Another elite RB? UGA has increased its chances with junior Noah Cain
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 first edition of our new Sunday night blog debuts with this post. We thought a chat with 4-star running back prospect Noah Cain would serve as a fitting first down.
When we spoke to 4-star running back Noah Cain approximately six weeks ago, it seemed Georgia’s chance to add him to Dell McGee’s running back room had dimmed.
Cain was fine with competition, but he wanted to be among the top third of the backs at his future school when he graduates early from IMG Academy. With the Bulldogs adding 5-star Zamir White and 4-star James Cook in the previous cycle, it makes it a lot tougher for him to crack the top 3 in Athens anytime soon.
That discussion at the Future 50 in Orlando, Fla., also touched on how UGA had lost one of its best relationships to Cain in former support staffer Jay Valai. Valai had trained Cain several years ago, and that was a key connection to the nation’s No. 3 RB prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings.
Things have progressed there.
It seems that UGA’s ace recruiter (McGee) has put in work with Cain. I think that Georgia will take at least one back in the 2019 cycle. Cain told DawgNation the school has changed the way he sees things along those topics.
“They have been contacting me a lot since the beginning of the year to get back up there,” Cain said. “I’ve been talking to Coach [Kirby] Smart and Coach McGee, and they wanted me to get back up there and I finally made it back up.”
Cain was one of the most high-profile visitors to UGA this weekend. It sounds like Smart impressed Cain with a very flattering comparison.
“They said I reminded him of Nick Chubb,” Cain said. “I took that as a really big compliment. They said that about my running style and [how] I really fit the offense. They say they only recruit backs that fit the offense regardless of how highly recruited they are.”
Cain knows a lot about Chubb.
“I’ve been watching him since his true freshman days and then watching him how he came back from his ACL injury,” he said. “That was a really big compliment.”
How UGA impressed Noah Cain
Georgia helped itself with Cain this weekend.
“After my visit, they really explained it to me about the way they will use some guys differently,” Cain said. “That kind of really opened my eyes with next year. If [Elijah] Holyfield or Brian Herrien balls out, then they will leave to go pro and that will create another opportunity for me. Zamir is still coming off his injury so that is something to think about. There are a lot of different things to look at in terms of Georgia now and seeing the different opportunities.”
The two-day visit left Cain thinking a certain way about the program. Did the Bulldogs come back in strong here?
“I would say they got back up there,” Cain replied. “I wouldn’t say they just got back in hard because they have been recruiting me hard for a while now. That relationship is there. Just the way they do things and what Georgia has going on right now. I am going to pay attention to the way they do things this spring. Next year’s season will show me a lot.
“I’m not going to make my decision until December. So I will have a lot of time to evaluate them and see how they do things before I make my decision.”
The trip allowed him to see McGee in a different light. He said that was probably the coolest part of his latest visit.
“It was just sitting down with Coach McGee and cutting up and seeing him outside of his football personality,” Cain said. “It was just really vibing with him and making jokes and laughing.”
The nation’s No. 31 overall prospect said that he used to be a basketball player. Cain tried to bring the best parts out of Chris Paul’s game onto the court.
Noah Cain looks broadly at his decision
It sure sounds as if Ohio State will be a major player for Cain. He said that last month at the Future 50 and he repeated that this weekend.
With Georgia, he wasn’t sure whether the visit this weekend would replace an official visit. Or maybe it showed him enough that he needs to take an official visit back to Athens.
“After my visit, Georgia made it hard,” Cain said on Saturday night. “I had a [Group of 5 schools] in my head but Georgia made it hard today with that. Some other schools have also. That’s why I am taking it slow. But Georgia definitely made it hard after my visit.”
He knows what he likes best about the program.
“I love the environment there,” Cain said. “Coach Smart and Coach McGee have been recruiting me since my freshman year. Ever since I worked out there as a young freshman. I feel comfortable there. Real comfortable there. The players there. I know some dude in the ’18 class there. Just the offense there really. They are one of the only schools which run the pro-style offense there and they run that with a lot of confidence. It works for them. Those are the things I really like.”
Cain made the visit with his father. His dad has always been a sounding board and an advisor with this decision.
“He loves Georgia,” Cain said. “He loves the offense and Coach McGee and Coach Smart and he talks to those guys also. After [Saturday], he even said that they made a case [Saturday]. So that’s why I am really going to go back and really looks things over and really pay a lot of attention to them this year.”
Cain will have several contenders.
“I really only know that Ohio State is the only school which has solidified itself as a top school,” he said. “Everything else is really about even. That’s not saying that I am going to Ohio State. That’s just the school that I have become so close with and tight with that it became a top school.”
A few key details regarding Noah Cain’s latest visit to UGA
Cain knows freshman quarterback Justin Fields “a little bit” from the camp circuit. He also got the chance to pick the brains of a couple of UGA freshmen from the 2018 class about the program.
“They were just telling me a few things about the coaches,” Cain said. “They keep pushing you hard and are the same throughout all of the recruiting and then continue to push you hard when you get there. There are no two-faced things going on. They just push you hard once you get on campus.”
Cain said he spent some time with freshman receiver Kearis Jackson. He’s also aware of the many 4-star, 5-star and All-America prospects the Bulldogs have amassed on the offensive line.
“That’s one of the first things on my mind when I think about Georgia,” Cain said. “The offensive linemen they have recruited over the last two years are really the best. Some of the best. They’ve got the depth there and the talent and the skill set. It is going to be very fun to watch how they use all those top dudes they have.”
The IMG Academy standout feels he has an idea of how McGee and Smart have recruited so well over the last two cycles.
“They don’t lie about anything, and say it like it is,” Cain said. “They say we have such and such dudes here from this top class and you are going to come here and try to replace them and compete with them. That’s really the only thing you can say. You can’t really say anything else above that.
“The second thing is the culture they are trying to build there. They are bringing Georgia back to winning now. Coach Smart’s leadership and the way he carries himself, that plays a big role in him getting all these top dudes, too.”
He isn’t sure of his next college visit, but believes it might be Penn State. That’s another school which has recruited him hard lately.
The Bulldogs made sure to check his height and weight on the visit. Cain said that he came away at 5-foot-10 and 208 pounds.
Georgia knows about Cain’s recruiting timeline. He said McGee and Smart are aware he plans to make his commitment during the early signing period.
“Coach McGee and Coach Smart respected that,” he said. “They said I have earned that right to take all of my official visits and make my decision in December.”
Don’t look to see any spring official visits from this prospect. The plan here is to focus on his development and school work and to get ready for spring ball at IMG.
Cain also pointed out a new connection to support staffer at UGA in Wendel Davis. Davis, a former linebacker at Arkansas, is also from Texas.
“I just met him,” Cain said. “He’s a South Houston dude. He expressed to me that he wanted to be a Texas connection to me like Coach Valai was. He’s really tight with Coach Valai. So I am really building a relationship with him also.”
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