The Georgia Bulldogs picked up a big-time win on the recruiting trail, as the Bulldogs landed a commitment from 5-star athlete Malaki Starks.
Starks rates as the No. 29 overall player in the 2022 class and the No. 4 player in the state. If you still need more convincing of how talented Starks is, the other two hats on the table were that of Alabama and Clemson. This was a big-boy win for the Bulldogs in the 2022 recruiting cycle.
“Georgia made me feel like they actually wanted me, not like I was some other 5-star player that was getting a jersey number,” Starks said on why he picked Georgia. “That meant a lot to me. Having that connection with all of the coaches, the whole coaching staff.”
The reactions of not just Kirby Smart but multiple members on the Georgia coaching staff also show how much his commitment meant to them.
Go Dawgs Baybeeeeee!!!!!!!!! #CommitToTheG
— Glenn Schumann (@CoachSchuUGA) March 25, 2021
— Dan Lanning (@CoachDanLanning) March 25, 2021
GOT US ONE‼️ #CommitToTheG
— Jahmile Addae (@Coach_Addae) March 25, 2021
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) March 25, 2021
Smart actually interrupted his won press conference to drop a Go Dawgs shortly after Starks committed to the program on Thursday.
At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Starks stars both ways for the Jefferson Dragons in Jefferson, Ga. The expectation is that he’ll be a safety at Georgia, but there’s a possibility Georgia could move him around on the offensive side of the ball as well.
“I’m very confident in what I’m able to do,” Starks said. “So to just be able to play both sides of the ball is huge.”
With Starks in the class, the Bulldogs shoot up to the No. 2 overall class in the 2022 rankings, behind only Ohio State. The Bulldogs now have nine commitments, with eight of them coming from Georgia. Starks comes from Jefferson, Ga.
Georgia also has commitments from three of the four 5-star in-state prospects, as Starks joins quarterback Gunner Stockton and athlete Deyon Bouie.
Georgia coaches though weren’t the only ones who were excited about the addition of Starks to the class, as the 5-star win was welcomed by Georgia fans and recruits alike.
You just love to see it 😁 pic.twitter.com/wUchjfmJYP
— Ax… (@AXactlyAx) March 25, 2021
Malaki Starks is a big pickup for Georgia. Do-it-all type player with high end athleticism and versatility that makes him one of the best prospects in the 2022 cycle. Well-rounded game that projects him as a back seven playmaker at the next level pic.twitter.com/ihCmUm9pPS
— Charles Power (@CharlesPower) March 25, 2021
Malaki Starks 5⭐️ ATH has decided to commit to the Dawgs.🔴⚫️
— 🚫🔑LEE Ring0️⃣ (@HBTFD1) March 25, 2021
5 ⭐️ Athlete Malaki Starks is a Dawg! pic.twitter.com/qvgP13GGRo
— We Are Dawgnation!🍁 (@dawgnation17) March 25, 2021
BREAKING!! 🚨 5-star ATH Malaki Starks has COMMITTED TO THE G!! This is a huge pick up for the Dawgs!! #CommitToTheG 🐶🐶🐶
— Caleb Figgures (@CalebFiggures) March 25, 2021
BREAKING: 5 🌟 ATH Malaki Starks has just Committed to Georgia!
The Top 15 Player in the Class of 2022 chose the Bulldogs over Clemson and Alabama.
With the addition of Starks, Georgia moves up from the #4 Class to #2 (183.70 -> 204.50) passing up Notre Dame and LSU pic.twitter.com/S3XqeQSoQn
— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) March 25, 2021
5-⭐️ athlete Malaki Starks has verbally committed to UGA as a member of the 2022 class. He plays quarterback at Jefferson High School (among other positions) but projects as a safety in college.
BIG TIME get for the Dawgs. pic.twitter.com/STYJyhQPGR
— 960 The Ref (@960theref) March 25, 2021
— UGA Supporters (@Support_UGA) March 25, 2021
The tweet that makes me happier than a seagull with a french fry. Let’s gooo. https://t.co/2YMb42MAC0
— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) March 25, 2021
The best tweet of the night came from Starks’ mother. The younger Starks, who picked Thursday as his commitment date due to it being his father’s birthday, said being close to home was a crucial reason Georgia ended up landing his services.
Words cannot describe how I feel at this moment I am so proud of God has so much more in store for you. stay just as you are proud mom and dad GoDawgs🔴⚫️🔴⚫️🔴⚫️. Georgia Mom🐶🐶 pic.twitter.com/aRMiC2jLQi
— Tisha Starks (@TishaWillimas) March 26, 2021
Starks may not be the last big addition of the week for Georgia when it comes to the 2022 recruiting class as 4-star linebacker Jalon Walker is set to announce his commitment on Sunday. Walker is the No. 50 overall player in the 2022 recruiting cycle. The Salisbury, N.C. native has a final three of Georgia, Clemson and North Carolina.
Landing Starks is already a massive win for Georgia on its own. He’s now on the very short list of best safety prospects to pick the Bulldogs, joining Richard LeCounte and Lewis Cine. The Bulldogs have had some pretty good defensive backs under Smart, who was a safety himself.
Beyond Starks’s talents and commitments though, the part that will get Georgia fans and coaches most excited is what Starks had to say when asked what kind of player is Georgia getting?
“We’re gonna win the natty,” Starks said. “With all the tools we’ve got coming in, especially in my class and the work ethic they have and the leadership to the team, I definitely believe we can win the natty.”
Malaki Starks explains why he picked Georgia
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