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Dell McGee is helping to bring in recruiting classes that no coach in the nation can match.

What does Georgia assistant Dell McGee look for in a running back?

Jeff Sentell

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least five days a week. The lineup for Wednesday features a chat with Georgia ace recruiter Dell McGee. The popular running backs coach spent a lot of time on the trail during the last cycle recruiting the bluest chips for the nation’s top-rated recruiting class. 

When Dell McGee watches tape he looks for “Dawg yards.”

Those catch his eye more than breakaway stretch plays, stiff-arms or hurdles that would make even Todd Gurley proud.

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Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee (left) was ranked the top recruiter of the 2018 cycle because of his role in bringing players such as 5-star running back Zamir White to Athens. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“Dawg yards” are the yards that a back creates on his own. When he’s hemmed in or he’s run out of the paved road created by his blockers.

“How the back creates yards for themselves is the biggest indicator of what we do and what we are,” McGee said during the College Football Playoff media day on Jan. 6. “I like to look at highlight films and the game tape to see if they can create yards when there is nothing there. Or there should be nothing there.”

That’s a good separation point.

It seems shrewd because Georgia is always going to attract top talent in the South — and now nationwide — based on the “RBU” tradition that has been built in Athens.

A lot of prospects from the low 4 stars and up can create highlights on well-blocked plays. Or when a properly executed play leaves them with just one or two second-level defenders to dust.

But what about when a back sees a roadblock up ahead?

That’s the time when McGee starts wondering if he’s looking at the film of the next Chubb, Davis, Gurley, Hampton, Hearst, Michel, Moreno or Swift.

“One of the first things is you have to have great size and speed,” McGee said in January. “You can have either great size or speed. That would be a plus. Both would be a big plus.”

The Dell McGee file

McGee just polished off a banner campaign on the trail. He was rated by several recruiting services as the nation’s top recruiter for 2018.

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Dell McGee did not miss the mark on any of his targets for 2018. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

His work as the lead recruiter on gems such as 5-star quarterback Justin Fields, 5-star running back Zamir White, 4-star back James Cook, 4-star defensive end Azeez Ojulari and 4-star cornerback Chris Smith stood out nationally.

When Fields chose Georgia, he called McGee the top recruiter in the country. Fields would have a good idea of that after the whirlwind recruiting gauntlet he ran after de-committing from Penn State last June.

McGee has a method to recruit elite backs to Athens. He uses highlight films and game tapes to start the process.

“Can you run over guys when you have to?” McGee said. “Can you make a guy miss in the open field? Those are the things that I attribute to great running back play. When the line blocks well, I can run through those. When it is not blocked well, how do you create yards for yourself?”

DawgNation had the chance to speak with several Georgia assistants during the College Football Playoff ride in 2017. We asked those coaches and ace recruiters what they look for on the recruiting trail at their respective position groups.

The first installment of our conversations was with defensive line coach Tray Scott. Scott broke down his philosophy recruiting one of the game’s vital positions. Especially in the SEC.

McGee was named the running backs coach at Georgia on Jan. 3, 2015. The Georgia native was fresh off of leading Georgia Southern to a victory as interim coach in its first bowl game.

He has his own methods for finding the next great tailback at Georgia. He likes to call them “End Zone Stalkers” and “Show Dawgs.”

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Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee has a Twitter game that might be as strong as his recruiting game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has his “League of Shadows.” New outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning has his “Wolfpack” to go along with Scott’s “Trench Mob.”

The rare backs whom Georgia has offered under McGee show that he finds a player and sticks to his top choices.

McGee has offered 10 running backs and one all-purpose back in the 2019 cycle.

He offered 16 backs in his first full recruiting cycle with the Class of 2017. That number shrunk to 12 for 2018.

It seems as if he wants those Georgia offers to mean something. But it also helps that he’s such an effective recruiter that he doesn’t have to drift too far down his board.

The Bulldogs secured commitments from the nation’s No. 5 and No. 11 backs in 2017. Georgia signed the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 backs for 2018.

“We try to be very precise in our evaluation process,” McGee said. “That’s film but that’s also seeing a guy practice live. We hope to get them to camp and see if they can take coaching and how smart they are from a coaching standpoint. So there’s a lot of variables that play into offers.

“Some guys are no-brainers. Some guys are wait-and-see guys. You might want to wait to see how they improve, see how they develop with coaching and how they respond to doing things the right way.”

There’s even a method to those no-brainer offers.

“You can just watch the tape and see with some guys,” he said. “Those are the ones that are really special. But then even with some of the guys, you will like to see and verify what you see on that tape is legit. You want to verify size and growth potential. There are some things that you really can’t see on tape. I would love to see a kid almost every time before I make the offer.”

The Dell McGee Twitter account has a strong gif game

The Bulldogs are a run-first football team. That’s the brand of football the Bulldogs employ out of the pro set ,and it creates everything else for the offense within a vertical downfield passing game.

The 5-star recruits Georgia is signing for its offensive line are going to mesh well with the talent the program always has lined up deep in the backfield.

McGee’s methods are an interesting read. But I’ll be honest: The topic also allows the chance to share some of the greatest tweets from his account.

Here are a few tweets that definitely reached the end zone the last year.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-America linebacker Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.