Sentell’s Intel: 4-star RB Devon Lawrence calls UGA a ‘dream school’ and will visit soon
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 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Devon Lawrence is somehow a bit of a recruiting secret. He’s a 4-star recruit, but somehow a few of his 16 reported offers have not been publicized.
That seems pretty hard to imagine given his older brother was regarded as a consensus 5-star prospect in the 2016 class.
Dexter Lawrence wound up rated as the nation’s No. 2 prospect and has been a wrecking ball at times as a freshman. Clemson signed the 6-foot-5, 340-pound defensive tackle, but his younger brother excels at a different position.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder hails from North Carolina and that places him in the same class as 5-star RB Zamir White. White — as DawgNation has chronicled — is the nation’s consensus top RB for the 2018 class.
DawgNation has learned the 4-star prospect could very well be Georgia’s top target at RB behind White in the junior class. The Wake Forest High standout also said three very interesting things regarding his recruiting on Wednesday.
He called Alabama and Georgia his “dream schools” growing up. The junior already has offers from both programs.
“Just because they always had running backs who produced,” Lawrence said. “I always watched those teams because of their running backs.”
Lawrence also said he plans to take his first visit to UGA later this month for the Auburn game.
That’s a serious packet of information for a player that none of the major recruiting services even list as holding an offer from the Bulldogs. He’s currently rated as the nation’s No. 13 prospect at RB for 2018.
Alabama actually offered him before the Bulldogs, but Lawrence said that Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia were recruiting him the hardest at this time. Ohio State was also coming at him hard.
Lawrence lists other big-name offers from the likes of FSU, Georgia Tech, Maryland, N.C. State and Tennessee but also indicated he’s ready to narrow things down.
He’s been mapping things out with his coaches to establish a Top 10 at the end of this season. The junior felt that Clemson, North Carolina and very likely Georgia will also already get official visits.
There’s a sense of urgency to naming that Top 10 because he plans to enroll early in January of 2018. He aspires to pursue a double major in criminal justice and communications.
It must be noted that a lot of his top schools are also major players for White. He’s aware of that and takes a mature attitude toward that. Lawrence realizes teams need to employ multiple backs to keep everyone fresh and healthy during the grind of a 12-game season.
That’s what he said he likes best about Georgia right now.
“I watch the games and see how Georgia is with (Sony) Michel and (Nick) Chubb,” Lawrence said. “I like their rotation because you are not going to play a whole game without getting tired. They are smart about that. Smart about rotating them in and out knowing what they can and cannot do and what situations to put them in and whatnot.”
He’s a versatile player who has already gotten experience lining up in the slot and all over the field. He’s a lot like Georgia’s Sony Michel in that regard. He also patterns his game after NFL back David Johnson with the Arizona Cardinals.
“He’s all about power and speed,” said Lawrence, who can already power clean 295 pounds in his own right.
That’s how his game compares to what White brings to the field.
“If we happen to both go to the same school we are just going to have to battle it out,” Lawrence said. “He’s a great runner. No doubt. I’ve watched him and seen him play. If we both like the same school, then that team is just going to get two great players. It will be a battle from there. You just have to win your spot.”
He wears the same No. 3 as former Georgia great Todd Gurley. That’s another factor which can help Georgia’s cause.
“That man is an animal,” he said.
Lawrence said he’s been hand-timed as low as 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
North Carolina State was the first school to offer Lawrence back during his freshman year. He seems to hold the Wolfpack in high regard. Lawrence felt that the relationship he has with Des Kitchings was one of the strongest he’s established during his recruiting journey up to this point.
Good news on the way?
DawgNation has projected Cairo 4-star OLB Walter Grant to the Class of 2017 for quite some time and it looks like that will become a reality later tonight.
Grant is set to make his college choice between Alabama and Georgia tonight at the conclusion of Cairo’s game with Northside-Columbus. Grant is a vital target. DawgNation currently lists him as one of the program’s 5 biggest remaining targets for this year.
He’s stated in the past that Alabama was his dream school growing up but it appears that Kirby Smart and lead recruiter Kevin Sherrer have earned his commitment by coming at him harder than anyone else. Florida State is also a factor in his decision.
The buzz word for Grant would be versatility. The coaching staff at Cairo told DawgNation that when Nick Saban offered Grant he was impressed by how he covered a back down the field on a wheel route. That’s a big plus for a 6-foot-4 recruit who weighs in right at 237 pounds.
Grant has webs for hands. Those have been measured at 10-plus inches across and he’s been credited with an 80-plus inch wingspan. He can line up inside or outside at linebacker and could also perform at a high level as a weak-side defensive end.
A lot of prospects think they can do that. Grant is one of the few that can actually pull it off.
His skill set also allows him to do a lot of things on offense for the Syrupmakers. He’s gotten 66 carries for 466 yards at running back this year. Those have been good for six touchdowns. The senior will also line up at tight end and he’s grabbed four catches for 38 yards as a receiver.
He’s even completed his one pass attempt this year for a 16-yard touchdown. Very few elite LB prospects can say they have done that.
Huge visit weekend for Malik Herring
I continue to look at 4-star DE Malik Herring as the most committed undecided prospect in America. He’s projected into this year’s class and does not mask his affection toward playing for Kirby Smart at Georgia.
DawgNation feels Clemson is the only school that poses a threat to UGA securing a commitment from Herring. The chances of that happening will likely be known after this weekend.
The nation’s No. 5 strong-side DE prospect will be in Clemson this weekend for an unofficial visit.
“This is a big visit for my recruitment,” Herring said.
I feel this visit will be crucial for any chances the Tigers might have in turning Herring’s attention away from Athens.
HUGE weekend for me!!! #Decisions ??
— Malik Herring (@HerringMalik) November 3, 2016
The latest on Trey Hill
Houston County junior OG Deontrey “Trey” Hill continues to impress. He had a strong game against No. 2 Northside last week. Hill also recently received an invitation to take part in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Game in Texas.
His status as one of the nation’s top prospects at guard for the Class of 2018 is a given. The nearly 6-foot-4, 320-pounder has seen his stock soar this season. Hill had been rated as an offensive tackle prior to this season, but he’s now been established in scouting circles as a likely guard at the next level.
Hill is now rated as the nation’s No. 2 offensive guard for his signing class.
That gives UGA a great shot at landing both of the nation’s top guards for 2018. The Bulldogs have all but established themselves as the team to beat for Pace Academy 5-star OL Jamaree Salyer.
Hill is also close with his teammate Jake Fromm. Fromm will be a major factor in Georgia’s chances with Hill down the stretch. Fromm signed with UGA this week and will enroll early in January.
“He’s been talking to me a lot about Georgia,” Hill said. “He’s been telling me it is a great place and stuff. I will be listening to whatever he has to say. I know he wouldn’t lie to me about anything just to get me there. So I will take whatever he has to say with high consideration.”
Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman has been in regular contact almost every week.
“I talked to him just the other day,” Hill said. “He’s ready for me to get back up there and get to another game and stuff like that.”
Hill plans to be in Athens for the Auburn game. He rolled off Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee as the schools which have been recruiting him the hardest of late.
He’s not on any timeline to make that decision.
“I can see it stretching into my senior year,” he said.
The 4-star prospect is a tackle for the Bears, but look for him to slide inside somewhere most likely in the SEC. He did tell DawgNation that he’s working to enroll early in January of 2018 with a plan to major in sports management or sports medicine.
Another Fromm on the come up
The recruiting attention placed on Jake Fromm has allowed DawgNation the chance to get a good look at the maturation process of his younger brother. Tyler Fromm is a sophomore receiver at Houston County and he’s gotten a little bit better every time we’ve seen him over the last six month.
He’s also an impressive size athlete who projects to either receiver or at tight end at the next level. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder could be an SEC tight end if he maintains his quickness while putting another 20 pounds over the next two years.
Tyler Fromm has caught 33 of his brother’s passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns. That’s an average gain of 16.3 yards. He’s also impressed me this year with his toughness coming down with balls in tight quarters.
Fromm was also recently named to the Georgia Sophomore Elite Classic. That’s a sure sign that college scouts will have him on the radar for the next two recruiting cycles.
Dylan Fromm, his twin brother, will be throwing to him in 2017 and 2018. He’s set to take the reins at quarterback for Houston County after his older brother enrolls at UGA in January.
— Joe Windon (@jwindon35) October 31, 2016
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Follow Jeff Sentell 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.