Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry shares a good cache of info regarding the first time Malaki Starks and Jalon Walker got to meet in person at G-Day this weekend. We also share a little of their pre-commitment backstories, too.
The customary unofficial or official visits for prospects to visit a college campus have not taken place since early March of 2020.
What’s been the biggest loss going without these? Was it the photoshoots in the locker room with the gear? Was it the facility tours? The scavenger hunts? The chance to sit in an esteemed coach in the film room or office and hear the pitch face-to-face about how much they are wanted and needed?
Those are all well and good. Those moments have gone very well and been very good to UGA over the last five recruiting cycles.
Yet perhaps the most important thing that has been absent is the guys. Getting to know the guys that are also deeply considering the chance to play for the same school.
These players, just like the class of 2021, have not gotten to know each other at all. Not yet.
The relationships that somehow formed over those past visits led to a group dynamic about wanting to play with this guy and that guy. Quarterbacks and receivers. Defensive tackles and linebackers. Cornerbacks and safeties. Running backs and their O-line.
Our class will be different, they all say. Their class will be that one to bring that “natty” home to Georgia. That will be their class legacy. Those dreams take flight on those visits.
That’s been missing. Yet somehow organically this has started to happen across several members of the next recruiting class at Georgia. There are several examples for this 2022 class at UGA, but will we focus on one relationship that finally got their first face-to-face meeting at G-Day on Saturday.
We’ll specifically point to the relationship forming between 5-star Malaki Starks and Under Armour All-American LB Jalon Walker.
Those two young men were in Athens this weekend. They sat in the stands with tickets they had to acquire on their own. They still didn’t meet coaches, but they continued to get to know one another well.
“He was a real stylish dude,” Walker said of Starks. “Great person overall. He and I matched as soon as we saw each other. He was actually sitting right behind us so it was kind of fun.”
The feeling was mutual.
“It was amazing,” Starks said. “We couldn’t find each other at first and we were sitting in the same section. But it was great. I met his Dad and saw his family. They are all amazing people and I am really excited for what our future holds.”
DawgNation should be, too.
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A little backstory between Malaki Starks and Jalon Walker
The month of March was big for both of these young men with their college decisions. Starks wound up committing on his father’s birthday on March 25. Walker followed suit on March 28.
Walker released the news right before March that he would be making that commitment on that date. That gave the Bulldogs the runway to work on earning his commitment.
Georgia did just that. He got an edit or some type of pitch that shared the answer to the “Why Georgia? ” question every single day. There was a distinctive well-polished message from the Bulldogs every day.
It got to the point where Walker would even look forward to each message. He wanted to see what else UGA had to show him.
During this time, he also began talking to Starks. Both of those young men had Clemson as a common school of heavy interest. That was the final two for Starks. The Tigers were also in the final three for Walker.
“He and I have been talking,” Starks said last month after his decision. “When he found out I was having my commitment date, he started texting me saying he had the same people and schools in mind for him, too. I told him my ideas and what I had in mind for Georgia and what I had in mind for Clemson.”
Those conversations went deep.
“He agreed with me,” Starks said. “One thing I know about Jalon is he is not scared or afraid to play anywhere. He’s not worried about who’s already there or who’s going to be there. He just knows how hard he works and what he is capable of. He works hard. I see he has a lot of great confidence. That was huge to me. To me, that’s what this class really needs at Georgia.”
“If you have a person that is not scared to compete, that’s scary. I know Georgia would be getting a guy like that in Jalon Walker.”
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