Trey Sanders, the nation’s No. 1 running back in the 2019 recruiting class, was at Georgia this past weekend. He visited campus for the spring game, saw the 82,000 and came away impressed.
His words carry the point better than any introductory narrative.
“That was my first time going to G-Day, and it was everything like I could have expected,” Sanders said. “The fans came alive. Great atmosphere. Everything was rocking.”
What are the chances that the Bulldogs can sign the nation’s No. 1 running back in back-to-back cycles? Or better yet, what are the chances that UGA can sign and continue to stock a backfield that already includes:
- D’Andre Swift: Nation’s No. 4 RB and No. 33 overall prospect in Class of 2017
- Zamir White: No. 1 RB in Class of 2018 and No. 9 overall prospect in 2018
- James Cook: No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 41 overall prospect in 2018
Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield will be seniors in 2019. Sanders is set to graduate early from IMG Academy and enroll early in January 2019.
Would that impressive stable of backs work against the Bulldogs here? Sanders doesn’t feel that way.
It would be both familiar and comfortable to him. He said the multi-back approach used by UGA with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel last season would limit the toll placed on his body prior to an NFL career.
“I came to IMG Academy to compete,” Sanders said. “I love competing and just feel like it makes me better. That is a good thing to just go in with a bunch of running backs and just prove myself.”
Sanders was able to compare his decision timeline to a football game. He thinks the game clock on that journey would be somewhere around the middle of the third quarter.
Why does he think he’s getting closer to a decision?
“Just talking to the coaches and building a better relationship,” Sanders said. “Anybody could say anything, but I’m trying to find out the true meaning of these coaches. Nowadays, these coaches just try to get you on campus, and when they do then you never hear from them. I’m trying to get as much as I can out of these coaches.”
He does not have any schools standing out. Sanders also is not sure which schools will get his official visits.
“I’m not even sure yet,” Sanders said. “I pretty much talk to any school that texts me.”
When asked for the biggest reason he was considering the Bulldogs, Sanders chose to reinforce a previous talking point.
“Just the way pretty much how Athens treats their players,” Sanders said. “It is just like that loyalty up there and everything. I don’t know, man. Georgia is a great place to be at. Every time I go up there, I get a great feeling.”
What was best part of G-Day for Trey Sanders?
Sanders is in the process of taking a good look at some of his schools. He’s making multiple trips.
What was his favorite part of G-Day?
“Probably going up and meeting the fans,” Sanders said. “Just seeing how they interact with the team like that. It was really just a practice and all of them just showed up for a practice game, pretty much.”
How does he feel about the Bulldogs after his G-Day visit?
“Georgia has always been a top team,” Sanders said. “Georgia was the second team to give me an offer. So they gave me my second start on the way to be able to play college football.”
Nolan Smith, a 5-star UGA commit for 2019, plays with Sanders at IMG Academy.
“He stays talking about Georgia,” Sanders said. “He goes with that right now.”
The 6-foot, 216-pound prospect ranks as the nation’s No. 1 running back and the No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite.
Sanders watched the backs on G-Day. That was his biggest takeaway from the game.
“Just the stack of the running backs,” Sanders said. “How they use them all and how they use them in a very versatile way. They use all their running backs. Even though they have a lot, they make sure everyone gets their yards and everyone gets their share.”
He said that he didn’t have any more questions about Georgia. The visit checked off a lot for him.
“Just keep on doing what they are doing,” Sanders said. “They are already winning games and stuff like that. They obviously just played for the national championship in Kirby’s second year. I think they have got great things going on and Georgia is a great place to be.”
Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee was the nation’s top recruiter in 2018. He continues to live up to that reputation.
“Aw man, Dell has been my dude since my freshman year,” Sanders said. “So we have built up a great relationship. Every time I go up there, we always have a great time.”
What’s the message?
“He is just like if you want to come here, then you are going to have to come to compete,” Sanders said. “You will have to work for a spot. That’s pretty much where it is everywhere. If you’re the No. 1 running back in the country, you have to go in and compete with the running backs that are there before you.”
Look for Sanders to take his official visits in the fall. A public decision should come sometime around the beginning of the season or the middle of his senior season.
Smart made sure to let Sanders know about the offensive line and the talent the Bulldogs are stacking up for the backs in Athens.
“Pretty much their offensive line is young,” Sanders said. “Next year their offensive line is going to be ridiculous. They got the No. 1 offensive line in the country this past year. I feel like the next two years that their offensive line is going to be crazy.”