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.
D’Andre Swift committed to Georgia yesterday. That was big news.
The commitment video proved to be as impressive as his highlight video. That’s no small feat.
The Swift decision generated a lot of scouting buzz. A noted opinion came from 247Sports veteran analyst Ryan Bartow who used the phrase “instant impact talent” in his summation. He also felt Swift could the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2017.
Those are two pretty strong takes from a back that has been compared nationally to Alvin Kamara and Emmitt Smith.
What did current UGA commitments think about the latest member of the Class of 2017? William Poole III said he was surprised by it.
Swift has been part of the 2017 group message chat but had not said much recently. I found it interesting that such a plugged-in guy like Poole wasn’t even sure Swift was on the way.
Here’s a sampling of opinion that I was able to quickly round up:
RB Toneil Carter: “I’m happy he did that. I get to play with someone of my nature. Let’s get it rocking!” (Note: Carter responded via a direct message on Twitter and followed that thought up with an impressive four-emoji salute in kind)
QB Jake Fromm: “I can’t wait to get him the ball on Saturdays in Athens,” Fromm said. “A great dude and a great football player. I can’t wait to spend the next four years of college with him and Toneil Carter at running back.”
CB William Poole III: “I’m fired up about it.”
OG Justin Shaffer: “I love it.”
OT Andrew Thomas: “That’s a great addition.”
— jaden hunter (@JadenHunter9) September 1, 2016
It should be noted Hunter did a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get Swift initially interested in Georgia. Hunter had been talking up Swift shortly after his commitment back in January, and he proved to be an effective ambassador.
A name to keep in mind
South Florida senior Dorian Hall is a name to keep in mind. He’s a 3-star safety on 247Sports but hasn’t been evaluated enough to earn a ranking from all of the major recruiting services.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Hall also does not play for a winning program (three wins in two years). But the four-year starter told DawgNation on Thursday night that he will take an official visit to UGA. Hall earned his offer in a way that screams old school.
He was on a summer camp tour and thought the Bulldogs had a good 2015 season, so he went to a June camp in Athens. Kind of like a cold call in sales. Well, he camped well and earned an offer from both Mel Tucker and Kirby Smart afterward.
Hall also has an offer from FSU. That’s the school he grew up rooting for and he said that’s the school he hears the most from in terms of recruiting attention. That said, he did say he was wide open and he could see himself playing at Georgia.
The fact he plans to make his decision after his senior season and will take an official visit to Georgia definitely places him in the “name to know” column for 2017. Is he a major Georgia priority yet? That’s probably not the case as he said he hasn’t received a bunch of recruiting edits from the Bulldogs yet.
But he was impressed by what he saw out of the program on that unofficial visit.
“I got to walk around campus and I liked what I got to see during that camp,” Hall said. “I went into the weight room and watched them lift as a team. It seemed like they work real hard and they are going to make you work hard for what you have to get. I want to go play in the NFL and it really seemed like Georgia can really get you prepared for that.”
Grades won’t be an issue. Hall said he wants to be an engineer and that he carries a 3.6 grade-point average and scored a 20 on his ACT. He said he hears from Georgia about once a week, but he wasn’t sure that he could commit to Georgia right now if it was his desire to do so.
Hall also plays quarterback for South Broward and said he can launch a football approximately 70 yards. He said he also hears a lot from LSU.
That sounds like a lot of little clues that point to the fact he could be an under-the-radar Georgia target for 2017. He said Tucker pointed out how well he could cover ground and shadow receivers with his length.
At 6-foot-5, Hall has elite size for a safety. That’s because he grew five inches since the summer prior to his sophomore year in high school. He said that Florida State, Georgia, N.C. State and Toledo were the schools likely to get official visits at this time.
Check out his film below. That eye in the sky does not lie. There are a lot of highlights at QB, and he does wield a strong arm and shows the athletic ability to avoid the rush while still keeping his eyes downfield.
Georgia’s Opening tally increases
Swift’s commitment on Thursday increased the number of Georgia commitments who were at The Opening to nine. The rundown:
- 4-star QB Jake Fromm, Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.)
- 4-star RB Toneil Carter, Langham Creek (Houston, Texas)
- 4-star RB D’Andre Swift, St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- 4-star WR Trey Blount, Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
- 4-star OL Andrew Thomas, Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
- 4-star OL D’Antne Demery, Brunswick High (Brunswick, Ga.)
- 4-star LB Jaden Hunter, Westlake High (Atlanta, Ga.)
- 4-star CB William Poole III, Hapeville Charter Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
- 5-star S Richard LeCounte III, Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.)
That roll call speaks loudly to the caliber of recruiting class under construction at UGA, but not as much as another number. The following takes into account DawgNation’s recent projection for the eventual signing class. Here are those six names:
- 4-star WR Nico Collins, Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.)
- 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman, Covington (Newton, Ga.)
- 4-star WR Mark Webb Jr., Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)
- 4-star DE Malik Herring, Mary Persons (Forsyth, Ga.)
- 4-star LB Leonard Warner III, Brookwood High (Snellville, Ga.)
- 4-star DB DeAngelo Gibbs, Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.)
I also consider Pace Academy junior OL Jamaree Salyer such a likely future commitment, so Georgia could wind up with 16 future players who were at The 2016 Opening in Oregon this summer.
The Bulldogs also have a great shot to add LB Kenney “KJ” Britt (Oxford, Ala.) to that group. The chances of reeling in SEC talent from that state are never great, but I feel the Bulldogs will finish no worse than No. 2 behind Auburn in the race for Britt.
That’s roughly 10 percent of all the players at The Opening likely on their way to the same school. That’s a feat, but also keep in mind that is the sort of haul that programs like Alabama and Ohio State now reel in every year.
Just want to say thanks
I’d like to take just a few words and express my sincere appreciation to everyone who came out last night to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the DawgNation Daily podcast with my colleague Brandon Adams last night at Slingshot Entertainment in Norcross.
I’ll borrow a phrase used by the late and very great Larry Munson when I say that all the “Dawg People” who came out really showed us that the work we do provides a service that sometimes we all don’t think about while pumping out content and news.
I think I can sum up the occasion for Adams, Chip Towers and myself, plus former Bulldogs David Greene and Randy McMichael, by saying it was a privilege to meet everyone and see firsthand just how important Georgia football is to everyone right now.
I met fans who keep up with four-year scholarship numbers, that track the seniors on the team in relation to the scholarship cap and folks who keep spreadsheets comparing the size of the Georgia players in relation to Alabama and other power programs.
It humbles me to be able to share the latest news with such a ravenous following every day, and I consider it to be a great honor for that to be my vocation. As a father with young kids, it means something to know that the time I spend away from my family is contributing to the cause of keeping DawgNation informed.
(Ok, That’s enough of that. I’ll take a knee on all that sentimentality so I can go check in on a couple recruits. )
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and 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. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.