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What are the four biggest Georgia football recruiting storylines right now? We take a look at our choices in that area.

Georgia football: Checking in on 4 big summer recruiting storylines

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry will cover some ground of what DawgNation deems to be the four most pertinent Georgia football recruiting storylines at this time. 

This should be a very interesting week for the Georgia football program and its recruiting efforts.

The Tony Grimes decision is certainly on the minds and Twitter follows of DawgNation right now.

What will the 5-star from Virginia Beach do? Will that be it? Does he already know?

The Grimes storyline is major, but there’s also a potential June decision for Smael Mondon Jr. to also keep an eye on. I’m even expecting some movement on the board for the Bulldogs in multiple recruiting cycles over the next 10 days.

Let’s take a look at the four biggest stories of the moment right now.

1) Could there be some intrigue with 5-star Tony Grimes? 

Tony Grimes, the nation’s No. 1 CB for 2021, is set to make his decision known on June 30. That timeline was ramped up considerably over the weekend from a December 1, 2020 date that had been set previously.

Grimes is set to make his decision known sometime around 5 p.m. on Friday via his social media channels. He will have a commitment party and the decision reveal is set to include a commitment video release. Grimes has also released his four finalists: Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State and Texas A&M.

Those are the known moving parts of the decision for the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite rankings.

The interesting part is where the recruiting industry is lining up projecting what Grimes will do on Friday.

These projections, in a lot of cases, are historically based on a lot more than hunches.

Texas A&M was an early team to watch in this process. A position coach change back in January disrupted some true momentum with Grimes. That occurred when the Aggies lost their defensive backs coach to the NFL.

Ohio State also has had position coach turnover in the chase for Grimes. That’s why, along with the global pandemic, it has been difficult for the Buckeyes to work past being more than a hat on the table in this decision.

Georgia was the school that caught fire in late January with Grimes. He had a visit that moved the Bulldogs from fringe Top 10 status to earning an official visit. North Carolina has a hometown connection in Virginia Beach native Dre’ Bly. Bly went on to become a two-time All-American in Chapel Hill and play 11 seasons in the NFL.

The Tar Heels also have real momentum for their 2021 class. UNC is currently slotted with the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class on the 247Sports TeamComposite ratings. 

There are others in this industry that make their reputation off predicting where recruits will go. That’s not my lane. My coverage of each recruit and their families goes to a personal level in telling each of their stories. It often reaches the point where it would be an ethical betrayal of confidences to share a prediction on where they will wind up.

The only thing that I can offer up is the finish line for this one will not be on Friday. I’d expect the Bulldogs to continue to recruit the January 2021 enrollee extensively through the early signing date in December regardless of what happens this week.

If the choice is indeed North Carolina on Friday, then it will be very interesting what might transpire should the Bulldogs still receive an official visit. I do think the 2020 season will also play a factor.

Georgia has a roster built to win championships off its 2018, 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes. It will also likely see up to four of its top-tier cornerbacks head to the NFL after the 2020 season.

I liken this decision to the stark differences between the 2020 recruiting cycle and this year’s class. There has essentially only been four weeks of on-campus recruiting this entire calendar year. The rest of 2020 has been a dead period.

With the 2020 cycle, it took Georgia at least four impactful visits to secure the signature of the nation’s top cornerback prospect. What would have happened if Kelee Ringo was only allowed to visit the Bulldogs once between the months of January and August a year ago?

It would have been much harder for the Bulldogs to win that out-of-state commitment from Arizona, if not altogether unlikely.  If not for the global pandemic, the Bulldogs would have received at least two or three more impactful visits from Grimes and his family by now.

This recent tweet from the 5-star’s father, Deon Glover, also adds some more intrigue leading up to Friday.

Glover went on to reply in the tweet that the head coach he was referring to there does not play for a team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

DawgNation has learned that Grimes will not shut down his recruiting after his June 30 commitment. He does plan to take three of his official visits once players are allowed to return to campus. He will visit the school he commits to next Tuesday and two of his other finalists.

2) When will Smael Mondon Jr. make a decision? 

Grimes and his plan is certainly moving the needle the most right now when it comes to Georgia football recruiting.

But there’s also a hot topic for the entire month of June that hasn’t gone away.

That’s when or if 5-star LB Smael Mondon Jr. will make his college commitment known. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior at Paulding County High (Dallas, Ga.) had dropped this message on social media on May 11.

It did indicate his process might be ripe for a decision in June.

DawgNation wrote about that Mondon tweet and the indication given was that was indeed the case. There was a lot of Tennessee chatter back then, but the feeling then was that Mondon’s decision was going to come down to either Auburn or Georgia.

Mondon also recently tweeted another key reminder that there was little over a week left in June. It did bring to mind that May 11 tweet.

What does that mean? DawgNation did some checking around on this one and it appears the current timeline or projection has changed.

While things can always happen with the hearts of 17 and 18-year old young men, the feeling here is that Mondon is no longer likely to make his commitment in June.

Mondon, a 5-star recruit, ranks as the nation’s No. 2 OLB and the No. 26 overall prospect for this cycle. If he chooses Georgia, he projects to play ILB for position coach Glenn Schumann in Athens.

Check out his considerable film below. To be clear, that is indeed Mondon running those jet sweeps for his Patriots.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. 

3) Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins: Highly-rated DT dropping hints?

There’s never going to be a time on the Georgia football recruiting beat when folks are not paying extra special attention to defensive line recruiting. That’s simply because the defensive lines are what separate Southeastern Conference football as a whole from the rest of the nation.

Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins is a very interesting case here. There are some pretty football-savvy folks on the DawgNation forum message board that feel Dawkins might be the best defensive tackle prospect in the nation. That evaluation did take into account the considerable skills of 5-star Louisiana standout Maason Smith.

That’s because Ingram-Dawkins certainly looks like a budding 5-star on the defensive line, too.

The rising senior at Gaffney High (Gaffney, SC) has seen his stock rise over the last five-to-six months and it was merited. The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder jokes on social media about playing AAU basketball and lining up as a tight end this summer for 7-on-7 football tournaments.

But check out the athleticism below. He’s not really joking.

The early enrollee candidate had set up a time to make his commitment at least once earlier this spring. He was even thinking about a late June commitment on his birthday about a month ago. But that also appears to be very much in doubt, if not altogether postponed.

Ingram-Dawkins currently ranks as the nation’s No. 17 DT and No. 285 overall recruit for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite rankings. His pure 247Sports rating is an even greater indicator of his upside. The standalone 247Sports ranking currently pegs him as the nation’s No. 5 DT and the No. 87 overall recruit.

He feels he can play defensive end and defensive tackle on Saturdays. Alabama also recently offered. Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee should all be seen as major contenders in this eventual decision.

He recently told Austin Price of Rivals.com that South Carolina and Tennessee were two programs that had already earned two of his five eventual official visits. 

But there was also a recent tweet exchange that DawgNation should pay attention too. It involves 2021 Georgia DL commit Marlin Dean and Ingram-Dawkins.

Check out the junior film from Ingram-Dawkins below.

4) Remember the coronavirus and the global pandemic? 

When will these recruits get back on campus for official and unofficial visits? The way things are trending now, it would not seem likely. When these players reported back for early workouts in June, it meant that they had to remain on campus. They could not go home on weekends without a mighty important reason.

If a player did, then it would defeat the purpose of trying to maintain effective social distancing in order to prevent team-wide outbreaks that would shut down workouts.

The recent headlines of the football programs at Alabama, Clemson and LSU seem to indicate that it is a given that most Power 5 programs are dealing with or have dealt with anywhere from one to two dozen cases of positive COVID-19 tests.

That information has not yet been released yet, but it is not out-of-bounds to anticipate much the same across the Southeastern Conference. So what happens after that?

There are clear protocols in place after a positive swab. The next steps are contract tracing and quarantine for anyone who came in contact with that positive test. That means a 14-day quarantine on campus. It means no visits from anywhere. Just Netflix and a player’s favorite video game console and maybe even Zoom workouts every day with the strength and conditioning staff.

That’s a window into what things look like on a college campus right now. With that, what sense of urgency do you think these schools or the NCAA has right now about bringing high school players from all over the country into the football facility at this time?

Let’s just call it highly unlikely. The greater priority right now is taking the steps necessary to ensure a football season takes place.

I shared the opinion in the DawgNation forum a few weeks back that I wouldn’t expect to see recruits on campus even in a limited capacity until September. That still feels like the right estimation and timeline going forward.

The last NCAA extension of the recruiting dead period called for no visits through July 31. It was back on May 27. It would seem likely to see another update on that matter in the next week.

DAWGNATION RECRUITING

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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