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.
The No. 1 player in Pennsylvania is set to decide today. That’s 4-star RB D’Andre Swift.
Swift, who’s rated as the nation’s No. 4 RB, has moved up his commitment announcement to 1 p.m. (EST) on Thursday. His finalists are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State and Penn State.
If Swift commits to Georgia, he becomes the second-highest-rated prospect on Georgia’s board for 2017. Yet that was yesterday’s Intel.
The big question for today is how will that decision affect a potential package deal with his cousin Mark Webb Jr. going forward? Is that still on the table for another 4-star from Pennsylvania?
That answer is yes. It could come within a week, but it also might take longer that that.
That’s what I learned on Wednesday evening from Webb’s father. Webb’s commitment is one that DawgNation has projected for 2017, but that situation remains fluid.
The father of the nation’s No. 19 prospect at receiver initially told DawgNation his son’s decision might come “within a week” of Swift’s choice.
“We’re looking at him announcing within the next week,” Webb said. “At least within the next week.”
But then he started thinking.
He noted he’d sure like to see his son take a few official visits before he makes his commitment. He says the Catholic League Red Division schedule doesn’t line up as easy for a prospect in his state to set up visits. His son’s program plays on both Fridays and Saturdays. Swift faces a similar situation.
Swift plays for St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. Webb plays for Archbishop Wood in Warminster. Those cousins and their teams are set to meet on ESPNU on Sept. 16.
Webb’s father said there was a 75 percent chance that both of those guys will be committed by then.
The package deal is still a possibility, but that hinges on Swift’s decision.
“If D’Andre picks Florida State, then they won’t be a package deal because Mark doesn’t even have an offer from Florida State,” Webb Sr. said. If D’Andre picks Clemson, then they won’t be a package deal there either because Mark doesn’t have an offer from Clemson.”
The things to know regarding Webb’s decision
- Alabama, Georgia and Penn State are the only schools that have offered both Swift and Webb. Webb told DawgNation back in July that he estimated the chances of those two becoming a package deal at 100 percent.
- His father softened that stance on Thursday. He placed those odds somewhere between 50 to 80 percent, but also said that was his guess. He didn’t want to speak definitively for his son.
- Webb’s finalists at this time his finalists are Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State and Temple. Nebraksa is also making a late run at Webb.
- He said his son had a big visit with Alabama this summer. He surmised Alabama became a co-leader with Georgia after that visit.
- He added Alabama and Georgia have put no pressure on his son to make a decision and that he speaks to Crimson Tide coaches Billy Napier or Mario Cristobal daily. If Webb was to choose Alabama, then he’d likely be the third highest-rated receiver in that eventual signing class. At best.
- Webb said that he hears from Alabama the most followed by Penn State and Maryland. Penn State and Maryland would be tied at No. 2. He believed that the majority of the contact from Georgia goes directly to his son.
- It sounds like the decision will come down to Alabama, Georgia and Penn State. The Nittany Lions continue to creep into the discussion. “The Nittany Lions just keep coming and coming,” Webb Sr. said.
- He did later add that he feels his son “is very close to a decision” at this time. “It is pretty tight between Georgia and Alabama,” his father said.
Where does Georgia stand?
Webb Sr. said Georgia’s chances are augmented by the program’s ability to prepare him to play in the NFL. He called this process “a business” and said his son already puts in countless extra time in the film room perfecting his craft to play on Sundays. That’s the clear goal.
He voluntarily shared his appreciation for Georgia support staffer Kevin Beard. Beard is widely respected and was the receivers coach at Miami last season. James Coley coaches the receivers at Georgia, but Beard can rightfully be seen as a key teacher for that position group at Georgia.
“My thoughts on Georgia right now are the quarterback situation is insane,” Webb Sr. said. “They have the best quarterback tandem (in freshman Jacob Eason and 2017 commit Jake Fromm) in all of college football. I like coach (Kevin) Beard a whole lot. He knows his stuff. Mark loves him. We also loved what (offensive coordinator) coach (Jim) Chaney has shown us in how they are going to exploit him and use him against defenses in the offense. They have a great plan. How can you not like that? Then the fact that Mark is one of the highest-rated receivers Georgia is going after that makes it a high probability that Mark might get the ball. He also really likes coach (Kirby) Smart and the overall makeup of the whole school. There’s a lot to like about Georgia.”
Webb added that Georgia “most definitely” has the best quarterback situation among the schools that are heavily recruiting his son.
“The following at Georgia and all of his fans is also so strong,” Webb Sr. said. “And I also don’t know who it is that does all those edits for Georgia with these prospects but I love them. All those edits are great. I love every one of those.”
Look for Webb’s guest spot
Webb said this his son is in Swift’s commitment video, but ruled out the chances of him committing in tandem with his talented cousin.
“Not unless he’s doing something that I don’t know about,” his father said.
Need to get up to speed about Webb? Check out his interviews and profiles we’ve done in the past on DawgNation. There’s the origin of his “Gator” nickname and why he felt so strongly about Georgia this summer at The Opening in Oregon. Webb felt like Georgia was “home” after a visit earlier this year.
Swift’s decision will have a major influence on Webb’s eventual choice.
How does Toneil Carter feel about UGA?
Toneil Carter, a 4-star running back from Texas, committed to Georgia back at The Opening in July. He may be committed, but his continued interest in Georgia matters a great deal with Swift’s impending decision.
His older brother and legal guardian said Wednesday night that nothing has changed.
“We’re sold out with Georgia man,” Byron Carter said. “We’re done.”
Carter hinted that his son might not even take official visits this fall to the other SEC schools which made his final group. LSU and Texas A&M might not even get officials.
He also said Carter will begin the process of registering at Georgia when the portal to do so opens up next week. The nation’s No. 7 running back prospect will enroll early at Georgia and plans to move to campus in early January immediately after his participation in the Under Armour All-American game.
“Georgia will be our final official visit of course if we take any,” Byron Carter said. “We’re sold out. Toneil is sold so we’re done. There are going to be no de-commitments in other words.”
Look for Carter to take his official visit to Georgia on Oct. 15 for the Vanderbilt game. Logistics will prevent him from being able to take that official for the Tennessee game.
His older brother is still thinking about buying some property and moving to North Georgia after Carter gets settled at Georgia. That might take up to a year because he has custody issues to figure out if he chooses to move out-of-state. He doesn’t want that to affect his status as the legal guardian for Carter’s younger siblings.
There is one other item of note regarding Carter. The 4-star prospect suffered a sprained knee during fall camp. He’s rehabbed extensively and plans to be ready for action next week. Carter is also actively keeping up with Georgia’s Class of 2017 commits through the famous group message chat.
His younger brother is also actively keeping up with Georgia’s 2017 commits through the famous group message chat.
Beal wants to bring everybody to the “crib”
Robert Beal continues to represent nothing but Georgia during his time at IMG. Beal said he’s still not planning to take any other official visits except to Georgia. The 4-star defensive end is currently the second-highest-rated Georgia commitment in this year’s class.
Beal said that he’s working hard on Dacula native TK Chimedza at IMG. Chimedza said Beal must somehow bring up UGA to him at least twice a day.
“I’m trying to bring all of these IMG boys back to the crib,” Beal said. “I want to take them all back to the house to Georgia with me.”
Chimedza is a 4-star defensive tackle for the Class of 2018. He had a unique background and DawgNation has already thoroughly vetted his strong interest in potentially coming back home to play for Georgia.
Florida State and Georgia Tech are the only major contenders for the former swimmer at this time, but Beal feels good about bringing him back to that “crib.”
He called Chimedza “a powerful and strong guy,” and said he could help the Bulldogs up front with his ability to play the run and also get to the passer.
Beal felt Georgia’s chances with Chimedza were “50-50” after Saturday’s huge road victory against Grayson.
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.