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Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com
Marquez Ezzard (right) is one of Georgia's two big targets at receiver for the Class of 2018. His great friend and Ohio State commit Brenton Cox is in the foreground.

UGA recruiting: Lot of true contenders among Marquez Ezzard’s Top 8

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 Marquez Ezzard might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.


STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — The name is Ezzard. Marquez Ezzard. If fans want to get the phonetics right, then they need to drop a lot of oomph into the “quez” portion of his first name.

Ezzard dropped his Top 8 schools on April 27. That’s about the only time he might see the word “drop” in the same sentence as his last name. The 4-star prospect is rated by the 247SportsComposite as the nation’s No. 16 athlete for 2018.

He’s a big-time performer at receiver who shows up in the biggest games. Check out his 3-TD night last year against eventual state champion Rome.


A lot of fans like to think that he’s a slight lean to UGA. They look to those famous crystal balls out there on the internet. Is that legit? Are there really multiple contenders in there?

Ezzard says so. There is also some legit data that backs that up. Sure, he’s been to Athens about 5-6 times. But he’s probably been to Auburn at least six times, too.

He likes the fit there.

“I feel if I’m at Auburn I will have a better chance of starting,” Ezzard said.

Marquez Ezzard
Marquez Ezzard (right) is one of Georgia’s two big targets at receiver for the Class of 2018. His great friend and Ohio State commit Brenton Cox is just “chilling” out off his right shoulder pad. (Jeff Sentell / SecCountry.com)

But don’t go lumping him into that bushel of prospects who might be afraid of a depth chart climb.

“I believe I will start anywhere I go but I know I will start at Auburn if I go put in that work,” he said.

He had a decision date in mind.

“I am probably going to commit before his senior year,” Ezzard said. “That way it can be done and I can get all of the recruiting processes over. That way I can focus on my senior year: My school. My classes.”

He said that all the schools right now are “even” for him. How will he sort that out?

“I am going to talk it over with my Dad and then after that and this summer then I will know what it will be,” Ezzard said.

The Trojans from Southern Cal are currently on his mind. They recruit him as hard as anyone. He said he gets about 20-50 messages per day on social media from recruiters.

“There is a chance I could go all the way to California,” he said.

How does Marquez Ezzard feel about UGA?

“I still like Georgia,” Ezzard said. “Nothing has changed for me about that. But other schools have really been hitting me up.”

Marquez Ezzard
Marquez Ezzard is not currently planning any upcoming visits. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

Ezzard said that he considers Georgia receivers coach James Coley “to be a great guy.”

He knows he is a priority in Athens, too.

“They hit me up almost every day throughout the day,” Ezzard said. “They check on me and see how I am doing. How my parents are doing and when can I come down. It is an everyday thing with Georgia.”

He will make his commitment before he gets a chance to see what Georgia will be on the field in 2017. That’s different that some of his peers in the 2018 class.

“I feel like Georgia will be pretty good this year,” he said. “I feel like they have the pieces in place.”

He does not plan any upcoming visits. He felt that Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Florida State and Southern Cal have been hitting him up the most. Ezzard stated that FSU and USC were the two schools among his Top 8 that have been doing the most climbing up his personal leaderboard of late.

“They really want me to come there,” Ezzard said. “Those two really make a priority.”

Marquez Ezzard has more than ball on his mind right now 

Ezzard translates his ability and potential into performance on the field. That’s what matters. His 50 catches for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall. That’s 20 yards per catch.

He ripped off 11 of those touchdown catches in his final seven games last season. That includes those nine catches for 212 yards and three scores against Rome.

He’s a player. No doubt. But he recently learned a powerful life lesson. Ezzard had to be boring on a certain night last week. He had to stay in. Football practice came early the next day.

So he stayed in. That turned out to be a fateful night. A good friend of his was lost in an act of senseless violence. It was a shooting in the wee hours of the night. That reinforces the notion that coaches preach all the time: Nothing good usually happens to high school kids at 1 a.m. in the morning.

It was at a house party. Jesse Lowery was just 17. Ezzard had just celebrated with him at their high school prom. There was a memorial service for Lowery yesterday at Tiger Stadium.

A pretty definitive answer from Brenton Cox

Ohio State pledge Brenton Cox told DawgNation yesterday that he will likely take some official visits. He named Oregon as a possible stop. Perhaps there will be 2-3 others.

Brenton Cox
4-star DE Brenton Cox currently rates as the nation’s No. 3 DE and the No. 54 player overall. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

Georgia won’t be one of those officials. He said he’s seen enough from UGA after maybe a dozen trips to the school since he was in the eighth grade.

The decision came down to Ohio State and Georgia. Cox chose the Buckeyes for a very specific reason.

“I want to be a Top 10 pick and a Top 5 pick in the NFL one day,” Cox said. “I think that I can be developed better for that at Ohio State. They will develop me better there and they showed me that.”

Cox has told DawgNation before that there was a pretty good chance that both he and Ezzard would wind up at the same school. He said the chances of that happening now are “pretty low” going forward.

Why does UGA trail for Josh Vann

Count me among the group that feels Tucker’s Josh Vann is a dynamite playmaker. The 4-star prospect is rated as the nation’s No. 42 WR prospect for 2018. The 247SportsComposite also has him as the nation’s No. 219 overall player.

The 5-foot-10.5, 177-pounder has liked UGA and South Carolina for awhile now. Those are the only two schools he has visited, but he’s also touted the Gamecocks as his leader for quite awhile now.

The natural question for those who read this blog: Why?

Josh Vann
What does Georgia like about Tucker WR Josh Vann? Kirby Smart told him he really liked his hands. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)

Well, it sounds like worth. UGA initially liked him (given his size) as a pure slot receiver. And he would be deadly at that. He’s a special athlete, but the Gamecocks seem more roles for him in their offense than that.

That sounds like what Vann is looking for.

“I believe at first Georgia was recruiting me at the slot but then they changed it and said they would play me all around,” Vann said. “But South Carolina said off the bat that I would be like all over the offense. I won’t just be playing the slot.”

Did he like that?

“Yeah, I don’t like playing the slot,” Vann said. “Well, it is not that I don’t like it. I am just not used to it. By me (getting the chance to) play all over the field, I think I can handle that better.”

Vann, given his agility and size, would be an ideal slot receiver in the SEC or in any spread offense in major college football. He would not have ideal size for anywhere else in major college football.

What’s my opinion here? One doesn’t need their Ph.D. in the SEC to sense that this sounds like a case of telling the special athlete what he wants to hear in order to get him on the roster.

2-minute drill 

(We’ll debut a new periodic feature as part of the blog today. Fast and furious. All information. No chaser.)

  • We’ll stay with the receivers a bit longer today. The recruits that are considered Georgia’s primary targets have told me that the program would like to sign 2-3 receivers this cycle. If it is the right two, then they may stop there. If they reach a bit for the second option, then they might add a third as an insurance policy for depth.
  • Looking for another name at WR? Well, that’s a pretty fluid group. I’ve been told by Kearis Jackson and Marquez Ezzard that Georgia wants them and will wait as long as they need to. Georgia native Jalen Jordan is another name to consider. He’s at IMG Academy right now. We profiled him back in April and he told me this week he continues to hear a lot from UGA. “I communicate with them several times a week,” he said.
  • Hapeville Charter’s Kingsley Enagbare told me last week that he could make his decision this week at his spring game. That’s no longer the case. Look for him to drop a Top 5 or a Top 10 this week. That Top 1 stuff will have to wait for a bit.
  • UGA is in contact with Tucker OL Dylan Wonnum. Wonnum told SEC Country that he’s heard from both head coach Kirby Smart and line coach Sam Pittman. Wonnum rates as the nation’s No. 7 OT and the No. 64 overall recruit. His older brother Dennis Wonnum is at South Carolina. LSU and line coach Jeff Grimes is also in contact. He’s been to Auburn, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina of late. Look for him to make his decision toward the end of the summer. “If I don’t commit at the end of the summer it is going to be toward the end of the season,” Wonnum said.


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