Coveted Tennessee RB Master W. Teague III recaps a great UGA visit and hints at revised timeline
Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least 5 days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star like Master Teague III or Breiden Fehoko might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Master W. Teague III hails from Tennessee.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound RB prospect rates No. 28 nationally at his position in the 247Sports composite rankings. That blends his ratings across all the mainstream recruiting sites.
DawgNation sees more to his game than that. It could be his 4.4 speed or a 340-pound power clean or that he piled up more than 2,000 yards in big-boy Tennessee football last fall at Blackman High.
Kirby Smart also told Teague on a previous visit that he noticed a few Nick Chubb elements in his game. That’s why I feel Teague’s stock mirrors where 247Sports alone pegs him: as one of the nation’s top 10 backs for 2018.
Teague returned to UGA over the weekend for a 2-day visit. He made back-to-back weekend treks to Tennessee and Georgia his last 2 trips this spring.
“It was a great visit,” Teague said. “I got to speak a lot to Coach Smart and [running backs] Coach [Dell] McGee and saw a little bit of their scrimmage. I saw what Georgia likes to run on offense and it seems like I can fit into that well.”
He trains excessively and enjoys the work he must put in to achieve a high level of play. So when he got to spend time over the weekend with UGA strength coach Scott Sinclair, it was another bonus.
“I know I will be around him a lot in my football career in college,” Teague said, speaking in regard to Sinclair’s position.
Georgia had made a good first impression on him. The return trip was a recheck. He said he will soon sit down with his family and begin to assess the “pros and cons” of each school in order to make his decision.
The first thing to know about Teague is he’s not a headline-stalking diva. He plays for a spiritual reason.
“Of course I love playing,” he said. “But I also think God has been calling for me. He is trying to build my foundation as a man through football. He wants to use me to spread his word and the gospel to other people. Maybe do some type of ministry-type thing. I think that’s probably why I play football. … I play for Christ.”
That’s not just lip service. Teague wore an orange “Play Hard Pray Hard” shirt to UGA. But he said the message on his shirt should be heeded. Not the tint.
His jersey number is also an expression of his faith. Teague wears No. 33.
“Remember that’s the year and how old Jesus was when he died on the cross,” he said. “So I was thinking that I want to just keep that number, play for Christ and make that number represent something.”
He had previously wanted to make his decision in the summer prior to his senior season. That might move up.
“I feel like I want to do it sometime in June or maybe before,” Teague said. “Just whenever I really feel like that school is for me. I want to go ahead and commit there. … I feel like it is getting close and it would be good to have that over with before the season starts.”
The interesting thing here is that’s not solely to relieve any recruiting burdens. It will allow him to focus in on a school and get to work.
“It will be good to go to my school a couple of times over the summer and go to a camp and get coached,” Teague said. “Just go to visit and hang out with some players and really connect with the program and focus on my senior season without all the recruiting stuff.”
When he commits, that will be it.
“I’m not going to be open to recruiting from any other places,” Teague said.
Georgia’s pros and cons
He said the trip gave him a lot to think about.
“It is a great program and a great school and the coaches there are great,” Teague said. “You see that but then you notice more things (on a second visit) and then you see things you never thought about. You like that. Then when you go on your next visit you try to see if this other school also does the same things like that.”
Teague said UGA continues to complicate his decision.
“I think it does make it harder for a decision,” he said. “They are a great program and have a lot of things great about them and not a lot of cons. So it makes it tough.”
When he snapped a picture with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the smiles came easy. That’s because Teague’s day-to-day demeanor reminds many around the program of Chubb.
“Coach Smart and Coach McGee and the strength coach feel that I am similar to Chubb in the way I’m a quiet person and they tell me he’s real faithful and involved in his faith, ” Teague said. “[Chubb] is a person that keeps to himself but is real disciplined. That’s how I am, too.”
Teague said he gets that from his father.
“I can connect with Nick now,” Teague said. “I’m trying now at Georgia to talk to the guys on the team and get their views on Georgia and school and everything and see if it matches up to what I’m hearing and what I’m thinking.”
He said he needs to learn from Chubb and Michel. To see what they were thinking about UGA when they were in his shoes.
“I think that is important to get it first-person from a player that has been through it,” Teague said. “I ask them how things are going and how things really run. Ask them about things they might have missed on in their recruiting when they came in. Just to get a feel for everything that happens with all these schools I’m really looking hard at.”
Teague saw Georgia’s depth at RB.
“I got to see Georgia is a really good school for backs and how Coach McGee coaches,” he said. “That was a great thing to see because I hadn’t seen him get to do that yet.”
What he saw was synergy. He saw how the players reacted to McGee. He didn’t scream but tried to motivate each man differently. That stood out and carried over to the film room. Players were allowed to have a voice and McGee weighed in when necessary to make corrections.
But there was one thing that he kept thinking about after the visit. It had something to do with Chubb and Michel, but also Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield.
“That’s just a great school for backs,” Teague said.
That stood out on the car ride home. It could be seen as a “carrot” or a “con” for UGA.
“I was talking with my parents actually on the ride back and that would be the school where I would have the most competition,” Teague said. “I’m by no means afraid of competition. I’m just saying how we were assessing everything. That would probably be the school where I’d have to work the hardest and have the most competition as far as backs, though. I feel like they have the most talented backfield out of the schools I am really looking at.”
But there was something about the way he said that. Teague sounded like the guy who would hang out with the strength coach as much as anyone on the staff.
It appeared like he viewed that as both chore and challenge.
“Those guys all look good,” Teague said. “That’s even the ones that will be back next year. But I feel like I could fit in and eventually step up.”
Flash back to that picture that’s displayed above. If it seems like Teague is already taller than Chubb and Michel, that is no illusion.
“I know I’m not shorter than those guys,” Teague said.
The Rocky Top comparison
Teague said the back-to-back visits to Tennessee and Georgia weren’t a head-to-head comparison. That was the way his visit schedule fell.
“We wanted to go back to Georgia and see what they had,” he said. “We went once and they offered and we think they are a great program so we wanted to go and see some more and get a better feel of it. I think both programs are great. We are assessing everything we saw out of all the schools we visited and we will pray about it and see where God leads us.”
Teague noticed how Volunteer fans welcomed him with open arms on their visit weekend. But he was aware he raised eyebrows when he followed that with a UGA trip.
“People can interpret it any way they want,” Teague said. “Right now we are just keeping it in between the family about the schools I’m really interested in. They can think whatever they want until I make a decision.”
He said this UGA visit topped his first trip.
“We got to see more things,” Teague said. “I think they know how we feel about them. They don’t feel any differently about us based on how we feel about them. We went to Georgia again and they put their best foot forward for me. I think it was a great visit.”
He declined to reveal where he thought the Bulldogs ranked at the time but said UGA was “definitely a great program.”
The Volunteers have made Teague a major priority. They have recruited him harder than any other school.
“I feel like they are a great program and have good things there,” Teague said. “I like the running back coach [Robert Gillespie] there. He’s a great teacher and a coach. Really teaches you the specifics of plays and the protections. That’s great for me to develop into a great back and preparing me if I want to go to the pros. But they have a lot of things that grow their players as well. Coach Butch Jones tells a story about how he became the head coach of Tennessee. He says God led him to this place. He wants to work to be a light in young men’s eyes and help them grow spiritually. That’s a big thing for them that I like.”
Transfer DT Brieden Fehoko decides today
Brieden Fehoko, a Power 5 transfer candidate from Texas Tech, will make his decision today. He gave the Bulldogs his final official visit over the weekend.
Fehoko is a rare commodity. It is very unusual to see a Power 5 player transfer after having made 25 starts, but a lot of that has to do with the lure of the SEC.
He also must sit out the 2017 season because of NCAA transfer guidelines. But there’s a reason why this topic appears several subheads deep in this blog.
It never seemed like Georgia had a shot here. My information leads me to believe the visit to Georgia was largely out of respect for defensive line coach Tray Scott. That’s why Ole Miss was also in it for Fehoko.
Yet UGA was playing catch-up over the weekend.
That information seemed to be verified when his commitment date was announced well in advance of him even taking his trip to UGA. LSU and Auburn are the teams to watch here.
Fehoko rated as the nation’s No. 8 DT and No. 50 prospect overall coming out of Hawaii in 2015.
Teague said he saw some elements of his high school offense at UGA on Saturday. He said he could fit in there “easy.” Chubb and Holyfield stayed in the backfield a lot. Herrien and Michel did that but also flexed to the slot.
“I could see myself fitting both those styles and being comfortable doing what Georgia does,” Teague said. “(UGA) runs more than 1 formation and I could get used to the I-formation and the shotgun. The pass protections looked good. I thought it was a good thing to look at.”
He liked the pieces he saw at UGA. The backs. The quarterbacks threw it around nice and crisp. He noticed some “real nice wide receivers” on the field, too.
“They have a chance to have a real nice squad this year,” Teague said. “Then I was talking to Georgia’s O-line coach and he said he likes to recruit all big guys on the line. They thought they were too small once, but now they are getting huge guys up there. They look good. I think they have a good shot.”