How did the UGA visit from the nation’s No. 1 QB go this weekend?

Trevor Lawrence is rated as the No. 1 player in the nation for 2018. UGA has a very big chance at landing him, too.

Trevor Lawrence is rated as the nation’s No. 1 QB and overall prospect for 2018. We’ll make this short: He has the arm, the frame, the game, the moxie, the stats and everything in between.

Lawrence will likely not be challenged for the top player honor in 2018. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

He visited UGA on Saturday with his extended family in tow. It wasn’t long before he tweeted he would not grant any interviews regarding the trip. DawgNation reached out and he politely declined comment.

The other main contenders seem to be Clemson and Tennessee at this time

The 6-foot-6, 196-pounder is just trying to keep all of this under wraps right now. That usually means one of the following things is taking place:

  • He wants to conduct a difficult decision process on his own without the clutter of constant interview chatter. Lawrence still plans to make his decision right around or just before the start of his junior season this fall.
  • He took another visit to UGA. Now he needs to take subsequent visits to other top schools in Clemson and Tennessee and see where his recent takeaways from UGA compare to the vibe he gets from those two schools. (The most likely option.)
  • The visit went very well. Lawrence has already called offensive coordinator Jim Chaney a genius. So the respect level is already there. Maybe he even liked UGA so much he decided to make a silent commitment and will now keep the rest of his recruitment under the radar for the time being. (This is a very unlikely scenario, but the one DawgNation fans would undoubtedly prefer.)
  • He just doesn’t feel like talking to 20 different media outlets about the same visit. At the same time, he wants the final stretch of his recruiting journey not to take place in tandem with a crush of media attention. That’s the life of the nation’s top-rated quarterback and player for 2018. (Another very likely scenario.)

So how did the trip go? Rather than play multiple choice and guessing games, we’ll take into account what four-star UGA commit Max Wray said about the trip.

The nearly 6-foot-6 Lawrence plans to make his college decision before the start of his junior season.

Wray, an engaging 6-foot-6 and 275-pound offensive lineman, is the program’s only verbal commitment for the Class of 2018 at this time. The two of them planned the trip out and wanted to visit UGA together this weekend.

The message? Come to Georgia. We’ll have your back. That jersey is going to be clean.

Wray said Chaney, along with assistant coaches Dell McGee (running backs) and Sam Pittman (offensive line), sat Lawrence down and told him how important the quarterback position was to him and how they were going to emphasize protecting him.

If he’s got time to operate, Lawrence already has the skills to dissect any defense.

Wray — as a bookend offensive tackle who might have Lawrence’s blind side for a lot of snaps if he comes to UGA one day — drove that message home.

“I told him if he came to Georgia he was not going to get hit,” Wray said. “I promised him that. He’s not going to get sacked. He’s not going to get beat up. I’m just trying to sell him that we are going to have the best offensive line in the nation. There’s no doubt about that.”

That statement is based on logic. UGA already has Wray’s commitment plus two more from big-time guards Netori Johnson and Justin Shaffer. Pittman’s reputation for developing offensive lineman by allowing fewer than 20 sacks per season and sending guys to the league is pristine.

UGA is also in very good shape with four-star offensive tackles D’Antne Demery and  Andrew Thomas in the Class of 2017. Pace offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer, the No. 1 guard in the nation for 2018, is also taking a very long look at UGA. He plays for Pace Academy with Thomas. The thinking there is if UGA lands Thomas, then Salyer will likely follow.  

Wray is already rated as the nation’s No. 47 player overall and the No. 7 offensive tackle in the nation for 2018 by 247sports. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

A lot of those guys are likely to see a lot of time in the huddle with Lawrence.

“We going to get some more good receivers pretty soon and I told him we just need a quarterback to lead the charge down the field,” Wray said.

Wray said he felt Lawrence was impressed by the visit. But he didn’t try to hound him too much about it.

“He just said that he wanted to keep things under wraps right now,” Wray said. “He doesn’t want to let anything out of the bag right now.”

Georgia has been after him hard and he excelled in a pressure-packed rotation with two highly-rated upperclassmen last summer at Dawg Night in Athens. New coach Kirby Smart has been after Lawrence hard since he was hired.

He made a point to reach out to his father in the first few days after he was hired to make sure he knew that his offer was still on the table from UGA and he would be a definite priority for the staff.

The addition of Lawrence would give UGA, without a doubt, the best stable of young quarterbacks in the nation. Five-star quarterback Jacob Eason will contend for the starting job as a freshman and should likely win it over the course of the season. Houston County’s Jake Fromm, the nation’s No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017, has also already committed to UGA.

 

Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite. 

 

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