Here’s Kimberley Nash’s perspective on five of the biggest UGA recruiting stories that people are talking about this week:
1. Army All-American Game: Will it be Commit or Collapse Central?
I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but the U.S. Army All-American Game—set to air January 9, 2016 at noon—has an awful lot of UGA targets. Many of those targets, including the aforementioned Brian Burns, plan to announce their collegiate decision during the game.
So far, those planning to announce include Isaac Nauta (TE), Derrick Brown (DT), and E.J. Price (OT). Every one of them has listed UGA as a potential finalist.
Others who will be there and could, potentially, announce are Shyheim Carter (DB), and Nigel Warrior. Both have UGA in the running but, as of now, there isn’t any real certainty that either will choose to sign with the Bulldogs.
In the most perfect of situations, UGA lands two or three commitments that night: Burns, Brown, and Nauta would be a lovely haul. However, can you imagine the epic collapse if they get none of them?
Not even one?
That would be a tough pill to swallow—especially if a majority of them end up at a rival school.
You may want to set your DVR’s for that night because it could be a one of feast or famine, for UGA, depending on which way the wind blows.
2. Brian Burns: Is a Decision on the Horizon?
Brian Burns has been touted as the next potential ‘Leonard Floyd’, if he signs with UGA. The defensive end for American Heritage High School has developed a great relationship with Jeremy Pruitt and seemed very excited about the possibility of stepping in and playing defense for the Bulldogs.
The original timetable for an announcement, according to Burns, was prior to the start of the season. Will he still do that and, if so, how good are UGA’s chances?
The answer to that first question is not likely. Burns is looking to take his officials before making a decision, so it may very well be December or January before we know what he’s going to do. Even so, UGA still looks like the team that can reel him in the end. The contenders appear to be Florida State, Florida, and LSU, but Burns is really enamored of the ‘Leonard Floyd’ comparison, and likes the idea of coming in and taking on that role for UGA.
3. Kyle Davis: One of these Schools is Not Like the Other
Kyle Davis plans to announce his school of choice on October 23. That much we know. Auburn, UGA, and Tennessee are presumed to be one of the schools that will land him. Davis won’t let on as to which one of them has the lead, but he does make some interesting statements about what he’s discovered during his visits.
“The difference between them, the work ethic at some schools – and the offense as well – one of those schools does not work harder than the other, Said Davis to Dawgs247.com’s Kipp Adams That is a red flag in some cases.”
If I were to read between the lines, and trust me I’m hardly an oracle, I might be tempted to believe that the school he’s leaning towards is either Auburn or Tennessee. That’s not to say UGA doesn’t have a lot on their side—they do—but there is a good bit of momentum coming out of his visits to Tennessee, and that is worth noting.
4. Demetris Robertson: It’s About the Bigger Picture
Demetris Robertson is looking at life after football. He wants to attend a school that can award him a prestigious degree—AKA, one that looks impressive on a resume—because he wants to be sure he’ll always have financial security. That’s the reason he’s looking at schools like Stanford, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech.
It’s also why he decided he didn’t want to go to Alabama, according to those close to him.
That said, where does UGA stand? Are they prestigious enough?
In my opinion, if Robertson decides to stay in-state, he could do a lot worse than having a degree from The University of Georgia.
Between the Paul Oliver Network (a program which certainly made an impression Elijah Holyfield), and the weight such a degree would carry in South Georgia—particularly if it’s presented by a former Bulldog standout—Roberson should receive plenty of opportunities.
Then again, Robertson might not mind a change of scenery after the battle his brother waged against the Georgia High School Association last season.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens here, but it still wouldn’t shock me to see him go west.
5. Michail Carter: UGA keeping every option open?
At one point, it didn’t seem as if Michail Carter’s name was in heavy rotation for UGA. Rashan Gary, Derrick Brown, and even (longshot) Antwuan Jackson seemed to have more juice than Carter. However, with Gary seemingly trending the way of LSU or Auburn, and Brown still a mystery, could UGA end up signing Carter?
His recruitment is one that will, probably, go the distance, and he currently has zero intention of announcing before the end of the football season. That said, UGA isn’t in a strong enough position with any one of their defensive tackle prospects to risk losing even the slightest bit of ground with Carter.
As of right now, Carter’s relationship with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is playing a huge role in his interest. He loves his coaching style and his familiarity with that sort of approach appeals to him in a major way.
Said Carter, when asked about Rocker, to Rival’s Trent Smallwood, “…He is fiery and I love it, I am used to that kind of coaching and I like that kind of coaching style.
UGA hopes to sign 3-4 defensive linemen in this class. They already have three in the fold (Tyler Clark, Julian Rochester, and Chauncey Manac). If Brown and Gary decide to sign elsewhere, Carter may be one to watch and, honestly, given his ceiling, they may need to lock him down regardless.
Kimberley Nash has blogged about UGA’s football recruiting since 2011.