LAURINBURG, N.C. — Zeus is going to Athens.
Zamir White, the No. 1-ranked running back in the Class of 2018, made his choice known at a ceremony in the cafeteria of Scotland County High School on Tuesday.
Thunderous applause from Georgia fans across the country must have erupted just after noon, when Zeus, as he is known in his community, chose the black Georgia baseball cap from among the five on a table in the cafeteria. The caps left on the table were those representing Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina and Ohio State.
White — a 5-star recruit and also the nation’s No. 6 overall prospect per the 247Sports composite — chose the occasion of his mother Shanee’ White’s birthday to announce his verbal commitment to Georgia.
His mother, who has a master’s degree in criminal justice and works as a corrections officer, had had a tremendous influence on her son’s life. She wore a black dress at Tuesday’s event.
It was an important moment for the Bulldogs. Georgia had been seen as the leader for White because of its impending opening in its running back rotation. Seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will exhaust their eligibility after this fall. White had taken more recruiting trips to Athens than any other school.
What was the deciding factor? DawgNation learned it came down to a mix of factors: playing time, system fit, comfort level within the program and his relationship with his future college position coach.
The depth chart shows a perfect opening for the Bulldogs to insert a player described as a “generational” talent. That’s what the college coaches who have flocked to Scotland County High since 2014 have labeled him. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer walked the halls in Laurinburg and requested all of White’s film after his freshman season.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound back has averaged more than 8.5 yards per rushing attempt in his high school career. He has totaled more than 5,000 career rushing yards and scored 89 touchdowns with another year to go in high school. White even scored on his first carry in high school in 2014.
White becomes the highest-rated commit in for UGA’s current recruiting class — by far. He’s the first Top 10, Top 50 or Top 100 recruit for the Bulldogs in this cycle. Georgia signed the nation’s No.3-ranked recruiting class in 2017, according to 247Sports.
He’s the first top-ranked RB prospect in the nation to commit to the Bulldogs since 5-star Isaiah Crowell in 2011.