How can UGA pull nation’s No. 1 center Clay Webb out of Alabama?
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. Want to know how that UGA unofficial visit went for 5-star prospect Clay Webb? He was at G-Day.
Clay Webb can chew up and spit out defensive tackles. The 5-star Oxford (Ala.) High star rarely loses a rep during prospect camps.
That’s not news. He’s been doing that at all-star prospect camps since he first flashed at The Opening Atlanta regional back in March of 2016.
Nobody else wanted to play center. Everyone thought they were a guard or a tackle. Webb didn’t mind.
He volunteered, made the top 5 as a rising sophomore and quickly turned top-flight rising seniors into non-factors.
Webb has kept on growing, getting better and competing at a state-championship level for the Oxford wrestling team, too.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound prospect has visited Alabama frequently in the last month. A source even placed it as back-to-back weekends earlier in April.
That said, he was at G-Day instead of the Alabama spring game on Saturday — his second G-Day, as a matter of fact. He was also in the stands the last time the Bulldogs played in Sanford Stadium last November against Kentucky.
“It was pretty crazy there,” Webb said. “I mean it was 83,000 people there at basically a scrimmage. That’s pretty crazy.”
There are 13 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Webb. It is unanimous for Alabama.
What keeps Clay Webb coming back to UGA
Despite the predictions, he continues to make the trip to Athens. It is not just to check out the progress in the west end zone, either.
Some of that might be a consequence of Webb’s mother hailing from Georgia. He has a lot of family in the area. He was also set to compete at the Under Armour All-American camp at Roswell High on Sunday morning.
His cousins all live in Georgia.
“There is one that lives like 45 minutes from Athens,” Webb said. “Another one lives in Athens, actually.”
It was convenient and logical. But that doesn’t mean that the Bulldogs do not have a shot to upset all those Crystal Ball predictions believing he will stay in-state to play college ball.
It is traditionally so very hard to do. Pulling 5-star recruits out of Alabama is like trying to ban coolers at Talladega.
That hasn’t stopped O-line coach Sam Pittman from trying, though.
“When I talk to Coach Pittman, it reminds me of an old coach I used to have when I was really little,” Webb said. “I really liked playing for that guy.”
Webb makes it known he will make his college decision on Dec. 20. That will be the first day of the early signing period. He hasn’t set his five official visits.
Does he have any more questions about the Bulldogs?
“I guess how Coach [Pittman] interacts with his players,” Webb said. “I guess I need to be able to spend some time with the players there in order to be able to find that out.”
The nation’s No. 12 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite shared his thoughts on the scrimmage.
“It looks like they have a little work to do,” Webb said. “But I think they are pretty good overall. I do like to hang out with Coach Pittman.”
How does he compare what he sees at Alabama to what he saw at Georgia?
“They are different vibes there [that I get] between those schools but they are both good,” Webb said. “Alabama has traditionally always been great at football. Their message to me is ‘come here if you want to win and help out your state. You live here so you might as well come here’ when they talk to me.”
Georgia has to offer up a different message.
“I like Coach Pittman,” Webb said. “I like talking to him. He says ‘I can make you a better man’ and I just like his personality and tone and everything about him.”
Coach Brent Key recruits him for the Tide. How does he feel about the role he will play in his recruitment?
“Key is younger,” Webb said. “He is kind of more like a — I know this is going to sound really, really, really weird — but he is more like an uncle. Pittman is a little older. I like that about him. He’s older and has more experience and I feel like he is wiser in coaching and he has seen more stuff.”
Webb said he would actually rather play guard than center in college. But that doesn’t make or break his decision. It’s about the fastest route to playing time on Saturdays.
“It is at guard,” Webb said. “I’d have to leave a lot more stuff on the line and the calls and reads at center.”
A wild card in the Clay Webb decision
Auburn is in it with Clay Webb. K.J. Britt, one of his former Oxford High teammates, is there. But there’s also another school to watch out for.
That will be Clemson — where his mother wants him to go.
“She wants me to go to Clemson,” Webb said. “She likes Todd Bates because he used to coach at Oxford and she knows him very well.”
Bates is now the defensive line coach for the Tigers.
“I don’t visit there very often but I think I am going there for a camp in the summer so I should be able to know the coaches there a little bit more,” Webb said.
News of the day
Marist safety Kyle Hamilton made his college decision on Tuesday night. He chose Notre Dame over stiff competition from Georgia and Michigan, among others.
Hamilton, an under-the-radar 3-star prospect, was at G-Day this weekend. DawgNation believes that although Hamilton has made up his mind, it does not mean the Bulldogs will stop recruiting him.
The 6-4, 188-pounder rates as the nation’s No. 54 safety for 2019 but he doesn’t do the evaluation circuit. He was rated as the nation’s No. 79 safety on the 247Sports composite standard as recently as 2-3 months ago.
— Kyle Hamilton (@kham316) April 24, 2018
Hamilton’s decision to go with the Irish now places an even greater emphasis for the UGA staff with Texas 4-star safety Lewis Cine.
The nation’s No. 3 safety prospect for 2019 was at G-Day. Georgia and Penn State are two schools really standing out for him right now.
Those programs are recruiting him at the level right now where they will be strong contenders for the foreseeable future.
Hamilton was a key target. But I look for the Bulldogs to gather some recruiting momentum in the near future to offset this decision.
Tweets of the day
Georgia commitment Ryland Goede was named to Nike’s The Opening Final this summer on Tuesday afternoon. The same goes for newly minted r5-star target Travon Walker.
Goede joins 5-star pledges Dominick Blaylock, Jadon Haselwood and Nolan Smith at the event. He earned a quick invite after solid testing in Nashville at the Elite 11 Opening regional in Nashville on Sunday.
He measured in at 6 feet, 6 inches and came away from the scale at 238 pounds.
His 4.2-second short shuttle time was very impressive for such a big frame at tight end. The 3-sport varsity athlete also timed on the laser at 4.87 seconds in the 40 on a very misty day.
Congratulations, see you in Texas. pic.twitter.com/4Aicv8f7TX
— The Opening (@TheOpening) April 24, 2018
The 3rd TE invited to this year's #TheOpening Finals
— Ronny Torres (@RonnyTorresSS) April 24, 2018
Walker is a priority target for the Bulldogs in 2019. DawgNation contends he is as valuable as any player on the board. That’s a nod to his vast potential as the nation’s No. 3 DT prospect for 2019, but also his overall skill level and athleticism. He shows that off on the basketball court.
The 6-5, 263-pound rising senior has played at an all-state level for at least the last two seasons on a back-to-back defending state championship Upson-Lee team.
He’s a rare athlete at that size and weight with the ability to actually play on the edge at the college level in the SEC. His worth to Georgia’s Class of 2019 increases exponentially when taking into account the fact the program hopes to sign at least four defensive linemen in this cycle.
Congratulations, see you in Texas. pic.twitter.com/mKwoIgZOaM
— The Opening (@TheOpening) April 24, 2018
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