UGA recruiting: Clemson already making a move for in-state DL Curtis Fann
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 a Georgia boy like Curtis Fann Jr. might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Curtis Fann Jr. has grown up in Emanuel County in South Georgia. His high school team’s nickname also happens to be the Bulldogs.
The 2019 defensive line prospect has had a whirlwind spring. Fann was just a fan in the stands at G-Day and a great many things have changed for him since then.
He’s been one of the fastest-rising recruits in the South over the last 60 days. He’s picked up offers from Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Georgia since his first offer from South Carolina on May 16.
Fann has cut his hair close and camped around the South. He’s now about 6-foot-3 on the growth chart and weighs in at 253 pounds. He moves so well that some scouts wonder if he could play defensive end, H-back or even some at tight end.
I now consider him to be a litmus recruit for UGA going forward. He grew up in Georgia as a fan of the program. The Twin City resident always hoped for a UGA offer and landed one.
But then he’s done the very smart thing and explored his options.
He is talented enough as a defensive lineman to also attract other very enticing offers.
He has no leaders, but it sounds like Clemson has made quite the impact on Fann and his family.
Clemson planting its paws in Georgia
Dabo Swinney and his Tigers continue to make their mark in Georgia. The Deshaun Watson narrative was no singular anomaly. See Mitch Hyatt. See Trevor Lawrence.
Greater Atlanta Christian cornerback Kyler McMichael is the latest 2018 example. The Tigers are also coming hard after 5-star junior UGA commit Nolan Smith II and Fann, among others.
Curtis Fann Jr. was very impressed by Clemson
Nikki Fann, his mother, wants the world to know her son is more than a great football prospect. He’s very mature for his age. Part of that comes from being a big brother at home.
He has three younger sisters. Fann’s siblings range from four to six years old. He’s also around a younger cousin right now that is less than a year old.
“He does anything I ask him to do,” his mother Nikki Fann said. “I still have to tell him what to do but overall he is just a humble and a prayerful and a God-abiding person.”
That’s how Fann was named a team captain at Emanuel County Institute as a sophomore. It is uncommon for a player at that grade level to already be that well-respected by his team. No matter how talented they might be.
Dabo Swinney recognized that.
His mother cried when her son got the offer from Clemson about two weeks ago. A lot of UGA fans wanted to see Alabama win that national title last year. If the Crimson Tide won another, that would have done little to embellish their status. Nick Saban’s boys are supposed to do that.
When Clemson snatched away that big trophy, it was an exclamation point that signaled a status change in the world of big-time college football.
His Mom did not cry when her son was offered by Georgia. It was just different. A different kind of extreme reaction.
“It was just a relief when we got the offer from Georgia,” she said. “We were hoping for Georgia so much that it was just a breath of relief and fresh air when we got that one.”
There’s also a family connection.
“Clemson also offered my Daddy, too,” Curtis Fann said. “When he was in high school.”
His mother accompanied Fann to UGA this month. She also was with him at South Carolina. The Gamecocks were the first school to offer her son.
“I love both of them,” his mother said, but she did not travel with him to Clemson.
It is a little too early for him to make a decision. He could make his commitment by the end of his junior season.
“I really can’t say,” Fann said, who said he feels like a priority at Clemson.
What Curtis Fann thinks about UGA right now
The Bulldogs need to win. They better win. That’s a motto that could describe the way Kirby Smart’s team needs to progress this fall.
That’s because prospects like Fann can’t help but look to Clemson and see great things on the field and also those millions upon millions spent on new player lifestyle facilities beyond the lines.
“They are the national champions, too,” Fann said. “So Clemson has to be doing something right.”
His mother said she will let her son pray about the decision. She will also leave it in the ECI team captain’s hands. But she did offer her opinion of the situation.
“I think his heart might be in Clemson,” she said. “I really do.”
Georgia is also right there, too. Fann made it clear he has no leaders at this time. But a young man can feel tugs in every direction.
“They are both great,” Fann said. “It is still early for me, but I did get to talk to coach (Dabo) Swinney more at Clemson than I did coach (Kirby) Smart at Georgia. It is all still great for me though. I have a great relationship already with (UGA defensive line coach Tray) Scott, too. I think Coach Smart might have had to leave early that day, too.”
Fann’s process provides a vivid example of how recruits feel this day when it comes to the home state school when the other powers when the Alabamas, Clemsons and Ohio States come calling.
They have to look at it like a business decision.
“I have to look at my entire decision,” Fann said. “Be informed about it. I just can’t shut it down because my favorite school tI had when I was coming up offers.”
This sounds a true battle. His mother thinks it will eventually come down to Alabama, Clemson and Georgia at this time.
Fann plans a trip to Tuscaloosa sometime this summer, too.
He said he had his best camp showings at Clemson and South Carolina this summer.That might be another reason why Dabo wanted to chat with him for a bit.
Z-Day is tomorrow in North Carolina
There might be a few Georgia fans out there that don’t know about Zamir White. The nation’s No. 1 RB prospect from North Carolina will decide where he will play college football tomorrow.
That’s his mother’s birthday. He will likely choose between Georgia and North Carolina to honor his mother Shanee’ White for all she has done in raising him.
DawgNation is already on site at Scotland County High School today. We had a live stream of his morning practice and will also be in town for his ceremony announcement at the school. That is scheduled for noon from the school cafeteria.
Want one cool takeaway? White rarely takes water breaks. It is more than 85 degrees outside today in North Carolina. White just grabs a knee while his teammates hit the water bucket.
Watch: 5-star Zamir White practices the day before his decision. https://t.co/eCsSlRmc6V
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) June 26, 2017