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 and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
There’s a lot of focus on 2017 right now. There has to be with less than 40 days to go until National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
Georgia’s current commitments for this cycle rank as the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class. The decision made by the nation’s No. 1 ILB Nate McBride on Christmas Day can only help that ranking.
McBride chose Georgia over Auburn and Oregon in an exclusive commitment video on DawgNation. Why did he choose UGA? McBride spelled out the reasons why and his decision was well-received by #SICEM17 class leaders Jake Fromm and Richard LeCounte III.
But this week the focus will be on where Fromm and LeCounte were a week ago. They were establishing themselves as recruits every fan needed to know for 2017.
This is the week reserved for the Rising Seniors and Elite Juniors All-Star games in Georgia. Those two all-star games collect almost 200 of the state’s top players for a few days of camaraderie, practice and competition.
Check back to this blog all day long. I will post the key talking points for each of the guys who are holding UGA offers throughout the day.
The Rising Seniors game has typically turned into a game that usually means good things for UGA recruiting. The boys all hang out together, see how good everyone is actually cracked up to be and then make plans to be in Athens together.
Last year’s game was a prime example. LeCounte came into the week a recent commitment to Georgia with his recruiter hat on. He looked around the room and started pointing out “Dawg” or “guy the Dawgs need to get.”
The 5-star safety was right on a lot of those counts. Georgia has already picked up commitments from 10 prospects who were at last year’s Rising Seniors game. There are two more targets (Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant and DeAngelo Gibbs) who are still seen as likely to still commit to Georgia between now and Feb. 1.
This is a good week to find out who the next wave is going to be.
Big names checking in at Rising Seniors
I’m going to check off the obvious questions first. New Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence is not at the Rising Senior event this week. Neither is Pace Academy 5-star guard Jamaree Salyer.
Salyer is rated as the nation’s No. 1 guard prospect for 2018. Houston County guard Trey Hill is rated as the nation’s No. 2 prospect behind Salyer. He is also not at the Rising Seniors event.
Emory Jones was the No. 2 QB in the state behind Lawrence. He’s committed to Ohio State and is also not a part of this week’s event.
That said, there are a lot of big names in town this week. Recent Penn State commitment Justin Fields is here. So is South Gwinett 5-star DE Justin Mascoll.
Lassiter 5-star DB Derrik Allen is here. Georgia 4-star OLB commit Adam Anderson will be a part of the game, along with Peach County standout Kearis Jackson.
Crisp County OLB Quay Walker also made it for the early morning check-in. He even sported a Georgia shirt. He wanted to combat all the Georgia Tech stuff he saw today in Atlanta with a lot of red and the Georgia G.
The Rising Seniors game will be held at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium at 6 p.m. on Dec. 30.
Justin Fields sounds strong to Penn State
The Harrison junior QB is on a lot of people’s minds after he made the decision to commit to Penn State on Dec. 1.
When Cartersville 5-star junior QB Trevor Lawrence committed to Clemson, the focus shifted to one of the state’s other top talents at the position. Lawrence is committed to Clemson. Heard County junior Emory Jones committed to Ohio State earlier this year.
Fields rates as the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat QB for the Class of 2018. He’s the nation’s No. 88 overall prospect in his class.
I’ll detail just what Georgia is doing to try and gain stronger consideration from Fields later in the day, but it sounds like the only thing that will keep him away from Penn State is pro baseball.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder is a fine shortstop. His younger sister has already committed to play softball at Georgia.
6 things I’ve learned today at check-ins
We’ll have full stories later, but there are already some storylines to keep in mind that have really caught my ear.
- Lots of these guys feel things are changing at Georgia. I’ve heard several of the top prospects tell me that they feel the program under Kirby Smart is beginning to reel in all the state’s top guys. That is a subjective statement, but here are the cold hard facts. Georgia has commitments from nine of the state’s Top 15 players for 2017. That number extends to 11 of the Top 20 in Georgia for this year’s class.
- South Gwinnett 5-star DE Justin Mascoll doesn’t seem as sold on Georgia as most might think. He’s a major target for the Class of 2018, but it sounds like he has his up-and-down days when thinking about the Bulldogs. He’s also experiencing some recruit fatigue with the whole process. I can’t blame him. Mascoll is rated as the nation’s No. 1 weak-side DE for 2018 and at No. 19 overall.
- Is Peach County 4-star ATH Kearis Jackson a strong lean to Georgia? That sure didn’t seem like the case to me. He says a lot of great things about the in-state school, but he also admitted he has a lot of other SEC schools that are still on his mind.
- Brookwood receiver Matthew Hill is one of the top prospects in the state for 2018 in my mind. He can make a lot of plays in space. Hill checked in at the 6-foot-1 mark and weighed in at a relatively low 175 pounds. He’s strongly considering Auburn and Tennessee at this point and noted he has yet to receive an offer from Georgia. Hill is rated as the nation’s No. 28 receiver for 2018.
- Warner Robins OT Christian Armstrong is rated as the nation’s No. 13 player at his position. He said a lot of good things about Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman in our brief chat this morning. He’s a big guy and he will be one of the guys I will be paying a lot of attention to this week. His first offer came from Florida and that was followed by the Bulldogs.
- Rome OLB Adam Anderson is the only Georgia commit here, but he was set to arrive late. It will be interesting to chat with him again this week. When I caught up with him after Rome’s state title victory in the Georgia Dome earlier this month, he sounded like he was still going to take a look at other schools. That’s understandable as he committed so early into his junior year. I’m just relaying that he didn’t sound as firmly entrenched with Georgia as Max Wray for 2018. Wray is the only other commitment the Bulldogs have for 2018.