Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Chinese calendar tells us that 2017 will be The Year of the Rooster.
The current class of Georgia commitments would have their own term. They’d prefer The Year of the Savage.
That especially holds true after the first day of 2017 for their class. The Bulldogs bolstered their secondary class immensely after a commitment from 4-star DeAngelo Gibbs from the Under Armour All-America Game and then another pledge from 4-star Tray Bishop on the first day he landed in San Antonio.
Gibbs rates as the nation’s No. 3 safety and at No. 40 overall nationally. Bishop, a U.S. Army All-American in his own right, rates as the nation’s No. 4 athlete and No. 149 in the nation.
How can the rest of Army All-American week from San Antonio top that? Let’s break down the story lines to watch.
5 UGA story lines for U.S. Army All-American Week
- Lots of Bulldogs in Texas — First of all, the game will be played at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Alamodome. Bishop’s news now means that there are 9 UGA commitments in the game. They will all play on the East team. The roll call goes:
- 5-star S Richard LeC0unte (Liberty County High School / Riceboro, Ga.) — The nation’s No. 2 safety prospect is the natural leader of the class and the contingent in Texas. He’s rated No. 27 overall for 2017.
- 4-star RB D’Andre Swift (St. Joe’s Prep / Philadelphia) — Swift comes in as the nation’s No. 4 RB for this class. The 5-foot-9, 220-pounder ranks as the No. 36 overall prospect in the nation for 2017.
- 4-star QB Jake Fromm (Houston County / Warner Robins, Ga. ) — Fromm is rated as the nation’s No. 3 pro-style passer. He’s rated No. 46 overall for 2017.
- 4-star OT Andrew Thomas (Pace Academy / Atlanta, Ga.) — Thomas fills in the program’s big needs at offensive tackle. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 12 OT and is pegged as the nation’s No. 74 prospect.
- 4-star OG Netori Johnson (Cedar Grove / Ellenwood, Ga.) — The former Alabama commit is all Georgia now. He’s rated as the nation No. 5 OG and nationally at No. 82.
- 4-star ILB Nate McBride (Vidalia / Vidalia, Ga.) — McBride committed to UGA in another of DawgNation’s Christmas videos. He’s rated as the No. 2 ILB prospect in the country and at No. 92 overall.
- 4-star OT D’Antne Demery (Brunswick / Brunswick, Ga.) — Demery is another big tackle for Sam Pittman’s massive human being club. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder ranks No. 16 for his position and at No. 122 overall.
- 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman (Newton / Covington, Ga.) — Holloman pledged to Georgia back on Dec. 1 with Malik Herring and had some help from Fromm and LeCounte. He’s the top-rated receiver pledge for UGA in this class at No. 19 nationally. The two-time Georgia state triple jump champion checks in at No. 131 overall.
- 4-star ATH Tray Bishop (Terrell County / Dawson, Ga.) — Bishop was once committed to Auburn, but likely will be in the secondary at Georgia. The nearly 6-foot-3, 193-pound prospect is the nation’s No. 4 athlete for 2017.
2. Swift shuts it down — Swift told 247Sports.com’s Rusty Mansell that his recruiting is over and he will take no more visits. That was significant because there was some remaining interest in Clemson and Penn State.
That decision also appears that the return of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel has not affected his commitment in the slightest.
3. How much will Fromm get to play? — Fromm is expected to fare very well this week in drills. He’s continued to train very hard over the last two months since the end of his senior season at Houston County.
The shoulder injury that affected him for the final game of the regular season against eventual Class 6A state champion Valdosta is in the rear-view mirror and he’s close to 100 percent.
Fromm enrolls early next week in Athens, but he’s got one last chance to earn a fifth star in the national rankings. He’ll have a chance at that, but he’s also going to be in a packed quarterback rotation.
He’ll be on the East team, but it is interesting to see a pair of other elite quarterbacks also on the same roster. Keep in mind that last season Jacob Eason played for the East even though he was from the Pacific Northwest.
Stanford commit Davis Mills is on the East roster along with Alabama commit Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is from Hawaii, so it looks like he’s doing the Eason thing in terms of his playing allegiance since he’s on his way to Alabama.
Clemson 5-star QB commit Hunter Johnson is also on the East depth chart. It is strange seeing Mills remain on the East roster even though he’s headed to Palo Alto.
4. How will Georgia’s future OL crew hold up? Demery, Johnson and Thomas will be watched closely this week. Each of those guys also could see their rankings rise, but the main thing is to see just how ready they might be for playing time in 2017.
Demery is a likely redshirt candidate for 2017 and he would benefit from that year. The recent additions of junior college signee D’Marcus Hayes and the commitment of 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson take a lot of pressure on him to play right away. Thomas is regarded as the more polished player among the pair. He’s been training heavily for his June arrival and has even included some boxing to his regimen.
Johnson is another candidate to see quick playing time. I’ve pegged him as one of the most likely 2017 commits to start at some point next season.
5. Who’s next? — The biggest remaining target this week for the #SICEM17 crew would be 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon. The Lee County star is rated as the nation’s No. 2 DT for 2017, but he’s not expected to make his decision until after National Signing Day.
The Georgia commits were active on social media saying they were not done yet, but Bishop and Solomon were seen as the only other major undecided targets in town.
Who could those guys be talking about?
5-star CB Jeffrey Okudah will make his decision known at the U.S. Army All-American Game and he did take an official visit to Georgia. But Ohio State is seen as the team to beat there for the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect.
Georgia’s next wave of expected commitments will have to adjust their timelines to make another big wave of news a reality. Crisp County DE Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant and Brookwood LB Leonard Warner III are the next two logical choices, but they were not expected to decide until after the NCAA-mandated dead period lifts.
4-star WR Nico Collins had planned to make his decision on National Signing Day and the addition of Gibbs will no doubt create a spike of interest in seeing if Georgia can flip his high school teammate Jamyest Williams away from South Carolina.
The most logical candidate in my mind would be the reversal we’ve been writing about a lot over the last few weeks. That’s the flip of Monty Rice from LSU. Rice was a silent UGA commit for several months, but then he surprised many when he made his public commitment to the Tigers.
Rice will enroll early. His high school coach has told me that Georgia continues to recruit him. The 2017 commits have also stayed on him, too. The best thing to look for there is to wait and see which program he enrolls at next week.
“Just hoping that he does come and join up with us,” Holloman said. “There is something special going on at Georgia right now. I think anybody can see it. I just hope that’s enough to push him along in his decision and he can see that and it will be enough for him to come join us.”
Will there be enough room in the class to still enroll Rice early? Holloman thinks so.
“For Monty?” Holloman said. “I think so definitely. When you talk about building on to our defense we definitely got room for one more to add a key piece like him.”
Holloman will room with Solomon this week in Texas.
The only other possibility would be a commitment from a standout Class of 2018 target. The program could use a surge in momentum there.
By the numbers
The decisions made by Gibbs and Bishop on New Year’s Day significantly enhanced the future secondary at Georgia. LeCounte and Under Armour All-American William Poole III were the only other pledges for Mel Tucker’s group up to that point.
With the addition of Bishop, that means Georgia now has commitments from 12 players rated among the nation’s top 10 at their position. It also gives Georgia pledges from 13 of the state’s Top 20 players for 2017.
Look for that number to eventually crest at 15 of the state’s top 20 prospects.
Georgia also now has commitments from 13 All-Americans among its current 22-member class for this year’s cycle.
Gibbs also will enroll early. He will join Fromm, Hayes, Holloman and LeCounte on campus next week. As stated above, Rice is still also a viable candidate to be in the group.