Just returned to the media work area at the Butts-Mehre Building after listening to Kirby Smart remarks about the 2018 recruiting class Georgia inked on national signing day. As one might expect, he was “excited” about the class but called the day “anticlimactic” based on all the work the Bulldogs had already done in the early signing period in December. At the end of the day, though, Georgia hauled in six more players to finish with 26 total and land what was regarded as the consensus No. 1 class in the country.
“That’s really does not float my boat or this staff’s boat,” Smart said, then he enumerated all the academic accomplishments of the group.
He did allow that it’s “hard to argue with the results we achieved” and admitted to not sleeping much the last couple nights as he sweated out how many of Georgia’s final targets it would end up. He said as of yesterday the Bulldogs were concerned it might only be one. Instead, they appear to have gone 4-for-4 on WR Tommy Bush, CB Tyson Campbell, S Otis Reese and linebacker Quay Walker.
“It’s a position of need for us,” he said of defensive line. “We wanted both of those guys.”
Four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge Jr. announces South Carolina Gamecocks over Georgia and North Carolina at his ceremony in Concord, N.C.
Georgia receives the official paperwork of Quay Walker, Tommy Bush and Tramel Walthour and announces their additions on Twitter via @FootballUGA.
They oddly spent a lot of time early on talking about quarterback Justin Fields, who signed nearly two months ago. But the best stuff from Kirby Smart in his interview with ESPN2 came on the phenomena of “flipping” players from previous commitments. Georgia landed longtime Alabama commitment Quay Walker and longtime Michigan commitment Otis Reese, among a few others. Smart was asked how they are able to do that so “late in the game.”
“I don’t think you flip kids late in the game,” Smart said. “You start early in the process. … Flips don’t happen in the last minute. They happen over time from relationships you’ve built with these players.”
Smart was lauded for landing the majority of prospects they wanted from Georgia, including five of the state’s top-rated recruits. Smart countered that he believes that got the best players from several other states as well.
“We were very fortunate this year to go outside our state and sign what we think is the best player in North Carolina, Illinois, South Carolina and probably even Tennessee,” he said. “The University of Georgia is a great brand name that’s capable of branching out. We signed less in-state players this year than last year. It’s just an evaluation process we have to go through.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart is about to be interviewed on ESPN2. Tune in now, or we’ll let you know shortly if he says anything pertinent.
For what it’s worth, Tyson Campbell’s signing paperwork is in. …
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) February 7, 2018
Getting a lot of questions regarding Georgia’s numbers. DawgNation’s Seth Emerson will be offering a full report eventually, but here’s what we have at the moment: The Bulldogs had 63 players on scholarship heading into national signing day, not including the 2018 signees who have already enrolled. Obviously, if you add 26 scholarships, that puts UGA at 89 total. That’s over the NCAA limit of 85, but they’re not all enrolled yet. Nine have, so technically Georgia’s number is 72. The rest of the class generally shows up for summer semester in June. They’ll have to be under by then.
And now, we wait. There are at least two more prospects on Georgia’s board, 4-star defensive lineman Rick Sandidge Jr. of Concord, N.C., and wide receiver Antoine Green of Rockledge, Fla. They’re currently scheduled to make their announcements at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively. The thought is that the Bulldogs are maxed out now with 26 signees. But we aren’t privy to UGA’s numbers and there are still some ways to make them work.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart is scheduled to brief the media during a news conference at 3:15 p.m. We’ll find out more then about a lot of things.
Here is Jeff Sentell’s TAKE on Tommy Bush signing with UGA.
And the hits keep coming for Georgia. The Bulldogs just landed wide receiver Tommy Bush of Shertz, Texas. A 4-star prospect and another Top 100 player. That’s the 13th Top 100 recruit for the Dawgs. Bush should give UGA 26 players in the 2018 class, which may present a numbers challenge.
Bush is 6-foot-5 and gives the Bulldogs a potential replacement for the ultimate “high-point receiver,” Javon Wims. Click HERE to learn more about Bush.
While Georgia’s recruiting is rolling here, the Bulldogs get the news of a verbal commitment for their 2019 class from Kennesaw Mountain tight end Ryland Goede, per report of DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. …
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) February 7, 2018
To put Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class into perspective, and its place as reigning SEC East champion, the Bulldogs now have secured the nine highest-rated prospects of any other team in their division.
Quay Walker, a 4-star linebacker from Crisp County and longtime commitment to Alabama, announced that he’s going to sign with Georgia as well. And he did it in dramatic fashion, pretending like he was going to put on an orange Tennessee cap and then flinging it across the room before standing up to reveal a UGA shirt underneath his jacket, black Georgia-G slacks underneath tear-away warmup pants and putting on a straw Georgia sun hat.
For a quick look on Walker — who gets a 5-star ranking from 247Sports.com — click HERE.
Georgia makes the signing of Otis Reese official via its official Twitter account. …
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) February 7, 2018
Tramel Walthour of Liberty County joins Georgia’s loaded 2018 recruiting class, per Nathan Deen, who was at signing ceremony. I went down to Hinesville and met this fine young man a couple weeks ago. He’s a 3-star but could be a steal..
So, who is Tramel Walthour? Click HERE.
Was having internet issues during the signing but Liberty Co. DT Tramel Walthour officially joined the loaded @UGAAthletics 2018 recruiting class about half an hour ago. #RareBreed18. pic.twitter.com/okrYE0ZWxg
— Nathan Deen (@NathanDeenSMN) February 7, 2018
As long is there are no unexpected changes regarding their paperwork, Georgia has clinched the No. 1 spot in 247Sports.com’s composite recruiting rankings. That site takes the rankings from the four major national recruiting websites and averages them. Georgia was already No. 1 per Rivals and ESPN. See the FULL RANKINGS HERE.
A good little tidbit from Kipp Adams of 247Sports. …
Just to show how #UGA is recruiting in this cycle, Otis Reese was the highest-rated member of Michigan's class. Now becomes the 11th highest-rated in the #Dawgs class. Likely soon to become 12th in the next thirty minutes. https://t.co/JFSMgBLVNc
— Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams) February 7, 2018
DawgNation’s Daniel Shirley was in Leesburg for the signing of Otis Reese, who Georgia flipped from Michigan. Click HERE to read his report.
UGA football’s Twitter account makes official the signing of commitment Jordan Davis, a 6-foot-6, 330-pound defensive tackle from Charlotte, N.C. Here is what you need to know about this 3-star signee. That’s 23 total in the Class of 2018.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) February 7, 2018
Four-star linebacker/safety Otis Reese says he’s “going to take my talents to Georgia.” Was a longtime Michigan commitment. Another big get for the Bulldogs, who likely have sewed up the No. 1 overall recruiting ranking with his addition. Not official yet, though.
Who is Otis Reese? Seth Emerson tells you HERE.
HERE is Jeff Sentell’s live report from Plantation, Fla., on Tyson Campbell signing.
American Heritage High School cornerback Tyson Campbell chooses the University of Georgia over Alabama. DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell is there. “When I went there, I just felt comfortable and it was a place I felt like I could play at,” Campbell said during his live ESPNU announcement.
So who is Tyson Campbell? Go HERE.
Sounds like Otis Reese may be closer to 10:30 a.m. before he signs.
A former Bulldog finds a new home …
— ESPN 1420 (@espn1420) February 7, 2018
DawgNation’s Seth Emerson reporting that Georgia has re-hired Scott Fountain. He was a special teams analyst, then left for a full-time assistant’s job at Mississippi State a month ago. Now Kirby Smart reportedly has brought him back as a full-time assistant. His background is with special teams and tight ends. We’ll check in with Smart later this afternoon to find out exactly what his responsibilities.
All is quiet at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. Usually a busy nerve center on National Signing Day, UGA did not put out coffee and donuts in its rotunda area for fans. Only one Georgia fan milled around the museum area looking at exhibits around 8:30 Wednesday morning.
There is activity at the Blind Pig Tavern in Athens, however. The traditional hangout for recruitniks is holding its traditional breakfast buffet and local radio station 960 The Ref is broadcasting live from there, as per usual. But there are reportedly decidedly fewer participants this year.
That’s understandable with Georgia signing only about five more prospects to its 2018 class. According to ESPN, 82 percent of the potential FBS signees for 2018 already signed in the first signing period, which was just before Christmas. The Bulldogs inked 20 themselves, with as many as nine already entering UGA as early enrollees.
ATHENS — Georgia dominated the first early signing period for college football in December, landing six consensus 5-star prospects. The Bulldogs hope to build on that with another strong showing during the traditional National Signing Day, which begins on Wednesday morning.
The Bulldogs stood at 20 signees and two verbal commitments when the last signing period concluded. At the time, the 2018 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the country.
Entering Wednesday, Georgia’s class sits at No. 2 in the 247Sports composite rankings behind Ohio State. But depending on how they do on Wednesday, the Bulldogs could move back into the top spot. They’re hoping to sign at least five more players to national letters of intent.
We will have live updates throughout the day with all the latest news. Follow the Bulldogs all day in the stream below:
Georgia recruiting updates, signee tracker for National Signing Day
For some mobile users, a better reading experience can be found here.
Times to watch
These are important times for Georgia fans to keep an eye on Wednesday:
- 9 a.m. — 3-star DT Jordan Davis/Mallard Creek, Charlotte, N.C. (No. 29 DT)
- 10 a.m. — 5-star CB Tyson Campbell/American Heritage/Plantation, Fla. (No. 2 CB)
- 10 a.m. — 4-star LB Otis Reese/Lee County/Leesburg (No. 5 OLB)
- 10:30 a.m. — 3-star DL Tramel Walthour/Liberty County/Hinesville (No. 45 DT)
- 11 a.m. — 4-star LB Quay Walker/Crisp County/Cordele (No. 3 OLB)
- 11:35-11:45 a.m. — 4-star WR Tommy Bush/Samuel Clemens High/Schley, Texas (No. 37 WR)
- 2:30 p.m. — 4-star DT Rick Sandidge/Concord High/Concord, N.C. (No. 14 DT)
- QB: 1
- OL: 5
- RB: 2
- WR: 1
- TE: 2
- DL: 3
- LB: 2
- DB: 3
- P: 1
- Georgia: 12
- Florida: 3
- Oklahoma: 1
- Tennessee: 1
- North Carolina: 1
- South Carolina: 1
- Illinois: 1