DawgNation got a late Christmas present today.
It came with the commitment of Vidalia High linebacker Nate McBride. McBride has been one of the top targets for Georgia assistant Glenn Schumann in the Class of 2017.
The program’s inside linebackers coach has been the lead recruiter for the 4-star prospect since he came to Athens along with head coach Kirby Smart. McBride shared his decision to commit to Georgia in an exclusive commitment video on DawgNation.
“I just have a great relationship with the coaches at Georgia,” McBride said. “I know you are not supposed to base a decision like this off the coaches but you have to like the coach to want to play for him. Georgia also has some great facilities, but I also truly believe the program has some great things coming on the field, too.”
That gives UGA the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect for the Class of 2017. The nearly 6-foot-2, 230-pounder can run a 10.5 in the 100 meters and still bench press 400 pounds.
“I just feel at home there,” McBride said. “Georgia has got a great fan base and I know some guys that are already there and I really know a lot of the guys that are on their way there.”
His decision makes it an even 20 commitments for Georgia’s highly-rated class up to this point. With this decision, the Bulldogs now have 10 players ranked among the nation’s Top 10 prospects at their respective positions.
The in-state haul continues to trend in Georgia’s favor. McBride, the No. 12 prospect in Georgia for this cycle, now gives the Bulldogs commitments from 9 of the state’s Top 15 players for 2017.
That run now also extends out to 11 of the Top 20 players in Georgia.
The newest member of Georgia’s “SICEM17” recruiting class made a decision that was well-received by his future teammates. U.S. Army All-Americans Jake Fromm and Richard LeCounte both drove a couple of hours round-trip to play a part in his commitment video.
“He brings a whole lot of energy and speed,” 5-star UGA safety commit Richard LeCounte III said. “He’s the linebacker we need. Nate can tackle in space and he’s fast and huge. He’s one of the big tools we need to build a championship defense at Georgia and make the next step.”
LeCounte liked the thought of adding another player from his part of the state to the class.
“We’re really doing a great job in South Georgia,” LeCounte said. “We’re coming through and getting guys who are making big plans to make big plays at Georgia. That’s something we will look to continue doing.”
Fromm reprised his role as “Santa Jake” that he played in an earlier commitment video this month for Malik Herring and Jeremiah Holloman.
“The decision is awesome for Georgia,” 4-star QB commit Jake Fromm said. “Just his presence brings size, speed and on-the-field savvy at linebacker. He likes to hit people. That’s what we need. Guys that can run and hit and tackle. He also offers a great deal of toughness.”
McBride’s choice now means that the Bulldogs have secured 15 of their commitments from in-state prospects.
“It is awesome to have a unique role here in putting this class together,” Fromm said. “I kind of get to see if sort of first-hand about what we are doing to build great things there in Athens. The future for Georgia football is just incredible.”
McBride’s father said that the family has pretty much known the decision would eventually be Georgia for the last couple of months.
“I just think that Georgia was the best fit,” his father Jason McBride said. “Recruiting to me is all about relationships and feeling comfortable around those future players and coaches. He got to know Kirby Smart well when he was at Alabama and that relationship got built up and then just moved over to Georgia. This decision also had a lot to do with this 2017 class and just how close those guys who are going to Georgia already are.”
He felt that his son’s official visit to Oregon — that’s still his only one so far — was something that had to be done. He had to see what a program he’s always appreciated had to offer to make sure he wouldn’t be missing out on anything by playing at Georgia.
“That was a great trip,” Jason McBride said. “Oregon is a special place but then it is not Georgia.”
Look for McBride to take his official visit to Georgia in January. He’ll spend the first week of January with Fromm and LeCounte at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.