Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com
What's going on at UGA this weekend with another packed slate of official visits?

Georgia recruiting: The 411 on the biggest remaining official visit weekend for this cycle

Jeff Sentell

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel brings at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.

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We’ve reached critical mass at Intel headquarters. National Signing Day tends to do that.

This is the time of the year if I fella is cranking out as much information as he can (and rightfully so) about UGA recruiting that he looks at the morning blog and wonders not what to write.

There’s a real sense that maybe even Stretch Armstrong or even Georgia 4-star OT commit Andrew Thomas could not wrap their long arms around it all.

There are so many different angles. So much to cover. There are only 12 days left until this class gets signed and sealed.

We’ve reached the point where there might be two of these per day soon. There are so many stories left for 2017 and then there are Bone-in Ribeye grade narratives for 2018 and 2019 popping up.

In the end, the choice for today was to go with the most pressing and short-term information first. That’s everything to know about Georgia’s biggest remaining official visit weekend for 2017.

What led to that statement? Numbers, man. They said so.

Last weekend’s official visitors: 9 (7 commits)

This weekend’s official visitors up to this point: 12 (6 commits, 6 targets)

The final official visit slate for next weekend already has a few headliners scheduled like UGA commit Tray Bishop, 4-star WR Nico Collins and 4-star OG Tedarrell “TD” Slaton.

But that’s nothing like the volume or maybe the weight from this weekend. The Bulldogs would love to secure at least 2-3 additional signees from the lasting impressions they leave with those recruits.  That includes at least one flip from a big SEC East border rival.

I’m not sure if Georgia can hold any more than 4-5 commitments for the Class of 2017.

Let’s break it all down.

The Commits

Cairo 4-star LB Walter Grant became UGA's 16th commitment for the Class of 2017 on Friday night. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Cairo 4-star LB Walter Grant became UGA’s 16th commitment for the Class of 2017 on Friday night. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

4-star OLB Walter Grant (Cairo HS / Cairo, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-4/237

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 13 0LB and No. 200 overall

Committed since: Nov. 4, 2016 (Did you see the DawgNation commitment video for Mr. Grant?)

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: None are currently planned.

The Intel: Grant has long been one of the South’s hidden gems at LB. He didn’t hit up the camp circuit so his rankings have ascended steadily from the mid-30s at this position and 3-star status. A lot of prospects are talked up about being able to play both linebacker spots and at defensive end in college. This young man is one of the few who can project to do it and play winning football. Alabama coach Nick Saban even told the Cairo coaches that. He chose UGA over Alabama and FSU.

 

4-star OLB Jaden Hunter (Westlake HS / Atlanta, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-2/212

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 11 0LB and No. 135 overall

Committed since: January 25, 2016

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: No

Jaden Hunter at UGA 111916aThe Intel: The UGA dual-legacy (Georgia football: Brice Hunter, Georgia basketball: Brandi Decker-Hunter) stands as Georgia’s second longest-tenured commit in the Class of 2017. He can cross train at UGA and work at inside or outside linebacker. Hunter is a splendid all-around athlete who can stay on the field for three downs.

 

 

3-star WR Matt Landers (Westlake HS / Atlanta, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-5/182

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 97 WR and No. 664 overall

Committed since: June 1, 2016

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: No

Landers catches a ball during the IMG 7-on-7 National Championships on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Landers catches a ball during the IMG 7-on-7 National Championships on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

The Intel: Landers has been a James Coley guy from the jump. Georgia’s receivers coach got UGA in on him early and he hasn’t wavered since. Landers is extremely raw. He didn’t hit up the evaluation camp circuit as well as others have but he did flash well in a few elite 7-on-7 camps. He’s Georgia’s lowest-rated commitment for 2017 but might have one of the group’s higher ceilings after a redshirt year. Didn’t play football his freshman year. He’s the son of former UGA basketball standout Toney Mack.

4-star ILB Nate McBride (Vidalia HS / Vidalia, Ga.)

Nate McBride was named a U.S. Army All-American earlier this year. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Nate McBride was named a U.S. Army All-American earlier this year. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

Height/Weight: 6-1/225

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 4 ILB and No. 120 overall

Committed since: December 25, 2016 (You might have seen this video.)

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: No

The Intel: The U.S. Army All-American can clock a 10.6 in the 100 meters and bench press about 400 pounds. He’s the son of a former bodybuilder and a well-respected high school assistant coach. He had been a silent commitment prior to his decision. McBride chose UGA over Auburn and Oregon.

 

4-star CB William Poole III (Hapeville Charter / Atlanta, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-0/180

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 24 CB and No. 182 overall

Poole brings length and strength to the cornerback position at UGA. (Jeff Sentell / AJC
Poole brings length and strength to the cornerback position at UGA. (Jeff Sentell / AJC

Committed since: April 16, 2016

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: No.

The Intel: Two words quickly come to mind here: Long and strong. The senior has a vast wingspan and can bench press 225 pounds more than 15 times. Poole was one of Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s biggest targets once he got the job. The 4-star CB made the choice to commit to Georgia on G-Day aka 93K Day. Poole has been steadfast and fiercely loyal to the Bulldogs once he made his decision. He chose UGA over Florida and could fit in at safety or cornerback in Athens.

3-star DT Devonte Wyatt (Towers HS / Decatur, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-3/290

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 14 DT and No. 273 overall

Committed since: August 8, 2016 (flipped from South Carolina)

DeVonte Wyatt has blistering speed for a defensive lineman. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
DeVonte Wyatt has ludicrous speed for a defensive lineman. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes.

The Intel: Has rare athleticism for his size and position. The sort that allowed him to move the chains extensively for his high school team at RB this year. He just took an official visit to South Carolina and also plans one to Florida. He’s underexposed on the recruiting circuit so all of this attention is foreign to him. If he’d have hit the camp circuit, he’d likely be rated at least 3-4 spots higher at his position. Why? His coaches are quick to point out that he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds at his size.

The targets

3-star DB Latavious Brini (Mater Academy / Hialeah, Fla.)

Height/Weight: 6-2/200

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 31 CB and No. 353 overall

Other contenders: Oklahoma, Miami, Oregon and South Florida

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes.

The Intel: He was committed to UGA at one time. He is still giving the program an official visit, but the chances here are not very good. He told DawgNation this week that his best visit up to this point had been to South Florida. Miami and South Florida seem like the teams to watch for here.

 

3-star DT Larrell Murchison (Louisburg College (JUCO / Louisburg, N.C.)

Height/Weight: 6-4/295

National JUCO rankings: Nation’s No. 8 strong-side DE and No. 87 overall

Larrell Murchison by Larell Murchison SpecialOther contenders: He is committed to Ole Miss

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes.

The Intel: Murchison just emerged as a UGA target last weekend and he doesn’t even hold a UGA offer. But that could change quickly this weekend depending on the program’s needs at DT. The Aubrey Solomon and Devonte Wyatt decisions mandate them taking a hard look here. He just took an official visit to Texas last week.

 

3-star CB Ameer Speed (Sandalwood / Jacksonville, Fla. )

Height/Weight: 6-3/195

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 46 CB and No.

Other contenders: Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia Tech

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes.

The Intel: The tall and lengthy CB has emerged as one of Georgia’s hottest targets over the last two months. He has elite size for the position and will play fast enough at that height. He’s gotten a lot of late interest that even included a visit this week from Alabama coach Nick Saban. According to 247Sports, Georgia coach Kirby Smart even made an in-home visit on the first day of the January contact period. He just took an official to North Carolina and Oregon is scheduled for next week. Virginia Tech seems like a major contender to watch here.

 

3-star DE Aaron Sterling (Tucker HS / Tucker, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-2/255

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 18 strong-side DE and No. 438 overall

Other contenders: N.C. State, Tennesse and South Carolina.

Aaron Sterling plans to take his official visit to UGA on Thursday and Friday. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Aaron Sterling plans to take his official visit to UGA on Thursday and Friday. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes

The Intel: Sterling has sounded like he was very comfortable at South Carolina for quite some time. He’s also brought up the fact that Georgia’s interest in him has been pretty hard to read. The Under Armour All-American would bring an instant pass rush threat to whichever program he winds up at. His ball get-off is elite for the high school level. He told DawgNation this morning that he will take his official visit on Thursday and Friday.

 

4-star CB Jamyest Williams (Grayson HS / Loganville, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 5-9/172

New national rankings: Nation’s No. 7 CB and No. 64 overall

USC commit Jamyest Williams is still being recruited hard by Georgia. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
USC commit Jamyest Williams is still being recruited hard by Georgia. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

Other contenders: He’s been committed to South Carolina since Aug. 27, 2016.

Has he taken or will he take any other visits: Yes.

The Intel: Williams has taken one other official visit to Oklahoma and he has stated repeatedly he is 100 percent committed to the Gamecocks. But there’s definitely something to watch out for here. He grew up in Athens and has always favored the Bulldogs. Look for the Georgia and South Carolina hats on the table when the time comes for his final decision. Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker have not stopped recruiting him after his commitment to the Gamecocks. I’ll continue to go on record here at tout the notion that Williams in a special player. I’ve seen very few quite like him in my years covering elite high school talent.

 

Lest we forget

This will also be a weekend that will attract some big-name unofficial visits from the Class of 2018 and beyond.

Jamaree Sayler, a 5-star junior OG from Pace Academy in Atlanta, told me he plans to take an unofficial visit to UGA this weekend.

The 6-foot-4, 327-pounder rates as the nation’s No. 1 OG for that cycle. He’s rated as the No. 10 prospect overall.

Jamree Salyer by Jeff Sentell 32016a
Jamaree Salyer is rated as the nation’s No. 1 OG for the Class of 2018. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

If I trotted out a list right now of the most important targets for the Class of 2018, his name would be No. 1 at the very top of it. North Carolina 5-star RB Zamir White might be right at 1B, but I give the slightest of edge to Salyer.

That doesn’t follow the rankings. White rates as the nation’s No. 1 RB and No. 4 overall prospect for 2018.

Salyer that slight edge in my book simply because of worth and need. I deem the Pace standout to be the nation’s top guard from both the Class of 2017 and 2018.

I can’t think of five offensive lineman period that are better than Salyer in either class. He was already that dominant last year at Nike’s “The Opening” all-star prospect showcases.

And he’s only gotten better since then. Salyer tore through Under Armour’s “Future 50” event late last month like Godzilla going through downtown Tokyo.

 

 

 

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