Mitchell Wasson took an “awesome” official visit to UGA this weekend. He felt he basically loved every minute of it and said one of the coaches at UGA called him “The Golden Foot” along the trip.
As it stands now, “The Golden Foot” appears to be down to UGA and Alabama. That’s even though Florida is still recruiting him the hardest.
“I feel I’m basically done with recruiting,” Wasson said. “I’m going to decide on signing day. I am going to Alabama next weekend on a visit and if they don’t offer me a scholarship it looks like probably Georgia. I have the Hope scholarship anyway so that takes off a big amount of the cost of college if I go to Georgia. I’m not worried about competition or other kickers or anything like that.”
Wasson — who’s from Lassiter High School in Metro Atlanta — is a kicker, and that means a difficult road ahead. Kickers usually come to school as a preferred walk-on, win the job and make the most of it by nailing big kicks when called upon. The scholarship comes after all of that.
That was the path UGA coach Kirby Smart laid out to him in a 45-minute conversation during his official visit this weekend. Wasson and his mother also spoke for an hour with UGA special teams coach Shane Beamer.
If Alabama does not offer a scholarship, it sounds like he’ll kick at Georgia. He’ll start out in the program as a preferred walk-on. Smart told Wasson he’d never seen him kick and that’s his preference for seeing kickers at Georgia.
Alabama kicker Adam Griffith announced this month he will return for his fifth year in Tuscaloosa this fall. That’s a consideration in Wasson’s mind. He said the Crimson Tide — like Georgia — could also use him as a reserve punter.
“Georgia said they don’t have a pure punter coming back and I could possibly win that spot there if I wanted to,” Wasson said.
He still plans on taking an unofficial visit to Alabama next weekend, but the UGA visit was his only official visit.
“They said they have a kicker right now in Rodrigo (Blankenship) and a kicker (William Ham) that didn’t kick last year but is trying out again for the program next year,” Wasson said. “They have me as a preferred walk-on option and as well as another kid (Oren Milstein) who visited (UGA) last week. Coach Smart said whoever starts in the fall has to do well to earn the scholarship.”
Florida is still on Wasson’s mind, but that program has already enrolled the nation’s top junior college kicker for 2016. If he went to Florida, an out-of-state tuition bill of $44,000 per year would apply. Wasson earned his preferred walk-on offer from UGA after excelling at a summer tryout camp.
“I will see what Alabama does next weekend,” Wasson said. “Then I will make my decision.”
Wasson said he went out with a pack of players on Saturday night. He met early enrollees Ben Cleveland, Jacob Eason and Isaac Nauta, among others.
“They are all cool,” Wasson said. “Nice guys. They love it at Georgia. They are all about Georgia already.”
Wasson said that that UGA could welcome two preferred walk-ons at kicker if necessary.
“I’m going to have to work my tail off to get it,” Wason said. “I’ll work hard and do my best to get it if I go there.”
Things to know about Wasson:
- He said the longest field goal he has made was a 57-yarder in practice
- He weighed in at 180 pounds at Athens and has clocked a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash
- Wasson also played soccer with Blankenship growing up in Cobb County
- His mother went to South Carolina and he grew up a fan of that program
- He plans to be a business major in college
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
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.