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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
5-star junior WR Julian Fleming rates his UGA trip as one of his best visits so far.

Julian Fleming, the nation’s top junior WR, counts his UGA trip among his best visits

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days each week. The play sheet today calls for a recap of a chat with 5-star junior WR Julian Fleming

This will not be a missive to drum up embers of hope that the nation’s No. 1 junior wide receiver is trending toward Georgia.

Fleming is from Pennsylvania. He was not able to visit Clemson last weekend for an elite “Junior Day” level event, but that program pops up all over his social media. The noted 247Sports “Crystal Ball” feature is flashing 82 percent in the direction of the in-state Nittany Lions and then Ohio State after that.

That said, the Bulldogs did make his Top 10 last month. They are at least in the game here for the nation’s No. 1 receiver for 2020.

Julian Fleming-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Julian Fleming actually lets his grandfather do most of his visit planning. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

If there’s a big takeaway here, it is simply this: Georgia has his attention of Fleming. It netted that with a great visit that still flashes warmly in his mind. That continues to reflect the UGA program trending as a national brand. 

Fleming spoke to reporters this month at the Under Armour “Future 50” media day event.

He was asked about a lot of schools that day, including Georgia. He proceeded to use the term “great” six times in a 20-second response to a query about the Bulldogs.

“Georgia was probably one of my best visits so far,” Fleming said. “Honestly. My whole family loved Georgia. Coach [Cortez] Hankton is a real cool real down-to-earth guy. He seemed like a great coach. He had NFL experience. Georgia is a great place. They are in the SEC.”

Fleming had more than that to say about UGA in a single uninterrupted thought.

“They pushed Alabama to their limits,” Fleming. “It is a great team. Great program. Great coaching staff. Great history.”

He then said the things that a recruit will normally say at the outset of the big push recruiting cycle for their class.

Fleming is, after all, the nation’s top WR prospect and the No. 5 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings for 2020.

“Before I cut it down any further I am going to have to see those schools and see what is up there,” he said. “Atmosphere wise and everything like that.”

Which schools?

“I still need to see LSU, USC, Michigan and Florida,” he said earlier this month.

It is usually classic PR. Cast a wide net. Name a bunch of elite programs. Increase the exposure. Build the brand. Make a name.

Julian Fleming-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
5-star WR Julian Fleming rated UGA as one of his best visits and did place the program among his top 10 schools on Christmas Day. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He talks to Penn State a lot. Naturally. Who else does he chat on the regular?

“I talk to Ohio State a lot,” Fleming said. “Georgia I talk to a lot. Florida I talk to very actively. The Clemson coach I talk to almost every day. All of them.”

Fleming is known for a lot of last-minute visits. His grandfather actually plans them.

He plans to make his decision after his senior year. Maybe even prior to that.

He doesn’t have any locks for official visits as of yet. Or locks for hats to be on the table when he makes his decision.

If he does, he did not single them out publicly.

The 5-star does plan to take some spring official visits, though.

“I am going to start some in the spring and take some during the season,” Fleming said. “Because I do feel it is too much to pack in all at once.”

Why Julian Fleming ranks as the nation’s No. 1 WR prospect

Clemson, much like 5-star QB D.J Uiagalelei, is a big factor here if he even decides to leave Big 10 territory.

The defending national champion Tigers are set to lock up with the Bulldogs on a series of key recruiting battles along the 2020 cycle. Those names include the likes of Bryan Bresee, Arik Gilbert, Myles Murphy, E.J. Williams to go along with Fleming and Uiagalelei.

It makes sense. Fleming will look and play the way a 5-star receiver should in any competitive setting.

His weight will hover around 205 to 210 pounds. He is a thick and physical receiver who displayed elite production at the high school level last season.

He was named the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year for Pennsylvania coming off a tear that has seen his team win two straight state championships in the midst of an active 32-game win streak.

The 6-foot-3 junior has shown the ability to flash on both sides of the ball, too. He snatched up 80 balls for 1,526 yards and 22 touchdowns. It equates to a strong 19.8 yards per catch as a marked man. It also meant he found the paydirt once for every 3.6 catches.

The rampant scouting attention actually provides a mixed bag of assessments about the position fit here. Is he an “X” or a “Z” in certain looks? The recruiting opinions will vary.

“Honestly I haven’t really gotten a straight answer from all of them,” Fleming said. “A lot of them say I can play outside or inside. Just because I can move a little bit for how big I am. But they say whatever they can use me at, then they are going to throw me in there. So I’m thankful for any opportunity.”

The Southern Columbia Area (Catawissa, Pa.) standout also had four interceptions on defense and returned three of those for scores. Receivers that flash on both sides of the ball for state championship teams are a very rare breed.

What’s this with Julian Fleming and Bryan Bresee? 

Fleming tweeted out a while back he was working on a plan with 5-star DE Bryan Bresee.

Bresee is the nation’s No. 1 overall junior. To put it mildly, he is mega-priority for the Bulldogs in 2020.

“That’s a secret,” Fleming said. “You are going to have to wait for that one.”

Do they want to play together?

“We will see how the cookie crumbles,” Fleming said. “But we’ve been in the talks for a while. Been talking about the places we both like. We’ve got some mutual interests in there. We will see how it goes.”

Fleming conducts a polished interview. There’s the chatter he will wind up at Penn State. Give him credit for addressing that thought directly with an honest answer.

“I mean it is hometown,” Fleming said. “It is great but part of me is ‘Great. It is PA. It is close and everything’ but then the other me is like ‘Why stay in PA my whole life’ and there [are] just so many opportunities to get out of the area and be in like such a whole new environment. It is just hard to balance all of that out.”

He feels Florida, Ohio State and Penn State have been making the biggest “push” for him.

Further background research on Fleming also revealed another tweet. He seemed matured and composed at his “Media Day” session down in Orlando and that persona was reflected here.

This media member had an experience with him after he didn’t play his best game. That’s always a pretty good tell when it comes to elite athletes. What are they like when things didn’t go their way?

The January 2020 outlook for DawgNation

Fleming shared one other thought about that Georgia visit last year.

Julian Fleming-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
5-star WR Julian Fleming had a lot of “great” things to say about a previous visit to Georgia. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The “great” count was only up to four with this one.

“It was actually in the summertime,” he said. “I went to Alabama and then Georgia. But I mean it was beautiful. The campus was beautiful. Great coaching staff. My family loved it the life after football things and the other aspects besides football. So it was just a great day and a great thing all in all.”

“It was definitely one of my best visits. It was a great time.”

The 2019 cycle saw 22 signees during the early period. That has meant a few light weekends in January for the program as far as visitors go.

There has been a lot of traffic through Butts-Mehre on the 2020 recruiting front this month. There is a new crop to start to get to know.

With that, we’ll offer up a collection of January stories so far on the top 2020 targets.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.

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