Tyler Catalina really enjoyed his visit to UGA. That seems clear. He was extremely accommodating with media requests leading up to his official visit this week but went silent on Sunday after his official visit.
Now we know why.
That’s because the 6-foot-5, 315-pounder had some big news to share. The fifth-year graduate transfer candidate from Rhode Island made his UGA commitment known via social media on Monday night. That’s two flips for the UGA staff on Monday. Catalina had previously been committed to Iowa State and was also considering Auburn, Boston College and Florida.
UGA also picked up a commitment from junior Justin Shaffer on Monday. Shaffer had been committed to Louisville.
Catalina, 23, fills a pressing need at offensive tackle as a likely plug-and-play starter on the offensive line. That was the one position coach Kirby Smart singled out on National Signing Day this month as the most pressing need that wasn’t filled by this class.
The newest UGA pledge earned third-team all conference honors as a sophomore and second-team all-conference honors as a junior. He’s an experienced offensive lineman who has started three seasons for Rhode Island after a redshirt year.
He becomes the 21st commitment for the Class of 2016 at UGA. His brother Tony Catalina told DawgNation that he is committed to UGA and does not plan to take any more visits.
Catalina had scheduled a visit to Auburn for this month, but it appears he will no longer be taking that trip.
My Decision. pic.twitter.com/FJ8M876Ak6
— Tyler Catalina (@Tycat72) February 15, 2016
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.