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 a wanted recruit like James Foster II might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
The discriminating Georgia fan loves the two 5-star quarterbacks that are on campus, but they always want more.
In this case, it is variety. They want a dual-threat quarterback and wanted him in the film room back in 2013.
That’s all the more necessary with Brice Ramsey’s questionable status for 2017 and what the depth chart looks like beyond Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm.
I’m on record that preferred walk-on Stetson Bennett IV will definitely help Georgia in the short and long term. His playing ability, talent and work ethic will quickly mirror the skills that any SEC program could hope for as a third option (at least) in the quarterback room.
His playing ability, talent and work ethic will quickly mirror the skills that any SEC program could hope for as a third option (at least) in the quarterback room.
That still won’t prevent UGA from signing one and perhaps even two QBs in 2018. The Bulldogs have now offered 11 QB prospects for this year’s class, including three more signal callers in the last 10 days.
There are eight dual-threat options among that lot, but there’s a distinct emphasis at work. All 11 quarterbacks are athletic. Tanner McKee, one of the pro-style offers, ran for 15 touchdowns last year. Joe Milton, who’s also seen as a pocket passer, is referred to as a gazelle on his highlight tape even though he’s about 6 feet, 5 inches in height.
In short, all of these guys have legs. 5-star QB and overall No. 1 prospect Trevor Lawrence also chose Clemson over Georgia and he’ll also time around 4.7 seconds in the 40.
What UGA has offered so far
Nation’s No. 1 Trevor Lawrence (Ga.): He’s going to Clemson. Deal with it.
Nation’s No. 7 Tanner McKee (Calif.): Definite talent. Yet other teams seem to be recruiting him harder.
Nation’s No. 12 Joe Milton (Fla.): Milton is undervalued, but Florida will be hard to beat. The Gators are a dream school.
Nation’s No. 1 Emory Jones (Ga.) — Bound for Ohio State. But the depth chart is stacked high in Columbus. Might listen more to UGA than other commits.
Nation’s No. 3 Justin Fields (Ga.) — Penn State commit. Florida is coming after him but he seems strong with the Nittany Lions. Pro baseball is also a talking point.
Nation’s No. 4 Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Nev.) — Intriguing choice here. Had UGA among his top schools even before his recent offer. Chances are better here at this time.
Nation’s No. 8 Dakereon Joyner (S.C.) — Clemson and or South Carolina seem like the leaders here. Virginia Tech also looms. UGA did make his Top 5.
Nation’s No. 9 Jalen Mayden (Tex.) — His brother plays at Alabama, but he doesn’t have an offer from Titletown yet. The Bulldogs could have a play here.
Nation’s No. 10 Gerry Bohanon (Ariz.) — He has only 11 offers and has already been pursued by Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas.
Nation’s No. 11 Justin Rogers (Lou.) — The Bulldogs did not crack his recent Top 7.
Nation’s No. 16 James Foster II (Ala.) — Consider the location and Kirby Smart’s rep in Alabama. His most recent comments to DawgNation should also be taken into account. Those follow below.
It seems like UGA is still trying to figure out what it wants at QB in 2018. McKee seems like the obvious big-boy best available option, but the team hasn’t pursued him the way others have. That’s not going to get him to seriously ponder a cross-country move.
The best candidates at this time: Foster. Thompson-Robinson. Mayden.
Why Foster? He placed the Bulldogs up as his No. 2 choice over the weekend after a visit and a subsequent offer.
Foster also told DawgNation that UGA is more like his co-leader now.
Getting to know James Foster II
James Foster II begins every day praying. Then tapping.
“Every day I get up in the morning and just thank God,” he said. “I’m just so blessed to be in this position that I am.”
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect prays and then taps on an obituary. It was almost a year ago today that beloved Montgomery-area basketball player Rod Scott lost his life.
He was on his way to play college ball at Jacksonville State but that life ended tragically in a single-car rollover accident.
“His obituary is on top of my bed,” Foster II said. “I tap that every morning before I go to school.”
Scott’s 17 years were cut short, but he left so many ripples for his time on Earth. Thousands attended his funeral at the Montgomery Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University. Former 5-star and Alabama freshman LB Mack Wilson also treasured his relationship with Scott.
The same applies with Foster. A tribute to Scott graces the header of his Twitter account.
“I have a wristband that says ‘Do great’ and ‘Be great’ with his number 3 on it,” Foster II said. “I tape over it and wear it every game. It says No. 3 and Rod Scott on it.”
It is one of his most treasured possessions.
“I have gotten a lot of wristbands,” he said. “They usually all break. This one hasn’t yet. I feel like it is unbreakable.”
His answer as to why he plays football will delight his future coaches.
“I fell in love with the game when I was seven years old,” Foster II said. “Ever since then, nobody could pay me enough money to stop playing it. The game brings the best out of you in the hardest of situations. It shows you how you must raise your game to compete if you want to win.”
Foster II said to look for him to make his decision during his senior season. He’s trying to find out if he might be able to enroll early.
The Sidney Lanier standout still needs to make his qualifying score on his ACT or SAT first before he starts thinking about enrolling in January.
Foster said UGA is now a co-leader
Foster said he adored Athens. It ranks as one of, if not his best, visit so far.
“I fell in love with the place,” he said. “I really fell in love with the coaches. And my mom fell in love with the place and the coaches, too. So that was a big plus. My mom also loving the coaches there was big.”
Mom also said one very interesting thing.
“She loved Georgia and everything about it,” he said. “She told me she hoped that I pick it.”
— James Foster II (@YungSimba4) February 26, 2017
Location can be a factor here.
He released his Top 8 schools over the weekend in order. Missouri was first. That’s because of a strong bond with offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. The Tigers were one of the first schools to offer Foster during his freshman year.
The “As and Bs” student said that Missouri still recruits him the hardest.
“We have been bonding for a long time,” Foster said. “We talk almost every day. He tells me that I am the guy for them and he’s told me that I was their No. 1 QB (for this class) ever since they offered me.”
Missouri has told him how he fits the offense. The Tigers feel he can really sling it, but he can also take off if necessary.
Who does he play like? “Deshaun Watson” was his very fast answer.
“Georgia has a really good chance,” he said. “It is really kind of tied. Missouri is right there, but Georgia is just right there with them. I really did fall in love with the place this past weekend.”
He said he’s been timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The Kirby Smart factor
“Georgia said they loved me,” Foster II said. “We were in the meeting room sitting down to watch my film and then they did something that made my visit the best.”
He was meeting with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and some other coaches.
“I was sitting there talking football with Coach Chaney and those guys and then Coach (Kirby) Smart just came behind me and put his hand on me. I was thinking like ‘who was this?’ and I turned around and saw it was Coach Smart. He took me into his office and walked me through my offer and stuff.”
He said that was “crazy” because he’d grown up watching Smart on TV as the defensive coordinator at Alabama. That meant a great deal to a young man who grew up an Alabama fan.
“Seeing him in person like that and him knowing my name was something,” he said. “That was unreal.”
He does not have an offer from Alabama or Auburn. To a kid in Montgomery, that should mean something. If it does, he’s not bothered by it.
“I’m not huge on staying in-state,” he said. “I can go anywhere. I know a lot of kids in this state dream about offers from Auburn or Alabama, but I’m not huge on that.”
Foster II said he can already see himself at Georgia. Committing did cross his mind. Would he be able to commit to UGA at any time? He felt like he could.
“I had some thoughts about it,” Foster II said. “But I was like I am going to hold off right now and weight my options. Then when the time is right, it is right.”
The 3-star recruit plans to take his first visit to Missouri on March 11. He plans a return trip to UGA later that month. He plans to visit Athens again and then compete at the Nike “The Opening” Atlanta regional on March 26.
The 3-year starter also said something interesting about the dual-threat label.
“I tell people all the time I am a quarterback,” Foster II said. “I just use my legs when I have to. My first decision is to go through all my reads and throw the ball. Really I don’t like the name ‘dual threat’ because I am a quarterback. I just run when I have to. I like throwing the ball and can live in the pocket and just sit there and throw.”
Foster stated that he could sling it 75 yards. Check the first play on his highlight tape. That was a 65-yard touchdown pass against a big rival. That throw came under pressure.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.