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Jaleel McRae/courtesy
Four-star linebacker Jaleel McRae says he gets a lot of attention from Georgia Tech, but he already knows he wants to take an official visit to UGA.

LB Jaleel McRae already has UGA official visit in mind

Jeff Sentell

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 for Thursday calls for a second chat with former Florida commit Jaleel McRae. McRae recently visited UGA and shared his takeaways from that trip. 

Jaleel McRae didn’t hesitate when asked if Georgia is going to get one of his official visits.

“Most definitely,” he said.

The 4-star linebacker from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) took a recent unofficial visit to Athens and came away very impressed.

“They will most definitely be one of the schools among my top picks whenever that comes out,” the former Florida commit told DawgNation.

How would he describe his latest visit in one word?

“Fun,” he said. “Coaching staff is great. Those are father figure coaches and everything. That’s really what I am looking for in this recruiting process. I’m just looking for a home where I can feel comfortable for about four to five years. Georgia is clearly one of those places.”

McRae ranks as the nation’s No. 7 outside linebacker prospect for 2019. He also checks in at No. 113 overall on the 247Sports composite. But he’s not sure if Georgia views him as an outside or an inside linebacker.

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Jaleel McRae enjoyed another recent visit to UGA. (Jaleel McRae/courtesy)

His measurables indicate he might flex inside. He’s already 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds in his junior year of high school. The Bulldogs like their OLBs to have more length at that size to patrol the edges of their defense.

Florida State, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M are just some of the schools that he plans to take a hard look at, along with the Bulldogs.

McRae said there’s one thing his parents really will like about Georgia: the academics. They have some other desires, too.

“My mom and dad really want me to find a coaching staff that they can trust,” he said. “They want to know they can lay their head down at night and know that I will be in a good place and be safe where I go.”

He has family that lives in the metro Atlanta area in Lithonia.

“I really like that competing mindset they have about Georgia now,” he said. “I feel like I can bring that into a team. That’s what I really love that the most about them.”

What did Kirby Smart tell Jaleel McRae about UGA?

McRae spoke to both Kirby Smart and ILBs coach Glenn Schumann. Schuman said he wants to see him come to camp this summer and work out. That will tell the Bulldogs if he’s a better fit for ILB or OLB in their scheme.

This prospect has clearly evolved. He played safety his freshman year of high school and is now rated as an OLB. Those positional rankings have shifted as he’s kept growing.

Smart also gave him a pretty clear read about the future of the Georgia football program.

“He said Georgia will expect you to come in and compete at a high, high standard,” McRae said. “Nobody will be handed a position no matter how good they are. He also said that Georgia would most definitely be back in the SEC championships and the national championships and this time they were going to win it.”

McRae liked the sound of that.

“Most definitely,” he said. “I’m trying to get to a team that will get me to a winning standpoint and also help get me a couple of rings before I’m ready to leave college football.”

He’s got a strong background that propels him to excel. McRae told DawgNation all about that recently while discussing the 14 reasons why he plays football. 

When discussing those “father figures” on the staff at UGA, he named Schumann, Smart and running backs coach Dell McGee.

“That man right there,” McRae said of McGee. “He’s real. I talked to him, and I really felt that about him.”

Another thing to like about Kyle Hamilton

Did you read all about Marist 3-star safety Kyle Hamilton yet? He’s the 6-3 junior who scored a 30 on his ACT and has offers from Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford.

Hamilton also recently saw his rating bump from the nation’s No. 82 to the No. 69 safety. He’s also now the No. 91 player in Georgia. That’s up from No. 126 as of yesterday. Look for that to continue to climb.

I’m not ringing any bells and stumping for some sort of great rankings crime here. It is natural to see some market corrections up ahead for the Class of 2019. That will happen with Hamilton. He is too talented not to shoot up the rankings for 2019.

Yet I also liked two other things he had to say this week. The first was about those rankings.

“I don’t really care or look at it,” Hamilton said. “I have enough options at this point where the rankings don’t really matter to it. It would probably be a plus for me, but I don’t get that deep into it.”

He also shared his thoughts about what he wants to study in college. If he chooses Georgia, he said he likely would pursue a degree in the Terry College of Business. Yet he’s also expressed an affinity for media studies.

Hamilton shared an interesting story about some of his “investigative” work for a student-run broadcast station at Marist. The broadcasting group puts together a program that airs every Friday.

He had a big story his sophomore year. It unraveled the mystery of a funny smell coming from an area near the cafeteria.

“So we talked to the principal to see if we could interview the custodians about what it was,” Hamilton said. “It turned out to be the air conditioning. It was filtering out the bad things in the air and a cleaning crew comes and cleans that out every weekend. So by the end of the week, it just starts smelling progressively worse.

“We answered a lot of questions with that.”

Are you watching the second season of QB1 yet? 

Jake Fromm starred in the first season of QB1: Beyond the Lights from Real Networks a year ago. As luck might have it, the next big-time Bulldogs signee now stars in the second season. That’s 5-star QB Justin Fields.

That name has shown up a time or two for DawgNation while covering the Class of 2018. There’s a pretty cool scene in the fourth episode with Fields. That one showcases the game where Rome (and UGA signee Adam Anderson) faced Harrison. Fields gave the Wolves their toughest game of a dominating repeat state championship season.

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Justin Fields gave Rome a game last fall before he committed to UGA. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

When Fields took off on that viral clip and hurdled a Rome defender, it caught a lot of eyes. It also caught the eyes of one of the men in stripes.

One of the game officials nonchalantly walks into the frame and keeps on walking past Fields as he waits to get the signal from the Hoyas sideline for the next play.

A member of the officiating crew walks by and said, “That was a great play over here” shortly after that play.

That moment is about as good as Fields and the rest of the Harrison line making it clear how they felt about Anderson’s ability to fly in off the edge.

“Yo, how did he get back there that fast?” Fields said about a particular play that was blown up by Anderson.

There was also a telling “He is who we know he is” from an unidentified member of the Harrison staff.

There are a lot of good clips featuring two future Bulldogs who will likely make a ton of SEC opponents feel that same way over the next three or four seasons.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-America linebacker Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.