Alabama or Georgia? Decision day arrives for nation’s No. 2 OLB Adam Anderson
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 big Bulldogs recruiting topic for Thursday focuses on the pending decision for elite OLB prospect Adam Anderson.
Adam Anderson. Georgia has to have this guy.
There is no simpler way to say it than that. And we will know soon enough. The nations’s No. 2-rated outside linebacker, according to the 247Sports composite, will make his college commitment known at some time on Thursday evening.
It will be Alabama or Georgia.
The timing of Anderson’s decision must be applauded. He’s committing on Oct. 19. That’s both his 18th birthday, and the date mirrors the jersey number he wears terrorizing quarterbacks for his Rome, Ga., team.
This should be his third and final commitment, and Georgia hopes to secure his bookend commitment, so to speak. Anderson initially committed to UGA in August 2016 before his junior season.
That pledge did not stick.
Anderson de-committed with a flip to LSU on April 22. That decision was a dagger to the spirit of the Bulldogs. He flipped to LSU on G-Day, the day of Georgia’s spring game, to join the 2018 class in Baton Rouge, La., that included two of his high school teammates.
The move was seen as a way to get 3-star teammate Jaquon Griffin his first major Power 5 offer. Anderson and his teammate JaMarcus Chatman were part of that trio. Anderson and Chatman have both de-committed. Chatman is a Tennessee commit.
Griffin, oddly enough, is still committed to LSU. It will be interesting to see how long that lasts. There’s probably not a finer defensive tackle in the state of Georgia, but his slight stature (6 feet and about 265 pounds) levels off his recruiting rankings at the 3-star range.
The case for UGA
Flip open the media guide or any of the game programs from this year. Or google the depth chart at outside linebacker.
The 6-foot-4 Anderson lines up at defensive end for Rome in a 4-3 front. In Georgia’s scheme, Anderson (potentially) would play at OLB in Athens.
Scouts see the rangy Anderson coming off the edge with a hand out of the dirt. That’s why he’s rated as the nation’s No. 2 OLB and the No. 44 overall prospect for 2018 by the 247Sports composite.
What does that depth chart look like for UGA? The case for Anderson is at the intersection of ability and perfect timing. The Bulldogs’ “Wolfpack” needs more bodies. Seniors Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter will be stalking quarterbacks in the professional ranks next season.
Junior D’Andre Walker has played in seven games but has no starts at that position. He’s 12th on the team with his 16 stops but only trails Carter with his 5 tackles for losses this fall. Keyon Brown, another junior, has 1 tackle in six games. Yet he does not appear in the two-deep at that spot.
Freshman Walter Grant does. He is part of the program’s future at the position. But the long-term view is the Bulldogs will be missing four upperclassmen at that spot by 2019. Freshman Jaden Hunter has played sparingly this year. Robert Beal, another 4-star freshman, is likely to redshirt.
Here’s the gist: Those five previous paragraphs scream early playing time.
Anderson always has favored Georgia. His home life and the things he has endured so far in his 18 years lead one to believe that he’s likely going to stay close to home. That’s why Alabama and Georgia are the natural finalists in this race.
Oh, and those two programs can play some defense, too.
Adam Anderson to UGA would mark a full momentum swing
Let’s time warp back to lat April. That’s when Georgia’s recruiting ranking was somewhere around the SEC equivalent of the Mendoza line.
Anderson de-committed on G-Day. Big tackle Max Wray already had done so, and the 4-star prospect wound up committing to Ohio State. Donovan Georges, a 3-star inside linebacker from Miami, also de-committed in late May.
Georgia whiffed on 5-star priority defensive end target Brenton Cox. Cox had been to UGA more than a dozen times but still wound up choosing Ohio State.
When Georges de-committed, it left the Bulldogs with just punter Jake Camarda and cornerback Chris Smith II in the 2018 class. Those players committed on April 22 and May 1 of this year, respectively.
UGA didn’t land its third commitment for this class until May 31 with 3-star DE prospect Jaevon Becton. The Bulldogs dd their fourth and fifth commitments for 2018 on June 2. That was right about the point when the program began climbing from the SEC cellar in terms of its 2018 recruiting rankings.
Flash forward more than four months later. If the Bulldogs land Anderson, they will soar all the way up to the nation’s No. 6 class for 2018 from No. 12.
I predict that will happen. If Anderson indeed commits, that means the Bulldogs would have commitments from five prospects rated among the nation’s Top 10 players at their position.
They also would race past Tennessee for the distinction of having the highest-rated 2018 class in the SEC. Anderson would give the Bulldogs their 17th commitment for this class.
The Volunteers will still have five more pledges than UGA, but the average ranking per recruit would push Georgia to the top.
Georgia still has a lot more heavy hitters left to go for 2018. Look for that ranking to just keep on climbing. The on-field Bulldogs currently rank No. 3 in the nation, but I think this recruiting class will rank that at least that high when the 2018 recruiting cycle closes.
Ready…set…go: Intel quick hitters
- Five-star quarterback commit Justin Fields will lead Harrison onto the national stage tonight. His Hoyas will face Dalton at home tonight on ESPN2. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bruce Cobleigh Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.
- The current stat parade for Fields looks like this: He’s completed 93 of his 141 passes for 1,503 yards. That’s a 66 percent completion rate. The touchdown-to-interception ratio is a healthy 20:2. The nation’s No. 1 overall prospect also has tallied 748 rushing yards on 96 carries. Those attempts have resulted in another 14 touchdowns.
- The sublime Georgia High School Football Daily newsletter reports Fields has accounted for 82 percent of Harrison’s offense. That’s what Fields should do at quarterback on a roster that has just two other Division I prospects. But the Fields stat resume does have one chink: The Harrison staff has credited him with 5 fumbles this year. I don’t see that as a glaring issue. It is very likely sparked by the number of times he has had to tuck the ball and run on improvisational scrambles.
- Aaron Brule’ is a 3-star Georgia commit from Louisiana. The highly versatile defender could line up at safety, corner or either linebacker spot for UGA. LSU is always a team to watch for with this commitment. He’s always loved that school and was in the stands last Saturday for the Auburn game. That said, he has still yet to receive an offer from his home state Tigers.
- Fields has a teammate who has drawn some UGA recruiting interest. Steven Peterson now ranks as a 3-star recruit and has received a preferred walk-on offer from UGA. He’s caught 37 passes this year for 808 yards and 11 touchdowns.
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