Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — We will start off today’s edition with a few disclaimers.
Perhaps the biggest thread left exploring this week would be if Georgia’s nine-man recruiting pack could sway of their fellow U.S. Army All-Americans to join them in Athens.
The boys have kicked the tires on Ohio State DE commit Chase Young and the nation’s top-ranked cornerback in Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah took an official visit to UGA this year, but still seems bound to Ohio State.
And yet a new name has popped up.
That’s American Heritage (Fla.) guard Tedarrell “T.D.” Slaton. Slaton is rated as the nation’s No. 3 OG and the No. 65 overall prospect for 2017. (The undecided 6-foot-5, 350-pounder has also picked up a lot of 247 Crystal Balls to Florida of late.)
That’s the first of a few disclaimers about any link to Slaton and UGA. He also fancies himself as a power forward in basketball and even as a defensive tackle in college.
Georgia already has commitments from six highly-rated offensive linemen, including two guards they are quite happy with in 4-star Netori Johnson and 3-star Justin Shaffer.
That’s something to consider. But so is the fact that Slaton has looked very good in practices this week. He could also play the guard or tackle spots on Saturdays.
Slaton has also been hanging around all the UGA guys this week. The traveling party has mostly been the nine UGA commits plus Slaton and Aubrey Solomon this week.
“I’ve built a really good relationship with all the Georgia boys,” Slaton said. “They all actually really want me to go play with them there.”
Tedarrell “TD” Slaton said he would accept an offer to take an official visit to Georgia. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
There are two other variables regarding a potential Slaton link to UGA. The first is he’s looked so strong in drills this week that Johnson and the other Bulldogs have asked him about coming to play with them
They told him that but also checked into it.
“I’ve told (UGA offensive line coach) Sam Pittman about him and about how good he was,” Johnson said. “We could use him in Athens and I’ve asked him if we could make room for another offensive lineman in the class.”
Pittman’s reply back to Johnson: He had to check with head coach Kirby Smart.
The other variable is room in the class. Especially on the offensive line. The Bulldogs can’t take them all and the class needs another offensive lineman like it needs two more guys that would be willing to wear a Santa suit in order to secure a top commit.
These are the right talking points to bring up about Slaton, but he is clearly the type of player that makes a difference among the trenches in the SEC. Any scholarship used for him could yield a guard or tackle and maybe that defensive tackle that Slaton aspires to be.
That versatility could add to his value.
Tedarrell Slaton is rated as the nation’s No. 3 guard for 2017. Florida and Kentucky seem like the major contenders for him at this point. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
But then Slaton mentioned another UGA connection.
He said he wouldn’t mind getting the chance to block for Sony Michel again. He hails from the same prep program that produced Michel and the recently departed Isaiah McKenzie.
Slaton’s offer from UGA came from former receivers analyst Kevin Beard. Beard has now left the program for an on-the-field job.
What would happen if the Bulldogs came knocking with some genuine new interest?
“It would be good to go up there and block for my old running back,” Slaton said.