The chase is on. The UGA recruiting staff has some wood up ahead to chop.
Alabama took the lead in the 2019 recruiting rankings earlier this week but lost it after an expected de-commitment. That allowed Oklahoma to regain the No. 1 ranking atop the 247Sports team composite rankings for this cycle.
Georgia held the No. 1 spot for a time earlier this year. Look for the Bulldogs to return to that spot. Then maybe Florida State, Clemson or Ohio State will get their laps in that pole position.
It also was a busy week for roster moves in Athens. Exports and imports. Flips. Misses. Hits. Unveilings.
That is the big picture. Georgia is permitted to have 85 players on scholarship at one time per NCAA rules. The Bulldogs signed 26 players in their top-rated 2018 class. There is the need to make the proverbial room in the inn for those guys.
These were the major UGA recruiting storylines of the week:
2019 UGA recruiting class timeline
The Bulldogs have seven commitments in their 2019 class. The latest came from 4-star strongside defensive end Bill Norton, who committed on March 18. Norton, the nation’s No. 10 player at his position for 2019, had been pondering committing to UGA for quite some time.
UGA sits at No. 9 nationally in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings, but it is worth noting the program has just seven commits for this cycle. Ohio State, which ranks No. 16 nationally, has six commits. Georgia is the only team among the top 17 that has fewer than eight commitments.
Oklahoma has 10 pledges and now has the top spot. With 11 commits, Texas A&M now sits in the No. 2 position and No. 1 in the SEC.
Quick fact: Georgia has a trio of 5-star commits for this cycle. The Bulldogs also have as many 5-star pledges as the rest of the SEC combined.
Jadon Haselwood, a 5-star wide receiver (Cedar Grove H.S./Ellenwood, Ga.), rates as the top Georgia commit. He is the No. 5 overall player in the nation, according to the composite. Haselwood had been rated as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect.
The Bulldogs also have two commitments for 2020. The first of those was 4-star defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse. Stackhouse plays for Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga. He committed on the day of Georgia’s SEC Championship Game victory against Auburn.
Broderick Jones committed to the Bulldogs twice earlier this year and revealed that decision to DawgNation earlier this week. The 4-star tackle drips with 5-star potential and rates on 247Sports as the nation’s No. 35 prospect for 2020.
Stackhouse ranks No. 202 overall.
How 2019 UGA recruiting class has been built:
June 11, 2016: 4-star tackle Luke Griffin (North Murray/Chatsworth, Ga.) commits to UGA
4-star DE Bill Norton committed to UGA in March. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jan. 29, 2017: 5-star defensive end Nolan Smith (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) commits to UGA
Feb. 18, 2017: 4-star DT Rashad Cheney Jr. (Washington High/Atlanta) commits to UGA
March 16, 2017: 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood commits to UGA
July 15, 2017: 4-star linebacker J.D. Bertrand (Blessed Trinity/Roswell, Ga.) commits to UGA
July 16, 2017: 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton/Marietta, Ga) commits to UGA
Oct. 30, 2017: 4-star cornerback Jalen Perry (Dacula/Dacula, Ga.) commits to UGA
Jan. 25, 2018: Rashad Cheney Jr. de-commits from UGA
Feb. 7, 2018: 4-star tight end Ryland Goede (Kennesaw Mountain/Kennesaw, Ga.) commits to UGA
March 18, 2018: 4-star DE Bill Norton (Christian Brothers/Memphis, Tenn.) commits to UGA
April 1, 2018: Luke Griffin de-commits from UGA
Owen Pappoe watch in full effect for UGA recruiting
Owen Pappoe will make his college choice on May 1. SEC Country will have live coverage beginning at 5:30 pm ET. Fans can watch on Facebook, on Twitter and on YouTube.
The nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker prospect was not at G-Day. He took a carefree official visit to Penn State last weekend and will travel to Texas for a similar jaunt this weekend. Those schools will not be a factor in his decision. It should come down to Auburn and Georgia. It is close — closer than most would expect.
Owen Pappoe will make his college decision on May 1. But you probably already knew that. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Everyone knows how important this decision could be for the Bulldogs. Pappoe is one of the program’s biggest targets for 2019. His UGA offer from the previous staff in the summer of 2015.
Pappoe will make his choice at Sports and Social at 7 p.m. Tuesday near SunTrust Park in Smyrna. We’ve made it a point not to overcook the coverage on this story. He’s got a set date and he will make his choice.
It likely will come down to how each school’s major selling points match up with what Pappoe wants from his college career. There is a simple reason why the Bulldogs might not land Pappoe in a tug-of-war with Auburn. It may mean that he simply wants to get away from home to enjoy that “different world” type of experience.
UGA has a lot of things going for it between the lines and on the recruiting trail. The Bulldogs have 63 percent of the 27 analyst predictions regarding the Pappoe decision on the 247Sports Crystal Ball feature.
The Bulldogs ripped off a string of 17 in a row in those forecasts prior to April 6. Auburn has received the last nine predictions.
UGA recruiting by position in 2019
Which positions are the major priorities for 2019? Well, the receiver spot was one, but that has been checked off as nicely as all the ticket sales for the new Avengers movie.
Here’s the wood left to chop in terms of positional priorities for the class:
- Defensive tackle (3 or 4 more)
- Inside linebacker (2)
- Tackle (2)
- Safety (1 to 2)
- Quarterback (1)
Where UGA recruiting class ranks in SEC
Georgia’s 2019 class is ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 4 in the SEC. Texas A&M leads the conference at No. 2 nationally. Alabama is next in the conference with its nine verbals that rank No. 4 nationally.
Ole Miss comes in at No. 3 in the SEC and No. 5 overall off the strength of its 14 pledges in this cycle.
It is worth noting the Bulldogs had zero members — one if we count Adam Anderson, who de-committed and eventually re-committed — of their top-ranked 2018 class on the board at this time a year ago.
That class wound up No. 1 in the nation to break a seven-year run for Alabama at the top spot. Georgia will not sign as many prospects as it did in the 2018 class (26) and that might prevent it from defending that ranking in 2019.
Latest news on UGA recruiting
In case you missed anything from this week, here are the latest headlines:
2019 UGA recruiting offers by the numbers
(as published by 247Sports)
- Reported offers: 237 (+3)
- 5-star offers: 24
- Florida recruits offered: 51
- In-state recruits offered: 42
- Texas recruits offered: 34 (+1)
- Mississippi recruits offered: 14
- California recruits offered: 15 (+1)
- Louisiana recruits offered: 12
- Receivers offered: 31
- Cornerbacks offered: 25 (+1)
- Tackles offered: 22 (+1)
- Safeties offered: 20 (+1)
- Defensive tackles offered: 18
- Quarterbacks offered: 15 (+1)
- Running backs offered: 11
- Inside linebackers offered: 3
2019 UGA recruiting position breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected to be signed:
- QB: 0/1
- RB: 0/1
- TE: 1/1 (Goede)
- WR: 2/3 (Blaylock, Haselwood)
- OL: 0/2
- DE: 1/2 (Norton)
- DT: 0/3
- ILB: 1/3 (Bertrand)
- OLB: 1/2 (Smith)
- CB: 1/2 (Perry)
- S: 0/2
Geographical UGA recruiting breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the current UGA commits by state:
- Georgia: 5 (Bertrand, Blaylock, Goede, Haselwood, Perry)
- Florida: 1 (Smith)
- Tennessee: 1 (Norton)