nosed player who loves contact, the fact that Ogletree has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.55 seconds also gives him the speed to keep up with most receivers who come his way.

Colleges are taking notice.

Ogletree said during Saturday's Cast-Sports Underclassman Showcase that he currently holds offers from 30 different schools, including one from Georgia which head coach Mark Richt personally extended to him during a visit to Athens last summer.

"I was up there during a cam and he called me into his office and said "you have a scholarship here," Ogletree said. "I was pretty excited."

No doubt Bulldogs coaches would be pretty excited to have Ogletree accept the offer. Already, Ogletree is drawing comparisons to former Bulldog safety Thomas Davis, whose ability to punish receivers and ball carriers alike made him a force in the Georgia secondary before he moved onto the NFL where he currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Will Ogletree one day join Davis' former team? Time will tell.

Last Saturday, Ogletree was in Locust Grove for the Cast-Sports Underclassman Showcase. Although he was only there to take some photos, he said the opportunity to hang out with some of the state's other highly-recruited players was an opportunity that he could not pass up.

"It was cool just coming out, seeing how everyone else is doing and show some love to the rest of the people," he said.

Included among his 30 offers Ogletree said, are ones from Clemson, Florida, Florida State and Miami.

"My parents just tell me to stay humble and not get the big head," Ogletree said. "Right now, I'm just trying to figure everything out. I'm just looking forward to going out, visiting some of the schools, view the campuses and talk to the coaches."

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