SAN ANTONIO, Texas — UGA has four commitments at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this week.
That’s 4-star OL Ben Cleveland, 5-star QB Jacob Eason, 4-star ILB Jaleel Laguins and 4-star DT Julian Rochester. But do they have a fifth commitment working behind-the-scenes to bring even more elite talent to UGA?
It sounded like it after the first day of workouts on Monday. Five-star athlete Demetris Robertson — the nation’s No. 2 athlete out of Savannah, Ga. — told DawgNation.com that an undisclosed UGA target had been hounding him this week to join the Class of 2016 in Athens.
Hmm. Who could that be?
There are several candidates like 4-star DE Brian Burns, 5-star DL Derrick Brown, 5-star athlete Mecole Hardman, Jr. and 5-star TE Isaac Nauta. Each one of those guys has UGA in their top group and are also teammates on the East roster with Robertson.
It would be a pretty deft move if the recruit turned out to be Hardman. He used to favor the idea of being a silent commitment to his top school when Mark Richt was still at UGA, but then abandoned that idea early in his senior season.
He also released his Top 6 over the weekend and even came out at Army Bowl check-in calling Alabama his leader. Hardman never sounded like the type to name a leader so it was a stunning move. This might be textbook overanalyzing to the umpteenth degree but that sort of public statement would be a perfect cover for behind-the-scenes recruiting for UGA.
Hardman’s a clever guy. He might be pulling off a counter play of his own this week.
Don’t expect any of those suspects or those UGA pledges to fess up to it this week either. That would go against the grain of being a silent or a secret commit.
We’ll hit the pause button on universal DawgNation brain implosions and won’t even explore the notion there could be multiple unpublicized recruits working for UGA this week.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.