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5-star OT prospect Amarius Mims spoke with DawgNation about several meaty topics this week.

Amarius Mims: The 8 big things to know now about the 5-star and his recruitment

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This is the first post that will seek to chronicle the many things DawgNation learned this week about where 5-star OT Amarius Mims is at with his recruiting process. 

COCHRAN, Ga. —  This Amarius Mims story will not fall prey to a clicky headline staked up at the top of this page. That headline said “things” but this will dive deeper than that.

Remember that classic Chris Rock comedy skit about the big piece of chicken? These will be eight big pieces of chicken regarding Mims.

We begin with his red cell phone. It is busier than even all the rampant political opinions on Twitter these days. Of this, we are most certain.

In seeking to compare it to the busiest phone in Bleckley County, a trip was made to Scott’s Barbecue in Cochran. That establishment has been in business since 1952. The carryout business booms around the lunch hour.

The Mims cell has something in common with the telephone at the local spot known for dropping mini spaghetti noodles in its Brunswick Stew. That would be the voice prompt which announces the number of who is calling. Both phones are live with those verbal cues.

A very unscientific observation showed that Mims was getting more calls on Thursday, including one from Georgia line coach Matt Luke. There was a voice prompt for that one, too.

The staff at Scott’s clears the litmus for any true Southern restaurant. That’s in the frequency of times a kind server floats over to ask if anyone needs more sweet tea. They make sure that no cup is thirsty.

But the Mims cell dings, rings or pings more times in 20 minutes than Scott’s takeout line rings. It even buzzes more than its servers ask patrons if they are getting low on sweet tea. Most of those daily calls or pings are from recruiters.

They all want to soak up every daily chance they can to recruit the nation’s No. 2 OT and the No. 6 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He is likely halfway to the 6-foot-9 mark now. With a changed body from what we saw on the field last season.

Amarius Mims-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
That red cell phone here for Amarius Mims rings more than yours does. And it gets more text messages. Trust us on this one. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

His power clean is up to approximately 330 pounds. That’s a serious lift for a high school player with his arm length and overall size.

That’s why all those coaches are pinging his phone.

“I don’t try to block out the coaches,” Mims said on Thursday. “Eventually I am going to commit to one of the schools. So I have to get into a good relationship with a bunch of the coaches on that coaching staff. Me talking to all the coaches lately has been good. I don’t try to block anyone out. I talk to a lot of coaches every day. Georgia. I talk to a lot of the coaches in my top five every day.”

“It is an everyday thing. I’ve gotten used to it.”

He clearly stated he gets two or three calls every day from a coach from one of his top five schools. This was the roll call for this past Wednesday.

  • OL coach Alex Atkins (FSU)
  • OL coach Jack Bicknell Jr. (Auburn)
  • Special teams coach Scott Cochran (Georgia) 
  • Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham (FSU)
  • OL coach Kyle Flood (Alabama)
  • OLBs coach Shelton Felton (Tennessee)
  • OL coach Will Friend (Tennessee) 
  • OL coach Matt Luke (Georgia)
  • Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele (Auburn)
  • OLBs coach Sal Sunseri (Alabama)

“I talked to all of them,” Mims said. “How it works is most coaches say we don’t want to take up too much of your time. I don’t mind talking to them. Like I said, I am going to be with one of those coaches for the next three to four years. So I have to build a relationship with them.”

That’s the appetizer to all things Mims here. Let’s get to those eight big pieces of chicken.

Why Amarius Mims rolled back a recent announcement date

Mims set a commitment date earlier this year for October 14. That’s his birthday. But then he moved that date up to August 15.

“I figured I would have that date and I figured I would have my mind made up,” Mims said. “I didn’t. It turns out I don’t have my mind made up. I’m not going to have my mind made up so I kind of moved it back to that same date on October 14.”

Chad Simmons of Rivals.com was the first to report that Mims has now rolled his process back to his original birthday commitment date. What happens if he doesn’t have his mindset by the time he just turns 18 on October 13?

“I’m going to have it,” he said. “I am going to have it.”

Why so certain?

“I just know I’m going to have it,” he said. “Right now I just feel like I needed a month or two just to sit down and think about everything. Think about where I feel comfortable. Where I am going to be in a good position to play and relationships. Basically I just need a month or two and I will be good.”

He did say that when he makes that decision, he will still take his five official visits. If he gets the chance to take those.

“If they let me,” he said in regard to the progression of the global pandemic by then.

It took him 50 seconds to verbalize those three answers with those 114 words. During that time span, his phone rang one time and pinged six other times. There was also one incoming FaceTime call.

Mims was able to maintain his composure and deliver those credible answers during that stretch. He had a microphone on his collar with a video camera in his face with all of that going on.

Amarius Mims-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Amarius Mims has grown. He says he is now well over the 6-foot-8 mark on the height chart. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Amarius Mims on Georgia

Mims told DawgNation he came close to committing to Georgia previously under Sam Pittman. He said if Pittman was still the coach, that relationship would have earned his public commitment by now.

That tie ran deep.

“Coach Pittman had an impression on me early,” Mims said. “First practice I came out. I think it was the start of my 11th-grade year. He was there on the practice field. He was there waiting for me and had come down for the first day. That got me. I was like ‘Man I must be pretty important.’ He can go see any recruit in the nation and any offensive lineman but he came to see me on the first day of spring practice.”

Mims feels he knew Pittman was leaving UGA earlier than most did.

“I was about to commit then, to be honest with you about then,” Mims said. “I had talked to him for about a good week or two weeks. But then I was like pretty sure he was about to leave. So I’m pretty sure I had the idea he was about to leave before anyone else did. That’s the reason why I kind of held that off.”

Those first day of practice moments matter. Luke has never gotten the chance to do the same. But he’s still charged into that role like trucking the sled or busting his tail through the chute.

Luke is the only recruiter who connects with Bleckley County head coach Von Lassiter every day. The same goes for 5-star with the red cell phone.

“I talk to coach Luke every single day,” Mims said. “I talk to coach Cochran every single day. Coach Smart and I talk a lot, but I don’t talk to him as much as coach Luke and I talk. It is very consistent.”

What’s the recent message there?

“They said that they lost TJ (Alabama verbal Terrence Ferguson) in the class of 2021 so they have got to have me,” Mims said.

What’s the biggest draw for him to commit and sign with Georgia?

“I would probably say relationships really,” Mims said. “Like what I would say that about coach Luke. He’s the new coach coming in. I would say that relationship with him. As long as we keep building that relationship like we’re doing now, everything will be good. But other than that, that’s really it. Playing time, it will come. As long as I play hard.”

In a normal year, he said he would have been committed by now. Somewhere.

“I would have gotten the feels,” he said. “I would have been around the coaches. Been around the players. Been around everything. I would probably say I would be committed by now if not for the coronavirus and all of that stuff.”

He did add that he is beginning to feel the same way about Luke as he did with Pittman. They are building that same relationship. There’s just not the time or face-to-face investment yet.

Amarius Mims-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Amarius Mims said he came very close to committing to Georgia right before Sam Pittman left for Arkansas. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Alabama: Does the Crimson Tide still have his eye?  

What pops into his mind about that true college football dynasty in Tuscaloosa? He shakes his head while pondering that question.

“Man national championships,” he said with a big grin. “I like to win. I don’t like to lose and Alabama is not really known for losing.”

Mims said that Alabama has the most impressive facilities among his final five, followed by Georgia and then Tennessee.

Why is FSU also in his top 5?

Oklahoma was trimmed from his top six schools. FSU stayed in. Bucking the college football food chain a little bit. He also wanted to visit LSU, but never got the pre-pandemic chance.

Why did those five remain among his daily call list?

“Relationships I have built with the coaches,” he said. “Other than that, I feel like those five places I actually felt going and visiting and all of that good stuff. I feel like playing time may be easier at a couple of the schools I put in my top five but I like competition. So you never know what might happen.”

The atmosphere is key to the Seminoles.

“I feel like they are underrated,” Mims said. “I feel like people don’t care about them as much. I feel like maybe they had a couple of years going down. But I feel like they are going to be on the come up with a new coaching staff.”

He feels he can come in right away and earn a starting spot quicker at FSU than any other school in his final five.

Tennessee: What is the potential for Mims on Rocky Top? 

Vol Nation is drowning Mims with affection and attention. He readily admits the Tennessee fan base is like no other group among his final five.

“Their fan base is crazy,” he said. “Oh, man. They love me. Rocky Top loves me for some reason. I don’t know why. I feel like definitely when I went to Tennessee I felt that home feeling there, too. I feel like if I were to do well there, then I could get on the field my freshman year. Easy.”

He said Tennessee’s fan base was the craziest among these schools on social media. Easily.

“It doesn’t matter what I post, I could post a picture of myself walking down the road and they will be posting on it ‘Go Vols’ and they will be posting those oranges,” he said.

Which fan base shows the most support?

“Tennessee,” he said.

What about which fan base says the funniest things?

“Tennessee,” he said.

Mims also praised the indoor facility in Knoxville, too. That’s also one of his favorites.

Amarius Mims-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
The Tennessee fan base has certainly made Mims smile with their affection on social media. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Auburn: How does he feel about the chance to play there? 

We’ve heard this before about those SEC West Tigers. Mims has picked up what a lot of recruits do say about the chance to yell “War Eagle” a dozen times every day.

“Auburn really has that home feeling,” Mims said. “When I went on those visits I really felt like man Auburn is a great place.”

Mims said that Auburn or Tennessee would have the second-best opportunity for him to come in right away and rise to the top of the depth chart.

In a bit of an upset, he feels the closest connection with the Auburn roster compared to his other finalists. That’s because the Tigers have signed a few players he knows from Middle Georgia.

“They got Romello Height,” Mims said. “The guy from Dublin and they are our rivals. We’ve played them. I am cool with him. I am cool with a guy from Callaway in Tank Bigsby and another guy from Callaway in Tank Johnson. I’m cool with those guys. We talk a lot.”

As stated earlier, he feels the depth chart opens up very well to earn playing time quickly at Auburn.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

How does he compare Alabama and Georgia? 

Georgia signed seven offensive linemen in 2020, including a pair of All-American tackles and an All-American hybrid OL.

“With Georgia, the thing is they haven’t [gotten commitments from] any tackles in my class this year,” Mims said. “Besides Micah [Morris].”

Morris is a talented lineman. Capable of playing multiple spots across the line like former 5-star Cade Mays. He could shine at guard or tackle in the SEC. He’s even mentioned he’d be willing to train at center if called upon. With his 4.75 grade-point average and 415-pound bench press (earlier this year) he had the intelligence and positional versatility to play multiple positions at UGA.

It would be hard to see the 6-foot-8 Mims playing anything but tackle on Saturdays.

The one thing I would say with Georgia is they have guys that are already there in 2020. I heard they signed four tackles so they have four tackles already on the campus learning the plays and all that already.”

Alabama is loading up this year, with what looks like a trio of All-American tackles in their 2021 class.

“Alabama on the other hand has guys that are committed in my class,” Mims said. “So if I were to go there, we’d all get in at the same time. So we’d all get equal time and time to shine.”

When comparing these two, he feels that Alabama has the edge in the proven NFL pipelines, the tradition and trophies.

“Alabama has the history of winning and then Georgia hasn’t won as much lately,” Mims said. “But I feel like they are on the come up with winning.”

He also added that he feels like he has spoken more on the phone with Georgia’s Kirby Smart than any other head coach at one of his final five schools. It would either be Smart or Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.

Amarius Mims-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Amarius Mims ranks as the nation’s No. 2 OT and the No. 6 overall prospect for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Amarius Mims: Answering the leader question right now

He was set to commit to Georgia. The Bulldogs were his leader up until Pittman left.

Then he named Alabama as his leader. Georgia fell to third until Luke came in and quickly impressed him with their first face-to-face meeting. 

Then they were co-leaders. If we’re trying to recap everything, there have not been any new stated leaders in a few published reports.

What about now?

“Lately it has been like an even playground,” he said. “I don’t feel like anybody is standing out. I don’t feel like I have a leader right now. I’m just going to let it play out. Like I said, where ever I feel comfortable and where ever I have built the relationships and where ever I know I can go in and play.”

“Like I said I don’t mind working hard. I don’t mind taking somebody’s spot. Then that is what it is going to be.”

That’s a fair answer. Probably the only answer to this topic until he now makes his decision in October.

The thought of taking those calls each and every day sounds like he clocks a telemarketer’s hours on the phone. Not a 5-star offensive tackle.

But he carries it the way he might a broom across those strapping shoulders.

“It is fun but I feel like it can get stressful at times,” Mims said. “The thing is don’t make it stressful. At the end of the day, you go where it makes you happy.”

This is the first of several posts this weekend on DawgNation.com regarding Mims, including a photo gallery from a misty morning practice on Thursday.

SENTELL’S INTEL

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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