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Where does 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean fit into the plan for UGA in the class of 2019?

Here’s why Georgia has 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean’s attention

Jeff Sentell

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet for Tuesday calls for a review of a good chat with 5-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean about his college options. 

Nakobe Dean and Georgia?

Is there a shot there? Really?

That’s a good question. A lot of recruiting insiders and analysts think the Mississippi standout eventually will make his choice between Alabama and LSU.

RELATED: Alabama has a great shot at landing 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean

That might be the case. But, as we’ve seen before, sometimes those things can change.

Nakobe Dean is the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker in 2019, per the 247Sports composite, and he would fill a need for the Bulldogs. Georgia expects to sign a trio of inside linebackers. The depth chart demands it. A lot of veteran scholarship slots will open after the 2018 season.

Yet here’s the point where the name JD Bertrand should enter into this discussion. Bertrand committed to the Bulldogs last July. He rates as the nation’s No. 16 outside linebacker, but he’s definitely going to play inside for UGA.

What about Trezman Marshall and Owen Pappoe? Those are the other two big-name targets for the Bulldogs at ILB for 2019. Pappoe, at 6 feet and 215 pounds, rates as the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker prospect for 2019 and also as the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect.

He would also shift to ILB in Georgia’s 3-4 front. Marshall, the nation’s No. 9 athlete, is the No. 81 overall prospect for 2019. He’s a bigger body to come downhill and thump in the middle.

The 6-1 Marshall tips the scales at about 235 pounds. He’s athletic enough to play on both sides of the ball — linebacker, quarterback and running back.

Dean, who measures at 6 feet, weighed 216 pounds at The Opening Atlanta regional.

Georgia cracked his top 15. Where do they fit in with his plans? Dean shared his answers.

“Georgia is making me feel like they really want me,” Dean said. “They also told me that they take a lot of ILBs every year. They tell me they are going to be deep at my position every year, but they want me to make it a priority to come back and visit.”

“Georgia is going to take a lot of ‘backers every year,” he added. “I feel like this year is not anything different for Georgia with that. I am going to have to compete hard every day to earn playing time at any school I choose. There’s nothing different about that with Georgia.”

Mississippi State was his first offer. He said that it is pretty hard to tell which members of the SEC are recruiting him harder or showing him any more recruiting interest than their league brothers.

Dean visited Georgia approximately three weeks ago.

“That visit was great,” he said. “I love Georgia. They did make me feel like I could be the next big thing at Georgia but they were also real about everything. They weren’t just telling me I was going to come and play and be the best thing ever. But they said if I work and I work hard enough to do this and buy into the program, then maybe I can be the next big thing at Georgia. But that was the formula.”

The specifics for UGA regarding Nakobe Dean

He’s an athlete. No question about that. He showcased a 38-inch vertical during combine testing in The Opening Atlanta regional.

Dean put UGA into his top 15. When he cuts those schools down to a top 8 or a top 10, the Bulldogs should still be around.

“Most definitely,” Dean said. “They are definitely making the next cut.”

Nakobe Dean-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football
Nakobe Dean ranks as the nation’s No. 2 ILB and as the nation’s No. 25 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He said the Bulldogs “might” get an official visit.

“It depends on what I decide with that top 5,” he said. “I’ve been to so many schools now that the official [visit] may help me get out to Stanford. You just can’t get out to Stanford every weekend.”

Georgia OLBs coach Dan Lanning and ILBs coach Glenn Schumman are leading the recruiting efforts for Dean.

He holds a 4.7 grade-point average and major academic heavyweights such as Duke, Michigan and Stanford have offered. When he goes on college visits, he meets with the deans of the engineering departments.

He would like to study biochemical engineering, but that’s not set.

“My dad is a doctor so I do feel that I want to be a doctor,” he said. “But I do find there is a chance for me to be something else than that. Education gives you those options.”

Nakobe Dean is a pretty interesting dude

Look for him to announce his decision on Dec. 13. That’s his birthday. He said he intends to make his decision after his senior season, then sign Dec. 20 and enroll early at the college he chooses.

That’s the plan. When he hit the road after Atlanta, he cracked open that school book.

“I’m going to be studying all the way back home,” Dean said. “I’ve got a test on Monday in anatomy and physiology.”

Dean shared an interesting take on all the recruiting attention he receives.

“Sometimes people don’t understand that this is kind of my decision,” he said. “I want to pick the opportunity that is the best thing for me. Not for other people. Or any other schools. This is my choice here, and I hope people know that I won’t let anyone else dictate where I go. That is my best fit.”

“Recruiting is a blessing,” he said. “Not everybody has that chance to be recruited so I am going to take complete advantage of it.”

Lanning is doing some good work recruiting Dean, and there is an opportunity for Georgia. Location won’t be a factor; he said he does not have to stay in Mississippi.

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele gave him some good advice amid the crush of attention and all the college coaches hoping to bend his ear.

“He told me to be the CEO of my recruiting,” Dean said. “Because I am. He said if coaches want to talk and I don’t want to talk that night, then I don’t have to. I get to be that CEO of my recruiting. You can talk to them later. You can text them back later when you have time.”

He said he can see himself fitting into a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense on Saturdays. His team at Horn Lakes High School  program also runs a 4-3.

His 216-pound weight would not be ideal for an inside linebacker in the SEC, but he’s ready to show he can still make that work.

“When you get to college, they are going to put pounds on you anyway,” he said.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed as fast as 5-star signee Tyson Campbell clocks a 40. We will share one phrase per day over a string of four Intels. Try to recite that phrase correctly on our next DawgNation Wednesday Night Live. If you can, you’ll win the big prize of the night. Our next two words in the phrase will be “a big” for this edition.