Lovasea’ Carroll: Why the 4.4 back sped up his timeline to choose UGA
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is focused on the way that Georgia native Lovasea’ Carrolll chose to speed up his decision timeline last week to commit to UGA.
The plan for Lovasea’ Carroll was to commit in August. The date was set. It was going to go down on August 6.
The nation’s No. 8 RB and No. 103 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) was going to make his college decision known five months from now.
Carroll sped that all up. Like a lot of things in his life. He’s been blistering the 100 meters in under 11 seconds for a good while now. He committed to Georgia earlier this week.
The Warren County resident goes to boarding school at IMG Academy in Florida. But he’s home now in Georgia with the COVID-19 quarantine.
He had previously committed to South Carolina and backed off that pledge. It meant his next commitment was going to be the one.
The newest Bulldog commit set some real purpose behind it. The plan was to honor his mother Jessica Grier on her birthday with that choice. Carroll aimed to dedicate his commitment to her.
She just got that present early.
“I was supposed to commit on August 6 but then I talked to my mom the night before I committed,” Carroll said. “We just were talking and the next thing you know it just happened.”
His mother played a big role. Except for the specifics of it all. She wanted him to be aware of the timing. It was a chat to see if he already knew what felt right.
“She knew I was going to commit soon after we talked,” he said. “She was like just ‘Go ahead and get it out of the way then if you really know’ and that’s what I did.”
They went over a few things. It crystallized the go-ahead in his mind.
“What my momma and I said back and forth just sparked it all,” he said.
But even she had to wait for that tweet to find out.
“She had to find out on the internet on her phone,” Carroll said. “Because I wasn’t going to tell her. No one knew.”
That’s an odd story in its own right. Especially in a shelter-in-place household.
“She wasn’t at home at the time when I committed,” Carroll said of his high noon decision. “I saw her later on that night around seven o’clock.”
“She just ran into my arms. Just came up and gave me a big hug. She jumped me she was so happy.”
The 6-foot-1, 199-pound rising senior says DawgNation can score this as a late pull from Florida. Carroll confirmed a few online reports over the last month that had Florida as his top school.
“Florida was in the lead but like I have been telling everyone else out of all five of my schools now I would still go to any one of them,” he said. “I feel like Georgia is just the one. It is my hometown. What better place to do it than in your city and home state basically.”
Carroll recently shared that choosing UGA was his “best decision ever” on his Instagram feed. Why did the Gators hold that short-lived lead?
“They were just coming at me harder and stuff like that,” he said.
He is credited with 4.44 speed in the 40-yard dash on his Hudl prospect profile page. He had 57 carries for 571 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019 for IMG Academy. Carroll had 143 carries for 1446 yards and 19 scores playing for Warren County in 2018.
He’s averaged 10 yards per carry across both of his last two seasons. Check out Carroll’s junior highlight reel below from IMG Academy.
Lovasea’ Carroll: That part about still taking five officials
With any timely recruiting narrative about Carroll right now, there’s a lingering question that must be addressed. There were several members of the DawgNation forum that noticed the “still will be taking my five officials” part of his decision release.
Carroll brings up his appreciation and zeal to commit to Georgia in the same tweet in which he explains he will take all five of his official visits.
— Lovasea Carroll (@LovaseaC) April 9, 2020
There are a few tiers among the elite backs in the nation for this 2021 class. Treyveon Henderson and Evan Pryor are at the top of those tiers. They’ve started to set the board for a lot of schools by making early commitments over the last month to Ohio State.
5-star Will Shipley is also a name to know. He is trending to Clemson, Notre Dame or Stanford. Georgia still has its eyes on Michigan all-purpose gem Donovan Edwards, too.
There’s also Cody Brown in the state of Georgia, too. Not to mention speedy Texan L.J. Johnson.
Did Carroll get the sense Georgia came back at him harder after a few of those backs began to lean in a certain direction?
“I would say yes to that,” he said.
Carroll had five schools among his top five earlier this year. Ohio State was among those. The Buckeyes have now taken two elite backs that rate even higher than Carroll on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
That’s no longer an option for him there. It means that Ohio State leaves that top group. Tennessee claims that spot.
“Georgia is still going to be an official visit of course,” he said. “It is going to be Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina and Florida, too.”
He describes things as a “neck and neck” decision. Carroll feels those five schools are all very close. There is no clear top challenger to the Bulldogs.
“I like all four of them equally,” he said. “All four of them have the potential to change my mind.”
What will Georgia have to do to hold onto this commitment? He said the Bulldogs need only to continue the way they have been currently recruiting him.
“Keep coming at me,” he said. “Just keep coming.”
When he closes his eyes and thinks about why he is a Bulldog, an acronym that comes to his mind.
“I mean it is ‘RBU’ there,” Carroll said, referring to UGA as “Running Back University” in his reply. “What’s not to like about going to a school like that?”
He expanded on that.
“What’s not to like with Georgia?” he said. “They bring in top offensive linemen, too. Top linemen. They’ve probably got the No. 1 class in offensive lineman from last year. They will probably do that again this year. Who wouldn’t want to run behind big boys like that?”
Carroll said he was already committed to Georgia in his mind. He just didn’t know when.
Micah Morris, one of those elite offensive line recruits, committed to UGA the day before Carroll’s announcement this week. He said it didn’t really spark his own decision.
It was just that timely talk with his Mom.
How Lovasea’ “LC” Carroll handles this downtime
Carroll has a regimen to try to maintain his fitness and burst during the COVID-19 quarantine. If not for the virus, he would be at IMG Academy in Bradenton right now.
He’d be training at the same complex D’Andre Swift chose to train for the NFL combine and the 2020 NFL Draft. The global pandemic means he’s back home in Warrenton.
It means he is taking a two-to-three mile run every morning. He will follow that with footwork drills.
“Then I will get with the leather,” he said.
That means the ball. Carroll will do drill running and cutting and catching the football.
“Just basically running more on a daily basis,” he said. “I’ll also be lifting weights and stuff every day. I feel like I am gaining strength still and stuff. I feel like I am still improving.”
He’s up about five pounds from his junior playing weight. The goal here is for him to pack on at least five more pounds for his senior year.
He even has his eye on getting to 210 pounds.
Spring practice was supposed to take place at IMG Academy after his spring break later this month.
Does he have an idea on when he will return to IMG Academy?
“The school is saying we will return on May 1,” Carroll said. “We will see how that plays out.”
Carroll does plan to enroll early at Georgia in January of 2021. How does he fit into a Georgia offense that plans to open things up with new coordinator Todd Monken?
“Honestly I’ve heard that he likes to throw the ball more,” Carroll said. “So I’m a versatile running back. I can do both. I can run the ball and line up in the slot position. The outside guys. I can do that and run routes.”
Dell McGee was the primary recruiter for the Bulldogs. His track record and resume speaks for itself by this point.
“I feel like he knows what he is doing with running backs,” Carroll said. “He took Sony Michel in. He took Nick Chubb in. Coach McGee took Elijah Holyfield and now he has D’Andre Swift going to the league. He has Brian Herrien on his way to the league. I feel like he knows what he is doing. He puts all of his backs into the league.”
With those names, he sees a similar playing style.
“I am like a D’Andre Swift,” he said. “A one-cut guy who hits it. Just one cut and go. Take it to the house.”
When he made the decision, it certainly made his mother happy.
“She doesn’t care what school I go to,” Carroll said. “As long as I am happy she is going to be happy. But I feel like when I chose Georgia she was just excited. It is only an hour and twenty minutes from my house. She can come up to see me anytime and visit me.”
With Morris committed, he knows what could be on the way for Georgia. He knows how the Bulldogs value 5-star Amarius Mims and elite OT Terrence Ferguson, too. Carroll also knows that the Bulldogs are among the top options for both of those guys, too.
The 6-foot-7 Mims is the nation’s No. 8 prospect for this cycle. Ferguson rates as the nation’s No. 3 offensive guard and at No. 52 overall. Morris will slot in next as the nation’s No. 73 overall prospect.
“That’s a dream for a running back to run behind those big guys,” Carroll said. “That would be an absolute dream.”
He plans to study engineering during his time on campus at Georgia.
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