UGA recruiting: What do weekend moves say about Bulldogs’ 2019 class?
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet today calls for a review of several news items from over the weekend across the beat.
We aim to cover a lot of ground Monday with the Intel. Think of it as having a future UGA secondary with DeAndre Baker, Tyson Campbell, Richard LeCounte III, J.R. Reed, Ameer Speed and Mark Webb Jr.
Georgia will have another series of camps this week that will draw some big names. Five-star inside linebacker target Nakobe Dean tells me he hopes to visit UGA again this week. He was just at Texas A&M over the weekend.
If he comes, it will not be with his family. The traveling party likely will be a coach and a couple of his Horn Lake (Miss.) teammates.
Lejond Cavazos, a very intriguing safety in the Class of 2020 from IMG Academy, also will be at UGA to work out on Thursday. He will be at Ohio State on Monday.
Cavazos has stated that UGA is his leader, but it does appear that Ohio State and the Bulldogs seem to be jockeying back and forth in terms of the current pole position for that recruitment. DawgNation did learn that Ohio State and UGA will be the only schools where Cavazos will camp this summer.
This also will be another brisk week for quarterbacks throwing in Athens. Johns Creek 2019 product Zach Gibson, a 3-star pro-style option, will throw in Athens this week. Recent 3-star transfer Justin Fomby, now at Central Gwinnett, also will get an up-close look.
Speaking of quarterbacks ……….
California QB Joey Yellen is off the board
Joey Yellen, the 4-star QB from California, chose Arizona State on Sunday. That was after taking an unofficial visit to G-Day in April and coming back to Athens with his father last week for a camp workout with the UGA coaches.
— Joey Yellen (@JoeyYellen) June 10, 2018
Yellen threw for the staff on air and had what he felt was a strong workout. He had a few balls hit the ground but left Athens pleased by his overall effort.
“That was just all really exciting,” Yellen said. “I don’t mind it. I don’t get too nervous for that part of it. I’m confident. I like going out and competing against guys. There were some really good other quarterbacks out there and I thought I did really well.
“It wasn’t something to stress over. It was something to get excited about and look forward to.”
He even clocked a faster time in the 40-yard-dash with his 4.9-second showing at UGA.
That said, he left Athens not knowing where he stood with the staff. The chance to play at UGA was still up in the air and he said that the staff planned to get back to him once they had seen all their top QB options throw in person this month.
“We were mutually both interested,” Yellen said on June 7. “I was supposed to talk to them later next week or early next week more about it. It is definitely a great place. I like it more and more every time I see it. It is definitely a place that I am interested in.”
The nation’s No. 13 pro-style prospect (per the 247Sports composite) felt zero ill will and handled the opportunity with poise and class.
He looked at it the way any kid from Cali might view the next big wave.
“I am just kind of riding the wave honestly,” Yellen said again on June 7. “It is something I want to get done by the end of this month. It is definitely something I will have to put more thought into.”
Yellen spent about a day-and-a-half in Athens last week. That included a chance to sit down and meet with quarterbacks coach James Coley and starting quarterback Jake Fromm.
He said he knew where he stood with every school except for UGA. The commitment he made on Sunday meant that he found the wave for him to ride.
The 6-foot-3 quarterback saw the Bulldogs work out on his trip. He was impressed by everything: The quarterbacks. Receivers and running backs. Definitely the offensive line.
“It was awesome and it was impressive,” he said. “It was definitely what I expected out of Georgia football. That was what I expected to see out of a team that played for the national championship last year. Just really cool to watch.”
He had planned to commit at the end of this month. When we spoke late last week, he just wasn’t sure where he stood with Georgia.
“I’m going to be thinking about it,” he said. “That will help once I have more information where I stand with Georgia. But that being said, if I am thinking about it and I decide maybe that ASU is a great situation for me too then I’m not going to hesitate. I don’t want to draw this out and waste any coach’s time. I know that they are busy people.
“It is just going to come down when I fully decide on something and completely know then I’m just going to do it.”
What is the latest with 3-star QB Zach Calzada?
Lanier 3-star prospect Zach Calzada was one of those impressive arms that camped at UGA last week. His team didn’t win a game in the 7-on-7 tournament, but he showed off the arm talent and ability to earn the UGA offer.
That sparked a lot of 247Sports’ Crystal Ball traffic in UGA’s favor for a decision that’s expected sooner rather than later.
Calzada was also at Texas A&M over the weekend, and that sparked a few more Crystal Balls.
He rates as the nation’s No. 18 pro-style QB prospect for 2019.
Walton 3-star prospect Austin Kirksey also threw very well in front of the UGA staff last week. The Raiders, which featured 5-star UGA receiver commit Dominick Blaylock, lost to a stout North Gwinnett squad by 2 points in the championship game.
The longer the 2019 search goes on, the more I think a talent such as Kirksey will make a lot of sense for the Bulldogs. This isn’t quite like the 2018 search, although some fans might feel like it seems similar at this point.
Jacob Eason was still seen as the next big thing. Jake Fromm was the more-than-capable young backup.
Fromm is the big thing this year after leading the Bulldogs to an SEC title and the brink of a national championship in overtime against Alabama. Justin Fields is the next big thing behind him.
The quarterback recruits I talk to feel that the depth chart is much more established at UGA now.
Harry Miller chooses Ohio State over Stanford
Buford offensive lineman Harry Miller is one of the most impressive prospects we will ever encounter while on the recruiting beat. He can play Clapton on the guitar and will be the valedictorian of his class.
Due to unforeseen circumstances our mission team is currently unable to travel to Nicaragua. I was planning on making this announcement with the kids from our school, but I am excited to announce I have committed to THE Ohio State University.#GoBucks#PrayForNica @Mission4Nica pic.twitter.com/CyZfRCaRGD
— Harry Miller (@harrymiller76) June 10, 2018
We wrote extensively this spring about his faith, his mission work in Nicaragua and his college choice. Georgia was in Miller’s top 2 at one point, but it just seemed like other schools valued him more.
It was easy to see both sides of that issue. The Bulldogs are prioritizing tackles in the Class of 2019, and Miller’s best landing spot on Saturdays should be at center. He rates as the nation’s No. 2 center prospect for this cycle.
UGA, if anyone hasn’t noticed, has a great problem with its logjam of elite recruits on the interior line. U.S. Army All-American Netori Johnson redshirted as a freshman last fall. His former Cedar Grove High classmate teammate Justin Shaffer actually cracked the two-deep at times last fall as far as the travel roster was concerned.
Redshirt sophomores Ben Cleveland and Solomon Kindley are back for 2018 after both started in stretches of 2017.
Georgia also signed a trio of elite OLs in 5-star Jamaree Salyer and 4-stars Warren Ericson and Trey Hill in 2018.
Ericson will be a very good center early in his college career. Hill and Salyer also can do that to get on the field, but they were rated as the nation’s Nos. 1 and 3 guards for 2018.
That’s a lot of talent on the interior. With scholarships at a premium for the 2019 class, it just didn’t look like the Bulldogs had to have an elite center or guard this year.
UGA still wanted Miller, but it sure seemed like it didn’t need him as much as other schools did. Clemson, Notre Dame and Stanford also made his final group.
South Carolina WR places UGA in his final group
Let’s just cut to the chase here: Will be Bulldogs sign another receiver in 2019? Are they smart to always be recruiting top-tier options at any positions in the event one of their pledges flips?
I don’t think that the Bulldogs will see the latter out of Dominick Blaylock or Jadon Haselwood, but then again, anything can happen in the hearts and minds of 17- and-18-year-olds.
It also never hurts to be prepared.
In this case, I don’t think that applies with South Carolina WR Jacoby Pinckney. It is a simple matter of answering the question: Is he good enough to play at Georgia?
Pinckney narrowed down his options to four schools over the weekend. The Bulldogs made the cut.
F I N A L 4🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/KhKo5J2q0O
— Jacoby Pinckney (@jpinckney18) June 10, 2018
Pinckney, the nation’s No. 74 prospect on the 247Sports composite at receiver, rates as a 3-star prospect. He was at G-Day on April 21.
His Hudl profile page lists him at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. That 4.56 time in the 40 combined with the 4.19 is the short shuttle lives up to his scouting reputation.
His short-space quickness and ability to create separation along his breaks seems more impressive than just his pure straight-line speed. That’s probably the more important trait when it comes to a game-changing wideout.
The first clip on his tape clearly speaks to that.
Did you see over the weekend?
The Miller and Yellen commitments were not the only moves made over the weekend. There were a few interesting things that popped up that are worth a thought or two.
Davis Allen, the rangy and physical inside linebacker from Calhoun, committed to Clemson over the weekend. The 6-foot-5 senior prospect is the son of former UGA linebacker John Allen but never picked up an offer from UGA.
Allen doesn’t even have enough ratings to track on the 247Sports composite standard. He’s a 3-star prospect who charts as the nation’s No. 41 overall prospect at ILB for 2019 for 247Sports.
— Davis Allen (@davisallen17) June 11, 2018
The other big names on his offer list were Duke, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Logan Cash, the powerful and productive defensive end from Winder-Barrow, would be another in-state target that is rated higher by Clemson than UGA. Cash also has an offer from the Tigers.
Trevor Keegan, the nation’s No. 16 tackle prospect for 2019, placed UGA among his final six options over the weekend.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior also rates as the No. 1 player in Illinois this year on the 247Sports composite. He has taken at least a couple of visits to UGA over the last few months.
Top 6🤫🤫🤫 pic.twitter.com/wqOgd0jSPR
— Trevor Keegan (@bigtrevk) June 10, 2018
Michigan and Ohio State are seen as the favorites here.
— Trevor Keegan (@bigtrevk) March 4, 2018
If one takes stock in such things, the most recent photo from a college visit on his Instagram page is the one from that March 4 trip to UGA.
Georgia needs tackles in the Class of 2019, so the pursuit here should not be seen as a surprise. This also seems the perfect time to bring up that the Bulldogs signed the top player in Illinois last year in 4-star tight end Luke Ford.
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.