Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a chance to visit with 5-star ILB prospect Nakobe Dean on the verge of his college decision.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Nakobe Dean turns 18 today.
The nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect (per the 247Sports composite ratings) celebrates his birthday far away from home as part of a Mississippi squad preparing to face an Alabama squad in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
“I can’t do anything from here,” Dean said. “I’m here. I’ll do something next week [in Mississippi] when I get back after I sign.”
The newly-minted Mississippi state champion still found some fun on Wednesday.
It was interesting to see that both he and Georgia commit John Rhys Plumlee (update to follow on that young man) were just about the only players enjoying the old school Motown playlist that came through the speakers for Mississippi’s first practice at Stanhope-Elmore High School.
Dean visited with reporters during the check-in at that Alabama-Mississippi All-Star event on Saturday. He fielded a lot of questions.
Alabama questions. LSU questions. A lot of Ole Miss questions. The Georgia staff has made sure to let him know how much of an impact he could make on the program.
He fielded a pair of questions that guided him to share what he felt was “unique” about Alabama and Georgia.
It was a day where he didn’t divulge much and did not plan to, but those two statements stood out.
Alabama: “All the culture. The type of coaches they bring to the table and how will I feel and where I fit in at the university and how they will develop me on and off the field.”
Georgia: “The same. The culture. It is just they have a similar culture as ‘Bama but it is a little different feel at Georgia. Little more of a ‘homey’ feel. It is business but it is a little less. It is business.”
What the home visit showed Nakobe Dean about UGA
Nakobe Dean said that the home visit wasn’t necessary to see a different side of Kirby Smart. Dean’s family adores Ole Miss coach Matt Luke. His mother, Neketta, has even called him “divine.”
But the home visit with UGA wasn’t necessary to see a different side of Smart.
“All the times I have been to Georgia I have been able to see a more relaxed side of coach Smart so for me and everything to ….”
And that’s the point where Plumlee rushed up to the side of Dean and tapped him.
Plumlee, who will now operate on a new timeline with his recruiting, remains committed to Georgia.
But he was bouncing up and down and smiling around Dean.
“He coming,” Plumlee said not once but three times in succession and then went on his way.
Dean smiled and laughed. Then he paused and resumed his answer to his previous thought.
“….so when he came to my house he just acted like he regularly acts,” he said.
The subject there was there, but UGA assistant coach Dan Lanning has been a major recruiting asset for the Bulldogs here. That’s a relationship that goes back to his days as a Memphis assistant. Dean discusses a lot of the nuances of football with his potential position coach in Glenn Schumann.
Lanning recruits the entire family. Schumman’s communication is centered on the potential relationship with Dean.
This is a program recruitment of Dean, though. I don’t think the benefits of Jonas Jennings and strength coach Scott Sinclair are discussed enough in published stories about his upcoming decision.
The Bulldogs have shown themselves to be as stout as any program in the country when it comes to the support staff and relationship to the assistant coaches in the pursuit of Dean.
What was the last message that Smart and the staff left him with after that in-home visit?
“Basically how we can come and my class can be the first to do it for Kirby Smart at Georgia,” Dean said. “They haven’t won a national championship in a while so that’s why I say it would be the first to do it. They were excited about how I could come in and be a part of that.”
How close does he feel the Bulldogs are to that title?
“They are right there,” Dean said. “For sure.”
He said that 5-star Nolan Smith is always on him about choosing the Bulldogs.
“Nolan is always text messaging me,” Dean said. “He’s saying ‘Are you good?’ and he’s talking about we can be roommates and everything so we’ll see.”
Smith isn’t the only one.
“I know I’m hearing from John, too,” Dean said in regard to his “he coming” visitor.
Does Nakobe Dean have a hunch yet?
Nakobe Dean said he hasn’t made his decision yet. Look for him to make a major decision about his school today and then wrestle with it over the next few days. He left that timeline stuck in a general gear.
But he does have a hunch.
“Not with specifically one school,” Dean said. “I know I’ve got a little hunch for a couple.”
He explained where that little hunch comes from.
“Just how I feel at the university,” Dean said. “The people. The academics. The football. All of that taken together and what I think I could do or accomplish at the university. How they could market me the best.”
What happens after he clears his head fully and arrives at his decision? He feels he will have notified all his choices at least 1-2 days in advance of the first day of the early signing period.
“Whenever I decide I feel to be respectful to the schools I will call them and let them know thank you for recruiting me but I feel like another school would be better for me,” he said.
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