Nate McBride released his Top 5 on Tuesday night.
DawgNation will look at it a different way. Four of McBride’s top five schools are the teams that UGA will have to beat out for the right to sign the once-in-a-generation linebacker.
The 4-star senior out of Vidalia (Ga.) High School has long established Georgia and Alabama as two of the primary teams to watch in his recruiting. On Tuesday evening, he revealed that Auburn, Oregon and Stanford were also in the mix.
McBride nearly committed to UGA last fall when Mark Richt’s staff was still in place, and he’s also a huge Kirby Smart fan.
Alabama wants McBride badly, too — so much that the Crimson Tide sent coach Nick Saban to Vidalia to visit the linebacker on the Wednesday after Alabama claimed its latest national championship. Saban also made a point to have McBride call him when he was at the NFL Draft this year.
McBride was nursing a sore hamstring at the time. Saban noted that Alabama had a pristine new machine to strengthen hamstrings in its weight room.
The nearly 6-foot-3, 228-pounder can bench press 405 pounds and also run the 100 meters in 10.6 seconds. That’s as fast as elite tailbacks can cover that distance and in the same ballpark as speedsters such as UGA signees Mecole Hardman, Jr and Tyler Simmons. Even Cal signee Demetris Robertson covered that distance in the spring.
The one difference is that McBride is a linebacker, not a guy responsible for making touchdowns happen.
He’s rated as the nation’s No. 2 ILB and the No. 73 overall prospect for the Class of 2017. His rankings — given his vast athleticism — would be a lot higher if not for the fact that McBride missed his entire junior season due to season-ending injuries he suffered in fall camp prior to last season.
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. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.