That. Escalated. Quickly. For. Georgia football recruiting.
That classic Ron Burgundy line from “Anchorman” will also apply here as the events of the last week and the next month to come have produced a pretty clear tell that the major moving pieces for the 2021 recruiting board are set to fall in place for Georgia.
Or they will not.
That’s because big 5-star OT Amarius Mims might have been the 6-foot-8-sized spark of inertia needed. The last 24-36 hours have produced a flurry of activity. The quick hit cycle of news events regarding decisions and potential timelines was the focus on the weekly DawgNation “Before the Hedges” program on Wednesday night on the DawgNation social platforms.
Smael Mondon Jr., the 5-star LB from Paulding County High School in Northwest Georgia, dropped a tweet that once again covered his final five schools (which was known) but also added a specific commitment day of November 18.
Mondon remains a major target for UGA at ILB in the 2021 class.
bout that time. pic.twitter.com/gjLg43dZIc
— Smael Mondon Jr (@SmaelJr) October 22, 2020
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound LB ranks as the No. 2 OLB prospect and the nation’s No. 27 overall recruit for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite scale.
Mondon had a lot of company on the big announcement front this week.
Kamari Lassiter, a 3-star CB from Tuscaloosa, announced his intention to make his long-awaited commitment earlier this week. It seems his decision is coming down to Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
I will be committing Thursday evening on the ACA football field, 7pm!! Everyone is welcomed.. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK❗️
— K ³ (@kamari_lassiter) October 20, 2020
He will make his decision know from the field in roughly six hours from now. Lassiter, it must be noted here, is actually a Georgia native.
5-star QB commit Brock Vandagriff expressed a hopeful wish for that pending decision on Thursday night from his social media account.
Let’s go brother!! 🤞🏼🐶🌊 https://t.co/MCSOqRqy8T
— brock 🌊 (@BrockVandagriff) October 21, 2020
Then there’s the recent decision and slight delay for the commitment decision for 3-star Miami Central RB Amari Daniels. Daniels has announced his top 2 of Georgia and Texas A&M. There was the thought that he was about to make his decision prior to his season opener, but that is no longer the case.
— AMARI DANIELS⁴ (@_NoLimitMari) October 19, 2020
Daniels, a strong all-purpose back option for Todd Monken’s offense, plays for the same Miami Central program which sent James Cook to Georgia in the class of 2018.
He then backed up his decision just a bit on Wednesday night.
Pushing my commitment back to next week, i’m locked in BIG GAME Friday. If you from tha crib you’ll understand…
— AMARI DANIELS⁴ (@_NoLimitMari) October 22, 2020
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also this tweet from IMG Academy LB target Xavian Sorey, Jr.
Commitment coming soon🔥…
— Xavian Sorey Jr (@Sorey_Jr) October 20, 2020
Sorey, along with Mondon, has long been one of the priority targets for Georgia in the 2021 class. The Bulldogs didn’t sign any ILB prospects in the 2020 signing class and only took just one LB prospect in talented freshman MJ Sherman. Sorey has the skill set to play both LB positions, but the Bulldogs have been recruiting him primarily to play inside.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound LB ranks as the No. 5 OLB prospect and the nation’s No. 65 overall recruit for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite scale.
Sorey’s tweet was interesting. But so were the responses from several other members of the 2021 recruiting class for the Bulldogs.
🐶🐶 Ik Ik🔴⚫️ https://t.co/KUMHrOPfD9
— Lovasea Carroll (@LovaseaC) October 20, 2020
— Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) October 20, 2020
There are still no face-to-face visits allowed either on-campus or off-campus but these events all dropping together almost is sync certainly lends itself to some enhanced excitement on the recruiting trail. Especially after a pandemic-affected period to look forward to in a recruiting cycle that has been no gas and all brakes up to this point.
The Bulldogs still have just 16 public commitments in the 2021 class. That will slot them at No. 8 in the nation on the 247SportsTeamComposite rankings. The Georgia class has never been as big as some of the early classes stacked up by its national recruiting peers.
The top 7 schools in those rankings have the following number of commitments up to this point: No. 1 Alabama (21); No. 2 Ohio State (22); No. 3 Oregon (23); No. 4 Clemson (17); No. 5 LSU (18); No. 6 USC (22) and No. 7 Michigan (21).
Georgia is used to its customary top 3 recruiting ranking under Kirby Smart. For that to happen in 2021, a lot of these decisions noted above are going to have to go in the red and black’s favor. As a reminder, we are now inside 60 days on the NCAA early signing period which begins on Dec. 16.
That’s the earliest that 2021 prospects, especially the mid-year enrollees, can sign with their schools. This year it just so different that a good number of prospects in the 2021 cycle will make their college choices based on virtual visits and Zoom calls with their future teams.
For a more in-depth discussion on the prospects listed above, check out this week’s “Before the Hedges” program feature above and below. The weekly “Top Targets” lists is also featured this week. Check out where a lot of those names rank on the perceived priority list in Athens for the 2021 cycle.
“Before the Hedges” is now in its fifth year on DawgNation and that weekly program can be found on a variety of podcast platforms like the Apple podcast platform, Soundcloud and Spotify.