Malcolm Askew plays football 38 miles from Nick Saban’s office in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He’s regarded as one of the elite cornerbacks for the Class of 2017.
Yet he almost committed to UGA this summer.
“If I get to ranking schools in my head every now and then I’ll kind of switch them up but Georgia is still my number one,” he said. “That’s the only school I can rank at the top. My Mom and Dad said don’t rank anyone but I mean I almost committed to Georgia this summer. So they are obviously still my number one.”
The 4-star cornerback has forged a strong relationship with UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
“Georgia contacted me on September 1 and said I’m a top priority for the 2017 class,” Askew said. “Coach Pruitt came out and told me that.”
Askew almost committed to UGA this summer. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
He said UGA, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Miami, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have been contacting him the most since the first day programs could officially reach out to 2017 recruits on Sept. 1.
Askew has also heard from Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and USC this month, too. Who would be next after UGA among the schools he’s taking a good look at right now?
He said Clemson, Duke and Florida are all coming on strong.
“I haven’t really gotten to those places yet so that’s why they can’t overtake Georgia or tie Georgia for that number one spot,” he said. “I have a great feel for Georgia, but the reason I haven’t committed is I want to see what kind of a defensive back class they will sign in 2016.”
The 6-foot, 175-pounder is rated as the nation’s No. 12 athlete for 2017, per the 247sports composite. He understands competition. He likes how UGA plays a lot of freshmen and saw last week that his “great friend” Rico McGraw was a freshman starter on the depth chart.
UGA currently has commitments from three 2016 defensive backs. He said if UGA signs five or six defensive backs, it will influence his decision. If an Alabama or a Clemson signs only one or two in this class, then that will matter as well.
“I’ll look at that, but I know Pruitt will let me come in and compete for a spot as a freshman at UGA as well,” Askew said. “Look what has happened with Rico McGraw.”
He plans to trim down his schools after National Signing Day next February.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.