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Jeff Sentell/SEC Country
In-state safety Joseph Charleston is being pursued by Georgia.

Milton junior safety Joseph Charleston is a big UGA target for 2019

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We write for the first time today about talented Milton High School (Alpharetta, Ga.) junior safety Joseph Charleston


Picture this: The Milton High locker room. It is the Thursday before a game day. The Friday jerseys are being handed out. The varsity just wrapped practice, and the freshman game is already underway.

Joseph Charleston-UGA recruiting
Milton junior safety Joseph Charleston already has a lot of big offers and is a major UGA target. (Jeff Sentell/SEC Country)

Joseph Charleston, a 4-star safety for 2019, is in front of you and he’s talking about his committable offers.



“Ohio State.”



With his next breath, he said those were also the schools that are currently recruiting him the hardest.

That’s quite a list for any prospect. The lure of those programs shows his worth as well as any star or positional ranking can.

Charleston’s older brother plays baseball at Tennessee. He understands recruiting well enough to know the difference between a committable and a non-committable offer.

“Alabama had one of those offers for me but they said I had to come to camp,” he said. “They said I had a committable offer after I came to their camp.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder is strong in the classroom. He said he carries a 3.7 grade-point average and his favorite subject is U.S. History. Why? He just likes learning about the world.

His first offer was from Vanderbilt.

“I think it was the first day of spring break,” Charleston said. “It was March 31.”

That’s proof that some of these young men remember their first offer like it was their first kiss with a pretty girl. The young man is all about his history.

Joseph Charleston-UGA recruiting
Joseph Charleston carries a 3.7 grade-point average, is a big fan of U.S. History and plans to enroll early in January of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/SEC Country)

Wherever he goes, Charleston plans to enroll early in January 2019.

“I am looking for the school that fits right for me and cares about me as a person, too,” Charleston said. “Football is going to be a big part of it but it is not going to just be about football.”

Clemson seems to be digging in early. He’s been to Clemson on back-to-back visits so far this season.

He was even wearing two of the program’s wristbands on Thursday.

“They like me a lot,” Charleston said. “They say I am their No. 1 guy. They seem real sincere about everything they say.”

Miami was his dream school, but the Hurricanes haven’t shown that much interest in him up to this point.

“I will go anywhere, but now it does seem like that I would like to stay somewhat close to home,” he said.

He said he will be at the Alabama-Colorado State game this weekend.

How Joseph Charleston says he feels about Georgia

Charleston takes pride in the physical way he plays the game. He’s a safety at Milton, but he’s a special athlete who makes plays with the ball in his hands, too.

When he talks about his interest in the Bulldogs, he smiles. He also says all the right things about Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.

Joseph Charleston-UGA recruiting
Joseph Charleston currently ranks as the nation’s No. 10 safety prospect in the Class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/SEC Country)

He’s sharp enough to roll through his recruiting decision in about three to four sentences.

“Every school is different,” he said. “I loved Clemson’s facilities. I love Alabama the way they put players into the league and the way they were just talking to me about it, but I love their training program and how they can get players healthy and back on the field fast.

“When I went to Tennessee, it just felt like home. That’s the same way I feel about Georgia.”

Charleston currently rates as the nation’s No. 10 safety and No. 148 overall prospect for 2018 by the 247Sports composite. I feel he’s going to put on some weight and impress enough folks to eventually become a top-5 player at that position.

He said  Clemson is coming after him the hardest right now, followed by Ohio State and then UGA. But it is close among those three.

“I love coach Tucker,” Charleston said while flashing a big grin.

Charleston has had the chance to chat with Kirby Smart.

“Those conversations are not about football,” Charleston said. “Because he was a safety and a business major at UGA. That’s what I want to study in college. He talks to me and my family a lot about a business degree and the academics at Georgia.”

When will he make his college decision? Charleston said it should be before his senior season. It could be after his junior year on the field or his junior academic year at Milton.

Interesting visit from a UGA commit on Saturday

There was some late intrigue with Florida regarding 4-star commit Azeez Ojulari in the final months prior to his decision in August, but I always felt he was a strong lean to UGA.

Azeez Ojulari-UGA recruiting
Azeez Ojulari said he knew for about two weeks prior to his public decision that he wanted to attend UGA. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Ojulari wasn’t one of those recruits who sought to offer up a lot of misdirection and eye candy to keep the recruiting world guessing about his eventual decision. He just really liked Georgia, his area recruiter Dell McGee, his position coach Kevin Sherrer and then getting the chance to be another Lorenzo Carter-type in Athens.

RELATED: Watch Azeez Ojulari in action last Friday night

So I feel it must be noted he will be in Sanford Stadium on Saturday. For the first time. Ojulari will be there with his brother BJ Ojulari. His younger brother is in the Class of 2020 and is a prospect in his own right.

Some recruits are just different. For all the prospects who feel they need to see this or that, Ojulari committed to UGA after basically just four to five months of the recruiting process. He did so while never having attended a home game as an invited recruit.

(Programming note: Keep the name BJ Ojulari in the back of your mind for a few days. We’ll write about him soon enough.)

Hurry-up Intel: A new name and the latest from the trail

My grandmother had a saying that involved making a quick decision and not laboring over the act of getting ready to do something. (If you’re a son of the South, maybe you’ll chuckle at the PC-way I brought that up without using a word that rhymes with “cot.”)

That said, I’m going to trot out a new Intel feature from time to time. There’s so much going on at times that I will try to offer up some micro-updates where you get the “gist” and maybe not all the details that usually show up in these daily reports.

I’ll start things off with the name Nigel Bethel Jr. Those who wonder what UGA is trying to do with its 2018 defensive back recruiting should take note that the South Florida speedster got an official scholarship offer on Aug. 1.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder would likely be a cornerback at UGA. He’s rated as a 3-star prospect and as the nation’s No. 125 cornerback, per the 247Sports composite.

I’ve seen reports online that credit him with sub 4.4-speed. That’s a mighty feat, but when I see those from a South Florida kid, I feel that he can time below 4.5.

Bethel’s home still was without power in South Florida when I got in touch with him this week. He shared the following:

Also of note: His hometown Hurricanes already have four cornerbacks committed in this class, including three ranked among the nation’s top 20 at that position.

Another round of Hurry-Up Intel

OK, let’s really get after it this time.

  • Ramel Keyton, an elite receiver in the Class of 2019, said he will be at UGA-Samford on Saturday night.
  • Four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge isn’t sure when he will take his official visit to Georgia. He said he plans to visit South Carolina on Saturday.
  • Four-star DT Trevor Trout says it is “very possible” that UGA will get an official visit.
  • The nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker, Adam Anderson, said “seeing UGA winning [at Notre Dame] is a step” for the program.
  • Four-star defensive lineman Kayode Oladele, a former Florida State commit, said things are still going well with him and Georgia. He said to look for him to take his official visit sometime next month.
  • Four-star JUCO defensive tackle Emmit Gooden, an Arkansas commit, is still planning an official visit to UGA. Look for that to most likely take place in December.


Miss a day of Intel? Well, the DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to Mecole Hardman speed before your tailgate crew can worry anymore about all the freshman offensive linemen who will have to play this fall.

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