The calendar reads Dec. 1. But it doesn’t feel that way for DawgNation.
Christmas came early for fans on Thursday afternoon. Malik Herring and Jeremiah Holloman released their exclusive commitment video through DawgNation and chose to do it in an unusual fashion.
WATCH: The Christmas Commitments
“We wanted to commit the Smart way,” said Holloman, making a not-so-subtle nod to playing for Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
The two 4-star elite Bulldog recruiting targets approached DawgNation with an idea to make their commitment together. That was instead of a typical commitment decision which puts all the attention on any one individual.
“This is an example of our teamwork before we even get on campus,” Herring said.
For Herring, it was a moment of release.
Holloman and Herring are the 17th and 18th commitments to UGA for the Class of 2017. (DawgNation staff photo)
“It felt great to put on that Georgia jersey in that video,” Herring said. “It felt great a little earlier when I told my older brother Tevin Davis. I told him ‘Man, I’m committing to the G. I just felt it in my heart and my heart just sprouted inside me. Man, that was just the most amazing feeling.”
Herring told DawgNation he’s secretly been committed to Georgia since the day after Smart took the Georgia job.
“This is where my heart was and where it always is,” Herring said. “My heart has been on Georgia for awhile. I’d visit other schools to see, but my heart kept coming back to Georgia. I also remember my auntie on this day. She used to ask me where I would play in college. She wouldn’t say just Georgia or the Bulldogs. She would ask me if I was going to the Georgia Bulldogs to play. She’d say it all together. I loved hearing those words when she said that. I know she would be proud of me on this day.”
That’s a reference to his late aunt Neco Davis. He planned to commit on her birthday after she passed away from breast cancer during his sophomore year. She encouraged Herring through a trying sophomore year when he was sidelined with a torn ACL.
Herring also shared that he created the first group message thread that first linked together all the Southeast’s top recruits. That thread evolved into what is know the #SICEM17 group message that’s populated by all of Georgia’s current commitments for the Class of 2017.
The video also included guest appearances from prized UGA commits Jake Fromm and Richard LeCounte III.
“This is huge for our program,” LeCounte said. “This is a turn for the better. These are two big whole pieces of our whole puzzle.”
LeCounte traveled four hours round-trip to take on his role. That moment really struck a chord with Fromm, Herring and Holloman.
“These are my guys,” LeCounte said. “These guys are my friends. I will have these friendships for the rest of my entire life. I will do anything I can to help them.”
LeCounte felt that the Georgia defense will be well-served with the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Herring.
“He’s fast and real twitchy,” LeCounte said. “He’s real explosive. That’s what we need off that line.”
Hollomon now becomes a future go-to target for both Fromm and current starter Jacob Eason. LeCounte said Holloman is a “deep downfield threat” who will remind Bulldog fans of former great A.J. Green with the way he gains separation downfield.
The U.S. Army All-American said that he’s also been committed to Georgia for quite some time. He said he signed his financial aid papers with UGA approximately two months ago.
“This is where I felt right at,” Hollomon said. “I took a lot of visits and went to a lot of places. This is where I felt at home. With the guys that are coming in, I know we have a great cast. We have a lot of weapons. I wanted to be a part of something special and that’s what we are building here. ”
The Newton High receiver said that Kirby Smart played the biggest reason in his decision.
“He’s just been a great person to me since he started reaching out to me when he was at Alabama,” Holloman said. “That’s when I was in the 10th grade and we’ve just been able to build upon that.”
Holloman’s decision also means that his older brother LJ Holloman will also head to UGA. He will walk-on in the fall of 2017 and Jeremiah expects his brother to quickly earn a scholarship of his own.
The video features a cut from hip-hop artist Future. He’s actually Herring’s cousin. The boys felt that his hit song “My Savages” sums up their bond.
“Savages” happens to be the vogue term for an incredible player with a mean streak that won’t let up in the midst of any competition. It is sort of the new “beast” for the players of today.
“Savages want to play with other savages,” Holloman said. “That’s the line that meant the most to me in that video. I know all these guys are hungry. These guys all want it. I want it as well. I know we can all bring great things back home.”
Herring will likely take other official visits. That should reflect nothing about the status of his commitment to Georgia. Holloman will graduate in December and enroll early.
His older brother was more than excited about the fact they will be at Georgia together next fall.
“I will report in the summertime,” LJ Holloman said. “Everything is on track for me to come in.”
He said to look for him to initially work out at receiver and on special teams once he arrives in Athens. Holloman — like his 4-star brother — is a tremendous athlete in his own right.
“We always had Georgia in our heads when we were growing up,” LJ Holloman said. “We said we wanted to play college football in general and Georgia was always up there.”
The preferred walk-on for 2017 also sees a bright future at UGA.
“The guys like to have fun in how they are together all around,” LJ Holloman said. “I know there is something special cooking up here. This is a great group of guys. They are going to do big things at Georgia.”
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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.