Ben Davis, a 5-star linebacker from Alabama, got back Sunday night from what he described as a perfect official visit to UGA.
“Georgia’s stock went up a lot,” Davis said. “If I had to give the visit a grade from one to five, then Georgia would be a five. They are definitely one of my top schools. They would definitely be in my top three.”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder said UGA jumped Auburn and his top group would now be comprised of UGA, Alabama and LSU. That would be in no particular order, although Alabama is considered to be the school to beat because of a family connection.
“I really had a good time (at UGA) and really enjoyed myself and the coaching staff and the players and just all the people,” Davis said. “I really like the people at Georgia. I really want to get back for another unofficial visit to see more about it. I really feel at home at Georgia.”
When describing his visit, he said that UGA “felt like home” on five different occasions.
His visit started Saturday morning and lasted until late Sunday evening. When it was over, the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker quickly tweeted out he would return to UGA. He hopes to be back on an unofficial visit for either the Kentucky or Georgia Southern game.
Davis plans to take his next official visit to LSU on Nov. 14 for the Arkansas game. He said his final three official visits to Alabama, Auburn and Florida State will take place in January. Davis reserved that Florida State trip for his final campus visit prior to National Signing Day.
The Gordo High School standout will be a tough pull for the UGA staff. His father, Wayne Davis, is still the career leader in tackles at Alabama. One SEC recruiter told DawgNation that they’d make the expected effort for Davis, but there was no way anyone was pulling him from Nick Saban and Alabama.
When Davis heard that opinion, he shared one of his own.
“My mind is wide open and my family knows that,” said Davis, who stated that 10-to-15 members of his family live in the Metro Atlanta area. “I tell them that all the time and they tell me whatever school I choose they are going to be behind me. They know that. They know it is my decision. They know whichever school I feel the most comfortable at is going to be the school I choose.”
How will he be utilized at UGA? Davis said defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt made it clear.
“Pruitt said he sees me as like a Rolando McClain when he was at Alabama,” Davis said. “I play offense as well in high school. That’s what Rolando did, too. That means I can be a versatile player on defense, playing inside and outside and rushing the passer.”
That’s part of the appeal to Davis. There’s an Alabama feel to the UGA campus. He said that’s what he told his lead recruiter Kevin Sherrer during his visit. Sherrer coaches the linebackers at UGA.
“I told Coach Sherrer ‘Georgia really feels like home to me,’” Davis said. “It feels kind of like being back in Gordo to me. I just don’t know what it is. It feels like Alabama to me. Being at Georgia and being at Alabama feels the same to me.”
Davis laughed when asked if UGA’s pitch that involved McClain also included a few snaps on offense, too. Davis caught a touchdown pass last week for his high school team.
“Hey, I wouldn’t mind,” Davis said. “I would mind scoring a few more touchdowns in college.”
Davis said he could “definitely” see himself playing at UGA. It was his third visit, but it was his first overnight campus visit. He had breakfast at coach Mark Richt’s house on Sunday morning and shared what was said.
“He told me that he would love to be my coach and he could see me being a great player at Georgia helping them get to their ultimate goal which is winning a national championship.”
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.