What do Georgia’s commits say when rival schools want them to visit?
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 Georgia’s commits like 4-star like Rashad Cheney Jr or Nolan Smith or Jadon Haselwood might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Georgia has just two commitments for 2018. That’s good for No. 46 in the nation overall. The Bulldogs lost one of their commitments last month in prized 4-star OT Max Wray. (It’s worth a quick note that Miami ranks No. 1 in the nation for 2018 with its 15 commitments.)
2018 UGA commitments:
- 3-star ILB Donovan Georges (Hialeah, Fla.) — Rates as nation’s No. 25 ILB
- 4-star OLB Adam Anderson (Rome, Ga.) — Rates as the nation’s No. 4 OLB
The Bulldogs are already faring much better in the Class of 2019. That will prove a very deep class for UGA. There appears to be so much talent for the cycle in Georgia that the in-state program won’t have to look out-of-state at any position except perhaps at quarterback.
Georgia’s 2019 class already includes four commitments. That group already holds the nation’s No. 1 ranking for that cycle.
- 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood — Rates as the nation’s No. 2 WR
- 4-star DE/OLB Nolan Smith II — Rates as the nation’s No. 4 DE
- 4-star OT Luke Griffin — Rates as the nation’s No 7 OT
- Unrated DL Rashad Cheney Jr. — Will be a sure 4-star prospect. Already has offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The Georgia program is built on defense. That’s only nature given Kirby Smart’s pedigree as a player and his time as the defensive coordinator for what will eventually be termed as one of the greatest runs in college football history at Alabama.
The fuels today’s topic: How well is Georgia playing defense right now on its recruits? What do the current commits say when they other schools knock on the door?
2018: Donovan Georges is attracting attention
Georges committed to UGA right before National Signing Day this year. He was ready. Georges had liked the Bulldogs for quite some time. Georgia wide receivers coach and ace South Florida recruiter James Coley had built a strong relationship with him over time.
Georgia wide receivers coach and ace South Florida recruiter James Coley had built a strong relationship with him over time. There are reports swirling around regarding Miami with Georges, but the reality is that the Florida is actually coming harder for him at this time.
Don’t let that 3-star ranking shape his worth. Florida’s interest is a good sign that the Bulldogs know what they have there. How does he feel about Georgia right now?
“Everything is great,” Georges said. “The U (Miami) but Florida is coming harder I think. I’m still about the G.”
He’s been focused on getting better and stronger,” Georges said. “Just getting my team ready to make this state run one more time.”
What does he say when other schools take the temperature on his commitment?
“They ask how solid my commitment is and I say it is solid,” Georges said. “Like Marshawn Lynch said. It doesn’t get any better than solid.”
2019: 5-star Jadon Haselwood will take his visits
Haselwood, the nation’s No. 2 WR for 2019, seems committed to Georgia. Or at least as much as a player who won’t enroll until January of 2019 can be.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder rates as the nation’s No. 10 overall prospect for his class. He chose Georgia over Ohio State. When it comes down to it, I think that’s the only program that has a chance to turn his head.
But Haselwood was ready to commit to Georgia. Steadfast even. He was actually ready to make that pledge couple of months before his DawgNation commitment video was produced. The Cedar Grove standout explained all the reasons why in that project.
But Haselwood said when he chose Georgia that he was still going to take his visits. He made the trip to South Carolina over the weekend to check out that program’s spring game.
“I’m going to take my visits but until further notice, I am still with Georgia,” Haselwood said. “All the way. 100 percent.”
He sounds proud to be a Bulldog.
“It is just a different but a good feeling every time I say or I hear I’m committed to the University of Georgia,” Haselwood said. “It just hits me all the time and it is a great feeling.”
He’s still grinding hard for the same two prospects in the Class of 2019. That hasn’t wavered. He’s lobbying 5-stars Owen Pappoe and JaShawn Sheffield to join him.
Haselwood is thinking big with that. Pappoe rates No. 2 overall for 2019. Sheffield is the nation’s No. 6 prospect for that cycle.
“The same two,” Haselwood said. “I talk to them every week. I think it is working, but those two guys are going to take time for them to figure their decisions out.”
5-star Nolan Smith wants to lead the way
Pick your metaphor. Guide dog. Maestro. Pied Piper. Seeing-eye dog. Shepherd. Symphony conductor. Every once of those could apply to Nolan Smith when it comes to Georgia’s Class of 2019.
Smith wants to settle into the Richard LeCounte III role for the Class of 2019 and he’s walking that walk. He’s strongly committed. He’s been at IMG Academy for only about three months, but everyone in that program there knows him as the “Georgia guy” on campus.
But he’s also said from the start that he’s going to take his visits. Just don’t expect him to camp at any schools. Smith only plans to do that at UGA.
When asked how he feels when other schools check on him, he said he’s more than happy to share how he feels about Georgia.
Smith used a specific way to describe that.
“That’s like (saying) really like Nolan I have a $100,000 dollars in my pocket and all you have to do is dunk the ball on an 8-foot (basketball) goal.”
That’s pretty astute. The 6-foot-3 DE/OLB hybrid was measured with a 40-inch vertical leap at Nike’s Orlando Opening regional in February. Smith’s 129-plus Nike “Sparq” combine testing rating would have won the Sparq Championship at the Atlanta regional earlier this month.
4-star OT Luke Griffin is mending nicely
Luke Griffin committed to Georgia after he was offered last summer. He recently underwent a procedure to repair his ACL and his meniscus in his knee.
“Everything went well,” Griffin said. “I am almost fully recovered.”
The 6-foot-6, 285-pounder actually played about three games last year with that injury for North Murray. That says a lot about his toughness and what his North Murray football team means to him.
Where does he stand with his commitment right now? Pretty steady.
“I have thought about taking other visits but I just haven’t had any time,” Griffin said. “But I don’t want to make any of the UGA coaches mad. So if I ever did go I would be sure to let them know.”
Visit freedom works for Rashad Cheney Jr.
Everybody is going to knock on the door for Cheney.
“I am just enjoying the recruiting process right now,” Cheney Jr. said. “These teams are coming harder ever since I committed to Georgia. South Carolina is coming hard. (Assistant coach) Lance Thompson is coming at me pretty hard. (Alabama defensive backs coach) Derrick Ansley is coming at me pretty hard, too.”
Alabama offered him two weeks ago. He said that was an honor coming from one of the top teams in the nation.
Cheney maintains that South Carolina is the biggest threat to Georgia in terms of his eventual decision. But he said that new UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott is handling the situation the right way.
“The thing I like about coach Tray Scott is the first thing he said to me was to enjoy the recruiting process,” Cheney said. “He said to visit all these schools and to do that even though I am committed to Georgia. Coach Scott said ‘At the end of the day you are only going to get to go to one school. This is your life and it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.’ He just told me he wants me to make the best decision for myself that I can. Coach Scott said the way to make sure what my best decision is will be to go visit all these schools.”
That hit the mark.
“I loved the way he handled that,” Cheney said. “Coach Scott is the only coach so far that has thought enough of me and my future to tell me something that honest like that.”
Cheney’s last visit to UGA came on March 25. He said that trip reinforced his commitment to Georgia.
“It felt great,” Cheney said. “As soon as I walked through those doors it felt like I was back home. Everybody was screaming my name. That sharpened my commitment up right there. But then after practice was over I was getting ready to go. The coaches asked me if I was going home and they said I could stay and chill with them longer if I wanted to. Assistant coach (Dell) McGee was like ‘You are one of us now. Stay and chill’ and I really liked that. I feel like that is my home.”
2018: 4-star OLB Adam Anderson
I look at Anderson as one of those time warp recruits. He’s going to act a lot like a committed prospect would have back in 2005 or 2010.
Anderson committed prior to his junior year, but he’s not acting like he needs to verify that choice. I’d be shocked to see him go on a summer visit tour or even a camp tour.
That just doesn’t seem to be his thing. He was rocked by adversity in his life and just seems like the Georgia offer checked off everything he wanted to see from the recruiting process.
Anderson was occupied with basketball practice in December. That’s why he didn’t take part in the Rising Seniors game in Atlanta.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder is now a member of the track team at Rome. He’s on the relay team and also competes in the high jump. That’s a unique look for a 6-foot-5 future linebacker in the SEC.
While it is clear that he hasn’t researched his decision as much as his peers have, it also doesn’t appear like he feels the need to.
He might eventually check out a few schools, but it seems pretty hard to imagine him anywhere else but UGA. Anderson told me at the Georgia Dome last December that he have to find a reason to leave the state and find something better than what Georgia offers him at the college level.
Anderson told me at the Georgia Dome last December that he had to find a reason to leave the state. A rival program must show him something a lot better than what Georgia offers at the college level.