John Rhys Plumlee was the lone UGA commit in the 2019 class who did not sign during the early period.
That was interesting. It is even (somewhat) explainable. The Bulldogs still only have three scholarship QBs on the roster for spring practice.
That said, any survey of this situation sprouts questions upon questions as if they were dandelions in a field.
- Can Plumlee go from Bulldog to maybe-not-a-Bulldog and back again? He felt this morning the Bulldogs were still in it as a blueshirt option.
- Why would the Bulldogs not add a 4-star who tallied up 53 TDs in 2018 with his arm or legs? This one is complicated at a thin position. Even for a guy who still rates as the nation’s No. 353 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite ratings.
- Will the Bulldogs offer a traditional scholarship or stick with the “Blueshirt” he was told about in December? There have been a few high-profile transfers, but the offer from UGA is still just as a blueshirt only.
- Georgia once stood out as an SEC school that consistently brought up just the QB position with him. Has that changed among his options? Yes, he feels it has.
- Why is he still committed to UGA given this “Blueshirt” stuff now that he is visiting other major programs? Plumlee had gotten used to the idea of playing for the Bulldogs in Athens. He had seen himself as a Bulldog for quite some time.
The John Rhys Plumlee decision as it stands now
Plumlee can clock 4.5s in the 40 with regularity and is also an SEC baseball prospect. He will frame up his decision by looking at the appeal of both sports, too.
This decision is more than a tad complicated for the nation’s No. 12 dual-threat QB. He is one of the only two QB prospects which rank among the nation’s top 400 prospects that have yet to sign with a college program.
Maybe the best summation calls for a simple economics starter kit theory of supply and demand.
Georgia is dealing with the demands of its status as an elite national program.
It is faced with having more talented players who would like to sign than spots which will be available on Feb. 6 and maybe even on July 6, too.
That is a big reason why the Bulldogs do not offer a traditional scholarship.
Plumlee told DawgNation this morning the Bulldogs are still in it. He will likely make up his mind before National Signing Day, but he plans, for now, to let the world know about his choice on Feb. 6.
He has endeared himself as a fan favorite of sorts to a lot of DawgNation readers despite all the questions.
Plumlee has taken officials to Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State this month. FSU will get his final official visit this coming weekend, but he is still committed to Georgia at this time.
The Bulldog still offer the blueshirt. The other schools all view him as a traditional scholarship signee.
In his estimation, the schools he has taken or will take officials to now see him just as a QB prospect.
“Everywhere that I have visited I am only being considered for QB,” Plumlee told Dawgnation on Monday.
The 6-foot-1 speedster carries the level of overall athletic ability that saw Mississippi State once offer him at cornerback based on his impromptu work at a team camp.
He could be pitched as an asterisk prospect with future considerations down the line as an offensive or defensive athlete or as a kick returner.
The Bulldogs stood out last summer for viewing his as just a QB prospect. It helped the program earn his commitment back then.
Per NCAA rules, he is not allowed to have face-to-face recruiting contact off-campus with UGA if he wants to retain “Blueshirt” status.
He cannot take an official visit or receive an in-home visit from the UGA staff. Those examples would run counter to the way the NCAA defines a prospect as being “officially” being recruited by a member school.
The speed dating definition of the “Blueshirt” means Plumlee would enroll and pay for a couple of months on campus at his own expense. He would not be on any type of aid. In this example, he would go on scholarship in August of 2020.
Plumlee would then be on campus practicing but not playing for the Bulldogs in 2019.
In this instance, he would not even sign a national letter of intent. It is essentially borrowing a scholarship from the 2020 pool in order to bring in another talented player to join the program for the 2019 season.
His scholarship would then count toward the 2020 class. Yet Plumlee remains committed. For now. Why?
“I have just thought of myself as playing there for a while you know,” Plumlee told DawgNation on January 5.
The other thing to think about with John Rhys Plumlee
This situation stems from the Bulldogs needing scholarship QBs that could arrive as mid-year enrollees.
Georgia needed QBs in the program this month. That’s so it could conduct spring practice at an up-tempo pace that assures maximum reps for players at all stations on the depth chart. Championship programs do need more than 1-2 scholarship QBs, no matter how many 5-stars are on the offensive line.
Justin Fields and Matthew Downing left the program. Stetson Bennett IV and Dwan Mathis took their places.
It still leaves the Bulldogs three scholarship QBs on the roster for the spring of 2019.
Plumlee is a baseball prospect. He planned to be in high school for two semesters as a senior.
He could not enroll early. What if he could? That’s a good question.
My view is that he would be in Athens right now given the program’s preference to have at least four scholarship players at that position.
Yet we’ve seen a few seasons of late where the Bulldogs endured having less than four scholarship quarterbacks in the mix for playing time.
The Oak Grove High (Hattiesburg, Miss.) said today he is still weighing all of this out.
What is the current plan – given the moving parts here – he will work off of to make the decision?
“Prayer most definitely,” he said. “I want to go where God wants me to go. Georgia is still in it for sure.”