It seems that DawgNation is getting a daily reminder of just how effective Sam Pittman was on the recruiting trail. The latest visit plan for 5-star Georgia OT commitment Broderick Jones is indicative of that.
Jones is a vital finishing piece for Georgia’s 2020 class. He had been committed since April of 2018 (at least) but did not sign during the early period. Pittman’s path to Arkansas had a lot to do with that.
Pittman’s impact was felt yesterday with the Cade Mays transfer portal news. It comes back up again today with word that Jones has shuffled up his official visit plan for when the dead period lifts on Jan. 17.
Mays may be going to Knoxville, but Jones isn’t anywhere for an official. DawgNation has learned that Jones has rescheduled one of his three official visit weekends. Tennessee’s weekend has been replaced by a trip to go see how Pittman is doing.
DawgNation has learned from independent sources that Arkansas will now get the first of his three planned official visits. His visits on subsequent weekends to Georgia and Auburn, in that order, are still planned at this time.
The news of the visit was first reported by Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and wholehogsports.com earlier on Thursday.
Jones ranks as the nation’s No. 2 OT for the 2020 cycle on the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was rusty and at least 15 pounds underweight, but still flashed an elite showing at the Under Armour All-American Game and practice week leading up to Jan. 2.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound currently ranks as the nation’s No. 19 overall prospect for 2020 on that same scale. He is taking his visits, but should still be seen as a solid verbal commitment to Georgia at this time.
Broderick Jones: The things to know moving forward
The Lithonia High star also doubles as a double-double machine on the hardwood for the Lithonia basketball team at this time. His Lithonia Bulldogs held the No. 1 ranking in GHSA Class 5A earlier this year.
How did he feel about Georgia in Orlando? He made a few eyebrow-raising comments about a “50/50” percentage fit during Under Armour week. That should be interpreted as a comfort fit between Georgia and Auburn and not an outright percentage on the odds for each program.
Auburn is also currently seeking to replace its offensive line coach. Former line coach J.B. Grimes stepped down from his post with the Tigers earlier this week.
He also said that week that he still considers himself committed to Georgia.
“Still committed,” he said about Georgia on Dec. 28. “They are still my top school right now. Just I have got to take my official visits. Georgia is still the top. Still the top ‘Dawg right now.”
He said he didn’t have any questions about the UGA program at this time.
“I don’t have a big concern with Georgia right now,” he said. “Because I know if I go in and do what I have to do then everything will work out the way I plan it to.”
Location is a big factor here. That’s why it will be unlikely that even Pittman’s magic touch will be able to turn the Razorbacks into a serious contender. Georgia All-American OT Andrew Thomas was also from Lithonia and Jones was always keen to monitor his development playing within the Georgia program.
Pittman had a major hand in that. But geography will always be a positive for the Bulldogs in this recruitment.
The fact that it is Athens is a big priority,” he said on Dec. 28. “Because I want my family to be able to come up to the games. Because that’s right up the road from where I live. That’s a big factor for them so they won’t have to do too much traveling.”
“I want to stay close to home because of my mom and my grandmother,” he said. “I want to stay close to be able to help them out too as well.”
He also pointed out that he noticed the class that Georgia has built. And can still keep building. The Bulldogs can still finish the recruiting cycle with the nation’s No. 1 class.
“That’s a big point, too,” he said. “Because with that, the people that came in I feel like we can build a powerhouse team. It was already a powerhouse team so that has just added on fuel to the fire. We’ve got to seal the deal now for however, it goes and then get the job done.”
Those comments came before he got to tag along 5-star ATH Darnell Wsahingotin all week in Orlando. He also formed a clear bond with fellow O-line commitment Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.
Curious to get your own read on Jones? Check out his DawgNation interview from the Under Armour “Media Day” below.
DawgNation also captured Jones in action during the practices leading up to the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 2.