HEDGES: 3 ways the lack of campus visits have also helped Georgia football recruiting

The global pandemic hasn't only negatively affected the momentum for the 2021 recruiting class at Georgia.

Tony Grimes, the 5-star Virginia CB, chose North Carolina earlier this week. Elite pass rusher Dallas Turner opted to roll with the Tide the very next day.

It proved to be a swift one-two punch of “what just happened here” with Georgia recruiting. If we’re being honest, the Georgia football program hasn’t seen many single days like that under Kirby Smart. But back-to-back days where the “Power G” logo was the hat on the table which didn’t get picked up was especially telling.

The COVID-19 health scare which halted all on and off-campus recruiting played a factor in why those All-American recruits did not choose Georgia, but also in the timing of those announcements. They saw no need to wait and the chance to take a validation visit or two were not going to take place until at least September 1, if not later than that.

We discussed those matters on this week’s “Before the Hedges” but also brought up three reasons why Georgia’s recruiting has also been aided by that shutdown, too. It is not like Georgia is the only school that hasn’t been able to build the necessary momentum in the pandemic for a few elite targets on the recruiting trail.

There has been a lot of “if only we could get that guy on campus” taking place with a record number of commitments to NCAA Division I schools through the end of June during the coronavirus health scare.

Auburn, Penn State and South Carolina were saying the same things about Georgia offensive line verbal pledge Dylan Fairchild That is just the most recent example present with the last commitment who chose Georgia.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

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The focus of the open to this week’s weekly show was to highlight three ways in which the shutdown also aided the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail for the 2021 and 2022 classes.

Among the examples discussed:

  • 5-star OT Amarius Mims was set to take a least a few unofficial or official visits to power programs like LSU and Oklahoma this spring. He’s also been able to get back to Tuscaloosa. That program still looms large for the Bulldogs to have to overcome with his eventual decision. Mims remains uncommitted.
  • 5-star ILB Smael Mondon Jr. had hoped to take a spring unofficial visit to Oklahoma this spring, too. Not to mention there was the plan to see major contenders like Auburn and Tennessee this spring, too. It seems like DawgNation is already doing a lot of nail-chewing in regard to Mondon and his eventual decision as it is. Mondon has yet to make his public decision.
  • The Bulldogs weren’t able to make the necessary gains with those repeated interactions with Grimes and Turner, but the same can also be said for other rival schools in the chase for Mims and Mondon, too.
  • Georgia has seen five of its nine commitments make that move to commit to the G during the pandemic. We can point to feedback that at least four of them decided they didn’t need to wait any longer to see if there were any other schools out there that impressed them as much as the chance to play for the Bulldogs.
  • 4-star Philadelphia OLB Elijah Jeudy was one of those commitments who was hoping to be able to take one more trip to check out Texas A&M before deciding but ultimately decided there was no need to wait with the restoration of visits nowhere in sight.
  • In-state RB native Lovasea’ Carroll even shared on Twitter than he was thinking long and hard about a flip to the Gators and the chance to a faster path to major SEC carries, but ultimately decided that three to four years at Georgia would serve his career better in the long run. It was beneficial to consider that he had to weight that decision out from his home and not from the football building and locker room while on a visit to the University of Florida.
  • The terrific recruiting that Georgia has been able to do during the pandemic with a rich crop of 2022 prospects in the state of Georgia.

We also introduced a pair of new names to the weekly “Top Targets” lineup for the 2021 class. That feature also included a brand new prospect in the No. 1 slot.

Check out the latest episode of “Before the Hedges” embedded below. It airs live at 6 p.m. each Wednesday on the DawgNation Facebook and YouTube channels, respectively.

 

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