The recruiting door at UGA is always open.
Basketball season has proved to be an ideal landing spot for on-campus activities to whisk big-time recruits to in the weeks since National Signing Day. UGA has continued to host a lot of elite prospects on campus for unofficial visits over the last five weeks.
UGA had a few very select group of visitors over the weekend. That’s an ideal time for one-on-one time compared to the busy recruiting weekends with a lot of players in town.
Who was in town over the weekend? Who wasn’t in town, but still made a big splash recruiting for UGA? Check out this weekend’s recap.
UGA recruiting weekend recap
UGA commit Jaden Hunter calls the dogs in Knoxville
UGA Class of 2017 linebacker commit Jaden Hunter took an unofficial visit to Tennessee this weekend with a teammate.
Before everyone starts getting up on a soapbox, Hunter impressed a lot of UGA fans during his trip to Knoxville over the weekend. He appeared less than pumped about all things orange-and-white on one of his Periscope feeds and openly said he was there basically to recruit for UGA.
“I really came here to recruit, too,” Hunter said on Periscope. “To be honest.”
He also said “Go Dawgs” two times inside the meeting room in Knoxville and let out a huge grin after his first try and put some bass in it. The 4-star linebacker also shared what was on his mind when he went to Neyland Stadium.
“So we went to the field right and I really could imagine myself catching a Pick-6 against them,” Hunter also told his viewers on Periscope. “And the whole crowd going silent after I catch that.”
The topper was when he tweeted out a picture of him in a Tennessee uniform with a very important hashtag.
— jaden hunter . (@head9hunter) March 6, 2016
A lot is made of five-star commitment Richard LeCounte III’s unrelenting energy on the recruiting circuit. Hunter has the same charisma and social skills to also work very hard behind-the-scenes for UGA.
“I was born a Dawg, man,” Hunter also said on his Periscope chat.
I love DawgNation man y'all are the best ❤️?
— jaden hunter . (@head9hunter) March 6, 2016
Hunter has since issued an apology for his actions on social media. He made it clear he did not intend to offend anyone with his remarks.
— jaden hunter . (@head9hunter) March 7, 2016
Five-star CB for 2018 visits UGA over the weekend
File this one under the very interesting category. Class of 2018 cornerback Christian Tutt has finished off a rare U-turn after less than a couple of months at Florida powerhouse boarding school IMG Academy.
He’s back at Thomson and that bodes well for UGA’s chances with the 5-star cornerback. Chris Tutt, his father, told DawgNation that the family took a visit to UGA over the weekend and got some good one-on-one time with Kirby Smart. He described the visit as “great” and the family also got to visit briefly with UGA athletic director Greg McGarity.
— Danny Verdun (@DannyVW42) March 6, 2016
The two, along with Tutt’s uncle Danny Verdun, all sat together at UGA’s basketball win against Alabama on Saturday. That’s the same Verdun who roamed Sanford Stadium at linebacker for UGA.
Tutt told DawgNation last month that he plans to make his college decision after his junior season.
The rising junior, rated No. 12 overall in the Class of 2018, has returned to one of Georgia’s most storied high school programs and will continue to play high school ball in “The Brickyard” and the Georgia High School Association has rendered him immediately eligible.
“IMG was a great experience for him,” his father said. “But we are glad he chose to come play with his friends since rec league (ball.) They won a state championship in (rec league ball) together.
UGA was in the race early with Tutt. Former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt offered him when he was 14 years and seven months old. That was his first big-time offer although Florida State has told the family that they actually offered him before UGA, but the family isn’t really sure who was first.
LeCounte is already recruiting Tutt hard and he told DawgNation last month that Alabama and UGA were going to be two of his top schools all the way until he makes his decision.
Another big-timer on campus over the weekend
Archer four-star cornerback Jamyest Williams also visited UGA over the weekend and took in the basketball game. His photo was captured on social media. Williams wore a Todd Gurley‘s No. 3 UGA jersey on his visit.
That makes it the second trip to UGA in a month for Williams.
“Wasn’t really a visit he (Kirby) just wanted me to come hang out with him at the game since I was in town visiting family,” Williams told DawgNation.
Williams is a priority for the Class of 2017 as the nation’s No. 49 player overall. He’s listed as an athlete, but will likely apply his trade primarily at cornerback on Saturdays. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is a tenacious defender with rare skills that more than compensate for whatever he is lacking in the height and weight department.
The more that he can get on campus the better. UGA needs to improve its standing at Archer High after watching a trickle of talented standouts commit and sign elsewhere over the last two years. Williams has been busy. He also took a visit to Tennessee on Friday.
What can Williams do for UGA? Check out the skills in this clip.
— Jamyest Williams (@Jamy0602) December 23, 2015
4-star target de-commits from Alabama, but does not commit to UGA
Cam Akers turned heads when he de-committed from Alabama last week. The four-star RB wanted to take a step back from his recruiting. He did recently visit UGA prior to the visit, but told Woody Wommack of Rivals.com that the trip was not directly related to his de-commitment. It was just part of the overall big picture and need to take another hard look at his decision.
Akers is rated as the nation’s No. 3 running back and No. 36 overall prospect for the Class of 2017. There was a report that Akers had committed to UGA over the weekend, but he took to social media to refute that.
He’ll be worth watching. Akers and Sprayberry four-star back Trey Sermon would be an ideal pairing of speed, power and size for UGA. Sermon said the coaches at UGA told him they want to sign two backs for the Class of 2017.
Akers, as seen in his highlight tape below, would be cause for cartwheels and fist-bumps at the program of his choice.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and 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.