UGA recruiting: Which two points on the map lead to the nation’s No. 1 class for 2020?
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a look at two very big recruiting “fishing holes” for 2020.
The big picture for Georgia football recruiting on DawgNation now looks like the United States. Specific stories may point to this 5-star or that hot prospect, but sometimes the zoom button does the reporter tribe no favors.
Can the Bulldogs sign the No. 1 class in 2020? The 2,680-mile wide view says yes.
That is the approximate width of America from tight end to tackle. Alaska and Hawaii are still split out wide.
That big picture means the Bulldogs now recruit off a national footprint. Kirby Smart and his staff have now signed the No. 1 player out of 10 different states. The Bulldogs will always be knocking at the door on signing the nation’s top class with Smart.
He is simply just that effective leading the recruiting in Athens.
With respect to the 2020 class, the chances there will sink or swim based off how the Bulldogs do around two specific pinpoints on that map.
Let’s aspire to be true sons of the south and call them fishing holes. There are already two clear “fishing holes” that will largely determine whether this class can finish No. 1 overall.
Oddly, the first one is 590 approximate miles away from Sanford Stadium. That pinpoint would be St. John’s College High School in the Washington, D.C. area.
This blue-chip recruiting perimeter will extend just 30 miles north to Damascus High School in Maryland and then another 42 miles east to Baltimore. The circuit completes with a 33-mile trip back south near the nation’s capital at DeMatha Catholic. DeMatha is only about eight miles east of St. John’s College High.
The region is commonly known as the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) area. There are at least five players in that radius the Bulldogs would love to sign for 2020.
How the Bulldogs recruit that area amid challenges from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and now Maryland will be watched closely.
The “DMV” fishing hole
Who has their reels up there for Georgia: Offensive coordinator James Coley, receivers coach Cortez Hankton, running backs coach Dell McGee, Outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning, defensive line coach Tray Scott and head coach Kirby Smart.
Trophy pulls from the “DMV”
- 5-star SDE Bryan Bresee/Damascus HS/Damascus, Md: The 6-foot-6, 280-pound junior ranks as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He was in Athens this weekend with the family in tow. It was no less than his fourth unofficial to UGA in the last 14 months. Bresee sat next to Kirby Smart at Stegman Coliseum for the LSU game and might just have heard his name being chanted by the crowd. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 2)
- 5-star OLB Mekhail Sherman/St. Johns College HS/Washington, D.C: The nation’s No. 2 OLB is in the process of bouncing back from a season-ending knee injury in 2018. Looking good. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder can play inside or outside (See Rian Davis, Quay Walker) but flashed a serious 4.52 time in the laser at the Nike Opening finals out in Texas last summer. He was also very pleased to see the official promotion of Dan Lanning to defensive coordinator. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 13)
- 5-star WR Rakim Jarrett/St. Johns College/Washington, D.C: St. John’s also had an Alabama How did St. Johns ever lose a game, right? The 6-foot, 182-pound blur was in Athens last weekend on an official. The Bulldogs didn’t make his original top 6, but they are in it now. UGA was a little late to offer the nation’s No. 3 WR and that’s a good reason why. The interest is there now for the nation’s No. 3 WR prospect. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 21)
- 5-star RB MarShawn Lloyd: Lloyd is as serious of a contender at this time to join the 2020 class as anyone in the “DMV” fishing hole. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound will flash to a lot of former great UGA backs with his game. How does a one-part Sony, one-part Chubb, one-part Knowshon, one-part Verron Haynes and one-part MarShawn sound? The nation’s No. 4 RB has already visited Athens once this year. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 25)
- 4-star DE Demon Clowney: The nation’s No. 5 weak-side DE resides in Baltimore. Clowney, a cousin to NFL All-Pro Jadeveon Clowney, is a big Lanning fan. UGA was his first offer back in February of 2018 and it was his pinned tweet for a significant amount of time. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has made at least two trips back to Athens since then. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 78)
Will the blue-chips be biting?: If the program puts up a 0-for-5 in the DMV, then that means it will have to go down the board scrambling for alternate targets. It is not out of bounds to think that the Bulldogs can pull at least two of these targets out of the region, though.
Another obstacle is the Bulldogs have yet to sign a player out of this region during Smart’s time as head coach.
The other big “fishing hole” on Georgia’s mind is a lot closer down the road.
The Cobb County fishing hole
Gwinnett County hasn’t been good to the Bulldogs the last few years.
Cobb County is more of a success story. Georgia has signed elite targets like Dominick Blaylock, Justin Fields, Ryland Goede, Azeez Ojulari, Tyler Simmons and Julian Rochester from this region, among others.
This pinpoint on the map will cover 345 square miles, but the radar here pings around the 18.5-mile circuit from Marietta High School to Hillgrove High School to McEachern High School and back to Marietta.
Cobb County has five players rated among the nation’s top 100 recruits for the 2020 class.
The Bulldogs can sign a pair of 5-star prospects from this pocket of the Peach State.
These two elite athletes could also go down as the two of the three highest-rated signees in the 2020 class at that.
Who is doing the fishing there for Georgia: Tight ends coach Todd Hartley, running backs coach Dell McGee, defensive coordinator and OLBs coach Dan Lanning, defensive line coach Tray Scott and head coach Kirby Smart.
The big fish in Cobb County
- Arik Gilbert/Marietta High/Marietta, Ga: DawgNation profiled Gilbert late last week. The nearly 6-foot-6, 250-pounder wants to be a tight end or a hybrid at the next level in the Travis Kelce mold. He has agility, acceleration, catch radius and length for days. That’s why he rates as the nation’s No. 1 ATH for 2020. He visited Alabama over the weekend and was back for another unofficial at UGA today. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 9)
- B.J. Ojulari/Marietta High/Marietta, Ga.: He’s started both ways for the Blue Devils for the balance of his high school career at offensive tackle and defensive end. His future is on defense flying in off the edge. His older brother, Azeez, is already at UGA. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior plans to make his decision sometime in May. Look for him to play ball in the Southeast. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 84)
- Myles Murphy/Hillgrove High/Powder Springs, Ga.: Murphy will check off every box of what an elite national recruit should look like in high school. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder has exceptional agility and footwork. There’s another national prospect with a UGA offer with the same name in North Carolina, but very few prospects like Myles Murphy come along every 10 years. That’s why Dabo Swinney has his fishing pole mounted near Hillgrove High, too. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 14)
- COMMIT: Jamil Burroughs/McEachern High/Powder Springs, Ga.: The nation’s No. 4 DT is already in the boat. So to speak. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound prospect is one of three current commitments in the class of 2020. (Overall 247Sports Composite rating: 62)
Will the blue-chips be biting: Burroughs is in the boat and should be seen as a very invested recruit in the program. Clemson looms large for both Gilbert and Myles.
The chances with Ojulari might very well spike with how well the Bulldogs are recruiting at that position. He’s a terrific player and one of the most impressive in this class but not even Brandon Adams can foresee the Bulldogs ending up with Clowney, Murphy, Ojulari and Sherman at OLB going on the wall for the 2020 class.
Gilbert and Murphy are two players in the state this year that the Bulldogs cannot let leave the state and still hope to finish with the nation’s top class.
It would bring up too many empty net stories with the likes of Andrew Booth, Derrick Brown, Jadon Haselwood, Aubrey Solomon and Trevor Lawrence from back in the day.
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