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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Tyrique Stevenson loves the kids. But does he want to play for Georgia or Miami in college. The world will get that answer today.

Decision Day: Elite CB target Tyrique Stevenson is uncommon on and off the field

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a preview of a big decision which will be made today by elite target Tyrique Stevenson from the 2019 All-American Bowl in Texas.

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — Tyrique Stevenson said he was ambushed this week in Texas, but it was not by any school’s signees or elite wide receiver recruits.

Stevenson, the elite Georgia CB target who will make his college decision known today, was simply overwhelmed by kids at the San Antonio Boys & Girls Club during a community outreach event.

Tyrique Stevenson-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Major Georgia CB target Tyrique Stevenson had a lot of fun at the All-American Bowl community outreach event this week. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He signed football cards. His own cards. He signed so many he didn’t have any more left.

The kids then started to bring him construction paper. So he then signed that.

Was that surreal? Did that mean something to him? Yes, it really did.

“It is a feeling like no other,” he said. “I can’t even explain it. It just makes you feel the best inside from the top of your head to the tallest hairs on your head all the way down to the bottom of your feet and the bottom of your toes. It is just the very best feeling.”

Stevenson then shot jumpers and turned into “Coach Stevenson” for a few tips. The nation’s No. 4 cornerback prospect then took on the club’s best basketball player in a 1-on-1 match.

He didn’t have his phone out capturing it all for his Instagram. He wasn’t on his phone at all. Stevenson was living up that moment.

If it wasn’t genuine, then everyone in Texas is also faux feeling all this red meat and cowboy boot stuff, too.

“This is just amazing,” he said. “Just all amazing.”

Tyrique Stevenson-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Tyrique Stevenson was a popular guy at the community outreach event this week at the 2019 All-American Bowl. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

When it came to the moment for picture time, he got swallowed up.

The waves of kids who wanted to talk to him about today’s All-American Bowl on NBC (1 pm EST) delayed his departure. They wanted to hear how they could see him play at The Alamodome today. They had more questions.

Nobody asked him about defensive coordinators, coaches, Bulldogs or Hurricanes.

When he finally got to the front doors, the East team bus was gone. He whipped out his phone and called for a pickup. Consider that his All-American Uber.

Was he pouty or petulant? Far from it. Stevenson simply jogged away down Ralph Street on his way to meet the bus. There were at least a couple of young people who sounded like they wanted to go with him.

What can he do on the field? Check out these highlight tweets.

Tyrique Stevenson loves the kids 

Stevenson, the football player, impresses.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is down to Georgia and his hometown Miami. The 247Sports Composite ratings have him as the nation’s No. 38 overall recruit in the 2019 class.

But the young person here is even more uncommon. If one might want to label the Boys & Girls club trip as a photo opp and good PR, they’d also have to include what he did with children from another worthy cause at the Nike Opening back in July.

Here’s a crystal ball for this one: Tyrique loves the kids and the kids love Tyrique.

“This means a lot,” he said. “Football has brought me a long way and done a lot of things. For me to be able to give it back and this boys and girls club and be ‘Coach Stevenson’ like you said is just a wonderful feeling to give back.”

RELATED: Get to know “The Dreamchaser” recruit Tyrique Stevenson

This blog is often guilty of trying to let a good story get in the way of a recruiting update. But there is the matter at hand today.

Will it be Georgia? Or Miami?

Tyrique Stevenson enrolls early after the All-American Bowl

The funny part here is that Stevenson has already made his decision. He did so during the early signing period.

So the “Decision Day” stuff really amounts to a live reveal on NBC more than anything else.

Tyrique Stevenson-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Tyrique Stevenson really takes joy in working with young people on outreach events at these national prospect showcases. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Here’s an interesting wrinkle: Stevenson said he didn’t sign on Dec. 19.

He waited a couple of days. When asked for the specifics, he also acknowledged that he signed a financial aid form.

That would have granted him the ability to switch from Georgia to Miami or Miami to Georgia if he didn’t like what happened over the next few weeks leading up to his January enrollment date.

Stevenson said he signed on Dec. 21. Why?

“Just to make sure everything was everything and to make sure my Mom was comfortable with choosing with where ever I am going,” he said.

That’s interesting. Published reports have quoted his mother as stating she’d be happy with him getting away with a different college world. That would obviously favor Georgia.

But Miami has swapped out Mark Richt for Manny Diaz as head coach. There has always been a strong pull for Stevenson to stay in the 305 area code and put on for his city.

The decision has always basically been Georgia and Miami. There really weren’t any other schools he dutifully researched and visited like those two.

“I had an idea of what Miami was going to do,” Stevenson said in regard to those changes. “But it was really just trusting in myself.”

Has he slept well with that decision?

“I feel great about it,” he said. “God put me in this situation and whatever decision he put me in this predicament to make, I made it. I have no hard feelings about it.”

What did his decision come down to?

An interview of this nature is always loose and fast. There is the notion that he has a televised decision reveal where he has already sent in those papers. He was able to summarize the catalyst behind the choice.

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Tyrique Stevenson was having so much fun at the boys and girls club in San Antonio that the bus left him behind. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“Just being comfortable with the coaches really,” he said. “That’s it.

Stevenson said that he did not know if both the Georgia and Miami staffs were aware of his decision. The same can be said for the four UGA signees at the 2019 All-American Bowl. The Hurricanes just have one signee at the event. The Georgia guys are trying, he said.

“Some of the guys are working on me,” Stevenson said. “I don’t give them nothing, though.”

He’s aware of what Miami brought in during the early signing period. The Hurricanes have the No. 33 class in the country. Stevenson would become the second top 100 and the third top 200 recruit in the class per the 247Sports composite ratings.

“I fit in great,” he said of that potential move. “I fit in great. Because when you are from where I’m from you are a ‘Dog so you are being surrounded by ‘Dogs. It is nothing but a dog pound so you will feel good about it. I fit in great.”

Miami currently has 14 signees in its class.

How would Tyrique Stevenson fit in at Georgia?

The Bulldogs have the nation’s No. 2 class in the country at this time. Stevenson would become the seventh top 100 signee in the 2019 class. He would also be the 12th top 200 signee for UGA.

Tyrique Stevenson enjoyed his official visit to Georgia for the Auburn game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“I fit in great,” he said. “They lack corners. I come in and be a big help to them. So I fit in also good with them, too.”

Stevenson said he made the decision regardless of those coaching changes with head coaches and coordinators at Miami and the still-to-be-resolved defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach slot at Georgia.

That was a key issue for Georgia and that’s why Kirby Smart took over the lead with Stevenson’s recruitment in the weeks leading up to former coordinator Mel Tucker accepting the head coaching position at Colorado.

“I really went off the university and me just feeling like I can get a good education from them regardless of the coaches,”  he said. “Because I know I am going to do my thing regardless. So I just really went off the universities there.”

Both programs disappointed in their bowl game performances. Did that affect this decision at all?

“I look at it as I am coming to help,” Stevenson said. “I see it like both teams need that extra spark on the defense. On both teams. The team I sign for then I am coming in to help out right away.”

Stevenson said Nolan Smith and Travon Walker have let him know he is wanted in Athens this week.

“Nolan lets me know I’m wanted,” he said. “The lineman here [Walker] lets me know I am wanted. But you know they let me breathe about it also.”

He made it seem like the decision pained him. This was definitely not akin to playing 1-on-1 or being “Coach Stevenson” with the kids.

“It was very hard,” he said. “It had me scratching my eyes. I missed time with a lot of schoolwork on it. But at the same time, once I made my mind up, I made my mind up.”

The elite cornerback prospect plans to go home first after the game. He said he has yet to pack. He will do so from South Florida and then make his real college move from there.

Check out the DawgNation All-American coverage this week

It is a busy time for the recruiting beat here at DawgNation. We’ve stacked up coverage in the can from Orlando and are chopping wood in San Antonio as this blog posts.

Here is what is on the site so far from the 2019 Under Armour All-America week and the 2019 All-American Bowl events in San Antonio. The 2019 All-American Bowl will air live at 1 p.m. (EST) today on NBC from The Alamodome in Texas.

 

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.