Brock Vandagriff: What the 5-star QB said about the 2021 class might make your day
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry shares a good bit of a recent conversation with 5-star QB commitment Brock Vandagriff about that recent secret recruiting weekend in Athens.
Show. Don’t tell.
When allowed a few visuals to tell a story, it can make such a big difference. Let’s start by sharing this picture.
Let’s quickly steer this conversation to that man in the sunglasses. 5-star Brock Vandagriff is wearing those shades.
It might be the future of the Georgia recruiting class is just that bright. Or maybe it was for all the stars in that truck bed. Those 5-star ones tend to shine real bright.
“I took a selfie of me, Mims, Korey and Maason in the back of the truck,” Vandagriff said.
Peyton Shedd, a close friend of his, was driving.
“I said 20 stars and one truckbed,” he said. “It was awesome.”
Vandagriff is hanging out with from clockwise left to right 5-star DT Maason Smith, 5-star DE Korey Foreman and 5-star OT Amarius Mims in this photo. Foreman and Smith were on a similar recruits-only campus visit to LSU this weekend.
According to Vandagriff, that Baton Rouge trip had a lot to live up to. Especially after hearing what 5-star DE Korey Foreman had to say last month in Athens.
“Korey he looked us in the eye at dinner,” Vandagriff said. “He said and these were his exact words ‘I’ve never felt a vibe like this before’ and he said ‘This group is special right here’ and he wasn’t wrong. That group, it was awesome.”
Foreman is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2021. A good player comp there would be No. 2 overall NFL Draft pick Chase Young of the Washington Redskins. That moment at dinner at Mellow Mushroom in Athens two weekends ago might be looked back upon as a seismic moment for the 2021 UGA class.
“I will say it went well,” Vandagriff said. “All those friendships.”
Their 5-star host made sure to not be the first to leak the pictures of that recruiting visit on social media.
“I was for sure not going to be the guy to post it,” Vandagriff said. “That would be like a bad look on Georgia for those guys. Once they posted it, I said ‘Oh it is out there’ because I had to post it out there, too. Because that picture is legendary.”
Brock Vandagriff: He’s been more than a 5-star tour guide
Vandagriff has been “doing more” as a recruiter for the 2021 class for a while now. He was talking to Chaz Chambliss and Dylan Fairchild before they became Bulldogs, among others.
Chambliss teamed up with him to host All-American TE Brock Bowers for a power breakfast at Mama’s Boy in Athens in early July. The fan base has noticed.
The good people on the DawgNation forum have been workshopping several nicknames for him. Some are quite good.
- Brock The Rock
- The Ginger Ninja or Ginja for short
- Big Red
- Brock Lobster ( a nod to the B-52s and the way his hair color looks in pictures)
The Vandagriff family likes those first couple of options. “Brock the Rock” might fit best. Not just because of clever wordplay. Vandagriff has been a “Rock” for the 2021 recruiting class in Athens so far.
Especially in the midst of a pandemic.
The fact that the team’s 5-star QB lives about 13 miles off-campus was expected to be a benefit for Kirby Smart’s staff in Athens. But no one saw this coming.
Fans like to think Smart plays 4-D Underwater Chess with his foresight on the recruiting trail, but not even he had a 4-2-5 recruiting scheme drawn up for a global pandemic.
The Georgia staff, like all NCAA schools, can not receive official or unofficial visitors. They can’t even go on Friday night recruiting trips in a dead period to watch the staff’s top targets play.
That’s where “Brock Tours” continues to come in. Even this past weekend. He also engineered that first recruiting weekend of elite targets in Athens.
“It just goes back to being genuine with guys,” Vandagriff said. “I reached out to a bunch of guys to see who wanted to come in. That was the group we got. It ended up being a heck of a group. That picture that went around I think it was pretty funny.”
There were so many elite targets in town that Vandagriff enlisted one of his best friends from Prince Avenue to help him drive everybody around. Peyton Shedd goes to Truett-McConnell. He signed there on a golf scholarship.
“He was helping me drive them around,” Vandagriff said. “Because it is on me. That’s who is hosting it. He was helping us drive them around. Like we went and had dinner downtown and it was a great time.”
“I think one of the waiters told us to calm down a little bit because we were laughing so hard throughout the whole dinner and it was a great night.”
He might be setting himself up for a name, image and likeness gig. Maybe the Athens Chamber of Commerce? Or the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau? The best idea might be a deal with the official truck of the Georgia Bulldogs.
The commercial shoot would be in the truck bed. Maybe even with those 20 stars from his selife.
“I think it was that Monday,” Vandagriff said. “Maason texted me that Monday and said ‘I am going to be in town’ and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday it was a different dude every day. Like Xavian [Sorey] texted me. He texted me that Thursday and said ‘I am coming with [Lovasea Carroll] and I said ‘Do it.'”
“It was better and better every day I checked my phone. Another guy was coming. Those are all pieces in the puzzle to try and get us back into the top five.”
Vandagriff cited the national team recruiting rankings there. The Bulldogs are currently No. 11 nationally on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings. He knows the Bulldogs have a lot of room to grow there.
Especially after the Bulldogs have finished up the last four cycles with ratings of first, second, first and third dating back to 2017.
UGA and Brock Vandagriff: The right place at the right time
Georgia has entrusted a lot to Vandagriff with its 2021 recruiting. He has broad shoulders and has proved to be more than capable.
“I’m the dude in all the pictures,” he said. “I’m the guy who is taking them out. It is on me if they come or not. That’s another thing with me. That’s what hurts Georgia now is them not being able to see a gameday atmosphere. Sanford Stadium on a Saturday is rocking. That’s the reason some dudes commit is because of that atmosphere.”
“The fact that they are not able to see that and I don’t know if they are going to let recruits go [to games] or not. If that happens, we have got to get them in Sanford Stadium. That’s a big selling point.”
All those guys rode four-wheelers together and went fishing during that secret weekend. They wound up at Mellow Mushroom for dinner. Vandagriff loves that place.
“I think we caught two fish,” Vandagriff said. “Within all of us combined. But just the fact we were all out there. We were riding four-wheelers just having a blast.”
It is believed RB commit Lovasea Carroll and OLB target Xavian Sorey caught those two. They were out there fishing all the time. The rest of that truckbed featured several novices or first-time anglers.
“I was trying to help other people out,” Vandagriff said of the half-day fishing trip.
The irony of it all is not lost on him. Remember how he was committed to Oklahoma? But he eventually knew he needed to play closer to home?
“I didn’t know COVID was going to happen and just looking back on it that is God looking out for me,” Vandagriff said. “I wouldn’t be able to do this in Oklahoma. I’d probably make it to Oklahoma one time in this whole time. Being here and being in Athens, I can show them Athens and what I know. I didn’t know much about Norman in Oklahoma. I wouldn’t be a good tour guide there. It was here and it is just a blessing that everything worked out like that.”
He knew the weekend was going to be a smash when they went fishing. Everyone who follows Georgia recruiting knows about that truckbed picture, but they don’t know the backstory.
“That truck bed picture with all of us we sat there and talked for about an hour and a half,” Vandagriff said. “And I’m not even joking. Whether it is from football or what music do you listen to and to what we were about to fish with. It was a great conversation and it was a great group of guys.”
He went into the tour just trying to show everyone a good time. He didn’t want to hawk them about recruiting or playing together or committing.
Vandagriff just wanted to catch the most fish. Or to answer any questions.
“I wanted them to have a fun weekend,” he said. “I wanted to show them what Athens is all about. It is a shame we couldn’t get to meet with any of the coaches or anything because they love the relationships with the coaches just as much as I do with coaches. It was a great weekend. It was more like hospitality than it was a tour guide.”
Brock Vandagriff and Amarius Mims: Those two go back
Amarius Mims told DawgNation all about the special relationship he had forged with Vandagriff last month. He said Vandagriff would know where he will commit to on October 14 before any coach will.
Those two are that close. Vandagriff said the feeling is mutual. A real friendship has materialized. It has always been more than just a 5-star QB playing chess on the recruiting trail to protect his blindside.
“I am going to be completely honest with you,” Vandagriff said. “I don’t think that [relationship] has evolved much. From the start, me and Mims have been great friends.”
Vandagriff continues to place their friendship first.
Even after Mims spends a weekend in Athens with him. When the staff might ask for a sliver or intel, he will have very little to report.
“The coaches after he spends a weekend, they will be like ‘Hey what did he say about Georgia?'” Vandagriff said.
He can only tell them they didn’t talk much about Georgia.
“It is genuine between me and Mims,” Vandagriff said. “I love the kid to death. I am going to support him wherever he goes.”
He said he will likely go to the commitment event for Mims with Shedd.
“Because I support him,” Vandagriff said. “I love the kid and we don’t talk about [recruiting] much. We talk about fishing and football and we don’t talk about college too much. Just living in the moment.”
Has Mims ever hooked more fish than him on one of those trips?
“Absolutely not,” Vandagriff said. “Mims if you are standing on the bank with him you better watch out because he doesn’t know where his [cast] is about to go. It is always interesting with him. It makes me laugh so I love bringing him up here.”
It does not surprise this correspondent that Vandagriff even knows Terrion Arnold well, too. Arnold has even spoken about their connection in other published reports. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 2 safety prospect for 2021 on 247Sports.
“Brock the Rock” just isn’t sure how his friendship with another priority UGA target came to be.
“He’s a great kid,” Vandagriff said. “There are so many faces that you meet in the camp trails or whether it is [on a visit] at colleges. But Terrion I can say that I have been friends with him for forever. He’s a great kid and we get along well.”
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
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- MJ Morris: Nation’s No. 3 junior QB prospect shares an updated view on his recruiting
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- WATCH: Newest commit Javon Bullard delivers a 5-star interview with DawgNation
- Kirby Smart feels the 2021 cycle will redefine all recruiting
- Terrion Arnold: Kirby Smart had some very “high praise” for the nation’s No. 2 safety
- Brock Bowers makes his commitment known to the University of Georgia