Broderick Jones: How does the 5-star feel about UGA as his officials are set to begin?
Broderick Jones is committed to Georgia, but is going to take his official visits. His first one will be this weekend to visit an old friend out in Arkansas.
The nation’s No. 2 OT (247Sports Composite ratings) has long maintained he was planning to take his officials. The long-time UGA commit (dating back to April of 2018) has not taken any of those yet.
The time for those is now upon him.
Those elements have wound up DawgNation’s collective angst about whether or not the 5-star OT will remain a part of the 2020 class. Jones remains committed to UGA, but chose not to sign during the early period back in December.
Jones made his feelings clear about UGA at the Under Armour All-American Game last month. When gathering up his feelings on the matter last night at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta’s annual awards banquet, not much had changed.
What has changed? That’s the NCAA recruiting calendar. The shroud of the NCAA-mandated “dead period” has lifted. That means recruiters are allowed to come to visit Jones off-campus.
They are most definitely coming to check out the nation’s No. 2 OT and No. 19 overall prospect.
The 6-foot-6, 288-pounder looked fit and trim last night at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta Awards banquet. It continues to mystify those who see his physique and athletic build for the first time. The common reaction is to wonder how is it possible for a frame like that to carry close to 300 pounds.
Broderick Jones: The rapid-fire things to know here
He knows he will see two coaching staffs on Friday. At least.
“I know Georgia and Auburn are coming,” he said. “For sure.”
It will be a trio of Georgia coaches. It will likely be a school visit. But he expects to see new player development director Jonas Jennings, O-line coach Matt Luke and running backs coach Dell McGee.
The fact that Jennings will be on the road is made possible by the fact Georgia hasn’t filled its remaining coaching slot after special teams coach Scott Fountain moved on to take on a similar role at Arkansas.
“He really interacts with the people and the players there well,” Jones said of Jennings. “Keeping them on track. Giving them the real-life deal and then the reel life spiel. I really like that about him.”
But in this case, this might be to Georgia’s benefit. Jennings has long been one of the program’s greatest recruiting strengths. He’s just able to do it on the road during this instance.
The Lithonia High senior was able to quickly rattle off that Jennings, Luke and McGee would be visiting him. He also knew he was likely to receive a visit from Auburn, but he couldn’t for sure specify who that would be.
“I really don’t know yet,” Jones said last night. “I just know that someone is coming from Auburn.”
He didn’t know if new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. or tight ends coach Larry Porter would be in that group. Bicknell served with Luke last season as the offensive line coach at Ole Miss.
His best guess was Porter would likely be in that group. Porter has long been the one coach on the Auburn staff he has the best rapport with.
Here are a few more things of interest regarding his next few weeks:
- The Arkansas official visit is set to begin on Saturday. “The first official visit will set the tone for me here,” Jones said. “I will get to see what the school is all about. I really don’t know much about the school. I’m just trying to get in, see what the school is all about, see the programs and see about all of their academic offerings.”
- He is now thinking of squeezing in a fourth mid-week official. He wasn’t sure of the school which was likely to get a potential fourth official this month but did say Tennessee was still in the running.
- The fact he will take his official visit to UGA with the program’s other elite unsigned O-line commit (Sedrick Van Pran-Granger) was not planned on his account. “I actually didn’t know that,” Jones said on Thursday night. “I actually didn’t know he was coming the same weekend as me.”
- Georgia OT signee Tate Ratledge told Jones last night he would be there that weekend, too.
- His thought on his officials: “My officials are coming up very soon. I’m really excited to see what they have in store for me, to see how all of that goes and then I will be ready for all of it to be done.”
- There are a couple of other schools in mind for that fourth official visit
- The order remains the same; 1) Arkansas this weekend; 2) Georgia next weekend; 3) Auburn
Broderick Jones: Under Armour week left a big impression
Jones was usually hanging around the Georgia signees at the Under Armour game week in Orlando at the first of the month. When he did, there was usually a big smile on his face.
Darnell Washington would announce he had signed with Georgia. Warren Brinson, Jalen Carter, Chad Lindberg, Marcus Rosemy, Mekhail Sherman and Arian Smith were all there as Georgia signees, too.
Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, the other O-line commit who chose not to sign during the early period, was also there.
“It was just a great experience,” Jones said. “The total aspect of how you were able to go against and go with some of the top players in the nation and get that top coaching and build bonds with those guys. It was just an amazing experience.”
He appeared to be especially close to Washington. The 5-star TE signee left a word in his ear about how much he wanted him to remain at Georgia with him.
“He threatened me a little bit,” Jones said while laughing. “But you know it is really all a joke. It is really all a game. You know he has a good personality and he is really a good dude and a great father. That’s somebody that I can see myself playing with the next three or four years.”
The biggest pull to stick with Georgia? Well, it was still a lot of things.
“The coaches and the coaching staff,” he said. “You know they have a great coaching staff and a great program. They have established a great program and they have a great brand name. It is just all-around great. Close to home. My family being able to come to the games is a big factor. Being able to stay close to home is a big factor for me here, too.”
He is aware that Georgia no longer has Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays in the program. Those were the three best offensive tackles on the Georgia roster for the 2019 season.
“Being able to go in during the spring and work my hardest and do what I know I am capable of doing will be big,” Jones said. “Get faster. Get stronger. Get more physical. Learn more techniques and I feel like I will be alright.”
The 5-star prospect said he feels he will be able to play right away as a freshman.
“Yes, sir,” he said. “As long as I go in and put the work in I will be able to get it done.”
Jones will not be able to enroll early. But he was describing there how he planned to visit the school he signs with during the spring as he transitions to playing early on the college level.
He is currently in the midst of averaging a double-double each night for a state title-contending Lithonia High basketball team which was ranked No. 1 in Georgia Class 5A earlier this year.