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 plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Where does Georgia stand with Auburn QB commitment Joey Gatewood? Let’s start that discussion with very simple statements.
- The Bulldogs have missed in-state on Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Emory Jones (Ohio State) and Justin Fields (Penn State) so far. The program would love to flip two of those guys, but it doesn’t appear likely the Bulldogs can.
Those needs are based largely on depth. UGA has signed as good a pair of 5-star QBs (Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm) as any program did in 2016 and 2017. But the Bulldogs desperately need to add at least a third scholarship QB to the depth chart for 2018 and beyond.
- Eason and Fromm are prototype pro-style passers. That means the clearest need would be a dual-threat option to spice things up in short yardage and the red zone.
- Bartram Trail (Fla.) ATH Joey Gatewood fits that bill and picked up a Georgia offer on Jan. 19. The 6-foot-4, 231-pounder ranks as an athlete, but he’s the highest-rated 2018 prospect (No. 92 overall) who projects to play quarterback that the Bulldogs have offered of late.
— Joey Gatewood (@Joey1gatewood) January 20, 2017
- Gatewood, it should be noted most prominently, is committed to Auburn. He has been since Dec. 5, 2015.
- So why is Gatewood’s decision any different than the commitments made by Lawrence, Jones and Fields? Good answer. The recent migration of former Auburn QB coach and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to UConn looms large in this decision. Auburn has filled that position with the remarkably adept Chip Lindsey, but there’s an opening for other schools to test that pledge there.
The talking points in that decision are fluid, but let’s just cut to the chase.
Does Joey Gatewood have any interest in UGA?
Gatewood was competing yesterday in Orlando at the Nike Opening regional and shared a little insight on that topic with DawgNation. He said he’s brick-by-brick getting to know Lindsey at Auburn.
He hopes to get up to Auburn again soon. How does he feel about the state of that Auburn commitment?
“I don’t like talking about it, really,” Gatewood said. “I don’t like to talk about much now going on now until later. You know what I mean?”
Gatewood said the interest appears to be genuine on the part of the Bulldogs.
“They’ve been hitting me up a lot,” Gatewood said. “Keeping up with me. This morning I got a text from them saying good luck at the regional. They are good people. That’s all, really.”
Inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann sent that message. What does he know about the Bulldogs?
“Obviously, I have heard that Athens is a great place,” he said. “I don’t know much about it. I haven’t taken a visit there, but we’ll see.”
Does he want to check out Athens and see what the program has to offer?
“We’ll see,” he said.
The fact that Georgia has signed two highly rated pocket passers could be seen as a negative and a positive to a highly rated 2018 recruit. That is a considerable amount of talent on the depth chart, but neither of those guys has the skill set Gatewood does.
He’s a clear dual-threat passer. How does he see it?
“I really don’t know,” Gatewood said. “I haven’t thought about it like that, really. I just got the offer, so I haven’t really thought about it that much.”
Gatewood said he was “excited” when he got the offer.
“It is Georgia,” he said. “It is the SEC, you know? They have a good program with a good coach.”
He said Oregon and Texas are hitting him up the most now. But he said Georgia was one of three schools he named that are showing the most interest.
The Longhorns have convinced him he might be able to play right away.
“Texas is making it seem like I would,” Gatewood said. “If I walk in there, I could start, but I’m not saying anything. (Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck) has been with me since the ninth grade. Great person. I love him. Good guy.”
What could the Bulldogs do to increase his interest?
“Nothing much right now (because) I am committed to Auburn,” he said. “Nothing much. But I will keep in touch with them, definitely.”
Breaking down Joey Gatewood
Gatewood is a big athlete who easily can sling the football 70 yards. But he’s raw at quarterback. He played a variety of roles for his high school team last season and didn’t get full-time reps at quarterback.
Gatewood said he felt that lack of consistent reps at the position has stalled his development as a prospect behind center. He said “accuracy and reading the defense” were two areas he needed to improve upon.
That looked like the areas he needed to shore up with his work at the regional on Sunday, too.
He also didn’t spend much time training for the Orlando regional. Gatewood is the type of player who really won’t shine at an event like that, especially with scant preparation.
The rising senior also said he ran a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash on Sunday. That’s a laser time. Gatewood said he was in the “38 feet range” with the power ball toss.
“Football is very important to me,” he said. “It is a thing I treasure. It is the thing I love the most. I love to compete. I love to get better. I just love competition. That’s the main thing I love about it.”
He’s working to enroll early but doesn’t have an intended major yet.
A real big name to know
Go ahead and commit the name Joey Milton to your memory. He was probably the one prospect at the QB spot who did the most to help himself on Sunday.
Milton, a 3-star recruit with offers from Miami and South Carolina, should see that listing increase exponentially during the next week.
The 6-foot-6 Milton was at least 2 inches taller than Harrison High’s Fields on Sunday. Fields showed out to be the most consistent passer at the event. He walked away with the QB MVP honor as well as one of 12 coveted invitations to The Opening in Oregon.
Yet, Milton was right with him until the end. One of the quarterback coaches at the event said Milton was with Fields in the race for MVP until he was intercepted on his last rep.
His arm strength was also on display, and Milton showed the touch and polish that Gatewood needed to find in his game on Sunday. The word spread around the camp that Milton’s arm was strong enough to launch the ball 70-plus yards from his knees.
He’s rated as the nation’s No. 16 dual-threat prospect for 2018 and cites Florida as his dream school.
The Bulldogs have offered eight quarterbacks for 2018, including six dual-threat passers including Gatewood.
If Milton receives an offer to push that dual-threat total to seven, he would be deserving. Alabama and other elite schools are starting to pay close attention to him, too.
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Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports composite.