While very uncertain about his future, 5-star Jadon Haselwood plans a final UGA trip
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. This play sheet offers up a report on thoughts right now for 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood. He seems very uncertain about his future at this time.
Jadon Haselwood says he is “clueless” now in terms of his college decision.
He’s at a point in his recruitment where he has less than a month left to make up his mind. Yet he has very few guideposts to center his decision around.
“I don’t even have a top 5 right now,” he said.
Part of that might be due to the fact his primary focus on his Cedar Grove football team. That close-knit group is still motivated by the loss of a former player during the off-season. Haselwood will never forget Trevon Richardson.
Cedar Grove has “LLT” stickers on its helmets to honor his memory with the “Long Live Trevon” mantra.
When he’s asked a question in an interview setting, his natural reaction is to relate it to Cedar Grove football. It seems to appear he is leaving the balance of his college decision to be figured out after he’s done chasing a second state title ring with his Saints.
It seems to be where his mind is at right now.
He scored three times in a 55-0 road win against Benedictine in Savannah. The second touchdown is captured below. It was a nice new red zone wrinkle from coach Jimmy Smith and his staff.
“We put that in two days ago,” Haselwood said. “That was our first time running that.”
TD! Great play design to get a playmaker the ball in the RZ. Jadon Haselwood with a 9-yard catch from senior QB Kendall Boney. Saints are up 14-0 with less than five minutes to go in the half. pic.twitter.com/G7inUWRHTq
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) November 24, 2018
He will sign with the program of his choice during the early period. Haselwood will then share that decision with the world on Jan. 5 from the All-American Game in San Antonio.
There is much work to be done with that.
“I am clueless right now,” Haselwood said.
What comes next with Jadon Haselwood and UGA
Haselwood was supposed to take an official visit to UGA this weekend. That did not happen and there were a few contributing factors why.
Cedar Grove’s third-round game in the GHSA Class 3A playoffs did not end until just before 10 p.m. in Savannah on Friday night.
It was likely 11 p.m. before those buses were headed back for a four-plus hour ride to Cedar Grove afterward.
The noon kickoff for the Georgia Tech game did not lend itself to an ideal start to a key official visit.
My information leads me to believe UGA did not want him to take that official for the Georgia Tech game. The Bulldogs hope to host Haselwood for an official on Dec. 15. That will be the final official visit weekend for prospects like Haselwood that intend to sign early and enroll in January of 2019.
“I will probably be there at UGA in December,” Hasewlood said. “To take my official. … I think we are looking at Dec. 15 for my official.”
That will likely be Haselwood’s only visit before the dead period arrives. If that turns out to be the case, then having the last visit prior to his decision is an ideal opportunity for the program.
He’s noticed the Bulldogs have made more plays with the passing game.
“They have been throwing it a little bit more,” Haselwood said. “I haven’t really been watching them but I have been seeing stuff on Twitter. That’s really it.”
He was aware of a recent pass thrown by Justin Fields. The 5-star is also aware of the “obvious” talent of the freshman QB.
“He threw a bomb to Mecole, right?” Haselwood said. “I saw that.”
What does he still need to see from UGA? What will be his questions on that official visit?
“I just want to see how everyone is getting used,” Haselwood said. “Everyone has a way that they will be used in the offense within the program. I’m just trying to see so I can compare myself to the receivers that they do have so I can see how I would be used.”
It is no stretch to think that Hasewlood could flourish in the same role that Jeremiah Holloman has grown into for the Bulldogs of late.
About his most recent visit to FSU
Haselwood visited FSU for an official last weekend. That was his fourth official visit after a spring trip to Oklahoma and fall treks to Miami and Auburn. That visit to Georgia, if it holds, will be his last remaining official.
His time with Willie Taggart and the Seminoles went well.
“They run the same offense we run here,” Haselwood said of the FSU pitch. “The transition wouldn’t be a bad transition at all if I go there. I’m still scoping everything out to see what I am going to do.”
Who’s really in it for him now?
“I don’t know,” Haselwood said. “I really don’t. That’s why I don’t even have a top 5. It is stressful now.”
He said that Tennessee is now in there. That’s a contender that has snuck in as of late. But that is a program he has not visited in some time.
TD! Jadon Haselwood 5 yard catch. Saints add the XP. Cedar Grove up 7-0 with 12.7 seconds left to go in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/w5oDXbBpxu
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) November 24, 2018
What you learn by watching Jadon Haselwood
Haselwood is the nation’s top-rated receiver for the 2019 class on the 247Sports composite and has rare skills. We’ve written before how the recruiting rankings have to go back at least to the 2013 class to find a receiver who rates as high as he does.
The composite still has him pegged as the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect for 2019.
I do not know why Benedictine tried to match him in single coverage at times on Friday night. Especially with no safety help over the top. The Cadets did have a talented N.C. State commit at corner, but that was asking a bit too much given the three-plus inches of height Haselwood had on him there.
What I do comprehend is how clearly he cares about his team. Cedar Grove and Haselwood were clearly motivated by some comments prior to the game against a likely loss to the Cadets.
That program went on to a 55-0 win. The 5-star receiver laid his body on the line as much as he could.
4th-and-14? Check? Two big scores in the red zone? Check. Punt to him? He checked that one off with an 85-yard touchdown return with his team up big.
Jadon Haselwood converts a 4th-and-14 with this catch. No score yet here betwixt Benedictine and Cedar Grove. Saints are marching though. pic.twitter.com/PJiFbLgGcK
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) November 24, 2018
I’ve never seen Haselwood align his effort level with the progress on the scoreboard. He just plays every play.
The Cadets dropped a punt one time Friday night about 15 yards in front of Hasewlood. It was in that bubble between the deep man and the pressing coverage units.
No one seemed to have any interest in getting to that ball. Except for Haselwood. He surfed through a few bodies and picked up the ball and surged another 10 yards up the field.
It appears to me a lot of UGA fans seem to be rather salty about his long-time commitment and de-commitment from the program. They seem to have a certain view of him in their minds.
They should simply watch him play a full game.
What might happen with Jadon Haselwood going forward
What this looks like to me is just uncertainty.
Give me a second here. This could be a case where no real “surging contender” could work in Georgia’s favor in the long run.
The Bulldogs might simply have the fewest warts in the overall appeal to Haselwood. Despite the run-first nature of the program.
Haselwood probably doesn’t deserve the “diva” label that seems to equate his recruiting process to attention seeking.
The simplest way to look at his decision is he wants to go to a school that will maximize his talents. He’s heard more than his share of negative recruiting.
Why? That’s because at times it looks like the Bulldogs are not the ideal school to throw it around enough to give him 8-10 targets per game.
When he committed to UGA, he said he was always going to take his visits. When he de-committed and started taking visits, it seems that most tend to view him in a certain light.
He works as hard as anyone on any field he steps on. He has fun. The way he charges his batteries before games while listening to an impressive sound system that Cedar Grove brings with the team on the road never wavers. That hype music does amp him up.
He slaps the hand of every teammate. Pumps them up. During the game, he more than holds his own when challenged physically at the point of attack. He’s used to matching up with guys every week who want to make a name for themselves with a good showing against the nation’s top receiver.
Most find that very hard to do. The senior still looks to make every play. Even when he’s already seen as one of the nation’s elite players.
Family clearly matters to Jadon Haselwood
When the game ends, the nation’s top wide receiver prospect will take pictures with fans. It looks like he accepts every request. Even with players from the other team. He’ll exchange words with up-and-coming players. The act is more like a “friend to everybody” than the diva wideout.
But sooner or later, he finds his family. There’s his father Jeremy. His parents are not together, but there is also his mother and a tight circle of friends who go all the way back.
He often recognizes his mother on social media. He hopes she can forgive him for all the pain he caused her growing up.
“That is my why,” Haselwood said. “That’s my motivation. I come out here and play hard for her so she can live a better life. That’s so my whole family can live a better life matter of fact.”
Those people clearly matter to him. They always have. Especially his mother. Especially his 4-year-old younger brother Peyton Baker. Haselwood will look to be a constant presence in his life.
When it comes down to it, I think those could be the single biggest reasons behind his choice. Especially with this uncertainty. If no clear-cut decision emerges over the next few weeks, I can see him making the decision that simply has the fewest “cons” in the long run.
If he moves away to Auburn, FSU, Miami, Oklahoma or even to a new contender in Tennessee, it looks like it will be hard to separate himself from those folks.
Do all of those folks move with him to his next destination? That doesn’t seem likely although nothing surprises me with recruiting anymore.
If he truly doesn’t take any more visits until the Georgia visit on December 15, I do think that gives the Bulldogs a good shot at landing his decision on signing day.
This could very well turn into a case of family and familiarity instead of how many times the football is in the air on those deep vertical routes.
Checking in on all the contenders for Jadon Haselwood
Miami, a noted contender, ranks 104th out of the 129 NCAA FBS member schools in passing. Georgia comes in at No. 70 on those rankings. The Bulldogs are also 11th in the nation in rushing yards per game. The Hurricanes fall in at No. 52 nationally running the ball.
The Bulldogs do make something out of those shots downfield. Georgia ranks No. 21 nationally at 13.76 yards per completion.
Alabama, the nation’s top team, ranks seventh in passing offensive and 28th in rushing offense. That program is not a contender for Haselwood, but simply a measure for how the nation’s top program goes about its business playing winning football on the offensive side of the ball.
Oklahoma slots in at ninth and eighth in those categories, respectively. But can the Sooners play any defense at all? That program ranks 126th out of those 129 teams in passing yards allowed per game. Its run defense checks in at No. 62 nationally at rushing yards allowed per game.
Is that defense in Norman good enough to help him get better every day in practice? Those practice battles will be a key factor in his development at the college level.
Here are a few things I think will matter in his ultimate decision. I’m not sure I can rank them in any manner of hierarchy. I don’t know if he even knows just how he values them at this time.
- A specific plan for his development
- Future talent at the QB spot
- How well a team throws the ball
- Type of players around him
- Track record of sending WRs to the NFL
- Relationships within the coaching staff
Here are a few elements that I think do not matter a great deal here.
- Depth chart at receiver
- WR commitments in the 2019 class
- Promises of playing time
Haselwood plans to sign during the early period and then let the world know on Jan. 5 at the All-American Game out in San Antonio.