Jalen Kimber picked up the name “Boogie” from his Dad when he was just a kid. He’s too busy to boogie today with school and all, but if he did he might pick a track from Future.
That’s because his future now lines up to play cornerback for the University of Georgia.
It all started with a recent conversation about how many officials visits Jalen Kimber felt like he was ready to take. Would this be a one-and-done? Three rounds of trips? Or all five?
Kimber, like a great many things in his life, just cut to the chase. Fast. He was ready. Already.
“I’m done,” he told his father. “I want to go to Georgia and that is it.”
That was it.
He announced his decision to commit to the Bulldogs via Twitter on Wednesday morning. He had spent the last few months on a multi-school tour checking out spots like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, South Carolina, SMU and TCU, among others.
“That was where I felt the most comfortable at,” he told Dawgnation. “My Dad and I felt the most comfortable there and that was the place that I really liked out of all the visits that I had. I really liked them the most and I liked the coaches there the most.”
The Mansfield Timberview standout (Arlington, Tex.) rates as the nation’s No. 16 cornerback and the No. 239 overall prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
The speedy Texan now becomes the sixth commitment for the Bulldogs in a class that the Georgia class has already told him could really be right at the start of something really special with this news. The decision pushes UGA up to the No. 9 slot past Iowa in the 247Sports Team Composite ratings for this cycle.
The Bulldogs were previously slotted at No. 15 on that listing. They were the only program with just five commitments inside the top 15 at that.
“I am a hard worker,” Kimber said. “I will be someone that is going to come in and try to compete every day trying to win national championships.”
It was interesting how he used the plural there with that last term. The move definitely now gives the program a good shot of momentum heading into a heavy recruiting showcase weekend with G-Day.
When did Jalen Kimber know he was a Bulldog?
Kimber just had a feeling about UGA. It first hit him on a trip back on March 28. Kimber was dropping in on a lot of schools. His trip to Georgia was part of two visits in a day amid a Southeastern swing.
He saw Georgia Tech in the morning and the Bulldogs later that day. He revered his time in Athens and didn’t leave until deep into that night.
When he did, he placed his hand on his father’s shoulder. He knew. Even then.
“It started when we were walking out the front door from Georgia,” his father Art Kimber said. “He put his hand on my shoulder and said he already knew he wanted to take an official visit back here. I had a feeling about Georgia at that time. I really liked the vibe we had there. There was just something about the atmosphere.”
It could be called a “drop the mic” visit for the Georgia coaching staff. He will enroll early in January and has a good sense of what the term “commitment” will mean to him.
“I don’t plan on taking any more visits,” he said. “I am pretty much done.”
He told new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren first. Then it was time to tell Kirby Smart. He’s not sure which one of those two Bulldogs showed the most excitement.
“I feel like they will bring the best out of me mentally and physically,” he said. “They run a pro-style defense so I feel like that is going to be what is best for me. Especially with me trying to go all the way with this football thing. They will develop me all around because I think all the physical aspects will take care of itself.
Smart had a clear message. The vibe and the good feeling he had with the staff was what won this recruitment for the Bulldogs. Kimber was even at Florida’s spring game just last week.
“He thinks that I can now really start out one of the very best recruiting classes in 2020,” Kimber said. “They were just all excited about it.”
What is Georgia getting in Jalen Kimber
Kimber tested for the Opening finals this year. His combine score still rates among the nation’s top 20 performances in that event.
Those metrics included:
- 4.47 laser time in the 40-yard dash
- 6 feet tall and 170 pounds
- 4.0 showing in the pro agility short shuttle drill
- 40.8-inch vertical leap
When he would take subsequent visits after that trip to Athens, he would immediately huddle up with his father. The message was still the same.
“I would always ask him ‘what are you thinking?’ with all of that and after each visit, he said that ‘I am still feeling Georgia the most’ after each one,” his father Art Kimber said. “That’s just what it came down to. It was his gut feeling when Georgia checked every other box. There were a lot of schools right there with some parity but at the end of the day there was something inside of him that just came back to Georgia.”
“That was the feeling I was looking for because my ultimate goal was that he find a place that he was comfortable at so that once I drop him off [to go to school] that I know he made the absolute right decision. That’s what I feel we did with this.”