April 23, 2007
Tifton -- With speed and power, Tift County wide receiver Israel Troupe was sought after by all the big-name schools during the college football recruiting process, before finally deciding on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Troupe rated as high as 15th in the country at his position, and could see the field early for the Bulldogs next season.
But there's also a chance Troupe won't play football at all.
Israel Troupe caught 62 passes for almost 700 yards for the Tift County football team last season, and Georgia coach Mark Richt is looking forward to getting the 6-foot-1, 200 pound wide receiver on the field in Athens.
"We're excited about Israel Troupe, there's no doubt about it," says Richt. "He's a fantastic athlete, and a very good person. He's a guy that we just can't wait to see what he can do on the field."
Troupe says, "That means a lot, especially coming from the man himself. I still have a lot to prove as far as my play, so I'm just going to go up there and work hard, and try to get on the field early."
Troupe says he's planning on taking his 4.40 forty-speed to Georgia May 28th, but that could change.
The senior is also a standout center fielder on the Blue Devils baseball team, and could be selected high in the Major League baseball draft in early June.
"There's always risk involved in (signing a two-sport star)," says Richt. "We'll just have to wait until the draft is over, and let him decide what's best for him. But we felt like he's a good enough player and a good enough person, it was worth the risk of him possibly going on."
Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo says. "That's something Israel and his family are going to have to decide, and we'll support him either way."
Troupe says he's also considering playing both sports in college.
"There's a good possibility I can play baseball," says Troupe. "So if I don't get drafted, I'll just play baseball up there."
Which would be good news for both Mark Richt and Georgia baseball coach Dave Perno.
Major league baseball holds its entry draft June 7th to the 9th.