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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Broderick Jones (left) poses with fellow UGA commitment Sedrick Van Pran-Granger at the Under Armour All-American Game week practices late last month.

Broderick Jones: Did that official visit solidify his Georgia commitment?

Broderick Jones took his official visit to Georgia this past weekend. That took place after two other officials to Arkansas and Illinois.

It precedes a likely fourth and final official to check out Auburn this weekend.

How did things go for him at UGA? Where do things stand? I wouldn’t expect a lot of quotes to come from Jones regarding his recent trip to Athens.

But the 5-star OT recently shared his review of that trip via his social media account.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound senior from Lithonia High School was recently reranked by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect for 2020. He is also rated as the nation’s no. 2 OT and No. 15 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite scale pending a final 247Sports evaluation this week.

DawgNation was able to piece together a few elements from his trip by reaching out to a few sources close to the situation.

  • A major part of the weekend was getting to see the entire academic layout at UGA. His previous trips have always been athletics-related or always focused around a game trip.
  • Jones is an accomplished athlete in two sports, but a few stories about his trip to Lumberjaxe in Athens indicate he is not a 5-star in the ax-throwing department. The prospects in town spent some time doing just that during their official visits. (That is an ax-throwing spot in Athens. Think darts and bullseyes. Just with axes.)
  • Jones continued to build bonds with some of his fellow commitments to the program. Georgia signee Tate Ratledge and Georgia commitment Sedrick Van Pran-Granger were also on that trip.
  • The current players on the team made a point to show he was wanted and needed, too. They were very welcoming and not standoffish. Jones was not treated as a rival for playing time.
  • His relationships with Van Pran-Granger and 5-star signee Darnell Washington have continued to expand since their time together at the Under Armour All-American Game.
  • A lot has been made of Sam Pittman and Matt Luke in this recruitment and that transition. But don’t discount the work behind-the-scenes of two familiar names. That’s Georgia Director of Player Development Jonas Jennings. This isn’t anything new here as both Jennings and his assistant director, Fernando Velasco, have related well to Jones well during his entire recruiting process. Jennings was able to go on the road and visit Jones at Lithonia while Georgia was reshuffling its on-field assistant coaches over the last two months.
  • The tone of this visit was not described as a “solidify” or “reaffirm” or “stock up” visit. That was not the way it came across. It was more of an overall “getting to know” and “getting comfortable” visit. It was more about the culture of UGA and the entire football program.
  • What is a better way to explain that? How about a regular trip to to see family for Sunday dinner? Does one expect that to be over-the-top amazing? With family, there is no need for every moment to be like that.
  • This last statement is simply a personal reading of the green. A lot is being made about the threat that Auburn poses to Georgia this weekend with that last official. I’m not in the crystal ball business but that’s never really felt tangible. Especially since his week at the Under Armour All-American Game. Anything can happen with these young men, but I’m not so certain that Auburn is the top threat to his Georgia commitment. Sam Pittman and Arkansas might be closer to threatening Auburn as his No. 2 school than the Tigers are to overtaking UGA.
  • That said, he has not shut down his recruitment. There are reports out there that point to that being the case. That does not match up with what I’ve been hearing.

Jones has wanted to go through a full recruiting process as a senior. He’s been committed to Georgia since at least April of 2018 if not longer than that. He’s certainly worked hard and earned the right to choose how he wants his personal recruiting process to go.

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Broderick Jones is a 5-star OT prospect in the 2020 class. He ranks as the nation’s No. 13 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Broderick Jones: A new source weighs in on his ability

Wallace Corker is the basketball coach at Lithonia High School. He has his hands on the wheel of a 22-1 basketball team that still rates No. 1 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Class 5A poll.

He told DawgNation that Jones averages about eight points and 10 rebounds per game for Lithonia’s Bulldogs.

“He makes a tremendous difference on the inside,” Corker said. “He gives us a big advantage on the inside on a lot of teams in our region. There are not a lot of people who can match up to his size.”

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Broderick Jones is a very good high school basketball player for Lithonia High School. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

It is quite difficult to move Jones out of the paint.

“A lot of the basketball has helped him in football,” Corker said. “He’s getting down the floor well right now. He’s being a lot more vertical. Very agile. He makes so good moves. He finishes strong and is not out-of-control at all. He’s really a decent basketball player. If he spent a lot of time with it, he probably could have been a decent college basketball player if not for football.”

In his estimation, Jones is actually better on the offensive end. That’s because he runs the floor like a power forward. Not a big post. Especially not a 285-pound big man.

“He’s a better offensive player,” Corker said. “He’ll block a shot or two but he gets above the rim. He plays above the rim and is doing really well for us there.”

Here’s a simple restatement of fact for proper context. Corker is describing the nation’s No. 2 OT that tipped the scales at about 300-305 pounds in the fall when he wasn’t running up and down the floor everyday for the No. 1 basketball team in Class 5A.

“When he wants to score, he will get up and down the floor,” Corker said.

Jones had one of his best games when Lithonia’s star point guard Eric Gaines was down. Gaines recently picked up an offer from Georgetown.

“The best game for him was the Southwest Dekalb game when the Gaines kid was down,” Corker said. “Eric Gaines was down. So he stepped up and controlled the paint. We also had Georgia and Auburn’s football coaches there to kind of watch. So I think he kind of showed out a little bit.”

Corker said Jones averages about 1-2 blocks per game. He could have mentioned that time Jones hit back-to-back three-pointers against Statesboro earlier this year as his best game,  but he did not. Even though the big man drained a pair of treys on back-to-back trips down the floor.

“He gets about one block per game and he gets some assists as he passes the ball very well,” Corker said. “He’s actually a very smart basketball player. … He’s about 285 right now I guess, but he really gets on the floor. He will dunk on you.”

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Broderick Jones (left) poses with Georgia OT signee Tate Ratledge earlier this month at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta awards banquet. Jones has taken three official visits so far. He’s got Auburn scheduled for this weekend. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Most of those flushes come while Jones catches the ball while running the alley for Lithonia High. He’s a key cog for one of the best teams for Lithonia High School in quite some time.

And we also have to remind ourselves that he is a 5-star football prospect and an Under Armour All-American.

“The big thing is we just don’t see a guy that big that moves the way he moves at that size and is under control,” Corker said.  “He doesn’t get a lot of charges. Knows how to control his body. Really good kid to coach. We haven’t matched up well with anybody that can match his size and actually Broderick defends very well on the perimeter.”

“He guards the guards on the perimeter. I’ve seen him get down and sit down and move his feet very well. … We’ve given him some threes, but he doesn’t have a green light. I give him one from time to time. Just depends on the flow of the game and how it is going. I will give him a three or two. Broderick can shoot. He can actually shoot the basketball from the outside and actually wants to spend more time behind the three-point line than he does.”

He hasn’t taken many of those, but Corker said that Jones is shooting at least 30 percent from beyond the arc for Lithonia.

The sum of all the moving parts of that conversation does boggle the mind: Defending guards with his feet. Shooting threes. Running the floor. Playing above the rim and under control.

That’s what a future 320-pound SEC left tackle should be doing on the basketball court in high school.

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5-star Broderick Jones (left) and 5-star Darnell Washington became immediate friends at the Under Armour All-American Game week last month in Orlando. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
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