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The roll call of recruits on hand for Georgia-Tennessee on Saturday will include 8 of the Top 10 players in Georgia for the 2017 cycle.

Sentell’s Intel: Robust guest list for Tennessee now includes more than a half-dozen 5-star prospects

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or that 5-star might be leaning and sprinkle in a dab of perspective to help folks figure out what it all means. 


The M.O. for Georgia football recruiting has been overhauled for the Kirby Smart era. What happened in Dawg Night was a clear tell. The “wow factor” for a ton of huge official visitors coming to Athens for a big weekend is no longer the ideal.

That process of an all-or-nothing weekend doesn’t mesh well with the focus this staff also places on winning a big football game.

At least not while Georgia is still building up its program. This coaching staff would rather systematically continue to enhance a strong recruiting relationship over months.

Yet this weekend’s home game against Tennessee still gives the Bulldogs the chance to showcase the program on a big stage. There will be a lot of recruits in town, including a group of 5-star prospects from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes had moved up to seven at last count.

5-star RB prospect Cam Akers (left) will be one of the most important recruits in town this weekend. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
5-star RB prospect Cam Akers (left) will be one of the most important recruits in town this weekend. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

There also will be a lot of commitments in town, but there just won’t be a lot of official visits taking place on Saturday.

Only one of those 5-stars, Texas cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, will be on an official visit. He most likely will sign with Ohio State, but the UGA staff will take a good run at him this weekend.

Who is making the trip? We’ll run down the list of all the big names that DawgNation has confirmed over the last several days. It is by no means an official list and is always subject to change.

2017 recruits 

(Listed in order of overall national ranking)

Official visitor

6. 5-star CB Jeffrey Okudah (No. 1 CB / South Grand Prairie / Grand Prairie, Tex.) — Undecided

Unofficial visitors

8. 5-star RB Cam Akers (No. 2 RB / Clinton HS / Clinton, Miss.) — Undecided

24. 5-star S Richard LeCounte III (No. 1 S / Liberty County / Hinesville, Ga.) — UGA commit

41. 4-star S DeAngelo Gibbs (No. 2 S / Grayson / Loganville, Ga. ) — Undecided

UGA 2017 QB commit Jake Fromm will be sure to hang out with a trio of potential game-breaking receivers in Athens this weekend. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
UGA 2017 QB commit Jake Fromm will be sure to hang out with a trio of potential game-breaking receivers in Athens this weekend. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

49. 4-star QB Jake Fromm (No. 4 QB / Houston County / Warner Robins, Ga.) — UGA commit

55. 4-star CB Jamyest Williams (No. 7 CB / Grayson / Loganville, Ga.) — South Carolina commit

58. 4-star OT Andrew Thomas (No. 11 OT / Pace Academy / Atlanta) — UGA commit

77. 4-star DT Aubrey Solomon (No. 5 DT / Lee County / Leesburg, Ga. ) — Undecided

78. 4-star ILB Nate McBride (No. 1 ILB / Vidalia / Vidalia, Ga.) — Undecided

86. 4-star WR Nico Collins (No. 13 WR / Clay-Chalkville / Pinson, Ala.) — Undecided

90. 4-star OG Netori Johnson (No. 6 OG / Cedar Grove / Ellenwood, Ga.) — UGA commit 

97. 4-star DE Malik Herring (No. 5 SDE / Mary Persons / Forsyth, Ga.) — Undecided

118. 4-star OT D’Antne Demery (No. 17 OT / Brunswick / Brunswick, Ga.) — UGA commit

135. 4-star OLB Jaden Hunter (No. 11 OLB / Westlake / Atlanta) — UGA commit

144. 4-star ATH Tray Bishop (No. 4 ATH / Terrell County / Dawson, Ga.) — Auburn commit

152. 4-star CB William Poole III (No. 17 CB / Hapeville Charter / Atlanta) — UGA commit

4-star receiver Jeremiah Holloman has UGA and Tennessee among his top schools. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
4-star receiver Jeremiah Holloman has UGA and Tennessee among his top schools. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

153. 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman (No. 23 WR / Newton / Covington, Ga.) — Undecided

209. 4-star ILB Leonard Warner III (No. 9 ILB / Brookwood / Snellville, Ga.) — Undecided

253. 4-star ILB Tyler Taylor (No. 12 ILB / Lanier / Sugar Hill, Ga.) — Undecided

258. 4-star WR Trey Blount (No. 36 WR / Pace Academy / Atlanta) — UGA commit

265. 4-star OLB Walter Grant (No. 17 OLB / Cairo / Cairo, Ga. ) — Undecided

317. 4-star ILB Kenney “KJ” Britt (No. 15 ILB / Oxford / Oxford, Ala.) — Undecided

400. 3-star OG Justin Shaffer (No. 20 OG / Cedar Grove / Ellenwood, Ga.) — UGA commit

582. 3-star ILB Monty Rice (No. 22 ILB / James Clemens / Huntsville, Ala.) — Undecided

590. 3-star DT Devonte Wyatt (No. 44 DT / Towers / Decatur, Ga.) — UGA commit

1730. 3-star DE London Lewis (No. 84 SDE / St. Pius X / Atlanta) — Undecided

NR. Unrated WR LJ Holloman (Unranked/ Newton / Covington, Ga.) —  Undecided

NR. Unrated K Brenton King (Unranked / Mill Creek / Hoschton, Ga.) — Undecided

NR. Unrated K Cole Phillips (Unranked / Cairo / Cairo, Ga. ) — Undecided

2018 recruits 

(Listed in order of overall national ranking)

All unofficial visitors

12. 5-star OG Jamaree Salyer (No. 1 OG / Pace Academy / Atlanta) — Undecided

5-star OG Jamaree Sayler is one of the priority recruits in Athens this weekend. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
5-star OG Jamaree Sayler is one of the priority recruits in Athens this weekend. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

18. 5-star CB Derrik Allen (No. 2 CB/ Lassiter / Marietta, Ga.) — Undecided

40. 4-star CB Houston Griffith (No. 5 CB / IMG Academy / Bradenton, Fla.) — Undecided

63. 4-star OT Max Wray (No. 8 OT/ Franklin / Franklin, Tenn.) — UGA commit

102. 4-star OG Trey Hill (No. 3 OG / Houston County / Warner Robins, Ga.) — Undecided

104. 4-star OT Rueben Unije (No. 10 OT / IMG Academy / Bradenton, Fla.) — Undecided

118. 4-star OT Christian Armstrong (No. 13 OT / Warner Robins / Warner Robins, Ga.) — Undecided

135. 4-star DT TK Chimedza (No. 12 DT / IMG Academy / Bradenton, Fla.) — Undecided

203. 4-star ATH Kearis Jackson (No. 16 ATH / Peach County / Fort Valley, Ga.) — Undecided

217. 4-star OLB Adam Anderson (No. 13 OLB / Rome / Rome, Ga.) — UGA commit

261. 4-star OLB Quay Walker (No. 16 OLB / Crisp County / Cordele, Ga.) — Undecided

364. 3-star CB Chris Smith (No. 40 CB / Hapeville Charter / Atlanta) — Undecided

400. 3-star RB Lyn-J Dixon (No. 22 RB / Taylor County / Butler, Ga.) — Undecided

NR. Unrated SDE Taylor Upshaw (Unranked / Braden River / Bradenton, Fla.) — Undecided

2019 recruits 

(Listed in order of overall national ranking)

All unofficial visitors

6. 4-star WR JaShawn Sheffield (No. 1 WR / Frederica Academy / Saint Simons Island, Ga.) — Undecided

21. 4-star OG Keiondre Jones (No. 1 OG / Callaway / Hoganville, Ga.) — Undecided

25. 4-star OT Warren McClendon (No. 3 OT / Brunswick / Brunswick, Ga.) — Undecided

34. 4-star DE Nolan Smith (No. 3 WDE / Calvary Day School / Savannah, Ga.) — Undecided

71. 4-star OT Luke Griffin (No. 7 OT / North Murray / Chatsworth, Ga.) — UGA commit 

NR. Unrated ATH Jaylin Simpson (Unranked / Fredrica Academy / Saint Simons Island, Ga.) — Undecided

NR. Unrated DE Travon Walker (Unranked / Upson-Lee / Thomaston, Ga.) — Undecided

5 things of interest about this week’s visitors

  • If you’re keeping track, that’s 40 prospects in total just among the 2017 and 2018 classes.
  • The state of Georgia is well-represented. The Bulldogs will host 8 of the state’s top 10 players for 2017. That reach extends to 18 of the state’s top 30 for 2017.
  • The list includes 10 of the program’s 16 current commits for 2017. 4-star DE Robert Beal Jr. will take an official visit to Alabama. 4-star cousins D’Andre Swift and Mark Webb Jr. reside in Philadelphia, so that’s a long haul for an unofficial visit. Matt Landers, a 3-star WR, hails from South Florida and he won’t make it. The same goes for 4-star CB Latravious Brini in South Florida, too. Toniel Carter, a 4-star RB from Texas, also won’t be able to make it in.
  • Look for Georgia to sign five more linebackers for the Class of 2017. Five of the top 6 guys they are in considering at that spot will be in town, except for Crisp County LB Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant. Bryant has Homecoming this weekend in Cordele, Ga.
  • Georgia hopes to close out its receiver commitments for the Class of 2017 with Nico Collins and Jeremiah Holloman. Both of those guys are in town this week. Those will be big unofficial visits, and at least Collins is sure he will back for an official visit.

Notable omissions from the visitor list 

  • 5-star QB Trevor Lawrence (Cartersville / Cartersville, Ga.) plans to attend Clemson-Louisville this weekend. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2018. Look for him to take an unofficial to Georgia (perhaps the Auburn game) later this fall.
  • 5-star RB Zamir White from Laurinburg, N.C., was torn between attending Georgia-Tennessee and Clemson-Louisville this weekend. He opted to go see the Tigers in Death Valley. The nation’s No. 1 RB for 2018 is a special talent that has lived up to the Todd Gurley comparisons since they starting coming his way during his freshman year. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has 10.5 speed in the 100 meters and maintains a very high rate of speed while changing direction.
  • 5-star junior DE Justin Mascoll (South Gwinnett / Snellville, Ga.) is expected to travel with his teammate, DT Robert Cooper, to FSU this weekend. Cooper, a 350-pound prospect, is committed to the Seminoles for the Class of 2018.
  • 4-star CB Christian Tutt is considered a UGA lean given his connections to the school, his relationship to 2017 commit Richard LeCounte III and the fact his uncle Danny Verdun-Wheeler played at UGA. Yet he won’t be in Athens this weekend. He’s also opting for that Clemson-Louisville tilt. Tutt (Thomson / Thomson, Ga.) is rated as the nation’s No. 97 overall prospect for 2018.

Noting a recruiting trend at UGA

The one thing we’ve noticed so far is the current UGA commitments saving their official visits for December and January. Look for at least one huge officials weekend in December that will be a priority for all the early enrollees.

That will cover commits like Toneil Carter, Jake Fromm and Richard LeCounte III. It also will be a major target weekend for impact recruits like Cam Akers and Jeremiah Holloman. Those guys all plan to enroll early.

There just doesn’t seem to be any need for the commitments to take their official visits during the season. That’s a good indicator the program believes having a lot of strong commitments in town for certain select priority weekends can go a long way toward bringing the program’s other most-wanted targets into the fold, too.

Quick note about a UGA commit 

Griffin impressed the Georgia coaches with his effort level and his character at an evaluation camp this summer. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Griffin impressed Georgia coaches with his effort level and his character at an evaluation camp this summer. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

North Murray (Chatsworth, Ga.) sophomore offensive tackle Luke Griffin committed to Georgia during the summer.

He also suffered a concussion earlier this week that involved a set of harrowing circumstances where he was down on the field and wasn’t moving for approximately 15 minutes.

That condition was the result of him taking an apparent knee to the head during a play while he was playing on the defensive line. Griffin plays both ways for his team.

He eventually was taken to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Griffin made his way through his required concussion protocol and already was back on the field last week. Jason Griffin, his father, said that his son returned strong and he felt that the 4-star recruit played his best game of the year last week in a loss to Calhoun.

Griffin also faces a huge rival game tonight against Murray. The nation’s No. 71 overall prospect in the Class of 2019 also plans to be at the UGA game on Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder has great feet and competes with a high level of intensity. That fits the mold for the UGA offensive line going forward under line coach Sam Pittman.
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Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.

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