Junior college receiver Javon Wims told DawgNation on Saturday afternoon that he has committed to UGA. He finished the 2015 season at Mississippi’s Hinds Community College with nine touchdown catches among his 47 receptions.
Wims, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, told DawgNation earlier this week that he planned to speak with coach Mark Richt on the telephone prior to the Kentucky game. He said he actually spoke with Richt on Friday and made his commitment at that time.
The Florida native waited until Saturday to make that commitment public because he wanted to speak with a UAB recruiter first. Wims said he delayed releasing his decision ‘”out of respect” for a coach who had been previously recruiting him. He still plans to take official visits to both Southern Miss and UAB.
He was offered by UGA receivers coach Bryan McClendon late Wednesday night, and it took him less than 48 hours to commit.
“The main reason I committed to Georgia was not only being a fan, but I had a good relationship with coach Bryan McClendon,” Wims said. “I also liked what (UGA) has done with its previous receivers, like most recently A.J Green. I just like the way the program sets up with the quarterback that they have coming in, too. That’s Jacob Eason.”
Wims said he got the chance to see Eason at Dawg Night on July 18. He feels Eason “easily” has the best arm of any quarterback he’s worked with.
“We really had a good connection with running routes,” Wims said. “I am really looking forward to playing with him. When I first got there at Dawg Night, I had no idea who he was, but I quickly found out once he started throwing the ball.”
He set up his official visits to Southern Miss and UAB before his UGA offer.
“The real reason why I am going to stay open to them is because of the rumors of a coaching change at Georgia,” said Wims, who plans to take his official visit to UGA in January.
He felt a coaching change would be the only reason why he would not be at UGA next season.
“I really hope everything works out and coach Mark Richt will be there next season,” he said. “I hope the staff will be fine and that would pretty much solidify my decision, but for now Georgia is where I am going.”
UGA now has 17 commitments for the Class of 2016. Wims is the fifth commitment at receiver. UGA is still after a few more targets at the spot, including 5-star Kyle Davis, 4-star Tre’ Nixon and 3-star Grant Holloway.
Wims said his leader before the UGA offer would have been Southern Miss. He will have two years to play two seasons of college football. He was first offered by McClendon at approximately 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening. He told DawgNation that McClendon gave him a pretty clear answer about his chances for early playing time.
“We had a real honest man-to-man talk about where I would stand on the depth chart coming in now with their current roster,” Wims said. “I feel going into next season I would have a fighting opportunity to start and make an impact.”
He said McClendon told him he would be starting at UGA right now at receiver if he was on the current roster.
Wims said he “lit it up” at Dawg Night this summer, but that McClendon wanted to see how he fared against junior college competition this fall. The outside receiver averaged 16.6 yards per catch for Hinds. His average game equated to five catches for 87 yards in 2015.
“This means a lot because Georgia was the first big school to offer me and it is a school I wanted to offer me as well,” Wims said. “It is actually a blessing.”
The 21-year-old grew up in Miami (Fla.), but reported zero offers out of high school. That’s why he had to go the junior college route. Wims told DawgNation it wasn’t because of academics.
“I played in a Wing-T offense in high school so I didn’t really touch the ball that much,” Wims said. “I also played safety so I had more defensive picks at safety than I had receiving touchdowns.”
Arizona State also offered Wims this week after he picked up the offer from UGA. His Hudl player profile page states that he has been clocked at 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Jeff Sentell covers 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.