UGA recruiting: Which coach has a good ‘in’ with 4-star DL Stephon Wynn?
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 4-star like Stephon Wynn Jr. might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Ask Stephon Wynn Jr. about Georgia. He has quite a bit to say.
“I really like Georgia,” he said. “They are one of my top schools. I don’t really have a top top school right now, but they are definitely in the mix.”
He says the Bulldogs are among his “up there” schools. That seems to be a comfortable way to convey strong interest in a school without all the pressure that it places on them and the schools which recruit them when they name a “leader” or release a “top 5” or “top 10” these days.
But then ask him specifically what he likes the best about the Bulldogs. Wynn will bring up first-year defensive line coach Tray Scott. That really gets his motor in gear.
“Coach Scott has been recruiting me since I was in the ninth grade when he was at North Carolina,” Wynn said. “He’s been at my school and has been coming to watch me practice and I’ve been able to call him and talk to him on the phone for quite awhile. We’ve built a real close relationship since I was in the ninth grade and in the early part of my recruitment.”
That’s when he was back at T.L. Hanna High in South Carolina. Scott knew what was to come with Wynn. He’s a Clemson legacy.
“I wasn’t getting looks from a whole bunch of schools then,” Wynn said. “So he was one of the first ones to really start recruiting me. So that bond just grew from there.”
How Tray Scott maintained that interest from UNC to UGA
Scott eventually saw Wynn rise up those rankings. According to the 247Sports composite, Wynn rates as the nation’s No. 4 strongside defensive end for 2018.
That also places him as the nation’s No. 99 overall prospect. That development also has mirrored a progression with Scott’s career path. He went from UNC to Ole Miss for a brief time and then took the job at UGA.
Wynn said it allowed Scott to stay in the game of sorts with his decision. Georgia was going to command his attention as one of the top schools on his offer list. He visited UGA for summer camp last July and then made an unofficial visit for the Auburn game in November.
Georgia was probably one of his “up theres” when Tracy Rocker was coaching the defensive line. Scott’s assumption of that job only increased the school’s value.
“I wasn’t really interested in really going to North Carolina but I was giving that school a lot of interest because of Coach Scott,” Wynn said. “I really liked talking with him and I really liked the way he had been recruiting me from the start. So I was really considering North Carolina because of Coach Scott. He kept everything honest. Now I also really liked [Georgia coach] Kirby Smart.
“So when Coach Scott goes to the Georgia staff, that was big for me. I already liked the Georgia staff the way it was. But now take that close bond I have with Coach Scott from when I first started the whole recruiting process and now add that to what I already felt about Georgia. That just gave them another big boost for me.”
Wynn has developed physically at the IMG training table. He told DawgNation that he now stands 6-foot-4.5 and weighs about 285 to 290 pounds.
Short list of summer visits for Stephon Wynn
Wynn said that Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and South Carolina are the three schools currently recruiting him the hardest.
“My family and I are going to take a couple of visits to a couple of schools over the summer when I go back home,” Wynn said. “We are going to start seeing which ones are going to be the final ones when I am getting ready to make a decision.”
“I am going to take my whole family to Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Ohio State this summer,” Wynn told DawgNation. “We are going to take these visits and really sit down with the coaches. Talk to them. Talk to some players. We are just going to really get a whole feel for the campus and everything that comes along with it. That’s when you start seeing some leaders come out.”
Wynn said it was possible that other schools could come in, but there was a strong chance that his final school would be one of those four.
“I know that I am visiting Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia for sure,” Wynn said. “Those three are for sure this summer and there may be some more visits here and there.”
The Clemson question with Stephon Wynn Jr.
As stated before, Wynn is a Clemson legacy. His father played tight end there.
“I figured you were going to say that,” Wynn said. “A lot of people try to put Clemson in there or say that is where I’m going or say that I am an automatic Clemson lock because my parents went there. My dad played there. My mom and my dad graduated from there. They met each other there. That wasn’t necessarily true from the beginning.”
Yet the Tigers will sign a small recruiting Class in 2018. They already have a commitment from 5-star DE Xavier Thomas at IMG Academy.
Newton High 3-star Darnell Jefferies, another big UGA target, is also on the wish list for the Tigers in 2018. Wynn likely would be a bigger target for his father’s alma mater if Clemson had more room in its class.
South Gwinnett (Ga.) 4-star DE Justin Mascoll and 4-star DT Josh Belk also have already committed to play for coach Dabo Swinney. There is likely not much room at the #ALLIN for another defensive end in the Class of 2018.
“I can say if Clemson was recruiting me as hard as some of these other schools were, then you maybe could think that I might become that legacy,” Wynn said. “But that wasn’t true like that. I never was going around saying I was playing with these offers and was going to Clemson anyway. That never was my look. I am going to go to the best school for me. …
“Whether that is Clemson or South Carolina or LSU or Florida or Georgia or Alabama. Wherever it is, I am going to go to the best school for me.”
Stephon Wynn’s decision timeline
He enrolls in January.
“It is either going to be some time before the season,” he said. “Maybe after I take those three visits this summer. Or maybe after that. I really don’t know yet.”
Which school has presented the best pitch for him?
“To be honest, there are a couple of schools that I have named that do that,” Wynn said. “I have to look at their roster. I have to look at the guys that are leaving and the guys they are losing. Alabama. Georgia. Ohio State. South Carolina. They are all losing a lot of defensive linemen. For my class, they are going to be real thin. So the needs for defensive linemen at that caliber of schools are there. I could have an opportunity to come in as an enrollee in the spring and possibly get some reps as a freshman. Now that’s not what I am going to school for to just do that. But the way things are looking for those schools, they are going to lose guys.”
He feels if he chooses one of those schools, that will give him an optimal chance to make an impact and to play early.
Wynn is playing a “5” and a “7” and a “9” technique at IMG Academy. That’s farther out on the edge on the defensive line. He probably could play anything except as a pure nose tackle.
“A lot of these schools say I can play a ‘3’ and a ‘5’ and a ‘7’ and a ‘9’ and that would be all four positions on the defensive line,” Wynn said. “They like me because I am versatile.”
He even has some experience at the nose. He played there for T.L. Hanna as a sophomore.
“I’m getting big and everything and getting the film out there at all these positions,” Wynn said. “So wherever they put me I’m going to play as hard as I can play.”
The Intel cache
I shared this a little earlier this morning on our DawgNation message board. Have you heard about it?
It is a very quick read. Got a lot of nuggets in there about Netori Johnson, Nate McBride, Tray Bishop, Kearis Jackson, Quay Walker, Christian Tutt and Jadon Haselwood in there, among others.
Intel cache: 10 things I learned about UGA and recruiting this weekend — DawgNation Community https://t.co/H8UV3UV85Z
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) May 15, 2017