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Jeff Sentell/AJC
5-star OT Isaiah Wilson had some interesting things to say to DeAngelo Gibbs this week.

The Daily DeAngelo: What 5-star Isaiah Wilson told Georgia’s top Under Armour target this week

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — DeAngelo Gibbs. New Year’s Day.

Nation’s No. 3 safety. Alabama or Georgia. Enroll early. Got-to-get guy.

The DeAngelo Gibbs narrative at the Under Amour All-America Game this week has drawn so much attention that all the necessary filler that clunk up sentences really aren’t necessary.

The nation’s No. 40 overall prospect from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., is set to make his public decision during the Under Armour All-America Game broadcast on Sunday.

Gibbs has been down in Florida all week with several Georgia commitments, including 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson.

Wilson told me after he committed in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this month that he can be very persuasive with the right guys. Gibbs definitely qualifies as a major target for the Bulldogs.

Does he plan to wrap up Gibbs in a bear hug or a headlock after the game and drop him off in Athens on his way back to Brooklyn?

“Will I do that?” Wilson said. “No. Would that make for a great movie scene? Sure.”

Wilson has used another method to try and make sure Gibbs knows he’s wanted.

“I’ve been recruiting him I want to say very hard,” Wilson said. “I’ve tried to get to him a couple of times throughout the week. We’ve had some solid conversations about Georgia and about what I think they can offer him as a fellow player. But not as a coach. Not as someone with a vested interest. But just as a player and a recruit trying to play with another recruit.”

What has been that message?

“It is classified,” Wilson said.

The 6-foot-7, 354-pound prospect just sees Gibbs filling a big need in this year’s class.

DeAngelo Gibbs rates as the nation’s No. 3 safety for 2017 and as the No. 40 overall prospect in this class. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

“He’s a special player and we’re about to do special things.”

Gibbs laughed and then became very animated when he was asked to recall what Wilson has been telling him.

“C’mon, man, come be a Dawg with me,” Gibbs recited. “I need Dawgs to play with Dawgs. You know Isaiah is just a cool guy. I’ve been talking to him ever since he committed. He’s been telling me to stay with me. We are building something special. We can build a legacy here in your home state. Not too far from your house. We can do it here. We can set the standard for how other teams want to be here. Starting this year.”

As stated before on this page, Mr. Wilson has a way with words. Who needs a headlock or a bear hug when he can tie guys up like that?

“I think that we have a solid chance of getting him,” Wilson said. “I also think that the decision is totally his. Wherever he feels is home for him, that’s where he is going to go. Either way, I will support him in the long run.”

How hard have Alabama and Georgia worked?

Gibbs told my SEC Country colleague Chris Kirschner Friday that he’s down to two teams. That’s how the race has been framed on DawgNation for quite some time.

How hard have those two schools been grinding to land Gibbs? Gibbs — an excellent communicator — painted a picture that the late Larry Munson would approve of.

“Just imagine your high school coach calling you every day and texting you every hour and making sure that you are making this practice on time,” Gibbs said. “That’s pretty much what they are doing. They are on me and they are not letting up. They are going to let go when I make that decision.”

5-star Georgia commitment Richard LeCounte III shares a laugh with DeAngelo Gibbs prior to the Auburn game on Saturday. Gibbs would form an impressive tandem with LeCounte in the secondary at UGA. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
5-star Georgia commitment Richard LeCounte III, left, shares a laugh with DeAngelo Gibbs prior to the Georgia-Auburn game in November. Gibbs would form an impressive tandem with LeCounte in the secondary at UGA. (Jeff Sentell/AJC)

He kept going.

“I think they will call me like right before my decision and I’ll probably be on TV like ‘Hold on guys’ and that’s how hard they are on me.”

Gibbs said that all five of his finalists have earned his commitment. That’s Auburn, Florida and Tennessee plus that top 2.

But a top group did break off from that pack.

“Georgia and Alabama are texting me more than my girl,” Gibbs said. “… They genuinely want me and think I can fit into their system Day 1 right when I get there. I don’t think programs like that would even have a reason to lie or tell a story. They can go find any other kid. But when they are telling you this almost every day and blowing your phone up. You know you have to listen to it. You have to respect the fact that they are even saying that to you. Those are major programs.”

Gibbs said earlier in the week that he had a decision in his mind, but he clarified that thought to say that his mind is not 100 percent made up.

“Nothing is 100 percent as of right now,” Gibbs said. “Trust me.”

He estimated the strength of his decision at 70 percent yesterday.

2018 names to know 

We will start breaking down the 2018 class rapidly at DawgNation over the next two months, but I wanted to share the names of a few standouts from the Rising Seniors Foundation events this week that led to the Georgia Junior Bowl last night at Mercer University.  For the sake of brevity, we’ll acknowledge that everyone should be well aware of guys like Derrik Allen, Justin Mascoll and Quay Walker by now. For others, read on:

  • 3-star DB Trey Dean — The safety will see his ratings spike and soon. Dean had 2 interceptions in the Junior Bowl on Friday night, including a pick-6. The Dutchtown High School (Hampton, Ga.) standout does not have a Georgia offer but looks to have all the tools at 6-foot-3 on the growth chart and right at 185 pounds.
  • 4-star QB Justin Fields — Fields is going to make Penn State fans very happy. He’s solidly committed to Penn State and he expressed a clear opinion to me this week that his decision is unlikely to change. Except for maybe pro baseball. I think so highly of Fields that I now believe he’s the No. 2 QB in the state for his signing class behind Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence.
  • 2-star DB Sharrod Frazier — I’ve had my eye on this kid for a few years. The younger teammate of UGA commit D’Antne Demery at Brunswick took on all comers this week. He logged double-digit tackles at the Junior Bowl. He’s only about 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds and has played a lot at LB in high school. Frazier was a heat-seeking missile in drills, and Georgia assistant coach Glenn Schumann already has placed a call to his high school staff about him. Frazier looks like a candidate to play “Star” in the right system, but I’m not sure if even his instincts and 10.8 speed in the 100 meters will be enough for an Alabama or a Georgia to look past the size issue here.
  • 4-star ATH Matthew D. Hill — “D. Hill” is smooth in every sense of the term. The Bulldogs have been around Brookwood a lot over the last six months in their pursuit of 4-star senior ILB Leonard Warner III, so it was a bit of a shock to learn that Hill has yet to pick up his offer. He’s not quite at the 6-foot-2 and 190-pound mark yet but he’s close. The way he covers ground and slips defenders with ease have attracted an offer list with top schools like Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. He could be a safety or a receiver in the SEC, but he’s special with the ball in his hands. That’s why he was at receiver all week.
  • 4-star ATH Kearis Jackson — The Peach County gem fits Georgia’s size profile at receiver. He’s right at the 6-foot-1 mark and 190 pounds. He made plays whenever his number was called this week. He should have been on everybody’s top 3 players from the Rising Seniors event this week.
  • 3-star DB Quindarious Monday — He was maybe the biggest eye-opener for me from the Rising Seniors week. Monday has all the size and length necessary for the safety position. He’s almost at the 6-foot-4 mark and holds big offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida and Florida State. The lack of a UGA offer here seems like something that will be corrected after a proper camp evaluation.

That’s an upper crust, but there were plenty of standouts on the defensive line and at the linebacker position like Rome’s JaMarcus Chatman and Ja’Quon Griffin, North Cobb’s Thurman Geathers II, Newton’s Darnell Jefferies and Liberty County’s Tramel Walthour.

– Quotes used in story were obtained by SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi and Chris Kirschner 

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