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It is the sort of stuff that makes an observer simply shake his or her head.
When taking in the preparations this weekend for today’s “True 19” Georgia vs. Texas Sophomore Showdown, the logistics just blow the mind.
The game will showcase some of the elite football prospects from the state of Georgia’s loaded Class of 2019 crop against their peers from Texas.
We’re talking about sophomores that look like elite soon-to-be seniors. Most arrived in town on Friday afternoon. They practiced, then met the media, then practiced again on Saturday and then went to UGA for an unofficial visit.
The boys will play today at 2 p.m. ET at Atlanta’s Grady Stadium.
The Class of 2019 in the state of Georgia is so strong that it may be UGA’s first chance at claiming the nation’s top-rated recruiting class under Kirby Smart. (Kenyatta Watson / Twitter)
The coaching staff from newly-minted Georgia Class 5A state champion Rome High School has been working for 30 minutes every week this fall on this game. They’ve devised schemes and scouted players and went over practice organization for Team Georgia.
“To me there are already just so many players that catch your eyes on this team,” Rome head coach John Reid said. “The offensive line just blows your mind. I look at those guys and find it hard to believe that those kids are just 15 and 16 years old. Those guys are so solid.”
Former Atlanta Falcons QB Mike Vick will be the head coach for Texas.
“I guess you are kind of up against the 8-ball when you introduce yourself to the other head coach and the first thing you say is you have always been a big fan,” Reid said. “I won’t be able to give them what that guy can, but I will give them the very best I’ve got.”
There are approximately 45 players from both states. When everyone has been ranked and signed away, the state of Georgia’s crop for 2019 should wind up as the best class of the modern recruiting era. There are currently 14 players from Georgia in 247’s Top 100 rankings for 2019.
Texas, the longtime hotbed nationally along with Florida, has only 10 players in those early rankings. The True 19 squad from the Lone State State will have five of those players.
Team Georgia counters with six of those elite talents.
The thinking is those numbers will swell. Considerably. It’s not outlandish to think that when all of these prospects finally sign, the state of Georgia might have almost as many elite Top 100 players as Florida and Texas combined.
Look for this to continue on. The brand representing the nation’s top sophomores already plans a “True 20” game next year in Dallas. The plan is to see a “True 21” game return to Georgia the following year.
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The Class of 2019 holds enormous potential for Georgia. That cycle very well could be the year that Kirby Smart’s program claims the nation’s top-rated recruiting class.
Kenyatta Watson, one of the event’s chief organizers, believes that.
“If UGA does it the right way, this will be the class that takes them to the top,” Watson said. “By the time these guys sign, they will be his fourth recruiting class at Georgia. If it is done the right way, then Georgia will have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for 2019. Without any doubt. This class will win a national championship at Georgia.”
Grayson sophomore ATH Owen Pappoe is the highest-rated player in Georgia for the Class of 2019.
How many future Bulldogs does Watson see in the class? Maybe five? 10? An outlandish 15?
“Higher than that,” Watson said. “20. I think so. You have 15 guys over here on Team Georgia that are already like Richard LeCounte. That’s as far as carrying the banner for Georgia. Absolutely. They’ve surrounded Owen (Pappoe) and are trying to build a wall around him.”
Pappoe is not currently carrying the banner for Georgia. Yet. He’s trending toward other schools at this time. Clemson, Florida State and Miami seem like they are the teams to watch for him.
At least for now.
“Those guys that already carry the banner for Georgia have been on Owen like white on rice,” Watson said.