Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or that 5-star might be leaning and sprinkle in a dab of perspective to help folks figure out what it all means.
This is a big week for Georgia commitment Latavious Brini.
Brini, a four-star cornerback from Mater Academy in South Florida, chose Georgia on July 3, but Friday night will mark his return to competition. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive back has been sidelined by a sports hernia injury that he suffered back in spring practice.
The senior finally got his clearance to return to the field Tuesday, and his first day back at practice will be on Wednesday. “I feel strong and I feel good,” Brini said. “I feel like I can run a 4.2 (second time) in the 40 right now.”
The nation’s No. 33 cornerback prospect told DawgNation on Tuesday night that he was a specific “87.6 percent” committed to the Bulldogs.
“Georgia is in really great shape with me right now,” Brini said. “Tell those fans out there that they don’t really need to worry.”
That number might seem shaky, but also consider that Brini has the word “Loyalty” inscribed on his body, too. Florida and Miami are still pursuing him hard, but the constant attention he receives from Georgia is currently matching that affection.
Brini (far left) has finally been cleared to return to the field and wear his No. 1 for Mater Academy on Friday night. (Latavious Brini/ Special)
Brini told GatorCountry.com in late July he was “90 percent” committed to Georgia. Brini said Tuesday night if a school he wasn’t interested in asked him about that, then he’d reply he’s “100 percent sure” about his commitment to Georgia.
But what if a recruiter from Florida or Miami asked him that?
“I’m going to tell those schools they are going to have to work hard to beat out Georgia,” Brini said.
Why is Georgia still his top school?
“The thing about Georgia is there is nothing like Athens,” he said.
If that doesn’t sound concrete, then perhaps a few personal relationships might. Brini said that the 2017 commit group text message is one way he stays connected to UGA despite living about 675 miles away from Sanford Stadium.
Brini’s early commitment seems vital given that a pair of four-star in-state UGA targets at cornerback (A.J. Terrell to Clemson and Jamyest Williams to South Carolina) chose to commit to other programs.
“Georgia is doing everything it needs to in order to keep me,” Brini said. “They just need to keep texting me and sending me messages and then maybe just a little bit more and everything will be great.”
He’s getting a stream of graphic edits from Georgia and hears from the program just about every day. Brini felt that four-star linebacker Jaden Hunter was the current commit he stays in touch with the most, but there’s a current Bulldog who serves as an even bigger ambassador. Brini grew up in the same neighborhood which produced former U.S. Army All-American and current Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker.
“He was a childhood friend I grew up with,” Brini said. “He told me about Georgia and how it is and it just came to me it could also be the place for me. … He’s just been telling me how much he likes it at Georgia and how peaceful it is up there and how much the people love you there and treat you like family. ”
Brini is not sure when he will take his official visit to Georgia. Louisville is another school that is still chasing him.
When he watched the North Carolina game on Saturday, he was impressed by Alabama transfer defensive back Maurice Smith. He also paid very close attention to the secondary. His primary recruiters for Georgia have been receivers coach James Coley and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
“Georgia was doing everything on defense against North Carolina the staff said they would,” Brini said. “It was like I got to hear all that stuff as a recruit, but then I saw first-hand that they were going to do what they said they were going to do out on the field this year.”
Brini said also would consider himself to be at least an acquaintance with Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie on the Georgia roster. On the subject of edits, he shared an out-of-the-blue opinion.
“I am not going to lie about it when I tell you that Kentucky sends the best edits man,” he said. “They sent me this one edit where it was a bunch of words and then just my face and you had to put it all together. It was pretty nice.”
G-Things: 5 things to know about Brini
- When he got the green light to play this week, the Mater Academy standout celebrated by performing his first back-flip. UGA five-star commit Richard LeCounte III will no doubt crack a smile to learn that another #SICEM17 pledge is now a part of the backflip club.
- He uses the handle “Tall_Man26” as his Twitter name. Georgia is recruiting a four-star cornerback who goes by a “Tall Man” nickname. That should bode well for defending fade routes in red zone situations.
- Brini saw his younger brother in the Class of 2019 commit to Temple this week. That’s a similar path that he followed in his prep career. The Brini family knows a member of the Temple coaching staff who works in a support staff role for the Owls. That relationship has led to the fit within that program.
- He has two tattoos and hopes to get another this fall. He’s considering the word “Faith” or the phrase “God’s Gift” for his next session with a tattoo artist. His other tattoo is an image of a cross with wings that spreads across his chest.
- He’s thinking way out-of-the-box for a new pet. He’s intrigued by the idea of a pet alligator yet understands the complexity of such an idea.
Nation’s No. 2 for 2018 considering a trip
South Carolina resident Xavier Thomas is already considering taking his first trip to Georgia. The five-star defensive end is rated as the nation’s No. 2 prospect for 2018.
Thomas (Wilson High School/Florence, SC) told SEC Country’s Hale McGranhan he was going to visit Georgia this weekend, but that is no longer a certainty.
Thomas is rated as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect for the Class of 2018. (Student Sports)
The noon kickoff for Nicholls State has affected what would have been his first visit to UGA. Thomas told DawgNation on Tuesday night that he was still in the process of figuring out where he will be this weekend.
The nearly 6-foot-3, 249-pounder was one of the top defensive line prospects at Nike’s all-star “The Opening” prospect showcase in Oregon this summer. He ran a blistering 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and also came up with a 31-inch vertical leap. His 4.3-second showing in the shuttle drill was faster than a pair of Georgia’s 2017 commits (WR Trey Blount and LB Jaden Hunter) in that drill.
Clemson and South Carolina are considered the teams to beat for Thomas, but the Top 4 he announced after the Opening also included Florida State and Ohio State.
Thomas had a live interview with SEC Country and also told McGranahan he will study engineering in college.
Fromm’s record pace
The editorial team at Georgia High School Football Daily provides a great service to high school football fans in Georgia. They track just about everything regarding the sport and their latest newsletter shared a few impressive tidbits about Georgia’s four-star QB commit, Jake Fromm.
- The Houston County senior authored a 27-of-36 passing line for a career-high 510 yards and four touchdowns last Friday in a 50-27 win against Eagle’s Landing. He is credited by GHSF Daily as being as one of only 10 passers in state history to record a 500-yard passing night.
- They made the point that it is doubtful that any Georgia prep quarterback has had a more impressive start than what Fromm has shown so far in 2016. He’s currently completed 79 of his 109 pass attempts for 1,376 yards and 12 touchdowns.
- He’s averaging 458.7 passing yards per game but has also completed 72.4 percent of his passes so far this season.
- Fromm can break Clemson Heisman Trophy candidate DeShaun Watson’s state record of 13,077 career passing yards by merely throwing for 300 yards per game over his next seven games. The state record for passing yards in a single season is 4,560 yards. That record — set by former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason — could be eclipsed at that same pace if Fromm plays 14 games this fall.
Fromm won the 2015 Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year Award and is a contender for the national honor this fall.
Fromm is a very special player who will provide stiff competition for Jacob Eason at Georgia while they are both in Athens. That’s not because of all those stats, but for the things that get lost among the headlines regarding the senior from Houston County.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for DawgNation.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.