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 like Trey Dean or Darnell Jefferies might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
HAMPTON, Ga. — Dutchtown 4-star safety Trey Dean didn’t have on a pair of UGA socks Sunday.
He also did not name the Bulldogs as his top school or leader. Dean didn’t have to. He made it that obvious.
The nation’s No. 22 safety for the Class of 2018 was clad in Georgia apparel from head-to-toe as he watched the Atlanta MVP Camp. He even unzipped his Georgia jacket to show he had another piece of team gear on below.
Dean basically looked like something out of the Nike UGA catalog.
Georgia slides? UGA windbreaker?
Georgia bookbag? Bulldog wristbands attached to said bookbag?
Check. Check. Check. All of the above.
He also updated his timeline. Dean had planned to make his commitment known sometime this May. He’s since backed that up to sometime in “July or August.”
“Georgia is definitely on my list,” Dean said. “Along with Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.”
He said Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Alabama were recruiting him the hardest at this time.
What would be the biggest reason why he wouldn’t have to get rid of all the gear he wore on Sunday afternoon?
“The head coach coaches the DBs at Georgia,” Dean said. “I really like that.”
Dean said he will still be a package deal with 4-star Crisp County LB Quay Walker. That likely would mean Walker will not follow his Crisp County teammate Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant to Auburn.
Dean said he does not have an offer from Auburn at this time.
He also offered a prediction on his good friend. He established a bond with Walker at the Rising Seniors game in December.
“I don’t think he’s going to Auburn,” Dean said. “What defense does Auburn run? Mostly? That’s a 4-2-5. I don’t think that’s a good fit.”
Trey Dean is not worried about competition
Dean feels the Bulldogs have made him a definite priority for 2018.
“They said that I am very high on their list,” Dean said. “I am high on their list (for 2018) as a home state kid and they do not want me or any of the talented Georgia boys to get out of the state and leave this state. They are just trying to keep me at home. They are most definitely trying to keep me home.”
The Dutchtown standout was not concerned about the seven defensive backs UGA signed in 2017.
“I’m never going to shy away from competition,” Dean said. “I don’t think that Georgia would want to sign any players that did.”
He made his last visit to Georgia about two weeks ago. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect said he also will return to Athens in two weeks. He also plans to be at G-Day on April 22.
Dean also plans to be at G-Day on April 22.
Priority DL is giving Clemson a very hard look
Newton High 3-star DT Darnell Jefferies has been to Clemson three times over the last month. He’s built a great relationship with those coaches and noticed a true family feel regarding that program.
One of the coaches there didn’t call him a “man-child” but opted for the phrase “man man-child” to embellish his worth.
“I think I’m very highly ranked and that has been consistent with the coaches,” Jefferies said. “Their defensive line coach consistently tells me I am one of the top guys they need among the defensive linemen.”
He’s also been impressed by the facilities. Clemson’s new facility upgrades — like the slide that takes a player from the upper levels to the ground level — was a source of joy.
“It is like when you on a down day then you can just go down that slide to get your energy back up,” he said. “It gives you a pick-me-up to get back going.”
Georgia doesn’t have that. Or a bowling alley.
“But Georgia is a really nice school,” Jefferies said. “Especially with the new indoor facility and the new weight room that is going to likely get added onto everything there.”
Look for him to take at least two more trips to UGA. He said he needs to check out the program at least two more times before he’d be ready to move toward a decision.
Jefferies noted he was done with recruiting trips for March. He’ll check out Florida State for several days in early April. Visits are also planned for Louisville, Kentucky, Ole Miss and LSU next month.
Who wants Darnell Jefferies the most?
Jefferies couldn’t identify which school is recruiting him the hardest right now. He said to look for him to make his decision sometime before his senior season.
Georgia remains consistent in its pitch.
“Just keeping in contact with Kirby Smart and the new D-line coach Tray Scott,” Jefferies said. “They are both cool coaches. They are always staying on top of me to do better in school and always keep my head high and keep grinding.”
He described Scott as being “very cool and very humble.”
“He’s just so relaxed like he’s been there before already,” Jefferies said. “He’s very funny.”
His former Newton teammate Jeremiah “J.J.” Holloman is a source about UGA. Holloman enrolled early in January with the Class of 2017.
“He doesn’t push me on anything,” Jefferies said. “He just tells me to go where your heart tells you to go.”
Jefferies said he has a very good relationship with 2019 UGA commitment Nolan Smith II.
“He’s a very humble kid,” Jefferies said. “I’ve known him since we were at the ‘FBU’ camp together. He’s also humble. Always ready to work. Always gives all the thanks and praise to God for what he is able to do on the field.”
He said he could see himself playing with a guy like that.
Look for Jefferies to cut his list down to a top 8 sometime over the summer. How would he describe the chances of Georgia making that list when that time comes?
“Very high,” Jefferies said.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder has been to UGA more than 10 times. He said to also look for him at G-Day on April 22.
“I need to do more research and more talk with my parents,” Jefferies said. “I still need to sit down with Clemson even though I’ve been there a lot lately. But I still need to sit down with their defensive line coach and their defensive coordinator and talk more about the ins and outs of their school and their defense.”
Quick take on where Jefferies is rated
Jefferies is rated as a 3-star recruit by the 247Sports composite. There are segments of the recruiting industry that have very pointed opinions when they see sentences like the term “underrated” and “3-star recruit” in the same sentence.
A 3-star recruit is still seen a very good player. But when a player is rated as a 3-star prospect and there are two tiers of rankings above that, that can only spark a discussion about whether players are underrated or overrated.
Jefferies is ranked as the nation’s No. 31 prospect at DT, and that’s when the bells go off for me. That rating simply doesn’t match his offer list and options. Especially at a premium position like the defensive line.
Jefferies has found himself a very wanted man by Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and South Carolina, among others. Alabama is Alabama. Enough said. Clemson is now a national brand. The Tigers are only going to sign about 13 players this year.
When they want Jefferies but can only sign about half of the players the rest of the country can, that’s a big reason why Jefferies has options beyond his current value across the rankings industry.
This discrepancy is likely much ado about nothing. Jefferies will camp a lot over the next 2-3 months and the market will correct itself. His star ratings will change, but he’ll still be the same dominating player I saw last season and during the Rising Seniors practices in December.
There are prospects with single-digit offers currently rated above him right now.