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 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Trevor Lawrence is taking aim at one of Georgia’s top targets for 2018. That’s 5-star DB Derrik Allen.
If that opening sentence stings a bit, that’s because it should. When Clemson snagged the commitment of the nation’s top prospect for 2018, that was going to affect more than one position group.
Allen said during the season that Lawrence’s decision would not make his, but it would influence it. That is already in progress.
“I’ve already spoken to him about it and we will see where it goes from there,” Allen said. “I don’t want to spoil anything.”
He said that Lawrence has already tugged on him about Clemson. The two grew up playing youth football together in Acworth.
“He asked me how I feel about Clemson and said he wanted to get the ‘Acworth Duo’ back because we played rec league back together in Acworth when we were nine years old.”
Allen said Lawrence’s choice did not surprise him. It sounds like an interesting turn for his decision. He said Clemson has always been one of his top schools.
How much does Lawrence’s decision affect the way he looks at the Tigers?
“I don’t want to spoil anything,” Allen said.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect had a lot of great things to say about Ohio State during the season. That program has been recruiting him the hardest.
He said he continues to talk to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer almost every day.
“Good program and good coaching staff,” Allen said. “I really like what they do. I really like the way coach (Kerry) Coombs coaches his defensive backs.”
The Lassiter junior wore a Georgia jacket to check-ins for the Rising Seniors on Monday, but he said not to read too much into it. It was a misty rainy morning.
“It’s just a rain jacket,” Allen said. “It is just a rain jacket.”
So how do the Bulldogs rank in his decision?
“They are definitely up there,” Allen said. “They are definitely up at the top with my top schools.”
The nation’s No. 23 overall prospect said he was still on track to have his decision by the end of his junior year. Definitely before the start of his senior year.
His last visit was to Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. He said it was cold, but it was a good visit. He said that the Fighting Irish and North Carolina State should also be considered among his top schools.
Side note regarding Allen
This little nugget has little to do with recruiting. Some guys in this field write strictly about recruiting. I stray into the direction of writing about people.
Those people just so happen to be the top players in the state of Georgia and other out-of-state players that are considering an offer to play at UGA.
The well on recruiting information will eventually run dry, but there’s always something interesting to convey when the topic is people and not School A or School B.
That’s why I wanted to share with you what Allen got for Christmas. In his own words, he got “a really nice drone” from Santa.
Allen said it seemed a lot like an 8-year-old Christmas again. He opened up the box and immediately began playing with it. Then never let up. It was an all-day thing.
“The drone can go like 1500 feet up in the air,” Allen said.
He showed me one very nice aerial shot he took near his home of a roadway. He can even control it with his iPad.
Kids these days. I’m pretty sure his parents never thought they’d see that look on his face again.
Under Armour primer
Georgia will have a lot of storylines at the Under Armour All-American practices this week. The schedule of events kicks off today from Orlando. The big news for DawgNation will come on Jan. 1.
That’s when 4-star safety DeAngelo Gibbs will reveal whether he’s going to play at Alabama or Georgia. But that’s not the only storyline of note.
- 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson will be representing UGA for the first time in competition.
- 4-star Georgia DE commitment Robert Beal Jr. will be there.
- 4-star DE Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant is a major UGA target that remains undecided, but Georgia should be seen as the team to beat.
- Toneil Carter flipped from Georgia to Texas in abrupt fashion. He’ll be there.
- Longtime 4-star CB commit William Poole III will be among the UGA contingent.
- Aaron Sterling, Xavier McKinney and Jamyest Williams are guys who are still considering UGA but I don’t expect to see any of them wind up in Athens.
Smart will grind for Fields
Justin Fields is committed to Penn State. It sounds like Justin Fields will stick with Penn State. I reported that first read Monday morning during yesterday’s live updates from the Rising Seniors check-ins.
“I’m locked to Penn State,” Fields said. “Just everything there with the school. The coaches and the atmosphere around the schools. The academics. Everything. Put it all together and that’s pretty much going to be it for me.”
That is significant because Fields was the second of three high-profile in-state quarterbacks that have made the decision not to play for Georgia. Heard County dual-threat Emory Jones was first.
Ohio State got the nation’s No. 21 overall prospect and No. 1 dual-threat QB. Fields came next. Fields ranks as the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat QB and also at No. 88 overall.
Lawrence is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect. As stated above, he plays to be in orange and purple at the next level.
Georgia didn’t even offer Fields until a few weeks before he made his decision. But Fields told me the program will go down swinging for him the rest of the way.
“Coach Kirby (Smart) texted me yesterday to wish me and my family a Merry Christmas,” Fields said.
Georgia assistant coach Dell McGee has Harrison High in his territory. The UGA running backs coach has also continued to text Fields.
Smart is not going to just concede him to Penn State.
“Coach Kirby sent me something through my (direct messages on Twitter) and said something like ‘I’m not going to go down this easy’ and that he was going to keep on recruiting me,” Fields said.
Does Georgia have a shot?
“I guess it is flattering that they still want me,” Fields said.
But he made it clear that the world’s greatest pitch won’t likely sway him.
“They can probably come at me with the most incredible stuff in terms of recruiting me but I just feel like I am still probably going to Penn State,” Fields said. “I feel Penn State is on the rise and they are coming back up to national prominence. Coach Franklin is a great coach and he’s going to get the program where those fans want it to be.”
He will work to enroll early at Penn State, but there’s another factor to consider that could keep him away from Franklin’s program.
“I am going to see what baseball does,” Fields said. “I feel like I am a pretty good baseball player so I feel like I may have a pretty good chance at getting drafted.”
The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder is a fine shortstop. So what happens if he is drafted in the second or third round? Could the Atlanta Braves keep him away from Penn State?
“Depends on how much money that might be,” Fields said. “We will have to see.”
Fields said that he is the only quarterback that Penn State will sign for 2018. He also noted that Georgia’s interest in him picked up even more after Lawrence made his decision.
Don’t forget about ….
Cam Akers, a 5-star RB from Mississippi, will announce his college choice at 8 p.m. tonight from his high school. I’ve adjusted the hour to the Eastern Time Zone.
Akers is rated as the nation’s No. 2 RB and the No. 4 overall prospect for the Class of 2017. He will enroll early, but I think UGA faded out in the race awhile back.
The decisions made by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel also hurt the program’s chances.
That said, the Bulldogs remain in his Top 6. The final group includes Alabama, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
I feel that his decision comes down to LSU and FSU and that Akers will be heading to the SEC West.