Editor’s Note: DawgNation will publish a periodic snapshot during each Georgia recruiting cycle which gauges where the Bulldogs are as a class. Consider it an early April overview of how the next wave of UGA football talent is coming together. Even in this COVID-19 world.
This week was supposed to be …….
Everyone can finish that sentence with some gloom right now, right? The “Top Gun” sequel was even delayed from its spring release this week.
When it comes to Georgia football and Georgia football recruiting, spring drills were supposed to be going full tilt right now. The month of April was supposed to be a time for priority targets to take their unofficial or official visits to the UGA facility.
They could gauge the practice tempo and get a sense of whether or not they could see themselves thriving in that pressure cooker. What would it be like to play for a certain position coach? They could see it all up close in real-time.
None of that applies now. Unless we’re talking about a video conference.
The biggest recruiting news of the week involves another delay. The NCAA has mandated a red light on all on-campus recruiting and any sort of visits until at least June 1. If pressed, it feels like we would all be fortunate to see campuses reopen for everyone by that time.
Division I, Division II extends their recruiting dead periods: pic.twitter.com/aIC7WUTg3p
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) April 1, 2020
It means: 1) No on-campus recruiting of any kind; 2) Official visits; 3) Unofficial visits; 4) Off-campus contacts (visits, evaluation).
What’s allowed for the class of 2021: 1) Social media direct messages; 2) Calls; 3) Text message; 4) Mail
Chalk up the months of February, April and May as dead periods for that face-to-face contact on campus and off-campus evaluation. There were about 10 days in March which kept that month from being dead, but Georgia was on spring break for most of that time.
Georgia recruiting: The other news items of the week
Mims and Morris are All-American offensive line prospects in the class of 2021 from the state of Georgia.
and then there were 10‼️ @ChadSimmons_ @Keith247Sports @MattDeBary @KippLAdams @BrockVandagriff @CoachMac68 @CoachPatrick478 @CoachAAtkins @KennyDillingham @KirbySmartUGA @CoachEGordon @LincolnRiley @CoachAKwon @Hayesfawcett3 @CoachDanMullen @CoachJPruitt @CoachToddBates pic.twitter.com/5DGBZLeGR2
— 〽️ I 〽️ S (@amarius_mims) April 1, 2020
— 〽️ I 〽️ S (@amarius_mims) April 1, 2020
Big thanks to @GeauxEdits
— Micah Morris® (@MicahMorris56cc) March 31, 2020
Georgia is very much in it for both prospects. The 6-foot-7 Mims is a massive human being and sets up as a prototype left tackle. That’s even though he has played left tackle for Bleckley County for just one season.
That’s why he is not as advanced yet at the tackle spot as 2020 Georgia signee Broderick Jones was at that position a year ago at this time. Mims was going to be a treat to watch compete in all the elite camps and showcase events over the next few months. He didn’t get to showcase his talent at the “Future 50” in Orlando during Under Armour All-American week back in January.
That’s just one of many items in that “supposed to” category for all of us right now.
Georgia has a great shot here. The relationship between Georgia 5-star QB commit Brock Vandagriff and Mims is very real. It is something that can’t be pantomimed out over social media.
Morris could be either a guard or a tackle. South Carolina was the first school to offer him. That school will always have a special place in his heart. He’s continued to go back to visit the Florida Gators.
The Bulldogs are clearly among the top remaining options for both prospects within those lists. Mims has established he wants to make his decision known on his birthday on October 14. A lot of folks within the recruiting industry wonder if he will actually take that long.
With Morris, he’s always contended he will find the closure to his decision with his five official visits. It would just be that gut feeling after those trips would decide his choice. It will be hard for him to make that call until he goes on those trips. He simply needs that data.
The 247Sports Composite lists Morris as the nation’s No. 11 OT and the No. 93 overall prospect. He’s been a standout player at Camden County for years. Check out his bench press work in the embedded tweet below.
No gym. No problem PR 405 pic.twitter.com/OOAo5dzlNC
— Micah Morris® (@MicahMorris56cc) March 28, 2020
That’s 405 pounds. He pressed it with a very close grip at that.
Mims is rated as the nation’s No. 2 OT and the No. 8 overall prospect for the 2021 cycle. The decisions from these two, along with West Forsyth’s Dylan Fairchild and Peach County OT Terrence Ferguson, will be an early test of just what first-year offensive line coach Matt Luke will be like on the recruiting trail.
The current read here is that Luke will continue the momentum from reinforcing the commitments of Broderick Jones, Chad Lindberg, Sedrick Van Pran-Granger and Tate Ratledge from the 2020 class. He will be a major asset down the stretch in recruiting these two young men that have thought highly of playing for Georgia in college over the last two years.
DawgNation recruiting storylines of late
Want a speed read to catch up on the last week?
- Kirby Smart predicts some recruits will now likely commit earlier with COVID-19
- 2021 UGA commit David Daniel joins DawgNation live on “Before the Hedges”
- How elite OLB target Quintin Somerville tackles the COVID-19 quarantine
- COVID-19: How Kirby Smart sees that affecting Georgia recruiting
- The elite 2022 recruit who brings to mind Nick Chubb, Nolan Smith and Fred Sanford
- 5 things to know about recent 2021 commitment Jonathan Jefferson
- Nation’s No. 1 CB Tony Grimes had three UGA visits set prior to COVID-19 outbreak
- Dylan Fairchild: The UGA offer for the elite OL was like “drinking from a fire hydrant
- Elijah Jeudy: Has Georgia found another future Bulldog in Philadelphia?
- Pulling Bulldogs from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Jersey? HS coach raves about UGA
Where UGA recruiting ranks for 2021
Georgia has four commitments for 2021. Douglas County DL Jonathan Jefferson was the most recent pledge to UGA last month. Elbert County DT Marlin Dean also committed to Georgia in March.
UGA sits at No. 16 nationally for 2019 in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings. That places the Bulldogs third in the SEC. Florida and its 13 commits rank No. 1 in the conference, followed by the Tennessee Volunteers with their eight total commits for 2021.
We must admit that we will have to go back a very long time in April of any recruiting cycle to see three teams from the SEC East atop those conference rankings. LSU is at No. 4. The Alabama Crimson Tide is at No. 11 with just one 2021 commitment at this time. Vanderbilt even ranks ahead of the Tide.
Ohio State and its 15 pledges rank No. 1 in the nation. The Buckeyes have already secured verbals from a trio of 5-star recruits. This will be a bountiful year in Columbus. That already matches the number of 5-stars as the Buckeyes managed in each of their last three recruiting classes.
Clemson has 10 commits and that is good for No. 2 in the country. The rest of the top 10 flows like this: Florida, North Carolina, Miami, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Texas, Maryland and Iowa. Texas (6), Notre Dame (7) and Wisconsin (9) are the only schools in the top 10 that do not have at least 10 pledges on the board for 2021.
The 2021 UGA recruiting commits
(presented in order of their 247Sports Composite ratings)
Brock Vandagriff/5-star QB/Prince Avenue Christian/Bogart, Ga./Rates as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style QB prospect and as the nation’s No. 12 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings. Big and athletic passer. Strong kid. Can power clean over 300 pounds and played an entire game last fall with a broken bone in his leg. Enroll early: Yes
David Daniel/4-star ATH/Woodstock/Woodstock, Ga./The nation’s No. 4 ATH will be a thumper at safety for the Bulldogs. The 247Sports Composite has him as the nation’s No. 78 overall recruit for this cycle. This young man works hard and trains with former Georgia DB Glenn Ford at iDareU Academy in the Metro Atlanta area. Enroll early: Yes
Jonathan Jefferson/4-star DL/Douglas County/Douglasville, Ga./His online recruiting profiles do not reflect he is now up to 270 pounds and will be a likely DT in Athens. Rates as the nation’s No. 11 strong-side DE and No. 143 overall. At 270 pounds, he is still a serious basketball player for his school varsity. He was bringing the ball up on the wing against the press earlier this year. He’s the son of a former heavyweight boxer who actually fought for the WBO title. Enroll early: Yes
Marlin Dean/3-star DT/Elbert County/Elberton, Ga./Size athlete who is just coming into his own. He just started playing DT during his junior season. The 6-foot-5.5 265-pound rising senior will likely be a “5” technique starting out in college. Dean will move very well for a big man. He released his top 11 schools and committed to Georgia in the same week. Enroll early: No
The 2022 crop for UGA recruiting
This space no longer seems out of the norm. Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff stopped working a year ahead with early commitments with the 2020 class. That allowed for more evaluation before accepting early commitments. Given where the Bulldogs stand nationally as a recruiting power and the overall depth of the roster, it seems like the wise thing to do.
There are currently no public commitments to UGA in the 2021 class.
Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.) Class of 2023 prospect Treyaun Webb also committed to Georgia in November of 2019. He is currently slotted as an ATH but still hopes to work at RB at the next level at this time.
The 2021 UGA recruiting class timeline
How was the 2021 recruiting class came together so far? Check out the timeline of the class, which does include a few de-commitments.
- August 22, 2019: 3-star DB Bralyn Oliver (Belton-Honea Path HS, Honea Path, SC) commits to UGA (Class count: 1)
- September 13, 2019: 4-star ATH David Daniel (Woodstock HS, Woodstock, Ga.) commits to UGA (2)
- November 7, 2019: 3-star OG Jared Wilson commits to UGA. (3)
- Nov. 25, 2019: Bralyn Oliver de-commits from UGA (2)
- January 21, 2020: 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff (Prince Avenue Christian/Bogart, Ga.) commits to UGA. (3)
- February 6, 2020: Jared Wilson de-commits from UGA (2)
- March 6, 2020: 3-star DT Marlin Dean (Elbert County/Elberton, Ga.) commits to UGA (3)
- March 23, 2020: 4-star SDE Jonathan Jefferson (Douglas County/Douglasville, Ga.) commits to UGA (4)
The big 2021 targets for UGA recruiting
At this time, I can still come up with a realistic scenario where the Bulldogs wind up signing up to five recruits with a 5-star rating for 2021.
Let’s look at a roll call of several big names for the class. The big thing to comprehend here is that these are not the five highest-rated targets with Georgia offers. This is a gumbo of names with mutual interest on both sides who would fill a certain need for the program in the 2021 class.
This is the weekly 2021 “Top Targets” list which appears each week on the live “Before the Hedges” recruiting special every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the DawgNation Facebook page.
- 13. 4-star OL Terrence Ferguson/Peach County/Fort Valley, Ga.
- 12. 4-star CB Nyland Green/Newton/Covington, Ga.
- 11. 4-star OLB Quintin Somerville/Saguaro HS/Scottsdale, Ariz.
- 10. 5-star DT Maason Smith/Terrebonne HS/Houma, La.
- 9. 4-star OLB Dallas Turner/St. Thomas Aquinas/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- 8. 4-star WR Deion Colzie/Athens Academy/Athens, Ga.
- 7. 4-star WR Mario Williams/Plant/Plant City, Fla.
- 6. 4-star RB Donovan Edwards/West Bloomfield/West Bloomfield, Mich.
- 5. 4-star ILB Smael Mondon Jr./Paulding County/Dallas, Ga.
- 4. 5-star S James Williams/American Heritage/Plantation, Fla.
- 3. 4-star ILB Barrett Carter/North Gwinnett/Suwanee, Ga.
- 2. 5-star OT Amarius Mims/Bleckley County/Cochran, Ga.
- 1. 5-star CB Tony Grimes/Princess Anne/Virginia Beach, Va.
UGA recruiting by position for 2021
Which positions are the major priorities for 2021? Both linebacker rooms need replenishing, followed by the cornerback, running back and safety spots for this cycle.
Georgia will be using two of its 25-man allotment per NCAA rules in the 2021 signing class on 2020 grad transfer Tre’ McKitty and blueshirt 2020 kicker Jared Zirkel. Here’s a quick snapshot as to how DawgNation expects the position-by-position breakdown to go for the 2021 class:
- QB: Vandagriff (1/1)
- RB: None (0/2)
- TE: None (0/1)
- WR: None (0/2)
- OL: None (0/3)
- DE: None (0/2)
- DT: Dean, Jefferson (2/3)
- ILB: None (0/2)
- OLB: None (0/2)
- CB: None (0/2)
- S: Daniel (1/2)
- Best player available: None (0/1)
- Totals: 4/23
That projected class does seem slanted to the defensive side of the ball. That’s highly logical. Check out the positional trends for the last three Georgia classes:
- 2020: Offense: 17; Defense: 8; Special teams: 1
- 2019: Offense: 11; Defense: 13; Special teams: 0
- 2018: Offense: 12; Defense: 11; Special teams: 1
Here’s a glance at what DawgNation sees as the remaining positional priorities for the class:
- OLB (3)
- ILB (2)
- RB (2)
- CB (2)
- DL: (2)
- OL: (3)
- WR: (2)
- S (1)
- TE (1)
- Best player available: (2)
2021 UGA recruiting offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 210 (Georgia had extended 230 offers for the 2020 class by the end of April 2019)
- Florida recruits offered: 53
- Texas recruits offered: 35
- In-state recruits offered: 27
- North Carolina recruits offered: 14
- Alabama recruits offered: 9
- California recruits offered: 9
- Maryland recruits offered: 9
- Tennessee recruits offered: 9
- Receivers offered: 37
- Defensive tackles offered: 22
- Defensive ends offered: 21
- Offensive tackles offered: 18
- Cornerbacks offered: 18
- Outside linebackers offered: 16
- Running backs offered: 15
- Safeties offered: 15
- Tight ends offered: 15
- Guards offered: 12
- Quarterbacks offered: 10
- Athletes offered: 8
- Inside linebackers offered: 2
- Centers offered: 1
Geographical UGA recruiting breakdown
The current UGA commits broken down by state:
- Georgia: 4 (Daniel, Vandagriff, Dean, Jefferson)
Catch the latest “Before the Hedges” on UGA recruiting
Did you see “Before the Hedges” this week? We welcomed 2021 Georgia commitment, David Daniel, to the program for a live chat on Zoom.