Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a chance to discuss the strong late interest from Ohio State pledge Doug Nester in Georgia. We’ll try to do so without mentioning the name Sam Pittman in the first three paragraphs.
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — DawgNation can thank Urban Meyer for its chances with the nation’s No. 5 offensive guard in 2019 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
That’s the case here. Really.
Doug Nester will visit Georgia on January 12. That’s one of three final official visits the Ohio State commitment has in mind for January.
He committed to the Buckeyes in August of 2017 but did not sign during the early period. The reason why was he felt that something just wasn’t right about the school. It did not seem like the same school he had committed to.
Meyer’s decision to move on from the program clarified why he felt that way.
“In the summer I went down there [to Georgia] on a visit,” Nester said. “But they probably weren’t in the mix until all this stuff happened with coach Meyer. Nobody else was in the mix really.”
The 6-foot-6.5, 305-pound senior is a guard for most schools, but the Georgia pitch is enhanced by the fact the staff feels he can play tackle. (See Cade Mays for a great example there.)
Nester will visit UGA first coming out of the dead period after the All-American Bowl this week in Texas. That’s shaping up to be a big weekend with the expected official from elite CB target Kaiir Elam as well.
The 4-star OL prospect also has some strong interest in both Virginia Tech and Penn State. Those two proud programs will get the next two official visit weekends on Nester’s calendar. He’s just not sure which school will get the first one of those as of yet.
Where is he at right now? When asked, he gave a perfectly simple answer. It was also the most honest thing he could say about his recruiting at this time.
“I think I’m very conflicted right now,” he said. “It is a very important decision to make and it has got me thinking a lot. Really. One day I will be leaning towards this way. The next I am like ‘Maybe not’ with that. It is just a hard decision right now.”
He is torn between multiple options.
“Mostly three of them,” Nester said when describing the sorting process right now.
What factors will he use to make up his mind?
“It will be mostly coaching staff,” Nester said. “Then the players they have there and the players that are coming in. It is if I like them or not. If I can get along with them. If I think I can succeed with them. Yeah, just the coaching and the players really.”
And that’s where Sam Pittman has always distinguished the University of Georgia when it comes to recruiting elite O-line talent.
His target this time is a player who also rates as the nation’s No. 92 overall prospect for 2019.
The Sam Pittman factor with Doug Nester
Nester plays with passion. He plays with another simple purpose that feels beholden to his West Virginia roots. The Spring Valley High standout from Huntingdon really just loves the game.
“I’ve been playing it since I was seven years old,” he said. “I’ve always loved sports. Just playing them. But this is what I really feel is my true calling. I was a pretty decent player through youth league but it was really my love for the game which made me into a better player.”
“It is the setting of a goal in sports and then accomplishing it that is just so great of a feeling.”
UGA has been in the mix since the summer, but it was not a contender until the news came from Meyer.
No program was. It sounded like Nester was going to Columbus for sure then.
“I liked Georgia a lot when I went down there and visited really,” Nester said. “But I could tell something was up with Ohio State then so I was very weary about it.”
Nester would have likely signed during the early period if Meyer was still the head coach in Columbus.
“I’d probably be signed right now,” Nester said on Wednesday. “Maybe.”
Why “maybe” there?
“I was already kind of weary of it,” Nester said. “Weary of like kinda singing early and not taking all of my officials and everything. But that went ahead on and it was like a sign to me that I needed to slow things down.”
A lot of the coaches recruiting Nester view him as a swing OL. For them, he can plug-and-play at guard or tackle. Pittman and Georgia stand out there.
“They are really one of the only schools that saw me as a true tackle,” Nester said. “Just that true tackle.”
He said on Wednesday that Georgia and Penn State were the two schools that have really made the late charge that further complicate his decision.
Pittman made inroads with a good home visit last month.
“He came in for a home visit just by himself,” Nester said. “Just being around him is a fun time. Getting to talk to him. Just all the stories he has. He is a great guy.”
Does he feel the same way about all the O-line coaches that are in the mix?
“He’s distinct in his personality,” Nester said of Pittman. “But I like him pretty much as well as all the other guys.”
What Nester’s next move might be
If he sticks with Ohio State, then he will not make a move. No de-commitment moment will be necessary.
“If I de-commit, then I will make a decision on signing day,” he said. “If I do not de-commit, then there is no reason to do anything then.”
It sounds likely here that he will not just de-commit and go back to evaluating Ohio State for a second commitment. The specifics there are really not a priority at this time.
“Right now I’m just trying to figure out where to go,” Nester said.
The solution to that will be those upcoming official visits. He will collect that data and the feels from those three trips in January.
“I’ll talk about all of this after my officials with my parents and really just sit down and think about it,” Nester said. “This is hard. It is just hard.”
He will have a lot of January evaluations before that point.
“For sure,” he said. “I need to do a lot of homework on everyone. Some people you can go on an official and they can sugarcoat everything. That’s why I like going on officials because I can get to talk to their players on the team right now a lot more. Privately. Behind closed doors. I don’t think they are going to lie to me or anything. I believe they will tell me exactly how it is for them at that school. Because that’s what they wanted somebody else to do when they were making the same decision.”
It is interesting to note that none of the four UGA signees at the All-American Bowl are really working on Nester. At least not yet.
That’s even though he is rooming with massive Georgia OT signee Xavier Truss.
“I’m rooming with Xavier but he’s really not telling me much of anything yet about that,” Nester said. “Nothing really there yet.”
Did you see this from Nolan Smith yesterday?
The 5-star UGA signee was working at both ILB and warming up with the defensive backs at the All-America Bowl in San Antonio on Wednesday.
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) January 2, 2019
The All-American Bowl, with two key announcements from major UGA targets Jadon Haselwood and Tyrique Stevenson, airs at 1 p.m. (EST) on NBC on Jan. 5.
Smith, who signed with Georgia on Dec. 19, is the nation’s top-rated prospect on the 247Sports composite ratings for 2019. He has done nothing this week to affect that status.
Check out the DawgNation All-American coverage this week
It is a busy time for the recruiting beat here at DawgNation. We’ve got coverage in the can from Orlando and are now on the way to San Antonio as this blog posts.
Here is what is on the site so far from the Under Armour All-America week and the All-American Bowl events in San Antonio.
- WATCH: 5-star junior OT commit Broderick Jones “feels pretty amazing” about UGA
- Live updates from the Future 50 check-in in Orlando
- Live updates from the Under Armour 2019 All-America game “Media Day”
- How the Justin Fields storyline affects UGA recruiting right now
- What is the latest with UGA and elite WR target George Pickens?
- WATCH: Nation’s No. 3 safety Lewis Cine describes his love for UGA
- WATCH: 5-star signee Nakobe Dean is “coming to work” at Georgia
- Elite South Florida CB target Kaiir Elam hasn’t made up his mind yet
- What happened late with UGA and elite RBs Noah Cain and Trey Sanders?
- UGA recruiting: The need to know for the 2019 Under Armour All-American game
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.