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 Ryland Goede might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Ryland Goede could be a budding Rob Gronkowski or a Mark McGwire. Well, let’s just say a slightly taller McGwire.
The 4-star prospect from Kennesaw Mountain is already well above the 6-foot-6 mark on the growth chart. That’s uncommon size for a tight end.
Goede also loves baseball and has made that a boyhood pursuit as well.
The 247SportsComposite says to bet on “Gronk” rather than “Big Mac” here. He’s part of a stout 2019 class for the state of Georgia. The 227-pound prospect rates as the nation’s No. 4 overall tight end for that cycle and the No. 66 prospect overall.
Goede likes Georgia and has for some time. He was at G-Day on April 22. That trip left a good lasting impression.
But not the impression Kirby Smart is hoping for. At least not yet.
“Every time I see coach Smart he always throws that little saying out there,” Goede said. “He’s like ‘Today would be the day if you want it’ or ‘Today could be the day’ when I see him.”
Just don’t look for that right now. Goede sounds as if he has the “when” part of his decision pegged. He still has to settle on the “where” for his future school.
“I see myself (committing) at the end of my junior year,” Goede said. “Or maybe right before my senior year. Probably pulling the trigger. Probably right around this time next year.”
Smart was good with that, too.
“Georgia has talked to me about committing,” Goede said. “But they want me to do what’s best for me and they want me to do it in my own time. Coach Kirby (Smart) has said he’s good with that.”
Goede said the four schools he hears from the most right now would be Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame and Ohio State. He said he rates visits to Alabama, Georgia and UCLA among the best college visits he’s ever been on.
“Not in any order but UCLA man going up there to see that campus is unreal,” Goede said. “Then my first ever visit to Bama was really really cool. It was my first-ever visit and not my dream come true but a step towards the dream come true. Georgia would probably be the last one because I grew up a ‘Dawg fan so going to the first game there on the sideline was — well I get chills thinking about it now — but it was just awesome.”
More thought for the package deal debate
Package deals aren’t supposed to be prevalent in the recruiting world. There are many variables like personal choice and individual depth chart fits which make them very hard to pull off.
But there continue to be a lot of stories popping up that say they shouldn’t be discounted. Goede’s backstory provides another great example of that.
He’s been life-long friends with two other elite recruits in the class of 2019. That’s Walton High 4-star WR Dominick Blaylock and Blessed Trinity LB J.D. Bertrand.
Blaylock rates as the nation’s No. 2 receiver for 2019. Bertrand ranks as the nation’s No. 13 OLB by that same 247Sports Composite.
What are the odds of three prospects that are all rated among the nation’s Top 150 players choosing the same school? Not high.
But the counterpoint is this: What are the odds of three life-long friends opting to play college football together if the opportunity presented itself? Those seem like they would be high.
Goede confirmed as much.
“I do think that there’s a good chance we will all end up going to school together somewhere,” Goede said. “I think that package deals can work to an extent. But for a high school kid to get to go to school with a couple of your best buddies is a big deal. It is a lot of fun to think about.”
Those three usually spends their weekends together. The spot rotates.
“JD, Dom and I love to work out, man,” Goede said. “We are always pushing each other and that would be a lot of fun. We all live about 45 minutes away from each other in like a triangular route away from one another. So once we do get to college together and get to room together, then it would be a lot of fun to get to do that and keep pushing each other on a more consistent basis.”
When those three were watching the Bulldogs warm up at G-Day, Smart came over and spent a couple of minutes with them.
Perhaps that’s because he had three recruits to allot the same amount of time, too. They just all got Smart at the same time.
“He was just catching up with us and asking how we were doing,” Goede said. “He was telling us how glad he was that we were there that day and that it really meant a lot to him.”
They all have offers from Georgia. Blaylock is currently the only one with an offer from Clemson. The Tigers look to be a prime contender for the nation’s No. 2 WR for 2019.
Goede has an offer from Alabama and Ohio State, but not the defending national champions.
“I would love an offer from Clemson,” Goede said. “I love (Clemson coach) Dabo (Swinney) and (Clemson assistant Brent) Venables who recruits this area.”
DawgNation readers already know about Bertrand. He’s the 4-star OLB who also doubles as an Eagle Scout in his spare time.
Is Georgia really struggling in recruiting?
The commitment from Christopher Smith II on Monday gave the Bulldogs some momentum on the recruiting trail.
Georgia had missed of late on a couple of high-profile targets. The program also saw two 4-star prospects de-commit from the 2018 class.
Did Goede notice that? What sort of impact does that have on a top 2019 recruit?
“I definitely take peeks at that every now and then,” Goede said. “I think honestly for me the biggest reason they were losing some 2018 kids was how good the 2017 class was for them and I think that spring game was a showcase for that. (JJ) Holloman. (Jake) Fromm. Richard LeCounte. Those guys were just killing it.”
He didn’t think the poor start for the 2018 class reflected anything about UGA.
“I don’t get too worried about that for Georgia,” Goede said. “As a recruit, you can’t help but see all the good things and know all the good things that Kirby (Smart) has going on over there. I don’t worry too much about it.”
If 2018 doesn’t measure up to the standard set by this year’s signing group, he predicted that will mean just more opportunity for the next class.
“I do see a ton of Georgia kids staying home,” Goede said. “A ton. A lot. A lot more committing soon, too. This (the class of 2019) is going to be a big class for Georgia. This is going to be a really really good class for Georgia.”
Ryland Goede’s G-Day takeaways
Goede had a few things which stood out for him on G-Day. The first was the air show.
“I loved how they aired the ball out,” Goede said. “I loved seeing them let it loose. That was really fun to watch. “I really loved the pass that (Jake) Fromm threw down the sideline to (Tyler) Simmons that was tipped and he gathered it back in for a score.”
The second was the spread. The food. Not the offense. Goede gobbled up some BBQ, mac and cheese and a few “interesting” salads.
“The food is always amazing at Georgia,” Goede said. “It is always the best food out of any school I go to.”
He also touched on the day-to-day recruiting he always sees from Georgia.
“It was just great talking to Kirby (Smart) man,” he said. “He’s such a great guy and a great recruiter. It is always fun talking to him and (Shane) Beamer and all those guys again.”
He said it was sort of a paradox how the fans could feel Georgia was struggling. That’s even with the slow start for 2018.
“This guy (Smart) really knows what he is doing,” Goede said. “He’s been in the business for a long time and I think he’s doing an absolutely great job.”