Texas hybrid TE Jalen Wydermyer calls UGA ‘amazing place’ to play ball
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet today calls for an introduction to 3-star Texas tight end prospect Jalen Wydermyer.
This is the time of year when offers are tracked, visits are followed like Santa’s sleigh by NORAD and new interesting things mushroom up on the recruiting trail. It seems like the perfect segue to bring up 3-star Texas tight end Jalen Wydermyer.
When the fact that Wydermyer is from Texas comes up, there’s immediately the thought about how out-of-state prospects are hard to lure from a couple of time zones away.
Had the most amazing time at Georgia today really is an amazing place💪🏽💯🐶 pic.twitter.com/gIxzgtMNnh
— Jalenwydermyer (@Wydermyer81) April 8, 2018
The Dickinson High School standout already has an offer from UGA. He rates as the nation’s No. 17 tight end on the 247Sports composite for 2019.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect also has passed the size and ability test. Wydermyer’s profile page on 247Sports also lists offers from heavyweight programs such as Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami and Texas A&M.
The seriousness starts when guys start taking multiple visits to UGA. Well, he just visited UGA over the weekend. He also told DawgNation that he surely will grant the Bulldogs an official visit.
Will the Bulldogs take another tight end? Well, this is a lean year for scholarships around Athens. Don’t expect them to sign 26 guys as they did in 2018. Georgia also has secured a commitment from Ryland Goede. He’s the nation’s No. 6 tight end prospect from Kennesaw Mountain.
Wydermyer tells DawgNation that the Bulldogs are still deeply interested regardless. Well, a lot of recruits would like to think that. But he also noted that he had a 20-to-30 minute conversation with Kirby Smart on his recent visit. The 3-star recruit also said that he had multiple extended conversations with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Those conversations totaled up right at an hour of one-on-one time.
The Bulldogs staff — given the way it recruits at an optimum level — likely don’t extend that amount of time to a prospect unless there is something significant they see in him.
Wydermyer’s favorite part of his trip likely was the visit to a work-in-progress Sanford Stadium. He was amazed by the hedges and the way the fans sit so close to the field.
“That was even how it looked while it was under construction,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how it looks when it is all dialed in nice for an actual game.
“That’s why I can’t wait to get out there for my OV.”
Why did Jalen Wydermyer visit UGA?
That seems like a pretty good place to start.
“Well, the coaches have been asking me to get out there,” Wydermyer said.
He called it a “long trip” but it was one that he “was definitely willing to make” to see Athens. He felt that he wanted to make that trip since the Bulldogs have been recruiting him hard. UGA defensive graduate assistant Wendell Davis has been a primary contact.
Wydermeyer hoped to use that road trip to also visit Alabama, Auburn and LSU, but he didn’t have the necessary time to make all those stops. He was able to spend about 24 hours in Athens and form a very strong impression.
“It was great,” Wydermyer said. “I loved it and everything about it. The scenery. The town of Athens. It has a lot of sights and it not too far from the big city of Atlanta. I remember the hills around campus. It was all just great. The coaching staff is great. The practice was great. I just really had a great time there.”
Offensive analyst Jay Johnson started talking to Wydermyer a few months ago. Then Davis took over.
“He’s been the guy to know for me at Georgia,” Wydermyer said. “He’s been my guy to call so he’s really helped me out a lot getting to know about the program. Both Coach Davis and Coach Chaney are really helping me learn a lot about Georgia and I’m really liking it.”
Which schools recruit him hard? He said that Baylor, LSU, Miami, Missouri and Texas A&M were all contacting him at regular intervals. He has seen Baylor and visited Texas A&M when he was a freshman.
Wydermyer enjoyed the UGA visit so much he said he would definitely have to visit again on an official.
How would Jalen Wydermyer fit in at UGA?
Chaney sat Wydermyer down and told him exactly what UGA was recruiting him for.
“He was speaking to me more as a man and what I needed to do more than a kid who was looking at colleges and who he was trying to get on his team,” Wydermyer said. “I loved that about him — the way he spoke to me and was recruiting me like he was thinking about my future. Not just as a player he could use to help win games.”
It was explained to him that the staff looks at him as more of a hybrid tight end. His potential role was detailed to him by Chaney. That meant a lot to him coming from the offensive coordinator.
“They sat me down straight up and said that they don’t really have a guy at tight end with a lot of speed that can beat a safety down the field in a one-on-one match,” Wydermyer said. “He said they don’t have a guy like that with my speed. They have a lot of great blocking guys at my position but not a lot of athletic hybrid guys that can really move around the field and they want me to run around and they want me to make plays and block.
“Georgia wants me to be an athlete for them at tight end.”
Wydermyer told DawgNation that his 40 times are in the 4.6 range. He also reinforced that the trip should not be taken as a token or a light-hearted visit.
“Georgia is going to be seriously considered,” Wydermyer said. “They were seriously considered before, but I just didn’t realize until I went to that campus how special that place was. I mean people were telling me how beautiful the campus was and how great the staff at Georgia was. But when I got there, I saw all of that. I seriously had a great time.”
He said that the Bulldogs are “now up there at the top” among his college options. The rising senior also is thinking about enrolling early. It sounds like he will take all of his official visits and then sit down with his family to figure out the best next chapter in his career.
If he signs on the first day of the early period it will take place on his birthday.
The other schools that are in it for Jalen Wydermyer
He does seem like a young man with his head on right.
I just wanted to say I really appreciate all the coaches and college staff that takes the time out their day to send me college mail. It lets me know y’all are still thinking about a lil ole Tight End from Dickinson Texas💯
— Jalenwydermyer (@Wydermyer81) April 8, 2018
Wydermyer said that every recruit grows up dreaming of winning rings at Alabama. But he also admits that he was a huge Miami fan growing up. That meshes well with the heavy interest he is receiving from the Hurricanes.
He’s also aware of the tight end tradition at Miami.
“Never in my life did I think that I was going to be recruited by Alabama and Georgia and then Miami as well,” he said. “I’ve got all of them and a lot of other schools to think about.”
Look for him to major in criminal justice and minor in psychology or sociology. He likes watching crime dramas and detective stories on TV.
He said his father grew up watching Herschel Walker when he played at UGA.
“Georgia is a great program that is really on the rise,” he said. “They are not far from winning a national championship. So for them to recruit me is a blessing. It is an honor. Especially knowing how big of a Herschel Walker fan my dad was. We watched a lot of his film and he was a great player and a great athlete.
“It was great going there and then seeing his Heisman (Trophy) and all of his awards.”
Miami might be the only school recruiting him harder than the Bulldogs. He also said that Texas A&M is pretty much coming at him with the same intensity that UGA has shown.
He has a unique personal story as well. Wydermeyer and his family lost their home in the recent tornadoes that hit Galveston and his part of Texas. They lost everything.
The obligatory visiting prospect practice report
Wydermyer saw the Bulldogs scrimmage on Saturday. He called it “very competitive.”
“They really have some great weapons among their receivers and at quarterback,” Wydermyer said.
He was clearly impressed by freshman Justin Fields.
“He can throw,” Wydermyer said. “As much as he is known to run the ball, he really has a cannon on him and he’s very accurate. He’s got a lot of height, too.”
Jake Fromm also flashed for him. He saw No. 11 make a lot of plays.
“I had heard about him,” Wydermyer said. “I heard of how he played in the National Championship Game and led them there. He’s very accurate with his throws. He’s very accurate with those back-shoulder fades. That’s what Coach Chaney and I kept talking about. He puts it right on the receiver and is great at leading the receiver to set up a big gain after the catch and he can run around also. That was really great to see, too.”
He felt the offense won that scrimmage.
“The receivers were making big plays and the quarterbacks were making better throws. Tight ends were making plays. It was cool. It was really great to see.”
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