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 5-star like Jamaree Salyer or Zamir White might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Jamaree Salyer. Zamir White.
Why not go with 10 star’s worth of prospect talk on a Thursday morning? Salyer, the nation’s No. 1 guard for 2018, has not committed to UGA.
He recently said that he might wait until National Signing Day to make that decision. He’s clearly in the seek out and evaluate data-processing phase of his decision. White will decide a lot sooner than that.
He’s set to honor his mother Shanee White on her birthday with his decision. The nation’s No. 1 RB for 2018 will commit on June 27.
Salyer and White, the top players in the nation at their positions, are the biggest fish UGA can reel in along this recruiting cycle. Both rate as Top 10 players nationally.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder knows about White. Those two have crossed paths on recruiting visits before.
The term “respect” came up as he described the game of an elite North Carolina recruit who carries the nickname “Zeus” as well as he does a football.
“He is a heck of a player,” Salyer said. “I’ve seen his tape. He tears people up. He kind of reminds me of Gurley a little bit. I can see him fitting into that Georgia scheme.”
White made two trips to UGA in three weeks this winter. His mother has told DawgNation Alabama and Georgia were the two schools she’s felt the most comfortable with. A recent 247sports report has White telling Ryan Bartow the Bulldogs were in the driver’s seat with his decision.
The 247 Crystal Ball will reflect an 89 percent chance for Salyer to sign with Georgia. White’s ratio currently comes in at 79 percent.
Does Salyer have any concerns about UGA?
“Not really,” he said. “When you see a couple of players get in trouble here and there then that’s something recruits and their families really do not want to see. But I think you will see some of that at most colleges on campus.”
Would Jamaree Salyer like to play with White?
Will White’s decision affect Salyer in any way? The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder is an engaging interview. He’s as comfortable with a query as any quarterback would hope to be.
But he paused on that one. He didn’t know White was making his decision that early.
“That’s cool that he’s making his decision on his mother’s birthday,” he said. “Not a bad idea. But not necessarily one that will really affect me. He’s a great player but I won’t necessarily say I will follow him that much. He’s definitely a great player and I’d love to block for him. Don’t get me wrong. Zamir is a very strong back, but I won’t necessarily say his decision will sway mine.”
Salyer gets that question at times. He’s been asked that about Trevor Lawrence and Clemson. That doesn’t make as much sense as another more natural example.
White’s choice is also not a natural connection to Salyer. But I was interested in his opinion there. It showed me just how much a 5-star recruit has a sense of another elite recruit from another state.
“There are already great backs at Georgia,” Salyer said. “So if he does go there then he is definitely going to have to fight (for a spot) himself. Nobody is going to hand him any playing time. If he chose to go to school there would say a lot about him and his character. He’d be telling everybody he’d be ready to work and to put his big-boy pads on by going to Georgia.”
The real question involving a “relationship incentive” between Salyer and any other player’s decision would be the same one that has applied for some time. That’s his longtime friend and teammate Andrew Thomas.
Thomas just signed with Georgia as the nation’s No. 9 offensive tackle for 2017. Salyer has been playing with him since he was in the seventh grade.
The significant relationships for Jamaree Salyer
Thomas is important. Yet the biggest potential tractor beam for the Bulldogs would be offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
“He talks to me like a big kid,” Salyer said. “Pretty much like I go to school there already. He just tells me straight-up how he feels about me and where he could possibly see me in the depth chart and just how things could go if I did go to Georgia.”
They discuss his degree. He tells them about worst-case scenarios for his career that still involve checking off his college goals of getting his master’s in business administration.
“He feels like a master’s degree from Georgia will hold weight and just based off that alone with will still be a good decision,” Salyer said.
Salyer is fun to chat with. To gather in the way he looks at the world. He didn’t know what an offer was until he enrolled at Pace Academy for high school. He thought players had to “try out” in order to get scholarships just a few years ago.
“I thought the way it worked is you had to get into college first academically,” he said. “Then when you are there you have to try out for the team. That just seemed to me the way that things should work.”
That’s a pretty good reason there why Stanford is a major contender for Salyer and will likely earn an official visit. Kentucky was his first offer.
Salyer acknowledged that his decision will come differently than the one made by Thomas. Most of the same core values and concepts will apply, but his road map will be different. Thomas basically focused on Clemson, Georgia and Notre Dame.
Yet his only official visit was to UGA. Don’t look for a repeat there.
“Andrew had to walk his own path and I have to walk my own path,” Salyer said. “I am starting to realize that as I get older. That comes with maturity. But I am definitely excited to see how he does at Georgia. His experience there I guess will play into my decision with the Bulldogs. I really hope he does like it, but I know he will. I know Coach Pittman will take care of him.”
That’s still part of the puzzle of him figuring out if he’s a fit for UGA.
“I think it would be for most people when you have a good friend like that you have known for a long time,” Salyer said. “You want to see how he develops. You also want to see what that school does to try to develop him. Is he getting developed at the rate he could be at other schools? I need to see that. I need to see how he goes from his high school state to seeing him play at the college level.”
It still seems like that will be a significant influence. Look for him to take most of his official visits.
The schools that seem to be on his mind
“Georgia is still recruiting me the hardest,” Salyer said. “Definitely. Clemson is probably a close second. Ohio State is a close third. Stanford has also jumped up there quite a bit.”
He hasn’t named any official leaders. Or top schools. But it would likely be very fair to say those are the schools that are all standing out to him at this time.
His recent visit to Clemson allowed him to see how those guys work. He said it was very cool. Salyer has still never been to a game at Clemson. He’s now been to a pair of spring practices to see the Tigers.
“It is funny because I saw those guys practice last spring,” Salyer said. “I was talking with my friends on the trip last spring and said Clemson was going to go pretty far. Maybe I could have even said they were going to win it all. I remember at least saying they were going a long way. I could tell that by how well they practiced when we saw them that day.”
Salyer said Stanford is on his mind a lot, too.
“They definitely have the best of both worlds with the degree and the academics and football if we are being completely honest,” Salyer said. “But for me, it will be about feeling like I am at home there and comfortable and solid with all those players and coaches so I could see myself going to school out there.”
He said he’s felt a twinge about committing so far at Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State. He needs that time leading up to National Signing Day to figure it all out.
“It is going to be hard to figure out which phone calls I have to make to say no that I am not coming to their school,” Salyer said. “Then I will have to make the phone call to a coach to say I am coming to their school. It is going to be hard a little bit, to be honest. It is going to break my heart a little bit because I have made so many great relationships with these coaches over my three years of recruiting so far.”
Salyer already plans on visiting the spring games at Clemson and Georgia. He’s trying to visit both Florida and Ohio State this spring, too.
Why he’s rated No. 1 in the nation at guard
DawgNation covered Salyer’s ranking as an all-time recruit at guard last week. His No. 7 overall rating for 2018 makes him the highest-rated prospect at his position since Andre Smith was rated No. 1 overall back in 2006.
Check out his tape. Salyer is intense. He plays with clear passion and energy. He’s a fountain of energy and body language.
He’s incredibly strong with a bench press of 415 pounds. Salyer bends well. He does yoga as part of his training route. That’s in order to always increase his flexibility and get better with his hips.
“Just trying to always get even more flexible and be even more explosive out of my stance,” Salyer said.
That’s coming from a guy that’s more of an eraser than even just a pancake machine on tape. He simply erases his assignment from the play.
That’s a good reason why the head coaches at Clemson, Georgia, Stanford and Ohio State are all actively involved in his recruiting aside from his potential position coach.