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Tommy Bush/special to DawgNation
Four-star wide receiver Tommy Bush Jr. is a priority for UGA in 2018.

UGA shows 4-star target Tommy Bush ‘above and beyond’ treatment on official visit

Jeff Sentell

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet for Monday calls for a look into the official visit of 4-star Texas wide receiver Tommy Bush

It sounds like what Georgia did both during and after his official visit scored points with Bush and his family. 

Tommy Bush was stuck at the Atlanta airport on Sunday night and even early Monday afternoon.

The power outage that blacked out Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport canceled his Sunday flight to Texas and backed up the grid for the next two days.

Bush and his family told DawgNation that they will never forget the kindness and the “above and beyond’ treatment they received from UGA both during his official visit and afterward. His official visit was supposed to end when he was dropped off at the Atlanta airport.

It has yet to end. Bush was still stuck at the airport when he chatted for this interview.

Tommy Bush-UGA recruiting
Tommy Bush and his family said they were treated well at their UGA official visit. (Tommy Bush/Twitter)

With his time to reflect, he said he and his inner circle felt as if they were family at Georgia. Bush said Bulldogs are a top contender.

“I’m just going to tell people I had fun,” the big 6-foot-4½ target said. “I enjoyed the campus and everything. The people there were really good. I was considering Georgia heavy before and it was just a great time.”

The nation’s No. 37 receiver prospect said he does not plan to make his commitment known until he signs on the traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

His mother might have summed up the visit the best.

“It was first class,” Annie Bush said. “What stood out to me about the visit was that it didn’t feel like a recruiting visit. It felt like they genuinely not just wanted him but they needed him. They made us feel like we were already part of the family. You can just tell when you are just being recruited and then you can feel the difference when there is something more to it.

“It was almost like we were just family coming back to visit and they hadn’t seen us in awhile.”

When Kirby Smart looked at Bush and his family eye to eye

The UGA class is filling up. Does Bush still have a spot? Can the Bulldogs take another receiver?

Georgia answered all those questions for the nation’s No. 193 overall prospect for 2018.

“Coach Smart sat down with me and my son and my wife and explained what all of that was,” his father said. “He definitely looked at us eyeball to eyeball and said as long as Tommy made them a priority that they were willing to stand by us and wait for our decision. We said we were also willing to stand by them and be sure to let them know and be honest with them if we were not coming.”

Tommy Bush Sr. described that chat with Georgia coach Kirby Smart very directly. Honesty will be the best policy for both parties.

There is no time clock from any of the schools regarding his decision.

“We were quite frank with them, and they were quite frank with us,” Bush Sr. said. “They kind of told us their timeline and what players they were looking to sign. We kind of told them our timeline and where we were at.”

Bush said that Georgia already knew his son did not plan to sign or commit during the early signing period. He’s been on official visits to Nebraska and Michigan State.

“They were willing to hold [a scholarship offer] for him as long as they knew they were a priority in Tommy’s eyes and we told them that they are a priority. We told them that we have been to three schools and where they were at. We told [Georgia] that they were right there.”

Tommy Bush-UGA recruiting
Tommy Bush’s family called the UGA official visit ‘first class.’ (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

They chatted about the offensive scheme with coordinator Jim Chaney and receivers coach James Coley. They liked what they heard.

Their ears perked up when Georgia told them that the Bulldogs’ pro-style offense was used by 27 teams in the NFL.

“Then they rolled out the red carpet for us,” Bush Sr. said. “It was first class. The other two official visits we went on were top notch as well but everything and everybody at Georgia was just first class. They did an awesome job from start to finish.”

“I honestly think this was one of the best officials we have been on. We still have two left. This was one of the best and I don’t even know if we are taking the last two. We will discuss that after the fact or if he knows where he wants to go, then we will punch that ticket and let the other two schools know. I mean it was absolutely awesome.”

His father felt Georgia was “already right there” but then the program elevated its chances to sign Tommy after this visit. He said the UGA staff continued to check on them on Sunday and Monday as their travel delays kept coming up.

What was the ‘extra’ that UGA did after his official visit?

The power outage and subsequent flight delays at Hartsfield were unforeseen. But sometimes adversity can create a window into the way people actually are. The Bush family saw that from Georgia.

“I immediately called them,” Annie Bush said on Monday. “They were on top of getting us another ticket. It wasn’t even their fault again today. It was just crazy here. We even got here early and still ended up being on standby.”

She went on to praise the effort made by the graduate assistant who accompanied them around town.

“Alex was our driver all weekend, and he was outstanding,” Annie Bush said. “He spent the whole day with us even through this ordeal and was on his way back to Athens but didn’t make it. He had seen the news or something so he stopped and stayed in the area just in case.”

“So he was able to come immediately back. He took us to a hotel and then took us to eat and even sat with us. … I even texted one of the coaches and said this guy was just outstanding. This was how I know my kid would try to help out somebody. I hope that the staff at Georgia will be sure to thank him for that. I know this was his job, but he went a little above and beyond all the time for us.  … All of that was just so touching to me.”

Tommy Bush’s family breaks down the official visit

What was his father’s favorite part? That was easy.

“My favorite part was when they drove all the trucks inside the practice field and we all got out,” Bush Sr. said. “All of those trucks had the [potential recruit] numbers on them. The trucks also had the Georgia flags on them and then they showed us the hype video. Coach Smart and everybody was out there. I think that was just awesome. That was awesome.”

His jersey number on the side of the SUV was that extra touch.

“Just awesome, man,” Bush Sr. said. “That was really really awesome.”

The miles and the location away from their Texas home will not be a factor. The Bushes said they liked the fit at Georgia if that becomes his future choice.

“I think Tommy will fit in just fine,” Annie Bush said. “He has the stature of the boys that are already there. He enjoyed hanging out with them. I think he will be just fine at Georgia.”

Javon Wims and J.J. Holloman hosted Bush. His mother described them as exemplary.

“I liked the boys,” Annie Bush said. “The way they spoke. The way they carried themselves. That was very impressive to me about Georgia. Those are the type of boys I would like for him to be around.”

The early signing day roadmap so far for DawgNation

A lot of folks have been reaching out to me across the various social media channels. They want to know if there is a guideline or an itinerary for fans to follow along with all the early signing period events.

Here’s the latest on the schedule for Wednesday. All times are Eastern. There are more signings no doubt, but I’m including a lot of the major uncommitted targets for this guide.

10 a.m., approximately: 5-star defensive end/outside linebacker target Micah Parsons: Landof10’s Tyler Donohue tells DawgNation that the last update he got on the Pennsylvania standout was that he planned to announce his choice sometime after 10 a.m. from the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg.

10 a.m., approximately: 4-star cornerback Divaad Wilson will make his college decision from Northwestern H.S. in Miami, Fla. Wilson rates as the nation’s No. 32 CB and the No. 334 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite ranking. He was a one-time Florida commit.

10-10:30 a.m.: 5-star offensive guard target Jamaree Salyer: Salyer will make his announcement at the Sports and Social event from The Battery Atlanta near SunTrust Park. It should boil down to Clemson or Georgia.

Noon: 5-star quarterback commit Justin Fields: The nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB will sign at a ceremony at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga.

Noon: 4-star UGA cornerback commit Chris Smith II: Smith will sign at this hour at the Sports and Social event from The Battery Atlanta. His Hapeville Charter squad won the state championship over the weekend.

2:30-3 p.m.: 5-star offensive tackle target Cade Mays: Mays will announce sometime in this time range on ESPNU from Knoxville Catholic in Tennessee. It should boil down to Clemson or Georgia.

3-3:30 p.m.: 5-star defensive end target Brenton Cox: He took the last of probably about 15 trips to UGA over the weekend. This one comes down to Alabama or Georgia. His announcement also will air on ESPNU.

4-4:30 p.m.: 5-star DE/OLB target KJ Henry: The nation’s No. 3 weakside DE also ranks on the 247Sports composite as the No. 8 overall prospect for 2018. DawgNation deems Clemson, Georgia and Virginia Tech to be the primary horses in his top 5. ESPNU shows up here again.

Would you like to hear a bit of what I’m hearing? 

  • On the subject of Justin Fields, he said he is still not certain about the following: Whether he will enroll early or whether he will try to play in the Under Armour All-America Game.
  • UGA freshman Mark Webb Jr. hosted 5-star Micah Parsons over the weekend. I’ve heard the visit went very well and Fields took a very strong interest in pitching Georgia and the future of the program. This Twitter recap of Parsons’ Snapchat story shows how well that UGA visit went.

  • A number of sources tell me the contest for 5-star OT Cade Mays is close but the feeling is he will sign with Georgia. Mays took his last official in Athens over the weekend. The 5-star was a part of the tweet of the weekend at UGA. The photo tweeted depicted UGA offensive line coach Sam Pittman’s potential “Great Wall of Georgia” with 3-star OT commit Owen Condon, 4-star OG commit Trey Hill, 4-star OC pledge Warren Ericson, 5-star OG target Jamaree Salyer and Mays.

  • The choice for Brenton Cox is officially down to Alabama and Georgia. It would come as a great surprise to me if he chooses the Crimson Tide.

  • Adam Anderson has been weighing whether to sign early. That is understandable since he’s been on a playoff push for the now two-time state champion Rome Wolves. He told DawgNation his decision has evolved from “not sure” to “might be signing early” over the last 24 hours. I’ve been told to expect him to be at the signing day event at Sports and Social at The Battery Atlanta on Wednesday. That’s set for 12:30 p.m. at that event.
  • Four-star tight end Luke Ford is closely considering a signing decision this week. Ford dropped a top 5 over the weekend of Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn and home-state Illinois. It is really a Georgia and Auburn race and has been for some time. Ford ranks as the nation’s No. 2 tight end for 2018. The Justin Fields ties have been mentioned a lot, but there are plenty more reasons for him to spend his Saturdays in Athens.

  • Four-star Georgia commit J.D. Bertrand got to celebrate on Friday night. His Blessed Trinity Titans took down unbeaten Marist to win the Georgia High School Association Class 4A state title. DawgNation’s cameras were there and got to capture some of the joy from the 2019 pledge.

Did you miss any of this on Sunday or Monday? 

Sunday was a pretty good day for Georgia’s recruiting efforts for 2018. If you were around DawgNation.com, then the following links were available for your perusal.

Nothing much. Just a pair of headlines on the 5-star front and the nation’s No. 3 running back on the side.

Justin Fields announces he will sign on Dec. 20

Jamaree Salyer also announces he will commit and sign on Dec. 20.

The mother of 4-star RB James Cook weighs in on his last-minute official visit to FSU

Monday morning also started off with a bevy of UGA recruiting information. Make sure you check out the DawgNation early signing day primer that posted this morning. 

There’s also the first of our Signee 101 series. We couldn’t think of a better starting point than 5-star RB commit Zamir White. 

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed faster than Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith can find the football after the snap.