UGA recruiting: Big visit ahead for DT Rick Sandidge and his family
Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel brings at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way a 4-star DT such as Rick Sandidge Jr. might lean, plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
The new movie Spider-Man: Homecoming is big at the box office right now. A Spider — a player from the Concord (N.C.) Spiders, that is — will be big in Athens this weekend.
Rick Sandidge Jr., a 4-star defensive tackle, is set to visit UGA with his family. Sandidge ranks as the nation’s No. 11 DT for this year per the 247Sports composite.
What will Mr. Sandidge be thinking about as he heads into the visit? It sounds as if he will be in research mode. He released a Top 11, and that’s about where he stands. Give or take.
“I have no idea,” said Sandidge, for whom a decision remains a ways off.
But he does know this: There is a smaller group of schools that are recruiting him the “right” way. Consequently, he feels comfortable with how he fits in with each of those programs.
“Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, UNC and that’s pretty much it as far as that goes,” he said. “There’s also N.C. State in there, too.”
Sandidge quickly added Florida State to that group.
He has regular contact with a lot of position coaches, but also the head coaches at Georgia and South Carolina.
“Both of those schools are recruiting me hard,” Sandidge said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Sandidge said those five schools are recruiting him the hardest. He defines doing things the right way by also making sure in include his family. Recruit Team Sandidge, not just the 4-star prospect.
I’d be shocked if a decision came this summer. Sandidge sounds as if he is looking at this decision like a 25-chapter book he is reading. It doesn’t seem like he’s even on Chapter 4 yet.
Chapter 4 maybe could come this week at UGA.
Where do these schools want Rick Sandidge to play?
The answer to that topic varies. A quick scouting sketch is that Sandidge has the body of an interior player, but the agility and athleticism of someone who could see time out on the edge. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs about 285 pounds.
Give or take a biscuit.
“Georgia said I could play [defensive tackle] or [defensive end] there,” Sandidge said. “South Carolina said I could play anywhere but nose tackle. So anywhere. Florida State said I could play a big end. UNC said I could play at DT.”
The pitch from Georgia is enhanced by a long-term relationship with first-year defensive line coach Tray Scott. Scott recruited Sandidge when he held that same job for the Tar Heels, too.
“He’s recruiting me the same way,” Sandidge said. “I’ve known him longer.”
Sandidge said Will Muschamp of South Carolina is the coach who has made him the biggest priority so far. Those two text daily.
The Sandidge family has plans to visit both Georgia and South Carolina this month. He said he’s already picked up on something regarding what his mother might think.
“Georgia and South Carolina are her favorites,” Rick Sandidge said. “She went to South Carolina for her college, and Georgia she just said ‘I hope you really keep this school in mind’ and everything like that.”
Why? That’s because of how Scott has recruited him by keeping the family involved and in the loop.
He added Michigan into that group, too.
Sandidge is a grinder and a worker. That’s according to those who know him best.
“Anything that he does to himself is not good enough,” Concord defensive line coach Jason Porter said. “His best is not good enough for him. He is always striving to find more and get better. It is not just me saying that he is [doing] great. He wants to make sure he is doing what you ask of him and that what he does is always at or above a certain standard each time and every time.”
“The other thing about him is he has a very good support system and a wonderful family. They care about him and his future, but also about him doing the right things every day as a person. He is raised to be very humble. He just doesn’t think that he is as good as he is.”
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) June 27, 2017
Rick Sandidge on the academic fit and other factors
“All of these schools have very good academics for me, to be honest,” Sandidge said. “All of these schools care about your education and they have the support and the tradition and the great fans. They all have great things, so I just have to look at these schools by the coaches that will be there for the next three or four years, to be honest.”
He doesn’t care about which players are going where. The fact that UGA has a commitment from the No. 1 player in North Carolina this year matters little.
Neither do the other 4- or 5-star prospects they might bring in. It doesn’t even matter a great deal that a high school teammate signed with Florida State in 2017.
“I am going to look at the schools that can lead me and take me to where I can be the biggest success in life,” he said. “This choice is about what’s best for me and not what everyone else out there may be doing.”
How does he feel about the schools on his list that are doing things the right way?
North Carolina: “The coaches. I also have a connection with the defensive line coach they have there now. I got to talk to him [Deke Adams] at an East Carolina camp, so we have a relationship there.”
South Carolina: “That is the same thing with all these schools. I have a real connection with the coaches there. They treat you like you are already a part of their football family really.”
Georgia: “I have that connection with coach [Tray] Scott, so when I went there that first time, I already had that real connection with him. He was the coach at the first school that offered me when he was at North Carolina. That was the first defensive line coach that I really got to talk to.”
Florida State: “The feeling there is the same as all these other schools. They check all the boxes in what I am looking for with academics, coaches, fans and relationships.”
Michigan: “I had a really good time when I went up there. My mom enjoyed herself and my family really enjoyed themselves. I had a good time up there and I got to chill with [2016 5-star prospect] Rashan Gary when I was up there.”
Did you see the Adam Anderson tweet from Monday night?
Adam Anderson, a 4-star outside linebacker from Rome (Ga.) named his top 5 and his final 5 schools Monday night. He also shared that he needs to visits all five of those options before he makes a final decision.
That’s pretty good efficiency from a single tweet.
my top 5 not in any order Giving each one another look before my final commitment.
— Adam Anderson (@AdanAnderson5) July 11, 2017
Anderson, as most readers will recall, committed to UGA in August 2016 but later de-commited to be a cog in a triple commitment from Rome High to LSU. That event took place on G-Day.
The unique part about that is that two-thirds of that package deal are no longer pledged to play for Ed Orgeron at LSU. Jamarcus Chatman since has committed to Tennessee. Jaquon Griffin, the third part of the trio, has yet to announce a de-commitment from LSU.
Look for Anderson eventually to choose a school that’s a little closer to home. I’d guess that Alabama, Clemson and Georgia are the strongest contenders for his commitment. Tennessee is boosted by Anderson’s friendship and ties to Chatman.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect has seen his stock rise over the last few months. Anderson earned an invitation to The Opening Finals at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., but decided not to attend.
He’s still rated as the nation’s No. 1 OLB prospect for the Class of 2018. The 247Sports composite also has him as the No. 37 overall recruit for this cycle.