Its football season already. This week is scrimmage week along high school fields across the state in Georgia. The Corky Kell Classic will take place next week. That’s just eight more days.
That doesn’t mean there has been a void of UGA recruiting news to get to this week. DawgNation delivered updates on four different 5-star recruits over the last 24 hours.
What did they say? Here’s the daily UGA Recruiting Rewind for DawgNation skinny on what’s going on right now with UGA and even SEC recruiting.
1. Clarifications: 5-star TE edition
Isaac Nauta clarified a report yesterday that said UGA and TCU probably led for him at this point. Nauta is a 5-star TE from Buford who transferred to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season.
Nauta told DawgNation that UGA and TCU were familiar for him, but no school led at this point. He plans to take official visits to those two programs along with Michigan and Southern California.
Family will one of the biggest factors in his decision. Nauta’s immediate family resides in the Metro Atlanta area. He also has extended family in Texas and Michigan. There are a few recruits every year which elevate a class into the “wildest dreams” category. Nauta is one of those remaining uncommitted skill guys UGA fans should cross their fingers and toes for this year, along with Elberton’s Mecole Hardman, Jr. and Peachtree Ridge’s Nigel Warrior.
2. Awesome name. Better player.
Did we just mention Nigel Warrior? Talk about a dream last name. “Warrior” would have to be a defensive player, right? The only ones better would’ve been “Butkus” or “Stonebreaker” or “Lockdown” or “Baller” these days. Remember the Alabama defensive line recruit Dee Liner from a few years back? Talk about ideal last names for a football recruit.
Warrior gave the AJC’s DawgNation some time this week and shared his thinking on why he doesn’t need to take an official visit to UGA, Alabama or Tennessee. He discussed his father Dale Carter’s legacy connection with the Vols and what recruiting approaches he favors right now.
3. The real on the state’s best in 2016
Did you know everything there was to know about 5-star DT Derrick Brown? Think again. The AJC spent some time with Brown and his immediate family this week to give you some insight on his recruiting process.
Tennessee fans will enjoy the read on how the Browns got the orange carpet treatment on a past visit. The nearly 6-foot-5, 300-plus pounder proved to be a good enough athlete to catch several touchdowns lined up at tight end this summer during a 7-on-7 camp at UGA.
4. The real on the state’s best in 2017
5-star junior do-everything ATH DeAngelo Gibbs has been rated the nation’s top cornerback for 2017. He’s within striking distance of the honor of the nation’s top overall recruit next year. What makes him such an elite target? Where does UGA stand?
Does it have anything to do with his two NFL uncles or the way he was raised? Gibbs sat down with the AJC this week and offered a side of his life that extends beyond the stars and recruiting rankings.
5. Nation’s top athlete going back to Rocky Top
Hardman told the AJC’s DawgNation yesterday that he will take another unofficial visit to Tennessee this weekend. The 5-star recruit from Elberton is skilled enough to make an immediate impact at cornerback or receiver in the SEC as a freshman. He’s one of the fastest players in the nation and will also make a silent commitment sometime over the next two months.
He hasn’t said anything of the sort of late, but the perceived pecking order would be UGA and UT at the top, followed by Auburn. He’s already on record as saying he will take an official visit to Michigan for the Ohio State game, too.
6. 5-star Alabama DE sets commitment date
Greenville, Ala., DE Marlon Davidson is a big-time target for several SEC schools, including UGA. His high school coach Josh McClendon confirmed with the AJC this morning that Davidson has set a Sept. 4 commitment announcement date at the school.
Auburn is the team to beat for Davidson, but he told the AJC earlier this month that Alabama and UGA were right on their heels. UGA has a bit of an “in” with Davidson as defensive line coach Tracy Rocker coached his older brother Kenneth Carter back when he was at Auburn.
Don’t get too excited about that, though. Carter is currently serving as an off-the-field analyst with the Auburn football staff.
7. Two big ones that got away
Recruiting presents a constant news cycle. That’s for the big fish that every program reels into the boat, but also for how they pan out. The reports coming out of Clemson are that 5-star OT Mitch Hyatt has impressed in fall camp. That’s to be expected given what he delivered on the field at North Gwinnett. Tigernet has the story on how Hyatt has looked so far.
Another interesting report centers on how head-knocking LB Reuben Foster has ascended from that crazy “whammer” on special teams to a more prominent role on the Alabama defense this fall. AL.com chronicles his improved tackling technique lends itself for him to play an even bigger role at linebacker in 2015.
8. UGA offers 2017 WR out of Tennessee
Scout.com’s Chad Simmons had a report and video interview yesterday sharing the news that Oak Ridge, Tenn., receiver Tee Higgins has received an offer from UGA. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder already rates as a 4-star recruit, but he also has offers from Alabama and Tennessee, among others.
9. Two big scrimmages tonight
Look for the stadium lights to be fired up all across the state tonight as several scrimmages are on the docket for tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. I’ve got an eye on three of those which should fill the need to see elite talent prepping for season openers next week.
- Thursday: Archer at Mill Creek
- Thursday: Peachtree Ridge at Northview
- Friday: Woodward Academy at Greater Atlanta Christian
- Friday: Lanier at Dacula
Keep up with the UGA Recruiting Rewind for DawgNation
Jeff Sentell covers 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.