There are a few things that we can tell are swirling around James Coley’s mind when it comes to recruiting the wide receiver position at UGA for 2017.
The new wide receivers coach has a commitment for Lowndes standout Xavier Jenkins. The 6-foot-3 Jenkins went from unrated to a three-star ranking in short order after his commitment. The program also quickly jumped on Newton’s highly-athletic Jeremiah Holloman after his performance at the MVP Camp last Sunday.
Yet there’s a young man in Alabama that also stays on Coley’s mind. Coley knows that 6-foot-5 Nico Collins will be a hard pull out of Alabama, but those close to the nation’s No. 66 overall player feel he is truly open to leaving the state.
Collins has also already taken multiple trips to UGA. The four-star prospect already knows he will take an official visit to UGA and wants to play in a pro-style offense. That’s what UGA plans to employ under new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. That’s the good.
The young man also has a close connection with a high school teammate who enrolled early at Alabama. That’s the bad.
They still work out together and the pair continues to push each other. That teammate, T.J. Simmons, is telling him every day that Collins needs to join him in Tuscaloosa.
“If you go there, you’ll win,” Collins told SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner this week.
Coley knows this. So he makes sure that Collins also knows he is priority at the new UGA.
“I talk to Coach Coley a lot,” Collins told SEC Country. “He actually just texted me five minutes ago asking me how school is going, how my day was, just stuff like that. He checks in with me like every day.”
The Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) rising senior feels UGA, Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Miami, Michigan and Ole Miss are recruiting him the hardest now. As they should. The 203-pounder has snared 31 touchdown passes for teams that played for Alabama state titles in 2014 and 2015.
Collins already knows UGA, Alabama and Clemson will get official visits. He is scheduled to attend Michigan’s spring game on April 1, but stated this week that all of those schools are even and he is just enjoying the process.
Could an in-state battle be brewing between Alabama and Auburn?
“I really don’t know yet,” he said. “I’ll go anywhere. If the school that fits me best is in state or out of state, that’s the school I’ll be at.”
Look for Collins to make a decision sometime after his senior season.
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.