Here’s Kimberley Nash’s perspective on five of the biggest UGA recruiting stories that people are talking about this week:
1. UGA Still Wants Devwah Whaley
Elijah Holyfield committed to UGA last week, but what did that decision mean for Devwah Whaley? Ya know, the other running back UGA would like to sign?
Over the last few months, the 4-star from Beaumont, Texas, has continually said his final decision would have nothing to do with whether Holyfield is committed to UGA or not. If anything, he understood the value of having more than one big time back on the depth chart and saw it as par for the course.
He recently told Rivals.com’s Jake Reuse that the physical demands of SEC play dictates that a program has more than one back. One guy can’t be the workhorse, so it only makes sense to split the carries and save the wear and tear. Whaley gets it and that’s why he hasn’t written UGA off as a possibility.
That said, the question for Whaley remains: Does he want to be a part of a tandem or would he prefer to be the main guy?
The answer to that question will likely determine where he decides to play collegiate ball.
2. Is Demetris Robertson feeling good about Notre Dame?
Demetris Robertson took an official visit to South Bend over the weekend and,
According to 247Sports recruiting analyst, Tom Loy, he loved the visit so much, the Irish have taken the lead for him, at least for now. Robertson is the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect from Savannah.
Apparently, according to Loy’s sources, Notre Dame’s academics, mixed with an ACC schedule that would allow his family to take in more of his games, has Robertson feeling good about the possibility of playing for coach Brian Kelly.
To this point, Stanford has seemingly been the odds on favorite for Robertson, with UGA and Alabama trailing close behind. However, many still believe UGA will win out in the end.
Robertson’s relationship with, not only the coaching staff but Jacob Eason has also played an important role in keeping UGA in the mix.
The 5-star athlete is comfortable with Eason and Eason has made it clear that Robertson is one of his receivers of choice.
That said, after seeing how well Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller performed against Texas this past Saturday, it’s possible Robertson has started to see the potential impact he could have there as well.
In any event, UGA is not out of it yet, but it’s plain to see that Robertson is hardly a lock to end up in Athens.
3. Is UGA on the outside looking in with Rashan Gary?
In truth, I’ve stopped believing UGA has any sort of a shot with Rashan Gary, the nation’s No. 1 overall defensive tackle prospect from New Jersey. He may still mention them in conversation, but after a trip to Auburn this summer, his mother started second-guessing how well her son would fit UGA’s defensive scheme. And, once doubt creeped in, you started hearing a lot less chatter about the 5-star defensive tackle taking an official to Athens.
Now, for those wondering what difference it will make what Gary’s mom (Jennifer Coney) thinks, just understand he is leaning on her to help him make a decision. She’s not only going along on visits and doing media interviews, she’s a pivotal part of what he’s going to do. The decision may come out of his mouth, but she will play a key role in getting him to that point.
As of now, Coney is publicly stating UGA is in it for her son, but so are a lot of other schools. So, take that particular declaration for whatever it’s worth.
Keeping it nothing but real, in my humble opinion, UGA has about as good a shot of landing Gary as the Thrashers have of returning to Atlanta and winning the Stanley Cup.
You can take that for what it’s worth too.
4. Greg Little will officially visit UGA
Speaking of long shots. Greg Little recently released a list of his Top 5 schools and UGA made the cut.
Little is a 5-star offensive tackle prospect from Texas, and while you can bet the UGA staff will roll out the red carpet when he officially comes to UGA, many feel Alabama is the team to beat.
That said, UGA may have its hands full keeping a recent offensive lineman focused on them now that his dream school has offered.
Demetri Moore, a 3-star JUCO prospect from Mississippi, looked like a promising option for UGA before Auburn stepped in and made things interesting by finally extending an offer his way.
The offer is relevant because Moore told Rivals reporter Jeffrey Lee that an offer from the Tigers would be hard to say ‘no’ to, and would likely end his recruitment. He’s always loved them and wanted an offer from them for the longest time.
Does this mean UGA is out of it? Not necessarily, but it does tighten the race considerably and I doubt it would surprise anyone if Moore ended up on The Plains.
5. What are UGA’s Chances with Tyler Simmons?
After watching UGA’s first game of the season, one thing is clear, “vanilla” offense or no, Brian Schottenheimer could use a few more playmakers at wide receiver.
UGA already has three commitments for 2016, but they hope to sign at least five at the position for this recruiting cycle.
Tyler Simmons is a definite want for UGA, and he’d certainly be a nice addition, but he’s taken a slight step back from recruiting in order to focus on his senior season. He still plans to make a decision soon (October), and he hopes to officially visit the three schools recruiting him the hardest (UGA, Alabama, and Texas A&M) prior to making a decision.
UGA has made a great impression on Simmons and his interest is obviously high but, not unlike Demetris Robertson, Simmons is less interested in early playing time than he is in academics. Even so, he has stressed on multiple occasions that he wants to attend a school where he can feel comfortable around the other players, as well as the coaches. With two current McEachern High School teammates already committed in Julian Rochester and Bailey Hockman, he could certainly do a lot worse than UGA.
Kimberley Nash has blogged about UGA Football Recruiting since 2011.