UGA recruiting: How the No. 1 class for 2019 shapes up so far

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Recruiting is constant, but please take time over the weekend to celebrate and honor those who served our great nation.

Georgia ranks No.2 in the polls for what it has done on the field so far in 2018. The present can only look one spot better.

How ’bout the future for them Dawgs? Well, the staff in Athens has assembled what will certainly go down as its third straight top 3 class, including what stands now as back-to-back No. 1 classes. The current DawgNation estimate is that the Bulldogs will sign 25 prospects for this cycle, but that will be helped by the status of 2018 signee Tramel Walthour.

If Walthour does indeed remain with the class and sign with the Bulldogs, then he will not count twice toward Georgia’s NCAA-mandated allotment of signees over a five-year period. A prospect can’t be counted twice.

Lewis Cine was tempted to commit to UGA when he made his second trip to UGA for the big “reveal” weekend back in late July. (Contributed photo)

The 2018 home slate hasn’t been much for marquee 2019 unofficial or official visits, but that will change this week with Tennessee.

Lewis Cine, the nation’s No. 3 safety from Massachusetts by way of Texas, will take his official visit this weekend.

He’s only a few weeks away from making his final decision.

RELATED: Check out the rest of the early RSVPs for recruiting visitors for the Tennessee game

Want a speed read on the last week? These are the major DawgNation recruiting storylines of late:

Where UGA recruiting ranks for 2019

Georgia has 19 commitments for 2019. Tymon Mitchell, a 3-star DT from Nashville was the most recent pledge back on August 16. Mitchell’s choice capped a span of nine commitments for the Bulldogs in basically a month from July 15-August 16.

3-star DT Tymon Mitchell was the most recruit UGA commitment to the class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

If you’re paying attention, that was an example of UGA taking care of most of the heavy lifting for the 2019 class in the month prior to the start of the 2018 season.

UGA sits at No. 1 nationally for 2019 in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings. The Bulldogs have essentially held on to the top spot since 4-star junior college DE Jermaine Johnson chose the Bulldogs on Aug. 2. 

Keep an eye on I: Georgia is the only team in the nation’s top 5 that has less than 20 commitments.

Keep an eye on II: Georgia has an average rating of 93.86 per commit. That is still the highest average per pledge in the nation.

Texas A&M and its 25 pledges rank No. 3 in the SEC and will also chart at No. 2 nationally. Alabama has 21 pledges and ranks No. 3 in those same rankings.

The biggest UGA recruiting commits so far in 2019

Nolan Smith (right) got the chance to meet NFL standout Ezekiel Elliott this year at the Nike Opening finals in Texas. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Nolan Smith, a 5-star OLB prospect (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) is the No. 2 overall player in the nation. He now ranks as the highest-rated pledge on the 2019 board. His summer evaluations allowed him to soar above another one of UGA’s highly-touted 5-star recruits.

Jadon Haselwood, a 5-star wide receiver (Cedar Grove H.S./Ellenwood, Ga.), is the No. 3 overall player in the nation, according to the composite. Haselwood is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 receiver prospect for 2019.

He will continue to take visits, but still should be seen as solid to the Bulldogs at this time.

The 2020 crop for UGA recruiting

UGA now also has three pledges for 2020. The latest of those was 4-star DT Jamil Burroughs out of McEachern High School in Powder Springs.

He committed to the Bulldogs on Aug. 25 to honor his mother on her birthday.

The Bulldogs currently rank No. 10 nationally with that small group for the 2020 cycle. Miami, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M round out the top 5 for 2020 so far. As usual, the Bulldogs are the only team in the top 10 with less than four commitments for that cycle.

Jamil Burroughs was the most recent commitment to UGA back on Aug. 25. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Burroughs rates as the nation’s No. 4 DT prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports composite. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder also slots in as the No. 61 overall recruit for 2020.

A few recruiting items to make sure everyone saw of late

  • 2020 OT commit Broderick Jones recently moved up to 5-star status. The very talented young linemen from Lithonia High School revealed his commitment to DawgNation earlier this year. He’d been a silent commitment for a considerable amount of time.
  • Jones becomes the first 5-star recruit for the Bulldogs in the class of 2020.
  • Speaking of those 5-stars: Georgia now has five commitments who holds the coveted 5-star rating in its 2019 class. That’s more than the number of combined 5-star commitments for Texas A&M (1) Alabama (1), Oregon (0) and Clemson (2). Those four programs occupy the No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 team composite rankings for this cycle, respectively.
  • It has been more than a month (Aug. 16) since the Bulldogs landed a 2019 commitment. It is fair to say the program is being rather precise in how it builds the rest of this class. Georgia’s last commitment came from 4-star DT Jamil Burroughs for the class of 2020 back on Aug. 25.
  • You might have missed this, but 4-star OLB Jermaine Johnson is no longer the nation’s No. 1 JUCO prospect anymore. He’s fallen to No. 2 overall with the latest updates. He currently has 3.5 sacks and 22 tackles in four games at Independence Community College this season. The Pirates are off to a disappointing 1-3 start.
  • Zion Logue, Tymon Mitchell and Tramel Walthour are the only 3-star recruits in the 2019 class. They are also three likely future interior defensive linemen in this class. That said, the defensive line value is enhanced in the class by 5-star Travon Walker and 4-star Bill Norton, respectively. Walker ranks as the third-highest rated recruit for the Bulldogs in 2019. Norton comes in as the ninth-highest rated UGA recruit out of these 19 pledges, too.

Check out “Before the Hedges” on UGA recruiting

Have you seen the “Before the Hedges” 2018 reboot yet? Brandon Adams hosts a weekly UGA recruiting show called Before the Hedges at 3 p.m. every Wednesday on the DawgNation Facebook page.

Last week’s show focused on South Carolina commit D.J. Daniel and included two segments on undecided Alabama 5-star OL Clay Webb.

How the 2019 UGA recruiting class is being built

June 11, 2016: 4-star tackle Luke Griffin (North Murray/Chatsworth, Ga.) commits to UGA (Class count:1)

Jan. 29, 2017: 5-star DE Nolan Smith (IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla.) commits to UGA (2)

Feb. 18, 2017: 4-star DT Rashad Cheney Jr. (Washington High/Atlanta) commits to UGA (3)

March 16, 2017: 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood (Cedar Grove/Ellenwood, Ga.) commits to UGA (4)

5-star Jadon Hasewlood is now the nation’s No. 3 overall recruit on the 247Sports composite rankings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

July 15, 2017: 4-star LB J.D. Bertrand (Blessed Trinity/Roswell, Ga.) commits to UGA (5)

July 16, 2017: 5-star WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton/Marietta, Ga.) commits to UGA (6)

Oct. 30, 2017: 4-star CB Jalen Perry (Dacula/Dacula, Ga.) commits to UGA (7)

Jan. 25, 2018: Rashad Cheney Jr. de-commits from UGA (6)

Feb. 7, 2018: 4-star TE Ryland Goede (Kennesaw Mountain/Kennesaw, Ga.) commits to UGA (7)

March 18, 2018: 4-star DE Bill Norton (Christian Brothers/Memphis, Tenn.) commits to UGA (8)

April 1, 2018: Luke Griffin de-commits from UGA (7)

April 27, 2018: 4-star ATH Trezman Marshall (Clinch County HS/Homerville, Ga.) commits to UGA. (8)

June 15, 2018: 4-star ATH John Rhys Plumlee (Oak Grove HS/Hattiesburg, Miss.) commits to UGA. (9)

June 17, 2018: 4-star OT Xavier Truss (Bishop Hendricken/Warwick, RI) commits to UGA (10)

July 15, 2018: 3-star strong-side DE Zion Logue (Lebanon HS/Lebanon, TN) commits to UGA (11)

July 16, 2018: 4-star OT Warren McClendon (Brunswick HS/Brunswick, Ga.) commits to UGA (12)

July 24, 2018: 5-star DT Travon Walker (Upson-Lee HS/Thomaston, Ga.) commits to UGA (13)

5-star RB John Emery Jr. chose UGA on July 29. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

July 29, 2018: 5-star RB John Emery Jr. (Destrehan HS/Destrehan, La.) commits to UGA (14)

July 29, 2018: 4-star ATH Makiya Tongue (University Lab/Baton Rouge, La.) commits to UGA (15)

July 29, 2018: 4-star LB Rian “Trouble” Davis (Wekiva HS/Apopka, Fla.) commits to UGA (16)

Aug. 2, 2018: 4-star DE Jermaine Johnson (Independence CC/Independence, Ks.) commits to UGA (17)

Aug. 7, 2018: 247Sports reclassifies 2018 signee Tramel Walthour (Liberty County/Hinesville, Ga.) as a 2019 recruit and adds him to the commitment list for 2019. (18)

Aug. 16, 2018: 3-star DT Tymon Mitchell (Franklin Road Academy/Nashville, Tenn.) commits to UGA (19)

Who are the 2019 misses for UGA recruiting?

Owen Pappoe chose Auburn on May 1. That was a rare miss of late of a highly sought in-state prospect. The Bulldogs have been reeling in the big fish for Georgia as of late. That said, I don’t really value Pappoe as a major miss for UGA at all.

The likes of Davis and Marshall at ILB fill that spot with future All-SEC potential.

But no college program goes 100 percent with its top-tier targets. Which 2019 priorities have the Bulldogs have missed on? Pappoe tops the list, but he wasn’t the only one UGA would’ve liked to have seen join its 2019 class.

Owen Pappoe, 5-star OLB, Grayson High/Loganville, Ga: Pappoe committed to Auburn. The Bulldogs recruited him to play ILB and that’s a better fit for him than on the edges of an SEC defense. Auburn hopes to see him play a role at the Star or Money position in their defense. That’s probably the best position fit for a 6-foot, 209-pound athlete with rare acceleration and explosiveness.

Chris Hinton, 5-star SDE, Greater Atlanta Christian/Norcross, Ga.: Hinton chose Michigan last August. The 5-star defensive end is the son of former NFL great Chris Hinton. He ranks as the nation’s No. 15 overall prospect in 2019. Hinton and his family stress academics. UGA will continue to recruit him until he signs. But things could get interesting if the Wolverines have another average season.

South Carolina CB commit D.J. Daniel was the biggest recent miss for the Bulldogs in the class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Kyle Hamilton, 3-star S, Marist/Atlanta, Ga.: Hamilton chose Notre Dame right after G-Day. Don’t let his 3-star rating fool you. The 6-4, 188-pound prospect starred as an all-state performer for a state finalist team last season. We’re told Kirby Smart only needed to see the first two or three plays of his tape to offer. Hamilton spent a lot of time with UGA freshman Justin Fields on his unofficial visit for G-Day. He also values the academic fit, having scored a 30 on his ACT.

D.J. Daniel, 4-star CB, Georgia Military College/Milledgeville, Ga: This was a back-and-forth tussle. Daniel would’ve likely chosen UGA coming out of high school. In the months before his decision, he was South Carolina and Georgia. Georgia was his choice a few weeks prior to his commitment to South Carolina on Aug. 16. He said he chose the Gamecocks in the fleeting moments leading up to his decision announcement. Daniel was also in Athens this past weekend for the Middle Tennessee game.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER: 4-star DL Antonio Alfano (Alabama); 4-star OLB Stephen Herron Jr. (Michigan); 4-star tackle Amari Kight (Alabama)

UGA recruiting by position in 2019

Which positions are the major priorities for 2019? The receiver spot was one, but that has been checked off by a pair of 5-star prospects (Blaylock and Haselwood), who rate as the nation’s top two receivers.

Here’s a quick snapshot as to how the position-by-position looks for the 2019 class:

  • QB: 1/1 (Plumlee)
  • RB: 1/1 (Emery)
  • TE: 1/1 (Goede)
  • WR: 3/3 (Blaylock, Haselwood, Tongue)
  • OL: 2/3 (McClendon, Truss)
  • DE: 2/2 (Norton, Logue)
  • DT: 3/4 (Mitchell, Walthour*, Walker)
  • ILB: 3/3 (Bertrand, Davis, Marshall)
  • OLB: 2/2 (Johnson, Smith)
  • CB: 1/2 (Perry)
  • S: 0/1
  • Best available player: 0/2
  • Totals: 8/25
  • *Walthour signed in 2018 and will not count toward the 2019 total.

Here’s a glance at what DawgNation sees as the remaining positional priorities for the class:

  • CB (1 or 2 more)
  • OL (At least one more)
  • Safety (1 )

A quick pinch of UGA recruiting perspective

Georgia’s 2019 class is ranked No. 1 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC. How will that match up to where the Bulldogs were a year ago? (That’s when Kirby Smart and Georgia was on its way to building the nation’s No. 1 class.)

The Bulldogs had 15 commitments at the end of September in 2017. That class rated No. 14 nationally heading into October. It was slotted at No. 5 in the SEC.

At the time, there was a trio of 3-star pledges that did not stick with the class. We would also see a pair of 4-star commitments at that time not go on to sign with the Bulldogs.

Justin Fields was the highest-rated of seven 5-star signees for UGA in the class of 2018. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Georgia had just one 5-star commitment (Zamir White) at that time. It would wind up with seven 5-stars.

That’s important to bear in mind. Things change. Rapidly.

The Bulldogs are well ahead of that pace given their five commitments from 5-stars for 2019.

UGA wound up with the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2018, according to the 247Sports team composite ratings.

That class broke a seven-year run for Alabama at the top spot. Georgia will not sign as many prospects as it did in the 2018 class (26) and that could still keep it from successfully defending the No. 1 ranking in 2019.

It depends on how many 5-star prospects Alabama can add it its board down the stretch. I do think that the Bulldogs will now hold onto the top spot.

2019 UGA recruiting offers by the numbers

(as published by 247Sports)

  • Reported offers: 273 (only 14 new offers since June)
  • 5-star offers: 31
  • Florida recruits offered: 59
  • In-state recruits offered: 45
  • Texas recruits offered: 38
  • Mississippi recruits offered: 13
  • California recruits offered: 16
  • Louisiana recruits offered: 14
  • Receivers offered: 43
  • Cornerbacks offered: 31
  • Tackles offered: 25
  • Safeties offered: 24
  • Defensive tackles offered: 28
  • Quarterbacks offered: 19
  • Running backs offered: 15
  • Inside linebackers offered: 6
  • Athletes offered: 13

Geographical UGA recruiting breakdown

The 19 current UGA commits broken down by state:

  • Georgia: 9 (Bertrand, Blaylock, Goede, Haselwood, Marshall, McClendon, Perry, Walker, Walthour)
  • Tennessee: 3 (Logue, Mitchell, Norton)
  • Louisiana: 2 (Emery, Tongue)
  • Florida: 2 (Davis, Smith but he is a Georgia native)
  • Kansas: 1 (Johnson but he is a Minnesota native)
  • Mississippi: 1 (Plumlee)
  • Rhode Island: 1 (Truss)

 

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