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June 17, 2012

Fox, Palmore impress Staley

Wheeler quarterback/small forward Elijah Staley has schools all over the southeast recruiting him in both football and basketball. On Saturday, Georgia's football and basketball programs both planned on spending some time with him as he was going to be on campus for a football camp. His plans quickly changed when he arrived in Athens.

"I actually planned on going up there for the football camp, but I didn't bring my physical form so I couldn't participate in that," said Staley. "I ended up just going over to meet with Coach Fox and Coach Palmore for a basketball visit." Aside from meeting with the coaches, Staley took a tour of the athletic facilities on Georgia's campus.

"I took a tour of the locker room and the facilities and everything else. I've done that before, but we just did that again. We walked around with the coaches and just hung out with them the whole time. I loved their locker room and I loved their arena. Everything there is wonderful really. I liked it all."

Georgia head coach Mark Fox and assistant coach Stacey Palmore made a pretty strong impression Staley and his parents on Saturday afternoon.

"Oh man, they are great. They are really cool and really easy to talk to," Staley said. "They were just talking about how they treat the players, how they have the players daily schedules all planned out, what the players daily regiment, how they travel, and other stuff like that."

Georgia had been recruiting Staley in both sports for over a year now, but Staley did not have a scholarship from the Bulldogs in either sport. That changed on Friday.

"I didn't know until Friday that they offered me," said the athletic 6'7, 200-pound forward. "Whenever they were able to start calling, that's when I find out. I had heard rumors that they were going to offer me and when Coach Fox text me, I just asked him and he told me I had an offer."

Georgia is not the only school intrigued by Staley's talents.

"I have offers in basketball from Georgetown, College of Charleston, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, UCF, and I think Virginia Tech has, but I'm not sure about that. In football, I have interest from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Vanderbilt offered yesterday, USC, Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Carolina, Auburn, and of course Georgia. Vanderbilt is the only offer."

Early on, Staley has an SEC school at the top of his list in each sport.

"Actually just being at Georgia today, their basketball program really stands out to me," Staley admitted. "For football, probably Vanderbilt stands out the most because they were the first to offer and their coach gave me a nice tour of the school."

Staley plans on playing both football and basketball in college. As for when a verbal commitment will be made, Staley says he is nowhere near making a decision.

"I'm not going to commit anywhere until my senior year," said Staley. "I want a big campus. I want a really cool coach that is easy to go talk to about what is going on. I'd like to stay close to home, down south somewhere. It will probably somewhere in the ACC or SEC."

Even though Staley was disappointed that he couldn't compete in Georgia's football camp on Saturday to see if he could earn an offer from Mark Richt, he says he won't cross the Dawgs off his list as long as they keep recruiting like they have been.

"If they still show interest like they have and they still come up to the school like they have, then it's not really going to hurt their chances. I mean that is their policy with the physicals and you can't really do anything about it because I didn't really read all the way through the forms."



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