Happy Birthday, DawgNation. That’s one month and 365 published stories up on the board since the AJC’s new All-UGA “DawgNation” website launched.
That last day of August provided a lot of info to rewind this morning on Greyson Lambert day. He assumed the reins as UGA’s starting quarterback amidst a day in which there were a few other stories of note to track. Want to keep up with UGA stories as they break? Try subscribing to the daily DawgNation email newsletter. We send out an email curating the top UGA stories every day around lunch time, but we also send out a breaking news release whenever something like the Lambert is out.
That’s what the daily Recruiting Rewind is for. We’ve got a little bit of everything today from body art commitments to the second secret commitment of note on UGA’s recruiting radar. Kind of makes one want to scratch their head, right? Here we thought there was just the term “commitment” followed by its three evil stepsisters known as “de-commitment” and “hard verbal” and “soft verbal.”
We’ve all got work to get to today so let’s get with it.
1. Holyfield’s got a secret
Woodward Academy’s Elijah Holyfield (yes, that Holyfield’s son) has made his commitment in advance of his announcement set for this Friday. He told the AJC’s Chris Kirschner that he made that commitment about a month ago. That’s big news as he is UGA’s top priority at RB for the Class of 2016.
He said he’s known where he wanted to go for about two months now. The main reason? It felt like home.
2. Fan promises to wear UGA target’s face
A story pops up every once in awhile that shows us all how passionate SEC football fans really are. Consider the latest news with Elbert County sensation Mecole Hardman, Jr. this week. He told the AJC that a random fan communicated to him that he would get a tattoo of Hardman’s face somewhere on his body if he committed to their team.
I love the passion behind the move, but that’s a rookie mistake. That idea is off-the-wall crazy, but it would’ve sounded a lot smarter if he said he’d do it if Hardman signed with his school. Or maybe he just offered up a tattoo for a commitment and has something even bolder in mind for when Hardman signs?
3. Commitment will finally see UGA
The frantic timeline of college recruitment these days usually means everything happens one to two years faster than they did just five years ago. Yet Texas speedster Davion Curtis will be going old school this season. He committed to UGA this summer despite not even taking a visit to UGA. That’s an oddity these days.
Curtis will take his official visit to UGA for the South Carolina game this month and finally see that he’s entering a football world where fans promise body art in exchange for a commitment.
4. 4-star details why UGA made the cut
North Carolina OL Landon Dickerson recently narrowed down his recruiting options by naming a list of leaders. UGA made his Top 6 along with Auburn, Michigan, Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
The 6-foot-5, 293-pounder is a versatile player who could get reps at both guard and tackle on Saturdays. He’s already made two trips to UGA this summer and will return for an unofficial visit for the South Carolina game on Sept. 19.
5. South Carolina shaping up as a big visit weekend
Everyone and their brother-in-law knows the Alabama game will be the Super Bowl of recruiting weekends this fall. Every recruit in the Southeast who’s considering UGA will be there on an official or an unofficial visit.
South Carolina looks like the next-best option on the home slate. It’s early and it’s a big SEC game, but it is also shaping up like a big out-of-state visit weekend with Curtis and Dickerson already having stated they will attend. It will also be huge for UGA’s other priority target at RB this season. Texan Devwah Whaley has said a lot of great things about UGA of late and his high school team has an open date so he’ll have a long weekend at UGA to see if the fit feels right.
Keep in mind Whaley has told the AJC that Holyfield committing to UGA won’t affect his decision one bit. Whaley also said UGA running backs coach Thomas Brown told him he’ll still accept his commitment even if another RB in the class had already committed. That would extend a streak of UGA signing a pair of blue-chip backs every couple of years of late.
6. The biggest UGA recruiting news of the day
UGA announced plans for a “transformational” indoor practice facility on Monday. That’s something that UGA head coach Mark Richt has been looking for since he was hired in 2001 and an area that the program lagged behind rival SEC programs in the facilities arms race.
Here’s the need to know: The price tag will be about $30 million, it will not just be a football facility and it should be in use sometime in early 2017 at the latest. There will be an indoor track and multi-sport applications for the baseball and softball teams, too.
Now, let’s go to work on that athletic dining hall so potential recruits won’t have to sit on the ground during summer 7-on-7 camps while eating a slice of pizza for lunch.
7. 2017 RB also likes UGA
Scout.com recently detailed the recruiting of 4-star RB Khalan Laborn and he’s noticed UGA. The Virginia recruit was supposed to visit UGA for Dawg Night but that never materialized.
Scout’s Michael Clark reported that Laborn had a Top 5 that included UGA, Florida State, North Carolina, Ohio State and Virginia Tech. He also mentioned his immediate plans for visits, but those did not include UGA. He had prioritized Florida State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
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.