Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Five-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean had a different experience on his UGA unofficial visit this week.

5-star ILB Nakobe Dean gained different perspective at UGA this week

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet for Thursday calls for an unofficial visit recap from 5-star Mississippi inside linebacker Nakobe Dean. Dean will rank as one of the top remaining targets for UGA in the 2019 class. 


Nakobe Dean came to Georgia this week ready to get coached up.

Check. That was the clear takeaway from his most recent visit.

“It was great,” Dean said of his Wednesday session. “They definitely gave me a great perspective on how they coach and if I do decide to go there [to Georgia] on how I would be coached there for the next four years.”

He has very few questions about UGA. The Horn Lake (Miss.) product was at UGA late last month for the scavenger hunt. His mother put that trip into the “best visit” so far column.

It was another visit that saw him leave Athens feeling very comfortable about where he might fit with the Bulldogs. But it was also an entirely new experience.

Georgia-Nakobe Dean-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football
Five-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean rates as the nation’s No. 20 overall 2019 prospect on the 247Sports composite. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

“I was working with Coach [Glenn] Schumann and basically he was just in coaching mode,” Dean said. “It was a little bit of everything from drops to run reads. So I was just really glad to work with him.”

The tiniest details were stressed.

“The little stuff,” Dean said. “Exactly. They shared a lot of little stuff with me. There were some things I did that would probably be OK somewhere else as long as I made the play, but not there. It was like, ‘If you did it like this, then you would do it better’ so that really helps me out a lot.”

He came to UGA expecting to learn more. To get better. Not just more layers of personal recruiting. Dean did not get weighed or tested. He just camped.

“I don’t feel like I am the greatest,” Dean said. “I’m always trying to take in new coaching points. … I learned a lot today when we were working on the 5-man sled and I learned a lot of different ways to get off blocks.”

Dean came away informed on several aspects of his position he didn’t know. That came during what he estimated was a 90-minute workout with Schumann.

“I wanted to go more,” Dean said. “I was feeling OK. We have been working out. I wasn’t tired or anything and I actually wanted to do more because I missed a workout earlier this week at school coming over here.”

He went over a host of things he learned to take one less step coming out of his break and to move faster laterally. Dean felt Schumann’s style made it easy to absorb.

“The way Coach Schumann is, he always asks for confirmations,” Dean said. “He wants to see ‘yes’ and ‘no’ all the time. So if I don’t get it, I will just say no. The way he is teaching the defense, he will draw it up on the board or he will show me a clip or a slideshow of it and that makes me able to pick it all up quick like that.”

Why Nakobe Dean feels comfortable at UGA 

Dean will take an anticipated official visit to Alabama this week. That’s the only one he has planned, but he did feel confident enough in what he’s seen regarding Georgia to state one thing.

“I do plan on giving Georgia one,” Dean said in reference to an official visit. “I’m thinking about it at the end of the season, or I’ve got one weekend after the season ends where I will have time for an official.”

He will enroll early at the school of his choice. The nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker prospect could be seen as an Owen Pappoe alternative for UGA in this class. But he’s more than that. The fact he’s also rated as the nation’s No. 20 overall prospect for 2019 on the 247Sports composite speaks to that.

Dean, the son of a physician, also has the academic profile that netted interest from Notre Dame and Stanford. He’s also right at 6 feet and about 215 pounds. That’s probably the same suit size as Pappoe.

But he came to Athens this week for a short unofficial visit having never worked out at Georgia before.

That was his biggest takeaway from the trip. It is why the program seems very familiar to him right now.

Georgia-Nakobe Dean-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football
Nakobe Dean will not make his college decision known until December. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

“It is all based on feeling comfortable with the coaches, really,” Dean said. “I feel like they are in the best in the country at what they do and they can develop me into the best linebacker and the best athlete and the best man I can be, too. There’s also already a familiarity there with the players where I just feel really comfortable.”

Where does he also get a sense of that same feeling?

“I would probably say Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn and LSU,” said Dean, in that order.

He’s still planning on a December decision reveal. The first day of the early signing period will be Dec. 19. It still sounds like he might make his decision known on Dec. 13.

Georgia plans a recruiting weekend in late July when the program will unveil its new locker rooms in the west end zone. But Dean won’t be able to make that because of a conflict.

When does he plan to return?

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “But I will be back.”

Big official visit weekend in Athens

Georgia is expected to host a trio of official visitors this weekend. The first name won’t be much of a surprise to those who have been reading DawgNation over the last week. It is an in-state junior college product who recently told DawgNation that the Bulldogs would’ve been his choice had he qualified coming out of Griffin’s Spalding High School. 

The guys expected in town will be:

  • D.J. Daniel/4-star cornerback/Georgia Military College: Daniel rates as the nation’s No. 2 junior college cornerback prospect and as the nation’s No. 5 overall product according to 247Sports.

  • Makiya Tongue/4-star athlete/University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.): Tongue rates as the nation’s No. 16 ATH for 2019 on the 247Sports composite. Is he a receiver or a safety? There are a lot of reports that he’s looking to play wide receiver. That’s where he said the Bulldogs see him. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior has taken an official visit to Arizona State. The 247Sports Crystal Ball charts 100 percent of the five predictions to Texas.

  • Darius Thomas/4-star tackle/Jonesboro High (Jonesboro, Ark.): The 6-6, 315-pound prospect from Arkansas fits the mold of a Sam Pittman tackle. The connections to the state of Arkansas also help here. He rates as the nation’s No. 20 tackle prospect is No. 174 overall. For what it is worth, he has not been invited to compete at the Nike Opening Finals later this month. (Note: His 2016 film appears below and not his updated junior highlight reel.)

A few more quick-hit items 

  • Andy Boykin, a 4-star defensive end from Troup County, is committed to Auburn. He told me that he would be camping and hanging out at UGA on Thursday. The Class of 2020 product continues to tout that the Bulldogs are strong contenders behind the Tigers.
  • Boykin is part of a strong in-state defensive line crop in that rising junior class. UGA has a pledge from 4-star defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse from Stephenson. There’s also 4-star DT Jamil Burroughs from McEachern. He rates as the nation’s No. 4 DT on 247Sports. There is also a guy that I see as truly elite in Hillgrove 4-star DE Myles Murphy. Marietta High 4-star DE/OLB B.J. Ojulari, the brother of UGA freshman Azeez Ojulari, also belongs in the top tier of in-state defensive line talent. I can see a scenario where several of those prospects wind up playing together on Saturdays.
  • Grayson High School QB C.J. Dixon is someone I’ve really started to look at over the last 10 days. He picked up an offer from Florida on June 9 and his recruitment should get interesting over the next few weeks. He’s about 6-6 and a legit 220 pounds. The true dual-threat seems like he’s ready to transition from basketball with a career commitment to play football. The Class of 2020 prospect just picked up an in-person offer from Ohio State. I was told Dixon clocked a 4.78-second time in the 40-yard dash while working out for the Buckeyes. If the Bulldogs offer, I think they will have a good shot. Dixon showed off a lot of his strengths at UGA this week. He helped lead the Rams to the 7-on-7 title and has a strong arm. It compares favorably to all the top young arms in the state. Look for a full report on him after the Corky Kell event on Friday. He might have a few more offers by then.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-America LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.