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.
Jamaree Salyer is a very big guy. It means he’s going to do everything big.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pounder was named the MVP of the OL group this year at Nike’s “The Opening” regional at Buford High. He dominated. Period.
The 5-star prospect then went to Oregon and made his way into the final Top 5 offensive line group amid that star-studded cast. The key point: He just a rising junior and he stood out among elite trench players that were at least one grade level older than he was.
His evaluation from those showings reinforced why the Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) standout is rated as the nation’s No. 1 guard and No. 11 overall prospect for 2018.
Salyer wore a big smile on his face after Georgia’s 13-7 win against Auburn. He’s only been to two football games this year.
Both of those trips were to UGA.
The prototype guard couldn’t think of anything else off the top of his head the Bulldogs could possibly do to recruit him any better than what they are currently doing.
“I think Georgia definitely showed me a lot as a program on that visit,” Salyer said. “They are always pretty high on my list. I have a lot of respect for the school. Athens is just a great place. I have just mad respect for the coaching staff and mad respect for the school. There’s not much really more they can show me at this point. I just like it up there.”
Salyer added he hopes Georgia will continue to build on that relationship going forward. That meant not just staying on top of him, but also making sure his parents stay well-informed through the process, too.
There are other contenders. He’s looking to set up a trip to Ohio State for the Michigan game. He also wanted to get to a Clemson game “really bad” this year but just never got the chance to.
“I’ve always planned to get to a lot of other schools to check them out,” Salyer said. “But it is always something that comes up. Somebody might get sick or something else comes up.”
On those Georgia trips, he’s constantly “lined up” next to Pace teammate Andrew Thomas. Thomas is a locked-in commitment to play tackle at UGA for 2017. Those two have been very close since their middle school football days.
They always leave one seat between them at Sanford Stadium.
“You know how us big guys are,” Salyer told DawgNation. “We like to have that one seat in between us so we can both stretch out.”
There was a tweet from back in the summer where all the offensive line commits took a picture sitting in the UGA locker room. There were four future Bulldogs, but they left one empty seat in the middle of a makeshift 5-man line.
You better believe that seat in the middle was intended for Salyer.
Who's next ????? ? pic.twitter.com/ZdbWA3Ey7L
— Andrew Thomas (@allforgod_55) July 17, 2016
Georgia’s chances with Salyer
Expect Salyer to fully research his decision. He’ll go through his process with a lot of key visits. That said, a lot of his evaluation process took place last year while Thomas vetted his decision. Those two are extremely likely to play together on Saturdays.
“I wasn’t real sure where Andrew was going to end up,” Salyer said. “It came down to the wire with him between Georgia and Clemson. I couldn’t really figure it out. But it seems like he made the right decision for himself. He’s happy with the choice he made.”
Trey Blount — a 4-star receiver in the 2017 class and another Pace teammate — is strongly committed to Georgia. He’s constantly in Salyer’s ear about the benefits of playing at UGA.
Thomas visited Clemson, Notre Dame and UGA and considered those options last summer. When he took those trips, he had a wingman in Salyer. Those two have very similar value systems and beliefs about what they want at the next level.
Salyer laid out what he’s thinking right now regarding Georgia. He said the Auburn win impressed him.
“It just gave me a sense of confidence in the coaching staff,” he said. “To be able to pull out a win with a young team like that and to be able to fight it out and get a win against a highly-touted team like Auburn was something. (They did it) with a great defense. I just think that speaks volumes about the coaching staff and even the players. It is something that definitely catches your eye as a recruit.”
Georgia line coach Sam Pittman always seems to provide a memorable line or moment when he’s around Salyer. The popular assistant did not disappoint during his last visit.
Salyer described a unique scene. Picture the scene when a groom carries his bride over the threshold for the first time. That’s a good start.
“We were in the locker room after the game and he just walked up to me and tried to pick me up,” Salyer said. “You know how you pick your wife up after a wedding? I think he was so happy he tried to pick me up and ride off into the sunset.”
Let’s emphasize the word “tried” in that statement. Pittman tried but was not able to manage it. It might take an Olympian power lift to accomplish that feat with Salyer.
Projecting Salyer going forward
He’s got a general finish line in mind for his decision.
“I think I will definitely be more of a late finisher,” Salyer said. “Hopefully by ‘The Opening’ I will maybe have a decision. I’m probably leaning though to being a later finisher. Maybe toward the end of my senior season and maybe after my senior season. It could go either way. It all depends on how I feel and how my family feels about the school.”
Sayler could play next year anywhere in the SEC and he’ll just be a high school senior. He should start when he arrives in the fall of 2018. He’s simply that good at what he does.
The junior is even cross-training in his off-season now. (His defending state championship team was knocked out of the playoffs last week.) He’ll work at center and guard and tackle. That work is an effort to make him more versatile at the college level.
Chris Slade, his head coach at Pace, was a nine-year NFL veteran. He’s been telling DawgNation for two-plus seasons that Salyer has a future on Sundays. That should be at guard.
There’s going to be some distance left in this race, but it is a safe projection to think he winds up at UGA in 2018. If things go well for Thomas in his first season at Georgia, it will take a Hulk-sized effort for another line coach to wrestle Salyer away from Pittman and carry him anywhere except to Athens.
His junior year tape lives up to everything one might expect from a player that has been rated No. 1 in the nation at their respective position.
Holloman (maybe) has a decision date in mind
Jeremiah Holloman, the 4-star receiver from Newton High, has two decision dates in mind. He told DawgNation that Dec. 16 was a very likely possibility.
He will graduate early from high school and enroll at the college of his choice in January. That date signifies his last day of high school. He has that date in mind and if he’s secure with his decision, look for him to make that choice then. reduce the drama surrounding his decision over the holiday season.
It would reduce the drama surrounding his decision over the holiday season.
If not, he told DawgNation on Tuesday morning he will wait until the U.S. Army All-American Game on Jan. 9 to go public with his decision.
Holloman is currently rated as the No. 19 receiver in the nation and tabbed as the No. 131 overall prospect for his class. He’s part of a very interesting package deal with his older brother.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is one of the most explosive athletes in the nation and he also hhas one of the most genuine backstories I have ever heard.
He was supposed to take an official visit to Nebraska last weekend, but complications from a slight wrist injury he suffered in his final high school game led him to postpone that trip. The two-time Georgia state champion triple jumper opted to go to the Auburn-Georgia game instead.
Holloman hopes to reschedule that trip. My last projected 2017 UGA signing class had him in there and I’ve seen nothing to change that status at this point.
Could Georgia make it two in a row?
Georgia freshman QB Jacob Eason was named the 2016 U.S. Army High School Player of the Year back in January during U.S. Army All-American Bowl week events.
Could another Bulldog recruit also take that honor next year in Texas? That’s a possibility.
— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) November 15, 2016
Georgia commitments Jake Fromm and Richard LeCounte III look like strong contenders for that honor. A couple of undecided recruits (Cam Akers and Aubrey Solomon) that might also choose Georgia are also up for that honor.
That player of the year honor is considered one of the most prestigious in high school football. Eason also won The Gatorade National Player of the Year and The Boddy Dodd Award after his senior season, among others.
Just a funny scene from Salyer and Thomas
There was a moment of hilarity when Salyer and Thomas sat together prior to the Auburn game. There was something amiss with the fog machine that trumpets the team’s arrival on the field right before every game.
I’m not sure what it was. Maybe they were doing some field testing and giving it a test run. Whatever that might have been, a thick fog blanketed Salyer and Thomas for about 15-20 seconds.
Those two barely blinked.
I’m sure an offensive line coach would chuckle at the sight, but that looked to me like exactly what those guys are trained to do when a defense throws a lot of smoke and mirrors at them with potential blitzers cheating toward the “A” gap and “B” gap in the seconds leading up to a snap.
Offensive lineman also only tend to move when they’re told to around a football field. Those guys weren’t going to budge an inch.
If I had to submit an entry for a caption contest regarding that photo, I’d go with something about those two guys hoping that whatever was burning on the grill better not be their lunch.
Hunker down for DawgNation’s latest news. Download our app: http://dawgs.us/2ctFtTG
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.