Do you like to see how recruiting hype translates into production on the field? When a recruit is well-known, it is important to see which players still can excel in spite of game plans designed to limit their effectiveness.
That’s why the DawgNation honor roll recaps the top performances of the previous Friday night from an assortment of recruits who are high on UGA’s radar.
It is not a recap of how every commitment and target did per se, but more of a collection of the very best from this past Friday night. This week’s roll call is led by a dominant performance by Taylor County sophomore running back Lyn-J Dixon.
Dixon authored his second career 400-yard rushing effort by stacking up 451 yards on 26 carries and five touchdowns in a 54-30 victory against Greenville on Friday night. He smashed his previous school records of 414 yards and four touchdowns with that effort.
He did so by averaging an impressive 17.3 yards per carry.
The speedster received the first SEC offer in Taylor County football history from Tennessee this summer and UGA was also quick to offer earlier this season.
UGA Honor Roll
Derrick Brown, DL, Lanier, Ga. (undecided)
What: The senior had six tackles and one sack for Lanier Friday night in a 42-0 win against Heritage. He also added three tackles for losses. The 5-star prospect continued to live up to his status as the top player in Georgia. He recently finalized his five finalists after careful consideration. That means he’ll take his five official visits to UGA, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee. He’s been a constant presence at UGA games this fall. He hasn’t named a leader, but UGA is generally considered the favorite.
Brian Burns, DE/LB, Plantation, Fla. (undecided)
What: The 4-star standout at American Heritage had seven total tackles in a hard-fought 21-14 win against Cardinal Gibbons. The senior also added five quarterback pressures and recovered a fumble. According to reports, the opposing team either lined up in the shotgun or ran routes off three-step drops in order to keep him out of the pocket. UGA is in good shape with Burns, but he also likes Alabama, Florida, Florida State and LSU. He’s been to both UGA and Florida State on unofficial visits this month.
Nico Collins, WR, Pinson, Ala. (undecided)
What: The 6-foot-5 junior scored three touchdowns for Clay-Chalkville along a 72-6 victory against Woodlawn. According to the Trussville Tribune, he scored three early touchdowns that built a 30-0 lead. Collins caught touchdown passes that covered 24 and 40 yards and later added a 10-yard scoring run off a reverse. The four-star prospect has been to a couple of UGA games this year, Alabama and Auburn are also hot on his trail.
Ben Davis, ILB, Gordo, Ala. (undecided)
What: According to a stat report from AL.com, the nation’s No. 1 ILB for 2016 had 14 total tackles and a 45-yard touchdown catch on Friday. That’s despite only playing the first half. The senior took his official visit to UGA for the Missouri game on Saturday and by all accounts had a terrific time. He tweeted out on Sunday night that he planned to return.
Lyn-J Dixon, RB, Butler, Ga. (undecided)
What: The Taylor County sophomore broke his own school record by with a dominating 451-yard rushing effort in a 54-30 win against Greenville. He did that on 26 carries and also scored five touchdowns. He averaged 17.3 yards per attempt in smashing his previous school record of 414 yards and four touchdowns. Dixon picked up his first SEC offer from Tennessee this summer and UGA offered last month. Dixon took an unofficial visit to the UGA-Tennessee game two weeks ago and was blown away by the visit. The Volunteers made him feel like a priority.
Jacob Eason, QB, Lake Stevens, Wash. (committed to UGA)
What: The 5-star quarterback commitment threw for another four touchdown passes in a 42-7 victory for Lake Stevens Senior High School. Eason completed 15 of his 29 passes for 258 yards. The senior did throw an interception on a tipped ball, but also added punts of 38 and 59 yards. A Hollywood star even tweeted out a show for support for Eason on Sunday night. He’s now completed 106 of his 158 pass attempts this season for 1,807 yards. He’s also thrown 18 touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Chauncey Manac, DE/LB, Homerville, Ga. (committed to UGA)
What: The senior had six tackles, including two sacks in Clinch County’s 30-16 win against Turner County. He also had one catch for 37 yards. He was supposed to attend the UGA-Missouri game on an official visit but wasn’t able to make the trip. The long-time UGA commitment will now reschedule that trip.
Demetris Robertson, ATH, Savannah, Ga. (undecided)
What: A game story in the Savannah Morning News credited the senior with 99 yards on the ground and a 63-yard interception return that did not result in a touchdown. He also scored on a 48-yard run in a 42-7 win against Jenkins County. The Alabama de-commitment claims Stanford is his leader and he’s thinking academics first. UGA is also in his top group with Alabama, Cal, Georgia Tech, LSU, Northwestern and Notre Dame. Robertson was supposed to take an important unofficial visit to UGA for the Missouri game but had to reschedule in order to make sure his family can attend.
Devwah Whaley, RB, Beaumont, Tex. (undecided)
What: The Beaumont Enterprise credited the senior with 24 carries for 125 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-27 win against Ozen in a clash that’s dubbed around that community as the “Soul Bowl.” Whaley, a 4-star running back, took his official visit to UGA for the South Carolina game and rated the visit a “10.” He plans to make a silent commitment sometime before December and then reveal his decision at the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 2. UGA is in a good position here, but will have to endure strong pitches from both Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Jamyest Williams, ATH, Lawrenceville, Ga. (undecided)
What: The impressive 4-star junior will be a cornerback on Saturdays, but continued to stack up the big plays at running back for Archer High School on Friday night in a 55-6 victory. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that Williams scored four touchdowns against Shiloh and finished with 14 carries for 113 yards. Williams elevated UGA among his Top 5 schools this summer. The staff has made it clear to him that he’s a priority for the 2017 class.
Malek Young, ATH, Pompano Beach, Fla. (committed to UGA)
What: Jeremy Pruitt’s future defensive back caught seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown for Coconut Creek High School in a 19-14 win over Blanche Ely. The senior also had 12 carries for 43 yards and another touchdown. Young took his first official visit to Ohio State over the weekend with his teammate Binjimen Victor. He’s also planning to take another official to Auburn. Young has told DawgNation that his UGA official visit will be in December with the other commitments.
Jeff Sentell covers 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.