When Julian Rochester speaks, it is wise to listen. That’s even beyond that whole 6-foot-6, 320-pounder thing.
The 4-star defensive tackle is one of six early enrollees at UGA today. The U.S. Army All-American was also one of eight UGA targets at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio last week.
Here’s the roll call, looking back at all the U.S. Army All-Americans, that have either chosen UGA or have the program as a finalist:
- 4-star DE/OLB Brian Burns (undecided)
- 5-star DL Derrick Brown (undecided)
- 4-star OL Ben Cleveland (early enrollee)
- 5-star QB Jacob Eason (early enrollee)
- 5-star ATH Mecole Hardman, Jr. (undecided)
- 5-star TE Isaac Nauta (early enrollee)
- 4-star ILB Jaleel Laguins (UGA commitment)
- 5-star ATH Demetris Robertson (undecided)
- 4-star DL Julian Rochester (early enrollee)
- 4-star DB Nigel Warrior (undecided)
Rochester’s ever-present gargantuan smile seemed to hover around the guys he wanted to come to UGA. He’s got a magnetic personality and most of his teammates felt he was one of the two or three funniest guys on the East roster.
So he got to know everyone well. And he knows something about National Signing Day next month that will cause UGA fans to count up a lot of All-Americans on their hands.
Scan those Army Bowl guys again. Rochester said to look for “at least” six of those targets to wind up at UGA, if not more. The 4-star lineman made sure not to give away any names, but just a number that should have UGA fans buzzing for the next three weeks.
The ninth-rated defensive tackle in the nation for 2016 got to know Warrior very well in Texas.
“He likes Georgia,” Rochester said. “He likes the new defensive backs coach (Mel Tucker) that is coming in. I tell him to enjoy his recruiting experience. Take your officials. Have your fun. Hit me up when you come for your Georgia official. Enjoy yourself. But I also told him I would see him on February 3 and we will see what happens then. That’s what I tell him.”
Rochester said he had no idea 4-star receiver Riley Ridley was coming to Athens. That’s another Under Armour All-American who has already enrolled.
“I was on the bus and somebody said that Calvin Ridley’s brother just committed,” Rochester said. “I was like ‘Who is that?’ and I had no idea about that. I was really surprised by that one.”
The McEachern High School graduate said he could talk to Warrior any time he wants to since they are both in Georgia. The biggest target for him last week was Burns. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder is a natural pass-rusher who was always around the football.
“He reminds me so much of Leonard Floyd,” Rochester said. “I always tell him he would be a first-round draft pick just like Leonard Floyd if he came to Georgia. So I worked on him a whole bunch this week.”
Will he turn out to be Julian “Dawgstradamus” Rochester? We shall see in about three weeks.
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
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.