There’s a lot to look at this week as Sanford Stadium cranks up for the first big home game of the 2015 slate with the old ball coach and his “Visor of Doom” standing on the opposing sideline.
This week sets up as a big recruiting weekend for UGA as it hosts its first official visitors of the season. It also looks like a priority weekend for out-of-state targets with 2016 wide receiver commitment Davion Curtis making a rare first trip to the UGA campus even though he’s already committed. The speedy Texas receiver committed to UGA this summer without ever having stepped foot in Athens.
I’m betting that he won’t leave the 706 area code wondering if his “blind commitment” was with a city and a school that is serious about football. Virginia 3-star receiver Grant Holloway is also on the official visitor list. He’s an underrated talent. Get your hopes up for that guy despite those stars. He’s a rare athlete.
Offensive line target Landon Dickerson is also coming into town from North Carolina, but that’s for an unofficial visit.
The Curtis and Holloway visits are big, but perhaps the biggest visitors to watch are detailed in Monday’s UGA Recruiting Rewind below. One of those guys is a 4-star long shot and another is a 4-star RB who would continue the tradition of pairing up elite prospects in each recruiting class at his position.
1. UGA’s QB of the future fires perfect game
One of the biggest UGA recruiting angles of the weekend was the ability to see 5-star commit Jacob Eason take his second start of the season. The nearly 6-foot-6 rocket launcher did not disappoint. He completed all 13 of his pass attempts for 272 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-7 runaway.
The AJC had exclusive video and also got the chance to get Eason’s take on his game. He said all the right things and even credited his team. His last line of the interview was a poignant “Go Dawgs” and that just sort of capped his perfect night from a UGA perspective.
2. Takeaways from Eason’s perfect night
I’ve got three quick-hit thoughts from the Eason video:
- Ever seen the movie “Varsity Blues” from back in the day? It appears like Eason has a corps of undersized receivers that display the ball skills and quicks portrayed by the reckless “Tweeter” in that movie. Those guys can play and had velcro on their hands on a few catches.
- The game was a rout and Eason did not play three full quarters. It also must be taken into consideration he plays in a state and a region that’s pretty light on SEC and even Power 5 talent. I’ve heard scouts that are familiar with that area offer the perspective that Eason probably won’t go up against more than 15 players all year who will play major college ball.
- “Skinny” also appears to be a giant among men in every clip. He also displays the characteristics of a great leader and a guy who other young men will most certainly lay it on the line for. And oh yeah, he has no trouble getting the ball downfield.
I figured I’d lead off today’s Rewind with a nugget or three about the “Golden Boy” of the future given that folks aren’t really looking all that closely at the QB position on the current roster at this time. (Note: That’s sarcasm, folks.)
Random thought: How does the IMDB only give “Varsity Blues” a 6 rating? C’mon, man. Did you see what they did with dessert toppings in that movie?
3. 4-star CB set to visit UGA
We will call this one the longshot of longshots, but Oregon commit Jared Mayden will also visit Athens this week. The 4-star recruit from Texas will be coming into town for South Carolina and his 247sports player page lists him with having received 43 offers. He’s rated as the No. 11 cornerback in the country per 247’s composite algorithm.
Mayden released a top seven list before committing to Oregon, and UGA did not make the cut at that time. It should be noted that Mayden released his list one day after receiving an offer from UGA in late June.
4. Another V.I.P. visitor
Who are the most important visitors this weekend? UGA really needs to hook Holloway this weekend as it will be his first official visit and he may only take 2-3 other visits and not his full allotment.
The other guy who has to have a great time at UGA this week is 4-star Texas RB Devwah Whaley. Whaley is actually rated higher on the 247sports composite than recent UGA commitment Elijah Holyfield. His high school team has an open date this week so it allows UGA to get a long Friday, Saturday and early Sunday visit out of the trip.
Whaley told the AJC over the weekend that UGA running backs coach Thomas Brown made a trip out to see him on the Friday before the Vanderbilt game. He’s a priority and said this summer that Holyfield or any other back committing to UGA would not bother him. He also said Brown told him he’d have a scholarship no matter who else had committed to UGA by the time he makes his decision.
He’s well-versed in UGA’s recent history of taking two elite running backs every two years to keep that position loaded with talent. Whaley already realizes that’s a must for a back to survive in the SEC these days.
5. 5-star UGA target sets his final official visit
Priority target Isaac Nauta set up his final official visit over the weekend. The 5-star TE is definitely wanted in Athens and the feeling is mutual. Nauta announced on his Twitter account over the weekend that he has scheduled his final official visit to Ole Miss.
Nauta — who transferred from Buford to Florida’s IMG Academy this year — is on the same team with Ole Miss verbal Shea Patterson. Patterson has even overtaken Eason as the top-ranked QB in the nation for the Class of 2016 in the eyes of several of the recruiting sites.
If you didn’t get the chance to read it earlier this month, the young man has a remarkable personal story.
6. OL target high on UGA and down on Auburn
The AJC caught up recently with JUCO offensive lineman Demetri Moore and he has some interesting things to say about UGA and its SEC West rival Auburn.
The five-second read of that situation is Moore really wanted an Auburn offer, but the time frame was skewed. That offer came late and he even felt that Auburn offered only because UGA had already done so.
Immediate playing time at UGA is the pitch and the big tackle would have the chance to come in and play early next fall.
7. Maryland powerhouse has UGA’s attention
Maryland’s DeMatha Catholic has taken on all comers this year with its schedule and its talent-laden roster has been up to the task. 2016 OG Terrance Davis is a major UGA priority target and 2017 5-star RB Anthony McFarland, Jr. told 247sports recently that UGA was very high on his list.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder has serious speed and acceleration and would give the UGA backfield a different look than Holyfield or Whaley.
The Bulldogs were also the latest in a flurry of teams this month to offer 6-foot-5 defensive end Chase Young off the same team. The four-star DE tweeted out news of his UGA offer on Friday.
8. UGA after another prospect from Alabama
Have you noticed the inroads of late that UGA is trying to make into Alabama? The Bulldogs are after two highly-sought targets from the Class of 2017 in cornerback Malcolm Askew and receiver Nico Collins.
Well, there’s another name to keep on the radar. North Alabama offensive tackle Kendall Randolph tweeted out on Sunday that he has received an offer from UGA.
Askew recently told the AJC that UGA is his still his leader. The 6-foot-5 Collins also told DawgNation he’s made two trips to UGA already this year and will also return for the Alabama game.
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.