UGA head coach Mark Richt advised his team to block out all the “noise” last week. He wanted them to have fun at Kentucky and relish in the fact that they get to play SEC football at a venue like Sanford Stadium.
The suggestion box will never be empty, but it won’t be overflowing with passionate directives from fans after a relatively clean 27-3 victory. There were also a few welcome signs. Derrick Brown, the state’s No. 1 prospect, made another trip to Athens. So did de-commitment E.J. Price. Price remains a priority target and continues to show up in Athens.
It would’ve been very easy for either of those guys to head to a marquee clash in Clemson or Tuscaloosa over the weekend, but they chose to be at UGA. That’s encouraging for the chances of both recruits signing with UGA in February.
Maybe it could be read as a sign of support. Maybe it was the closest road trip to catch an SEC game. Whatever the reason, they got to see UGA play better on Saturday. That can only help matters.
1. Win + Commitment news = Happier Saturday
UGA improved to 6-3 and saw a mid-week offer turn into a commitment. Junior college receiver Javon Wims committed to UGA on Friday but shared the news of his commitment with DawgNation Saturday afternoon. The fine print on his recruitment is that he did mention some concern about Richt’s status for next season at UGA, but he said he’s coming if the staff remains intact.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder also said he will take previously-planned visits to Southern Miss and UAB. He plans to take his official visit to UGA in January.
2. How good is this Wims guy?
What can Wims do on Saturdays coming out of Mississippi’s Hinds Community College? Be sure to check out how UGA all-time leading receiver Terrence Edwards broke down what he’s seen of Wims on film. TE thinks he’s raw, but definitely SEC material.
Another thing to keep in mind with Wims is that he told DawgNation that UGA receivers coach Bryan McClendon was very high on his skill set. Wims relayed McPherson’s analysis that he will be primed for a starting spot next season, but also said that he’d likely be starting if he was on the current roster and prepping for Kentucky. That’s probably a gumbo of three things: 1) An endorsement for his skill set; 2) Good recruiting by McClendon; 3) A not-so-flattering snapshot of UGA’s options at receiver at this time.
3. Is the shopping cart full at receiver?
The interesting part of the new commitment receiver is it sets up for some funny math. Wims is now UGA’s fifth commitment at receiver. Charlie Woerner will start out at receiver, but can play some at tight end given his size, physicality and skill set. He’s also been told he will start out at receiver. That’s at least 4.5 at receiver for this class with 5-star Kyle Davis, 4-star Tre’ Nixon and 3-star Grant Holloway still on the board.
That’s not even counting 5-star athletes Mecole Hardman, Jr. and Demetris Robertson either. Those two are listed as athletes and can also see time on defense. Look for things to get complicated by National Signing Day at this position for the Class of 2016.
I don’t think there’s any way UGA signs six or seven pure receivers in this class.
My perception is that at least one member of that trio (Davis, Nixon, and Holloway) told UGA that he would not be coming and that prompted the offer last week to Wims. Of the three, I think Holloway is the best bet to sign with UGA. I keep saying this over and over, but that’s good news. I feel the 6-foot-3 elite national hurdler has the highest ceiling of any receiver UGA is going after this year. Why? He’s just ridiculously explosive with a sub-4.4 second speed in the 40. He can clear seven feet in the high jump and also soar 25 feet in the long jump.
There’s a very small group of guys who can do all that and also make plays on a football field.
4. Feeling better about 5-star Jacob Eason
DawgNation had two items over the last week that gave a good deal of perspective of what’s going on with 5-star quarterback commitment Jacob Eason. It was a crazy week as news broke that Eason followed the Florida offensive coordinator on Twitter after another humbling loss in Jacksonville.
We learned what Eason felt about Richt’s status at UGA after his game on Friday night. He doesn’t feel Mark Richt is going anywhere. Eason has been a busy behind-the-scenes recruiter with other top prospects urging them to come to UGA. He said he’d tell those guys to “stick with it” as the rumors swirl about UGA.
Tony Eason, Jacob’s father, also told DawgNation they feel nothing will happen to Richt, but also added he would likely still enroll at UGA even if a change took place. His son’s commitment wouldn’t stick if the next head coach ran the triple-option, but that’s to be expected.
5. UGA Honor Roll: Junior targets have monster games
UGA’s honor roll continues to recap the big games from the big names each week. Be sure to check out this week’s cramped edition. The highlight clips at the bottom of the page are worth it for the entertainment value alone.
Junior in-state targets Richard LeCounte III (Liberty County High School) and Jamyest Williams (Archer High School) had the huge games from last Friday night. LeCounte breaks out at least two spin moves on the same play and Williams breaks loose for a 97-yard scoring run.
6. Beware of Alabama
The Alabama-LSU game this weekend was THE recruiting visit destination this weekend. A couple of major UGA priority targets for the Class of 2016 were there. 5-star tight end Isaac Nauta was there on his official visit. Mecole Hardman, Jr., another 5-star must-sign for UGA, was also on his unofficial visit.
There’s no way that atmosphere and that showing would not impress any recruit who was even considering playing football at Alabama. And that’s just what happened.
Alabama visit was great, Bama fans are crazy loud??, and got to chill with some of my bros???? pic.twitter.com/cgv1l6YX1U
— ICE ❄️❄️❄️❄️ (@inauta18) November 9, 2015
Hardman told Scout.com’s Chad Simmons a couple of things for UGA fans to worry about. He said the Alabama trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and that Alabama was now in his top three.
7. Clemson also impressed a few UGA targets
Williams was at the Clemson game on Saturday and no doubt had a great time. So was Malcolm Askew. He’s another prime 2017 defensive back target. Askew has UGA as his leader, but Williams is likely a Clemson lean.
It is worth nothing that Thomson sophomore Christian Tutt was also at Clemson on Saturday. The program that gets the majority of those three guys should be stacked at cornerback in 2018.
— Jamyest Williams (@Jamy0602) November 8, 2015
Best Postgame Experience In The Country!! ? https://t.co/gdY6MWAEYl
— Malcolm Askew™✨ (@MacAskew4) November 8, 2015
After Having an Amazing Time In Death Valley ?? with My Family, Mom, Dad, & Sister for the first time @ a game, Now I have a serious Top 3!
— Malcolm Askew™✨ (@MacAskew4) November 8, 2015
8. DawgNation stat of the week
How good are the players that UGA currently has committed to the program? It is not rocket science to expect an SEC recruit to be one of the key cogs on any prep team, but it is worth mentioning that 14 of the 20 UGA commitments (2016 and 2017) play for teams that are having outstanding seasons heading into the state playoffs.
There are 14 UGA commits on teams that are at least 8-2, and nine of those guys are part of squads that are 9-1 or better.
9. Speaking of Nauta
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this recent edit of Nauta. It is equal parts creative, interesting and yet odd. I guess this sets the bar for the new normal for any football factory with a V12 recruiting machine hoping to impress the nation’s top tight end and a rare 5-star at the position.
— Michigan Football (@UMFootball_rt) November 5, 2015
10. Make sure you see this one play
4-star RB Devwah Whaley is another priority UGA recruiting target for the Class of 2016. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 4 back for his signing class and this clip offers a pretty clear rationale why.
Whaley has been rumored to be a silent commit to UGA for a while. He’s set to make his commitment public at the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 9.
— Terry Roy1978HHS (@TerryRo61625135) November 6, 2015
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.