Sentell’s Intel: The tandem commitment might be a 2017 theme for Georgia
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.
Noah filled his ark counting by twos. Maverick rolled with Goose. Butch’s wingman was Sundance. Hillary has her five-star email server. Peanut butter wants to play with an All-American corner named Jelly.
I haven’t lost my mind here. That’s just a way to establish a point that tandems might be a thing for the Class of 2017 at Georgia.
The term “package deal” became part of this cycle’s lexicon about 13 months ago when four-star LB Jaden Hunter and four-star DE Malik Herring brought up that term when it came to their recruiting stories. They hoped to play together. Where one went, the other was sure to follow.
That’s not normally the case, but it has been a thing for Georgia thus far. Another potential “package” can be realized this week. Pennsylvania four-star cousins D’Andre Swift (already committed to UGA) and Mark Webb Jr. (Georgia is the favorite) potentially coming down the track with the latter announcing his choice Friday.
For the record: Hunter has already committed. Herring might commit at the last possible second. But there’s a new one that has been just beneath the surface for awhile.
That’s four-star receiver Jeremiah Holloman and his older brother, Layfeatte “LJ” Holloman. Holloman is rated as the nation’s No. 23 receiver prospect for 2017. He’s far better than that as it looks like he has few peers in this class in terms of his athleticism and explosiveness.
Hollomon, at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at “The Opening” in Oregon. That was a laser time, and he also threw a power ball some 42 feet and posted a vertical leap of 41.2 inches.
His older brother has some of those same physical traits, too. LJ Hollomon was a 2015 graduate of Newton High School.
Those two want to play together, too. That became apparent when the brothers took an unofficial visit to Georgia for the Nicholls State game.
According to Scout.com, LJ Holloman graduated from Newton High in 2015 and didn’t sign with a college because he found out late in high school that he wasn’t academically eligible. Holloman sat out last year but has continued to train.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder can clock a reported 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That sounds entirely possible given the type of athlete that his younger brother is.
He’s also a college prospect and the expectation is he’ll be able to qualify.
“LJ is doing online classes and he’ll be enrolling in college with me as well but will be going fall semester and I’m going spring,” Jeremiah Holloman told DawgNation. “We speak with coaches and he has everything to qualify, just has a few things to tidy up.”
Holloman now plans to enroll early in January at the school of his choice (bet on Georgia, Tennessee and Miami in that likely order at this time) and he said to look for his brother to enroll in the fall.
It will be the preferred walk-on or the walk-on path for openers. While this situation is not the classic example of a package deal that involves two full scholarships at the outset, that doesn’t mean it will not be a major factor in the race for Holloman’s signature on scholarship papers.
“He’s going to play and he’ll earn a scholarship,” Jeremiah Holloman said.
Former Bulldog Leonard Floyd is a cousin to the brothers The Bulldogs have prioritized Jeremiah. The four-star receiver speaks to Tennessee coach Butch Jones daily, but Georgia has really put in the work. He is also very tight with the current Class of 2017 Georgia commitments.
The in-state status and the presence of in-state tuition for his brother initially is another factor to consider why Georgia will have a great chance at landing the U.S. Army All-American.
The “package deal” concept isn’t usually one that big-time programs adopt. The spaces for scholarship players are so limited each year that the elite programs only offer that opportunity if both players are deserving and project to earn playing time on the roster eventually.
Check out LJ Holloman’s highlight film below:
About that Nicholls State showing
Holloman had an interesting opinion about the lackluster showing in the home opener for Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs.
“I really enjoyed the game,” Holloman said. “I don’t expect things to be perfect for Georgia right away and I’m fine with struggle because greatness usually evolves from it. I’m happy they were able to get the ‘W’ and move on and prepare for Mizzou.”
Now, contrast that with how four-star OT and current UGA commit Andrew Thomas reflected on it.
“Tough game but just goes to show every time you step on the field you have to act like it’s the championship, regardless of your opponent,” Thomas said.
Sounds like two potential great leaders for the future in Athens, right?
Great news for Netori
You might have missed it but another UGA commitment received an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American game recently. Netori Johnson, a four-star offensive guard from Cedar Grove, just accepted an invitation to play in the annual event in San Antonio.
The 6-foot-4, 340-pounder plays both ways for the Saints. He has recently seen his rankings rise after his showing on the summer camp circuit. Johnson is now rated as the nation’s No. 6 offensive guard and the No. 90 prospect overall.
Johnson has an impressive personal story and his demeanor is the sort that folks can’t help but hope to see him excel. He’s also going to play with Cedar Grove teammate Justin Shaffer at Georgia. Those two will likely be the starting guards one day at Georgia.
Shaffer is about an inch taller and goes about 350 on the scale. That will be a massive interior when those two line up for the Bulldogs.
They didn’t plan it that way, but that is another natural pair for the Bulldogs in this class. Shaffer committed first and Johnson de-committed from Alabama and eventually decided to join his teammate at Georgia.
Johnson is now the sixth Georgia commit that will take part in that game so far. That number should rise to double digits by the time all the decision announcements are made at that game.
Blessed and honored to receive a invite and play in the US Army All American Game pic.twitter.com/4mSmY95ZKF
— Netori Johnson (@ATLNETORIJ) September 13, 2016
I’ve seen enough good tape over the years to realize a hidden gem when he’s placed right in front of me. That’s why I just want to point a little attention in the direction of Jenkins (Savannah, Ga.) senior running back Joe Burke.
With this feature becoming a regular on the DawgNation content menu, it allows the chance to share the stories of the state’s most visible prospects and what their chances might be of going to Georgia. Yet, those guys don’t really need much exposure when a Georgia offer is already on the table. They’ve already made it.
From time to time, I’m going to take a few paragraphs to help out those who don’t have a road paved with SEC offers yet. Burke had a fine showing last week against Georgia five-star commit Richard LeCounte III’s Liberty County team.
When I heard about him and saw his film, the young man definitely has the game to get a shot. The 6-foot, 220-pounder doesn’t have sizzling speed (his Hudl page credits him with a 4.7 in the 40) but he knows how to make a pretty good tackling team look bad.
Watch the film below. LeCounte was tasked with having to make several last-line-of-defense tackles on Burke. He did, but I couldn’t help but come away impressed with the Verron Haynes act Burke has to this game.
Burke is a relative recruiting unknown but shouldn’t be. He played for a 1-9 team last year that didn’t get a lot of exposure. Savannah hasn’t exactly been a hotbed for football talent compared to other pockets of the state, but Burke looks like he could play fullback for somebody. Maybe even the mighty SEC.
I showed his film to three noted coaches in the state and they all agreed. Burke also plays linebacker for the Warriors.
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.