When Kirby Smart got the UGA job, he sent Jaden Hunter a simple text message.
It read “Come home, son.”
So he is.
Hunter, a 4-star linebacker from the Class of 2017 at Westlake High School in Atlanta, has committed to play college football for the same school his Dad did. His father, the late Brice Hunter, went down in history as one of the top all-time wide receivers at UGA. Smart played with him during his freshman season at UGA.
Smart has a long-standing relationship with Hunter. He was his lead recruiter at Alabama and that relationship was the primary reason why he almost committed to that program last summer. Hunter released the news in a commitment video with Rivals.com.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is a dual UGA legacy. His mother, Brandi, also played basketball for Andy Landers at UGA. Hunter told DawgNation.com back in July about the ways he honors his father when he takes the field.
Hunter is rated as a 4-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 8 outside linebacker and the No. 135 overall prospect for the Class of 2017.
Kirby Smart’s new UGA staff was going to have to scramble to lock down every wanted recruit for the Class of 2016 this year. The real impact was going to be felt in the Class of 2017 and that class is already piling on the momentum.
He joins 5-star defensive back Richard LeCounte III and 4-star linebacker Breon Dixon as commitments for the Class of 2017. UGA had three previous commitments for the Class of 2017 under former coach Mark Richt, but each of those young men had decided to re-open their recruitment after the coaching change.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.