UGA Recruiting: Why 5-star Zamir White might or might not choose the Bulldogs Tuesday
Let’s not dance around the hole here. This Intel is about nothing but 5-star Zamir White and his noon announcement. Follow our live stream here on the DawgNation Facebook page. We take a daily lap around Georgia football recruiting at least five days a week. Not now. This is non-stop on Zeus.
LAURINBURG, NC — What is all the fuss about this Zeus fella? Zamir White has made such an impression around these parts that he picked up that nickname early on.
The nation’s No. 1 running back this year is from North Carolina. Depending on your level of fandom, that might mean a good thing. See Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. See Tim Worley.
Want to know all there is to know about the nation’s No. 1 RB and No. 6 overall recruit per the 247Sports composite?
He’s up to 225 pounds now. The Scotland County High School standout also has clocked a 10.5 in the 100 meters. That’s a rare blend of speed and power.
White is set to make his college choice known Tuesday at noon. Insiders have it as a Georgia and North Carolina battle. Alabama is still in the picture.
Clemson never could get him on campus enough. Ohio State was really in it until that first long trip Momma took through all those winding back roads.
That’s important. That’s because White has chosen this moment to honor his mother, Shanee’ White, on her birthday. The reasons why are also sprinkled throughout the aforementioned “meaningful” link.
- We took a lot of photos of Zamir Monday.
- Where do his teammates think he will go? We checked off that angle.
- Want to play a quick game of “Fact or Fiction” with White’s story? We’ve got that.
How can we continue moving the chains on this story on decision day? We’ll see what we can do.
6 reasons why Zamir White will choose UGA
Please consider this to be a mixture of Intel and what we’ve gathered from sources in relation to this story. White actually used a pretty big viewfinder to measure his decision.
The central nugget is this: White has liked UGA for a long time. There’s also one other factor we will get to later on. We’ll call it the “Dell” detail.
But for now, here’s a rapid-fire listicle why he will choose UGA:
- The most important factor to him is playing time. Georgia will graduate its two primary options at RB in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel this fall. That’s big.
- Georgia’s vast running back tradition is a plus. The Bulldogs also are committed to running the ball in the Southeastern Conference. That meshes well with the 6-foot-1, 225-pound prospect. UGA also likes to rely on a pair of All-American tailbacks. That will keep White fresh for a long pro career.
- His mother is another factor. Georgia has a great mix of big-time football and tradition. It is also a little less than 300 miles from his North Carolina home and within a comfortable driving distance.
- The Bulldogs have signed five offensive linemen rated among the nation’s Top 15 players at their position over the last two years. North Carolina, the in-state threat, has signed two offensive linemen rated that highly over the last four years. The bigger Uglies up front are in Athens.
- UGA also has signed one of the nation’s Top 5 running backs at least seven times in the modern era of recruiting rankings. North Carolina has never signed a highly regarded RB that was rated in the Top 5 nationally by the 247Sports composite.
- Recruiting is all about relationships. His relationship with his position coach will be key here. He’s established a large level of trust with UGA running backs coach Dell McGee. That’s the “Dell detail” we will explore in detail below. The Tar Heels hired a running backs coach back in February.
6 reasons why Zamir White might choose North Carolina
— Zamir White (ZEU$) (@zeus1_34) June 12, 2017
— Jenna Miller (@sheshootsports) June 21, 2017
- The location would make family happy. Chapel Hill and Laurinburg are about 90 miles apart. After all, he is committing on his mother’s birthday. There are a lot of North Carolina fans in his inner circle.
- North Carolina has established some late momentum on the recruiting trail. White took two late trips to Chapel Hill to check out the Tar Heels.
- North Carolina also has a good track record of sending backs to the NFL. The Tar Heels have five former running backs on NFL rosters now. That’s more than any school except for Alabama. Georgia has three, but the number should expand to five when Chubb and Michel are drafted next spring.
- White calls North Carolina sophomore inside linebacker Jonathan Smith a blood brother. That’s his best friend. They often spend time at each other’s house. Smith played last fall as a freshman at North Carolina. The two tweets that are at the top of this subsection reflect that connection.
- There’s also no denying North Carolina’s academic might and the impeccable education that would be available to him in Chapel Hill.
- White was born at UNC Hospital and spent the first three months of his life there in intensive care. That’s all there in that “meaningful” link up above.
An interesting twist on that best friend factor
I learned something interesting about Jonathan Smith Monday in Laurinburg. It was known that Georgia recruited him in the Class of 2016. His name was on the board at ILB. But that offer never came.
If it had, he would’ve gone to UGA. This whole recruiting process for White would have been over a long time ago.
I learned Smith actually could be considered a fan of the Bulldogs. How big of a fan?
It was shared with me that Smith had been going to Georgia camps since he was 9 years old. The Bulldogs never offered him.
DawgNation was told that Smith and his family are from Georgia. They even had a Georgia Bulldogs sticker on their car.
Why do I find that interesting? If this is a true “blood brother” relationship as it has been described, that can be a telling detail.
I don’t have that answer, but I would encourage you to just chew on that for a minute. Place yourself in Smith’s shoes as a trusted friend and confidant.
Would you want your best friend to play with you? Or would you want him to do the best thing that maximizes his vast NFL future? That’s the 40-year decision weighed against a likely three-year decision in White’s case.
If the young man’s family truly did have a UGA sticker on the car, there’s probably no way he could blame his friend for going to play in Athens.
The Dell McGee details
DawgNation spoke to more than 20 people at Scotland County High School Monday. The Intel on the ground regarding UGA running backs coach Dell McGee was vivid and genuine.
Scotland County coach Richard Bailey, who is in Hawaii on a long-planned family vacation, has said many times that McGee has recruited White as well and as hard as any assistant coach legally could.
That meshes with the words of everyone I spoke with Monday in Laurinburg. That’s the assistant coaches, the school staff, the custodians and just about anyone who is part of the Fighting Scots family.
The universal opinion was something like this: “Oh, that’s that nice coach from Georgia. We really like him here.” I will share just three of those perspectives.
The first comes from a school official who said he has met or seen McGee at least “15 to 20” times.
“I’d have no hesitation in sending my kid to Athens to play for Coach McGee,” Scotland County assistant athletics director Adam Romaine said. “Zamir knows that the running backs coach will be the guy that plays him. That’s the guy who he will know better and have the real relationship with [among] the coaches at Georgia. Dell is a very good one.”
The next opinion came from the offensive line coach at Scotland County.
“He’s a great great guy, man,” Scott Barbour said. “You can just tell that. Dell would walk through that door right now and speak to all of us and know every one of us by name. Dell was a high school coach. So he understands us. He gets us because he was one of us. He knows what we go through and what we deal with. He’s an awesome guy. Just a really awesome guy.”
The longtime offensive coordinator at Scotland County picked up the praise from there.
“Just a very personable guy,” Keith Wood said. “His personality really stands out.”
White rated the relationship with his position coach as the fourth-most important factor when sizing up his decision. That doesn’t seem like an aberration here with McGee.
When Georgia landed the commitment from 4-star RB D’Andre Swift last fall, his family echoed the same sentiments.