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Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com
Georgia had nine U.S. Army All-Americans in San Antonio last week. That was more than any other college program. They could even wind up with 10 or 11.

What does Alabama’s next great QB think about Georgia’s class this year?

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.

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Tua Tagovailoa is going to be another great quarterback at Alabama.

He showed that at the “Elite 11” and then at Nike’s “The Opening” this summer and he did nothing to dispel that in Texas last week at the U.S. Army All-American events.

He’s already at Alabama and I wouldn’t be shocked if he pushed current starter Jalen Hurts for playing time in 2017. Tagovailoa can run very well and he’s a more accurate passer than Hurts.

Yet he said something very interesting in Texas. That came while he and I were watching a bunch of the Georgia commits hang out together after a mid-week practice.

“Georgia is getting a lot of great players,” Tagovailoa said. “I firmly believe that we (Alabama) will get the opportunity to play a lot of big games against each other in college.”

The nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB even shared a morsel of his scouting intel.

“They all look very good,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to say that they have even one bad recruit. They have all good guys. From Richard (LeCounte) to Netori (Johnson) all the way to Jake (Fromm) that is a very well-rounded class. They are great players, but also very good guys to be around, too.”

He said LeCounte leaves an impression.

Tua Tagovailoa by Chris Kirschner 10
Tua Tagovailoa is already at Alabama. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB in the Class of 2017. He expects big things from the Georgia class this year. (Chris Kirschner / SEC Country)

“He is loud and funny,” Tagovailoa said. “But at times he can be very respectful. He can be a very respectful person at the right times. He’s just a funny guy. Guys rally around guys that can talk but at the same time back it up. He can back up everything that he’s saying to guys out there on the field.”

He was also very impressed with Fromm. Those two spent a lot of time together at the Elite 11, the Opening and at the U.S. Army All-American Game.

“Jake is an awesome guy,” Tagovailoa said. “Very down-to-earth. Very humble. Awesome leader. He’s also very well-spoken and really cares about his family. He’s a family man. You can see that easily. There’s really nothing bad to say or nothing you don’t like about that guy.”

Tagovailoa stated that Fromm’s leadership ability stood out to him in Oregon and Texas.

“He just projects generosity every time I see him,” Tagovailoa said. “He just seems like the same real genuine guy every time I’m around him.”

It is not a stretch of any analyst’s powers of estimation to project Alabama vs. Georgia in multiple SEC Championship Game meetings in the future.

That seems likely given the way each program has recruited elite talent in 2017.

This weekend’s big targets

The Wednesday Intel noted the influx of Georgia commitments that will be in Athens this weekend on their only official visit. But there are also two very big fish that are not on the commitment board.

Bryant is rated as the nation's No. 14 DE for the Class of 2017. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Bryant is rated as the nation’s No. 14 DE for the Class of 2017. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

The first of those is 4-star weak-side defensive end prospect Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant. Bryant is a purposeful guy and he’s going to make sure he takes all the visits and enjoys his recruiting process.

He still plans to make his public decision sometime close to or on National Signing Day.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder still plans to make his public decision sometime close to or on National Signing Day.

He’s rated as the nation’s No. 13 weak-side DE and at No. 174 overall for this cycle. DawgNation has projected him in the Georgia class for quite some time and most of his interviews of late still tout Auburn and Georgia as the teams to watch out for, but they also give a slight edge to the in-state school.

Bryant was very candid when he discussed with DawgNation how he felt about his decision at the end of his senior season.

The other non-UGA commit of note that is expected to take an official to UGA this week is a 4-star Alabama OLB commit Markail Benton. Benton is committed to Alabama.

The nearly 6-foot-2, 237-pound prospect rates as the nation’s No. 5 OLB for this cycle. Benton ranks at No. 90 nationally. He committed to Alabama back in June and is expected to take his official visit to Alabama next weekend.

I’m going to classify this one as a talented kid just wanting to take one of his allotted visits until something develops here that would lead me to think otherwise.

A Georgia flip here would be a major story, but it would also mean another high-value target left on the board would no longer have a spot in this year’s class.

Most commits see no need to visit anywhere else

We’ve discussed this trend for awhile now, but a large majority of Georgia’s commitments just see no need to visit anywhere else. Here’s a quick look at the class and how they approached the subject of taking any additional officials aside from their visit to UGA.

Early enrollees

  • 5-star Richard LeCounte III: (Took one official to see his close friend’s last game at Ohio State.)
  • 4-star QB Jake Fromm (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star S DeAngelo Gibbs (No officials after his commitment.*)
  • 4-star junior college OT D’Marcus Hayes (No officials after his commitment.*)
  • 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 3-star ILB Monty Rice (No officials after his commitment.*)

*– Not that big of a feat. There really wasn’t any time left to take another official after the decision to attend UGA was made here.

February signees

  • 4-star DE Robert Beal Jr. (Multiple officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star ATH Tray Bishop (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star ATH Trey Blount (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star OT D’Antne Demery (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star OLB Walter Grant (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star OLB Jaden Hunter (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star DE Malik Herring (Plans no officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star OG Netori Johnson (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 3-star WR Matt Landers (No officials after his commitment)
  • 4-star ILB Nate McBride (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 3-star OG Justin Shaffer (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star CB William Poole III (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star RB D’Andre Swift (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star OT Andrew Thomas (No officials after his commitment.)
  • 4-star WR Mark Webb Jr. (Just one official to Penn State)
  • 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson (Will not take his last official after his commitment.)
  • 3-star DT Devonte Wyatt (Taking officials after his commitment.)

Another UGA commit sets his official visit

Walter Grant, a 6-foot-4 commit at LB for this class, will take his official visit to  Georgia on Jan. 20.

Cairo 4-star LB Walter Grant became UGA's 16th commitment for the Class of 2017 on Friday night. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Cairo 4-star LB Walter Grant became UGA’s 16th commitment for the Class of 2017 on Friday night. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

The 236-pound prospect with the 80-plus inch wingspan put Georgia on top ahead of Alabama and FSU back in November.

He thought about trying to enroll early, but will now enroll this summer. His rankings have been on a constant climb since this spring, too. Grant is now rated as the nation’s No. 14 OLB for this cycle and at No. 202 overall.

That weekend already looks like:

  • 4-star OLB Jaden Hunter (commit)
  • 3-star WR Matt Landers (commit)
  • 4-star ILB Nate McBride (commit)
  • 4-star CB William Poole III (commit)
  • 4-star CB Ameer Speed (undecided)
  • 3-star CB Eric Stokes (undecided)
  • 4-star CB Jamyest Williams (South Carolina commit)
  • 3-star DT Devonte Wyatt (commit)

On the subject of 2018 quarterback offers

I wrote a little bit last night about Georgia’s latest QB offer for the Class of 2018. That’s 6-foot-6 California QB Tanner McKee.

He rates as the nation’s No. 9 pro-style prospect for a class that’s already seen 9 of the nation’s Top 15 pro-style passers already opt to commit to their favored school. McKee checks off a lot of boxes as he completed 73 percent of his passes as a junior for 39 touchdowns.

The 220-pounder also ran for 15 more scores on the ground.

That spot will definitely be a priority for the Class of 2018 given that only Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm are currently the only scholarship players at that position who will be around in the fall of 2018.

McKee isn’t the only QB that UGA has targeted in that class. There’s also South Carolina dual-threat Kereon Joyner. The 4-star dual-threat is rated as the nation’s No. 10 dual-threat QB in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect from Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, SC) recently placed UGA among his Top 5 schools. Joyner threw for 3,642 passing yards and 44 scores in 2016.

He also notably added another 1,089 yards and 12 scores with his legs.

 

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