Can UGA really fill up Sanford Stadium with 93,000 fans on G-Day?
Well, expect some of the Southeast’s top recruits to pad that total. High school football players aren’t exactly the type to pre-plan their lives, but it appears some of the South’s top talent made an exception even two weeks prior to G-Day.
The elite list of recruits who have said they will attend UGA’s final spring scrimmage on April 16 is already impressive, but should also swell the next six days. That’s even though Alabama and Tennessee are also hosting spring games that day, too.
DawgNation has already confirmed 21 very big visitors in the “Yes” column for G-Day. There are several others who hope to make it, but that depends on the schedules for their prep baseball and track teams. It also conflicts with the junior prom for one UGA commit. Breon Dixon plans to go to his prom at his mother’s urging. He will enroll early so this is one shot at a high school prom memory.
Those conflicts likely won’t keep Smart from his appointed 93,000 in the stands, though. Can UGA fill it up? Several of the state’s top prospects feel the fans are up to that challenge.
“I think they can and it would be a statement saying that UGA has got something big in store for next year and the years to come,” UGA commit Jaden Hunter said.
The next great quarterback at UGA made sure to use the proper terms for the school’s mascot in his answer.
“I hope they do,” 4-star commit Jake Fromm said. “No reason they shouldn’t. Dawg fans should be excited about Dawg football coming this fall.”
Fromm felt a full house would show “that the fan base and community are behind the new regime and players.”
But those are commits. They have every reason to expect the best. William Poole, a four-star cornerback torn between UGA and Florida, isn’t sold on 93k in the stands. Yet.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he told DawgNation.
But what if UGA’s fans met that challenge?
“It would let me know things are really changing for the better,” Poole said.
Archer four-star cornerback Jamyest Williams, a native Athenian, wasn’t as skeptical.
“I think so because people are eager to see what Coach Smart is going to bring to the program,” he said.
If so, that would be a transformative event for the program under Smart. A capacity crowd of 93,000 would more than double the total from G-Day in 2015.
A few headliners won’t be able to make it. UGA Class of 2017 commits Richard LeCounte III won’t make it because he’s taking the ACT. Yet both Dixon and LeCounte do plan to be in Athens later that night. The same goes for DeAngelo Gibbs. The five-star cornerback is the state of Georgia’s top prospect for the Class of 2017.
Cartersville five-star Trevor Lawrence isn’t sure about his plans yet, but he remains a strong possibility. There’s some conflict at work there as both UGA and Tennessee are hosting their spring games on the same day. Those two programs are among his top three schools.
Heard County four-star quarterback Emory Jones, another major UGA target in that class, said last week he planned to be in Tennessee for that spring game.
G-Day Guest List so far (Major UGA targets)
2018: 4-star CB Derrik Allen
2017: 4-star WR Trey Blount
2017: 3-star LB Kenney “K.J.” Britt
2017: 4-star WR Nico Collins
2017: 4-star OT D’antne Demery
2017: 4-star QB Jake Fromm (UGA commit)
2017: 3-star LB Walter Grant
2017: 4-star OL Tony Gray (most likely)
2017: 4-star DE/OLB Malik Herring
2017: 4-star LB Jaden Hunter (UGA commit)
2018: 4-star OL Tank Jenkins
2017: 3-star WR Xavier Jenkins (UGA commit)
2017: 4-star DB William Poole
2017: 3-star OL Justin Shaffer (UGA commit)
2017: 4-star ATH Shawn Smith
2017: 5-star ATH JaCoby Stevens
2017: 3-star LB Tyler Taylor
2018: 4-star CB Christian Tutt
2017: 4-star LB Leonard Warner
2017: 4-star ATH Jamyest Williams
2018: 4-star OL Max Wray (UGA commit)
Note: This is by no means official, but it is a listing of top Southeastern prospects with UGA offers. Look for this list to populate with more names over the next few days.
G-Day, Georgia’s annual spring football scrimmage, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Sanford Stadium. Check back here daily for DawgNation’s G-Day coverage brought to you by Georgia United Credit Union.
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. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.