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 Rick Sandidge might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Rick Sandidge is big. He’s also passionate and violent. He couldn’t be nicer and more accommodating in person, but he finds that switch.
When he flips it, it seems like he probably could tear that socket out of the wall if he wants, too.
When you hear there's many #TheOpening invites coming in the next few days…
🤔📞 Who's next? pic.twitter.com/DurQp92hNE
— The Opening (@TheOpening) May 10, 2017
That’s what a lot of big-time football programs see in him. The nation’s No. 12 defensive tackle prospect per the 247Sports composite hails from Concord (N.C.) High School.
He also comes across as genuine in the interview setting. So while the nation’s No. 113 overall prospect did just release a recent top 11, he has a lot of work ahead to figure out where he’s headed.
🚨🚨Top 11🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/p5y59AV8PN
— Rick Sandidge (@rickyo_90) May 1, 2017
He doesn’t have a decision or a finish line in mind, and there’s good reason for that.
“I really don’t know where I am going to commit,” he said.
Has he even gotten close to making a commitment anywhere?
“Yeah, but you can feel that way with just about any school, to be honest,” he said. “You can go to another school the next week and see and feel the same things.”
Sandidge said that he feels that Florida, Michigan and South Carolina are recruiting him the hardest, but he adds an important clarifier.
“But those are only the schools which are recruiting me the hardest there,” he said. “Those aren’t the only schools that I am and are going to be very interested in. I am interested in all the schools that I placed into my top 11.”
He’s a heck of a player. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound prospect “got open” at the Nike Charlotte Opening regional and was invited to the national finals this summer in Oregon.
Where Georgia ranks with Rick Sandidge
The Bulldogs always will have a strong link to Sandidge. He explains why.
“That’s because of Coach [Tray] Scott,” he said. “That’s obvious for me there. Coach Scott came from [North Carolina] and that was the first school to offer me. It was cool how I got to see him in different colors. Instead of light blue and white, he was in red and black. He’s in different colors now, but he acts the same as before, to be honest. He’s the same guy.”
He said it is fun to hear Scott tell him “to come join him and run with the Dawgs” in Athens.
“He said the opportunity is right there for me to come in and earn a spot on the defensive line at Georgia,” Sandidge said. “He said it is a great program, but that just goes with what I am saying and why this is going to be so hard for me. Everybody is going to have a great program. I just have to focus on who’s there. Who are the players and coaches that are there that I will have to play with for the next three or four years? That’s what I have to know. That’s what I have to get to know about all of these schools.”
Scott has built a good relationship with him along those lines. But that is not the only one.
“Coach Scott is great but I also have a great relationship with the coach at South Carolina,” Sandidge said. “That’s because I have been to UNC and South Carolina so many times. If I had to choose a great relationship I have with a coach it would be the one I have with Coach Scott, but it would be with the coaches at those schools, too.”
Distance will not be a factor.
“A school could be 8-to-10 hours away and that will not matter,” Sandidge said.
He’s been to UGA before, but he said it was a rushed visit. Sandidge got to his hotel late and didn’t get to see as much of Georgia as he would have liked. He does remember one unforgettable thing about his UGA trip.
It ranks as the funniest thing that has ever happened to him on a recruiting trip. A member of his party actually had a moment of flatulence in the elevator ride in the Georgia complex.
(Feel free to chime in the comments section below if that’s more Intel than you wanted to know this morning.)
Rick Sandidge has big summer plans
Look for “Big Rick” to visit Ohio State and Michigan. Then he plans to angle back to the Deep South to visit LSU. He plans to study sports marketing.
“So far I have been asking all these schools about their sports marketing degrees and they all say they have great programs in that field,” he said. “That only makes my decision even harder.”
He said his visit to Miami (Fla.) to see former Georgia coach Mark Richt has been his best so far.
“That school looks like a resort,” he said. “That school has a lot to offer.”
His interest in Ohio State shows where he is at with his decision. He likes the Buckeyes but doesn’t know a lot about the school. Yet. He’s yet to form a relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson. His recruiting has primarily been handled by defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
He said he doesn’t know exactly how a power program like Ohio State plans to use him yet. That’s what he will find out on that summer trip to Columbus.
Sandidge doesn’t know everything he wants from these schools yet. But he does know one thing.
“I just want somebody to keep it real with me,” he said. “I don’t want nobody lying to me and being fake with me saying I will come in and start and then leave two years after that for the NFL draft. What I want is somebody to be straightforward with me, tell me how hard college football will be and make sure I have my stuff together.”
Rome DE/OLB Adam Anderson on his flip to LSU
Rome 4-star defender Adam Anderson also got open out of the Nike Charlotte Opening regional. His decision to flip from Georgia to LSU on G-Day caught many fans by surprise.
Anderson told DawgNation that it was a matter of sticking with his Wolves teammates. Tenacious 3-star DT Jamarcus Chatman pledged to play for Ed Orgeron, and so did DE Jaquon Griffin, whose LSU offer was his first from a Power 5 school.
Chatman has approximately 50 offers but never got one from Georgia. Griffin, another 3-star prospect, claimed Arkansas State and Troy as his biggest offers prior to the one from LSU.
“I wanted to play with my guys in college too and that atmosphere at LSU felt more like home really,” Anderson told DawgNation.
What are his future thoughts on Georgia? Will he take another visit back to Athens?
“Right now I am still 50-50 on that or if I am going to give any other school a chance,” Anderson said. “I am keeping my options open right now with that.”
Chatman held major Power 5 offers in the ACC and SEC prior to his commitment. What would have happened if the Bulldogs had also offered Chatman? Would that have given the program a better shot at holding on to him?
“Most likely,” Anderson said. “Probably so.”
He’s bound to hear from all the Georgia fans in Rome regarding his decision. What does he say when they ask him about why he decided to go to LSU?
“I tell them that LSU is just really calm and peaceful,” he said. “It feels a lot like home. But then I just leave it open at that. I tell them I have another year before I go to school there. It depends on how this next year goes.”
That answer seems real. It was the exact same answer he shared with me about his Georgia commitment last December at the Georgia Dome. He was committed to Georgia then, but he acknowledged that there was a long way to go in his process.
The 6-4.5, 217-pound prospect has packed on some 10 pounds to the weight he played at last season. How did he break the news to the coaches at UGA?
“I was just letting them know that their chance was still open but I had to let them know I was going to take my commitment to LSU right now,” Anderson said.