Let’s switch gears just a bit. This UGA Recruiting Rewind for Dawg Nation is supposed to be about NOW. The Rewind’s job description is to play Hurry-Up No-Huddle catch-up on all the top UGA recruiting stories over the last 24 hours.
Yet Monday’s UGA Recruiting Rewind lends itself to a Dawg Nation Fast Forward. Can UGA go 2-for-2 on the recruiting trail this week? That’s the big question for the seven days that are up ahead. I’m thinking 1-for-2. Maybe. Maybe even nada.
Circle your calendars for Aug. 19. That’s the day when two UGA targets will decide on the school of their choice.
Here are today’s must-reads
1. August 19 Target: ILB edition
Jaleel Laguins. That’s the Watkinsville product that’s set to announce his college decision on Wednesday. Which way is he leaning? Is UGA still in a good spot? Is it a three-team race?
Laguins took his last weekend visit to Auburn before his commitment later this week. He recapped the visit with the AJC on Sunday afternoon. What usually happens with a last visit is that trip is required to either solidify or eliminate a legitimate contender. A guy doesn’t go out with the sixth-prettiest girl in his contact list before deciding to make a serious commitment with the one he’s had in mind all along.
Recruiting relationships have more similarities to high school relationships than you might think. Its the same cheeseburger-and-testosterone operating system handling both decisions. Laguins told the AJC the Auburn visit again went well, and that it also might not just be a two-team race at that.
2. August 19 Target: WR edition
Tyler Vaughns is the Mystery Man out of the 2016 UGA class. Who’s this kid from California that has claimed UGA in his Top 5 almost all summer? He’s never been on campus, but told the AJC that UGA will get an official visit this fall regardless of which school he chooses this week.
He’s another target at that filled-to-the-brim receiver position and also rated higher nationally across the board than even UGA’s perceived No. 1 receiver target Kyle Davis. Here’s 3 things to know about Vaughns : 1) He’s got a cherished aunt he grew up with that now lives less than two miles from Sanford Stadium; 2) His other finalists are Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and USC; 3) He’s the No. 33 overall ranked player in the nation.
He’ll make his commitment around 3:30 p.m. EST this Wednesday. My guess is UGA winds up No. 2 or No. 3 in his pecking order. If UGA receivers coach Bryan McClendon does get this guy, that would make five receiver commitments in the 2016 class. Davis might then have the only legit offer left at that position.
3. Eason dropped for a loss?
If this space is supposed to be about all things UGA football recruiting, then its worth mentioning that Team DawgNation has noticed Jacob Eason has taken a dip in the national quarterback rankings heading into his senior season. Rivals still has Eason as the No. 1 signal caller in the land, but his 247sports composite ratings dropped him to No. 2 behind Shea Patterson. That’s a measure of the ratings of the recruiting rankings industry as a whole and likely the result of a drop in the rankings by another service. 247sports still has him as its No. 1 QB and No. 2 player overall.
Scout.com also has Eason at No. 2 behind the Ole Miss commitment. ESPN has Eason at No. 3 among pocket passers in its rankings and oddly has Patterson as the No. 2 dual-threat QB for this class.
It looks like the 247sports composite dropped Eason to No. 2 right after his showing at The Opening. He fell to No. 2 among those ratings on July 15. That’s logical based on what took place. Eason still showed he can make throws that no other QB in this class can likely make, but Patterson simply made more plays.
Patterson won the Elite 11 QB derby and led his team to the 7-on-7 team title. Eason didn’t match that performance and also saw another highly-rated passer gets most of the significant reps at QB for his team during the 7-on-7 tournament.
4. Recapping the Shyheim Carter visit
Shyheim Carter visited UGA over the weekend and he had his good friend Devonta Smith in tow. Smith — a 2017 recruit — committed to UGA last week at the receiver position. Carter is a rising senior who recently de-committed from Alabama. Both of their mothers also made the trip.
No commitment was made and a source told the AJC that Carter won’t be ready to pledge to a new school for some time.
Carter is now a huge priority for UGA after that de-commitment. He’s rated the No. 5 cornerback in the nation for the 2016 class and is also tagged as the No. 51 overall player in the land.
5. Speaking of Shyheim
He’s a cornerback. Not a running back. But do yourself a favor and check out this link to see the level of athleticism carter brings to the table. Ever seen a 70-yard touchdown run before than netted about 11 yards in a box score? The clip looks like one of those old “Family Circus” cartoons where one of the kids trapse all over the neighborhood.
Go ahead. Hit up that link. You can cross that football feat off of seeing a 75-yard touchdown run from 11 yards off your bucket list.
6. Cousins + Package Deal + NFL potential
DeAngelo Gibbs (2017 CB) and Nigel Warrior (2016 S) are a pair of cousins who can say they have about 26 seasons worth of NFL experience at their family reunion every summer. They are also teammates on the same loaded Peachtree Ridge football team. They both also have very good things to say about UGA right now.
The speculation out there is they could be a package deal to the same college program. Is that legit? Is it also “not crazy” to watch these two standouts in action and think that they could be playing on Sundays, too?
According to this report, that’s legit and that’s not crazy.
7. How good is this former UGA QB target?
Greater Atlanta Christian QB Davis Mills already has quite a reputation. But how good is he? One area rival said he was as good as any quarterback prospect in the nation right now. Mills is seen as a cerebral prospect with all the football intelligence in the world, but he also pairs that up with considerable arm talent.
UGA is also stacked at the QB spot. Mills will graduate in the same signing class as 2017 UGA commitment Bailey Hockman. Hockman got an offer first and committed back in June. That ruled out Mills and UGA considering Eason is set to enroll in January.
8. UGA commit on the mend
UGA DB commitment Chad Clay suffered a knee sprain last week in practice. It appears that the injury isn’t that serious and he should be back at practice sometime by the middle of this week.
Clay turned some heads last week by saying that he was only 90 percent committed to UGA at this time.
9. Florida OL already thinking about wearing the G
UGA’s recruiting efforts in Florida appear to be in great shape. UGA offensive line coach Rob Sale already has a fan that is gushing over the program right now in advance of his junior season.
Keep an eye out for 3-star OL Blake Vinson now. He’s already 6 feet, 5 inches and 285 pounds. That’s prototype size for an offensive tackle.
10. SEC commit admits giving UGA a second thought
Greater Atlanta Christian’s Devin Cochran committed to Vanderbilt earlier this summer, but admits he went back to UGA during his recruiting process. Cochran said that in the end it was a numbers game that just didn’t work out in UGA’s favor.
ONE MO’ REP: Here’s another look at that Shyheim Carter highlight which was mentioned up above. Jiminy Christmas. The clip that was referenced up above shows up at the 3:08 mark of his Hudl highlight package.
Jeff Sentell covers 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.