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Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com
4-star ATH Tray Bishop committed to Georgia on Jan. 1.

The nation’s No. 4 athlete Tray Bishop breaks down why he chose 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 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.


SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Tray Bishop said it wasn’t close. Nope. Not really.

When he decided to commit to Georgia soon after he arrived in Texas for the U.S. Army All-American Game, there was no head-scratching or churning of the gut involved.

“I like what is going on there,” Bishop said. “Then on top of that, the recruiting class that we have got coming in with all of us just has a bond together. We all have the same mindset. We all want to play together.”

The nation’s No. 4 athlete for the Class of 2017 became the 22nd commitment of the current class. He’d been ready for awhile.

Tray Bishop is rated as the nation's No. 4 athlete for 2017. He's going to cross train at cornerback and safety at UGA. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
Tray Bishop is rated as the nation’s No. 4 athlete for 2017. He’s going to cross-train at cornerback and safety at UGA. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

The 6-foot-3, 193-pound prospect specified when he knew he was going to play at Georgia.

“About two or three months ago,” Bishop said. “I had my mind made up. Once I had it in my mind up that I wanted to play defensive back then it became a lot easier. I looked at Georgia and Florida more closely. It was like an equal opportunity with both.”

He then broke it down. He liked Florida. He also liked Georgia.

“It was then just about staying in-state really,” Bishop said. ” …. It wasn’t really that close at all.”

There’s a sense that Georgia can now flip anybody it wants to for this class. Cam Akers noticed in on Monday when he told Dawgnation just how close he came to going to Georgia.

The momentum was also noticed by 5-star OT Alex Leatherwood. He’s essentially known as the Richard LeCounte III of Alabama’s top-ranked recruiting class.

He took an official visit to Georgia, but tackle is no longer a need for this class. The Bulldogs are more than covered there with 5-star Isaiah Wilson, junior college signee D’Marcus Hayes and two U.S. Army All-Americans in D’Antne Demery and Andrew Thomas.


Bishop said it was a pretty good feeling to be a part of a class with that much momentum.

“It feels really good knowing that you have got all the top ballers around here and from our state all going to the same school. And plus we are trying to have the No. 1 recruiting class for this year. We’re trying to pull that off, too.”

They are still not done yet … 

The Bulldogs have added three players to their current class in 2017. How many more big-timers are coming to Georgia?

Bishop dropped a few hints on that one.

“About three more,” Bishop said. “But we have one more out there that’s big. We have got to have him.”

Richard LeCounte III made sure to play a lot of attention to undecided 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon on Monday. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
Richard LeCounte III made sure to play a lot of attention to undecided 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon on Monday. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

Was that big 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon? He would be the most obvious choice.

“I don’t know,” Bishop said. “I don’t want to tell anybody.”

Would there be more fun from Texas this week? Would there be a mystery U.S. Army All-American that will also commit to Georgia this week?

“I don’t know yet,” Bishop said.

A firm resolve

Bishop has made the decision that he will just take one official visit. He will no longer take any other official visits.

“Why keep going out of state to win a title?” Bishop asked rhetorically on Monday. “We can try to bring one to our state. We say savages play with savages and that’s what we are going to do.”

He’s done with Auburn. Done with Florida.

“I’m only taking that one,” Bishop said. “I’ve got my mind made up. There was no reason for me to go off and take another visit to see someplace else. Not with what we’ve got going at Georgia.”

Georgia has nine commitments at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in Texas. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
Georgia has nine commitments at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in Texas. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

Bishop’s fellow U.S. Army All-American Nate McBride also shared he had made that decision on Monday. McBride shared his commitment on Christmas Day in an exclusive commitment video produced by SEC Country Studios.

McBride told DawgNation that he was only going to take his official visit to Georgia. He was no longer going to take an official visit to Auburn in January.

He wasn’t certain if he will take that official on Jan. 13. That’s looking to be a very popular date for the team’s remaining commitments.

Checking the numbers

Georgia now has 17 commitments from players that have earned a 4-star rating. The Bulldogs now have 19 players that are rated at 4-stars and above.

The rest of the SEC East has 20 players that are rated with at least a 4-star rating. The rest of the SEC East also combines for a tally of 19 players with a 4-star ranking.

The latest commitment from Monty Rice pushes the Bulldogs nose-to-nose with Ohio State for the nation’s No. 2 spot in the team recruiting rankings behind Alabama.

The Buckeyes hold a slim 300.79-300.61 edge over Georgia for second place. Alabama leads the nation (again) with a 311.07 total.

Top Dawgs on Monday

Georgia has nine commitments in action this week from the U.S. Army All-American Game in Texas. Those prospects are all on the East roster.

Who looked great? I’ve got a few names which really stood out.

  • 4-star RB D’Andre Swift — A lot of folks have high opinions on Swift. He was in the backfield with All-Everything Cam Akers and Tennessee commit Tyson Chandler and still stood out. The 5-foot-9, 222-pounder built a strong case to label him the top all-around back out there. Speed. Moves. Handle. Burst. Hands. He has it all. I think Swift might be the best bet for a UGA commitment to add their fifth star when all is said and done. Swift carries that weight well and most of it looks like to reside in his trunk and lower body.
  • OTs D’Antne Demery and Andrew Thomas — One pair of expert eyes on hand ranked both of these guys among the Top 5 offensive lineman on the East squad on Monday. Thomas has really made a surge. He has incredible length and it clearly looked like he prepared for Texas. He’s ready to show he’s a lot better than his current perch as the nation’s No. 12 OT for 2017.
  • UGA QB signee Jake Fromm — Fromm really shined when the pads came on. He’s part of a stacked group of QBs with Alabama early entry Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson-bound Hunter Johnson. But he would’ve earned the starting nod if the job was decided just off Monday’s practice. He showed no ill effects on the sprained AC joint that affected him in the final game of his senior season. Fromm’s another guy that will merit strong consideration for his fifth star this week



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