Welcome to May for UGA recruiting. Some inside the industry consider this to be talking season for blue-chip recruits who stack up top 12 lists and try to see how many nice things on top of sweetness on top of buzz they can attach to as many school visits as possible.
It cranks out headlines, though.
The college recruiting staffs use these weeks for another matter. May should be considered the first quarter of prime evaluation season for every staff. Georgia’s coaches are ripping off the frequent-flier miles and car rentals.
They will check out the top and middle tiers of their boards during state track meets and spring football practices. It is necessary, if not vital, to see whether their targets pass the eyeball test after watching highlight tapes and hosting recruits on unofficial visits.
Spring practices are an ideal time to observe prospects’ bad plays and how they react to failure and accept coaching. It also allows a window to see how well the blue-chip targets fit and flourish within the team concept.
Do they become an instant “take” or do they need to come to camp to earn a committable offer? Things become a little more clear.
Want to get caught up on the week that was? These were the major UGA recruiting storylines over the last seven days:
- Prized 2017 signee Deangelo Gibbs returns to classes at UGA
- Nation’s No. 3 junior QB Robby Ashford “loves” Georgia
- California rising senior QB Joey Yellen raves about UGA
- 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock continues to be all Bulldog
- Watch the relationship between Tray Scott and elite DE Jacolbe Cowan
- Why that “Big 6” nickname fits Jammie Robinson so well
- UGA considers 2020 DE Myles Murphy a freak talent
Where UGA recruiting ranks in 2019
The Bulldogs have eight commitments in their 2019 class. The latest came from 4-star athlete Trezmen Marshall, who committed on April 27. Marshall, the nation’s No. 9 athlete and No. 97 overall prospect for this cycle, had made a silent pledge to the program a few weeks prior to the public reveal.
UGA sits at No. 5 nationally in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings, but it is worth noting that the program has just eight commits. Georgia is the only team in the nation’s top 15 that has fewer than nine commitments. Georgia has an average rating of 95.82 per commit. That’s the highest average per pledge in the nation.
Alabama has 12 pledges and has taken over the top spot. The Crimson Tide have picked up seven commitments in the last 30 days. Texas A&M and its 12 pledges rank No. 2 in the SEC and chart at No. 3 nationally.
Quick take: Dominick Blaylock committed to UGA in July 2017 and basically completely shut down his recruiting a full 2 1/2 years before he can sign a letter of intent. No visits. We’ll probably never seen that again from an elite 5-star prospect.
Jadon Haselwood, a 5-star wide receiver (Cedar Grove H.S./Ellenwood, Ga.), is the highest-rated Georgia commit. He is the No. 5 overall player in the nation, according to the composite. Haselwood is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 receiver prospect for 2019.
The Bulldogs have two commitments for 2020. The latest is tackle Broderick Jones. He committed to the Bulldogs twice earlier this year and revealed that decision to DawgNation last month. The 4-star prospect drips with 5-star potential and rates on 247Sports as the nation’s No. 35 prospect for 2020.
How the 2019 UGA recruiting class is being built:
June 11, 2016: 4-star tackle Luke Griffin (North Murray/Chatsworth, Ga.) commits to UGA
Jan. 29, 2017: 5-star DE Nolan Smith (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) commits to UGA
Feb. 18, 2017: 4-star DT Rashad Cheney Jr. (Washington High/Atlanta) commits to UGA
March 16, 2017: 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood commits to UGA
July 15, 2017: 4-star LB J.D. Bertrand (Blessed Trinity/Roswell, Ga.) commits to UGA
July 16, 2017: 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton/Marietta, Ga) commits to UGA
Oct. 30, 2017: 4-star CB Jalen Perry (Dacula/Dacula, Ga.) commits to UGA
Jan. 25, 2018: Rashad Cheney Jr. de-commits from UGA
Feb. 7, 2018: 4-star TE Ryland Goede (Kennesaw Mountain/Kennesaw, Ga.) commits to UGA
March 18, 2018: 4-star DE Bill Norton (Christian Brothers/Memphis, Tenn.) commits to UGA
April 1, 2018: Luke Griffin de-commits from UGA
April 27, 2018: 4-star ATH Trezman Marshall commits to UGA
Who are big 2019 misses so far for UGA recruiting?
Owen Pappoe made his college choice on May 1. That was a rare miss for a highly sought prospect. The Bulldogs have been getting their guys over and over of late.
But no college program goes 100 percent with its recruiting pitch. Who are the 2019 priorities that the Bulldogs have missed on? The new Auburn pledge tops the list, but he wasn’t the only one UGA would’ve liked to have seen on its board.
BIG 2019 MISSES
Owen Pappoe, 5-star OLB, Grayson High/Loganville, Ga: Pappoe committed to Auburn. The Bulldogs recruited him to play ILB and that’s a better fit for him than out on the edges of an SEC defense. Auburn’s pitch also included more of a role at the Star or Money position in their defense. Truth be told, that’s probably the best fit for a 6-foot-1, 209-pound speedster with rare acceleration and explosiveness plus tenacity.
Chris Hinton, 5-star SDE, Greater Atlanta Christian/Norcross, Ga.: Hinton chose Michigan last August. The 5-star DE is the son of longtime NFL offensive line great Chris Hinton. He ranks as the nation’s No. 15 overall prospect for 2019. Hinton and his family stressed academics in his recruiting process. The Bulldogs will continue to recruit him until he signs.
Kyle Hamilton, 3-star S, Marist/Atlanta: Hamilton chose Notre Dame shortly after G-Day. Don’t let that 3-star rating fool you. The 6-4, 188-pound prospect starred as an all-state performer for a state finalist team last season. We’re told Kirby Smart only needed to see the first 2-3 plays of his tape to offer. Hamilton spent a lot of time with UGA freshman Justin Fields on his unofficial visit for G-Day. He also values the academic fit, having scored a 30 on his ACT.
OTHERS TO CONSIDER: 4-star OLB Stephen Herron Jr. (Michigan); 4-star T Amari Kight (Alabama)
UGA recruiting by position in 2019
Which positions are the major priorities for 2019? Well, the receiver spot was one, but that has been checked off, kind of like the way the new Infinity War movie clicks off box office records.
Those two 5-stars (Blaylock and Haselwood) are rated as the nation’s top two receivers, respectively.
Here’s the wood left to chop in terms of positional priorities for the class:
- Defensive tackle (3 or 4 more)
- Tackle (2)
- Safety (1 or 2)
- Quarterback (1)
The weekly pinch of UGA recruiting perspective
It is worth noting the Bulldogs had only one member — two if we count Adam Anderson, who de-committed and eventually re-committed — of their top-ranked 2018 class on the board at this time a year ago. That would be eventual 4-star cornerback Chris Smith II.
That class wound up No. 1 in the nation to break a seven-year run for Alabama at the top spot. Georgia will not sign as many prospects as it did in the 2018 class (26) and that might prevent it from successfully defending that ranking in 2019.
— Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) May 10, 2018
Check out the UGA recruiting Question of the Day feature
DawgNation will answer a Recruiting Question of the Day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can ask questions on Facebook Live, Twitter or the DawgNation Message board forum. Previous QODs can be found on our question of the day archives page. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your query.
We can never get enough of these from our readers.
In case you missed any QODs so far, here are the latest questions:
- Which top uncommitted targets can UGA sign in 2019?
- What do the stats say about UGA recruiting the elite prospects from Metro Atlanta?
- Breaking down an ideal scholarship breakdown at UGA
- What will be the instant impact from the No. 1 class on the team this year?
- Who are the big targets that fans aren’t talking about yet?
- How were the UGA commits and targets affected in the latest rankings?
- Is it fair to say that UGA has come up short on elite DT prospects?
- What is the OL recruiting snapshot for 2019?
2019 UGA recruiting offers by the numbers
- Reported offers: 248 (+8)
- 5-star offers: 31
- Florida recruits offered: 54 (+2)
- In-state recruits offered: 42
- Texas recruits offered: 36 (+2)
- Mississippi recruits offered: 13
- California recruits offered: 16
- Louisiana recruits offered: 12
- Receivers offered: 33
- Cornerbacks offered: 26
- Tackles offered: 23 (+1)
- Safeties offered: 19 (+1)
- Defensive tackles offered: 19 (+1)
- Quarterbacks offered: 16 (+1)
- Running backs offered: 13 (+2)
- Inside linebackers offered: 3
- Athletes offered: 22
2019 UGA recruiting position breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected to be signed:
- QB: 0/1
- RB: 0/1
- TE: 1/1 (Goede)
- WR: 2/3 (Blaylock, Haselwood)
- OL: 0/2
- DE: 1/2 (Norton)
- DT: 0/3
- ILB: 2/3 (Bertrand, Marshall)
- OLB: 1/1 (Smith)
- CB: 1/2 (Perry)
- S: 0/2
- Scenario to watch out for: UGA takes one safety and adds a versatile offensive lineman who could play guard and tackle on Saturdays in the SEC.
Geographical UGA recruiting breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the current UGA commits by state:
- Georgia: 6 (Bertrand, Blaylock, Goede, Haselwood, Marshall, Perry)
- Florida: 1 (Smith)
- Tennessee: 1 (Norton)