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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Nolan Smith's stock rose this week. He is now the No. 2-ranked player in the nation, according to some recruiting services.

5-star UGA commit Nolan Smith II sees another significant rankings boost

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 Wednesday calls for a quick run-through of the recent rankings update for 5-star UGA pledge Nolan Smith II

Nolan Smith II could not care less about rankings and crystal balls and all of that stuff.

But the hard-working and astute professionals who assess and evaluate elite prospects for a living clearly do. There’s a lot of time, effort and energy that goes into those rankings. Rivals.com recently released an evaluation on Smith that finally placed him as a 5-star prospect.

That status also elevates Smith, who is the longest-tenured member of Georgia’s Class of 2019, to No. 2 nationally on the 247Sports composite standard.

Nolan Smith-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting-UGA football recruiting-Georgia football
Nolan Smith is now the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite standard for 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

247Sports already had the Savannah, Ga., native as the nation’s No. 2 overall recruit for its rankings. Smith, who will be a two-time participant at The Opening Finals later this month, now ranks as the nation’s No. 11 overall recruit according to Rivals.com.

Who’s number 1 ahead of Smith? The opinion differs there. Smith trails California 5-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux on the composite scale while the pure 247Sports rating has Ohio 5-star DE Zach Harrison at No. 1 overall.

The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Smith came up with a 4.51 laser time in the 40 at Nike’s The Opening Atlanta regional event earlier this year. He paired that with a 39.6-inch vertical leap, a 4.15 short shuttle time and a power ball toss of 44.5 feet to earn a 141.18 Nike overall Sparq rating.

That’s the fourth-best Sparq score in the nation this year. Auburn 5-star linebacker pledge Owen Pappoe has the best overall score this year with a regional-event record 147.12 showing.

Smith is the only prospect within the top 10 nationally on the Sparq leaderboard who weighs more than 219 pounds. He also weighs at least 25 pounds more than eight other members of that top 10.

The new highest-rated commit for UGA in 2019 gave DawgNation a pretty good snapshot about the strength of his commitment earlier this month. 

He is now a strong contender for nation’s No. 1 overall player for this cycle.

What about the rest of the UGA commits and targets for 2019? 

Let’s take a look at where the current crop for 2019 stands on the 247Sports composite.

2019 UGA commits (8)

  • IMG Academy (Fla.) 5-star DE/OLB Nolan Smith: Moved up to No. 2 overall
  • Cedar Grove (Ga.) 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood: Still the No. 1 WR, but falls to No. 6 overall
  • Walton (Ga.) 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock: He’s now the nation’s No. 4 WR and No. 23 overall
  • Clinch Co. (Ga.) 4-star ATH Trezmen Marshall: Moves to No. 6 ATH, but falls to No. 103 overall
  • Dacula (Ga.) 4-star CB Jalen Perry: He’s now at No. 16 at CB and at No. 142 overall
  • Christian Brothers (Tenn.) 4-star DE Bill Norton: No. 10 at strongside DE and No. 143 overall
  • Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.) 4-star TE Ryland Goede: Nation’s No. 4 TE is now at No. 162 overall
  • Blessed Trinity (Ga.) 4-star LB J.D. Bertrand: Now the nation’s No. 17 OLB and at No. 260 overall

2019 UGA targets in the top 100

  • IMG Academy 5-star RB Trey Sanders: Remains as the No. 1 RB and at No. 7 overall
  • Belleville (Mich.) 5-star OL Devontae Dobbs: Slots at No. 3 nationally at T and at No. 13 overall
  • Horn Lakes (Miss.) ILB Nakobe Dean: Nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect is now at No. 20 overall
  • Archer (Ga.) 5-star CB Andrew Booth: Nation’s No. 2 prospect at CB is at No. 26 overall
  • Upson-Lee (Ga.) 5-star DT Travon Walker: Moves to nation’s No. 2 DT and slots at No. 28 overall
  • Destrehan (La.) 4-star RB John Emery Jr.: Rises to No. 2 spot at RB and is now at No. 42 overall
  • Trinity Christian (Texas) 4-star S Lewis Cine: Still the No. 3 safety, but drops to No. 49 overall
  • IMG Academy (Fla.) 4-star RB Noah Cain: Dips to No. 3 at RB and moves to No. 57 overall
  • Miami-Southridge (Fla.) 4-star CB Tyrique Stevenson: Nation’s No. 9 CB is now No. 73 overall
  • Wekiva (Fla.) 4-star OLB Rian Davis: Huge leap to nation’s No. 5 OLB spot and to No. 74 overall
  • Benjamin School (Fla.) CB Kaiir Elam: He’s now at No. 91 overall

A few more items to track on the UGA recruiting beat

  • Four-star dual-threat quarterback Robby Ashford tells me that he will be back in Athens for an unofficial visit on Thursday. Ashford, who also doubles as a bona fide pro baseball prospect, is very interested in UGA. He rates as the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat QB prospect for 2020 for 247Sports.
  • Four-star UGA commit Trezmen Marshall has been taking a lot of visits of late, but he’s back in Athens for several days this week.
  • As reported earlier this week, elite 2020 safety prospect Lejond Cavazos will be in town on an unofficial visit. He will camp at UGA. Cavazos was at Ohio State earlier this week. Those will be the only two camps for the IMG standout this summer. I’m also told that at least one other private workout will take place on Thursday.
  • The Bulldogs continue to look far and wide for defensive line prospects in the class of 2019 and beyond. It is clear that the position will be one of extreme emphasis going forward. The timing should be right for that with several key in-state and regional prospects on the UGA radar for 2020.
  • The Corky Kell 7-on-7 Classic takes places Friday at select locations around North Atlanta. That is a tremendous event for high school football in the state every year. A bracket of 35 teams is expected with a lot of the heavy hitters, such as Archer, Buford, Central Gwinnett, Colquitt County, Grayson, Lanier, Marietta, McEachern, North Gwinnett, Tucker and Walton, on hand.

Just going to leave this right here to close out the blog

My information leads me to believe 4-star running back James Cook is still on track for arrival sometime this summer in Athens.

The recent news developments with 3-star defensive tackle Tramel Walthour and 4-star defensive back Nadab Joseph leave Cook as the only member of the 2018 signing class left to report to UGA. He will be fine.

If one focused on pure prospect ratings, the rankings say Walthour was rated No. 25 of the 26 signees UGA had this year. Joseph comes in at No. 16 on that chart. But there was a greater worth there for those two. Joseph and Walthour were set to provide necessary depth at a couple of the only remaining positions where UGA is not quite yet at the level expected from a national championship contender.

With the class pared down to 24, Georgia still has the nation’s No. 1 class for 2018 even with those two gentlemen on the junior college path.

When reached for comment, Joseph was able to provide a sample of what he’s thinking about missing the chance to qualify to play at UGA out of high school.

“Just try to hurry up and get out as quick as possible,” he told DawgNation.

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.

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