When wide receiver Jayson Stanley played in the AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl last December, he had yet to receive a college scholarship offer. Despite putting up impressive numbers during Creekside's Class AAAAA championship season -- 41 catches for 817 yards, 16 touchdowns -- the college scouts appeared to want to see more form the tall receiver. Stanley delivered in the bowl game, catching two touchdown passes of 70 and 47 yards.
Since then, Stanley has racked up 22 offers from some of the top schools in the nation.
One of those programs, the University of Georgia, will have to overcome some homegrown hatred to land the four-star receiver.
"My dad went to Georgia Tech and we were always saying, 'We don't like Georgia,' " Stanley said. "But he got accustomed to Georgia. My cousin (former Georgia offensive lineman) Jonas Jennings took me up there for my first three visits. It was very nice and I couldn't say anything bad about them. I was up there for the spring game and it was awesome. It wasn't what I was expecting."
Stanley was back in Athens again on Thursday, this time competing in the Mark Richt 7-on-7 camp with his Creekside teammates. The repeated visits plus some aggressive recruiting by the Georgia coaches have helped to put the Bulldogs in the mix to sign Stanley in February.
"I am looking at the schools that are looking at me the hardest: Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Ohio State," Stanley said. "I am waiting on LSU. I'm hoping they will make a move sometime. I want to visit LSU since that was a school I was interested in as a kid. But the main team I always watched growing up was Oregon."
The Ducks and his father's Yellow Jackets may have had Stanley's early allegiances, but he gave up having favorite teams when he started hearing from college coaches. Now Stanley approaches his recruitment with an open mind, a lesson he learned from Jennings.
"Jonas knows it is a business and he said that no matter where I go he will support me 100 percent," Stanley said. "He helps me with a lot of my recruiting stuff since he has already been through it. He told me to watch out for schools saying bad things about other schools."
Negative recruiting is a staple of college football but Stanley plans to ignore it and make his own observations. To that end, expect him to hit the road.
"I know we are going to a lot of football camps over the summer," Stanley said. "Georgia is one of them. I'll probably be back up there a lot."