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Carlton Madden Jr. of Cedar Grove High School
Jeff Sentell

Carlton Madden Jr: Fast-rising prospect says ‘it just feels like it is right’ about UGA

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is about fast-rising Bulldog target Carlton Madden Jr. out of Cedar Grove High School in Metro Atlanta.


Life is very good for Carlton Madden Jr. these days. He tweeted out recently that the month of June had been the best of his life.

“I just feel like something great is in store for him,” Cedar Grove head coach John Adams said. “I still think the best is yet to come for that young man.”

His recruiting profile surged to a new level after a regimen of push-ups and three of four “PBJs” every day saw him put on about 30-35 pounds of much-needed weight. He had the athleticism, speed and the length but just only needed to upgrade his body for the rigors of big-time college football.

Madden, who will star for Cedar Grove this fall, is just a 3-star recruit on the 247Sports Composite scale. Yet the truth of the matter is he has elevated his game beyond that.

Georgia offered in early June. That was a dream school for Madden. He now has very strong feelings about the Bulldogs. When a 3-star rising senior camps and earns a Georgia offer coming out of pandemic after finally being seen, it is safe to say that ranking needs an update, too.

He has even set a commitment date for September 18 this fall.

Madden is also just psyched to play again. He only played in one junior varsity game in 2020. That was after he wasn’t deemed eligible by the Georgia High School Association after his transfer from Arabia Mountain.

“I definitely like Georgia,” Madden said. “I like the opportunity they can bring to me. You know growing up in a family full of Georgia fans. It just feels like it is right. I have been to Georgia three times over the last month and every time was nothing but love.”

Carlton Madden Jr. can spin the ball pretty well for a future linebacker or defensive end in college football.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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Carlton Madden: His recruitment from now until September 18

Madden told DawgNation that he has not made a silent commitment to any school. He said the Georgia program was a “dream school” for him growing up. His family is flush with Bulldogs.

But he made it clear he’s not a fan of a silent commitment. That could change, but right now he doesn’t see himself doing something like that to secure his spot in any class.

He plans to check out a few more schools for the brief period the dead period opens back up in July. UCF, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Ole Miss are the likely destinations there. He still has taken just one official visit That one was to the Colorado program he was once committed to.

Madden can pinpoint a difference in the way UGA is recruiting him. He’s cognizant of the offers that come and the attention those schools show him after that. There are those which crest just over the 55 mile per hour mark in terms of the frequency of attention.

“Georgia’s coming at me like 90 miles an hour,” Madden said. “More like 95 miles per hour.”

How is he going to wait until September 18?

“Just visits and I want to see some games,” Madden said. “I wanted to commit in September and in the middle of September anyway.”

He visited UGA on that last Sunday in July before the dead period resumed. It was like he was the only recruit there. Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning laid it all out.

“He broke out the whole depth chart for me,” Madden said. “If I want the spot, it is mine. But if I wait, that spot might get took. I understand that and just took all those things into consideration.”

Madden feels comfortable with waiting until September. For now.

His early June workout was everything in terms of his offer from the Bulldogs. He worked out for both Glenn Schumann at ILB and then Lanning at OLB. That second workout with Lanning was tiring. It was a very small group and those reps came faster than the Vin Diesel memes on the internet of late.

“You should have seen it,” Cedar Grove coach John Adams said. “There weren’t many guys and coach Lanning really worked CJ that day at Georgia. There were like just four guys there. I was like Lanning is about to kill him with this workout.”

He was ‘Dawg-tired after those drills.

“Going in they didn’t know much about me,” he said. “I didn’t have any film. Anything like that. When I went there for the camp, I definitely earned that offer. A lot of hard work went into it.”

That evaluation adds to positional versatility for Madden.

“At first, they see me as an edge,” Madden said. “But when I was talking to coach [Kirby] Smart he was saying we like you because you can play inside. If we are playing a team that is going to run the ball, you can play inside, too. So that’s why they like me. Because of the ability to play more than just one position.”

He saw UGA three times in June. The last time was the full show.

“It was just us,” Madden said. “It was me, my little cousin, my little brother, my Dad, coach Lanning and [new Georgia Director of Recruiting Relations] coach [David] Cooper. We just walked around. We saw the campus and stuff that I didn’t see when I was on campus the previous two times. We took pictures and it was nice. It was just us. We pulled in and we drove into the indoor with our family car.”

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Cedar Grove High School's Carlton Madden Jr. is a very fast-rising prospect in the class of 2022. He has shown the ability to play multiple positions at the college level.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

What will Carlton Madden Jr. be thinking about this month?

Colorado. Georgia. Georgia Tech. Ole Miss. UCF. Washington State. Those are the schools that are still in it right now for Madden.

Madden also said he doesn’t have an answer yet. He will be doing some more thinking this month.

“I think I am probably going to wait it out until the end of July,” Madden said. “I am going to visit a couple of schools when they open it back up this month. By the time then, I think I will be ready to roll with my decision.”

There were several Cedar Grove Saints who upgraded their physiques and frames over the off-season, but the award for most improved probably has to go to Madden.

“Nobody knew about him because he missed last year,” Adams said. “I think Colorado was hoping the word didn’t get out about him but I could feel it was only a matter of time. I knew we were going to camp. I know how June was going to be for him. You just can’t teach right almost at 6-foot-4 and 240 and athletic.”

There’s a reason why the month of June was so memorable here.

“He just went up to camps and destroyed the camps,” Adams said. “You are talking about inside linebacker, outside linebacker and then defensive line stuff. You’re talking about a guy who really excels in different phases and parts of the game.”

It wasn’t just UGA. Madden worked out at Arkansas and Ole Miss and was probably the best prospect in attendance at the Kennesaw State showcase camp last month, too.

“He did some camps as far as just him,” Adams said. “I’m talking about guys saying this is the best guy we’ve seen go through these drills so far this month with CJ. He’s got that a lot from a lot of different coaching staff. It has been a journey. This June was long for him but I think he’s going to have a very busy fall.”

Adams shared his view of what Madden brings to the table.

“He’s just got a real big upside and I don’t know how much he is going to keep growing,” Adams said. “He’s a gifted athlete and I don’t know if it all goes back to his upbringing. I think he played a little bit of baseball and just always kept him active and kept him in sports as he kept growing. This is a kid that’s also real smart. I know he’s got above a 3.0 in the classroom and just kind of also tries to be a student of the game, too. I think he has a big upside. There are a lot of people that are real high on him.”

Check out Madden’s recent DawgNation Conversation interview. It first appeared on “Before the Hedges” this week.


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