Don’t look for four-star defensive end Malik Herring to commit anytime soon. Like late November at the earliest.
The four-star defensive end and top remaining Georgia target on the defensive line once thought he’d commit at some point in his junior year. That didn’t happen but then pointed to an Aug. 25 date to honor the memory of a beloved aunt who was like his best friend growing up.
Herring told DawgNation at the Corky Kell Classic luncheon on Wednesday he has a new timeline in mind. He also no longer plans to enroll early so look for his commitment to take place sometime after the official visits he makes during his senior season.
His mother Sabrina Mays wants Herring to take his official visits while he is not committed to a program. Herring said to expect it to happen at one of the two All-American games.
The catch with that is the nation’s No. 4 strong-side defensive end and No. 95 overall prospect has not been invited to play in either the U.S. Army All-American game or the Under Armour All-American game.
“If he gets chosen to play in the Army All-American game or the Under Armour All-American game then (he) could commit then,” Mays said. “Or he could just wait it out. Basically, I just want him to wait until he takes all his official visits, see how those things go and decide over the holidays what he wants to do.”
That means a previous trip to Clemson in late January to see their brand new football facilities open up will no longer be an official visit.
The nearly 6-foot-4, 265-pounder knows a few of his official visits. He plans to visit Alabama for the Auburn game, LSU for the Alabama game and USC for the Oregon game. If he doesn’t take an official visit to Georgia and there’s a possibly that he might not, he’d also visit Michigan for a game.
Clemson has been recruiting him the hardest of late, followed by Alabama and then Georgia. But Herring said the Bulldogs have always remained in constant contact.
“Georgia is pretty much steady,” Herring said “I talk to (defensive coordinator) Mel Tucker all the time. He just lets me know that I am his guy. He really wants me to come up there every weekend, but I can’t do that every weekend. He lets me know that Georgia has a specific plan for me if I come.”
Herring said he’s already been to Georgia at least six times this year. When the coaches dangle an invitation to come up, he finds it hard to say no.
“It is like every weekend or every other weekend somebody wants him to come visit,” his mother said. “Now I have to check my schedule with all of this, too.”
His mother is a strong influence on his decision. They both agreed he would likely be committed to a school right now if it was not for her insistence to make sure he thoroughly vets all of his options prior to his decision.
“That’s a fair statement,” Herring said.
His mother was stunned by the showing at G-Day back in April, and yet her reasoning is simple.
“I told him I want him to weigh his options,” Mays said. “We have other offers out there and other schools as options. We need to take other visits and see each one of those campuses and get relationships with all these coaches besides the schools that are all in his Top 5. I just wanted him to hold off. If those schools want you so bad right now, then they will still want you when you are ready to commit.”
Herring and Mary Persons will face off against UGA quarterback commit Jake Fromm and Houston County at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Five Star Stadium at Mercer University.
DawgNation wrote earlier this summer that Herring appeared to be the most committed undecided prospect in America because it is easy to see the bond he has with the current commitments at Georgia. He said on Wednesday that group would be the hardest to say no to and go his own way with a different decision.
There are 19 predictions for where Herring will wind up on the 247Sports Crystal Ball Featured and 95 percent of those currently place him at Georgia. That doesn’t stop Herring from doing his share of looking around.
He said he now belongs to group messages with commitments from Clemson, Georgia and Southern California at this time.
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.