The UGA-Missouri game doesn’t quite have the mid-week oomph it should. Especially considering that the two-time defending SEC East Champions are coming to UGA for a night game.
Part of that has to do with UGA’s shock of losing Nick Chubb and then suffering a second conference loss before November in Tennessee last week. That usually ends any talk of playing for an SEC crown in December.
That said, it is important to take a step back and realize just how much elite talent will be at this week’s game. Missouri, truth be told, will have just about as star-studded a crop of official visitors as the Alabama game did two weeks ago. Maybe the weather will be better, too.
It might come as a shock, but there will be at least four 5-star prospects at UGA this weekend.
Official visits for UGA-Missouri
Marlon Davidson, DE, Greenville, Ala. (Auburn commitment)
Why: He told the AJC’s Dawgnation.com earlier this week that he was likely to take an official visit to UGA for the Missouri game. The 5-star was recently quoted by 247sports.com’s Keith Niebuhr as saying he was only 75 percent committed to Auburn. Alabama would likely be the next team in line for Davidson, but he’s also liked UGA for awhile. The Bulldogs should be no worse than his No. 3. Davidson’s older brother Ken Carter played on the defensive line at Auburn and still serves as an analyst on the Tigers’ coaching staff. That’s a plus for Auburn, but UGA defensive line coach Tracy Rocker was his brother’s position coach during his time at Auburn. Davidson’s family knows Rocker as well as any coach who is recruiting him because of that.
Ben Davis, ILB, Gordo, Ala. (undecided)
Why: The 5-star’s father still ranks as the leading tackler in Alabama history and Davis is considered a heavy favorite to follow his father’s college path, but UGA will still get a shot. This insanely athletic 6-foot-3, 240-pounder rates as the nation’s top inside linebacker and No. 16 overall prospect. He’s been an impact player on his high school team since he was a freshman.
Chauncey Manac, OLB, Homerville, Ga. (UGA commitment)
Why: The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior set his official visit to UGA for this weekend. That’s a great thing considering that only Jacob Eason and Ben Cleveland have been committed to UGA longer. He’s told DawgNation.com in the past that he would take officials to Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina, but he has yet to set those up.
Unofficial visits for UGA-Missouri
Demetris Robertson, ATH, Savannah, Ga. (undecided)
Why: This sets up as a HUGE visit weekend for the 4-star prospect. His mother and sister plan to join him. He’s set to hear a detailed pitch that flexes the university’s academic might. Robertson has already taken official visits to Cal and Notre Dame and he’s looking for a degree that sets him up to succeed outside of football. Stanford is his leader and Robertson will not take an official visit to UGA. His twin sister is also looking for a place to go to school, too. She runs track, graduated this spring and was the Valedictorian at Dawson Christian in Newnan. This might be the most important visit of the weekend in terms of potential National Signing Day impact with a recruit.
Mecole Hardman, ATH, Elberton, Ga. (undecided)
Why: The nation’s No. 1 athlete plans to make it three straight weeks he’s seen UGA at home or on the road. He was also witness to the bitter day for UGA up on Rocky Top so Saturday offers a chance to make a better impression. UGA and Tennessee are his perceived leaders and the 5-star standout still plans to make a silent commitment sometime over the next six weeks, but will not reveal that decision to the public until National Signing Day in February.
Derrick Brown, DL, Lanier, Ga. (undecided)
Why: According to reports, the 5-star prospect will take another unofficial visit to UGA this weekend. That’s important. Especially considering that he’s seen UGA play in each of the past three weeks. An improved performance can only help matters considering what he’s seen over the past two weeks. UGA is the favorite to land Brown and remained on his final list of top five schools, which he revealed on Thursday. He currently has UGA, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee as his official visit destinations.
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.