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.
Kirby Smart has his own way of doing things at Georgia. Those that have not noticed that by now have not been paying very close attention.
- G-Day emphasis? Way up.
- Weekly 1-on-1 recruiting? Vital.
- Dawg Nights? Overrated.
- Jersey games? Amateur hour.
- Official visit weekends in the season? Not so much.
By my count, the Bulldogs hosted a total of four official visitors during the entire 2016 season. Georgia will have more than that this weekend and will have tripled that total after next weekend.
Smart wants to win games first. The staff would rather focus on 1-2 official visitors and their families at the most on Saturdays. That’s one specific season.
Recruiting is also a year-round sport and yet the reality is the weeks that will define the program start this weekend. This is recruiting season.
With that, here’s a quick charting of everyone that’s coming to town. We’ll start off by noting 4-star ILB Nate McBride will not be coming to town this weekend. That’s contrary to other reports that might be floating out there regarding to the nation’s No. 1 ILB for the Class of 2017.
There are also other reports out there of 3-star TE Tre’ McKitty taking his official visit to Georgia this weekend, but I haven’t been able to confirm those on my own independently over the last 24 hours.
His recruitment is expected to change considerably given the nature of the situation at Oregon.
11:30 AM UPDATE: I’ve learned that 3-star LB Monty Rice will also no longer be taking his official visit to UGA today.
Expected official visitors at UGA this weekend
— 4-star DE Robert Beal Jr. (Peachtree Ridge HS/ Suwanee, Ga.)
Commitment status: Georgia
Ranking: Nation’s No. 5 weak-side DE and No. 50 overall
DawgNation’s take: Beal’s skill set is the ideal fit in terms of what Georgia is looking for. That’s adaptable players who can play the run and rush the passer. He projects as an every down player who would be strong against a run-first team, a spread team or even a triple-option team like Georgia Tech. That said, he did not perform up to expectations this year at IMG Academy. His rankings have slipped just a bit to reflect that.
The chase: He’s all Georgia. This is another visit weekend for Beal. He’s even convinced his former IMG roommate Josh Kaindoh (a recently up-for-grabs 5-star DE) to tag along with him and see what Georgia is all about.
— 5-star DE Joshua Kaindoh (IMG Academy/ Bradenton, Fla.)
Commitment status: Recently de-committed from Maryland
Ranking: Nation’s No. 2 weak-side DE and No. 26 overall
DawgNation’s take: Great edge player who excelled this year playing a grueling schedule at IMG Academy. The Maryland native will use this visit as a get-to-know visit with UGA. In reality, this is a great chance to hang out with Beal. Those two were roommates together at IMG. Beal has made him a priority target to try and lure to UGA for months now, but Kaindoh appears to have his eyes on other schools.
The chase: Georgia will play catch-up this weekend. I feel it will take a home run visit and then another great return visit to seriously consider Kaindoh in red and black. Beal will show him the town and he’ll have a good time, but I just think this is a fun visit right now. Florida State and Penn State look like the lead dogs in the chase for this 6-foot-6 specimen.
— 4-star S Xavier McKinney (Roswell High/ Roswell, Ga.)
Commitment status: Former Alabama commit. Been undecided for months.
Ranking: Nation’s No. 8 safety and No. 77 overall
DawgNation’s take: Tremendous player. Sensational last year (an eye-popping 10 interceptions) but has made even more strides as a senior. Great instincts and is a team leader for one of the top programs in Georgia. His Hornets are still alive in the GHSA Class 7A playoffs.
The chase: He has a lot of options. Roswell has sent a lot of players to Clemson of late and that seems like the team to beat. Florida has also caught his attention recently. McKinney also took a recent visit to Ohio State. The familiarity with Smart and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker helps regarding their previous ties to Alabama. But I just don’t see Georgia winning this race for his decision.
— 4-star ILB Leonard Warner III (Brookwood HS/ Snellville, Ga.
Ranking: Nation’s No. 8 ILB and No. 188 overall
DawgNation’s take: That ranking seems right in line with his physical ability. But he’s better in pass coverage than most analysts give him credit for. If there was a ranking of the most intelligent players in the Class of 2017, Warner would have very few peers. He’s made several visits to UGA and a story from a few months ago shows just how he feels about the coaching staff in Athens.
The chase: His decision should come sooner rather than later. Warner also expects to take an official visit to Stanford this month before making his decision. Florida State and Georgia Tech are also in the mix. Georgia is the favorite and Warner is a member of DawgNation’s latest class projection for 2017.
Let me see if I can read minds
I might have a good handle on what you are thinking after reading all these names.
So …. Will Georgia get any commitments out of these visits this weekend? My answer for that is complicated. That’s kind of how recruiting goes.
Silent commits? Maybe. Public commits? Doubtful.
Better question: Will these visits cement a commitment in the minds of at least one prospect?
My answer for that one would be yes. Likely two.
Another nugget on McBride
McBride — the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect in this year’s class — now plans to take his official visits to Auburn and Georgia in January. He does not plan to enroll early so there’s no rush to it.
I’m betting his decision won’t materialize until the U.S. Army All-American game. At least.
He had Oregon as one of his top schools. McBride even placed them in the co-leader category with Georgia recently. Well, the Ducks just fired their head coach this week. Linebackers coach Don Pellum had been the lead recruiter for McBride.
What does that mean with McBride and Oregon right now?
“I have no idea honestly,” McBride said.
I found it interesting that Oregon’s football coaching staff web page currently looks like this.
Something went wrong. No doubt.
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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.