COCHRAN, Georgia — Amarius Mims grew up an Alabama fan. That was his dream school.
That was on an observer’s mind on Wednesday when he made his long-awaited college decision on Wednesday afternoon from Bleckley County High School.
The 5-star was rocking a new team on his 18th birthday during the week of the Georgia-Alabama game. He’s going to be a Georgia Bulldog.
“I felt comfortable in Athens,” he said. “I felt comfortable around the coaching staff. I felt comfortable around the players. So I feel like I fit in there.”
Mims said he felt like he needed to be in Athens. His decision will always be remembered for what he decided should be called a red “Commitment Chain” that he put around his neck as he stood up from the podium and unzipped his jacket to reveal a Georgia polo shirt.
The shirt will forever be overshadowed by that chain he wore around his neck. Miami may have its “Turnover Chain” to celebrate takeaways by its defense, but the Bulldogs now have a chain of their own which will highlight the program’s most recent 5-star commitment.
“That’s good,” Mims said on Wednesday. “The commitment chain.”
With this decision, the nation’s No. 2 OT and No. 6 overall prospect becomes the highest-rated prospect in the 2021 class at Georgia. Mims is now the 16th commitment on the board at Georgia for the class.
Georgia was able to hold off a strong pitch from Tennessee to snag the commitment from Mims. The addition of Mims will also ironically vault the Bulldogs past the Vols into the No. 7 position for the 2021 cycle on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
That comes the week after the Bulldogs beat the Volunteers on the field.
Mims is another huge win for first-year offensive line coach Matt Luke. Luke was able to retain Mims in a 2021 class that was certainly trending Georgia’s way under former line coach Sam Pittman. Mims told DawgNation back in the summer that he would have committed to Georgia by now had Pittman remained the offensive line coach in Athens.
Luke, who reeled in and retained a ton of big fish for Georgia, now adds Mims to another stout offensive line class that now includes All-Americans Dylan Fairchild of West Forsyth High School and Micah Morris of Camden County High School. Georgia also scored the recommitment of well-regarded North Carolina 3-star OG Jared Wilson of West Forsyth High School in North Carolina.
The Under Armour All-American is now set to become the first Power 5 signee out of the Bleckley County High’s program since safety Tavon Ross signed with Missouri in 2014.
This recruitment should not exactly be seen as a done deal. Mims has highly coveted by Alabama, Auburn, FSU and Tennessee, among others. The decision will not be seen as final until he signs during the early period and enrolls at the school of his choice in January of 2021.
The Mims decision gives Georgia quite a collection of 5-star offensive line prospects during the Kirby Smart era. If he goes on and signs with the Bulldogs, he will be the fifth prospect with a 5-star rating to choose the Bulldogs during Smart’s time as head coach.
He will also be in line to become the 14th offensive line prospect rated among the nation’s top 100 prospects (247Sports Composite ratings) to join the program since Smart’s first UGA recruiting class in 2016.
As a means of comparison, the Bulldogs only signed 12 offensive line prospects who were rated among the nation’s top 10 prospects at their position from 2002-2015, much less being regarded among the nation’s top 100 overall prospects.
Amarius Mims explains his commitment to Georgia
Amarius Mims: What Georgia is getting with the 5-star OT
Bleckley County offensive line coach Ryan McKenzie has had the good fortune of working with a pair of current Georgia offensive line starters in Trey Hill and Warren McClendon over the last few years during his coaching stops. He also coached former Georgia signee D’Antne Demery at Brunswick High School, too.
McKenzie thinks that Mims has more college potential than any of those guys at this same stage of their college careers. That’s not only due to his status as the only 5-star recruit, but also his immense size. The newly-minted Georgia commitment is every bit of 6 feet, 8 inches and 320 pounds during his senior year of high school.
Mims is the prototype of what an elite ALL-SEC level offensive tackle looks like. The former high school tight end has put together some dominating clips on the field. He is a monster in the trenches, but he is also a young man who is regarded for his great character on and off the field.
“This is a kid who loves people,” McKenzie said. “He has the best personality I’ve ever associated with a 5-star.”
He said that coaching him has been like raising a German Shepherd. A very big one.
“When I get home from work, he’s jumping on me,” McKenzie said. “That’s him. When I see him, he’s jumping on me. He’s fist-bumping me. Normally people that big are just like “hey coach wassup” and they go about their business. With him, I have to tell him not to come into the meeting room with his cell phone.”
That’s because his phone is always ringing. So many people are trying to get at him.
“He just doesn’t want to disappoint people,” McKenzie said.
The one Amarius Mims story every UGA fan needs to read
McKenzie has plenty of stories about Mims. But we’ll use this commitment day story space to once again share his best one.
“He was on his way to get that scholarship and before the first-round playoff game [last year] he breaks his wrist,” McKenzie said. “He looks at it and says whatever we have to do so I can play first round so I can be there for my brothers is what we’re going to do. Whatever we have to do, he says.”
McKenzie was thinking about his future.
Mims was thinking there was no way he’d miss his next game.
“We went board drills before the first big playoff game on Monday,” McKenzie said. “We shouldn’t have been doing it probably. Coach [Von] Lassiter and I talked about it. It was the first time we had been in the playoffs for awhile here.”
Mims came out the very first rep. He put the linebacker on his back. Then planted his hand.
“He gets up and he is holding it,” McKenzie said. “He looks up and said ‘Coach it hurts a little bit’ and we take him to the doctor. He fractured his wrist.”
“They put him in the cast and the first thing he says is ‘Coach I am playing on Friday’ after that.”
That was last year against Fitzgerald. Mims played in that game.
“That’s the type of kid he is,” his line coach said. “Not the No. 2 player in the nation. Not the I-have-got-to-protect-myself-and-my-future kid. It was ‘I want to play in this game and I want to be there for teammates. They need me.’ That’s the type of kid he is.”
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