When it came down to it, the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect for 2019 felt comfortable at a lot of places. That was the tough part for Nakobe Dean.
And it was Georgia.
This is a huge win for Georgia as it beats out Alabama and Ole Miss for the nation’s No. 1 linebacker in the country.
There was a time where his mother Neketta Dean felt that she could just go ahead and let the Bulldogs have him already on several of his unofficial visits. She felt that good about strength coach Scott Sinclair and his staff and player personnel director Jonas Jennings and Fernando Velasco on his staff.
Nakobe Dean has completed his recruiting journey. He is now pointed toward the SEC. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
That’s not to mention the “family feel” with Georgia assistant coach Dan Lanning. The first-year OLBs coach for the Bulldogs had been recruiting Dean for years when he was on the staff at Memphis.
When the hotly-contested decision came due on the first day of the early signing period, the choice was clear.
Dean has been described as a “once in a profession” player by Horn Lakes coach Brad Boyette said.
“You are talking about a player that has never made a single ‘B’ in high school,” Boyette said. “Not a single one. The last ‘B’ he made was in the seventh grade. You watch him and work with him and realize that you know you probably won’t get a chance to coach another player quite like him.”
The 5-star ILB prospect just finished a state championship season. That was quite the turnaround from his first days at Horn Lakes High School.
The 6-foot, 220-pounder becomes the 21st commitment for the Bulldogs in the class of 2019. He rates as the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect for the class of 2019 on the 247Sports composite ratings.
The top player in Mississippi this year was trending toward Athens for a time. But there was a late flurry of activity and social media chatter that had him trending from Alabama to Georgia to even his home state Ole Miss Rebels.
The biggest thing that Georgia had to overcome was the six-plus hour drive to Athens. Oxford was only an hour. Tuscaloosa was a little over three hours.
Dean will enroll early. He plans to be an Engineering major. The 5-star carries a 4.3 grade-point average and also scored a 27 on his ACT.
What the Nakobe Dean decision today means for Georgia
When it came time to make his college decision, he was dressed casually. He wore a hoodie and jeans.
Everyone in the Horn Lakes auditorium just outside of Memphis always just calls him “Kobe.”
There was no elaborate suit. His No. 17 Horn Lakes jersey was draped behind him.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart did his homework on Dean. Literally. When it came time for his final in-home visit, Smart pulled out a unique recruiting tactic.
Smart did his homework. Smart helped Dean do his homework. Literally.
“I was teaching,” Dean told DawgNation. “For sure.”
It was Advanced Placement Physics. But even Dean admitted that Smart wasn’t much help with that. What kind of help did Smart provide with that?
“Nothing at all,” Dean said.
The 5-star ILB said the two worked on his homework for about an hour. It was a recruiting journey that saw Dean evolve into one of the most hotly-contested prospects in the land.
Nobody had ever tried to help him with his homework before.
“None had the chance to,” Dean said, noting the uniqueness of that in-home visit opportunity.
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