Sedrick Van Pran-Granger: Even Arthur Blank wants to know if he’s still ‘comfortable’ with UGA
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for an update with elite OL commit Sedrick Van Pran-Granger just after his Georgia official visit.
Have you heard that one about Sedrick Van Pran-Granger and the NFL billionaire owner? That story shows just how widespread the attention on college football recruiting is these days.
It involves the nation’s No. 1 center (247Sports Composite) and his ties to the state of Georgia Van Pran-Granger already has family in the state.
The New Orleans native will soon see more members of his immediate family move to the Atlanta area. He should still be seen as a very solid commit to Georgia.
That said, he did not sign during the early period. That caught the eyes of a lot of Georgia fans and Georgians in general, including the owner of the Atlanta Falcons.
The context of that story came up while Van Pran-Granger was describing how much the Georgia fan base has embraced him since he committed back on Aug. 17, 2019.
“My uncle stays out there in Georgia,” he said during Under Armour All-American Week down in Florida. “He called me a couple of weeks ago and you know he runs a car dealership. I think it was one of his clients or a co-worker or something. They know Arthur Blank.”
Yes, that same Arthur Blank. The pinstripe suits. Home Depot. The owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
“Arthur Blank was worried if I was going to stay committed to Georgia,” Van Pran-Granger said. “Seriously. I thought that was a really cool story. Just shows the love that I have gotten from Georgia man. It is crazy.”
Sedrick Van Pran-Granger: Where things stand
Van Pran-Granger just took his official visit to Georgia over the weekend. Did it give anything for Mr. Blank to feel better about?
SVPG’s answer sounds a lot like it was in Orlando. He’s still anchored down with his commitment to Georgia. Like a center would be with his head on a swivel tracking blitzers.
What did he have to say this week?
“I think things still remain with me with the same word that I used at Under Armour,” Van Pran-Granger said. “I haven’t been taking any home visits. We’ve been talking to the coaches when they come by at the school and stuff. We pay our respects or whatever but the overall word to describe where I am at right now is comfortable. Still comfortable.”
He took an official visit to Alabama over the Jan. 17 weekend. Georgia got its chance to host him last weekend.
Florida will now have its chance this weekend. Dan Mullen came to check in on Van Pran-Granger at Warren Easton High in New Orleans on Monday.
The recruiting process has picked up for him. He continues to receive strong interest from Alabama, Florida and LSU buzzing around his field of vision.
Those schools are still pushing.
“It is a lot more stressful than I thought it would be,” Van Pran-Granger said. “But coach [Kirby] Smart told me that it would be so I couldn’t say that I wasn’t warned.”
Georgia has been by to visit him every week. New offensive line coach Matt Luke has made those trips. Luke and receivers coach Cortez Hankton were set to pay him another visit again this week.
“He [Coach Luke] came by last week and we watched a basketball game in our school gym,” SVPG said. “That was pretty cool. He’s been by every week.”
How is that relationship progressing?
“It is going well because we he’s not treating me as a recruiter,” SVPG said. “He’s getting to know me as a person which I think is key.”
What would it take to flip Sedrick Van Pran-Granger?
Van Pran-Granger spoke with conviction back at the Under Armour Game week in Florida last month. The reason why didn’t sign with Georgia during the early period was because of a team tradition.
The players at Warren Easton sign together. Always. So the fact he did not put pen to paper during the early period had more to do with that. It wasn’t simply because Matt Luke was taking over for Sam Pittman as Georgia’s offensive line coach.
SVPG told DawgNation that he probably would have signed with Georgia during the early period if not for the Easton tradition of signing together on the traditional National Signing Day in February.
But that left an opening. It meant Alabama, Florida and LSU still kept trying. They had to. He also had three official visits left to take, too.
What would it take for one of those schools to flip him next Wednesday on National Signing Day?
“It would have to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “I would say that much.”
Dan Mullen or Nick Saban might have to promise the 6-foot-4, 305-pound senior some snaps at running back. Or quarterback.
“They will have to tell me I will have to tell me I will get the ball 12 times a game or something,” he said while laughing.
He was able to relay a funny story about the recruiting trail.
A famous person like Arthur Blank might be up to speed on the recruiting of an elite prospect like Van Pran-Granger, but the players themselves don’t hang on every ranking update and prospect page.
Or every Instagram edit.
“This is just crazy to me,” he said. “It really goes to show you at the end of the day we are still kids and we don’t necessarily look into all of the recruiting stuff.”
He brought up a simple conversation he had with Georgia signee Arian Smith in Orlando.
“Arian and I were having a full-blown conversation,” he said. “We knew each other vaguely but we didn’t put the faces together and match them up with the names. We had a full conversation and then we both ended up finding out that we were both Georgia commits after we said each other’s names.”
“That was kind of cool to me how we were able to have a down-to-earth and a real conversation without the ties that we had both been knowing that we were going to school there.”
For the record, they spoke about school, track and their high school football seasons. Not a pretty girl or a pair of shoes or a new rap track.
“We were just normal guys,” he said. “Normal kids. Talking like it. That was pretty cool.”
The Sedrick Van Pran-Granger story you still need to read
What does Matt Luke plan for Van Pran-Granger?
“The plan is to get me on campus,” he said. “While I am not on campus to get me to learn as much of the system as possible. Just trying to get me acclimated so I can try to get into hopefully the two-deep as basically get me on the field as soon as possible.”
That will be at guard or at center.
“If Trey Hill can get at center and I can get at guard, that would be cool,” he said. “Or if they need Trey Hill to slide to guard, then I can get over there at center. It all just kind of depends on how it works out and who the five best guys are really on the offensive line and get those guys in.”
The nation’s No. 1 center is an uncommon recruit. That’s not just because he aims to study graphic design in college. Or the fact he won the “Pancake Chain” at the Under Armour All-American Game for being the game’s top hole specialist up front.
— Under Armour FTBL (@UAFootball) January 3, 2020
Van Pran-Granger also won the “Strongest Man” award at the Under Armour week. He was able to bench press 185 pounds a whopping 30 times. His bench press max sits right at 335 pounds as of the summer.
His team lost the state championship game in Louisiana two times. If he’s being honest, those losses will always gnaw at him. But they will also motivate him.
If anyone knows me, you know that my heart and soul resides at 3019. I apologize for the raw emotion but it is what it is. This still doesn’t feel real. It has been an amazing ride. I love y’all boys Forever🖤🖤!!!! #AceB63gie pic.twitter.com/vCDDo2o1oC
— Sedrick Van Pran (@LXIII_NOVA) December 16, 2019
When he speaks about the reasons why he chose Georgia, he brings up uncommon things. Even for a student with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Academics are a big thing. But then he goes into the location of UGA being close to the economic engine of the Metro Atlanta area.
Baton Rouge can’t compare to that. Neither can Gainesville or Tuscaloosa. Not in his mind. If it was strictly about football, then his decision wouldn’t be to attend UGA compared to an Alabama or an LSU. But he said he needs more that that out of his college experience.
He came into a strong New Orleans program at Warren Easton and started as a freshman. By the playoff of his sophomore year, he was named a team captain. He still can’t believe that.
But the head-shaking part is what he plans to do now that he is 18 years old. He plans to honor his father, Sedrick Granger, in a very special way.
“I love my father,” he told DawgNation. “Hard working guy. I have so much respect for him.”
When he was born, his father wasn’t married to his mother. But Sedrick lives with his father now.
Sedrick Granger and his wife now plan to move from Louisiana to the Cobb County area in Metro Atlanta over the next year or so, too.
Now that he’s 18, he has the papers at home to legally change his name to Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.
“I just want to honor my Dad,” he said. “Let everyone know that because I know how it is looked at in the public world that my Dad is not in my life because I have my mom’s last name. But my Dad has always been there. I don’t have his last name but I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that. He was a very essential part of my life.”
He said that he had both parents to lean on. That shaped him into the person he is today.
“My mom always instilled in me that she wanted me to be a very respectful and a mature young man,” he said. “She also instilled a lot of education into me at a young age. My Dad always taught me to work hard and try my best. I think a lot of the way I respond to things comes from those two people.”
Sedrick Van Pran-Granger: A few hurry-up topics
The purpose of this section is rather self-explanatory.
… on what coach Luke is looking for with his Georgia offensive line personnel: “I think coach Luke wants agile linemen. I think he wants more agile linemen. He doesn’t want all brut force. Brute force is good but you definitely want to be able to move.”
.. his take on Georgia teammate Jalen Carter. Carter just picked up his fifth star: “He’s special. I think in the All-Star Game we couldn’t have a “zero tech” or a “one tech” so everybody had to be in a “two tech” and I’ll tell you one thing. When he was on the field, I automatically knew I was going to slide to his side even in that game. That will kind of tell you how good he is.”
.. on the best part of his official visit to UGA: “I really enjoyed it. Just being around the other guys. Kendall Milton was my host. So just being around those early enrollees in the class of 2020 and then getting to meet the other guys on the team. I think that was definitely an experience that you just can’t trade in.”
His thoughts on Kendall Milton: “Kendall is a very humble kid. Very chill. Very relatable guy. His biggest thing is he just wants to win really. He just wants to win.”
…on what Milton told him about his time as a Bulldog so far: “It will be work and a lot of work when it is time to work but for the most part you know it is a good life. You are going to be up there and enjoy it. It is a lot of fun basically. When it is time to work and practice you are definitely going to work but outside of that those other how other many hours left in the day to yourself you will definitely enjoy it. There is a good deal with work and school with it, too. But not to be where it is so stressful. The way the academic supports systems are set up to a player to succeed you can really just enjoy yourself.”
… on the best moment for his official visit? “I would probably say being in the dorm with all of the guys and we were just listening to music in passing and chilling and stuff. I think that was a good moment for me just vibing with those guys was definitely one of the highlights.”
…. his thoughts on what it would be like to play with 5-star OT Broderick Jones and All-American OT Tate Ratledge at Georgia: “Brod and I are really cool. Tate is a ‘Dawg, man. So I really got to see a lot about Tate and his family. I was so grateful to meet his Dad, his mom and his sister. I could definitely see myself alongside those guys.”
….. what did Kirby Smart tell him before he left at the end of his official visit: “My meeting with coach before I left was essentially basically nothing has changed. Home is going to be home. If this is the place you want to be, come home. That’s as simple as it was. That was it in a nutshell.”
What’s next for the Georgia commit? Well, he will visit the Gators this weekend. It will be a Friday and Saturday official. He will return home to New Orleans on Sunday.
Van Pran-Granger said he will have a National Signing Day ceremony at 11 A.M (EST) at Warren Eaton. He doesn’t plan to have a lot of hats or some elaborate decision reveal.
“I will have one hat,” he said. “That’s the one I am going to put on. I will pull that one hat out of the bag and be done with it.”
Which hat will be put on?
It certainly sounds like it is the one he is already very “comfortable” with.