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Juan Wallace/ Twitter
3-star ILB Juan Wallace, a Syracuse commit, is now starting at IMG Academy.

IMG Academy LB Juan Wallace updates his thoughts on UGA

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 this 4-star or 5-star might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.

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Juan Wallace is still committed to Syracuse. He’s going to be a great ILB for somebody in college football on Saturdays.

Wallace had an “eye-popping” visit to UGA this summer. He worked out for the team and earned what he feels is a committable offer. The signs were all there. He got significant face time with head coach Kirby Smart after that workout.

He said it was his best trip so far and he also had some key members of his family along for that visit.

Juan Wallace
Juan Wallace called his recent visit to UGA an “eye-popping” visit. (Juan Wallace/Special)

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect was feeling what those of us who cover college football recruiting call a “visit high” or “visit love” coming out of that visit.

If any big-time football program knows what it is doing, then it is going to have those recruits looking for all those heart emojis on their smartphones coming out of a visit.

Let’s turn the clock forward to September. How does Wallace feel now?

The first thing to know about the young man is he moved to Florida powerhouse IMG Academy this summer and quickly earned a starting position at OLB.

When a kid can parachute into the IMG program and earn a starting spot in a matter of weeks, that definitely enhances his recruiting rankings. The 3-star prospect rates as the nation’s No. 43 ILB for 2018.

The 247SportsComposite also lists him as the nation’s No. 1051 overall prospect.

“To me, Syracuse is still the best fit for me,” Wallace said. “As a student-athlete, it feels like it is the best option for me. It gives me a chance to grow socially, football and beyond the game. It gives me that opportunity and enhance my game in the ACC and be a great student-athlete all around.”

Juan Wallace is focusing on his season right now

Georgia signed two impressive ILBs in 2017 that were among those 17 #SICEM17 signees to see action in the opener. Monty Rice, a classic 3-star thumper, enrolled early. Nate McBride, who is a tremendous athlete and a 5-time state track champion, moved in right at the end of May.

That’s why DawgNation projects the Bulldogs to only sign one ILB in the 2018 class at this time. That projection was solidified when hearing how the Bulldogs plan to sign 2-3 ILBs in 2019.

Could Wallace be that guy in 2018? Well, he already has all the off-the-field criteria that the Bulldogs look for those days. Wallace is a National Honor Society member and he told DawgNation that he carries a 4.02 grade-point-average.

The fact he’s playing so early at IMG also shows that the on-the-field stuff regarding Wallace befits a top-tier high school prospect.

Juan Wallace
Juan Wallace currently feels that Syracuse, Georgia and Maryland will get official visits. (Juan Wallace/Special)

He has identified three schools that he will get an official visit.

“I will visit Syracuse for sure,” Wallace said. “Georgia. Maryland as well probably.”

He did say that he has yet to decide on which dates he will visit those schools.

“I’m not that deep into it yet,” Wallace said.

It sounded as if he wants to wait and see if his official visit reinforces the good vibes he felt from that summer trip.

“I still like Georgia right now,” he said. “I will see how I feel when I go there for my official visit. It will be cool.”

But then he still maintains how he feels about Syracuse.

“They could be a contender,” Wallace said. “But right now I am still committed, though.”

He said the Syracuse staff still shows him a lot of love. They send him messages before every game and he is very appreciative of that.

Does Juan Wallace feel like he is a priority to UGA? 

When asked, Wallace said that it seemed like the recruiting intensity he has been receiving from the Bulldogs has backed off. Somewhat. Not a whole lot. But it has been noticeable.

Wallace gauged the interest he’s getting from UGA as “about a 6” on a scale of 1-to-10.  He felt the Bulldogs have backed off a bit, but the communication has still been consistent.

He’s not sure what it would take for any school to slip in and wrangle him away from Syracuse.

“I can’t think of what it would take,” Wallace said. “It is hard to say.”

He’s hearing the most from both Rutgers and Syracuse. His time spent at IMG Academy will also allow him to enroll early in January of 2018.

Look for him to come to a conclusion about his decision when he’s finished with all of his officials and when his senior season is over.

The majority of his communication with UGA still comes with running backs coach Dell McGee. McGee spotted him at spring practice this year and extended the offer.

A few quick thoughts on the Appalachian State visitors

  • First and foremost, the Bulldogs made 5-star OG Jamaree Salyer a clear priority. Every coach came by to visit. It seemed like Sam Pittman never left that group. Salyer and his group were smiling and clearly enjoying themselves. It looked like they really felt at home.

 

  • Aside from Salyer, the biggest visitor was Otis Reese. The 4-star OLB prospect from Lee County has been committed to Michigan since May of 2016. He’s been committed that long but is not taking any questions or interviews regarding his decision. It seems very clear that UGA is a contender to pull the flip here. When a prospect that has been committed for over a year turns down interview requests, that is a pretty clear tell that he’s not ready to field questions about his recruiting.

 

  • Class of 2019 commitments Rashad Cheney Jr. and Jadon Haselwood seem very much at ease at UGA. Haselwood was even tossing his little brother around on the sidelines. There always seems to be scattered headlines about this or that with these two guys, but I’m going to have a hard time believing it. They continue to say all the right things with UGA, but then they way they enjoyed themselves among the staff and their fellow commits reinforced it. When they tell me that Georgia feels like “home” to them, then it also looks like it is not just lip service.

 

  • Class of 2018 commits Warren Ericson and Kearis Jackson clearly did their part working to speak to some of the top targets, too. Jaquez Jackson, Jackson’s teammate at Peach County, is committed to Georgia Tech but would also love an offer from the Bulldogs. Jackson is a 3-star ILB in the Class of 2018.

 

 

 

Miss a day of Intel? Well, the DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to Mecole Hardman speed before your tailgate crew can worry anymore about all the freshman offensive linemen who will have to play this fall.

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