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.
The home opener on Saturday means the first chance for the new Georgia staff to host a batch of recruits for the first time in the regular season at Sanford Stadium.
Will there be as many folks in the stands as there was for the spring game?
Somehow we can oddly ask that question after #93KDay back in April. DawgNation has put together a listing of the key recruits expected to be at the game on Saturday. At first glance, there looks to be a mixture of commits and key targets.
One thing that jumps out is the chance to woo a huge recruit and give them “white glove” service on an important trip. That’s the case for 2018 five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas out of South Carolina.
The nation’s No. 2 overall prospect for his class established a Top 4 this summer and Georgia was not in the mix. Yet Thomas will be in Sanford Stadium on Saturday. It offers the chance to play catch-up to Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and South Carolina.
It will be his first trip and a chance for the Bulldogs to get in the race for a 6-foot-3 and 249-pound defensive end who can clock a 4.58 laser time in the 40-yard dash. Thomas was at Nike’s “The Opening” this summer and definitely turned all heads even while competing against the top prospects in the Class of 2017.
I probably wouldn’t expect dozens of major recruits every weekend. Especially for the non-conference games on the schedule. It seems logical given that Georgia already has 15 commitments out of a projected 27 signees for next February.
That allows for coordinators and recruiters to spend quality time with a few key targets rather than deal with juggling a lot of important guys at the same time.
Recruit Smarter. Not harder.
Here’s what DawgNation has confirmed so far:
- 4-star WR Trey Blount (Pace Academy / Atlanta, Ga.)
- 4-star OG Netori Johnson (Cedar Grove/ Ellenwood, Ga.)
- 4-star OG Justin Shaffer (Cedar Grove/ Ellenwood, Ga.)
- 4-star OL Andrew Thomas (Pace Academy, Atlanta, Ga.)
- 3-star DT Devonte Wyatt (Towers / Decatur, Ga.)
- 4-star DE Malik Herring (Mary Persons / Forsyth, Ga.)
- 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman (Newton / Covington, Ga.)
- 3-star OG Warren Ericson (North Gwinnett / Duluth, Ga.)
- 5-star DE Xavier Thomas (Wilson / Florence, SC)
WHERE EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING
- 4-star ILB Kenney “KJ” Britt plans to be at the Auburn-Arkansas State game.
- 2017 4-star DE/OLB Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant is thinking about a Florida visit.
- 2017 4-star WR Nico Collins does not plan to be at a game.
- 2017 4-star Georgia QB commit Jake Fromm might be bow hunting this weekend.
- 2017 4-star S DeAngelo Gibbs does not plan to be at a game.
- 2017 4-star Georgia OLB commit Jaden Hunter does not plan to be at a game.
- 2018 5-star QB Trevor Lawrence does not plan to be at a game.
- 2017 5-star Georgia S commit Richard LeCounte III does not plan to be at a game.
- 2017 4-star ILB Tyler Taylor will be at a funeral.
- 2017 4-star ILB Nate McBride does not plan to be at a game.
Devonte Wyatt off to a strong senior year
When Georgia flipped three-star DT Devonte Wyatt from South Carolina, that was big news. Wyatt’s story is very moving and he does plan to be at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.
The feeling here is that Wyatt is a lot better than his No. 46 overall ranking at DT for the Class of 2017. He’s still rated as the No. 58 player in Georgia for this year, but the bulk of that has to do with the fact he’s underexposed.
The Towers coaching staff reports that Wyatt has had a dominating start to his senior season. He’s picked up 35 total tackles and 8.5 sacks so far this year. He’s also collected 11 tackles for losses, two forced fumbles and also blocked a punt. That’s through three games for a 1-2 team.
Wyatt will get a good test later this fall when Towers faces imposing Pace Academy in region play. He’s also dabbled at running back this year. His coaches at Towers report that he has legit 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash. The video on this tweet below shows one of his recent carries at running back.
Do anything to help my team win pic.twitter.com/oRUIFMh9u7
— Devonte Wyatt (@datboi_vontae) September 5, 2016
Newton receiver Jeremiah Holloman tweeted out that he recently had a dream that showed him where he should play college football. The four-star receiver is a key target for the Class of 2017 for Georgia. DawgNation projects him to be in the eventual Class of 2017 at Georgia.
So that tweet led me to ask him what that dream was all about. The 6-foot-2 Holloman is always very gracious with his time, but he respectfully chose to leave those details out. It makes one wonder if his cousin Leonard Floyd was in that dream.
Miami and Tennessee are also strong contenders for Holloman.
What we did see last weekend was Holloman making friends with a lot of Bulldog fans prior to the North Carolina game. Holloman visited Georgia prior to the kickoff and supposedly then went to Auburn to catch the Clemson game.
— kim little (@kimlittle3388) September 5, 2016
His PrepForce highlight mix is out so far for the first third of his senior season. Holloman — among many other skills like being a multiple state champion in the triple jump in track — is also a pretty good punter for his Rams.
He also had an interesting tweet on Thursday night regarding the news that Jacob Eason was going to start on Saturday for Georgia.
We in there https://t.co/yXUlG47Nic
— Jeremiah Holloman (@Obey_Classics) September 9, 2016
McBride out for this Friday night
Nate McBride, the major Georgia target at ILB for the Class of 2017, does not plan to be in action for Vidalia High School on Friday night against West Laurens. He’s got a pulled rib muscle and will likely sit this week out.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Super 11 selection has sprinter’s speed at linebacker and can pair that with a 400-pound bench press.
Don’t look for him to make any decisions until at least after he takes a long-awaited official visit to Oregon early in October. That’s long been a school he has long admired for the way they incorporate speed into their gameplans on both sides of the ball. He also can’t help but like all their flashy colors and cool Nike gear.
He’s part of a logjam at linebacker. Georgia should sign up to six linebackers this year (even depending on counting a couple of guys at defensive end) for the Class of 2017. UGA double legacy Jaden Hunter is the only current commitment at that position.
McBride figures to be at the top of the board for Georgia at inside linebacker. Brookwood four-star LB Leonard Warner is also very high on Georgia’s list at that spot, too.
LeCounte and Cam Newton
Watching Carolina in the NFL opener brought to mind a quick story that UGA’s top-rated recruit told me this summer down at IMG Academy. Liberty County five-star safety Richard LeCounte III played for the reigning NFL MVP’s 7-on-7 team this summer.
This wasn’t just some token sponsorship by Newton either. He held practices and worked the boys and ingrained himself into their lives during 7-on-7 season. He’d even leave straight from mini-camp and Carolina practices to work with these boys.
Well, the naturally charismatic Newton just seemed to click with LeCounte right from the start.
“That’s one of the few genuine people on this Earth I’ve met that just loves to give back,” LeCounte said of Newton this summer. “You can tell he loves giving back and feels that he has to give back because of all the blessings he’s received. You see that with being with him over all these days. It is just not about anything for him. He wants to see us all do well just as much as anyone that’s out here in our families watching us. He invests his time and his energy and his sweat just do help us have our own stories coming up just like he did. He wants that for us, too.”
Newton seemed to have just as much fun calling plays for his team and his guys did making them.
“He is just like a big brother to me,” LeCounte said of Newton.
While quarterback and safety are light years apart, the way they play the game is similar. They both have fun playing and it is fun to watch them both perform.
“That’s why Cam and I get along so well,” LeCounte said. “He says that I remind him of himself when he was coming up. Just play ball and do everything you can to help your team win.”