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 Trey Dean might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
HAMPTON, Ga. — It sounds like Trey Dean has it all.
Academics. Charisma. Cover skills. Length. Personality. Size. Speed.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect rates as the nation’s No. 24 safety for 2018 according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He currently rates as the No. 29 player in Georgia for this cycle.
He seems to be several rungs better than that. The 4-star recruit was one of DawgNation’s top 5 performers at the Rising Seniors week that took place last December.
Dean — who expects to make his decision about a month from now — has the communication skills and passion which could allow him to serve the way Richard LeCounte did in the last cycle. He could be a class leader for another highly-rated recruiting class.
He could be just that. If not for one very important thing.
“I don’t know where I’m going yet,” Dean said. “I am going to have to pray about it. See if he leads me to the right school. I know I will have to call on God for help to show me the way. I am going to trust in him on it.”
It could be Georgia. It very well may be South Carolina. Maybe even Tennessee or Texas. Or UCLA.
Florida was his first offer. He got along very well with former defensive backs coach Torrian Gray. If Gray was still with the program, Dean might already be a member of the Gators right now.
That could have been one path for Dean.
“If you put one thing in this story, please let everyone know I’m going to make this decision by putting God first,” Dean said.
When he says that, he means it. That’s why his personality resonates with other top in-state recruits in the Class of 2018 like Marquez Ezzard, Chris Smith and Quay Walker.
What does Trey Dean need to see from Georgia?
Dean was clad in all-Georgia everything at the MVP Camp back in March. That was red-and-black all the way down to his slides. Was he trying to send a message there?
“At that time, Georgia was in my top 5,” he said. “I try not to lean to any one school. But at that time I was really thinking about Georgia. I am 100 percent open right now. I need to see which of these schools really want me.”
The big questions Dean answered for DawgNation came in the realm of recruiting feedback. The Class of 2018 isn’t exactly coming out of the blocks like Usain Bolt. The general triage as to why would be two things:
- UGA loaded up with players in 2017. Playing time is a harder sell
- Prospects need to see Georgia win this fall. The Bulldogs have momentum and buzz, but is it legit?
What does Dean think about that?
“A lot of DBs like me might shy away from Georgia because of how many guys they signed,” Dean said. “That really don’t faze me. Everybody everywhere has to earn their positions at a top school. That sort of competition will only make me a better player.”
“What I need to see out of Georgia is I need to see that it is the right school for me,” Dean said. “I see a lot of kids de-committing or choosing another school and don’t want that to be the case with me. I’m just going to take my time and go through this. See the different schools that want me to see which one fits me the best.”
He was at G-Day. It was another good trip.
“I really like Georgia,” Dean said. “I am just taking everything slow. Seeing different options. To make sure I choose the right school.”
Why would he choose Georgia?
“If it would be Georgia, the things I’m thinking right now are I know I’ll have to go there from my first spring practice ready to take a position,” he said. “I’m not scared to go in there and start as a freshman. That’s what I want to do. I know everyone there will push me. They got a lot of 4-star and 5-star players but I’m up there with them. There’s no doubt in my mind I can start there. You just have to have that will and that grind and that spiritual grind to keep outworking people.”
Why not Georgia? He said he can trust the coaches will be there for three years. He knows that Kirby Smart’s staff will get at least that much time to reshape the program.
“I could go to other places and there wouldn’t be much doubt that I could start there,” Dean said. “I’m not afraid to work and you know what? I want to be surrounded by good and great players. I know Richard LeCounte will do his job. When you are on a great defense with great players, the quarterback doesn’t know who he should attack and he’s going to make bad decisions on a defense like the one Georgia is building.”
Which way might Trey Dean lean?
Dean’s current plan is to enroll early in January. Dutchtown is going to the semester and block scheduling system this fall which will allow him to do that.
Dean is a Southern boy. Don’t look for any schools up north to earn his decision. Where is he at right now? He can name off a lot of schools.
“All of them are really at the same level,” Dean said. “Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, UCLA, Oregon and Texas. They all seem the same.”
That’s how he feels. How do all those schools feel? Which ones show the most interest in his decision?
“They are all coming at me very hard right now,” he said. “It really is hard to tell which one is coming at me the hardest. Most definitely. No doubt about that.”
He hears from those schools and those coaches every day. It might be all of them every day.
What is his interest level in South Carolina? That school checks a lot of his boxes.
“I have a lot of interest there because you know [Travaris Robinson] and coach [Will] Muschamp produce a lot of big defensive backs my size,” Dean said. “I love how they do things. They say that Florida might be Defensive Back University but if you really think about it T-Rob and Will recruited all those big DBs. They know about defensive backs my size, how to play them and how to develop them so they excel on their way to the next level.”
Can he attain a quality degree? Can he “ball” there? Will it feel like home? Will he have fun there? Those are the elements that will make up his mind.
“Can these schools move me along as a player physically, spiritually and mentally?” he said. “No doubt about that. Can I trust the coaching staff not to leave? You know a lot of that happens. I don’t want that to happen.”
He said that he has had anywhere from “five to seven” private leaders at times. He knows he needs to go see Oregon, Texas and UCLA before he makes up my mind.
“They have all been jumping around in my mind,” Dean said. “That’s how close it is for me.”
Dean sounded uncertain about his school. But he can say which secondary depth charts line up the best for him without a second of hesitation.
“Right now I will say Texas you know,” Dean immediately replied. “Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina.”
Getting to know Trey Dean
He has a lot of players in his family tree. Former Alabama great and NFL All-pro receiver Amari Cooper is a cousin. Former Florida safety Ahmad Black is also a member of his family inner circle.
Dean might be the first Dutchtown Bulldog with a committable SEC offer in the slight history of the program. The school opened its doors in 2004 and he already understands his role for his community.
When Dutchtown had a coaching change this winter, he heard from other schools about transfers. He realized that would be doing his roots a disservice.
“Kids need to have somebody to look to in order to say that this kid grew up here, played ball here and look where he is now,” Dean said. “I didn’t want to take that away. I wanted them to be able to see a guy like me doing something to put Dutchtown on the map.”
Clifford Fedd, the new coach at Dutchtown, has a hard-working sense and resolve. He had the ability to coach Georgia defensive back Malkom Parrish at Brooks County. Parrish has made 25 starts over the past two years at UGA despite primarily playing QB in high school.
Does he see any similarities between those two guys?
“Trey has all the football DNA that Malkom did not,” Fedd said. “For example, Malkom is about 5-foot-9 and Trey is well over 6 feet, 2 inches tall. Malkom you knew was going to be that dog. He was going to work hard out on the field every day and no one was going to outwork him. Trey, he works hard like that and he’s just a lot longer than him.”
It is interesting how much recruiting has changed since Parrish was a U.S. Army All-American in 2014.
“Trey does all this on-the-road training and all these 7-on-7 camps,” Fedd said. “Malkom never did any of those. He went to the “MVP Camp” in Valdosta, got named the top DB there and went to the Georgia camp on that Junior Day and it was a wrap from there.”
Parrish never played any at defensive back for Brooks County until his junior year. That’s not well-known.
Why Trey Dean is a wanted man
“He has that ‘I.T.’ factor,” Fedd said. “That it factor. He has the work ethic to play at any Power 5 school on that level. He understands the game. His football IQ level is high. He understands what we ask of him here. He has that desire to be good and is that hard worker for us from the moment he steps in the door.”
Fedd already knows that Dean wants to be great. He also has learned that he’s a very smart football player.
Add that to a mindset that’s very aggressive and gets right in the grill of both outside receivers and slot receivers. He can cover both.
“He can put his hands on you and allow you to break his jam by shortening his jam and then he has the ability and speed to run with a fast receiver and play with them. I’ve seen him go from cornerback and handling an outside receiver just as well as that slot receiver. He can stick that short little slot receiver and he can stick with and cover that 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 receiver on the outside, too. He’s going to defeat that jump ball to that tall outside guy, too.”
He thinks he’s actually a better receiver than a defensive back. But that position doesn’t fit his mindset.
“I’d rather deliver that hit than getting hit all day,” Dean said.
Don’t expect him to be a silent commitment. That’s just not how he is.
“No way there,” he said. “When you make a silent commitment, what does that mean? You might as well go public. A silent commit is just something to make one school happy. You don’t make yourself happy. If I am going to commit, I am going to commit with 110 percent. That means I am ready.
“If I would make a silent commit, then that would mean I am not ready. A guy that silently commits is very likely to de-commit because he doesn’t believe in his decision yet. That’s like lying to all the other schools who are still recruiting you while you are silently committed to just one school. Nah, man. That’s not for me. I’m not like that.”