OXFORD, Ala. — Clay Webb pulled a very big decision out of his purple bag Monday morning from the Oxford High School gymnasium.
When he chose Georgia, it was a significant event for recruiting in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs might have a hard time beating one specific SEC rival on the field, but they are beginning to win more and more of those battles on the recruiting trail.
The nation’s No. 1 center prospect (per the 247Sports composite rankings) is the first time that the Bulldogs have gone into the state of Alabama and beaten both the Alabama and Auburn for a highly-contested recruit.
Webb was the No. 1 player in Alabama for the 2019 cycle.
That feat is another impressive line item in the UGA recruiting resume for Sam Pittman.
The third-year OL coach has now earned a commitment from a 5-star OL recruit for the third consecutive recruiting cycles.
It was 5-star tackle Isaiah Wilson in 2017. The Bulldogs then picked up a pair of 5-stars in Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer in 2018.
Webb becomes the 19th current commitment for the Bulldogs in the class of 2019. He is now the second-highest rated recruit for the Bulldogs in this class.
Georgia now pushes past Texas A&M to claim the No. 2 spot in the 247Sports Team composite rankings for this cycle. The Bulldogs still trail just Alabama in that race.
Webb aims to start practicing with the Bulldogs as soon as possible. He hopes that can be as early as this Friday.
— Coach Sam Pittman (@CoachSamPittman) December 10, 2018
What DawgNation needs to know about Clay Webb
Cast aside the notion that Webb is rated as a center. At least until 2020 or so.
While Webb is rated as the nation’s No. 1 center, he does not intend to play that spot immediately at the next level. That’s because he is aware of how mentally taxing that position on Saturday.
With the many pre-snap responsibilities that go along with that decision, he feels that he would better be suited to start out at guard at the college level. Once he gets his feet wet, then he would then consider anchoring the middle of the line.
That’s the way Pittman and Georgia recruited him from the jump. It was one of many reasons why the Bulldogs grew on a player who made sure to attend the last two spring games in Athens.
The biggest of those was still Pittman.
“He’s a lot like me,” Webb said late last month. “I see a lot of myself in him and I guess that’s a good thing. We are alike in a lot of ways.”
Webb was a standout interior line recruit once he emerged on the college level at the Nike Opening camp at Buford High School in the spring of 2016. When nobody else wanted to play center, he volunteered to do so.
He was just a freshman recruit at that time but reached the final 5 of that elite competition. Webb anchored down his massive thighs and held back high-level senior recruits in the class of 2017.
The Oxford High senior has spent the last few weeks competing for the Oxford High wrestling team. That was after lining up at both the guard and tackle spots for the Yellow Jackets this fall.
Webb plans to enroll early and major in criminal justice.
There were many factors in the decision, but one of those was the notion that Webb and his family intends to move away from Alabama once he enrolls in college. The 5-star recruit basically just has his immediate family with him in Alabama, but he has a lot of relatives in Metro Atlanta and Northeast Georgia.
Webb said his mother, Dana, plans to retire as a teacher in Alabama and also take a similar job outside the state.