This is the time of year when some very big targets set off on spring official visits. UGA recruiting will host a handful of those over the next month.
It appears 5-star WR Julian Fleming will be the highest-rated of those at this time. The nation’s No. 1 overall receiver prospect isn’t seen by the industry as a strong option to UGA at this time.
The popular 247Sports “Crystal Ball” feature reflects the following percentages of analyst predictions for the Pennsylvania resident:
- 57 percent to Penn State
- 21 percent to Clemson
- 21 percent to Ohio State
Yet for some reason, the Bulldogs keep hanging around among his top schools. Fleming has only taken one official visit so far. That was a trip to check out Alabama.
His trip to see the Bulldogs on May 31 is the only other one he has set in stone as of now.
“It was just the one that worked,” Fleming told DawgNation about that date recently.
The Bulldogs remain in contention for the 5-star because they hosted him last spring. It remains one of his best unofficials to date. When asked to describe the Bulldogs earlier this year, he used the term “great” six times during his 20-second response.
“Georgia was probably one of my best visits so far,” Fleming said. “Honestly. My whole family loved Georgia. Coach [Cortez] Hankton is a really cool real down-to-earth guy. He seemed like a great coach. He had NFL experience. Georgia is a great place. They are in the SEC.”
“They pushed Alabama to their limits,” Fleming. “It is a great team. Great program. Great coaching staff. Great history.”
This item about the date of his visit was first reported last week by 247Sports. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect plays for a high school program which has won its last 32 games and back-to-back state titles.
He was named the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year for Pennsylvania after catching 80 balls for 1,526 yards and 22 touchdowns. That equates to a strong 19.8 yards per catch as a marked man. It also meant he found the end zone on one out of every 3.6 catches.
The Southern Columbia Area (Catawissa, Pa.) standout added four interceptions on defense and returned three of those for scores. The notion that he made a big impact on both sides of the ball for a state championship team is a testament to his overall ability at the next level.
These are the major DawgNation recruiting storylines of late:
Want a speed read on the last week?
- Nation’s No. 4 OG Andrew Raym places UGA among his final five schools
- 5-star ATH Arik Gilbert did notice all those TE catches at G-Day
- 5-star RB Kendall Milton and his father break down “amazing” visit to UGA
- PHOTOS: Check out the recruiting photos from G-day from last week
There were also a few storylines over the weekend for the daily DawgNation reader to make sure they didn’t miss amid all that NFL coverage involving the Bulldogs.
- The biggest was a 5-star receiver who had flirted with UGA several months ago before seemingly focusing on a couple of other SEC schools. 5-star WR Rakim Jarrett, who plays with the same high school program as major Georgia target Mekhail Sherman, chose LSU over the weekend.
Jarrett ranks as the nation’s No. 2 WR and the No. 16 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite for this cycle.
Committed. Thank You. pic.twitter.com/VhRmsAc2Fb
— Rakim Jarrett (@RakimJarrett) April 27, 2019
- South Carolina also swooped in and picked up an impressive class of 2021 recruit from the state of Georgia. 4-star ATH Lovasea Carroll, who can clock sub-10.6 times in the 100 meters committed to Will Muschamp’s program over the weekend.
Carroll plays for Warren County out of Warrenton near Augusta. He is rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 11 ATH and the No. 102 overall prospect for the 2021 cycle.
Committed‼️🔥💯 @ChadSimmons_ @RecruitGeorgia @GamecockFB @TheBigSpur247 @JustinKing @iamthomasbrown @jackmurphy_usc @_CoachGriffin @CoachWMuschamp @GamecocksOnline @CoachBmac_ @Coach_TRob @SCFootballMatt pic.twitter.com/MytFWuzNvZ
— Lovasea Carroll (@LovaseaC) April 28, 2019
As mentioned earlier, Sherman is a priority target for the Bulldogs in the 2020 class. He took his official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. He decided right after that trip that he didn’t need to look around any further.
It’s between Ohio State & Georgia fr. No interviews, & I appreciate the coaches for presenting me opportunities & the fan bases which came with them. Appreciate you all💞
— Mekhail Sherman🌹 (@JuicedUpK9) April 30, 2019
Where UGA recruiting ranks for 2020
Georgia has seven commitments for 2020. Akinola Ogunbiyi was the most recent pledge to the class back on G-Day.
It is interesting to note that Georgia has gotten four of its seven commitments of late in back-to-back fashion. Let’s make a note of that and see if that trend continues for the rest of this year’s class.
UGA sits at No. 11 nationally for 2019 in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings. That places the Bulldogs fourth in the SEC.
LSU and its 14 pledges rank No. 1 in the nation. Alabama has 16 commits and that is good for No. 2 in both the SEC and the country. The rest of the top 10 flows like this: Clemson, Miami, Florida, Penn State, FSU, Ohio State, FSU, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
Yep, you read that right. Georgia Tech. (We’ll tip our hat to first-year head coach Geoff Collin a little bit later.)
Georgia is the only school in the top 12 with less than eight commits. The top five teams in those rankings have 14, 16, 12, 12 and 10 commits, respectively.
The UGA recruiting commits for 2020
(presented in order of their 247Sports Composite ratings)
Broderick Jones/5-star OT/Lithonia/Lithonia, Ga./Rates as the nation’s No. 2 OT prospect and as the nation’s No. 20 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He will now enroll early at UGA and play quickly at tackle.
Carson Beck/4-star QB/Mandarin HS/Jacksonville, Fla./The nation’s No. 2 pro-style QB also checks in at No. 75 overall. Strong accurate arm and good size at 6 feet, 4 inches. He’s seen his overall composite rating drop by about 15 slots over the last month.
Jalen Kimber/4-star CB/Mansfield Timberview/Arlington, Tex./Kimber is a hot prospect. He’s seen his ratings climb considerably since he made his pledge to UGA on April 17. He’s now rated as the nation’s No. 11 cornerback prospect for this cycle and at No. 151 overall. He was at No. 16 and No. 239 overall, respectively, when he chose the Bulldogs approximately two weeks ago.
Nazir Stackhouse/4-star DT/Columbia HS/Decatur, Ga./Nation’s No. 22 DT prospect also checks in at No. 2227 overall. Stackhouse and Burroughs both were invited to the Opening finals this summer in Texas. He’s seen his rankings remain static over the last few months. Stackhouse was the first commitment in the 2020 class for the Bulldogs.
Jamil Burroughs/4-star DT/McEachern HS/Powder Springs, Ga./Burroughs is becoming a fascinating recruiting study just off his recent rating slide. When he chose UGA, he was a top 5 DT for this class. Now he’s slid all the way down to the nation’s No. 23 DT and No. 240 overall. The general thought is he needs to improve his overall fitness level and get in better shape. I’d look for him to do just that.
Akinola Ogunbiyi/4-star OG/Kempner HS/Sugar Land, Tex./The most recent commit to the Bulldogs chose UGA on G-Day back on April 20. He picked the Bulldogs over Oklahoma and was at one time committed to Texas A&M. He does not plan to take any more visits. Ogunbiyi ranks as the nation’s No. 12 OG and the No. 283 overall recruit for the 2020 cycle.
Justin Robinson/4-star WR/Eagles Landing Christian Academy/Stockbridge, Ga./Nation’s No. 56 WR despite having just played one season of varsity football up to this point. He’s seen his rankings rise by about 6-10 slots at his position over the last month. His best football is well ahead of him.
The 2021 crop for UGA recruiting
This space will curiously seem rather sparse. That’s because this is the first cycle of the Kirby Smart era in Athens where the Bulldogs are not working at least one year away with at least one “anchor” recruit for the class or classes ahead of the current cycle.
There are currently no public commitments to UGA in the 2021 class.
A few UGA recruiting Tweets to catch up on
As the heading applies, this section should be rather self-explanatory. We’ll lead off this topic with a one of Georgia’s biggest (literally and figuratively) for the 2020 class. Mr. Ratledge aims to wish to keep the main things the main things over the next few weeks.
With Exams, spring football and the state track meet coming up I will not be doing any more interviews until it is all over. I want focus on my team and myself for the next few weeks. Thank you
— Tate Ratledge 🐺 (@tateratledge22) April 25, 2019
Kimber, the recent UGA commit, sure seems hopeful when it comes to things with Mr. Sherman and his upcoming decision between UGA and Ohio State.
— JALEN KIMBER (@J_BOOGIE_5) April 30, 2019
Seth McGowan, a 4-star RB out of Texas, also recently placed UGA in his final 4. He rates as the nation’s No. 12 RB for this cycle. McGown is a top-shelf prospect who projects to be an even better Saturday player than his ratings might indicate.
Unconditionally thankful for every coach and program that believed in me enough to present me with the opportunity to play for them, as well as attend their university. However, I am confident in the judgement and vision that I possess for myself as well as my family. #AGTG #FTG pic.twitter.com/jbAZOg5wAf
— Seth McGowan🦇™ (@Sjmcg_28) April 27, 2019
The next item involves a 4-star OL who was considering UGA at one time but opted to focus on playing for his home state.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) April 28, 2019
ILB target Trenton Simpson excelled at the Charlotte regional working out with the LBs. He was once seen by some as an RB/LB combo, but the Bulldogs view him as an ILB target for this class.
These are some impressive testing numbers for a former HS teammate of Bulldog DT Jordan Davis at Mallard Creek in Charlotte. It is interesting to consider just how much things have changed between Simpson and the Bulldogs over the last 45 days.
I Had A Great Time Today Competing At The Nike Opening!🤟🏾✅ pic.twitter.com/ecM2MNcXxu
— TRENTON SIMPSON🤘🏽 (@TrentonSimpson_) April 28, 2019
Georgia DL target Jacolbe Cowan also showed off a few nice moves at the Charlotte Opening regional last weekend.
— Overtime (@overtime) April 28, 2019
The Bulldogs also offered 2022 RB Allan Hayden. The Tennessee native is a teammate of 2019 Georgia signee Bill Norton at Christian Brothers in Memphis. He is also the son of former Tennessee RB Aaron Hayden. His parents met while they were both students at UT.
— Dallan Hayden1️⃣ (@DCH__2) April 29, 2019
The 2020 UGA recruiting class timeline
- Dec. 2, 2017: 4-star DT Nazir Stackhouse (Stephenson/Stone Mountain, Ga.) commits to UGA (Class count:1)
- April 26, 2018: 5-star OT Broderick Jones (Lithonia/Lithonia, Ga.) commits to UGA (2)
- August 25, 2018: 4-star DT Jamil Burroughs (McEachern/Powder Springs, Ga.) commits to UGA (3)
- November 24, 2018: Unrated DT Warren Brinson (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) commits to UGA (4)
- January 29, 2019: Brinson de-commits from UGA (3)
- March 2, 2019: 4-star WR Justin Robinson (Eagles Landing Christian Academy/Stockbridge, Ga.) commits to UGA (4)
- March 3, 2019: 4-star QB Carson Beck (Mandarin/Jacksonville, Fla.) commits to UGA (5)
- April 17, 2019: 4-star CB Jalen Kimber (Mansfield Timberview/Arlington, Tex.) commits to UGA (6)
- April 20, 2019: 4-star OG Akinola Ogunbiyi (Kempner/Sugar Land, Tex.) commits to UGA (7)
The big 2020 targets for UGA recruiting
At this time, I can still come up with a realistic scenario where the Bulldogs wind up signing 5-to-7 recruits with a 5-star rating for 2020.
Let’s look at a roll call of several big names for the class. The big thing to comprehend here is that these are not the five highest-rated targets with Georgia offers. This is a gumbo of names with mutual interest on both sides who would fill a certain need for the program in the 2020 class.
6 BIG 2020 targets
- Kendall Milton/5-star RB/Buchannan High/Clovis, California: We will note his ranking fell to the nation’s No. 3 RB of late. Milton took his first visit to UGA for G-Day on April 20. The Bulldogs definitely need a pair of elite RBs in the 2020 class and can certainly recruit that position on a national level. Check out the latest DawgNation.com story on Mr. Milton.
- Arik Gilbert/5-star ATH/Marietta High/Marietta, Georgia: This longtime priority is now the nation’s No. 10 overall prospect. Gilbert has been recruited HARD by the Bulldogs since he was coming out of middle school. 6-foot-5 and 250-plus. He’s the nation’s No. 1 ATH. Check out the latest regarding Gilbert on DawgNation.
- Kelee Ringo/5-star CB/Saguaro High/Scottsdale, Arizona: Has now taken two unofficial visits to UGA this year. Those did go well. He was recently named the nation’s No. 1 cornerback prospect. Some scouts feel he might be the best pure football player in America in this class. He checks every box and offers pure blinding sub 10.5 speed in the 100 meters.
- Tate Ratledge/4-star OT/Darlington School/Rome, Georgia: Stock continues to rise. Got bigger and better at OT. Physical and punishing and athletic. He’s 6 feet, 7 inches and even punts for his high school team. A recent rating update lists him as the nation’s No. 5 OT.
- Mekhail Sherman/5-star LB/St. Johns College High School/Washington, D.C: When asked about UGA, he has told DawgNation that he just feels like something is different about Athens. The nation’s No. 11 overall recruit hopes to make his decision well in advance of his senior season.
- Darnell Washington/5-star ATH/Desert Pines/Las Vegas, Nevada: Washington is the nation’s No. 2 ATH behind Gilbert. Projects as a lethal potential TE pairing for first-year UGA tight ends coach Todd Hartley with Gilbert. Was in on a recent unofficial this winter and plans to return in June. He has scheduled his official visit for the Notre Dame game.
OTHERS TO CONSIDER: 4-star DT Jalen Carter; 4-star DE Jacolbe Cowan; 4-star DL Jay Hardy; 4-star DT Alex Huntley; 5-star OT Paris Johnson, Jr. (Ohio State); 4-star OL Chad Lindberg; 5-star RB MarShawn Lloyd; 4-star RB Seth McGowan; 4-star DL Jay Hardy; 4-star OL Andrew Raym; 5-star OL/DL Justin Rodgers; 4-star WR Marcus Rosemy; 4-star ILB Trenton Simpson; 4-star DE Zykeivous Walker; 4-star ILB Len’Neth Whitehead; 4-star S Avantae Williams
UGA recruiting by position in 2020
Which positions are the major priorities for 2019? The offensive tackle and running back spots are clearly two of those, followed by the quarterback and tight end spots in this cycle.
Here’s a quick snapshot as to how DawgNation expects the position-by-position breakdown to go for the 2020 class:
- QB: Beck (1/1)
- RB: None (0/2)
- TE: None (0/2)
- WR: Robinson (1/2)
- OL: Jones, Ogunbiyi (2/4)
- DE: None (0/1)
- DT: Burroughs, Stackhouse (2/3)
- ILB: None (0/1)
- OLB: None (0/1)
- CB: Kimber (1/2)
- S: None (0/1)
- K: None (0/1)
- Totals: 5/21
That projected class does seem slanted to the offensive side of the ball. Bear in mind the Bulldogs signed two more defensive players in its 2019 class than they did for James Coley’s side of the ball.
Here’s a glance at what DawgNation sees as the positional priorities for the class:
- OT (1-2 more)
- RB (At least two more)
- TE (At least two)
- DL: (At least two more)
2020 UGA recruiting offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 230 (up by 8 over the last month)
- Florida recruits offered: 57
- Texas recruits offered: 32 (+1)
- In-state recruits offered: 30
- California recruits offered: 15
- Alabama recruits offered: 11
- Louisiana recruits offered: 11 (+2)
- North Carolina recruits offered: 8
- Receivers offered: 45 (+2)
- Defensive tackles offered: 24 (+1)
- Running backs offered: 20
- Tackles offered: 19 (+1)
- Cornerbacks offered: 18
- Quarterbacks offered: 19 (+1)
- Athletes offered: 14
- Safeties offered: 14 (+1)
- Tight ends offered: 8 (+1)
- Inside linebackers offered: 6
- Centers offered: 2
Geographical UGA recruiting breakdown
The current UGA commits broken down by state:
- Georgia: 4 (Burroughs, Jones, Robinson and Stackhouse)
- Texas: Kimber, Ogunbiyi
- Florida: 1 (Beck)
Are you seeing this?
Check out the recruiting ratings on the 247Sports Team Composite ratings right now.
- Georgia: No. 11 overall and No. 4 in the SEC.
- Georgia Tech: No. 10 overall and No. 4 in the ACC.
I’m not sure I ever expected to type this up. Especially after both schools were able to pile up at least 3-4 pledges in each class.
The Jackets had signed the nation’s Nos. 48, 54 and 52 classes for their 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes. That’s a credit to new coach Geoff Collins and his staff.
Let me know if anyone ever sees Kirby Smart and Dan Mullen going on any golf vacations together anytime soon. The buzz here with the Jackets is proof that anything is possible in college football these days.
Check out the latest “Before the Hedges” on UGA recruiting
Did you see “Before the Hedges” last week? Brandon Adams hosts a weekly UGA recruiting show called Before the Hedges at 3 p.m. every Wednesday on the DawgNation Facebook page.
It also streams each Wednesday on the DawgNation YouTube channel.