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 like Josh Vann, Michael Harris or Derek McLendon might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
TUCKER, Ga. — Josh Vann just might be the man.
It sounds like he already is at Tucker High School. His peers offer up the phrase “Julio Jones” to describe his wares at the receiver position.
Body control. Electric. Great speed. Great high jumper. Playmaker.
“His ball skills are just unbelievable,” Tucker coach Bryan Lamar said. “His raw ability to catch the ball is unbelievable. He can snag a football. His hands are huge and his hand-eye ability to catch the ball is just off the charts huge.”
Georgia sees a lot of those same things, too. Vann, a 4-star receiver who rates 38th nationally at his position, is maybe half the width of a Trapper Keeper shy of being six feet tall. He weighs around 180 pounds.
Those that follow UGA recruiting hard over the last year already know where that places him on the growth chart.
Vann falls below the 6-foot-2 mark in height. He’s not close to the 190-pound recruiting template that has been established for that position.
The Bulldogs signed four receivers last year. They all fit that template in terms of their height.
The Bulldogs won’t look to load up on slot receivers in any cycle, but they will take an exceptional one.
That could be Vann. Lamar said Vann can clock a high 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, but he hasn’t really worked on speed training yet. He doesn’t have the best 40 time on the team. Yet when he races the guys that do, he’s right there with those guys. At least.
Those are all very good signs about what Vann can be on the college level.
The rising senior told DawgNation on Tuesday that the Bulldogs were his dream school growing up. He also said he might not make a decision for quite some time, but his feelings toward the in-state school do sound rather significant.
“It will be hard to turn that offer down,” Vann said. “Most of my family are all kind of Georgia fans. It will be hard to turn down that school at the end.”
He tried on the No. 3 jersey during a recent visit to UGA. Vann smiled big as he described what that felt like.
Getting to know Josh Vann
Vann finished his junior year with 63 catches which went for 1,286 yards. He was credited with 13 touchdown catches and a robust 20.4 yard average per reception.
The Tucker standout can run every route in the playbook. He’s deadly on the post corner, but thinks the surest ways to a first down when calling his number would be when he runs the post or a comeback route.
He elaborated on his timeline.
“I might go all the way undecided until that day right around National Signing Day,” he said. “Maybe even on signing day. I might have a talk with my folks and see then what would be my best choice to go to school.”
He said he was “kinda worried but at the same time not worried” about the recruiting slots at Georgia or South Carolina filling up before he’s ready to make his decision.
Tennessee also just came in with a new offer. He also aims to check out that school.
Look for Vann to take a lot of spring trips. He needs to visit several spring practices to get a taste of what things would be like for him on each potential campus.
He plans to pursue a degree in sports medicine. The 4-star prospect needs to also figure out which schools would suit him well academically for that career choice, too.
Want to know something pretty special about his game? He is also set to be a four-year starter at punter. That speaks well to his overall athletic ability.
“Just tremendous overall physical attributes,” Lamar said. “He can punt now. Plus he’s a great basketball kid. High jumper. The sky is the limit for him. He’s arguably one of the best athletes in our school with all of his intangibles plus his long arms and big hands.”
Chopping up Georgia vs. South Carolina
Vann doesn’t cite a leader. He said his two “up there” schools would be Georgia and South Carolina. That makes sense given that those are the only two schools he has visited.
Those two schools are also recruiting him the hardest at this time.
Former Georgia playmaker and assistant coach Bryan McClendon has done an excellent job recruiting him up to this point.
“He’s a nice guy that when he interacts with you then you find out that he is really funny,” Vann said. “He gets to know you very well. He tries to make that a tough decision for you not to go to South Carolina.”
McClendon grew up in Atlanta. He also played receiver.
“He knows everything about Atlanta,” Vann said. “So he can really relate well to Georgia kids and Atlanta boys.”
Vann said that relationship was very strong. He’s been to Columbia and said he “looked pretty good in that white jersey” when he slipped those colors on.
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is also involved in his process.
“He loves the way that I compete,” Vann said. “He said I would be a perfect fit for the Gamecocks.”
Georgia receivers coach James Coley would be in the other corner.
“He tells me he has to get to know me better,” Vann said. “But he says that Georgia would be a great place. He sends me pictures all the time from Georgia. Just all the receivers hanging out.”
The Bulldogs do see him as their slot receiver.
“He told me straight-up right off the bat that I would be playing slot at Georgia,” Vann said. “Unless I grow into that 6-foot-3 type of receiver.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has also been in contact.
“He just talked about how much he loves my hands,” Vann said. “He’s already told me that he thinks I’m a good player.”
If he had to decide on a school this week, that would be a struggle.
“I wouldn’t even know,” Vann said. “All of these schools have kind of blown up on me just this year. I’m still trying to go to visits and see what all these schools have to offer. It is going to be hard to make a decision like that right away. I don’t even know.”
He’s had some conversations with his parents about it. They have said they will leave that decision up to him. Oregon was another school he admired growing up.
“This stuff is too hard right now,” Vann said. “All these schools are good schools in the ACC and the SEC. They all say they want to get you the ball.”
Another 2018 standout at Tucker
Tucker has one of the state’s top programs. Vann is a top 2018 prospect. Dylan Wonnum, a strapping 6-foot-6 offensive guard, would be another.
Michael Harris is another upper-tier prospect in this class. He transferred from Lovejoy in January and has seen his recruiting take flight. The 6-foot-3 inside linebacker weighs in at 210 pounds.
Haris rates as a 3-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 15 ILB for this cycle. He’s a bit better than that.
Harris got his first offer from Jacksonville State about eight months ago. He’s collected most of the big ones since. Alabama and Georgia have offered.
Ohio State seems like the team to beat here. Clearly.
He spent some of his youth in Ohio and also knows a great deal about Buckeye history. When asked to name the best day of his life so far, he cited the day he received his offer from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
Harris is a strong communicator. I enjoyed our conversation. He’s a very personable and engaging kid. He made it clear that both Alabama and Georgia have some considerable catching up to do in regard to his eventual decision.
Class half-full? or class half-empty?
Consider this item as the messenger. There will be two statements shared.
I’ll leave it up to each of you to perform your own self-service slanting on the two parcels of information.
- The de-commitment from Max Wray leaves the Bulldogs with just two commitments for 2018. That currently ranks No. 38 in the nation and ninth overall in the SEC. As a means of comparison, LSU has 11 commitments at this time. The SEC West is dominating the commitment tally so far. Kentuck ranks fifth overall with their five commits. The Wildcats are the only schools from the SEC East which cracks the top half of those current SEC rankings.
- Georgia’s 2017 class finished with a final No. 3 ranking. The Bulldogs had six commitments at this time a year ago. That said, it is worth taking into consideration that only four of those guys wound up signing with the Bulldogs.
…. Just one more thing
We’ll park the blog for today with this tweet from 5-star RB Zamir “Zeus” White. White is rated as the nation No. 1 RB for 2018.
The 5-star prospect is set to make his decision in late June on his mother’s birthday. He chose that date to honor her for everything she’s meant to him up to this point.
— Zamir White (ZEU$) (@zeus1_34) March 15, 2017
Shorts are just shorts, right? White could’ve had any pair of those on.
But I bet the fact he’s not wearing Alabama or Clemson or North Carolina gear makes everyone feel a smidge better about the Class of 2018.