Don’t let the headline get anything twisted up here.
In a culture where sizzle often comes before substance, let’s make this very clear. Georgia offered Tennessee 4-star RB Master W. Teague III last Friday. When he visited Athens, he had a chance to meet with coach Kirby Smart.
Teague III shared Smart told him he was similar to Nick Chubb in some aspects.
“He mentioned several times he really liked my film and thought I was bigger in person,” Teague said. “I have gotten a little bigger since my season. He was saying those things and telling me a little bit about (Nick) Chubb. I was similar to Chubb in being how I’m a quiet person. He noticed it seemed like I don’t say a whole lot. But just being real humble and a disciplined kid. That’s what he basically said to me.”
That might be enough to drive a story about Teague’s wares as a running prospect in the SEC. There’s far more to that. Teague was named All-State in Tennessee Class 6A ball in 2016. He is also rated as the nation’s No. 18 prospect at his position for 2018.
The Blackman (Tenn.) junior piled up 2,031 yards on 242 carries. That’s 8.4 yards per attempt. Teague finished his junior year with nine games of 100-plus yards and 24 rushing scores.
Teague can also post incredible combine numbers. His Hudl page lists a 39-inch vertical jump and a 4.39 time in the 40. He can squat 500 pounds and clock a short shuttle in 4.01.
These are all measures that exhibit why Teague might have reminded the staff of a current Bulldog.
“Georgia thinks I’m a tough back and feel I have good size,” Teague III said. “They just like what (they) hear from my coaches and what they have heard from me so far about my character. … They noticed I have a stable family and one that supports me in my career. That’s what they like about me.”
Let’s just put the substance where it belongs.
Teague appears to have an outstanding moral foundation. He’s also incredibly strong for a football player at any position, much less a running back.
He can already bench press 325 pounds and power clean another 340.
Quick hits on Master W. Teague III
- Teague plays the game for a spiritual reason. “Of course I love playing,” he said. “But I also think God has been calling for me. He is trying to build my foundation as a man through football. He wants to use me to spread his word and the gospel to other people. Maybe do some type of ministry-type thing. I think that’s probably why I play football. … I play for Christ.”
- When blessings come his way, he’ll be quick to say “to God be the glory.” He will mean it. Clearly.
- His jersey number is an expression of his faith. “Remember that’s the year and how old Jesus was when he died on the cross,” he said. “So I was thinking that I want to just keep that number, play for Christ and make that number represent something.”
- His father has a doctorate in psychology. That’s something that has caught his interest as a degree study and a potential college major.
- He is aware of Georgia’s tradition at RB. He even referenced the program as “Running Back University.”
- The 5-foot-11, 211-pounder pounds out “yes sir” and “no sir” amid an interview about as often as he works out. He’s packed on about an inch and about 16 pounds since last fall. He’s done so without sacrificing any speed.
- He works out with a personal trainer on his own outside of a spirited effort with the Blackman (Tenn.) weight program. That’s speed training and working on building up the power in his core, his legs and his hamstrings. That includes racing up hills.
— Blackman Weights (@BlazeFbStrength) March 20, 2017
Not worried about the RB depth at UGA
It will not bother Teague if UGA winds up signing 5-star RB Zamir White. White is rated as the nation’s top RB prospect. He’s one of Georgia’s top priorities for 2018.
“It could be good,” Teague said. “I think it is good to go in with good backs and compete. At certain schools, they don’t get a whole lot of good backs. So if I went to certain schools, then right off the bat I would probably be that guy. I might get a lot of bumps and bruises. But when you have good players around you, you kind of spread the weight around. There will still be that main guy, but coach (Dell) McGee was saying he likes to run three guys. There’s maybe two main guys, but they spread the ball around so people don’t get too run down if somebody wants to go to the league or whatnot.”
It won’t matter who UGA signs this year or already has in the program.
“That doesn’t bother me,” Teague said. “Wherever I feel home at and wherever I feel led to be is where I will be.”
Teague was told that the Bulldogs like to have six backs on scholarship. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will exhaust their eligibility this fall. That will leave just three scholarship running backs (Brian Herrien, Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift) on campus.
That’s why Georgia can sign two top-tier backs in RB for 2018 and still be a man shy of the ideal depth.
“I was hoping I would get the offer,” Teague said. “When McGee offered me I was saying just ‘Thank you, sir.’ You know I’m not really an emotional guy but on the inside, I was excited about it. I was happy that I got it. It was an offer I was hoping for. It was a blessing.”
Checking out his highlight tape
Watch his film below. He’s a player that will not shift a lot. He will make one cut and then get upfield. He’ll seek that end zone as quickly as possible. He will race by or run through the defender.
There are a lot of explosive plays, including a 93-yard touchdown run.
Teague calls himself an old-school back type. Teague brought up the name of NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett. That’s a unique answer. He didn’t have a favorite college team growing up, but has always appreciated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.
What do the players that have faced him feel he does best? They will share that he’s very explosive, but more so than that he is disciplined.
Teague III said he has a 3.5 grade-point average in the classroom. He aspires to raise that. He plans to make his decision sometime this summer so he can focus on his senior season.
Tennessee has made Teague a priority
South Carolina was the first school to offer Teague. But the home state Volunteers have been recruiting him the hardest of late.
“Usually two coaches,” he said. “I talk to one coach basically every day and I talk to both of those coaches basically every week. They send me stuff in the mail. South Carolina sends me a lot of stuff, too. Duke and Vanderbilt send me a bunch of stuff, too. But Tennessee is probably the one that is recruiting me the hardest.”
Teague put UGA in his Top 12 over the weekend. That’s even though the offer was barely 48 hours old.
“I feel good about the offer,” Teague said. “Georgia is a great school for backs and stuff like that. I got to meet the running backs coach on my visit in coach (Dell) McGee and I met coach Smart. I also got to meet their chaplain.”
The chaplain made an impact. He noticed it appears Georgia chaplain Thomas C. Settles III attempts to “try to disciple guys.” He felt he could one day bond with Settles if he wound up at UGA.
“They seem like they have a good thing going on there,” Teague said. “They are supporting the guys and building not only as football players but also as men. I really like that about Georgia. I was hoping to get an offer from Georgia and I did. They will be one of the ones that I am focusing on here and right now in the future. I’m excited about this offer.”
He said a lot of visits are expected to go great. Georgia clearly was one of those.
“I thought it was a great visit,” Teague said. “I am glad we went. We got to see the coaches and sit in on a meeting with the running backs. So that was great.”
— Master W. Teague III (@33_blackman) March 19, 2017