Dead period? 5-stars Trevor Lawrence and Isaiah Wilson deliver news as big as it gets
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.
When the coaches go away that’s when we find our where the studs are going to play.
That appears to be the case during the first week of the NCAA-mandated dead period.
Check that: That appears to be the case over a 15-hour window during the first week of that dead period.
Trevor Lawrence made his decision in a matter that befits anyone who’s seen the way he handles the spotlight. The nation’s No. 1 overall prospect didn’t go with the splash of a commitment video or a press conference or any kind of hat ceremony.
He committed with a tweet. That missive took as much time to develop as a hard slant route. Lawrence needed just 18 words and one emoji. That’s the equivalent of a 90-yard touchdown pass.
The 5-star QB’s commitment was short and sweet. At least to Clemson fans. The 6-foot-6 quarterback has led his Cartersville High squad to 30 straight wins over his last two seasons and already has 120 career touchdown passes.
Lawrence stands tall in the pocket at a good bit north of the 6-foot-5 mark and is poised to break every significant Georgia High School Association career passing mark as a senior.
That leaves Wilson. He’s the second 5-star impact recruit that has DawgNation frothing at the mouth (Too much? You don’t read my email.) this week. This busy dead period started out watching UGA football miss out a thumper at LB to LSU and a veteran big body defensive back to Kentucky.
The Bulldogs then added a likely plug-and-play starter at offensive tackle in D’Marcus Hayes. They snatched the nation’s No. 3 junior college OT away from Lousiville and Mississippi State, among others. Georgia then added a quartet of ALL-SEC candidates back to their roster for 2017 with decisions made by Davin Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to return for their senior seasons.
That’s a recruiting feat unto itself right there. I thought that Chubb was gone for several credible and paycheck-enhancing reasons. Those decisions prompted even greater news for the Class of 2017.
Georgia has garnered commitments from a pair of All-American tailbacks this year that had to be aided by the fact that it seemed likely that Chubb and Michel would bolt to the NFL. The guardian of Texas speedster Toneil Carter and that father of D’Andre Swift both told me quickly last night that the Chubb and Michel decisions will not lessen the strength of their commitments to Georgia.
If you follow recruiting, this week already has as many twists and turns as a National Signing Day. Pretty busy week.
Lawrence to Clemson is a huge loss, but that’s at a position that Georgia already has stocked up at least two elite young talents in freshman Jacob Eason and 2017 signee Jake Fromm.
That leaves Wilson. He’s set to decide at approximately 11:35 a.m. from Poly Prep Country Day School from Brooklyn. DawgNation will be on scene and you can follow the day’s events via our Facebook Live feed.
What I’m hearing on Wilson
Wilson is a very big deal. The decision amounts to largely perceived favorite Michigan and rapidly rising Georgia. Alabama is also among his Top 3 schools.
What do I think?
I’ll recycle a popular line: Don’t make a living predicting the unstable minds of 18-and-19-year old boys. That’s a trail filled with banana peels.
Everyone slips up.
What have I been told that I can share? I’ve had multiple sources tell me they feel he will announce he’s heading to Georgia at that Poly Prep school assembly. His official visit went that well.
But there’s some intrigue to that. I do feel those credible sources do feel that he’s coming to Georgia. That’s what they have been led to believe.
That said, the issue here to me is if what they were told was actually genuine.
I’ve picked up some Intel from Big 10 recruiting writers I know. They feel that this late trumped-up interest was requested by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to drum up increased national and regional interest in Wilson’s choice.
That will only maximize the eventual get for his Wolverines and bring another huge dollop of publicity to Poly Prep.
Whatever it was, it was enough to get this dude on a plane to New York City this morning.
The 6-foot-7, 354-pounder is rated as the nation’s No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 32 overall prospect in this year’s class.
One more rep regarding Wilson
Here’s the last bit of Intel I feel that’s worth sharing: That’s why he would choose Georgia.
The last conversation I had with Wilson included a preview of his official visit to UGA. That came just a week ago. Georgia got the last visit.
He told me heading into that visit that his mother’s impressions of UGA would loom large. Wilson was set to hang back and observe and let his mother feel out if Georgia was a fit.
The latest information I’ve gotten is that his mother deeply enjoyed the visit.
I’ll add another important clarifier. Wilson was set to decide at the Under Armour All-American game and then moved that up to Christmas Day. He escalated his decision window to today right after he got back from his trip to Athens.
Whichever team lands him today, there’s also this: He’s not a December graduate. The favored school will have to play defense on his commitment until National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
A few bad apples …
Lawrence’s Twitter feed was fouled by the stench of some ill Georgia fans late Thursday night.
Sad some of you guys can't be happy for a kid making his dream happen.. Guess I have more people to prove wrong! #GoTigers!
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) December 16, 2016
I find that deplorable. I feel as strongly about that as I do that Wilson is going to bust the buffet lines in Ann Arbor or Athens next fall.
I find that hypocritical. Georgia fans should know better. After all, they rep a program that has thrived with heralded out-of-state passers like Matt Stafford (Texas), Aaron Murray (Florida) and Jacob Eason (Washington) just over the last decade.
Be better than that. You don’t root for the school in (you can feel free to insert the name of your most hated SEC rival) right here) on Saturdays.
Rant over. Let’s get back to a lot more news that should be in just one blog post. But that’s what the Intel has always been designed to be.
UGA is behind the big boys for a 4-star Georgia DB
This nugget is a note that would stand as a pretty good headline blog post. It could also lead off a daily Intel.
Just not this week. But I just couldn’t let it go another day without letting everyone get their eyes on it.
Thomson 4-star DB Christian Tutt told me after the Class 4A state finals last week that Georgia stands third behind Ohio State and Alabama (in that order) in regard to his decision.
That’s significant to DawgNation. Especially in the wake of seeing the state’s No. 1 prospect for 2018 go “All In” to Clemson last night.
Tutt rates as the nation’s No. 15 cornerback prospect for 2018. He’s the No. 20 player in Georgia next year in a stacked crop. He might be No 20 in the Peach State, but he slides in as the nation’s No. 112 player in his class.
He was also a silent commit to the Mark Richt staff and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Pruitt gave Tutt his first offer in the summer prior to his freshman year at Thomson. Tutt hasn’t forgotten that.
That’s why Alabama is his No. 2 school ahead of Georgia. Yet the Buckeyes are now the team to beat.
“I have a great relationship with those coaches,” Tutt said. “I love the team and the facilities and all that. I love how they develop their players and get them ready for the next level. That’s where I feel I should be at.”
He’s set to commit on May 30. Next year. That’s to honor the memory of his older brother. His family lost him to a car accident earlier this year.
Tutt had a decent game against Lawrence and Thomson in the state final. It was a blowout win for the Hurricanes, but I didn’t see him give up a completion. Cartersville respected his punt return ability to boom the ball away from him.
He was also battling an ankle injury and said he played the game at about 70 percent. Tutt also missed some time in the second quarter against Cartersville after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate.
Tutt saw the Louisiana-Lafayette game in Athens last month. That visit helped Georgia, but then he went to “The Iron Bowl” the next week between Alabama and Auburn.
I’ll monitor this UGA commit closely
Devonte Wyatt flipped from South Carolina to Georgia back in August. He was a relative unknown on the recruiting circuit.
The Towers High senior defensive lineman and running back is rated as the nation’s No. 29 DT based off the 247Sports Composite. But I place more stock in his 247Sports rating. He’s seen as the nation’s No. 10 DT for 2017.
His recruiting has never gone full-bore. That’s why his interest level in both Georgia and South Carolina should concern DawgNation. The State first reported that he was “50-50” between Carolina and the Bulldogs earlier this month.
That was a brief and yet an eye-opening report. It covered three paragraphs. I wanted to make sure he was taken in the right context and to also just flesh out exactly what he was feeling.
It was an interesting conversation. When I asked him about that “50-50” stuff, he repeated that was how he currently feels.
“I mean South Carolina still has a chance by that,” Wyatt said.
He said he’s still committed to Georgia for a reason.
“I’m committed to Georgia right now but all I know is that South Carolina has a chance.”
Wyatt said that the Gamecocks are recruiting him hard and he feels like he would have a good chance to claim a starting position on their front. He stated that he’d likely be in a rotation of players at Georgia, but also made it clear that would be okay with him.
He’s set a visit to Georgia for the weekend of Jan. 13. Wyatt will visit South Carolina on Jan. 20. Those are the only two officials he’s set up as of now. He also shared an interest in also visiting Alabama and Florida.
Florida has offered Wyatt. Alabama has yet to do so. I doubt the Crimson Tide will extend an offer given all the Tiffany’s-level options they have at his position.
The 6-foot-3 athlete said he’s dropped some weight. He’s down to 280 pounds. That’s about 10-15 pounds less than he was earlier this season.
Florida likes Wyatt’s athleticism. They’ve told him that he reminds him of Alabama Heisman Trophy RB Derrick Henry.
He’s got about an inch and 30 pounds on Henry, but that’s a nod to his overall athleticism while running the ball at his size and weight.
I asked him if Georgia fans should be worried about his commitment.
“I don’t know really,” Wyatt said.
He said his decision will be final on National Signing Day. What should Georgia do to make sure he remains committed?
“Just stay on me hard,” Wyatt said.
He said if Georgia recruits his as hard as any other program down the stretch, then it has a real good shot at keeping him in the Class of 2017 in Athens.