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 a 4-star like Cortez Andrews might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
His friends and teammates call him “Mack 10.”
They give Cortez Andrews that name because of the way he flies into contact like a Mack truck. Is it a coincidence that the manufacturer of that American icon has a trademark Bulldog hood ornament?
It might be. Might not. The 4-star safety has a UGA offer, visited Athens for G-Day and will be back on campus this week for another unofficial visit.
The young man from Tallahassee would be an example of the Bulldogs poking into FSU’s backyard for the Class of 2019. But not a single one of those talking points is as interesting as this: Andrews is blessed with more football men in his life that he can trust than any recruit could ever hope for.
His father Carlos Andrews played football at Alabama from 2001-2004. His uncle Del Roberts played football at North Carolina. Dennis Andrews Sr., another uncle, played football at FSU. His son Dennis Andrews Jr. played at Georgia Tech but has since transferred to Middle Tennessee.
If that doesn’t hit the quota, then his high school coach Corey Fuller played 10 seasons in the NFL. He starred at FSU and was a second-round draft pick in 1995. Fuller was also the interim head coach at Florida A&M for one season in 2014.
Cortez Andrews plans to bring his mother and grandfather along on his UGA visit this week. (Cortez Andrews / Special)
“I wear No. 10 because it is a family tradition,” Andrews said. “My father wore that number. So did all those other members of my family. I wear No. 10 to honor all of them. They all made it to college to play football, but none of those guys have made it to the NFL. I want to be the one that makes it. Those guys are my inspiration.”
He rates as the nation’s No. 13 safety and the No. 244 player overall in 2019. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder can fly down into the box and splatter running backs.
There’s the thought he could even be an outside linebacker at the next level. Guys with a “Mack 10” nickname tend to have the skills and temperament to do more than shadow slot receivers.
“For me, my favorite part of the game would have to be two things,” Andrews said. “The first would be hitting. But the second thing would be the mental aspect of the game. Just knowing if I can be better than my opponent both mentally and physically, then there’s no way that I can’t beat him.”
Check his film below. A lot of his best plays on that reel came after he was able to diagnose the play before it happened. What can he improve upon? He said those moments have taken place when he was too aggressive coming up on receivers in coverage.
Getting to know Cortez Andrews
Andrews plays the game for a very specific reason.
Cortez Andrews (left) probably has more people in his life that played big-time football than anyone could ever imagine. (Cortez Andrews / Special)
“I play to get my family and my people out of the struggle,” Andrews said. “We didn’t come up out of a really rich neighborhood. I just want to help all of my people get to a better life through what I can do. Through school. Through my college and through football.”
He has two fields of study in mind: Communications and Sports Management.
Andrews is polished in conversation. His mother had him in spelling bees growing up. He’s not shy about speaking up in public.
It is no coincidence that he’s usually the one in the locker room that steps in and gives out those pre-game speeches.
“I’m that guy who says we need to wake up and need to do better,” Andres said. “I basically try to be that type of leader.”
He also holds a Maryland offer. That interests him because of that school’s communications program, too.
“But it also has a been a big dream of mine watching those great ACC and SEC programs on Saturdays,” Andrews said. “Then also watching the NFL on Sundays. Just seeing guys doing what they love to do playing this game that we all love to play. To play against the very best.”
Andrews oddly doesn’t have an offer from hometown FSU yet. That’s Fuller’s alma mater, too. He’s not sure why. The fact his father played at Alabama might have something to do with it.
“I can say that when I was coming up I had an article on me awhile back where I said that I grew up watching SEC football because they were always the toughest conference to me,” Andrews said. “When you think of the SEC you think of teams like Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Auburn. I mentioned that one time I was a big SEC fan because of all that and my Dad. I don’t know if that was some of the reason why there but I don’t get into stuff like that.”
He made it clear that he is open to all schools outside the SEC. His Maryland interest is just one example of that.
What Cortez Andrews thinks of UGA
His first offers came from East Carolina and UAB in the spring of his freshman year. Those basically came on the same day back when he was 15 years old.
Georgia offered on March 21. That was about a month before SEC rivals Auburn and Missouri did. The Bulldogs like his versatility and his athleticism to play all over their defensive scheme.
“I’ve always grown up watching the Bulldogs,” he said. “They were always one of the toughest teams. When I came down there to Athens, the biggest thing for me was they treated me like it was home. I know I’ve got two more years of high school, but I felt like I was already playing there. Coach Kevin Sherrer offered me and as soon as I got there he showed me the film room and everything.”
5-star UGA commit Nolan Smith II is already talking to Andrews about joining him in Athens. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
Andrews said Georgia coach Kirby Smart is the only head coach so far that he’s established the beginnings of a recruiting relationship with.
“Coach Smart welcomed me with open arms,” Andrews said. “It was already just so good being there.”
He’s got a lot of visits set up for this summer, but the Bulldogs have already made an impression. This return trip will be important because he’s also bringing his mother and grandfather with him.
When Mama meets anybody, it is important. That goes for steady girlfriends and college football coaches. Her blessing is important.
“I also just like the city of Athens,” Andrews said. “When I went down there, I definitely felt like that experience grew on me. I definitely liked it.”
And somehow Georgia 5-star commit Nolan Smith II is also already in his ear.
“Nolan from down there at IMG has already been on me a little bit about verbally committing,” Andrews said. “He’s just talking about that Georgia was the move already for 2019. Nolan is telling me that’s the spot I need to be playing at for 2019.”
The big safety is undecided about when he would like to make his decision. Andrews does know that he will be an early enrollee and hopes to make his decision sometime after his junior year.
“Right now the plan is after my junior year,” he said. “But I am taking a lot of visits this summer. I plan on going to Athens real soon. I am thinking (my commitment) could also happen on-the-spot. That one right visit might make me change my mind about after my junior year.”
He is currently looking hard at both Auburn and Georgia. But he said that he hasn’t been able to take a trip to see those Tigers yet.
The 4-star safety has no leaders. Andrews made it clear he also liked Maryland a great deal because of that degree and that football fit. He said he was also open to all schools.
Alabama has not offered him yet. He grew up watching those big schools and the big SEC rivalries in general. The Crimson Tide were one of his favorite schools growing up but he said they were not his dream school.