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Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com
Miller Grove LB Caleb Tannor has an All-SEC Top 5 with UGA right in the thick of things.

UGA recruiting: Bulldogs belong in Caleb Tannor’s All-SEC Top 5

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 this an elite edge rusher like Caleb Tannor might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.

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A visit with Caleb Tannor reveals some pretty interesting things other than his immediate thoughts on an All-SEC Top 5.

It seems hard to believe Tannor and Ohio State commit Brenton Cox were once an impressive set of defensive ends for the Wolverines. They played together there for two seasons.

Cox transferred to Stockbridge. Tannor stayed. He’s now a leader for the Miller Grove program. Tannor said to look for him to make his college decision before the start of his senior year.

“I feel that I need to commit (by then) and get my spot locked down at a school that I like,” Tannor said.

Caleb Tannor
Caleb Tannor is rated as the nation’s No. 18 weak-side defensive end for the Class of 2018 by the 247Sports Composite. (Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com)

He plans to visit Tennessee this weekend. Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and the Volunteers populate his top list.

He feels the most comfortable at Auburn and Georgia. That’s where he has been the most.

“The biggest reason I like Georgia is just the love I get over there,” he said. “I like the tradition, the facilities and what they have done with their players at Georgia.”

LSU is the newest contender. Arden Key is one of his favorite players. He also likes the energy that Tyran Mathieu showed while playing in those colors.

Tannor said he’s already been to UGA on visits “at least a dozen times” so far. He further specified he’s probably been to Athens “more than 20 times.”

But above all else, there’s this: This young man isn’t afraid of hard work. We took a lap around his school world this week and he pointed out a pair of huge 18-wheeler tractor tires. The Wolverines use those to train.

Those simulate power and explosion off the ground. That’s football.

Those tires had also been doused with a heavy rain. Given that recent precipitation, it was easy to estimate that those things weighed 300-plus pounds. There were pools of water in the wells of those tires.

When asked if he could flip one for a picture or a video, his ears perked up. He was game.

Tannor also practices on a field that somehow Canadian geese flock to every morning. They leave their gifts, but he doesn’t complain. That’s all just part of his road to the SEC.

“That’s what I do all of this for, man,” Tannor said while referencing that tweet. “I do all of this for those people. Those people are my why. This is all for them.”

More to like about Caleb Tannor

That, to me, says a lot about why SEC defensive coordinators want him on the edges of their defenses, too. Tannor is an easy 6-foot-3 on the growth chart. Plus.

He carries his 224 pounds like it was a lunch tray. He will easily swell to about 240 once he gets all the protein and workouts once he sees that SEC strength coach every day of his college life.

“He’s just an incredible kid with real good character and a hard worker,” Miller Grove coach Justin Larmond said. “You ask him to do something and he does it. So nice and respectful. He’s won the leadership award for our football team all three seasons he’s been here.”

Caleb Tannor
Caleb Tannor has more three team awards for leadership in his high school career at Miller Grove. (Jeff Sentell / Dawgnation.com)

Tannor said that Stephen Hill Coaches Award stands as perhaps the biggest honor of his career.

Lots of players get offers. He’s appreciative of the fact he sets a standard among his peers on his team. That has nothing to do with his vast athletic ability.

When it is mentioned that Tannor hasn’t missed a practice since Larmond has been there, that sounds like second nature once you spend some time around him.

The 3-star prospect rates as the nation’s No. 18 weak-side defensive end for 2018. That 247SportsComposite rates him as the No. 35 player in Georgia.

There are at least 12-15 players among those 35 the Bulldogs have not recruited the way they want this prospect from Miller Grove. That’s because UGA rates him higher than No. 35 in the state for 2018.  So does Larmond.

“He’s a guy that does everything you ask him to do from a coach’s standpoint,” Larmond said. “Then he does more. Don’t have any problems with him. He’s a good kid.”

Tannor plans to study sports medicine. He wants to be a physical therapist when his playing days are over. The three-star recruit said he’s got “As and Bs” on his reports cards for his grade-point average and that the academic honors he has achieved matter more than anything to do with sports.

He used to get average grades until Larmond finally instilled in him higher scores were required. Larmond advised him those would be important and pave his college future. Then Tannor started flipping those lower scores into those “As and Bs” like they were 300-pound tractor tires.

The three SEC schools that seem to want him the most

Tannor feels Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee are recruiting him hardest right now. Florida would be next. But he also stated the Gators have been coming at him the hardest since he released that Top 5.

He associates each school with a top-flight defensive player they have produced. We’ve already touched on Arden Key at LSU, but it is Dante Fowler for Florida and Derek Barnett at Tennessee.

Caleb Tannor
When Caleb Tannor trains, he flips these 300-pound tractor trailer tires for a good workout. (Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com)

Georgia plans to use him as an outside linebacker type. Think Lorenzo Carter and Leonard Floyd. That’s how the Bulldogs plan to employ him across their schemes. Outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer serves as his primary recruiter.

Outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer serves as his primary recruiter.

“Really good coach,” Tannor said. “Really nice guy. I like what he’s been telling me about Georgia.”

He said he’s spent weekends at Georgia. Auburn is the school he has been to the most after that.

“I like all of these schools,” Tannor said. “Every school in my Top 5 has given off a good vibe and we’ve made that connection. That’s why all of those schools were in my Top 5. I made that Top 5 thinking which schools are coming at me and messing with me the hardest.”

Which schools have laid out the best plans on how they want to use Tannor?

“Georgia and Auburn,” he said. “Those schools have drawn up what they want me to do and what they see me doing and I like what they have shown me there.”

He can possibly enroll early at Miller Grove but doesn’t plan to take that route.

Dispelling the big UGA rumor for Tannor

Does he need to see more from Georgia? More wins in 2017? Does the strength of the 2017 class cause him to take a wait-and-see approach?

Do any of those elements affect the way he considers the chance to play for Georgia?

“Nah,” he said. “Not at all. That 2017 class is the class I was competing against last year. I’ve been competing against those guys all my life. I was effective against that class then when I was a year younger. So why not go there and compete with them again? Competing against the best guys only makes you better.”

Why does he think that UGA only has two commitments for 2018 right now?

“They probably think the opposite way of what I am thinking,” he said. “They see that competition is going to be something so they probably might be looking to get their spot and their time somewhere else than Georgia.”

Tannor said his last trip to UGA was about two weeks ago. Despite all of those trips, he has no leaders at this time.

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