Two topics. One post.
The current path of Devonte Wyatt allows the Intel to address two items regarding 2018 defensive line recruiting within the same storyline.
That level of efficiency is possible because an update on 4-star DT Devonte Wyatt is warranted. The Towers High (Decatur, Ga.) product signed with UGA back in February, but was not cleared to enroll by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Things drug out in July and August. He just didn’t make it.
Wyatt said he was humbled by the chance to put on the Georgia uniform on his first visit to Athens last summer. (Dr. Brian Hightower / Special)
He was the lone signee for the interior line in the highly-acclaimed #SICEM17 recruiting haul that is going through fall camp.
Wyatt is not with that class. His wavy hair has undergone a significant trim and he is currently a second-team defensive lineman in the junior college ranks.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound prospect is at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Wyatt is a Blue Dragon. Not a Bulldog.
It should come as no shock that he’s already regarded as the fastest defensive lineman on a roster that features a pair of recruiting standouts (RB B.J. Emmons, OT D’Antne Demery) that were also UGA commits at one time.
Wyatt’s path is simple.
“It was about my test score,” he said. “But really I am (just) about my grades now. Just to get my GPA up so it can match my first test score that I had.”
If all goes according to that plan, then the DT picture for the 2018 class looks a lot better. Wyatt should be seen as a potential addition to the next class.
RELATED: Devonte Wyatt’s SEC path includes a pair of “Air Force Ones’ and reps at RB
Devonte Wyatt plans to enroll at UGA in January
Wyatt stated it is possible that he will only need to spend one semester in the junior college ranks.
Devonte Wyatt flipped from South Carolina to Georgia on August 8, 2016. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Yet that is all on him.
“They said just the first semester,” Wyatt said. “If I do well the first semester, then I will be coming back and enrolling in January.”
His target is clear. He needs to raise his grade-point average up to a 2.8 by recording a 3.0 this semester in two courses. He is taking Mathematics and English at Hutchinson in order to do so.
“I’m going to get that,” Wyatt said. “Either two ‘As’ or two ‘Bs’ or an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ but I am going to get there. I am going to get it. I have got to get it.”
Wyatt also relayed he is still firmly committed to Georgia. When he’s qualified to play NCAA Division I football, it will be at Georgia. No re-recruiting will be necessary.
“I’m going straight back to Georgia,” Wyatt said. “I still love Georgia, you know? I don’t want to go to a different school. Georgia had my back even though I didn’t have the right grades. It would be wrong for me to look elsewhere and leave them after they have been there for me.”
Wyatt lined up at defensive end, defensive tackle and running back for Towers High School. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
He said he hears often from UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. They keep up with him through text messages.
The speedy defensive tackle said it sort of feels like he is being recruited again.
“They let me know ahead of time what was going to happen,” Wyatt said. “I still feel very comfortable with the coaches there at Georgia and all that.”
What happens if he doesn’t make that “B” average? When he was asked that, he fell silent.
He didn’t really know the answer. That sounded promising for his chances.
“I will do whatever it takes to get back,” Wyatt said. “If it takes longer, then I will do just whatever it takes to get back. The one thing though is I love football. I realize this chance I have here. … I’m not going to waste it. I have to make it.”
“I think about my future every day and I think about if I drop out of school, where would I be? I’m not going to be like that or think about that for long because I love football and know I can go to the NFL with the talent I have. You see, I am always thinking about where I could be in life. How football can set me up.”
“The more days I think about quitting or that I do not want to do this anymore, I just think ‘Nah, I can’t quit. I don’t have anywhere to go.’ But then I look to where I could go.”
In his own words: Devonte Wyatt
When Wyatt hears about UGA fans seeking an update on his plight, that moves him. When he gets some love from DawgNation on social media, it matters to him.
“It puts a big ‘ol smile on my face,” he said.
He does not understate how much that support means to him.
“That means so much to hear that,” Wyatt said. “You just don’t know. That fires me up right now to know that all the Georgia fans back home are pulling for me. That makes me want to go even harder right now just by hearing that.”
Former UGA signee Devonte Wyatt hopes to return in January. What will it take? (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
The details about why he wound up in junior college football sound like a tough break.
Wyatt told DawgNation he achieved a qualifying score on his ACT to match his grade-point average on the NCAA’s sliding scale. But the timing was off: That 20-plus score on his ACT just came in too late.
He was already in Kansas.
Wyatt said he also achieved a qualifying score on his SAT earlier this year, but that was flagged by the NCAA Clearinghouse. That’s why that ACT score was also in play.
“There was a good chance,” Wyatt said. “My scores took too long to come in because then everything was coming up. School was fixing to start and practice and everything was already going on.”
How hard was it for him?
“It is not hard now,” Wyatt said, who has been in Kansas for about a month. “I just know that it is for a good cause. This place is going to get me back somewhere I need to be. Sometimes I get maybe mad or sad. I see Georgia getting ready for the first game with all the prep videos and the hype videos I see. I wish I was there, but I can’t do anything about that. But then I can do something about what it takes for me to get back there.”
Wyatt has internalized all those emotions.
“When I think about it, God has put me here for a reason,” Wyatt said. “I am going to come back to Georgia and go hard. I’m going to go even harder because I will realize how special it is to be there. I know that now because I am missing out on all of that right now.”
What are the chances he lands that 3.0 this semester?
“Great chance,” Wyatt said. “It is a great chance. I am working very hard. Especially on my books. I just got finished with my essay for my English class tonight.”
All business for Devonte Wyatt
Wyatt can crack a joke about this. He said he’s basically a hermit at Hutchinson College. He’s not there for the social scene and basically sits in his room and studies and watches TV. He’ll also talk on the phone a lot with his mother.
“People always ask my why I am always in my room or to come out with them or come with them to the club but I tell them that my mind is always focused on one thing,” Wyatt said. “That’s my future.”
“Last Chance U.” has actually been in his Netflix queue. He said the lifestyle depicted in that program parallels what he is going through.
The former signee does not plan on taking visits to UGA this fall. He said he’s already seen everything he needs to see and he will use that time to study in his dorm room. That’s another good sign.
He plans to watch every UGA game this fall. He’s still going to be a Bulldog.
That is all just on pause.
“I would like to thank the fans first and foremost,” Wyatt said. “I want to thank them for having my back and still believing in me and still wanting me to come play for their team even though I didn’t have my grades right. My message for all those fans is that I am coming back as quickly as I can and as soon as I can and I will be coming back to Georgia and going as hard as I can.”
“When I come back to play at Georgia, I am going to go 10 times harder than I ever did in high school.”
Miss a day of Intel? Well, the DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to Mecole Hardman speed before your tailgate crew can worry anymore about all the freshman offensive linemen who will have to play this fall.