Stormtrooper: The under-the-radar excellence of 5-star commit Dominick Blaylock
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a unique look at a real “trooper” for UGA in the class of 2019. That’s 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock.
DawgNation has a Stormtrooper in its 2019 recruiting class.
Yes, that’s right. Jeff has lost his mind: We. Talking. ‘Bout. Stormtroopers. Today.
Give me a minute. “Stormtrooper” feels like the best prologue for a few nuggets on 5-star receiver commit Dominick Blaylock.
I didn’t even come up with the notion he goes about his business like the Imperial commandos from the “Star Wars” movie franchise.
Other players label themselves as the next “Goat” or “OBJ” or “Julio” or the next big thing.
The nation’s No. 5 receiver and No. 27 overall prospect (247Sports composite standard) could be a Mace Windu. Or a Luke Skywalker. Maybe even an old-school Qui-Gon Jinn.
Could. But that’s not his style. He just does his best work while wearing a helmet.
“I just consider myself a trooper,” Blaylock said. “Work hard. Do the right thing. The results will pay off.”
Or a Stormtrooper. To be precise. Like their blaster fire, maybe?
“I saw it and it looked pretty cool,” Blaylock said about the potential of placing that character on his Twitter page. “I am also a big ‘Star Wars’ fan. But that’s what I am. Just another trooper inside a bigger and more important unit.”
Nobody notices the Stormtrooper in those movies. Their precise blaster pattern was noted by Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars” but those guys didn’t get much love after that.
Blaylock is just as unassuming. He committed in July of 2017. The 2019 All-American does not seek attention or headlines other than what his 5-star talent display on the field.
He wants to be a better leader on the field in 2018. The 6-foot, 195-pounder will flash even more athleticism.
“I am all about more quickness than speed,” Blaylock said.
The young man does not take visits. Or feel he is entitled to five visits. To each their own.
Blaylock would rather gulp down the typical milkshake his mother makes for him every day. The flavor?
Vanilla. Of course.
But that’s why I chose to write about him today. He is that rare 5-star receiver. Georgia has not signed a 5-star at receiver since Marlon Brown back in 2009. The program stands to gain two such wideouts within the 2019 class.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s job with all this incoming talent is to have them believe they are all troopers. There will be no de-recruiting necessary with Blaylock.
Bet you didn’t know this about Dominick Blaylock
Blaylock is a hand-eye marvel when it comes to coordination. Blaylock has a pair of those Death Star tractor beams for hands. When he dropped a pass at the Opening last month, it was noteworthy given the rarity of that sight.
He probably hasn’t used a golf club for more than backyard chipping over the last 3-4 months. I bet he could still break 85. Great short game. He’s just an athlete. At anything.
The senior would probably still be a professional baseball prospect if he had not shut down his pursuit of that sport after an ankle injury during his sophomore year at Walton.
He plays the popular “Fortnite” video game and shared a July estimate he had “around 25” victory royales while logged on.
It is funny how recruiting works. Blaylock has more than 21,000 views on his freshman and sophomore year highlight tapes. But the highlights for his junior year are only around 7,000 views.
Those clips came after he was already established as a stone cold lead pipe lock to UGA. The recruiting sites for other schools likely just did not see the need to pair those clips with any tantalizing headline about another school’s chances.
Consider those the appetizers to something Blaylock shared with me out at The Opening in Texas.
It came while he was answering the question about when he knew he was going to choose to play for Georgia.
“I actually visited Alabama and I saw coach Kirby Smart working there,” Blaylock said. “It was at a camp and he was probably one of the best coaches and then I heard he was going to go to Georgia. Now, I already liked Georgia. So right then and there I knew that Georgia was very likely going to be the place for me.”
“I knew that was going to be the best place for me then. I knew the coaching staff he was going to put together was going to be awesome and he would build a great program at Georgia.”
DawgNation should worry about this guy flipping the way it would tailgating no longer being a thing in Athens.
Consider that tidbit as mere supporting evidence to the Blaylock story. That was a pretty substantial nugget about the scope of his recruiting and what Kirby Smart means to Georgia.
But it always seemed there was something (bigger news, commitments, reporter vacations, etc.) in the way of making that a quick-turn story. (Guess that means I am part of the problem as well, I guess.)
It happens among elite recruits, too
Jadon Haselwood, the other 5-star in the class for UGA, was also stunned by what he saw from Blaylock out at The Nike Opening finals in Texas.
Haselwood basically only knew about Blaylock by reputation. They both took part in the “True19” game in January of 2017 as freshman prospects, but that was about the only time they had worked out together.
Blaylock and Haselwood were on the same 7-on-7 unit out in Texas.
“I had never seen him play before,” Haselwood said. “But I was surprised. He has some great ability, great hands and he has got some good routes.”
He was on the same 7-on-7 squad with Blaylock and UGA tight end commit Ryland Goede at that event, too.
“I looked at it like that could definitely be the future of Georgia football passing the ball,” Haselwood said. “We could definitely beat up on some guys. That could be special at Georgia.”
Something to place on your radar for 3 PM today
Brandon’s got a brand new bag.
We will hit the restart button on a new weekly show at 3 p.m. today on our brand’s Facebook page.
Our regularly scheduled “Wednesday Night Live” via Facebook and our weekly “Before the Hedges” show which streamed every Monday night has undergone a transformation.
Brandon Adams will be the new carnival barker for a revamped “Before the Hedges.”
Yes, that Brandon Adams. We tip our cap to Kroger once again for help making it all possible.
Adams will be joined by an inconsequential human to survey all things UGA recruiting on the DawgNation Facebook page.
It will also available via podcast and stream via Periscope/Twitter and YouTube.
If you have a question for us, please leave it on our DawgNation forum thread. The best 2-3 submissions below will become a part of our show. We still plan to give away a $50 “How ’bout them groceries” gift card each week from Kroger and DawgNation.
That guy behind the camera for all those “Wednesday Night Lives” will still pop up on Facebook from time to time when the need arises. It will no longer be a regularly scheduled 60-minute show.
The new show with Adams at the helm will also be an hour-long special.
A few other things that come to mind ……..
- Will Urban Meyer stay at Ohio State? What will it mean for UGA recruiting? I do things the news cycle needs to play out here first. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with that. But the one thing I continue to maintain is I don’t think (as of now) Georgia’s chances with elite Buford OL Harry Miller will be that strong.
- Stanford would be the likely beneficiary if (and that’s a big if) Miller chose to open things back up. Miller is the type of young man who will take a long look at that fit and wonder if the same future might still be possible in Columbus. He will look at that from every angle.
- Georgia does not need Miller in this class the way other programs do. That’s why the Bulldogs did not target Miller in the way they likely would in any other cycle. He’s a tremendous player, but the interior of the line was not prioritized with this class. There is a good reason why. The Bulldogs signed the nation’s top 2 guards in 2018. That’s not even counting sophomores Ben Cleveland, Solomon Kindley and Justin Shaffer. Netori Johnson, another All-American guard prospect, also redshirted in 2017.
- The notable exception here is 5-star Alabama OL Clay Webb. It will be very interesting to see what happens there with the promise shown by 2018 signee Warren Ericson and the recent cross-training done by Jamaree Salyer. A strong case can be made that center will likely be Salyer’s strongest long-term position.
- Here’s a small prediction: The narrative out there about Kirby Smart recruiting so well because his recruiting base is the state of Georgia will lessen in the years to come. The Peach State will always have a bountiful recruiting crop. But I see something at work I do not feel will be an aberration. Georgia has 17 public commits for 2019 and yet only eight of those attend high schools in the state.
- Look for the Bulldogs to recruit more nationally. This will not be just a one-year hiccup. The best way to describe that is to look at how the rest of the 2019 class will shape up. There will only be about six or seven public commitments left to finish out the class. Of those, I can really only see 1-2 more eventual signees coming out of the state of Georgia. That would equate to homegrown signees making up somewhere around 42 percent of the 2019 class. Let’s say a random flip happens here or there. I still feel there will be more out-of-state signees for this cycle.
- Look for Georgia to simply go out and recruit to sign the very best players it can. The Bulldogs can do that now after that recent SEC banner, the spot in the national championship game, the high-profile Rose Bowl win and those $97 million or so in facility upgrades. The Bulldogs look to become a national recruiting brand.
- 4-star LB pledge Rian Davis told me he never made a silent commitment to UGA. That’s fairly interesting given the number of those rumored silent commitments that have been floating around over the last 30 days.
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