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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.
Pace Academy teammates Andrew Thomas (left) and Jamaree Salyer (right) take in the UGA-Auburn pregame warmups on Saturday. Thomas is a 4-star Georgia commitment in the Class of 2017. Salyer is Georgia’s top offensive line target for 2018. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
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.
“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.
Salyer was dominant during his showings at Nike’s “The Opening” circuit this summer. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
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.”
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