BEAVERTON, Ore. — The mystery of who will be the final receivers in the Class of 2017 for Georgia continues to unfold.
Especially in the likely suspects category. Especially this week at Nike’s all-star “The Opening” showcase at its company headquarters in Oregon.
The name Mark Webb, Jr. continues to be a prime contender to join James Coley’s band of “Change the Game” guys in the receiver room at Georgia. While anything is possible in the world of impressionable teenagers that play football approximately 750 miles from campus, Webb continues to seem like he’s on his way to Athens.
Just consider the following concepts he shared today from the Opening:
- If he had to make his commitment this week, his choice would be Georgia
- Georgia is his clear leader and he said that it has been that way for quite some time. Even before he got an offer from Georgia.
- The three trips he has taken to Georgia continue to stand out as the best he’s taken as a recruit so far.
- He’s already spoken to UGA commits Jake Fromm and Trey Blount this week. He said that both of them “seem like real cool dudes” and “down to earth” guys. He said he could “definitely all the way” see himself playing with them in college.
- Webb said his decision could come at the end of August or the first week of September.
The 6-foot-2, 199-pound prospect is rated as the nation’s No. 15 receiver and No. 119 overall prospect for the Class of 2017. He will not be able to enroll early.
Webb also said that there is a 100 percent chance that he and his first cousin D’Andre Swift will definitely go to the same school. They will also both commit at right about the same time in late August or in early September.
He said that several things are standing out to him about Georgia. There are the requisite school and coaches and “family” concepts that litter the dialect of every recruit at The Opening this week. Those traits are popular.
The uncommon stuff was what Webb said about how Georgia could set him up well with a degree in business or communications. He’s already aware of the career opportunities that are available to him going to school so close to Atlanta.
“It is a home away from home,” Webb said. “It just hit a spot for me. It is just like (the feeling of) me going to Penn State, but I went to Georgia. It was just home.”
But then there was something he said about the relationship he has forged right now with UGA off-the-field support staffer Kevin Beard. Beard is a phenomenal on-the-field coach in his own right and was the receivers coach at Miami when Coley was the offensive coordinator.
“He is a real cool dude,” Webb said. “Every time we talk, I know we have a record. Everything is over two hours when we talk on the phone. So it runs up the phone bill. It is not like it feels like two hours because we talk so long. It feels like I have known him for years.”
Yes, the Bulldogs have already accepted commitments from three receivers. They could take up to two more. That doesn’t bother him one bit.
“In the NFL you get there with about seven receivers,” Webb said. “I get to compete every day either way. I love it.”
Webb believes that Georgia will always accept his commitment, but understood that timing will play into his decision timeline.
“It is a business so how everything goes,” Webb said. “That’s another part of my process of committing in August or September. I don’t want to give my spot up. I am never going to have the big head so I am trying to get it out of the way and make sure nobody else takes that spot.”
The Bulldogs are his clear leader, but he said that Penn State, North Carolina and Maryland (in that order) are the schools right behind them in the race for his signature on National Signing Day.
Look for him to take official visits to at least two of those schools, he said.
Why does he feel so strongly about Georgia right now?
“I can get better there and be the best I can be,” Webb said.
He said the goal this week at The Opening is to “be unstoppable” while facing off against the top defensive backs in the nation.”
He said Georgia has been his leader even before he got an offer. He took a trip there before he had the offer and was treated like he was one of the top receivers on the board.
“I went up there and it felt like I had the offer when I went there,” Webb said. “I was treated like I had the offer even way before I even went there.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.