Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. In today’s edition, we take a look at a pair of prospects visiting Athens this weekend, one of whom is a behemoth 5-star offensive tackle who could help change the fortunes of Georgia’s offensive. ‘Croot ’em up, Kirb Stomp.
Potentially big recruiting weekend for Dawgs
Say what you will about how he’s done on the field in his first full season as head coach, but Kirby Smart is killing it on the recruiting trail right now. Last week, Smart and his staff received pledges from a pair of high-priority in-state targets. Georgia already has one of the best classes in the country right now, and it has a chance of getting even better soon. A few major recruits visit Athens this weekend and make their decisions soon after. One in particular, though a long shot it may be, would be a monumental signing for Smart.
The long shot is 5-star Brooklyn, N.Y., offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, a mammoth of a man at 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds.
Uga this weekend ??
— Mr. Wilson® (@_LayZay_) December 8, 2016
The type of offense Smart and Jim Chaney want to run is predicated on a big offensive line that can bully a defense. The relative smallness of Georgia’s line this year was one reason the run game was so bad. Frankly, Georgia will continue to struggle on offense until it gets some help in the form of more beef up front. That help is on the way.
Wilson would be the crown jewel in a class of offensive linemen already full of 300-plus-pound hog mollies such as Netori Johnson, Andrew Thomas and D’Antne Demery. Wilson is the kind of cornerstone you can build an offense around, especially with the likes of Jacob Eason, Brian Herrien, Toneil Carter, D’Andre Swift or Jake Fromm lining up behind him. Georgia already has a fantastic O-line class. Wilson would make it one of the best I’ve ever seen.
One ace Georgia seems to have in the hole is offensive line coach Sam Pittman. Wilson told Jeff Sentell in a recent interview how funny he thinks Pittman is and how he likes the “straightforward” way Pittman talks to him.
“Coach Pittman is very straightforward and says what’s on his mind,” Wilson said. “I like that in a recruiter because I don’t have to fight through the fluff.”
(Although I have been outspoken against the offense Georgia was trying to run in the past, Pittman is one guy who gives me hope. Chaney certainly has his flaws as a play-caller, but Pittman is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country, bar none. But he needs big-bodied guys, even if they aren’t super-talented. If they are, all the better. However, Pittman has never had the talent and size he’s getting with this Georgia class, and add an exclamation point to this sentence if Georgia lands Wilson. I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia has one of the country’s biggest and baddest offensive lines in the next few years.)
Wilson isn’t waiting too long after the Georgia visit to make a decision. He’ll be picking his school on Christmas Day.
Christmas is a time for gingerbread houses… Presents under the tree and … Commitments… STAY TUNED 12/25/16 ?
— Mr. Wilson® (@_LayZay_) December 5, 2016
Michigan seems to be the favorite for Wilson, trailed by Alabama. Georgia still seems like an unlikely destination, but much stranger things have happened. Pittman is a really good recruiter who seems to have a good rapport with Wilson. There is an opening at the starting tackle position, with no obvious candidate to fill it, so he would have a chance to start right away. And Georgia gets one of his final visits (I’m not sure if it is the final visit) before he makes his decision, so the Bulldogs will have one of the last words. Lots of factors are playing in Georgia’s favor. Any time you can get a prospect on campus, you have a shot. If Smart can make that shot, it’s hard to understate how big it would be for Georgia.
Proud to say I've just received my 10th offer from the university of Georgia ???⚫️⚪️ # Bulldogs pic.twitter.com/Es6rqzQ0f1
— LONNIE JOHNSON (@Lonnie30johnson) December 6, 2016
Another prospect — one who seems much more likely than Wilson to pick Georgia after his visit — is JUCO defensive back Lonnie Johnson out of Garden City Community College. Although listed as a safety, the 6-3 Johnson seems likely to play corner if he comes to Georgia. He’s tall, rangy and exactly the kind of corner Smart wants more of on his roster. Johnson received an offer from the Bulldogs a few days ago and immediately scheduled a visit for this weekend. He’s set to make a final decision Tuesday, just a few days after he leaves Athens, with plans to enroll in his chosen school in January.
The other four official visits Johnson has taken were to Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, West Virginia and Kentucky. While Kentucky and West Virginia are both Power Five options, Georgia is the most prestigious program on the list. The timing of everything screams “Georgia” to me, as well. With a visit on the weekend and a decision on Tuesday, it seems like he’s taking the visit to make sure everything is on the level at Georgia, and once everything checks out, he’ll sign. We’ll have to wait until Tuesday to know for sure.
One last reel
The season is over, but Georgia football isn’t finished producing videos that make your pulse race and heart swell. Here’s the video that was played at the annual Senior Gala.
Many of the Georgia football hype videos you’ve enjoyed over the last few years have come from Frank Martin. Martin has no doubt gotten you pumped for many Georgia games. He’s responsible for the excellent “Autumn Fire” series released throughout this season. This hype video before the LSU game in 2013 was Martin’s work, as was the Loran Smith-penned “Letter for Larry,” in tribute to the late, great Larry Munson, later that year.
In case you forgot, Nick Chubb is a bad man
— scott sinclair (@coach_sinclair) December 7, 2016
- Towers’ Take: About Georgia not having any All-SEC players (Chip Towers, Dawg Nation)
- Georgia Mailbag: Happy holidays, now here’s a lump of coal (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Does UGA have a long-time ally in the race for 4-star WR Nico Collins? (Jeff Sentell, Dawg Nation)
- What it’s taken for Alabama to become a power is what Kirby Smart hopes to build at Georgia (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
- So about that All-SEC Team … (MaconDawg, Dawg Sports)
Anyone wanna offer these guys scholarships?