WARMINSTER, Pa. — The package for Georgia’s recruiting class this year has finally been delivered. It came all the way from Pennsylvania.
Mark Webb, a four-star receiver from Archbishop Wood about 25 miles outside of Philadephia, committed to Georgia Friday night on ESPNU prior to a nationally-televised clash with St. Joseph’s Prep.
The game now takes on extra significance for Georgia fans. It will feature two Georgia commitments from Pennsylvania leading their teams against one another on national television. D’Andre Swift. the nation’s No. 4 RB this year, committed to Georgia on Sept. 1.
Swift and Webb are also cousins, which means the City of Brotherly Love will be sending off a pair of cousins to play football at Georgia. That’s something that can be considered a definite rarity.
So is the fact Georgia will eventually line up a receiver who’s had the nickname “Gator” since he played on a youth football team led by Swift’s father about nine years ago.
Webb told DawgNation on Thursday evening that he had been silently committed to Georgia for about two weeks. The reasons why were layered.
Academics were big. He plans to study business. He said that coaches, playing time also contributed to the commitment. He liked what he saw from Georgia in all of those areas.
“At the end, I truly believe I really can’t fail (in chasing his NFL dreams) at that school,” Webb said.
He said the final decision was close, but the ability to join Swift at Georgia was perhaps the biggest factor. Darren Swift said the boys having been looking forward to this opportunity for awhile now.
“They are best friends and for them to be able to fulfill their dreams of playing college ball together is a dream,” Darren Swift said. “They are inseparable. During the season or the off-season, ‘Gator’ is either at my house or ‘Dre’ is at his house. This kills two birds with one stone for them to go to school together. The love they have for one another means when they off to school to play ball they will both know someone else that’s there. It makes the transition there a little easier because you have your best friend with you to take that walk.”
Leroy Pendleton, Webb’s half-brother, watched the interest in Georgia spike rapidly. He’s known as “Crocodile” on the team.
“I went with him on the Georgia visit and for him, it just felt like another place like he could call his home,” Pendleton said. “He said it felt like family. As soon as he got there, you could just see that it felt just like a family to him. .. Then there’s that bond between him and ‘Dre’ man. You’re talking about a bond that cannot be broken right there.”
Webb is rated as the nation’s No. 19 receiver for the Class of 2017. The commitment from the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder now gives the Bulldogs three pledges at that crucial position for this year’s class.
“I’m a real energy-type guy and I like to have fun but when it is time to get down to business I am all about business,” he said.
He becomes the highest-rated prospect that the Bulldogs now have a commitment from at the position. Look for Georgia to take commitments from and sign up to two more receivers in this cycle.
The two cousins will not be able to enroll early. Both plan to take all five of their official visits.
Webb’s decision now brings the total of commitments for Georgia’s Class of 2017 to 16. The commitment is expected to vault the Bulldogs back to No. 3 nationally ahead of LSU. Alabama is the only SEC team with a better crop of commitments so far than Georgia’s current crop.
Webb is rated as the nation’s No. 134 overall prospect in this year’s class. That means Georgia now has nine commitments in this year’s class that are rated among the nation’s Top 150 players for this cycle.
Archbishop Wood coach Steve Devlin praised Webb’s worth ethic.
“Nobody sees what he does every day to better himself,” Devlin said. “You always hear the analogy of a hard-working kid being the first to practice and the last to leave. But after every one of our practices, Mark grabs the quarterbacks and the young guys. He’ll stay out there and make them throw extra routes for everybody. He’s always encouraging everyone to do something extra every day. Young kids see that out of the highly-recruited guy and it rubs off of them. There are great players who don’t practice well, but Mark practices with great effort every single day. … He’s a tremendous football player, but he’s just a great kid and a great young man to have on your team.”
Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.