UGA recruiting: What did Richard LeCounte III tell Justin Fields on his last visit?
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I’ve got this very good friend that has a famous line whenever he is around just about anyone. He likes to celebrate life. A lot.
We call him “one mo” as in “one more” when he gets in one of his jolly moods.
So at the risk of overdoing it, I’ve got “one mo” story involving 5-star Justin Fields this week. But this is one where Fields is really just one of about 12 supporting characters.
This story arcs more around UGA than Fields. It conveys what it will mean to be a Bulldog playing under Kirby Smart. (Hint: It is a lot like the culture in Tuscaloosa.)
The main man in this episode is Georgia freshman defensive back Richard LeCounte III.
LeCounte — bet you remember the name from last year’s Intel — was the 5-star anchor for the #SICEM17 recruiting class.
The U.S. Army All-American was a 5-star prospect that always had oodles of charisma and personality. That, coupled with his physical and ball-hawking style on the field, will make him a natural recruiter for the program whenever on-campus visitors are around.
He’s already lining up in that role now.
What did Richard LeCounte III say to Justin Fields?
It is hard not to smile when Richie is around. That’s the feedback I got from reporters who cover other programs last year on the recruiting trail.
Could LeCounte be a closer? Definitely.
Fields can share a pretty vivid example from when LeCounte played host to a lot of big-time targets earlier this month.
“That was cool,” Fields said. “I’ve already seen everything I need to see from Georgia with the academics and the facilities and stuff. So I really just went there to hang out with the players. That was cool. They had Richard and all the other players talk to the major targets.”
LeCounte told Fields the same thing he told the other “Alphas” the Bulldogs hope to sign.
“I guess there was like — I don’t know — maybe 15 guys in the room,” Fields said. “He was just like ‘If we get all you guys then we definitely have a shot at winning a national championship while we are here.”‘
That line caught some ears. Priority receiver targets Kearis Jackson and Josh Vann were in that room. So was 5-star RB commit Zamir White and 5-star OL target Jamaree Salyer.
“Then he said ‘If you come in here there might be a guy above you on the depth chart that’s pretty good but every day in practice we’re going after each other and making each other better,'” Fields said. “He said ‘We’re going 100 percent and full-throttle’ in his message to us.”
That was important.
“I feel like recruits take it more seriously when the players talk,” Fields said. “Just because we kind of listen to our peers more than we do the coaches all the time. I mean coaches shape the way the program is thinking about you but I feel like when you are hearing it from the player, they aren’t selling you anything or lying about the way things might be. They are just telling you the straight-up truth.”
Fields just sees reality from those guys. Not a show.
“At the end of the day, the players care if you come but they are not like heartbroken if you do not come to play with them,” he said.
A funny little addition to the Justin Fields saga
Here’s Exhibit A that college softball recruiting is nothing like those college football border wars.
Jaiden Fields, his younger sister, is still 100 percent committed to UGA softball.
No one has tried to flip the Class of 2019 softball prospect away from her commitment to Georgia. There’s no push from Auburn or Florida or FSU or Penn State for this Fields family package deal.
Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief here. College football recruiting has not gone that far. Yet.
“Softball is different,” Fields laughed. “They don’t try to flip girls. Georgia is her only offer. That was her dream school. So right after she got offered by Georgia she committed like two weeks later.”