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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Gunner Stockton committed to Georgia on Thursday.

Top 2022 recruits take notice of Gunner Stockton’s UGA commitment

It’s hard not to notice when a 5-star quarterback commits somewhere, given the responses it tends to generate on social media.

That’s why there seemed to be so much chatter when 5-star 2022 quarterback Gunner Stockton announced his commitment to Georgia on Thursday.

Gunner Stockton-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting

Related: Why Gunner Stockton committed to Georgia

Stockton is the No. 27 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 3 player in the state. His commitment moves Georgia into the No. 3 spot for the 2022 rankings, with all seven of Georgia’s commits coming from the state of Georgia.

The only commit ranked higher than Stockton in Georgia’s class right now is 5-star defensive back Deyon Bouie. But with a quarterback of Stockton’s quality in the fold, Georgia only figures to grab more highly-touted recruits in the coming months as the 2022 recruiting cycle takes shape.

A number of those major targets took notice of Stockton’s commitment. Georgia targets like 5-star athlete Malkhai Starks, 4-star offensive lineman Tyler Booker, 4-star tight end Oscar Delp, 4-star and wide receiver Kojo Antwi were just some of the 2022 prospects to react to Stockton’s announcement.

Related: Oscar Delp: Georgia continues its daily recruiting of its top 2022 TE target

Stockton was originally committed to South Carolina, but he backed off that pledge after Will Muschamp was fired and Mike Bobo was hired to be the offensive coordinator at Auburn. Georgia initially finished as the runner-up for Stockton’s services when he first committed last August.

Bobo and Auburn had seemed like a possible, maybe even probable, landing spot for Stockton. Ultimately, the stability and long-standing relationships he had at Georgia were why the Bulldogs won out.

“He feels like the University of Georgia and becoming a Bulldog is what is best for him,” Stockton’s father Rob told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. “We’re super excited as a family that he’s got this pressure off of him.”

Should Stockton maintain his 5-star rating, it would give Georgia back-to-back classes with a 5-star quarterback as the Bulldogs signed Brock Vandagriff in the 2021 class. Stockton and Vandagriff faced off against each other during the 2020 season, with Stockton’s Rabun County getting the best of Vandagriff’s Prince Avenue Chrisitan Academy 38-31. It was the only game Vandagriff lost all season.

Gunner Stockton highlights vs. Brock Vandagriff

“He’s a competitor,” Stockton said of Vandagriff after the faced off in September. “To me being a competitor is the ultimate goal you can have. He plays hard. It was pretty cool playing against him.”

Recruits though weren’t the only ones to take notice of Stockton’s commitment, as the news was celebrated by fans and the coaching staff alike.

Georgia signed has the No. 3 recruiting class in the 2021 recruiting cycle, with National Signing Day set for Wednesday. Kirby Smart has signed a top-3 recruiting class in each of the past five cycles and with Stockton now committed to Georgia, it looks like that trend will continue for a sixth straight cycle into 2022.

When speaking during the early signing period in December, Smart made it clear why quarterbacks, like Stockton and Vandagriff, want to play at Georgia.

“Quarterbacks want to play at Georgia,” Smart said. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they enjoy playing at Georgia. Criticism is going to be there in everything we do, but the opportunity to play at the University of Georgia and be a quarterback].

“Those kids want the opportunity to do that. They want the opportunity to win championships, and you putting yourself in the conversation about being able to win championships is always going to put you at the forefront of every quarterback’s in the country list.”

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