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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Five-star OG Jamaree Salyer is rated as the nation's No. 1 recruit at his position. The rising senior at Pace Academy in Atlanta also ranks seventh overall in the Class of 2018.

Georgia recruiting: Key source weighs in on 5-star Jamaree Salyer and UGA

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way a 5-star prospect like Jamaree Salyer might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.


Pace Academy guard Jamaree Salyer ranks No. 7 in the nation in the 247Sports composite rankings as an offensive guard. The top-rated offensive lineman in the country this year likely will go all the way to National Signing Day to make his decision.

I definitely wouldn’t expect him to make a commitment before the end of his senior season. When he does, look for Clemson, Georgia and Stanford to be among his finalists.

Jamaree Salyer
Jamaree Salyer’s decision very likely will come down to Clemson, Georgia and Stanford. Ohio State will also be in the mix. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Georgia has positioned itself well for Salyer. Offensive line coach Sam Pittman is an excellent recruiter, and he’s basically been recruiting both Andrew Thomas (who’s already signed with UGA) in the Class of 2017 and Salyer in 2018 with every trip he’s made to Pace.

Those two are looking for the same things in college and have been the best of friends since middle school. Their core values and work ethic mirror one another and their families hold the same beliefs about hard work, a tireless commitment and the value of an education.

Salyer values the relationship he has with Pittman. I believe it continues to be as strong of a bond as he has with any recruiter. I also believe the decision right now is very much unsettled.

The opinion of several sources close to Salyer have told me for the last month that the decision is between Clemson, Georgia and Stanford. There really is no pecking order. If there was one, we’d be talking about caterpillar eyelashes of difference.

But those are just a reporter’s opinions. Let’s go to the dinner table to find something that might carry a bit more weight.

What Mom thinks about Jamaree Salyer’s decision

DawgNation collected the thoughts of a much closer source to the decision. She’s been calling him “Maree” for a lot longer than anyone else.

Jamaree Salyer
Jamaree Salyer was named the OL MVP at the Atlanta Opening regional earlier this year. He’ll head back to Oregon this summer for his second straight trip to Nike’s elite prospect showcase. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“I don’t know what he wants to do,” his mother Yolonda Campbell said. “I’m not sure where he wants to go yet. We are going through the weaning process right now but it is not easy because he has so many opportunities. We are thankful for every one of them, too.”

Campbell was with her son at G-Day on April 22. She spent a lot of time chatting with Pittman after the game. The conversation was free and easy. That’s even though she tries to show the same emotions toward every recruiter when it comes to her son and this decision.

She’s only going to make sure her son knows one thing about his decision.

Jamaree Salyer
Jamaree Salyer strikes a bag during a camp drill at the Nike Opening regional in Atlanta earlier this year. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“The main thing though if I can tell you that and nothing else about him through all of this is he is going to stay humble,” Campbell said. “He should and will stay humble. That’s the biggest thing with all of this. Don’t get the big head. Don’t act like ‘I’m the man, I’m the man and I’m the man ever’ and he’ll be able to take on anything if he does that.”

They do like what they continue to see and hear from Georgia.

“Jamaree has developed a really good relationship with that coach [Pittman] there and all the coaches at the coaches at Georgia,” his mother said.

The strongest pull to UGA right now

Loyalty. That’s the big tractor beam right now between the Bulldogs and Salyer.

Jamaree Salyer
Jamarree Salyer carries an approximate 91 average amid a demanding curriculum while even taking AP classes at Pace Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“He has a very loyal spirit and a very loyal heart, so when he gets with somebody it is really unexplainable to think of how that can be broken,” she said. “He’s developed that relationship with the coaches at UGA so it is kind of hard for the other coaches to probably get the same way as that.”

She’s made a point to bring that up.

“This decision will be about the relationships,” she said. “He can tell. He knows. He’s impressed by Coach Pittman. His thing about Georgia was how the team played last year.”

His mother knows her football. She is aware that Georgia did not have optimum personnel on the line last season.

“Maree was very impressed by how Coach Pittman could put together some players who with their own skill sets weren’t up to par for Georgia but he put them together and made them into a workable unit. He can see now that Pittman is putting together a pretty strong line for the future as well now with players that might be a lot more talented. All of these things weigh on him.”

Salyer continues to make gains in the weight room. He put up 405 and then 415 pounds on the bench press this week. Then he ate some cake.

It is hard to believe that he’s still just 16 years old. Salyer rates as the nation’s highest-rated prospect at offensive guard since Alabama all-time great Andre Smith was rated No. 1 overall in 2006.

Let’s fast forward to next February. There’s no way I will write the Bulldogs will bring in a complete class without Salyer. He is as important to this year’s recruiting crop as any player.

I deem him to be a first-year starter at center or guard at just about any program in the nation. He’s just that good.

Some other good news from the trail

When DawgNation profiled big Tucker DE Derrick McLendon earlier this week, we noted what he thought about the Class of 2019 and the overall reputation Georgia carries among recruits right now.

Derrick McLendon
Derrick McLendon said earlier this week that Georgia has made a big push with him in his decision. The rising junior DE is one of the state’s top prospects in the Class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

If he’s right, it bodes well of things to come.

“I feel like a lot of the guys in the Class of 2019 are shaping up to go to Georgia right now,” McClendon said. “Georgia is just showing a lot to our class.

“It just feels like our class is a unique class right now. I feel like Georgia is going to get a whole lot of 2019s going forward. Some of the players who are committed to another school will wind up de-committing and going to Georgia. That’s how good things are going at Georgia right now.”


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