Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry gets on the mat with Class 7A state heavyweight wrestling champion Dylan Fairchild. He picked up a big UGA offer earlier this year.
Dylan Fairchild now has over 20 offers, but he’s still getting used to this recruiting stuff.
“I really didn’t get recruited big-time or pretty much at all my freshman or sophomore years,” he said. “So this is really all kind of new to me for my junior year.”
South Carolina was his first “big” offer from the Southeastern Conference. That one was extended his way prior to his junior season. It was one of the very best days of his life so far. He all but jumped out of his size-15 shoes.
LSU and Georgia offered in early March. He believes the Bulldogs were his 20th offer at that time.
The 247Sports Composite ratings have him as the nation’s No. 20 offensive guard and the No. 343 overall prospect for 2020. The pure 247 rating has him as the nation’s No. 12 guard and the No. 188 overall prospect. It seems more in line with the type of player he can at the next level.
Those traits reflect his worth, but maybe not as much as these next two bullet points:
- Georgia line coach Matt Luke evaluates Fairchild as a versatile do it all lineman. “But the plan would be to start me out at tackle there,” Fairchild said. “Coach Luke sees me as a tackle.”
- Fairchild also won the Georgia High School Association’s Class 7A heavyweight wrestling title earlier this year. He logged a 46-0 record with 46 pitfalls. He actually pinned an opponent in just four seconds. That came deep in the championship bracket.
His football DNA shows what he can do even more precisely below.
What does he love best about playing the game of football?
“I’ll be honest here,” he says. “It is just trying to get to pummel and hurt someone over and over all night long. Just ruin somebody else’s night and not having any consequences. I mean really coming from a wrestling background and wrestling and football background it is just who I am.”
“I quit baseball last year because it was too non-contact and too boring. I threw track last year and I told my coaches it was too boring. I have to have contact. That’s my favorite sign about football and wrestling is you get to compete with someone and just try to dominate them all night last. That’s just the best feeling for me. Dominating someone is just really it.”
Georgia offered earlier this month. That places the Bulldogs squarely into the mix of his top schools for his eventual college decision.
“We were blown away,” Fairchild said of the Georgia offer. “It was like drinking from a fire hydrant with all of their academic support and everything. We were kind of just blown away.”
Dylan Fairchild: The early things to know here
Fairchild is fun to be around. He is a strong communicator and tells the story of how his father was introduced to a baby named “Dylan Cooper” at the hospital when he was born and plugged those first two names into his own birth certificate.
He will mimic the growling snarl of the West Forsyth school mascot on cue at a photographer’s request and will actually be quite good at it. Not to mention completely accommodating.
That’s probably why he can say that he wears the No. 51 jersey for his Wolverines and actually make it seem not so corny that Del Monte wouldn’t can it.
“Five linemen and one heartbeat,” he said. “At my school, I try to be an offensive line leader and try to lead our team. It all starts at the line of scrimmage so if you’ve got all five of those guys all with one heartbeat and all on the same level then everything else behind you is going to fall into place and it is going to work out.”
When the interview concludes, he will say that he loves to fish. He is actually headed out to catch a fish. When he throws his line in the water, he will even snag a fish, too.
He brings up his blessings often. He has the ability to play two sports at a very elite level for a high school athlete. How much does his faith matter to him?
“For me personally it is living in God’s glory,” Fairchild said. “I’ll always remember this verse ‘Whether you are eating or drinking you always live in God’s glory. Do things for the glory of God’ and I mean God blessed me with this body. Like you said, you’re just born that way.”
“I’ve just been blessed and it would be a shame for me to throw that away.”
He wakes up somedays “turned up” and ready to go. But he has other days where he doesn’t crackle with energy.
“The days that I am struggling or days that I am tired it is just those moments where I remember what I am doing all for,” he said. “It is just living in that glory and achieving that goal I have wanted to achieve since I was a little kid.”
Coach speak: West Forsyth’s David Svehla on Dylan Fairchild
David Svehla has only been the coach at West Forsyth for about five weeks. That was still enough time for him to notice a lot of positive character traits about Fairchild in his program.
“I haven’t known him for a number of years like a lot of people here,” Svehla said. “I don’t have any preconceived notions. I’m seeing him a lot for the first time now. The thing that stands out to me is he is a good leader.”
“The kids like him and they follow him. Part of that is he is really good. Part of that is because he seems to me to be all in. He’s bought in when he’s in the weight room. He’s bought in when’s running. He’s bought in during our meetings. He’s been a really good influence on our younger players.”
“Everyone is attracted to that really good player. But sometimes that really good kid isn’t a good leader. Sometimes that really good kid isn’t a guy you want to follow. Sometimes the really good kid just keeps to himself. He doesn’t possess those kinds of characteristics. That is just not Dylan at all.”
Svehla has noticed Fairchild run. He’s seen him fly around those agility ladders. He feels he would be a great defensive lineman, too.
“He has outstanding feet,” Svehla said.
But the thing that has really impressed him has been the way Fairchild carries himself both on and off the field. He feels he is a guard at the college level and that he will very good one at that.
“He’s just naturally aggressive,” Svehla said. “I’m of the opinion that you can teach everyone to pass block but you can’t teach everyone to be great at run blocking. You have to have the physicality and have to be naturally aggressive. Dylan has that.”
The moving parts of the college decision for Dylan Fairchild
What is he looking for in a college fit? It won’t be a wrestling program. He knows he will be a football player at the next level.
He shared a few core criteria:
- “My relationship with my coach, well definitely all of the coaches, is definitely going to be big in enrolling and where I go to school.”
- “The environment and the players.”
- “Really just communication and relationship are my two biggest things. By the time I would graduate [in high school] I would have had three separate position coaches and two separate head coaches so just developing that relationship and stability and knowing that I am going to a solid place is really going to be a big thing for me.”
- “My whole family is all ‘Dawgs fans. Well, actually split between Georgia and Georgia Tech.”
- “My perspective before the [Georgia] offer was that’s just the top of the line, you know? That’s D-1. When you say D-1 playing high school football in Georgia, that’s the University of Georgia. It was a big fish in a little pond but as I got more comfortable with [Georgia line coach Matt Luke] and as we build our relationship that they have offered. It seems more of like a comforting feeling. I can go there and I live in the state so it is a pretty easy drive for me. I can go down there and just talk to him and just really develop that relationship instead of I mean as a kid you’re like ‘Ooh Georgia’ but when you’re in it and you’ve got the offer there’s nothing really else to earn it is just really building that relationship and trying to communicate with them.”
He has no timeline for his college decision. South Carolina was that first big offer and that program has done an excellent job of recruiting him.
Auburn continues to recruit him effectively. First-year line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. has made him a priority.
“Coach Bicknell at Auburn told me he’s like I’m not going to tell you you’re the greatest player or you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread but I think that, for me, he said that he’s got one guy every single year that he recruits that he’s just got that right connection with and he told me that I’m that guy for him this year.”
The unique way Matt Luke offered Dylan Fairchild
The way Fairchild was offered here says two things: 1) How much Georgia valued him as a potential member of the 2021 class: 2) The way new line coach Matt Luke does things on the recruiting trail.
When he visited Georgia earlier this month, he got to experience some good face time with Kirby Smart first.
“The first thing we did was talk to coach Smart,” Fairchild said. “He said this is Georgia and we get the top of the line and we get to pick who and what we want. He was just kind of building the suspense.”
But he didn’t get the offer. Luke had told Smart he wanted to do that. In-person.
When Fairchild and Luke were riding around campus on an unofficial visit, the offer came in the back SUV.
“Coach Luke brought me into the car,” Fairchild said. “He just looked at me and told me ‘I wanted to do this face to face’ and ‘I’m the kind of guy who will do this face to face. I’m not the kind of guy who will send you a text and offer you. I wanted you here. I wanted you to see me and get a face with the name’ is what he said.”
He won’t soon forget it.
“That was a good moment,” Fairchild said. “He and I really connected in that moment.”
Luke told Fairchild that he likes big and strong and athletic guys for his line.
“That’s not the only thing he looks at,” Fairchild said. “He likes to see athleticism and versatility and just a well-rounded football player. The main thing he pointed out to me is that I am very athletic and versatile. He told me he sees me at tackle, but I can play tackle. I can play guard. I can play center. I think that’s really one of the main reasons they decided to offer because I can come in there and plug any position.”
Luke even shared with him why he was an offer for his offensive line room at UGA. Fairchild did not get a scholarship offer from former line coach Sam Pittman.
“Everybody wants to get a Georgia offer,” Fairchild said. “Everyone who lives in Georgia and plays football wants to play football for Georgia. But I think that’s really the main thing. I think that’s what coach Luke wanted to express. He said ‘this is a different time’ and ‘things have changed’ and like I said ‘things change’ and that thing has changed. I think that’s one of the things that he really wanted to express to me.”
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