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What sort of impact will Gunner Stockton have on the 2022 recruiting class at UGA?

Gunner Stockton: Assessing the seismic impact this commitment will have on the 2022 class

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is how prominently the commitment of 5-star QB Gunner Stockton will shape the 2022 recruiting class for Georgia. 

Brock Vandagriff committed to Georgia on January 21, 2020. The Bulldogs, in the midst of a pandemic, were able to build a top 3 class around him.

Gunner Stockton committed to Georgia on January 28, 2021. The Bulldogs, still in the midst of a pandemic, will build at least a top 3 class around him. That’s the all-too-easy take right now.

DawgNation has seen how this movie ends. Especially with a 5-star QB at the center of a recruiting class. Yet the feeling here might just be even more pronounced than that.

Rob Stockton-Gunner Stockton-Georgia football
Rob Stockton, the father of Gunner, is the longtime defensive coordinator at Rabun County High School. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

It might be inbounds to think that big with this one.

Gunner’s father, Rob Stockton, explained what he thinks might come to be.

“I think stability was a huge factor here in his decision,” Rob Stockton said when listing reasons why his son chose Georgia. “His comfort level with knowing that when the recruiting class of 2022 for the University of Georgia all comes to an end and shakes out. I believe Gunner will have played or spend the night with or hung out with or been friends with probably close to half of that class. That they’ve played together somewhere at some point since they were all in the sixth grade at an FBU or a Gwinnett Football League All-Star team or the ninth-grade Army All-American Game or what used to be the Army All-American Bowl or whatever they call it now.”

“They are just a whole gang of those young men that he’s so comfortable with and has great relationships and friendships with and then along with how comfortable he became with the University of Georgia staff. He just felt he was a priority to his class and was going to be given a proper chance to go compete and play for the University of Georgia. I think that’s really it.”

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What do the recruits think about Gunner Stockton to UGA? 

Rob Stockton didn’t name names. But any hard-working reporter on the UGA recruiting beat should have been able to pick up on those connections about 1-2 years ago.

This one did.

Stockton is a well-connected dude. Going back to those middle school All-Star teams, 7-on-7 seasons, All-American Bowl tryouts and All-Star games and recruiting visits.

Have game. Will travel. And the new Georgia QB commit is very well-traveled.

Consider the sampling of opinions DawgNation has collected in the aftermath of Stockton’s decision this week.

  • 5-star RB Emmanuel Henderson: “Gunner and I are good friends so it wasn’t really a shocker to me when I found out.” 
  • 5-star ATH Malaki Starks: “I knew it was happening yesterday so I’m really excited for him.”
  • 4-star WR Kojo Antwi: “Think it definitely changes a few things. Gunner is a great QB and we’ll see what happens.” 
  • 3-star S Emory Floyd: “It really surprised me like I didn’t know our [2022] class is going to have some of [of the] top commits for Georgia.”
  • 4-star TE Oscar Delp: “It is awesome. He’s an amazing quarterback and brings a lot to the table. We are playing 7-on-7 together this year so it will be cool to see how we play together.”
  • 4-star OLB Daniel Martin: “I’m loving it. …. I have known him for years and been wanting to play with him again. He is a great QB. The best in 2022.” 
  • 4-star CB Marquis Groves-Killebrew (Georgia commit): “Super pumped up. Since I’ve been committed I’ve been trying to get Gunner to be a ‘Dawg. So I’m happy he’s done made the decision to be one. We’ve been saying since middle school we would play together so it’s great. Been saying it, that this 2022 class is going to do special things.”
  • Unrated OG Qae’shon Sapp (20+ FBS offers): “He’s a great QB from what I hear. He has an arm with great accuracy.” 
  • 4-star DT Mykel Williams: “Yeah it is,” when asked if it was a big get in his mind for UGA. “Georgia is picking up speed for 2022.”

Some knew it was coming. A few more heard it about from yesterday. This was a plan set in motion to try and include some very big names in the class privately before he made his decision.

“We talked right before he committed,” Delp said. “Having a guy like him as the QB helps Georgia a lot. Every player wants to play with the best of the best and he’s one of them hands down.”

Here’s another simple prediction from a guy who doesn’t give out many: There are some very big names in the 2022 class that just saw their college recruiting decision now become a lot easier with Stockton’s move to UGA at high noon on Thursday. 

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(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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