Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way 5-stars like Justin Fields, Jamaree Salyer and Zamir White might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Have you ever seen that movie “Best in Show” floating around Netflix or on cable? The 2000 mockumentary is a funny flick. It is based on the Mayflower Dog Show.
The very best of those “Show Dogs” are awarded a blue ribbon. “Best in Show” is a label we will use around DawgNation once-a-month from here on in to note the program’s five most vital recruiting targets for 2018.
The timing seems right to rate those rare breeds in this morning’s Intel. Why? Well, in the event you were too busy binge-watching movies on Netflix, there was a seismic event for Georgia’s 2018 class.
Or at least that is what DawgNation sure hopes it will turn out to be. (Can’t fault the folks who root for Auburn, Florida and Florida State for feeling the same way about this choice, too.)
5-star QB Justin Fields de-committed from Penn State last night. It wasn’t really a shock. Fields will take a lot of big visits to take over the next few months to figure out his decision. It is much easier to do that as an uncommitted recruit.
Fields instantly cracks the Top 5 for Georgia going forward for several reasons:
- The in-state prospect that rates as the nation’s No. 2 QB behind that Trevor Lawrence fella. Fields, the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat, also ranks No. 6 overall on the 247SportsComposite.
- Georgia doesn’t have any QBs committed for 2018.
- The Bulldogs only have two scholarship QBs. Neither is a dual-threat like Fields.
- UGA has been recruiting him with the hammer down for months now.
- Jaiden Fields, his younger sister, has committed to play softball at UGA
I’ll be honest here. The reality is that Fields has been in the Top 5 for Georgia all along. It explains why Georgia wasn’t really going full-bore after any of the other 20-plus QBs they’ve offered for 2018.
The Bulldogs looked to basically be doing just enough to keep the fire burning? Why? That’s because their focus and the majority of their recruiting efforts had been aimed at Fields all along.
The news that he has rescinded his commitment just makes Justin Fields to anywhere else except Penn State a much more plausible.
Best in Show: Georgia’s Top 5 targets for 2018
(Key Disclaimer: This lists should be seen in the following light. 1) Do the Bulldogs have a legit shot?; 2) Can this player make an impact in 2018 or 2019?; 3) Does he address a positional need?)
5-star OG Jamaree Salyer / Pace Academy / Atlanta, Ga.
Why is Salyer No. 1: Salyer is the highest-rated interior lineman by the 247SportsComposite since
2005. I feel he’s a plug-and-play starter at guard for the Bulldogs in 2018. The Kirby Smart era at UGA will have to be defined by elite trench players. That’s how the Bulldogs can win more big games with Smart than they did under former coach Mark Richt. Sayler has also been one of the nation’s Top 5 offensive lineman for the past two seasons.
Rankings: 5-star. Nation’s No. 1 OG and No. 9 overall prospect.
The competition: Clemson, Stanford and to a lesser extent Ohio State
Estimated decision timeline: January’s U.S. Army All-American Game or National Signing Day
5-star RB Zamir White / Scotland County / Laurinburg, NC
Why is White is No. 2: This is another example of personal preference. The Bulldogs have always had supremely-talented backs. White fits the bill. He could be the best prospect at RB to come out in at least the last 2-3 years and that’s saying quite a lot. I feel he could come right and start getting 10-15 carries a game at UGA next year. At least. Why? He’ll enroll early and he’s just that good.
Rankings: 5-star. Nation’s No. 1 RB and No. 5 overall prospect.
The competition: Ohio State and to a lesser extent Clemson and North Carolina.
Estimated decision timeline: White has planned to commit on June 27. That’s his mother’s birthday. He also plans to enroll early so his final decision would likely be made by the early signing period.
5-star QB Justin Fields / Harrison / Kennesaw, Ga.
Why is Fields is No. 3: Fields clearly looks like the second-best QB in the nation for 2018. He’s even made up significant ground on Lawrence over the last six months. He’s very accurate, scored a 29 on his ACT and also clocked a 4.51 laser time in the 40 at the Orlando Opening regional. He plays the games most important singular position, too. If not for Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm, then he’d be No. 1.
Rankings: 5-star. No. 1 dual-threat QB, No. 2 overall QB and No. 6 overall prospect.
The competition: Auburn, Florida and Florida State.
Estimated decision timeline: Fields is also a marvel on the baseball diamond. Look for him to play his senior season of baseball at Harrison. Look for him to attract professional scouting attention, too. But he doesn’t love baseball the way he does football. He won’t enroll early and he still needs to really research his future going forward. A quick public summer decision does not seem likely.
4-star OL Trey Hill / Houston County / Warner Robins, Ga.
Why Hill is No. 4: Kindly refer back to why Salyer is No. 1. Hill, at 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, has turned a lot of heads on the spring camp circuit. He’s another likely early plug-and-play guy for the trenches for not only his mental acumen but for his versatility to be a quality SEC starter at both center and guard.
Rankings: 4-star. Nation’s No. 2 OG and No. 32 overall prospect.
The competition: Auburn, Clemson and Florida State
Estimated decision timeline: Hill should make his decision sometime around the halfway point of his senior season.
5-star DB Tyreke Johnson / Trinity Christian / Jacksonville, Fla.
Why Johnson is No. 5: Size and length. He also wants to be a cornerback in the SEC and he continues to show genuine interest in Georgia. Johnson has told DawgNation that he’s very comfortable with the setup at UGA and knows more about the program than he does any other team he has in mind.
Rankings: 5-star. Nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 19 overall prospect.
The competition: Florida, Ohio State and UCLA.
Estimated decision timeline: Johnson should make his decision in December. He is an early enrollee so he could also announce his public decision at the U.S. Army All-American Game.
CLOSE CALLS: 4-star WR Marquez Ezzard; 4-star WR Kearis Jackson; 5-star DE/OLB K.J. Henry