Xavier Jenkins went to UGA this past weekend thinking Lousiville was still the team to beat for his commitment.
That changed quickly.
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound receiver from Lowndes High School committed to UGA on Thursday night. He decided to commit to the team he grew up rooting for. Jenkins was unranked but his stock has soared over the last couple of weeks. It is pretty ironic that he gets an offer and commits to the team he grew up rooting for prior to getting a star ranking.
UGA didn’t care about the stars. Jenkins said that UGA receivers coach James Coley felt he was the top junior receiver in Georgia this year.
What did the decision come down to? That one was easy. Jenkins said it was all about distance and family. He knows the trip to Louisville takes about 10 hours by car and that the trip to Athens is about six hours shorter than that.
“I was thinking about the distance and I was thinking about my mom at the same time,” Jenkins said. “She’s really the reason why I play sports and the reason why I go hard at playing sports. I love Louisville but it is a 10-hour drive. I want my mom to be on that college journey with me and be with me every Saturday and every step of the way. You know it would kind of hurt me if she couldn’t make it to my games, but I would understand why she could not because she would have to drive for so long.”
Jenkins said that sunk in when he was at UGA’s Junior Day last weekend. He called his mother Stephanie Byrd his “number one fan.”
“I was thinking about how I would want my mom to be there with me for all my games and so that’s why I went ahead and committed to Georgia tonight,” Jenkins said.
The junior is now the first receiver in the 2017 class for UGA. He said he committed to Coley on Thursday, but it took him a few reps and a few missed calls to make that happen. He was not able to immediately get in touch with UGA coach Kirby Smart on Thursday night, but also shared the news of his commitment with UGA assistant Kevin Sherrer.
There are some reports that list Jenkins a couple of inches taller than he actually is, but he doesn’t understand where that comes from.
“I don’t need to add a couple of extra inches to my height,” Jenkins told DawgNation earlier this week. “I know I can play and don’t need to be seen as a couple of inches taller than I really am so people will notice me.”
Jenkins becomes the second pledge for UGA this week and the fifth prospect to join the Class of 2017 at UGA. It is worth noting that all five of those commitments are from in-state prospects. He’s also the third commitment to come out of last weekend’s visits to UGA.
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.