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Four-star defensive tackle Derick "Rambo" Hunter told DawgNation on Tuesday that he no longer has a current leader.

UGA recruiting: Major DL target Derick Hunter no longer has leader

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet today calls for another chance to chat with 4-star defensive lineman target Derick Hunter. That’s the one that his Dunbar High teammates in South Florida call “Rambo.”

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Derick Hunter said that Georgia was his leader after G-Day.

He clearly enjoyed it. He said he still relishes in the memories of that day.

Derick Hunter is an active force at his practices. He’s constantly working and urging his teammates on. It was unique to listen to him describe his friendship with the Dunbar kicker. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)

But Hunter also said on Tuesday he no longer has a top school. It is complicated. Don’t expect him to name another school as his leader for the short term.

But it is not as complicated as everyone makes it out to be.

The easy thing to do would be to say that Hunter suffers from “visit love” — everywhere he goes, he loves. The recipient of the most recent visit would be his new leader because he’s just a very impressionable young man.

When asked about that, Hunter will note that it is just a courtesy to the school he just visited.

Consider this for a second: How would it look for any teenager to visit the house of friend X and then compare it to another friend’s house?

Is it respectable to bring up all the things they like about friend X’s house more? That’s the way Hunter looks at that.

“That is just real Southern hospitality to me,” Hunter said. “Being thankful. You wouldn’t want anybody to come to your house and disrespect you by talking about how great that another house was down the road immediately afterward.

“I don’t burn no bridges with anybody. If anyone gives me the offer to come play for their team, then I am going to thank you for that. That’s an opportunity for me to get out of some tough situations I have going on in my life. I am going to show my appreciation for that offer and that visit by making sure that I say nice things about that school after a good visit.”

He was committed to Miami for a time. Hunter has also said flowery things about Florida and Georgia this year. He said that about UGA before he took that first visit on G-Day, too.

The individuals I met on Wednesday around his school say that’s just the down-to-earth and polite kid that Hunter actually is.  He’s a pleaser.

“People may think that I love every school that I go visit,” Hunter said. “They can think that, but that is just my way of giving back and showing my appreciation. But then everyone then thinks that I have a new school I love and a new favorite school. It is not really like that.”

He may look all mean and nasty on those highlight clips, but the reality there is he’s a pretty good kid of the inside. I had that confirmed and relayed to me over and over about Hunter on Wednesday.

UGA recruiting-Georgia football-UGA football-Derick Hunter
Dunbar (Fla.) 4-star Derick Hunter ranks as the nation’s No. 13 strongside defensive end prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The young man they call “Rambo” actually cares about what others have to say about him. He wants to always leave a very good impression in the minds of others.

“He’s just a kid that doesn’t want to let anyone down,” a member of the Dunbar High coaching staff said.

And that’s that. We’ll table the amateur psychology discussion with Hunter right there.

The visit to Dunbar High in Fort Myers allowed me the ability to see Hunter the same way that those who’ve watched him mature a great deal over the last year do.

A few more interesting things about Derrick Hunter 

We’ve reported that Hunter was right at the 6-foot-6 mark before on DawgNation. But I no longer think he’s that tall.

He looked a bit more than 6-4 on Wednesday. His weight will also bob between 279 and 285 pounds. The Dunbar coaches plan to use Hunter at defensive end this year.

He was at defensive tackle last fall. Rambo still picked up 10 sacks. Hunter told me he was gunning for a 20-plus sack season this fall.

Derick Hunter plans to return to UGA for an extended visit this summer. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Dunbar will also line Hunter up at tackle on offense this year. He’s just that valuable to his team on that side of the ball, too.

That’s a far cry from his freshman season. Hunter was a freshman and junior varsity receiver back then. That was about two inches and 90 pounds ago.

“He caught 9 touchdown passes for us on fades and deep balls and back shoulder throws that freshman year,” Dunbar head coach Sam Brown said. “But we saw his body and his arms and his feet and we knew he was going to grow and put on the weight and his future was going to be on the defensive line.”

Alabama was at his practice on Wednesday to watch him. It seems the Crimson Tide might plan to start actively recruiting him, too.

Hunter went on and on about how much he heard from 5-star UGA commit Nolan Smith at G-Day.

“That guy is hilarious,” Hunter said. “You can tell he really loves Georgia. He just would not stop.”

He said Smith went to Georgia coach Kirby Smart at G-Day and asked for the names of five recruits he could work on that day.

Smart simply gave him two names. Those two were Hunter and North Carolina defensive tackle C.J. Clark. Smith made quite an impression.

“He’s somebody that I really want to play with in college,” Hunter said.

Derick Hunter plans to take all five of his officials this fall during the season. Look for him to make his decision on the first day of the early period on Dec. 20. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Here are several other quick things to know about Hunter:

  • If he gets the invitation to an All-American game, then he will commit at that event. If not, then he will do it the old school way — at his school with the hats. He’s been advised to sign on the first day of the early period on Dec. 20. That sounds like what he is going to do.
  • Smith was also wooing him to join him at IMG Academy, too.
  • He will return to both Clemson and Georgia this summer for unofficial visits. He will not camp. Hunter said he needs to see more of the campus at Georgia. His first visit on G-Day was very rushed. He also wants to talk to and connect with the players on the current team in Athens.
  • Hunter and Smith are planning to take their official visits together late this season. They are currently talking about the Georgia Tech game.
  • When asked to name an edge that Florida has on UGA, he pointed to academics.
  • When asked to provide a similar advantage for the Bulldogs on the Gators, he brought up both the facilities and the overall strength of the coaching staff.
  • Georgia recruits him harder than any other school. Florida and Miami are still right there, though. “I get it from all angles from the Georgia staff,” Hunter said. “It feels like the whole coaching staff hits me up.”
  • It will be a no-brainer for Hunter to grant officials to Florida and Georgia at this time. Look for him to take those during the fall during football season.
  • Clemson, Florida State and Penn State are also schools to consider here.
  • Hunter is motivated to now excel in the classroom. He said he’s made nothing but As and Bs this semester. “When I get a C for a grade now, I go talk to that teacher and find out what I can do to bring that grade up,” he said. “We’ve got to keep those grades up.”
  • Does he have a prediction about where he winds up? Not at this time.

‘Tis the season for more DawgNation PromNation?

Hannah Chalker anchored our Before the Hedges show on Monday. The latest installment had a segment that featured several UGA signees all decked out in their prom best.

Well, the feedback on that segment has been pretty interesting. DawgNation now has UGA signee prom pictures coming in from all angles. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an additional segment on BTH next Monday night, too.

Here’s a quick recap.

The segment also forced us to take a closer look at the shoes worn by UGA linebacker signee Channing Tindall.

It makes me wonder the following: Did Tindall wear the shoes? Or did those shoes wear the nation’s No. 5 inside linebacker for 2018?

Might have to go with the latter on this one. If shoes had their own recruiting-level rating scale, that pair might earn a sixth star.

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Channing Tindall slayed his senior prom this year for Spring Valley High School. (Contributed photo)

A few other items on the UGA recruiting beat 

  • Don’t look for a lot of major talent on the sidelines for Grayson High at the spring game scrimmage with Stephenson on Thursday. The following major Rams prospects are not expected to suit up: 5-star Auburn linebacker commitment Owen Pappoe, 5-star Tennessee tackle commitment Wanya Morris, 4-star Texas A&M wide receiver commit Kenyon Jackson, 4-star Alabama outside linebacker commit Kevin Harris; 4-star Michigan tackle commit Trente Jones, 3-star undecided RB Ronald Thompkins and 3-star Auburn center Jakai Clark.
  • Georgia assistants Dell McGee and Cortez Hankton were in Louisiana on Tuesday night to catch 4-star running back John Emery Jr. warming up prior to his spring game. Emery Jr. is not seen as a prospect who is strongly considering the Bulldogs. He’d much rather go into a more favorable depth chart situation that would allow him to get quick second-team reps (at least) right away.
  • But there must be something there for him with UGA. Emery currently plans to return to UGA for another visit this weekend. That will be his second visit of 2018.
  • Been hearing good reports about the recovery of 3-star tackle signee Owen Condon out of Oklahoma. He has been fully cleared from his knee surgery a couple of months ago and is expected to move to Athens this month ready to go.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.

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