Georgia football: A good early first look at the 2021 recruiting cycle
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. The call here is an early overview for the DawgNation reader into the big wide world of the 2021 recruiting cycle. We realize this is still the first half of the 2020 cycle, but Friday recruiting stories tend to be “Future Fridays” on DawgNation. They take a look at what’s coming a little further down the track for the red and black.
There are currently zero public commitments for Georgia football in the 2021 class.
That, in some ways, is at least interesting. Perhaps even noteworthy. Think of the proverbial whiz kid in class who always reads two or three chapters ahead of the daily material. That’s how Kirby Smart and Georgia have been attacking every day on the recruiting trail for the last three years, too.
Yet this is a different book these days. His teams going forward no longer require the same inventory of multiple players who fit the UGA blueprint at each position. There are several future Sunday players at most positions now. A lot of them will still just be sophomores this fall.
This is the first cycle of the Smart where the Bulldogs are not working a year in advance (at leat) with at least one “anchor” recruit for the class or classes ahead of the current cycle. As it stands now, this could be the first G-Day under Smart where the Bulldogs do not have at least one pledge for a class beyond the current cycle.
What does that mean? Is that cause for alarm? Hardly.
Let’s take a look at some early pledges for each of the Smart classes once he arrived in Athens. That shows something now maybe about the pitfalls of filling up recruiting classes far out into the future.
Class of 2017
- Smart was officially on the job for less than a week, but he still earned the commitment of 5-star Richard LeCounte III. That wasn’t even his first cycle, but it was still about 13 months before LeCounte was set to enroll early in Athens.
Class of 2018
- There were a lot of ups-and-downs in this class. It would ultimately wind up rated No. 1 in the nation. Georgia football was able to bust up an Alabama streak of seven consecutive mythical recruiting national titles. Adam Anderson committed to UGA for the first time in August of 2016, then de-committed on G-Day in 2017 only to re-commit again in October of that year.
- He wasn’t even the first Bulldog commit in that class. That was current Ohio State OL Max Wray. Wray was the first Bulldog commit in the ’18 class way back in April of 2016, but he would go on to de-commit.
Class of 2019
- Future 5-star OLB Nolan Smith committed in late January of 2017. That was some 690 days before he enrolled at UGA back in January. He wasn’t even the first.
- Former UGA pledge Luke Griffith chose Georgia back on June 11, 2016. He would then de-commit on April 8, 2018. Griffin eventually would still sign in the SEC with Missouri.
Class of 2020
- Current Bulldog pledge Nazir Stackhouse was the first Bulldog to commit for the 2020 class. He chose the Bulldogs on December 2, 2017. That will always be remembered by DawgNation as the day the Bulldogs took down Auburn in Atlanta to win their first SEC championship since 2005.
This development here is more of a matter of two things. Neither should be seen as a slight to the recruiting momentum established by the class.
- Georgia recruits more nationally now and is much more selective when it comes to early commits. Especially in-state commits.
- Did you notice the trend about de-commitments with those early pledges? That’s in part due to the volatile nature of the recruiting process and how early evaluations don’t offer up a recruit’s true potential.
Georgia football: 13 early names for 2021
According to the 247Sports database, the Bulldogs have offered 74 players in the 2021 class. Here are 10 players that DawgNation deems to be pretty clear priorities for that cycle (in alphabetical order):
(All ratings cited are from 247Sports)
- Cane Berrong/4-star TE/Hart County/Hartwell, Ga. — Northeast Georgia standout who was once a quarterback and a two-sport athlete with baseball. The 6-foot-4.5 sophomore can run under 4.6 in the 40. He is now the nation’s No. 1 TE for 2020 by 247Sports.
- Cody Brown/4-star RB/Parkview/Lilburn, Ga. — The 6-foot, 210-pounder already holds offers from Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Penn State as of now. Will be plenty more. Brown now rates as the nation’s No. 7 RB for 2021 and as the No. 1 RB in Georgia.
- Lovasea Carroll/4-star ATH/Warren County/Warrenton, Ga. — Carroll has superb speed in the 100 meters (sub 10.8 times in the 100) and is seen as an all-purpose back or wideout at the next level. He recently picked up an offer from UGA. Now also rates as the nation’s No. 11 ATH. He will also be at G-Day.
- David Daniel/4-star DB/Woodstock/Woodstock, Ga. — The nation’s No. 8 ATH and No. 64 overall recruit picked up several major offers of late, including Alabama, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame, among many others. He’s visited Clemson and UGA recently and will be back for G-Day.
- Terrence Ferguson/4-star OT/Peach County/Fort Valley, Ga. — His ratings have seen a dip, but this elite talent still rates as the nation’s No. 15 OT for 247Sports. He’s already been to UGA a lot over the last two years.
- Phil Mafah/4-star RB/Grayson High/Loganville, Ga. — Big all-around back holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Texas, among others. Hopes to play with Brown on the college level. Now rates as the nation’s No. 17 RB for 2020.
- Amarius Mims/5-star OT/Bleckley County/Cochran, Ga. — The agile 302-pounder received a well-deserved rating boost to the nation’s No. 2 OT and the No. 1 overall player in Georgia for 2020. He is already 6 feet, 7 inches and played a whole lot at TE for the Royals last fall. He will also be at G-Day. Florida and Georgia offered early here, but watch out for that Alabama offer. That will be a big one for Mr. Mims.
- Micah Morris/5-star OT/Camden County/Kingsland, Ga. — Now rates as the nation’s No. 9 OT for 247Sports. He’s 6-foot-4 and 316 pounds and still just 15. DawgNation profiled Mr. Morris earlier this week.
- Payton Page/5-star DT/Dudley/Greensboro, NC — The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder out of North Carolina now rates as the nation’s No. 2 DT for 247Sports. He’s already been to check out UGA once this year and this will be a heavily contested recruitment for sure.
- Evan Pryor/4-star RB/William Amos Hough/Cornelius, NC — Rates as the nation’s No. 6 RB for 247Sports. Already holds UGA among his top tier of schools and will be back to camp with Dell McGee this summer.
- Jaquez Smith/4-star WR/Hapeville Charter/Atlanta, Ga. — Very impressive athlete. He is now the nation’s No. 24 WR on 247Sports. He’s made a bunch of plays for Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 squad this spring.
- Jayden Thomas/4-star WR/Pace Academy/Atlanta, Ga. — Recently named a 4-star recruit with the latest 247Sports update. He’s now the nation’s No. 18 WR in this class. Thomas was recently profiled on DawgNation and he used the word “love” to describe both Georgia and Ohio State.
- Brock Vandagriff/4-star QB/Prince Avenue Christian/Atlanta, Ga. — Great-looking prospect is taking a wide arc with a lot of schools but he just visited UGA for spring practice and has said he will be back again soon. Vandagriff, a coach’s son, rates as the No. 2 prospect in Georgia and the nation’s No. 4 pro-style QB.
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