The official visit weekend came and went, but there was no rest for the UGA coaching staff on Sunday night.
Coach Kirby Smart and assistant Glenn Schumann were back on the road to see one of the team’s defensive back commits for 2016. Peach County 3-star defensive back Tyrique McGhee hosted the duo for some hot wings, Ro-tel cheese dip, fried rice and dessert.
McGhee was originally offered by Jeremy Pruitt and was a favorite of the former staff at UGA, but it turns out the film does not lie when it comes to McGhee’s worth with the new head of the program. If there was any doubt about McGhee’s skill set and how much the new UGA staff wanted him, this trip pancaked that notion.
“Coach Smart stressed to me that every player has an opportunity to play,” McGhee told DawgNation. “He likes my instincts and coverage ability.”
This is another case where Smart’s evaluation is a little bit higher than the recruiting services. McGhee is rated as the nation’s No. 56 cornerback for the Class of 2016 and the No. 627 player overall. There are supposedly 56 other prospects who have a brighter college future in the state of Georgia alone.
“He also explained how he saw on film my tackling ability could get me early playing time and how my athletic ability could possibly get me a chance to compete for a return spot on special teams,” McGhee said.
McGhee said he’s now at the 5-foot-11 mark and weighs in at 178 pounds. He’s also clocked a 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds and power-cleaned more than 300 pounds in high school. That’s a pretty exclusive club that can do both at the varsity level.
McGhee committed to UGA last February and took his official visit in October. It was his only official visit.
“I knew where I was going to attend school and didn’t want to go through the recruiting drama,” McGhee said.
He’ll be back on Jan. 29 for an unofficial visit. He said one of his big takeaways from finally meeting Smart was his passion for Georgia football.
“Just his energy and love for the school alone gets you fired up,” he said. “But just the fact that how my knowledge of the game and physical ability could get me on the field to make an impact is exciting.”
He said there was never really any doubt about how the new staff felt about him because he was in contact with either Schumann or Smart “almost every day or every other day.”
“So I always knew the staff believed in my ability,” McGhee said.
He’s played the “Star” and nickelback spots in high school, and while that position has also been discussed with him, his bread-and-butter is expected to be at cornerback.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and 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.