D’Antne Demery already knows what his college decision will be. He also expects to share that decision sometime soon.
The four-star offensive tackle defined “soon” as this spring. It would most likely be during his spring football practice at Brunswick High School in Coastal Georgia.
“I have already talked to my family and told them what I want to do,” Demery said. “They have their support behind me and have told me to just go with it.”
The nation’s No. 23 offensive tackle is being considered as a left tackle by all his top schools. His most recent college visit was to UGA. Demery recently told DawgNation he sees a lot more excitement in Athens with the new coaching staff. He also already enjoys being around new offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
“Pittman tells me he really likes my feet the best,” Demery said. “I hear from Coach Pittman just about every day. I spoke to Kirby Smart (earlier this month) and we just talked about life and just catching up. He basically just wants to stay in contact with my family and with me.”
Most recruits have a funny story or three by now to share regarding Pittman.
“Coach Pittman and I have a good relationship,” Demery said. “We are alright … we are not locked in but we have a real good relationship. He’s a cool dude, too.”
Demery was just shy of the 6-foot-6 mark when measured at the Nike’s “The Opening” regional camp in Atlanta. The 319-pounder showed off good feet, length and overall size.
He ran a 5.7 in the 40, but that was a laser time for a big man with size-15 feet on a cold and blustery day. Demery was named one of the most impressive players at the Atlanta regional qualifier and received one of those golden invitations to “The Opening” final camp at Nike headquarters this summer.
It was a great measure of the progress the nation’s No. 130 overall prospect has made in his game over the past eight months. Before, he was an athlete who looked the part but maybe didn’t always perform like it.
The buzz word about Demery was “raw,” but the skill he displayed at the Nike regional now merits a more promising phrase. “Improved” and “physical” now seem much more aligned with a fair scouting report of Demery than “raw.”
It was also an incredible feat for his high school program. Demery is believed to be the first prospect from Brunswick to earn an invitation to Nike’s all-star prospect camp at its world headquarters.
The gains he has made are important to him. He didn’t want to just be a big man who garnered offers based on his impressive frame and the way he moves. He’s not stiff, but he still wanted to live up to those offers.
“I have put in a lot of work on my craft trying to get better at this,” Demery said. “I feel like I have improved a lot over the past six months. I feel like my footwork has gotten better. I feel like I have gotten a lot stronger in the weight room.”
Which school will he choose? Demery broke down each of his top schools with a short summation of what he feels is the biggest reason he would go to each school.
Alabama: “They win championships and they are doing it big over there.”
Clemson: “I like Clemson. I have been there like twice. The last time I went there they were loving me up.”
Florida: “They have great coaches. I like their coaches and I love Florida. It is way closer to me than any other school. It is like two hours aways.”
Georgia: “It is my home state school and I just love Georgia.”
What other factors are there to consider with his decision? Demery said there is a lot of momentum among the state’s top prospects to play together in college. Those guys had the chance to hang out and bond during the Rising Seniors event in December.
“Something like that,” Demery said. “We are trying to do something big. Just talking to everybody. Everybody is thinking about Georgia or playing at Georgia right now.”
Demery can enroll early, but currently plans to stay in school for his entire senior year.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.