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Nate Gettleman / SecCountry.com
Roswell QB Cordel Littlejohn will camp at UGA this week. Can he earn an offer?

UGA recruiting: Can Roswell QB Cordel Littlejohn earn an offer?

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 what a find like Roswell QB Cordel Littlejohn might be plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.

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Cordel Littlejohn doesn’t have any stars. Yet. He still trains like he might be under center on a big Saturday in 2018. That’s how the rising senior is wired.

He moved from North Carolina to Metro Atlanta to test his game on a much bigger stage. Roswell High and the highest rungs of GHSA football will certainly do that.

Littlejohn might not have those stars, but he’s got the following going for him:

  • 6 feet, 3 inches and 190 pounds
  • Legit arm talent and 4.7-to-4.8 speed in the 40
  • Offers from Illinois and Tulane
  • Good tape and prolific production as a junior: 62% completion rate, 3700 yards, 50 TDs, 6 INTs
  • A willingness to camp this summer to earn bigger offers
  • Demonstrated understanding of the mental aspects of QB play with his progressions and reads

While I believe UGA has more than a puncher’s chance with Harrison 5-star Justin Fields, there is also the need to sign two quarterbacks for this cycle.

If Fields were to back off his Penn State pledge, I feel Florida would have a favorable depth chart for his skill set. Fields to Florida would make that tilt even more of a white-knuckle affair for Bulldog fans.

Littlejohn will camp at UGA on June 1. Roswell teammates Tyneil and Tyron Hopper will travel with him.

“I’m a playmaker,” Littlejohn told SEC Country. “When a play goes down, I am going to step up and try to make something happen.”

When he trains, he prepares for a fit in a pro-style offense.

“Any fit into a pro-style or a spread offense is what I am looking for,” he said.

His camp work this week at UGA could arrive at a perfect intersection of preparation and opportunity.

Cordel Littlejohn’s opportunity at UGA

Georgia has two 5-star QBs on its roster. And yet those are the only two scholarship passers. The Bulldogs just saw another one of their offers (Cammon Cooper to Washington State) at quarterback look elsewhere. According to the 247Sports player database, that means that the Bulldogs have offered 23 prospects at QB this cycle. (The number is actually 24, but Fitzgerald’s James Graham was offered as an athlete.)

The Bulldogs just saw another one of their offers (Cammon Cooper to Washington State) at quarterback look elsewhere. According to the 247Sports player database, that means that the Bulldogs have offered 23 prospects at QB this cycle. (The number is actually 24, but Fitzgerald’s James Graham was offered as an athlete.)

Cordel Littlejohn
Cordel Littlejohn has two offers, but he threw for 50 touchdowns last fall. He will camp at UGA this week.

The tally also reads that 14 of those 23 quarterbacks have committed elsewhere. There are another three prospects who are trending elsewhere. Another one of those targets (Tanner McKee) plans to take his Mormon mission and won’t enroll until 2020. That leaves five targets.

That leaves five targets. Littlejohn could be the sixth after this week.

“I’m excited about the camp,” he said. “I’m ready to show them what I’ve got.”

He said he will throw at the camps he’s been invited to. Sean McAvoy, his QB trainer, says he might also visit Florida next month. Littlejohn might also visit North Carolina. He’s been invited to camp there, too.

Littlejohn actually bested Fields to earn MVP honors at the Rivals Adidas camp in Charlotte earlier this spring.  If he fares well this week, the Bulldogs would have a chance if they offer.

“I like Georgia a lot, they’re starting to show a lot more interest,” he told me earlier this month. “They show the most interest out of the SEC behind South Carolina.”

South Carolina has Jake Bentley. The Gamecocks are the clear favorite to land Charleston dual-threat Dakereon Joyner in 19 days. Joyner, who also had a UGA offer, ranks as the nation’s No. 9 dual-threat prospect for 2018.

I think Littlejohn is looking for a fit. He realizes he might not be everyone’s top choice at quarterback, but he could lock things down if he found the right spot that values what he can bring to their program.

What Littlejohn could offer UGA

McAvoy, his trainer, has an impressive resume. He did a lot of quality work with former Roswell quarterback and current Auburn freshman Malik Willis, among others. He sees a lot of the same growth potential in Littlejohn.

“The most exciting thing about him is his arm talent,” McAvoy said. “The ability to drive the ball down the field on intermediate routes with zip – skinny posts, comebacks, etc. He routinely will have some of the best throws of the day at camps.”

Consistency is the main thing.

“When he’s on, he’s capable of being the best on the field,” McAvoy said.

That performance with Fields (who was somewhat hobbled due to an injury) in the QB group at the Rivals camp stands out as Exhibit A for what McAvoy believes there.

He’s worked with Littlejohn on the little things that quarterback trainers are supposed to do: Arm path. Arm acceleration. He’s seen strides over the past few months.

“As he finds better consistency, coupled with the ability to extend plays and add that extra component with his feet (there’s a) big upside,” McAvoy said.

The best path for Littlejohn is just to continue to improve on the field.

“You know how this goes,” McAvoy said. “There’s probably 10 quarterbacks out there that every school offers. That’s the Justin Fields guys and the Emory Jones types out there. When those guys pick their schools, then there are a lot of schools out there saying ‘Who’s that next guy for us?’ and right now I think Cordell is right there behind Fields and Jones and all that in the state. So if you’re Georgia right now and you know the want there is to add a dual-threat quarterback to their roster, he might be the guy who is left standing after all these other guys are now longer around for them.”

McAvoy doesn’t think that the term dual-threat should mean a guy who doesn’t throw the ball well anymore. Not in this day and age.

“When I say dual-threat as a quarterback trainer, my whole goal is to help guys throw the ball to the best of their ability,” he said. “That’s the separator. Don’t care if you are a pocket passer or a dual threat. You have to be able to throw the ball accurately to be successful at the next level.”

The dual-threat factor should be an added bonus. It should not show a limitation in the ability to put the ball on a guy. It should not mean the receivers tackles himself trying to catch the throw.

Littlejohn has that improvisational ability to extend plays when things break down. He just needs to show more polish executing his throws when everything goes according to the script.

That’s not just something that specifically affects Littlejohn. If you watch the elite in camps and 7-on-7 settings, that’s something a lot of the 4-star and 5-stars need to improve on.

“Georgia has a great quarterback room in general,” McAvoy said. “That’s a great situation for him to learn from those guys ahead of him and help him get better. That is a great system but then he’s going to have a skill set that separates him from those other two guys. That’s something I think maybe coach (Jim) Chaney can find a way to work in or gives them a different look with those other guys.”

McAvoy thinks Georgia can be a good fit for him. Certainly.

“That’s a place that I think would be a good fit for him,” McAvoy said. “That’s also a staff that will have the ability to find a way for Cordel to be successful there.”

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