What a 5-star 2021 Georgia quarterback committing to Oklahoma means for Georgia football
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Top Georgia high school quarterback Brock Vandagriff commits to Oklahoma
Kirby Smart has accomplished a lot when it comes to the recruiting front. He signed the nation’s No. 1 overall class in 2018. He signed the No. 1 overall player in Nolan Smith in the 2019 class. He’s signed the top-ranked players from Knoxville, Tenn. —Cade Mays — and Columbia, SC — Channing Tindall.
But for all that success, there’s one thing he hasn’t done. Sign the No. 1 ranked quarterback in the state of Georgia. And that trend will continue into 2021 with Brock Vandagriff’s commitment on Thursday.
Vandagriff hails from Bogart, Ga. which is just about 20 minutes from Sanford Stadium. He’s the No. 2 ranked player in the state and the No. 18 overall player in the 2021 Composite rankings. But despite the proximity to Athens, he ended up picking Oklahoma.
— brock 🌊 (@BrockVandagriff) June 20, 2019
Oklahoma has produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners and the last two No. 1 overall draft picks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Reports indicate the Sooners and Lincoln Riley don’t intend to sign a quarterback in the 2020 class. All of these are compelling reasons why a quarterback as highly rated as Vandagriff would pick Oklahoma.
Georgia on the other hand already has a 2020 quarterback commitment in 4-star prospect Carson Beck. While his No. 94 overall player ranking isn’t as high as Vandagriff’s, Beck did lead his high school team to a state title in Florida’s highest classification in 2018. And if he wows at The Opening next week — where he’ll be 7 on 7 teammates with Georgia running back target Kendall Milton — he could really shoot up in the rankings.
And for all the online chatter about Georgia seeing another talented quarterback leave the state — like Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson — it’s not like Georgia has been hurting at the quarterback position since Smart took over before the 2016 season. Georgia signed 5-star quarterbacks in Jacob Eason and Justin Fields.
Those two ended up transferring because Jake Fromm, a quarterback from the state of Georgia, ended up outplaying them. Fromm himself was the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the state of Georgia for the 2017 class. But ask just about any college football fan whether they’d rather have Fromm or the No. 1 quarterback in the state in 2017 — Stanford quarterback Davis Mills — just about everyone would pick Fromm.
Recruiting rankings aren’t perfect. So far, Fromm has proven to be a better college player than Eason and Fields. And it’s worth mentioning that recruiting rankings are used as predictive rankings for the NFL draft — a 5-star ranking means a likely first-round pick — and not always how they’ll be as college players.
Even if Georgia doesn’t land a quarterback as highly rated as a Vandagriff, the Bulldogs are still probably going to have an elite team when the Bulldogs visit Oklahoma and Vandagriff in 2023. Following Thursday’s commitment from 4-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy, Georgia now has the No. 4 overall recruiting class for the 2020 cycle. In the previous three cycles, Georgia has signed the No. 3, No. 1 and No. 2 recruiting classes.
And if you’re looking for a quarterback name to watch for the 2021 class, let me alert you to Caleb Williams from Washington DC. He is a dual-threat prospect — as opposed to Vandagriff’s pro-style listing — and rates as the No. 31 overall prospect in the class. He, like Vandagriff, is a 5-star prospect.
Williams has made multiple trips to Athens this year, including a visit earlier this month. And while it may end up being nothing, check out Williams Twitter header. It’s him in a Georgia jersey.
So worry not about Brock Vandagriff and the No. 1 quarterback in the state of Georgia for the 2021 recruiting class. Because Smart has shown that he’s able to at least sign big-time quarterbacks from across the country.
Nicolas Claxton drafted by the Brooklyn Nets
Georgia basketball forward Nicolas Claxton didn’t end up going in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. But he didn’t have to wait much longer than that, as he was taken with the first pick of the second round by the Brooklyn Nets.
Claxton was taken with the No. 31 pick in the draft. He spoke with reporters after his announcement and was glad to end up in Brooklyn.
“I knew it was a pretty good possibility I would be picked here,” Claxton said after being drafted. “To be picked here is a blessing and I’m ready to get to work here in Brooklyn.”
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are expected to keep Claxton after initially trying to shop the pick. Brooklyn traded out of the first round of the draft to try and preserve cap space as they pursue the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Claxton is the first Georgia player drafted since the Detroit Pistons selected Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013. Last season, Claxton led Georgia in points, rebounds and blocks.
But Claxton told reporters last night that he knows there are areas of his game he has to work on.
“I’m going to continue working on stretching my game out with being consistent with my jump shot and continue to add some muscle,” Claxton told reporters. “I’m going to be a force in the NBA.”
Claxton made only 28 percent of his 3-point shots last season. He made 64 percent of his free throw attempts, but that has a 13 percent improvement from his freshman season.
Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean also took time to praise the Nets’ decision to draft Claxton.
“We are all very happy for Nic,” Crean said. “Being drafted by an organization on the upswing like the Brooklyn Nets that is so well run by Sean Marks and well coached by Kenny Atkinson will be tremendous for Nic. Personally, I was hopeful he’d go to an organization that was totally committed to player development, and that’s definitely the case with Brooklyn.”
Georgia almost certainly has a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as Anthony Edwards is expected to be a top pick in next season’s draft.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- With Marcus Rosemy commitment, Georgia football continues to win in and against Florida
- Georgia football podcast: The surprising comparison between Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa
- Closer look: Georgia football players photo gallery from Camp Sunshine
- Why Georgia football’s 2019 schedule could give it an advantage over Clemson come College Football Playoff
- Camp Sunshine: Smart place for young cancer patients to find hope and happiness
- Georgia stars Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift bring rays of joy to Camp Sunshine
- LOOK: 5-star recruits laugh at hilariously bad anti-UGA comic
Dawgs on Twitter
The @BrooklynNets are on such an upswing. Sean Marks is running a high level operation and Kenny Atkinson can really coach and develop and they are surrounded by a tremendous staff. They were fun to watch and are really moving up. A great place for @_claxton33
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) June 21, 2019
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) June 20, 2019
— Marcus Rosemy 🌐 (@rosemy_marcus) June 20, 2019
— Cortez Hankton (@Coach_Hankton) June 20, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
— FOX 9 (@FOX9) June 20, 2019