UGA recruiting: Previewing all the stars set for official visits this weekend
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 play sheet for Wednesday calls for a look at the visitors scheduled to head to Athens this weekend.
Can the Bulldogs really catch Ohio State and sign the nation’s top class for 2018?
That’s the main question now for everyone who follows the UGA recruiting beat. It trumps all the nail chewing about Justin Fields, the curiosity of what’s going on with Aaron Brule and all the speculation about the staff signing up three or four more 5-star prospects who aren’t already on the board.
The Buckeyes still have an approximate 35-yard lead on the Bulldogs. Georgia’s class is at No. 4. Yet the Trey Hill commitment from earlier this week has pushed the program to within 3 points of vaulting Miami into third place.
But the Bulldogs are closing. Fast.
For that to happen, this recruiting weekend has to go right. Its proximity to the new early signing period from Dec. 20-22 will go down as the most crucial weekend slate of the cycle for the 2017 class.
The last visit before a player’s final decision, in most cases, is a pivotal one in the hearts and minds of these impressionable teenagers.
Here is a listing of the top uncommitted prospects who are expected to take an unofficial or an official visit to UGA this weekend:
Micah Parsons, 5-star DE, Harrisburg (Harrisburg, Pa.) ― Rates as the nation’s No. 1 weakside defensive end and as the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect per the 247Sports composite.
Jamaree Salyer, 5-star OG, Pace Academy (Atlanta) ― Rates as the nation’s No. 1 OG and as the No. 10 overall prospect.
Cade Mays, 5-star OT, Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) ― Rates as the nation’s No. 2 OT and as the nation’s No. 16 overall prospect.
Brenton Cox, 5-star DE, Stockbridge HS (Stockbridge, Ga.) ― Rates as the nation’s No. 2 strong-side DE and as the No. 22 prospect overall.
That’s just the 5-star count and that does not include the likes of 5-star UGA commitments Fields, Zamir White and Adam Anderson.
DawgNation has learned that White will be in town this weekend to join that 5-star parade. I’ve also been told that Illinois tight end Luke Ford is unsure whether he will visit Georgia this weekend. The chances are dimming due to a couple of unexpected bouts with flu-like symptoms in the Ford household. That is a wait-and-see situation.
Tommy Bush, a 4-star wide receiver from Texas, has told DawgNation this week that he hopes to reschedule his trip that was postponed last weekend because of snow. The chances also are strong that 4-star OLB Channing Tindall, among several others, will be on campus for his official visit this weekend.
Alontae Taylor makes his decision
Alontae Taylor is joining the Tennessee Volunteers.
DawgNation reported Tuesday that Taylor had advanced his timeline from Dec. 22 to Dec. 18. He also shared a deadline that he had been given by Georgia coach Kirby Smart. But Taylor made his decision known Wednesday, committing to the Volunteers.
Taylor said Smart needed to know by Friday whether he was going to be part of Georgia’s monster class for 2018. With the Bulldogs hosting all those major recruits this weekend, it seems logical for the staff to know just how many scholarships they have to work with.
Well, that has escalated quickly.
The lure to be a “Tennessee boy” for his home-state school and be near his family apparently played a big part in his decision.
“People know me as a family-first guy,” Taylor said. “I want my family to see me play. I also wanna be ‘the guy’ [when] some people look back at Tennessee and they say, ‘That Taylor kid started it’ with the recruits we get and what I can bring to the field.”
There are a lot of moving pieces with the few remaining spots for this UGA class. Look for the Bulldogs to ramp up their efforts with Bush.
DawgNation live with 5-star WR commit Dominick Blaylock
DawgNation had another great event Tuesday night at Marlow’s Tavern in Roswell. Brandon Adams hosted another “DawgNation After Dark” that featured a conversation with 5-star wide receiver Dominick Blaylock.
Blaylock remains committed to UGA for 2019, and we had a great conversation. The nation’s No. 2 junior WR, per the 247Sports composite, is growing out of that speedy slot receiver mold.
While the standout from Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., always will have the “B button” when it comes to the speed, he’s also growing into a playmaker who can thrive all over the formation.
That’s because Blaylock is growing. He’s now at least 6-foot-2 and he tips the scales over 180 pounds with still another 18 months of growing left to do in high school.
The talented two-sport athlete will not play baseball this spring. He has the skill set to be an early draftee in that game, but it appears he will focus on track this spring to improve his athleticism between the lines.
He also said he does not plan to enroll early.
The conversation with Blaylock picks up around the 6:41 mark and includes some witty banter with my good friend Brandon.
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed faster than Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith can find the football after the snap.