4-star junior TE Ryland Goede still has UGA slightly ahead of Auburn

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Ryland Goede has a lot of big-time schools on his radar, including both Auburn and Georgia.

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The budget for Monday calls for a reaction from top 2019 recruit Ryland Goede. Goede lists both Auburn and UGA among a soft “top 4 or 5” list of schools. 

Goede had UGA as a “slight favorite” among that lot entering the weekend, but he also was at that game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. How does he feel now? 

Auburn and Georgia played a heated game on The Plains on Saturday. There was a big gap on the scoreboard, but I wouldn’t expect it to make very big waves on the recruiting trail. Not based off just that game.

Modern recruiting is a 52-week thing, not just a gut feeling on a chilly Saturday. That said, it wasn’t a battleground recruiting game anyway. There really only are two elite recruits I see leading to an eventual Auburn vs. Georgia recruiting battle down the road.

The first of those players is senior 4-star OG Trey Hill (Houston County/Warner Robins, Ga.). Hill, the nation’s No. 2 offensive guard for this cycle, was at Auburn on Saturday.

Goede ranks No. 7 in the nation for the Class of 2019 at tight end. He said he expects to make his decision by February. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Hill has been to Auburn and Georgia many times and will visit each program again before he makes his decision.

The U.S. Army All-American will have to since he plans to enroll for the spring semester at the school he chooses.

Ryland Goede, a 4-star junior tight end from Kennesaw Mountain (Acworth, Ga.), is the other top recruit who has both Auburn and Georgia very high among his favored schools.

Goede gushes about both Auburn and Georgia. Those two SEC programs are in his “soft top 4 or 5” along with Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State.

He gave UGA the edge as a “slight” favorite heading into the game Saturday but was also at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. When asked for an update after Auburn’s decisive victory, he said that was still the case.

“I’m not worried about UGA at all,” Goede said. “They’ll bounce back.”

He ranks as the nation’s No. 7 TE prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite, and also as the No. 115 overall prospect for that cycle.

We used a baseball metaphor in our last update with Goede. It made sense. The 6-foot-6, 235-pounder is very good with the glove and with the stick, too. He said he was standing on second back then as far as how close he was to rounding the bases on his college football decision.

“I’d say right now that I am probably at third,” he said. “I have a soft list of four or five [schools] that includes Nebraska, Michigan, Georgia, Auburn and Ohio State. But that’s kind of a soft list. I am still keeping my options open.”

Ryland Goede is a ‘hatmaster’ already

Some recruits like shoes. Or throwback jerseys. Goede is a hat man. He probably has 50 in his closet.

When it comes time to put on a hat for his college choice, that decision will have been thoroughly vetted. He saw two of his best friends ― Dominick Blaylock and JD Bertrand ― commit to UGA this summer.

He just tipped his hat to those moves. Why? He still has places to go and NFL tight end factories to see.

Goede is good enough to catch the eyes of pro scouts on the baseball diamond. He will slug for Kennesaw Mountain this year and even swing for the varsity golf team.

These are things the truly gifted can do: He scores well below 80 on the links, can hit baseballs 400 feet, and shake safeties and linebackers on a downfield route.

Ryland Goede has Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State on his college list. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“People have told me all my life the golf swing will mess up your baseball swing,” Goede said. “But when I play golf, it helps out my baseball swing. I’m all right when I start playing baseball, but when I start playing golf it just clicks for me. I start swinging better in baseball after I start golf.”

Goede plans to visit Florida this weekend. Initially, that seems like an odd move. But he also has his thinking cap on with that.

“I’m not really worried about ]uncertainty with the interim coach] at all,” he said. “It is such a big school and a big program. Whatever coach gets that job will have a good résumé and will be one of the top coaches that I know everyone will have a lot of interest in.”

Recruits are supposed to consider that the entire coaching staff will turn over in the middle of their sophomore year. It happens. All the time. See Ole Miss. See Florida. And now Tennessee.

“I think Kirby [Smart] told me you have 365 days in a year and you have … what six or seven home games a year?” Goede theorized. “So, in those over 360-or-so days a year when you are not playing football then a recruit needs to think about which school he would want to be at the most. Say you get hurt or something? What school would you want to be at the most on those other days of the year? That’s something I take into consideration.”

Will Goede put on a Georgia hat on his decision day? Let’s explore those chances.

How Ryland Goede feels about Georgia

Goede perceives that some people think he is 100 percent sold on Georgia.

“Georgia is my favorite for me at the moment,” he said. “But for me, it is also Michigan and Auburn. Those are just a hair behind Georgia. That’s slim. Ohio State is just a little behind that because they haven’t used their tight end a bunch this year. There’s also Nebraska. Nebraska is right there, too.”

Penn State and Texas will have a shot. Goede also has moved up his timeline. He goes back and forth, but it seems like February is the target for him to announce his decision. He’s moved that up about three months.

Four-star TE Ryland Goede (left) said he feels the most comfortable at Auburn and UGA right now. The Bulldogs are a slim favorite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Look for him to go down to a top 3 at the end of the college football regular season.

There’s a great comparison point for Georgia when it comes to Michigan. Michigan feeds its tight ends like they will miss blocks if they don’t touch the football.

“When I went to Michigan, I think about two of their tight ends had about five catches each,” he said.

The Bulldogs? Not so much. But that has been explained to him.

“I got to go in and watch the film with [tight ends coach Shane] Beamer after the South Carolina game on Sunday morning,” Goede said. “We went through and he explained to me there were about six or seven plays in the game plan which were designed for a tight end but were thrown off because of a penalty or an offensive lineman had a [missed assignment] or something just went wrong. According to him, Georgia is still designing stuff for its tight ends. It is just not progressing to what they want it to be.”

He learned the following: UGA had a tight end on the field against South Carolina 94 percent of the time. The Bulldogs had at least two tight ends on the field approximately 60 percent of the time. UGA even had three tight ends on the field in another 10 percent of those snaps.

Yes, he did see that unbalanced line clip. Goede said Auburn and Georgia were the two schools he feels the most comfortable with right now. What is the biggest plus for him with Georgia?

“Just the energy and the fire they are playing with right now,” he said.

It should be noted he also really likes Auburn. Very much so.

Kennesaw Mountain’s Ryland Goede ranks as the nation’s No. 7 tight end for 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“Auburn kind of feels like home for me,” Goede said. “That campus fits me. That coaching staff and the personalities of that staff just fit me. I was at camp this summer, and they had a cookout at the camp. I just sat down with the coaches and talked for hours after that camp. It was me and all the coaches and their families. We just sat down and talked. It was fun to get to know them better.”

He said he will return to Auburn for the Iron Bowl.

“That campus and that school just really feel to me like home,” Goede said. “But I’m not sure if that is the right spot for me as of yet. Just because of the way their offense is using the tight end right now. But that’s probably been my most comfortable school up to now.”

The other contenders for Ryland Goede

Goede said he plans to take all five of his officials after he commits. He said Auburn should get one of them. He also shared the big reasons why Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State are contenders.

Michigan: “They way they use their tight ends,” he said. “They are No. 1 in the country from what I have seen in the way they use their tight ends. I think four or five tight ends played in that Michigan State game when I was up there. It is funny now. I am used to watching football games, but now I just watch the tight ends in how they use them and how they move their guys around. I swear, man. The way that Michigan disguises their tight ends to get them open is second to none.”

He said he doesn’t mind the climate. His father was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Ohio. His mother also grew up in the Carolinas. He said he has some “cold blood” in him.

Nebraska: “I can’t forget about Nebraska,” Goede said. “When I went up there and talked to their tight ends coach, that was the most insightful visit I have had. Coach Tavita [Thompson] helped me learn more about football than anywhere else I’ve been.

Ohio State: “Just my relationships with the coaches. Coach [Urban] Meyer and coach [Kerry] Coombs and [offensive coordinator and tight ends] coach [Kevin] Wilson. I just love those guys, man. The relationships that I have built with them over the past year-and-a-half or so have just been awesome. I can’t wait to get back up there for sure.”

A few other things I’m hearing

  • I got word from a pretty good source that 4-star defensive tackle Christian Barmore of Philadelphia plans to visit UGA this weekend for the Kentucky game. That same source also told me the Bulldogs are believed to be the top school for Barmore, in the Class of 2018. That source was Mark Webb Sr., the father of a UGA freshman from the Philadelphia metro area. Webb would know a thing or two about Philly prospects fitting in at UGA. Both his son and his nephew, D’Andre Swift, are doing very well in Athens.
  • It is not certain at this time, but look for the Bulldogs to possibly get a visit from 5-star junior offensive guard Kardell Thomas from Baton Rouge, La., this weekend. Thomas, an LSU commit, likes the Bulldogs and will not care who they sign at his position in 2018. Thomas rates as the nation’s No. 2 guard. He is also the nation’s No. 17 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports composite ranking, for 2019.
  • Look for 4-star DT Jordan Davis (Charlotte, N.C.) to make another return trip to Athens this weekend. The Bulldogs are in very good shape for his commitment.
  • A lot of fans have noticed the comments made by 4-star OG Trey Hill this weekend regarding the Georgia-Auburn game. It would be wise to not take them too literally. Hill has never been one to show cards in his recruitment. I would not think that he is starting to do that now.

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